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First Watch rolls out new single-origin coffee nationwide, supporting women growers in Colombia

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Florida-based breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant chain First Watch has recently unrolled a new coffee program, called Project Sunrise, using a new single-origin coffee sourced from women coffee growers in Huila, Colombia. The coffee program helps support a women-led growers organization called Mujeres en Café in Huila, Colombia. Traditionally, the coffee growing industry in Colombia has been male-dominated. Due to the country’s decades-long civil conflict, many women in Huila lost their husbands, brothers and sons and have now taken over the family business. Together, they formed Mujeres en Café and embarked on a mission to create sustainable businesses that elevate the lives of their families and improve conditions in their rural communities. “During our visit to Huila, we met groups of women in several villages who have dedicated their lives to producing great coffee. They are proud of their work and were eager to welcome us into their homes, walk us through their farms and share their stories,” Shane Schaibly, corporate chef and VP of culinary strategy for First Watch, said in an announcement of the new coffee program. “Each year, we serve more than 8 million cups of coffee in our restaurants. Through Project Sunrise, that gives us 8 million incredible opportunities to support these hard-working women and their families in Huila in 2018.” The high-quality beans these women grow and harvest in Huila are exported to the U.S. and roasted by the experts at Royal Cup Coffee in Birmingham, Alabama, exclusively for First Watch. The restaurant company pays a premium for these single-origin beans, which will be relayed back to the women farmers in Huila to help improve their quality of life and help facilitate their operations. Schaibly spent months working with coffee growers and roasters to develop a coffee that would complement the complex dishes, flavors and textures found on the First Watch menu. First Watch’s new Project Sunrise coffee fits the bill – it features a medium body, with hints of cherry, orange, toasted nuts, honey, milk chocolate and caramel, which makes for an ideal complement to First Watch’s variety of fresh breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes. For more information on First Watch’s Project Sunrise, visit blog.firstwatch.com. We were recently invite to try some of the new coffee at First Watch as well as sample some seasonal dishes like the millionaire’s bacon, four slices of hardwood smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and a maple syrup drizzle, and the cinnamon chip panacake. I enjoyed their new coffee, particularly the rich depth of flavor that complimented the dishes well.

Orange County Brewers Bring Crafts to Downtown Orlando

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We may have found our new favorite hang out location. Orange County Brewers open industrial design features exposed brick walls, wood accents, a beautiful Florida-themed mural and customized ceiling design, long tables/group interior seating and outdoor seating via patios in the front and rear of the brewery. Inside or out, it is pet friendly so bring your furry four-legged puppers! In addition to regular food and drink service, OCB will offer tours, and Brewmaster Amanda will organize multiple group activities that will involve education for anyone who would like to learn more about beer. OCB beers will also be distributed via City Beverages. Led by Head Brewer Amanda Roberts, the brightly-colored, 3,400 square-foot facility located on the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street, will brew a variety of different styles of beer, including Ales, Lagers, Pilsner, Stouts, IPAs, Hefeweizen and Porters. Whether you are a beer lover or not, you’ll end up finding a beer at OCB that you will love with the help of Amanda and her beer-loving family. Order a flight to try a number of beers or go big with a full glass! Also, OCB offer a wide selection of wine if that tickles your fancy. Orange County Brewers will include a full service craft pizza kitchen with a wood-burning oven called “Orlando Pizza and Wing Co.” serving pizza, wings, salads and sandwiches. These wings…are brilliant. From the time OCB open, they start to smoke their wings. The skin is wonderfully crispy while the meat is tender and juicy. Try the wings with some sauces. Our favorite sauces include: Classic Buffalo, Strawberry Jalapeño and Pineapple Habanero. The Classic Buffalo is our #1 choice; keep in mind that not all buffalo sauces are delicious, but this is excellent. The Strawberry Jalapeño is very fresh and we believe it will taste great with salads too. The Pineapple Habanero is unique and delicious with a slight kick at the end. The Mac & Cheese Pizza is creamy and savory. with a chewy, yet crispy crust. It was the first time I tried a Mac & Cheese Pizza and this was not a let down. The Tree Hugger Pizza is full of flavors and textures. The goat cheese makes the pizza different from others and it is quite different. This is a healthier choice when choosing a pizza. Orange County Brewers is located at 131 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Hours of Operation Sunday thru Wednesday 11:30am-12am Thursday thru Saturday 11:30am-2am Happy Hour 4pm-7pm For more information, call 407-914-2831 or visit www.theocbrewers.com and www.facebook.com/orangecountybrewers.

Banh Mi Nha Trang – Banh mi sandwiches – Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

A few months ago, as part of the epic Orlando Weekly Banh Mi Battle, I got the chance to visit Banh Mi Nha Trang to pick up some new banh mi from their shop for the first time to enter them into the competition. Although they did not win 1st place (the honors went, to the deserving Boston Bakery across the street), Banh Mi Nha Trang which just opened a few days prior placed 2nd for best banh mi in Orlando.  It is a bit hard to find Banh Mi Nha Trang as it is tucked away in a courtyard on Colonial Drive just to the east of the intersection with Mills Avenue. I like to tell people its in the strip between Lollicup (now renamed Chewy Boba Company) and Saigon Market with the big yellow flag on the flag pole. You have to park in the rear and walk through to the courtyard to reach Banh Mi Nha Trang. Its an unassuming hole in the wall of a place to say the least, but its these holes in the wall that most often have the most heart in their food.  The place is a mom and pop type joint, run by a lovable, friendly and always smiling Vietnamese lady. Her English is not good at all yet but you can pretty much order the same banh mi you can as the other banh mi joints. They also sell home made nem chua pickled meat and cha lua pork roll meats. They specialize in banh mi Nha trang, a banh mi from the south central coastal region of Vietnam and topped with a special garlic fish sauce and peppery goodness. The sandwich is full of various cuts of Vietnamese deli meats like cha lua pork roll, cha siu roast pork, and pickled carrots and daikon veggies. The bread is also different from the other banh mi places as it is a bit softer and more chewy. The banh mi dac biet Nha Trang is $2.50 (the cheapest price you’ll find for banh mi in Orlando) and if you buy 5 you get 1 free.  Tips: its cash only for the moment so remember to bring some when you go. The Banh Mi Nha Trang Dac Biet – a great sandwich for $2.50~ Scenes from the Orlando Weekly’s Banh Mi battle

39 Awesome Foodie Shots of the 2015 Vietnamese New Year Festival in Orlando hosted by the Vietnamese Catholic Church

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

This past weekend, the Vietnamese Catholic Church of Orlando, St Philip Phan van minh hosted their annual Vietnamese New Year Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds for 2015 – the year of the goat/sheep. The actual Lunar New Year is not till Thursday February 19th this year so there are still lots of great events to come. (See Guide to Celebrating Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Festivals in Orlando Post for the lowdown). Here are 39 photos showing why the Vietnamese New Year Festival rocks: Shout out to the Orlando Foodie Forum on facebook for coming out to the event!

Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet in Orlando 2012

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

The Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet or Tet Nguyên Dán is upon us here in Orlando again! A time to spend with family, friends, and welcome in the new year. Last weekend St Philp Phan Thanh Minh, the largest Catholic Church in Orlando, hosted their annual Tet Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds to bring in the new year of the Dragon. This weekend, the Vietnamese Community of Orlando is hosting their own Tet Festival with a Miss Vietnam of Florida Pageant starting at 1pm on Sunday. Entrance is $5 but I definitely recommend going especially for the food. Here at the festivals, you get a chance to taste different authentic Vietnamese dishes and street food that are usually not available at local Vietnamese restaurants. The prices are a bit steep, especially for the noodle soups, but a lot of the foods here are home-made and go to a good cause usually. Address is 4603 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32808-8158. If you can’t make it out this Sunday, next Sunday on February 5th there is the Dragon Parade Lunar New Year event hosted by the Chinese American Association of Central Florida and the Mills 50 District starting at 11:00 AM – 3:00pm. More details here: http://www.facebook.com/events/136825883100048/   Below are some scenes from last weekend’s Tet Events: Orchids and flowers and plants for sale, welcoming in Spring. Vietnamese high schoolers doing traditional Vietnamese rice hat dance for the festival The Vietnamese rice hat dance Chim cut roti or roasted quail It gets busy here at the Vietnamese New Year Festival! Nem nuong and thit nuong, or meat balls and grilled pork on a stick. A favorite street food item of mine! Banh teo, a kind of Vietnamese fried donut pastry Vietnamese calligraphy. The Vietnamese language was romanized by the French centuries ago, previously things were written in chu nom, a kind of Chinese character system used by the elites. Bun bo hue, the Hue style spicy beef noodle soup Watching the show! Grilled pork Hop vit lon, or balut in the Phillipines, boiled fertilized duck fetus eggs Pate a choux, meat filled pastries, and banh bao, pork and egg filled buns, relics of the French and Chinese influence on Vietnamese cuisine. Bun rieu, a seafood crab tomato noodle soup dish.

Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

One of the world’s tastiest holiday traditions will receive a “Florida-style” twist with the debate of a limited time only “Feast of the Seven Fishes” menu at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar. This menu is offered from December 24, 2017 to January 6, 2018, including a seven-course seafood and wine Christmas Eve extravaganza to kickoff the celebration. The December 24 dinner will begin at 6:30pm and is limited to the first 25 guests. We were invited to taste the menu as a sneak peak to provide everyone insight of what is to come! The Bahamian Conch Fritters are served with a mango sauce. The mango glaze adds a nice sweetness to the conch fritters. Conch fritters are crispy, yet smooth in textures. The flavors are mild without the mango sauce. The Red Grouper Ceviche is fresh and cooked nicely with a lemony zest. The Smoked Rainbow Trout Fish Dip is a tad salty, but balanced when eaten with some saltine crackers. The trout has a texture similar to tuna. Be careful as it may have bones. The reception snacks above are paired well with Col De Salici Extra Dry Prosecco, which is a vintage Prosecco. The Mayport Shrimp on Grit Cake with Seafood Gumbo Sauce was cooked really well. The grit cake is crispy on the outside, while smooth and creamy on the inside. The shrimp was caught off of Jacksonville, FL. The Nueske’s Applewood Smoke Bacon-Wrapped Scallop with Butter Beans has an abundance of textures and flavors that blend well when eaten all together. When taken apart, the bacon may be salty so make sure you’re eating it with the scallop and butter beans. The scallop is very delightful and cooked well. The butter beans were very smooth and a type of bean I would like for someone who is not fond of beans. The savory and salty plates are paired with the Stags Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc. It is very smooth with so many notes of fruit. The fruit notes are prominent in smell before it hits your palate. The Whole Fried Hog Snapper and Black Sea Bass with Smothered Tomatoes & Okra is paired with Spatz & Hall Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. The Fried Hog Snapper is very fresh with a corn flour seasoning. The meat has a slight sweetness to it. The Black Sea Bass is slightly dry in certain sections, but very tender and moist in other regions because the moistness depends on what area you pull the meat from. Nonetheless, the fish is very fresh! The outside is very crisp and flavorful. The Lobster Ravioli is very fresh and house made. It is served with a Seafood Bolognese Sauce that brings it all together. The lobster ravioli even tastes great alone without the sauce if you are sensitive to red sauce. It is paired with Stags Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Red that is full in flavor. The oyster of the Gulf Oyster Shooters (featuring Tito’s Vodka) is very fresh. There is a rim of Old Bay around the glass that goes well with the shot. It is absolutely earthy as it is suggested by the menu. The Famous Carrot Cake is famous for a reason as it is moist and has a chewy texture to it, which is delightful in my opinion. The Red Velvet Layer Cake is very moist and thick as it coats the palate. The cakes are paired with the Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti. The Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti is very smooth and delightful for a dessert wine as I am not usually fond os sweet wines. This dessert wines is not as sweet as the usual dessert wines that are paired. For more information, please visit Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar or their “Feast of the Seven Fishes” Facebook Event.

First Look: Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Mai’s Bistro is a new fast casual restaurant that has opened up in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, specializing in Vietnamese street food such as banh mi, Vietnamese sticky rice, and banh cuon rice crepes. They bake their own bread and sweets and make everything in house. On a recent visit, I loved their banh cuon rice crepes and their variety of both sweet and savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi). You could get bbq roast pork, chinese sausage, or shredded chicken for savory sticky rice and jackfruit for sweet sticky rice. They bake their bread from scratch on site and their grilled pork banh mi is one of the best i have had. Their staff was very friendly and hospitable. Will try again soon and update! Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50 830 E Colonial Dr A, Orlando, FL 32803 Menu: maibistrousa.com Phone: (407) 730-8538

Valkyrie Doughnuts - Vegan doughnuts in Orlando - Review

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

My son had a soccer game in the Orlando area today, which put me just a few minutes away fro Valkyrie Doughnuts. They are a...

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Pho Hoa Noodle Soup

At Pho Hoa, our passion is simple: to make a healthier Vietnamese Pho noodle soup that offers the same robust flavors and aromas of traditional pho. That's why we've revolutionized the way pho is made; instead of using a customary bone marrow broth, which is extremely high in calories and cholesterol, we use the highest quality meats to produce our soups.

First Look: Metro Diner at UCF – University Blvd

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

“Where the Locals Eat” Known as one of the best places for breakfast in Jacksonville, winning multiple accolades, Metro Diner has finally expanded further into the Orlando area near the always brunch-happy UCF area in East Orlando. The first Central Florida is in Altamonte Springs. Founded in Jacksonville in 1992, over 25 years ago, Metro Diner specializes in breakfast specials and comfort diner food and was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network. Let the flavor town train roll on! On a recent visit, the place was packed with local professionals in from the cold on their lunch breaks. People love breakfast and brunch in Orlando and there seems to be more and more options each day. I ordered their signature Fried Chicken and Waffle – the fried chicken was nice and crispy, but the waffle was the real star – light and fluffy yet also with a nice crisp. The strawberry butter was also a wonderful touch to this sweet and savory dish. Fried Chicken & Waffle $15.49 Half a fried chicken and a Belgian waffle, topped with powdered sugar and sweet, strawberry butter. Served with their special honey tabasco, sweet and spicy sauce. Metro Diner 11650 University Blvd Orlando, FL 32817 https://metrodiner.com/locations/florida/orlando-university/

Veggie Garden restaurant in Orlando review - vegan vegetarian Vietnamese food

Veggie Garden restaurant in Orlando review - vegan vegetarian Vietnamese food


VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

If you are in Orlando and looking for vegan or vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine you may want to check out Veggie Garden, located at 1216 E....

Vietnam Cuisine in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Don’t judge a book by its cover – This tiny restaurant has served as home to quite a few different restaurants over the year – I think due to its small space, but this iteration is a winner. It is tiny, just maybe 8 tables, seat maybe 40 in the whole building. Tucked between a nail supply shop and a Vietnamese owned wedding cake shop, just a few doors down from Saigon Market and Tasty Wok, I love Vietnam Cuisine for their banh cuon, velvety smooth rice crepes stuffed with woodeared mushroom and ground pork, pork sausage, Vietnamese sweet fish sauce. pour it over. Known for their take on northern Vietnamese dishes – other than Lac Viet, most other Vietnamese restaurants in town specialize in the southern cuisine of Vietnam. The cha ca thanh long is a popular dish, a type of fish patty with tilapia spiced in turmeric and herb (what herb) =, I think it is a play on a fish becoming a dragon. Also, bun cha ha noi, a rice vermicelli dish with pork meat balls and sweet fish sauce for dipping. It’s like tsukeman Vietnamese noodles – Vietnamese rice spaghetti and pork meatballs ? Also, great pho here with lots of meat cuts and ox tail. Generous portions. On the way out, I get a few banh bao, a type of stuffed pastry stuffed with pork meat, hard boiled egg, Chinese sausage. It’s known as a poor man’s meal and popular street food – you can get full off of just one bao. It was popular in Hong Kong years ago, but I guess owners got smart and cut back on it so their customers wouldn’t get full off of just one pork bun. Get the banh cuon – velvety smooth rice crepes stuffed with woodeared mushroom and ground pork, pork sausage, Vietnamese sweet fish sauce. pour it over. Cha Ca Thanh Long Beef Noodle Soup aka Pho Special Rice plate with egg, grilled pork chop, pork casserole Bun bo hue, with blood pudding Stir fried noodles More Pho Rare to find blood pudding in Bun Bo Hue in Orlando – very authentic! Bun Cha Ha Noi

phok5 vietnamese restaurant | Restaurants at 730 N Mills Ave - Orlando FL - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number

phok5 vietnamese restaurant | Restaurants at 730 N Mills Ave - Orlando FL - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number


BirdEye

354 reviews of phok5 vietnamese restaurant from Orlando, FLNice place, the food is good. Recommended.

Anh Hong Restaurant

Anh Hong Restaurant


Anh Hong Restaurant

Anh Hong Restaurant - 1124 E. Colonial Dr Orlando, FL 32803

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante at Disney Springs opens on National Spaghetti Day

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to the media preview and grand opening of Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante with a special dedication moment including leadership from Disney, Patina Restaurant Group and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.  Following the dedication, we went inside the brand new Italian restaurant for a media reception and we celebrated National Spaghetti Day with some apps, pasta, wines, cocktails and sweet treats; perfect for the occasion.  Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante is a warm and dreamy restaurant with friendly staff, delicious food, and airline themed aesthetics that is adventurous and playful. The backstory is that the building was a once-abandoned Disney Springs airline terminal from the 1930s.  Italian immigrants Maria and Enzo owned a small bakery business inside the airline terminal and they purchased the entire building after the airline terminal closed down.  As an airline pilot, Enzo was drawn to the abandoned airline terminal and to open a spacious restaurant in it was a dream of his and Maria, who both wanted to introduce Italian cuisine to guests at Disney Springs. CACIOCAVALLO FRITTO – fried sicilian cheese, spicy tomato and pomodoro sauce SPAGHETTI ALLA CHITARRA – burrata and meatballs ARANCINI DI CARNE – fried rice stuffed with meat ragù, peas and mozzarella.  They were delicious! PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED BREADSTICKS CHERRY TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA SKEWERS Delicious TIRAMISU! These were the best CHEESECAKE POPS that I have ever had in my life! CANNOLI– sheep’s milk ricotta, chocolate chips, candied orange.  It was the best cannoli that I have ever had in my life! Randomly selected guests will be upgraded upon arrival to the First Class Lounge and will receive a more upgraded level of service.  Guests 21 years of age or older will be served a complimentary glass of Prosecco and kids will receive a complimentary airline pin. Be sure to book a reservation at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, link below, so you can experience this amazing new restaurant for yourself! BONUS: We also got to take a tour around the new Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar. …and The Edison. Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante The Landing, Disney Springs, 1570 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 (407) 560-8466 mariaandenzos.com Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar 1570 E. Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 (407) 560-9288 enzoshideawayfla.com The Edison 1570 E. Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 (407) 560-9288 theedisonfla.com

A Brief Insight Into The Orlando FL Restaurant Scene

A Brief Insight Into The Orlando FL Restaurant Scene


From the Ground Up Landscaping Inc

Like many other major cities, Orlando FL too has its share of landmark restaurants. Orlando offers a variety of food and in different price ranges so that no one leaves the city hungry. The following are some of the best restaurants in their respective categories. Goodrich Seafood Restaurant and Oyster House For seafood, Goodrich is …

5 Best Orlando Restaurants for Ethnic Food | Hilton Mom Voyage

5 Best Orlando Restaurants for Ethnic Food | Hilton Mom Voyage


Hilton Mom Voyage

Step away from the ordinary. Visit the best Orlando restaurants for ethnic food with 5 of our family's favorites that are authentic, delicious & affordable.

Valkyrie Doughnuts - Vegan doughnuts in Orlando - Review

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

My son had a soccer game in the Orlando area today, which put me just a few minutes away fro Valkyrie Doughnuts. They are a...

Saigon Flavors – Oviedo, FL

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Saigon Flavors opened not almost a year ago and has already won Best Vietnamese in the Critic’s choice in this year’s Orlando Sentinel Foodies Awards. That is quite the accomplishment for the “new kid on the block”, and indeed quite the achievement being located so far from the Mills-50 district area where the majority of Vietnamese restaurants are clustered. Goi cuon / summer rolls with shrimp and pork Saigon Flavors is located in Oviedo, Florida right off of Aloma Avenue and SR-417 just east of Tuscawilla Road. Although the restaurant is new, the owner Charlie Tang has a long history in the Vietnamese restaurant business, having previously owned Viet Garden on Colonial Drive near Mills Avenue in the “Viet Town” area. He is very much active in Saigon Flavors, manning the front desk and checking up on guests quite regularly during meals. I enjoyed Saigon Flavors on quite a few occasions and though the flavors are a bit toned down from what I am accustomed to, I do understand as the clientele is a bit more “American” and have differing tastes. I’ll take what I can get out here I suppose. Bun thit nuong cha gio / Rice Vermicelli Noodle bowl with spring rolls and grilled pork My favorite item on the menu are their goi cuon / summer roll appetizers ($3.50) filled with shrimp, pork, vermicelli rice noodles, and herbs wrapped in rice paper and served with a hoisin/peanut butter dipping sauce. The bun thit nuong cha gio (rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork and egg roll) are also fantastic. I did notice however that the cha gio / fried egg roll had much more vegetable filling than I am accustomed to in a Vietnamese egg roll which I did not like. It was tasty though even without alot of meat. The quintessential Vietnamese dish “Pho”, beef noodle soup, is decent here as well, although it did seem to need a tad bit more flavor. Maybe the soup needed to simmer for a little longer. Pho noodle soup! The service here is decent, much more accommodating than the usual brusque attention that you would get downtown. The decor here is a bit of a fusion of modern and traditional Vietnamese, with tall wooded pillars, colorful walls, and some murals of temples and Vietnamese markets. chicken fried rice~ Overall, Saigon Flavors definitely was not a disappointment and is a welcome addition to the growing offerings in the Oviedo area. I hope it will achieve continued success, but also hope that it can continue to stick to the traditional Vietnamese cuisine and keep bringing the “saigon flavors”. Note: Saigon Flavors is closed Mondays. .

Wix.com vietnamcuisineorlando created by ttranvista based on ninja-sushi | Wix.com

Wix.com vietnamcuisineorlando created by ttranvista based on ninja-sushi | Wix.com


Wix.com vietnamcuisineorlando created by ttranvista based on ninja-sushi

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Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi’s Chef’s Multi-Course Tasting Event

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

At Yuki Hana they provide guests with a beautiful, modern dining experience and the freshest, most flavorful Japanese dishes around.  From innovative sushi featuring fresh fish from the world’s finest markets to flavorful fusion dishes prepared with locally sourced veggies and herbs, every plate on their menu is fun, flavorful, and a new adventure.  No matter the occasion, they are always more than happy to welcome you in and treat you to an unforgettable evening of bites and sips.  Visit them and experience the finest in Japanese cuisine all under one roof. Every season Yuki Hana hosts a special dinner showcasing their chef’s creativity and talent.  We were invited to their Chef’s Multi-Course Tasting Event and as always, we were impressed with how creative and well thought-out each dish was.  Not only did the food look good but it also tasted delicious as well.  Each dish that came out was like an exciting surprise, we were all blown out of the water with their innovation, presentation and quality.  Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi exceeded our expectations with every dish that they delivered that night.  They are like food scientists, they know their stuff, they are creative, and they just keep getting better and better.  You can tell that each dish was hand made with hard work, love and intention. Begin – Butterfly Pea Crystal, Citrus Sake Appetizer – Amuse-Bouche, Squash Dumpling 1st Course – Cape Cod Oyster, Wasabi Foam, Cocktail Pearl, Lemon Confit 2nd Course – Shima Aji, Wasabi Asparagus, Kombu Chip, Crispy Garlic, Ume Ponzu 3rd Course – Nigiri Tasting Mussel (mussel puree, garlic chip) Hamachi Tartare (tobiko, cured egg snow) Tuna (tare, avocado) Kohada (charred negi vin) Break – Frozen White Chocolate Lychee Gusher 4th Course – Seared Shiromi, Cabbage Menage, Bacon Seaweed, Dashi Aioli (My favorite!) 5th Course – Roasted Beef, Oxtail Croquette, Pickled Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Sphere, Roasted Leek, Honey Soy (my second favorite!) Dessert – Persimmon 5.0, Gelato, Compressed, Gel, Meringue, Soup (it was delicious!) Special thanks to owner Ping Jiang and her talented staff for their hospitality and amazing food!  Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon, you won’t regret it! Albert DeSue – Executive Chef Steven Phan – Head Sushi Chef Edwardo Mena – Sous Chef Lance Herbas – Sushi Chef Steven Chang – Sushi Chef (Cover photo and last photo taken by Quay Hu) Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi 3635 Aloma Ave Oviedo, Florida 32765 (407) 695-8808 http://sushiyukihana.com

Bulla Gastrobar – Winter 2018 Menu

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Winter, brief it may be, has arrived to Central Florida with the latest frosty blasts covering most of our region this past week. The Spanish-inspired Bulla Gastrobar has recently debuted their Winter Menu, featuring savory, hearty dishes that will certainly warm any foodie’s appetite this winter. Here is the menu: Sabores de Invierno Winter Menu Padrones Rellenos $8 – Shishito peppers stuffed with Mahon cheese, encrusted with panko crumbs and a spicy tomato dipping sauce Caldo Gallego $8 – Galician Soup, White beans, pork shank, chorizo, kale Piquillos a la Vizcaina $11 – Ground beef and pork stuffed piquillo peppers, bechamel sauce, black currants Lechon Asado $23 – Slow Roasted Pig, Pork Demi, Panadera Potatoes Chuletas de Cordero $23 – Lamb Chops, Honey Beer Reduction, Kale, Potato Foam Some of my favorites from the menu included the: Padrones rellenos, crunchy panko crusted, stuffed shisito peppers filled with mahon cheese – each bite oozes with warm cheese – perfect. The Piquillos a la Vizcaina, stuffed piquillo peppers were both savory and sweet – savory from the ground beef and pork and bechamel cheese sauce but also a touch of sweetness from the black currant reduction and nutty sliced almonds. If you are a fan of lamb chops, try the chuletas de cordero – subtly sweet from honey reduction, it’s a hearty dish with delicate potato foam and crispy kale. My absolute favorite on the menu is the lechon asado, thrice cooked slow roasted pig with a pork demi sauce and panadera potatoes – thick and juicy, the pork just melts in your mouth with the crispy pork skin is a fantastic treat. The menu lasts all winter until March so visit soon! Bulla Gastrobar 110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789 bullagastrobar.com

Yappy Hour at K Restaurant + Wine Bar

by Katherine Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

On Monday, Dec. 11, K Restaurant launched their first, monthly, Yappy Hour. To inaugurate this series of tail-wagging fun they have partnered with Woof Orlando from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Orlando locals are invited to bring their furry four-legged friends out and enjoy free spent-grain dog treats made from local breweries and enter-to-win two raffles with prizes including gift certificates for a free grooming. We were able to experience what “Doggie chaperones” can expect when it comes to tongue-in-cheek Yappy Hour dishes from Chef Ryan McLaughlin as well as drink specials as K Restaurant is excited to share that they just received their full liquor license. Crispy Pig Ears are fried with dates pepper hot sauce and herbs. The pig ears are sliced thinly to make them crispy like a chip. They are lightly salted and delicious with or without the hot sauce. Be careful, the hot sauce is thick and has a major kick to it. “Pawsta” is fried ravioli with ricotta filling. Served on marinara with pecorino cheese and herbs. The fried version of ravioli is very airy like a puff pastry. Each ingredient subtly blends well together upon the palate. “Milk Bones” are veal bone marrow bones with charred bread and radishes. The bone marrow is very smooth and works well with the bread and radishes. The charred bread adds a saltiness to each bite. We almost ordered a second round of this dish! The Cosmo-paw-litan (left) is made with vodka, orange shrubb, lime, and cranberry juice. A simple drink to socialize with. The Snoop Dog (right) was our favorite out of these two. The Snoop Dog is made with gin and pineapple juice; it is like a tropical version of a Screwdriver. Since we were still slightly hungry after all the samplings, we ordered the Ricotta Gnocchi off the main menu, which changes up from time to time so you can come back to try new items all the time. The Ricotta Gnocchi is made with duck confit, butternut squash, garden greens, brussel sprouts, and sage veloute. Everything is made in-house and as fresh as possible for each order. Our specific plate was a tad more salty than I would prefer, but the dish is still delicious nonetheless. The Ricotta Gnocchi was paired nicely with a 2014 Carmenere made in Valle Del Maule, Chile. This wine has a smooth and solid flavor with notes of spices, black cherry and blackberries. For more information, visit the K Restaurant & Wine Bar Event Page.

Ric Orlando's New World Home Cooking original promo video 1995

Ric Orlando's New World Home Cooking original promo video 1995

by noreply@blogger.com (Ric Orlando) @ Ric Orlando, Hudson Valley Chef


This was made by a friend Mick Richards, as a tease to sell a TV series. No series, but a great archival video, capturing the original New World Home Cooking on Zena Road in all of its crazy energy...and I whip together a quick batch or PURPLE HAZE shrimp...there are a lot of classic Woodstock faces here that may be still around..or not..
Enjoy me and my ponytail!

Exploring Orlando’s Little Vietnam

Exploring Orlando’s Little Vietnam


TravelPulse

The Mills/50 district brings the flavors of the far east to O-Town.

2nd annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to a media preview of the 2nd annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World.  The month-long festival runs from January 12 – February 19, 2018 and includes an art walk, photo ops, chalk art, culinary offerings, live music, stage performances, art seminars, activities designed with families in mind and so much more.  They’ve rolled everything you love about the arts into one spectacular salute. Official Festival of the Arts merchandise These four pins are redemption prizes for the scavenger hunt Design your own screen printed t-shirt with Enemy Ink Masterpiece Kitchen Smoked Salmon Tartare, Caviar, Crisp Lavash and Traditional Accompaniments (delicious!) Painter’s Palate (Odyssey, Festival Center) Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts: Whipped Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs (V), Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs, Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad (really enjoyed biting into these cronut pairings!) Gallery Bites: A Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres: Chilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cream Cheese on a Crostini, Traditional Deviled Egg with Candied Bacon, Crispy Truffled Risotto Ball with Truffle Aioli Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V) Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF)(V) Decadent Delights (Promenade) S’mores Tart: House-smoked Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Marshmallow Meringue, Graham Cracker Dust and Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce The Destructed Dish Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped, New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies with Micro-basil (great dessert dish!) Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Syrup, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon (non-alcoholic) (caution: this is a sweet one!) The Artist’s Table Roasted Pork Roulade with Butternut Squash Purée, Marble Potatoes and Baby Carrots with a Red Wine Sauce featuring Melissa’s Produce Cuisine Classique Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc (GF) Pop Eats Sous Vide Poulet Rouge Chicken Roulade with Apples and Sage served with Warm Brie Fondue, Blueberry and Beet Gel and garnished with Apple and Beet Chips (GF) Pop’t Art: Modern-design Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling (V) Sous Chef Daniel Contreras Disney on Broadway Concert Series preview with Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Massey Jim, a long-time Disney pianist Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation, Presented by Mindy Johnson, Author of Ink & Paint – The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation They gifted all of us a copy of Mindy Johnson’s book (retails for $60) Be sure to check out Epcot International Festival of the Arts soon before it ends on February 19.  You will love it! (Source credit: Walt Disney World) Epcot 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 939-5277 disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts/

Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant

Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant


Untappd

Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant on Untappd

Rosen Shingle Creek’s 2017 Charity Partners Christmas Tree Decorating

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Runway to Hope’s Christmas Tree Rosen Hotels & Resorts is known for being charitable and the holidays are no exception.  We were invited to check out 16 local charities gathering at Rosen Shingle Creek to decorate a tree in honor of their charity followed by a cocktail reception.  Rosen Shingle Creek is proud to display a very special collection of Christmas Trees decorated by each of their Non-Profit Partner Organizations in the hotel’s festive lobby adding an extra level of good tidings to the hotel’s multi-million dollar holiday decor. Mark NeJame, co-founder of Runway to Hope Pork Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Chicken Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Fish Taco – Marinated Cabbage, Cojita, Cheese, Mexican Crema Penne Pasta with Tomato, Basil, Calamatta Olives, Sun-dried Tomato, Capers and Parmesan Cheese Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini Shitake Mushrooms, Sweet Peas and Peppers in Pesto Alfredo Sauce Holiday White Chocolate & Milk Chocolate Fudge Jack and Lee Rosen JCC Girl Scouts of America, Citrus Council The Pixel Fund Osceola School for the Arts The Harris Rosen Foundation A Gift for Teaching Canine Companions for Independence Nemours Children’s Hospital The Orlando Union Rescue Mission The Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance Best Buddies International American Cancer Society Florida Hospital Transplant Institute Valencia College Foundation The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Compassionate Hands and Hearts Shepherd’s Hope We hope you enjoy their trees as much as we enjoyed watching them decorate it!  All of these organizations host their annual gala events at Rosen Shingle Creek and all events are unique and available for ticket purchase or donations.  Please visit their Holiday Tree Display at Rosen Shingle Creek’s hotel lobby! (Source Credit: Rosen Hotel & Resort) Rosen Shingle Creek 9939 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 (866) 996-9939 http://rosenshinglecreek.com

Outback Steakhouse opens at new location in Oviedo

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Outback Steakhouse, the Tampa-based Australian-themed American casual dining restaurant chain, has recently moved from its original Oviedo spot down the street to a new location just across the way from Sushi Pop. It was previously the location for Bojangles Fried Chicken. One of their newest dishes is: Big Aussie Bloom NEW Address: 215 W Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765 Mon-Thu: 11:00 AM-10:00 PM Fri-Sat: 11:00 AM-11:00 PM Sun: 11:00 AM-10:00 PM for more info, visit: https://www.outback.com/locations/fl/oviedo

What vegan foods does Aldi have? A lot!

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

I recently read in the news that Aldi is going to have a line of vegan foods at their stores. There have been a few...

Saigon Noodle and Grill – Vietnamese cuisine

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Saigon Noodle and Grill recently opened in the same location where Pho Pasteur has been for quite a few years, in the plaza on the southwest corner of Lake Underhill road and Goldenrod road. I had visited Pho Pasteur a few years ago and thought it to be okay but not that memorable. The new Saigon Noodle and Grill is a big change from the previous Vietnamese incarnations in this place. Gone are the murals of Vietnamese jungles and rivers, replaced by a more placid light green wall color. The menu, still undergoing changes, has some of the faithful Vietnamese dishes like bun thit nuong (rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork), com dac biet (rice platter with grilled meat, pork casserole, tomato, etc.), and of course pho, the Vietnamese national dish of beef and rice noodles in soup. Vietnamese food holds a special place in my heart, and I often find Vietnamese restaurant renditions of some dishes to be lacking at times, especially those who try to take short cuts or use less quality ingredients. The pho here is quite exceptional and filled with cuts of meat. The broth is as good or even better than the ones found in the Mills 50 area where competition runs high. I would say the pho here ranks among my favorite pho in Orlando. Service is also quite nice, run by Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen, long time restauranteurs and owners of Saigon Noodle and Grill. They are very friendly and gracious every time I’ve visited, and were accordingly accommodating to their other guests as well. For those living on the east side of Orlando, this is the best bet for some great Vietnamese food. Even if it were downtown, it would probably do well and best even some of the longstanding Vietnamese restaurants in the Mills 50 area. Below are photos from a recent visit:  Cafe sua da – Vietnamese iced coffee – a bit strong, so you may need some water to help lighten it up   Delicious fried Vietnamese spring rolls – cha gio A savory bowl of pho Com Suon – Rice with pork chops Goi cuon – summer rolls made with translucent rice paper Com dac biet

Ric Orlando's Not Quite Ibarra Chocolate Cake

by noreply@blogger.com (Ric Orlando) @ Ric Orlando, Hudson Valley Chef

Ric’s Not Quite Ibarra Chocolate Cake
Ok so this cake is delish, but does not have the Mexican Ibarra chocolate in it. It has the components of Ibarra chocolate, which is fine by me!
Makes a 9 inch round cake.
Preheat oven to 325
1 tbls cinnamon
small pinch ground cloves
1 tsp red chile powder
zest of two oranges
4 tbls bittersweet chocolate, minced
1 1/2 cups peeled almonds, toasted and grind to a fine powder
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 tbls fresh orange juice
Patron Citronage, Gran Marnier or triple sec
Grease, flour, paper and grease your cake pan.
Combine the cinnamon, clove, chile powder,orange zest, chocolate and almonds in a mixing bowl.
Beat the yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar and orange juice until smooth and shiny.
In another bowl beat the whites to soft peaks while gradually adding in the sugar. Now combine the yolk mix with the chocolate-almond mix. 
Carefully add half of the whipped the whipped whites. When incorporated add the other half.
Spread into the cake pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until the cake pulls away from  the sides.
When cool, paint with the orange liqueur.

Chocolate Glaze
10 tbls bittersweet chocolate
1 tbls unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup softened butter
1 tbls agave syrup or Karo corn syrup*
1 tablespoon water
Put everything except 1/4 cup of the butter in a double boiler and stir gently until just melted.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining soft butter, Let cool a few minutes then pour over the cake.
*Karo is NOT high fructose corn syrup, fyi

Garnish with cocoa whipped cream and orange supremes

Pho 88 Vietnamese Noodle Shop – Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pho 88 Vietnamese Noodle Shop – Mills 50 District [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsSiA-JHm0U] Anthony Bourdain: Search for Pho in Vietnam – Food Porn It is an age-old remedy passed down from generation to generation: a nice large steaming bowl of pho after a night out to cure a cursed condition: “the hangover”. Its common wisdom that the soup – simmered over hours with ox tail, Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, charred onions and garlic cloves – is a elixir to make those alcohol-induced headaches go away with each slurp of the rice noodles. Its a tender dish, it sooths and washes out all the bad demons of the previous night with every spoonful. I don’t know why we keep coming back to Pho 88, located on the left side of Mills Ave just north of Colonial Drive; there are plenty of other Vietnamese restaurants to pick and choose from out there in the Mills 50 District to satisfy our pho fix. Maybe its the big open spaces in their dining room that gives us room to breathe and slurp freely as we scour our bowls (offered in regular, large, or xe lua – super sized- size). It isn’t the service, as most Vietnamese places aren’t known for the greatest friendliest service and the waiters at Pho 88 are no different, each of them no-nonsense, straight to the point types. What we enjoy at Pho 88 is the low prices (seriously where else can you get such a huge meal for $7.50? ) the quality (Pho is the namesake of the place, and you better make it good) and the lightning speed of the food delivery to the table (literally less than 5 minutes from order time). Pho at Pho 88 is a cut above the rest. Their noodles are slender and tasty, their broth is layered with flavors from the spices and beef that have been simmering for hours, and the meats are pretty good. In Vietnam, you take a small sauce tray and put hoisin and chili sauce in it and then dip your meats in the sauces to taste. Their pho, although still no match for my mother’s, is a close contender. For appetizers, on this occasion, we chose the cha gio or vietnamese fried spring rolls. I like to wrap my spring rolls in lettuce before dipping it into the fish sauce, providing it a soft texture to contrast with the crunchy crisp of the egg roll shells. In addition to Pho at Pho 88, they serve delicious Vietnamese subs known as banh mi. It tastes really good and I recommend it here if you are extra hungry. In the phillipines, they are known to dip the french breads into pho to soften it before chowing down on the delectable banh mi. They have a wide range of offerings too from meat balls to eggs to the traditional dac biet with all the special deli meats. If you’re not in the mood for pho or banh mi, try some of their delicious rice plates with pork chops and egg, or other noodle soup specialties. Tasty Chomps Rating 4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!! Graffiti art on the southern wall, always different and beautiful. A glass of iced Vietnamese lime-ade (nuoc da chanh), sweet and crisp Garnishes for the soup, basils, bean sprouts, mint, slices of lime, jalapenos Various meat cuts in the soup including flank steak, beef tripe, tendon, etc. dip sauces : sirarcha chili sauce and hoisin bbq sauce Pho – must be eaten hot immediately or the flavors will disappear! Crispy Spring Rolls aka cha gio Inside the cha gio is vermicelli noodles, wood eared mushroom, pork, carrots Wrap it up. Banh mi is found here at Pho 88 Take a bite.

Publix debuts “Asian BBQ” Sub sandwich

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

UPDATE: April 7, 2013 I finally got to try the new Asian bbq sandwich from Publix! (Seen above) though not too much to do with a Vietnamese banh mi sub, the sandwich itself was not too bad. I enjoyed the pork but it could be improved with some more hoisin bbq sauce. They should make a spicy option of this sandwich with optional sriracha hot sauce. Overall, not too shabby Publix! ————– As described first by TheDailyCity.com here, Publix has unleashed their newest creation the Asian BBQ Sub sandwich, inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. The official post on the new sandwich can be found here: the official Publix post on new Asian BBQ Sub sandwich. The banh mi inspired sandwiches is nothing new, there have been many mainstream restaurants as well as local food trucks such as Big Wheel Food Truck who have put their own touches and homages on the Vietnamese street food dish. Publix is a local Central Florida institution and is well renown for their deli sandwiches. Is this move to an “Asian” inspired sandwich another step towards the bastardization of Vietnamese cuisine, a simple way to cash in on a cultural phenomenon, or just an evolution of American cuisine? The Publix Asian BBQ sandwich features roasted and shredded pork in a sweet chili BBQ sauce, topped with cucumbers, matchstick carrots, and fresh cilantro. If this was a true banh mi, traditionally they would use sweetly pickled cucumbers and carrots and there would be a liver pate and butter spread on a French baguette. I wouldn’t be so bothered by it all if they only spelled “banh mi” correctly on their site (incorrectly as “bahn mi”) or if they could get rid of those signs in Vietnamese that say “no parking” at their Publix store at Shine Avenue and Colonial, in the heart of the Vietnamese district in Mills 50. Signs in Vietnamese – literally “Parking for Publix Customers Only” – I think that would be nice if they changed to “Feel free to park here we love the Vietnamese community and their banh mi sandwiches” So including Publix, there is Banh Mi Nha Trang, Boston Bakery, Yum-Mi Sandwiches, Pho 88, Vietnam Cuisine, Hawkers, among many other local restaurants in the area who currently serve up banh mi. Try them all and let me know what you think!

Free smoothies for a year to first 50 guests at the grand opening of Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Winter Park

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

We were invited to check out the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Winter Park and we got to try a few of their menu items.  I LOVE smoothies.  They are my favorite thing to consume whether I am at work, home, or just finished a grueling workout and want something ice-cold and replenishing in my system to hold me over until I get ahold of some food.  Fortunately, Tropical Smoothie Cafe sells smoothies and hot items, so you can get both on the same stop.  The new Winter Park store is beautiful, bright, clean, and inviting and the smoothie and hot items were fresh and delicious.  You can expect to see me in line tomorrow morning trying to win free smoothies for a whole year! Detox Island Green (seasonal) – Spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana & fresh ginger (naturally sweetened).   The serving is generous, the smoothie had a great consistency and it tasted fresh.  I really enjoyed the fresh ginger in it too, since it’s so good for you! Cali Chicken Club Flatbread – Bacon, smashed avocado, tomatoes, romaine, mozzarella & basil garlic mayo.  This was my favorite! Buffalo Chicken Wrap – Made it vegetarian by substituting the chicken strips with Beyond Meat®Chicken-Free Strips, no lite ranch & mozzarella, and adding extra avocado & veggies.  It includes tomatoes, romaine and buffalo sauce.  This was my second favorite! Turkey Bacon Ranch Sandwich – Bacon, tomatoes, a romaine spinach blend, swiss & lite ranch on ciabatta Kale & Apple Slaw – It was really good.  The best kale & apple slaw that I have ever had in my life.  I loved the flavors of their sweet dressing, apple slices and julienne carrot married together to balance out the kale which is naturally bitter but so good for you as well! Be sure to drop by the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park early tomorrow,  January 10, for your chance to win FREE smoothies for a year!  They open at 7:00 A.M. Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park 501 N Orlando Ave. Ste. 209B Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 637-5002 tropicalsmoothiecafe.com

First Look: Sticky Rice Lao Street Food

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Had a truly delicious lunch today at Sticky Rice Lao Street Food! Located on the first floor of Bikkuri in Mills 50, the owners of Sticky Rice has transformed the small restaurant into something resembling an outdoor Laotian night market stall with dark ceilings and low, wooden tables. The menu is very affordable with most dishes ranging from $4 to $5, perfect sizes for sharing over Laotian beers with friends if one chooses. You’d be tempted to order the whole menu. It reminded me of places my uncles would go to enjoy grilled meats and beers (they serve BeerLao here!) late into the night growing up. Alot of the food had flavors that reminded me of my childhood, though Vietnam is a neighbor of Laos there are some similarities as well as differences in the cuisine. I loved the char on the grilled chicken wings seasoned in fish sauce and sugar, and the crispy pork rice lettuce wrap which had little crunchy bits and pieces of roast pork. It’s important to note that the sticky rice order is meant to be eaten with other dishes such as the pork sausages or beef jerky rather than alone – making a perfect combo of carbs and meat. They also had a delicious noodle soup that reminded me of Vietnamese banh canh or udon noodle soup called khao piek sen. khao piek sen noodle soup Another favorite was the pork tapioca dumplings, sticky chewy white balls of tapioca stuffed with crispy pork and garlic! pork tapioca dumplings Save room for dessert like the sweet pandan jelly in coconut milk, mango sticky rice, and coconut gelato on purple sticky rice served inside bamboo. We dunked our sticky rice in the sweet coconut milk for that extra sweetness. Overall very impressed by the food and the authenticity of flavors at Sticky Rice – definitely will bring my family back here to try. Go soon and with friends and enjoy Orlando’s first and only Laotian street food restaurant! They are open 11:30am to 10:00pm daily. Sticky Rice Lao Street Food 1915 East Colonial Drive Orlando, Florida https://www.facebook.com/pg/StickyRiceStreetFood

Yum-Mi Sandwiches Orlando serves up some tasty banh mi

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

There’s a new banh mi shop in town, complete with new bar seats and tables and modern lighting. Where Ba Le bakery once sat, a new and trendy sandwich shop now occupies in its place, completely remodeled on the inside and out with a fresh new look. yum-mì sandwiches focuses on bringing a modern twist to the traditional Vietnamese banh mi. The Phans (sisters Linda and Rosa, and brother David) all UCF alumni, came together with a passion for the Vietnamese culture to share their food with the community. Growing up they always talked about having a business together (they come from a family with roots in the restaurant business a la Pho 88 down the street). This common love of food inspired them to create Yum-mi sandwiches. Having upbringings in a Vietnamese family, the Phan’s inspirations came from the traditional flavors  acquired growing up and with an open mind for the cultural diversity surrounding the Orlando area. Most of the prices range from $2.75 to $7.95, very affordable. “It was very exciting for us to come together and see our dreams come to life. The most challenging obstacle was to target the right audience while staying true to our Vietnamese roots. When we were younger, we noticed our friends were always hesitant to go into some of the traditional sub shops. So we wanted to create a place that was more inviting to the young crowd while still satisfying our traditional Vietnamese customers.” explained Linda Phan. “We serve the traditional banh mi dac biet which is different cold cuts served on a French bread spread with pate and top with cucumber, cilantro, pickled daikon and carrots and jalapeños with splash of soy sauce, but also have yum mi specialities like the V.P. which is our version of Vietnamese philly steak n cheese with two fried eggs on top,” Rosa Phan added. Some other must try’s also include the Lost Tofu (made with lemongrass spiced tofu)for the vegetarians out there and their custom fresh fruit boba tea freezers. The bread is baked fresh on the premises each day as well. On a recent visit, I admired the new digs at yum-mi and ordered a VP with the two fried eggs and thit nuong (grilled beef) inside. The sandwich was filling and enjoyable and the eggs over easy oozing yolk onto my banh mi made my lunch divine. My friend had the Ms Piggy with pork belly, lettuce and tomato and noted that although it was a great banh mi, he wished that there was more meat to the sandwich. I think filling is a very important part to the banh mi, as the bread and the meat ratio has to be a respectable amount so that one does not overpower the other. I believe this will improve as time goes on. Overall, it was a fun trip to visit yum-mi and it is definitely a welcomed addition to the new banh mi landscape in Orlando. You can sit inside yum-mi sandwiches at the new bar stool area, watching the cars race by on the concrete paved Mills Avenue. Delicious Vietnamese street food: banh bao, steamed buns filled with pork and hard boiled egg. Mango-lychee freezer boba drink Miss Piggy: The Pork belly, tomatoes, and lettuce banh mi The VP – Vietnamese Philly with two eggs yummi sandwiches are yummy

Opening Soon

by Trung @ Mai Bistro

PRESS RELEASE November 7th 2017 Mai Bistro, a fast-casual Vietnamese sandwich shop, will have their Grand Opening on Friday, November 17, 2017. It is located at 1830 East Colonial, in the heart of Orlando’s Asian shopping and cultural district. Hours are 9 am to 7 pm daily except it is closed on Tuesday. Authentic Vietnamese Street Food is the theme...

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5 Vietnamese Food to Try Beside Pho

by Trung @ Mai Bistro

1. Banh Mi French baguettes filled with yummy greatness! Fillings include pork, jalapenos, cucumber, and pickled carrots and daikon. Once you’ve tried one, the regular hamburgers just won’t cut it. 2. Spring Rolls Not to be confused with traditional egg rolls, these are different in that they’re not fried but still equally delicious. They come in a variety of ingredients...

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Guy Fieri spotted at local restaurants

Guy Fieri spotted at local restaurants


OrlandoSentinel.com

Guy Fieri of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has been spotted at a number of Orlando restaurants.

Celebrating the season at IKEA’s annual Swedish Julbord buffet

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Meatballs with lingonberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, sautéed red cabbage and apples, Jansson’s temptations We were invited to celebrate the season at IKEA’s annual Swedish Julbord smorgasbord – a nationwide event at participating stores.  A traditional Julbord is a highlight of Swedish cuisine, consisting of local and family specialties enjoyed with family and friends. Tickets for the all-you-can-eat buffet featuring traditional Swedish dishes were $16.99 per person / $4.99 for kids 12 and under, or at a discounted rate for IKEA FAMILY members ($12.99 per person / $2.99 for kids 12 and under). IKEA Food Range and Product Developer, Peter Ho, says, “The Julbord buffet is at the center of the classic Scandinavian holiday celebration, uniting family and friends alike.  It is a much anticipated tradition in Sweden that we enjoy sharing with customers all over.” The cutest Christmas reindeer!  An IKEA employee informed me that they were sold out, unfortunately. Swedish cheeses, crispbread, thin bread, softbread Gravad lax with mustard sauce Christmas ham Swedish potato salad Hard boiled eggs Assorted desserts Daim cakes with and without chocolate, Swedish fish Coffee, tea, fountain beverages Pickled herring, Swedish cucumber salad, Red beet salad, Hard boiled eggs, Christmas ham, Gravad lax with mustard sauce Poached salmon, Jansson’s temptations, sautéed red cabbage and apples, mashed potatoes and gravy Swedish Santa Lucia processional Swedish Santa Thank you Swedish Santa for the complimentary tote bags! (Source credit: IKEA) IKEA 4092 Eastgate Dr. Orlando, FL 32839 +1 (888) 888-4532 ikea.com/us

First Look – Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

First, in full disclosure, the three young men who started Viet-Nomz are old friends of mine from college. But even if I did not know these three foolish friends who decided to take on the food industry, I would wholeheartedly feel the same about Viet-Nomz. Phillip Nguyen, Chris Chen, and Mike Cho began this journey just a few years ago when they started to brainstorm about how to bring their collective love for Vietnamese food together. Phillip, who is of Vietnamese descent, traveled around the world and America, most notably in the Vietnamese enclaves of Southern California as well as the motherland in the streets of Saigon in south Vietnam, to taste and try dishes to bring back to their project in Orlando. With this inspiration, the three friends, each with their own years of experience in the restaurant industry, opened up Viet-Nomz in late June and has hit the ground running ever since. The space is quite hip, with natural wood ambiance. Order at the counter and your dishes will be brought to you. I visited on multiple occasions and enjoyed everything I had, from the plump, fried pork egg rolls to the grilled beef banh mi sandwiches drizzled with spicy “nom nom” sauce, to the delicately nuanced and flavorful bowls of pho, the staple of Vietnamese restaurants every where. In some ways, Viet-Nomz is the Vietnamese version of a ramen-shop, with piping hot bowls of pho beef noodle soup instead of ramen emanating from their open kitchen. There are some updates to the Vietnamese menu here, brought on by the founder’s own upbringings. Chris Chen, who is of Taiwanese descent, brought some of the doughy, steamed white buns that make the famous gua baos in Taiwanese street foods, and married them with Vietnamese banh mi ingredients like pickled daikon and carrots and grilled pork. There are also banh mi tacos on the menu, something that was a favorite on our visits. Everything is made to order, and you can watch as they assemble and grill the dishes for the rice bowls or noodle bowls, and pour soups from the huge vats of pho beef noodle soup that have been simmering for hours and hours that day. For vegetarians, do try their vegetarian pho, one of the most flavorful renditions I’ve ever tried, made through a special combination of bok choy, mushrooms and vegetables that just speaks volumes of “umami”. Instead of Vietnamese coffee made by the drip cannisters, the coffee here is made via an espresso machine with a unique house blend of coffee beans. Must try. The only complaint is the heat from the grills and soup pots that emanates from the open kitchen area – it can get quite uncomfortable, but some say it does bring memories of the hot summers of Vietnam. I hear the heat issues will be remedied soon. Located just outside of Full Sail on Goldenrod and University, they plan on opening late nights on the weekend in the future for the university crowd. Overall, I do recommend nomming down on Viet-Nomz soon,  and bring a friend. Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare 7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792 Corner of University Blvd & Goldenrod Rd (Across from Winn-Dixie/Tijuana Flats) Phone: +1 407-636-6069 http://vietnomzfl.com/ HOURS Sunday – Thursday 11:00 AM — 10:00 PM Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM — 3:00 AM

Jon Smith Subs opens in Oviedo

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I was born and raised in Palm Beach County so have many memories of Jon Smith Subs growing up. They were the mom and pop corner sub shop where I lived. I was excited to hear that they have finally made their way up to Orlando (though all the way out in Oviedo) and dropped by during the opening recently. The first Jon Smith shop opened in 1988 in Palm Beach County, FL serving up their signature marinated grilled sirloin steak and real chicken breast subs. I ordered the Steak Bomb –  Sirloin steak, Grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes & provolone. My sub was quite delicious – the bread was fresh as was the steak. I think next time I’ll try their traditional steak with cheese and forgo the other ingredients – ok maybe I’ll keep the bacon. The manager/owner was in, a Oviedo native, greeting and welcoming each family and patron entering the shop – it was quite the welcome sight. Jon Smith Subs – Oviedo 3607 Aloma Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765 https://jonsmithsubs.com/locations/oviedo-fl/ Mon-Sat 10:00am-9:00pm Sun Closed

Ric Orlando's Peppered Shrimp

by noreply@blogger.com (Ric Orlando) @ Ric Orlando, Hudson Valley Chef


Ric Orlando’s PEPPERED SHRIMP
In NOLA these are just called BBQ shrimp or maybe Pan BBQ Shrimp.
I’ve tried some really good renditions while in Louisiana but, as you expected, my recipe is better than most. Or at least that is what I’ve been told by many Louisiana natives. Why? Because I worked at it, tasting as many versions as I can and distilling the recipe down to what makes the better ones memorable.  This version is not for tourists…it is derived from older home recipes I encountered, which put a big emphasis on the black pepper flavor.  These have been on my menus since my very first executive chef job at Justins in 1989, and I have always been proud to serve such an unabashedly messy and spicy dish to my guests. I guess it has kind of defined my style.
Serves 4
The BUTTER Sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
3 tbls dry rosemary
1 tbls dry basil
2 tbls dry oregano
1/2 lbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup shrimp stock or canned clam juice
1 tablespoon minced
1 tbls salt (adjust according to what stock you use)
1-2 tsp cayenne
1 tbls paprika
THE DISH
I baguette for sopping up the sauce
16 nice sized (16-20 or u-15) GULF shrimp, Shell on but deviened
chopped scallions for garnish


To Make the “Butter Sauce”
Put the lemon juice, peppers and dried herbs in a blender.
Then add the garlic, salt, cayenne and paprika to make a paste.
In a heavy sauce pot melt the butter and the stock together.  Then add ground spice paste to butter mix (using a rubber spatula to get it all).  Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently until mixture is a mahogany color.  Store in steel or glass container so you can remelt when needed.
Lasts refrigerated for up to one month.

To make the dish
Use a heavy skillet. Add about 2-3 oz Butter sauce per person.
Warm the sauce and add 3-4 shrimp per person. Cook the shrimp for about one minute, turn and finish cooking them right in the butter.
Use a slotted spoon to arrange the shrimp on a warm plate, pour over the sauce and serve crusty baguette on the side for dipping.


Ric Orlando TedX Talk 12.2016

by noreply@blogger.com (Ric Orlando) @ Ric Orlando, Hudson Valley Chef

I tell all, or most of why and how I became a chef here. View the story of my madness here!
http://tedxalbany.org/talks/2016-talks/ric-orlando/

2016 Guide to Celebrating Vietnamese/Chinese Lunar New Year in Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

It’s that time of year again! Seems like only yesterday. The local Asian American community here in Orlando will be celebrating the Lunar New Year once again – one of my favorite times of the year, not just for the festivities but also for the great food that goes along with the holiday celebrations. I remember gathering around at home growing up with my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandma around the family dinner table having a huge feast, praying to our ancestors and the gods of fortune for a lucky and healthy new year. My favorite dishes were the fried egg rolls and roasted duck, Hakka style, filled with Chinese spices, herbs and wild mushrooms. This year the Chinese/Vietnamese Lunar New Year’s Official Date (which changes each year because – surprise – it follows the cycles of the moon) is Monday February 8th, 2016 – but the celebrations begin much earlier and last almost all month. This is the year of the Monkey and those people born in the year of the Monkey are said to be “smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth. They are lively, flexible, quick-witted and versatile. In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.” Luckily for us here in the Central Florida community, we are home to the largest ethnic enclaves of Asian Americans in the entire state, particularly around the Mills 50 district with shops, restaurants, and markets all getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year Traditions Eating dinner together as a family – people journey from wherever they are, to come home and have dinner. Every year this time marks the largest mass migration of people when workers in the cities travel home to their home villages to visit their families again. Giving/Recieving Red Envelopes – filled with lucky money from elders to the young. Asian culture is big on karma so want to start off the year doing good things for others and hope for good things to happen to you in return later in the year. Universal balance. Clean the house before the new year start the year new, and pay off all your debts Big parades with lots of firecrackers. The loud noise “scares” away any evil spirits so you can start off the new year fresh. On that Monday, February 8th if you have lunch in the Mills 50 area, you will see the Wah Lum Kung Fu Lion Dance team “blessing” each business with their lion dance and fire works. Last year we had lunch at Chuan Lu and they came with fireworks and a dancing Buddha and two lions – quite the festive sight! What to Order – Traditional Chinese Dishes for New Years Eat Noodles – The longer, the better – the noodles represent longevity and long life Dumplings – They are shaped like little gold nuggets, symbols for good fortune and wealth Fish – The word “yu” sounds like “abundance” in Chinese, so your new year will be abundant with good luck – eat whole fish so that your whole year is full of good luck Fried Spring Rolls – The name also sounds like “good fortune” in Chinese, eat it for a lucky new year Oranges are also plentiful during new years because the name and look of the orange is similar to gold. So giving oranges as a gift is also quite common, as it the giver is seen as wishing prosperity on the receivers. Vietnamese Banh Tet – Bánh tét is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with mung bean or mung bean and pork fillings, then boiled. It is a must have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture as well as historical value. During Vietnamese Tét, family members would gather together and enjoy feasting on bánh tét, the central food of this festive Vietnamese holiday to celebrate the coming of spring. Drink Wash it all down with a glass of Baijiu Baijiu – traditional clear grain spirit made from sorghum and wheat The number one drink in the world at about 40-60% alcohol Like Vodka to the Russians, Rum to Puerto Rico, Baijiu is to the Chinese It’s drank at almost all meal gatherings in China. Say Happy New Year! Vietnamese – Chuc Mung Nam Moi Cantonese – Sun Lien Fai Lok or Gung Hay Fat Choi (Literally : Congratulations on your Prosperity – have a prosperous new year) Mandarin – Xin Nian Kuai Le Places to Celebrate: Local Orlando Restaurants: Ming Bistro – Chinese Dim Sum – Great for Families/Friends/Groups 1212 Woodward Street #6, Orlando, FL (407) 898-9672 Chuan Lu Garden – Authentic Sichuan cuisine – for spicy food lovers 1101 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL – (407) 896-8966  http://chuanluyuan.com Tasty Wok – Chinese street food / barbecue and noodles 1246 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL  (407) 896-8988 Chan’s Chinese Cuisine – Dim sum and traditional Chinese cuisine  1901 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL (407) 896-0093 Golden Lotus Chinese – Dim sum and traditional Chinese cuisine 8365 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL (407) 352-3832 Local Markets – Pick up New Year goodies Saigon Market 1232 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 898-6899 Tien Hung Market 1112 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 849-0205 http://tienhungmarket.com/ 1st Oriental SuperMarket 5132 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808, United States (407) 292-3668 http://1storiental.com Phuoc Loc Tho Super Market 2100 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, United States (407) 898-6858 Street Food Festivals/Events Vietnamese New Year Festival by the Vietnamese Catholic Church Saturday January 30 and Sunday January 31 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds – Orlando Foodie Forum facebook group meet up on that Sunday January 31 at 10:30AM – Try the pork meatballs, sugarcane juice, Vietnamese banh mi, other street foods – http://www.philipminhparish.org/ Vietnamese New Year Festival by the Vietnamese Community of Central Florida Saturday February 6th – Sunday February 7th at the Central Florida Fairgrounds – Street food and also Miss Vietnam of Florida Pageant on Sunday See below for last year’s schedule for an idea of what will go on – Vietnamese Vegetarian Food Festival at Bao An Temple Sunday October 31st –   8am – 2pm (local cultural acts, lots of vegetarian Vietnamese food for sale) and the new years eve celebration is the night of February 7th (they have singers, performers, food for sale) Bao An Buddhist Temple – 5788 North Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32818, United States Last year’s flyer below for now – Other temples such as Chua Phap Vu Temple on Dean Road will also have a Vietnamese new year celebration / ceremony on the eve of Lunar New Year – Sunday February 7th, usually around 8pm. Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall – Sunday February 14 at 11am http://www.centralfloridadragonparade.org/

NYE Dinner at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Wagyu Gyoza We were invited to the All You Can Eat NYE dinner at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi and it was the perfect last meal to finish off 2017.  The ambiance of the restaurant is dreamy, perfect for a date night, the owner and staff are super nice, and the food is innovative while still maintaining its integrity and delicious taste.  You never know what to expect when you order at Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi because they always blow you away with their creativity; it’s always a nice surprise whenever your food arrives at your table and is presented right in front of you.  Overall, it is a fabulous restaurant that you need to experience for yourself, especially during their special event dinners! Butternut Squash Soup Roasted Seasonal Vegetables Octopus Fritters Seared Pork Belly With Seasonal Vegetables With House Curry On The Side Chicken Yakitori Oxtail Taco Oysters House Cured Salmon Assortment of Nigiri – Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail (Chef’s Pick) Ahi Poke Assorted Rolls – American Dream Roll, Fuji Mountain Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Fire Cracker Roll (with scallops fried on the top), Citrus Roll (with cobia on top), Katana Roll (with tuna on top), and Salmon Madness Roll Sake Steamed Clams Banging Shrimp Chocolate Cake Japanese Cotton Cake Matcha Creme Brûlée Sake Poached Pear Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon!  They host many special events so follow them on instagram (@yuki_hana_sushi) to stay up-to-date!   Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi 3635 Aloma Ave Oviedo, Florida 32765 (407) 695-8808 http://sushiyukihana.com

Holiday Specials at BRIO Tuscan Grille

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

(Seasonal!) White Chocolate Berry Bread Pudding: vanilla bean gelato, housemade berry sauce, anglaise ($6.95) On this chilly day, I cannot stop thinking about this warm and beautiful seasonal dessert.  It was so rich and decadent, with all the right flavors. My mom and I had to wait a little bit for it because the kitchen wanted to make it hot and fresh right out of the oven for us, hence why the vanilla bean gelato was instantly trickling down from it, but it was worth the wait. ‘Tis the season at BRIO Tuscan Grille! The restaurant is offering many ways to celebrate this season, from new menu items, seasonal dishes and cocktails and special events including: Sat. Dec. 16 – Breakfast with Santa Sun. Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve party with complimentary prosecco, party favors, balloon drop and live music. Call BRIO Tuscan Grille – Winter Park Village at (407) 622-5611 and ask for the manager, Kiki, for more information! Nationwide: – Facebook & Instagram Contest: BRIO’s “12 Days to Win!” Facebook and Instagram contest gives fans a chance to win various prizes from Monday, Dec. 4–Friday, Dec. 15. BRIO will post a different question regarding the holidays each day. Those with winning answers will receive incredible BRIO prizes such as: gift cards, brunch for six, a chef’s dinner, a Happy Hour party for 12, and BRIO for a year (a $1,200 value)! – Bonus Gift Card Offer:  From Monday, Nov. 13–Saturday, Dec. 30, BRIO guests will receive a $25 bonus card with every $100 in gift cards purchased. The bonus card is valid Monday, Jan. 1 – Thursday, March 15, 2018. BRIO gift cards can be purchased at a local BRIO restaurant or online at www.BrioItalian.com/giftcards. (NEW! ) Buffalo Chicken Nachos – Cheddar cheese sauce, creamy horseradish, Gorgonzola, green onions, celery, house-made potato chips ($5) (NEW!) Crispy Shrimp Brio – Spicy Remoulade, green onions ($6) (NEW!) Warm Margherita Dip – Four cheese blend, tomato compote, Reggiano, basil, grilled ciabatta ($5) (Seasonal!) Spicy shrimp bruschetta – Fontina, charred tomato, lobster butter ($12.50) Bulleit Nog-Chata: Bulleit Rye whiskey, RumChata, simple syrup, crème anglaise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon sugar rim ($9) Salted Caramel Martini: RumChata, Kahlua, Absolut Vanilla, caramel swirl, salted rim ($9) Two-Course Combos: your choice of soup or salad, with choice of entrée: Soups – Soup of the day, Lobster Bisque (add $1) Salads – Brio Chopped Salad, Caesar, or Wedge Surf & Turf: 14-oz. strip steak, black pepper shrimp, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus (the two-course meal is priced at $34.95 with this entrée) Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Glazed Peppers (light entrée): farro, quinoa, grape tomatoes, asparagus, capers, Marcona almonds, feta, pesto vinaigrette (the two-course meal is priced at $19.95 with this entrée) Grilled Branzino: roasted red & gold beets, farro, Marcona almonds, marinated kale, lemon vinaigrette, feta (the two-course meal is priced at $26.95 with this entrée) Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake – Anglaise sauce, vanilla whipped cream ($4.25) Thank you Mom for being my plus 1 to a few of my foodie events!  Be sure to check out BRIO Tuscan Grille – Winter Park Village soon for the holidays! (Source credit: BRIO Tuscan Grille) BRIO Tuscan Grille 480 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 622-5611 http://brioitalian.com

Inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – now through December 30th

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Don’t walk, run.  Epcot is hosting its inaugural International Festival of Holidays now through December 30th.  It is a great event packed with seasonal food and beverage specialties, festive merchandise, and live entertainment only being offered exclusively during the festival. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of their 11 World Showcase nations.  Enjoy unique food and beverage offerings at the expanded Holiday Kitchens abound – with a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase! We toured the new Festive Center which includes the “Cookie Nook” and other festival goodies.  Cookie Nook is the brand new & biggest feature at Odyssey.  Cookie Nook has already sold over 10,000 cookies since it opened last week. Make your own FREE snowflake ornament at the Festive Center (same building as Cookie Nook) and take it home with you or hang it on the mini Christmas tree. Lunch time!  All food items for the festival are distinctly different to celebrate different traditional food from different regions. Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, Germany – Cheese Fondue In a Bread Bowl with Fresh Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes featuring Melissa’s Produce Yukon Holiday Kitchen, Canada – Seared Salmon with Crown Royal Maple Whiskey Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup American Holiday Table – Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce Feast of Three Kings – Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas Thank you Epcot for the generous goodie bags! Rockin’ the festive Disney ears with my celebrity friend and Disney expert, Lou Mongello. The festival includes merchandise that you cannot find anywhere in the world, exclusive to Disney, and some for only this park – like artisan Reinhard Herzog, who creates personalized glass-blown ornaments at the Holiday Market. Festival gear and exclusive Annual Passholder t-shirt (middle). Explore the Festival – We encourage you to enjoy some of the cultural entertainment throughout World Showcase at your leisure including: Sigrid Meets Julenissen The Christmas Gnome (Norway) – Celebrate the season with laugher, as the unsuspecting storyteller Sigrid encounters Julenissen, a magical, mischievous gnome. El Mariachi Coco de Santa Cecilia (Mexico) – Inspired by the Disney•Pixar film “Coco” and the celebration of Dia de Muertos. Mostly Kosher (Between Morocco and France) – Capture the joy of Hanukkah and Klezmer music with this unique, high-energy indie band. Joyful: A Celebration of the Season (Fountain View Stage) – The ‘JOYFUL!’  singers celebrate two holidays of the season— Christmas and Kwanzaa—with spirited, uplifting R&B, Pop and soul-stirring renditions of classic holiday music. Voices of Liberty (American Adventure Rotunda) – Embrace the spirit of the season with the festive a cappella holiday music of the Dickens Carolers. Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre – A joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 5-piece orchestra and a glorious massed choir.  The celebrity narrator that evening was actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer from but not limited to: Saturday Night Live and Mean Girls. NARRATORS Nov. 24- 26 – Laurie Hernandez – NEW! Nov. 27-28 – Matt Bomer – NEW! Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak – NEW! Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell – NEW! Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis – NEW! Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder – NEW! Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson Festival of the Holidays version of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  The World Showcase Promenade comes alive nightly with the brilliance and splendor of music, lights, lasers, water fountains and custom pyrotechnics.  With the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” at its center, this special musical finale brings the message of peace and goodwill. I am going to wrap this up like a gift!  Be sure to check out the inaugural Epcot International Festival of the Holidays before it ends on December 30th, you don’t want to miss this! (Source credit: Walt Disney World) Epcot 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 939-5277 https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/holiday-festival/

Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet – St. Philippe Phan van Minh Catholic Church at the Fairgrounds 2013

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

The Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tet or Tet Nguyên Dán, is one of my favorite times of the year. This is the time when friends and family from throughout the Central Florida community come out and enjoy local cultural performances put on by fellow members of the community as well as more famous Vietnamese singers and performers, and also enjoy the wonderful home made Vietnamese food that you would normally not find at the local restaurants. As the Vietnamese New Year is based on the Lunar new year calendar, similar to the Chinese New Year, the actual date changes each year depending on the moon cycles. This year it falls on the night of Sunday February 10th and is the start of the year of the Snake. To avoid stepping on each others’ toes, the local Vietnamese community organizations, temples, and churches try to sparse out their festivities so that they would be on different dates. On Sunday February 10 Asia Trend Magazine and Mills 50 District will host the annual Orlando Dragon Parade for the 2013 Lunar New Year Festival. Celebrate the Year of Snake with Dragon and Lion Dances, Martial Arts, Japanese Taiko, Acrobatic Performances, Cultural Dances, Arts and Crafts and Exotic Asian Food On Saturday – Sunday February 16-17, the Vietnamese Community of Central Florida (Cong Dong) is hosting their annual event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. The Sunday event includes the Miss Vietnam of Florida pageant. Also on Sunday February 17, CAACF Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration 2013 takes place at Koy Wan buffet at 5:30pm. For more info visit http://asiatrendmagazine.com/AT_events.html This past weekend, St. Philippe Phan van Minh Catholic Church hosted their Vietnamese lunar new year festivities at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. I took a visit and captured some photos of the scenes at the fairgrounds. The proceeds of the sales went to the church organization in supporting its works in the community. Volunteers making banh mi Vietnamese sub sandwiches A bowl of the spicy bun bo hue, the other beef noodle soup in Vietnam, stemming from the central region of Hue. An elderly woman pours some “chao” or rice porridge/ congee into a bowl. Traditionally a breakfast item or a cure for a cold day in Vietnam Ingredients for hu tieu noodle soup, including quail eggs Che Ba Mau, a type of dessert with beans and sweets A gentleman places sugarcane sticks into the machine, crushing the juices out to make sugarcane drink. A lady sells the delicacy hop vit lon, or fermented duck fetus eggs, also known as balut in the Phillipines. Nem nuong, Vietnamese grilled pork patties Ca ri de, curried goat Preparing Mi Quang, a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam, made with rice noodles tinted yellow with the use of turmeric. Mi Quang, made with rice noodles tinted yellow with the use of turmeric. Pho Hoa restaurant prepares Pho for sale Cha Lua, Vietnamese pork deli meats, used in preparation of banh cuon Bánh cu?n is a rice noodle roll made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots, served with cha lua Bun rieu seafood noodle soup with fried tofu Bun Moc – Vietnamese Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup Friends enjoying the festival Youth performing a rendition of “Gangnam Style” on the main stage

French and Vietnamese History

by Trung @ Mai Bistro

Why the Modern Cuisine in Vietnam is Influenced by the French Mai Bistro is a modern twist on traditional Vietnamese street food, which is heavily influenced by the colonization and presence of the French within Vietnam. We invite you to read below about just how the French influenced modern cuisine and what they left behind.   Vietnam and the French...

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Chatham's Place Fine Dining

Chatham's Place Fine Dining


Chatham's Place Restaurant

For over twenty years, Chatham's Place Restaurant in Orlando has perfected the fine dining experience.

Our Location

by admin @ Little Saigon Restaurant | Orlando

Location We proudly use cheap jerseys only the freshest ingredients, and we continuously Los Angeles Dodgers jersey strive to improve the quality of both our food and service. Open 7 days a week: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Located at: 1106 E Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32803 Click here for directions cialis daily amoxicillian amox-clav […]

Seasonal Features + Fun Cocktails at Duffy’s Sports Grill

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I’ve been a fan of Duffy’s since I was young, growing up in South Florida where the chain is quite prevalent, well-known for their tasty wings and sports bar atmosphere. They recently opened up a few restaurants here in Orlando and invited us to check out their new seasonal menu. My favorite was the Oktoberfest inspired fried pork schnitzel! Here’s a quick look at the new Seasonal Features + Fun Cocktails at Duffy’s Sports Grill (Address: 315 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828) Their Lobster Tacos, Tequila Lime Steak Tacos, Jumbo Lump Crab Macaroni & Cheese and Blazin’ BBQ Cheeseburger are the newest specialty features on their football menu. Blazin’ BBQ Cheeseburger includes: 1/2 lb. char-grilled Certified Angus Beef® with signature Jack Daniels® Single Barrel BBQ sauce, pepper-jack cheese, hot bacon and hot bacon jam, grilled onion, pepper-crusted bacon and house-made burger sauce on a toasted King’s Hawaiian® roll with choice of one side.   New menu item on the regular menu includes: New York Reuben, featuring ½ lb. shaved corned beef with sauerkraut and swiss cheese on grilled rye bread. Homemade Meatloaf- made from scratch daily, while supplies last. Mussels Marinara   New cocktails include: Southern Sling, featuring Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Banana Liqueur and Bitters Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select, a special barrel selected just for Duffy’s with subtle notes of caramel and spice with bright fruit notes and sweet aromatics. Served neat or on the rocks

Sneak Peek of K Restaurant’s Brunch Menu Items Debuting This Sunday

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Our delightful feast was prepared by Chef de Cuisine, Ryan McLaughlin We were invited to K Restaurant in College Park to preview a few dishes from their new Brunch menu which will launch this Sunday, January 21 from 10AM-2PM and includes carafes of Mimosas & Bloody Marys. We also got to try dishes from their dining menu which changes daily according to the availability of fresh ingredients from locally sourced Central Florida farms and artisans, so be sure to check out their website beforehand for their updated menu. We enjoyed meeting the owner Chad Phelps (pictured above) and his wonderful team. The restaurant is quaint and dreamy, making it the perfect spot for a date or a casual meet-up with good friends trying out great fresh and local food. You must check out K Restaurant in College Park soon if you have not already! It is incredible. The talented kitchen staff The amazing serving staff Pork Belly Benedict Chicken and Biscuits with Sausage Gravy Fried green tomatoes Shrimp and Grits Basket of Biscuits and cinnamon maple honey butter The following dishes are from their dining menu of the night: Arancini Oysters with champagne Oysters with herbs Charred Octopus – Waterkist Farm tomatoes and peppers, olive oil, lemon Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Toast Duck Cassoulet – great northern and cranberry beans, chard, pork belly, duck confit Shared Vegetable Platter K Filet – smashed red bliss potatoes, rainbow carrots, truffle oil, veal demi-glace with a serving of vegetables Lemon Meringue Tarts French Toast Bread Pudding – cinnamon anglaise, caramel Plated dessert course by the lovely Pastry Chef, Michelle Hulbert Chocolate Orange Grand Marnier Pistachio Layer Cake (my favorite!) Chocolate Mousse Torte Almond Cake – fresh blackberries Their beautiful outdoor patio Be sure to check out K Restaurant soon!  Stop by K Restaurant this Sunday,  January 21 from 10am-2pm to kick off their new Brunch with them! K Restaurant 1710 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804 (407) 872-2332 http://krestaurant.net/

Pho 16 – Vietnamese in West Palm Beach, FL

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I traveled to my hometown on a recent weekend. My family usually cooks dinner and Vietnamese food so it’s rare for us to go out, especially to a Vietnamese restaurant in West Palm Beach. Some family came into town to visit and we decided it’d just be easier to head out to Pho 16, a new Vietnamese restaurant that we all wanted to try. We all know how parents can get, especially Asian parents, when it comes to judging and critiquing others, so I was well prepared to hear about all the little dislikes about this place or how it’s just not good as home made. Located in a little plaza off of Military Trail and Community Dr, slightly hidden, Pho 16 would be easy to miss. Inside, the place reminds me of a cafeteria restaurant that you could find off the roads in Vietnam. The menu is simple, full of noodle soups, noodle bowls, and rice platters that those of us in Orlando have become familiar with. For starters, we order the cha gio, or fried spring rolls. Stuffed with pork, wood eared mushrooms, and served with a fish sauce dipping sauce, the cha gio is pretty good and tastes like it was home made. We also ordered the bo la lot, grilled beef wrapped in wild betel leaves. Betel leaves are high in antioxidants and have been used in Asia for medicinal healing, stimulants, and even breath fresheners. In Vietnamese there is a saying that “the betel begins the conversation”, referring to the practice of people chewing betel in formal occasions or “to break the ice” in awkward situations. When grilled, the leaves give a peppery, minty flavor to the beef which I thought was quite nice. My order was the bun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls in one of the largest bowls I’ve ever had. It was very filling and very satisfying, and overall a great value for the quantity of food. Bun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls My sister ordered the banh canh, a kind of Vietnamese thick noodle similar to Japanese udon, in a seafood broth base, that sadly was a bit bland. “Nothing like mama’s banh canh,” she muttered underneath her breath. Banh Canh Hu Tieu Most of the table ordered the signature pho, which I had a taste of and thought, not as good as home made but pretty good for Vietnamese restaurant pho…definitely as good as some found here in Orlando, that’s for sure. Overall, a very satisfying place to get your Vietnamese fix on while in West Palm Beach. The prices are decent and the quality is not bad…will definitely return.

2018 Orlando Food Predictions You Want to Know

by C Major @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Happy 2018, Food Friends! Can we all agree that glitter and unicorn desserts are so 2017? Well maybe not, but a girl can dream. I caught up with some of Orlando’s coolest chefs to find out what they see coming to a table near you in 2018, and here’s what they had to say. The Verdict: Crazy desserts are out; smaller, savory sweets are in Asian eats are here to stay RIP to unnecessary gluten-free dishes Say hello to veg cuisine, it’s here and it’s not playing HAWKERS Asian Street Fare – Kaleb Harrell  “Ethnic desserts – We are revamping our entire dessert line because we feel customers are ready. Desserts that have a savory edge, are fruit-based, or just have ingredients outside of mainstream will gain popularity as the size of desserts decreases. Today’s customer would rather have a few bites of something amazing to end their meal than a bowl of corn syrup. Savory cocktails – This one has been on the fringe for a while, but I think 2018 is the year for savory cocktails to take hold.  Think meat stocks, dry rub ingredients, and vegetable instead of fruit juices.  Fast and fresh – This is the mecca for market share in lunch business.  A few companies are doing well and expanding quickly, but it’s a race to see who keeps consistency. Virtually every diner is looking for a fast, and ultra fresh lunch option. How many days can you eat a Chick-fil-A salad for lunch? Vinegars and sours – Fermented flavors are gaining more popularity and will continue in the next year. Look for pickling, fermenting, gourmet mustards, and generally bold flavors in small quantities to continue.  Cheese and charcuterie are amazing, but the accoutrements are starting to take center stage.” Black Rooster Taqueria – John Calloway “I think we will see a lot of cauliflower. Gluten-free has reached its peak, so we will see more artisan and/or rustic breads and people milling their own flours. Mexican will still be everywhere, but I believe Indian food is the next big cuisine. Food as medicine will also be a big focus. From all of the juice bars to doctors and nutritionists prescribing specific foods and diets, we’ll be getting back to our roots with the earth healing our bodies.” K Restaurant – Michelle Hulbert “I think there will continue to be interest smaller desserts – that are portion-control friendly. Over-the-top, gigantic desserts will be a thing of the past. The healthier sides of sweets will include more seasonal fruits.  I think in general we will see a larger focus on vegetables as the star and less starch-heavy dishes.” K Restaurant –  Ryan McLaughlin “I think in 2018 we will see a continued movement toward more vegetable-forward dishes, a dedicated focus on limiting food waste, and an even stronger movement within the chef community to support small, sustainable farms that are focused on the ethical treatment of animals.” Tapa Toro – Wendy Lopez  “I see familiar foods becoming more prominent on menus at restaurants. Think pork rinds and hot dogs. They will be reimagined with new ingredients and presentations. I think we’ll start to see lesser-known cuts of meat appear on menus around town – like Vegas strip and Oyster steak. We’ll start to see more family-style dining options at restaurants. At Tapa Toro, we see groups of people passing plates around the table. Why commit to one entree when you could try a little bit of everything?” Pizza Bruno – Bruno Zacchini “I’ll start with pizza! For me, I see Neapolitan pizza still going strong but new styles and types will become the next thing from Detroit squares to Roman thin crusts and artisan slice pies with farm-to-table ingredients. Pizza has so many styles most people have never seen so it’s really wide open. Overall fast casual is going to keep happening and moving forward with counter service places and places focusing on singular dishes done extremely well.  Flavors for me are Middle Eastern, more regional Asian (think Bangrak), and Italian, of course! I also think that in 2018 we’ll continue to see veg-centric cuisine making its way onto more menus.” Valhalla Bakery + Valkyrie Doughnuts – Celine Duvoisin  “I see a bubble bursting of the stuff on stuff on stuff on stuff. (Not that I’m not going to do excessive shit until it dies.) I think that more Asian popularity will happen, I foresee a rise in proper ramen coming to town and possibly Asian desserts. We’ve hit this wall of sugar hell, with no one hitting the less sweet almost savory desserts. Hopefully an end to the gluten-free obsession. My fingers are crossed for more Mediterranean-type places that focus on macro-based foods as fuel instead of insanely over designed places that don’t have the food to seal the deal.” Is this roundup missing something, or are you seeing a trend worth sharing? Comment below and cheers to new year! Snack on, Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major! +++

Cingale con Tutti Gli Odori - (Wild Boar with all of it's aromas) A Taste of Puglia Cooking Class at Different Drummer's Kitchen 4/12

by noreply@blogger.com (Ric Orlando) @ Ric Orlando, Hudson Valley Chef


Cingale con Tutti gli Odori (Wild Boar with All of it's Aromas)
This is a very cool, ancient style dish and and the essence of Pulgia in many ways. It represenst the hunter/forager roots of the region.
This is a recipe designed to break down and neutralize the gaminess of wild boar, but a pork shoulder will work just fine here as well.
The hermetically sealed pot will trap the steamed released from the animal, conatining “all of the aromas” or Tutti Gli Odori”.  This dish is great as a ragout over pasta, farro or rice or served on the table in a big family style bowl with sides of roasted potatoes and  good bread.

Serves 6-8 with leftovers .  1 large frying rabbit sectioned into:
1 4-6 lb wild boar shoulder or pork picnic roast, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
tutti gli odori—all of the herbs and aromatics:
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
6 juniper berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
I medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 cup canned tomatoes with juice, pureed
flour and water for sealing the lid
Use a spice mill to grind the juniper, fennel and peppercorns to a coarse grind. Put that into a food processor with the remaining herbs and spices, the onion and the garlic. Add the water and puree to a medium paste. Use your hands to rub this paste all over the pork. In a heavy pot with a proper fitting lid, heat the oil to medium and add the pork. Cook for three minutes, turn, and add the wine and tomatoes. Remove from the heat and hermetically seal. (To do this, make a paste of 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Rub the paste around the rim of the pot. Use a piece of waxed paper or foil to seal
the top of the pot and cover tightly with the lid.)
Put back on the stove at medium low heat and cook for two hours.

A Brief Walk Through “Little Vietnam” in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Exactly 40 years ago on April 30, 1975, the capital city of South Vietnam, Saigon fell to the forces of the communist North. There was panic in the streets as countless Vietnamese sought refuge at the American embassy, many who had worked along side the US – as soldiers, journalists, hairdressers, and more – during the decades long war. Fearing reprisals from the North, deservedly so, many fled that day airlifted out by helicopters and later, by boat – becoming refugees with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Thus began the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese – all in search of freedom and democracy, and a better future for their children, many of whom ended up in places like Australia, France, and right here in Central Florida. My parents were both Vietnamese refugees. My mom, orphaned at age 12, escaped by a small rickety fishing boat headed out to the unknown wide ocean, leaving her brothers behind, with nothing but her unyielding dream of a new world beyond the Vietnam she had left behind. Eventually reaching Malaysia at a refugee camp, living there for a year before being sponsored to the United States by a kind family in Indiana. She met my father in South Florida where I was born and raised before moving to Orlando 13 years ago. The Vietnamese American community in Orlando has grown through the decades along the Mills 50 District, starting from a small Asian grocery store to a restaurant to more and more. Now, Asian immigrants from other countries have settled in the area and opened up even more restaurants – from Malaysian to Sichuan Chinese and more. I was honored these past few weeks to help lead a guided tour through the “Little Vietnam” area in our Mills 50 District for WMFE for their series on “What is Little Vietnam?“, helping to share stories from the Vietnamese American community, how they came to Central Florida, and what lays ahead for the community after 40 years. WMFE’s What is Little Vietnam? Series Orlando’s Hon Viet DanGroup keeps Vietnamese Culture through Dance Vietnamese vets still fighters forty years after fall of Saigon Family business continues to thrive since first settling in Orlando’s “Little Vietnam” New development changes face of Orlando’s Little Vietnam Chasing traditional medicine in Little Vietnam Central Floridians remember Vietnam War For Vietnamese, heritage endures at places of worship New cultural center reflects diverse Asian community, including Vietnamese Orlando’s Little Vietnam preserves its history to enrich its future Two generations of Vietnamese-Americans, three decades apart The young ones: Vietnamese youth redefine their community Trays of small bites from Vietnamese grocery store Tien Hung Oriental Market – one of the very first markets in the district – many of the businesses along this strip come from the family of Tien Hung. Cecilia Nguyen, also Miss Vietnam Florida 2004, is the owner of the Tien Hung Jewelry Store – she takes cares of customers and is in charge of the store, taking over for her parents.  Wall art at Chewy Boba Company – Quang Vu, a UCF alumni, and his family started Lollicup many years ago and were the first in Orlando to sell boba or bubble tea, a popular drink with roots in Taiwan, where little tapioca pearls are slurped through large straws. Steven Thach Luu mans the register at Chewy Boba Company, where they also sell macarons. One of my favorite dishes, Banh Cuon, a rice crepe noodle dish stuffed with mushrooms and ground pork – velvety smooth – found at Vietnam Cuisine restaurant.  A look above from the meal – banh cuon, bun thit nuong, and bun rieu all at Vietnam Cuisine. Bun Thit nuong cha gio – rice vermicelli noodles with veggies, egg roll, grilled pork and shrimp at Vietnam Cuisine. Bun rieu, a special tomato, pork, and seafood noodle soup at Vietnam Cuisine. In recent years, more restaurants and shops from other Asian countries have sprouted up in the Mills 50 District. Mamak Asian Street Food specializes in Malaysian and pan Asian cuisine. Traditional Eastern medicine shops and acupuncturists dot the corridor in Mills 50 District. Crawfish in garlic, butter shabang sauce, fried shrimp, jambalaya, po boy sandwiches, gumbo – all found at King Cajun Crawfish run by Ha Nguyen. Mrs. Nguyen worked in Louisiana and ran a cajun restaurant there for 15 years before moving to Orlando after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to be closer to her family. Many Vietnamese who immigrated to the US were sent to the gulf coast region and became fishermen and shrimpers, some facing discrimination from the KKK at the time. There is still a large community of Vietnamese Americans in New Orleans today in the neighborhood of Versailles. Brendan Byrne and Matthew Peddie of WMFE 90.7 FM News on location, digging into the crawfish. Chelsea, enjoying her crawfish at King Cajun Crawfish Mrs. Ha Nguyen, the Queen Cajun at King Cajun. Beignets – fried dough with powdered sugar Pho at Viet Garden, one of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando Dumplings as recommended by Crystal Chavez The staff of WMFE with some of the personalities in the What is Little Vietnam series.

What vegan foods does Aldi have? A lot!

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

I recently read in the news that Aldi is going to have a line of vegan foods at their stores. There have been a few...

Beyond Beef vegan veggie burger at BurgerFi - review

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

Today, we were in the Orlando area for my son's soccer game. While we were there we stopped off at BurgerFi, because I wanted to...

Viet Garden in Mills 50 District

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

I may have written off this place as just your typical run of the mill, if not tired, Vietnamese restaurant, having not visited in maybe 10 years since my days in college. Maybe it’s because I had a secret bias against restaurants that serve dual cuisines – you know, like those dual Chinese / Sushi take out places you see around town. Often times when restaurants end up dividing attention among more than one cuisine, they end up neglecting one or the other or both cuisines, resulting in substandard fare. I have to apologize to Viet Garden (which tauts its Vietnamese and Thai cuisine) for it does Vietnamese cuisine quite well. The restaurant is one of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in the Mills 50 District but definitely deserves another look. I particularly was surprised and delighted to see the breadth and depth of the Vietnamese cuisines offered, in addition to your typical dishes, they had quite a few unique and seldom seen noodle soups and home style Vietnamese family plates that are hard to find elsewhere. I ordered their dumplings, which aren’t really Vietnamese, but excellent nonetheless – home made with plenty of delicious pork filling and a nice dumpling skin that had the right amount of chewiness to it. I ordered the special rice platter for my main and really enjoyed the thit nuong, or grilled Vietnamese pork, as well as the crispy tofu shrimp skin that came along with the plate. Overall, definitely would return. My dining companions from WMFE would agree. Dumplings – quite fabulous, home made dumplings Fried Spring Rolls The Pho – Beef Noodle Soup Special Rice plate  Bun Dac Biet

Beyond Beef vegan veggie burger at BurgerFi - review

by Jacqueline @ VegBlogger - a vegan / vegetarian blog

Today, we were in the Orlando area for my son's soccer game. While we were there we stopped off at BurgerFi, because I wanted to...

First Look: Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Mai’s Bistro is a new fast casual restaurant that has opened up in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, specializing in Vietnamese street food such as banh mi, Vietnamese sticky rice, and banh cuon rice crepes. They bake their own bread and sweets and make everything in house. On a recent visit, I loved their banh cuon rice crepes and their variety of both sweet and savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi). You could get bbq roast pork, chinese sausage, or shredded chicken for savory sticky rice and jackfruit for sweet sticky rice. They bake their bread from scratch on site and their grilled pork banh mi is one of the best i have had. Their staff was very friendly and hospitable. Will try again soon and update! Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50 830 E Colonial Dr A, Orlando, FL 32803 Menu: maibistrousa.com Phone: (407) 730-8538

Pho Vinh – Vietnamese – Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Vietnamese – Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pho Vinh – Vietnamese – Orlando One of the newest contenders to throw their hat into the Vietnamese restaurant ring: Pho Vinh. Coming onto the scene with strong traditional Vietnamese offerings, Pho Vinh is a restaurant where attention must be paid. Sitting in the remodeled building that once housed 4-5-9 Chinese restaurant on Primrose, the decor is elegant and simple, with pink orchid decor and paintings of Vietnamese women and children along the walls ( a la Lac Viet nearby). Right next door is Pho Hoa who also provides decent Vietnamese fare for our area. It’s a shame that not more people know about these two restaurants, despite being only a few blocks away from the busy Mills Avenue / Colonial Dr corridor. Among the many dishes I have tried on various visits here with friends and loved ones, a few things stood out for me. The flavor of the Pho here at Vinh is deep and tasty, and the meat is plentiful. The thit nuong (grilled pork) is exceptional, where I once thought that all the Vietnamese restaurants used the same meat or recipe, the grilled pork here is actually quite delicious. The service isn’t too bad here either as the waiters on all occasions have been considerate and thoughtful during our meals, bucking the trend of brutish service at our local establishments. Overall, Pho Vinh is a pleasant surprise and welcome addition to the Orlando food scene. Banh Xeo – A Vietnamese crepe/pancake dish stuffed with shrimp and pork Banh Xeo – A Vietnamese crepe/pancake dish stuffed with shrimp and pork (make sure you dip it in the fish sauce provided)  I like to wrap my egg rolls in lettuce and dip it in the sauce yummy  ( it makes me feel like its healthier that way ) Bun Bo Hue – a mildly spicy noodle soup from the city of Hue     Com Thit Nuong – Rice platter with grilled pork 

Pizzeria Roberti in East Orlando

by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Pizzeria Roberti can be found tucked in a small corner on the east side of Orlando, off of Curry Ford and Chicksaw Trail. Here you will find one of the best pizzas in Orlando – from the crispy, tasty house-fermented crust to the house-made mozzarella cheese, Pizzeria Roberti is the real deal. Joseph Roberti, owner and chef of Pizzeria Roberti, takes a lot of pride in his work and it shows through the quality of the food here. Roberti tells us, “Our pizza on the surface is a New York Style Pizza, but underneath it is much more complex than that. In reality it is a combination of Artisan style pizza, Neapolitan style pizza, and traditional New York style pizza.” “Our dough is made from cultivated yeast produced in house similar to the production of artisan sourdough breads (Artisan characteristic). Our sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and less than a handful of all fresh ingredients (Neapolitan characteristic). We bake our pies in a traditional bakers pride pizza oven (New York characteristic), but we cook them at a high heat between 550 and 575 degrees Fahrenheit (similar to a Neapolitan characteristic). Our cheese is a combination whole milk and part-skim Grande Mozzarella (New York characteristic).” “Every ingredient of our specialty pies is produced in house. Our specialty slice pies are often garnished to order not unlike a dish coming out of a high end restaurant. And that is just the pizzas. We also have beer, wine, salads (all dressings made in house), subs, appetizers (such as our homemade fresh mozzarella), pastas (all sauces made in house), and vast catering menu. We are off to a great start in developing our concept and look forward to continually evolve as we grow. “As a kid my father used to take me to a local pizza shop a few days a week and the cooks used to teach me little things here and there. By the age of 8 or 9 I made my first slice pie. Fast forward a bit to 14, I was now living in Orlando, Fl, and about to start high school. I was looking to get started in my cooking career and I got my shot at a neighborhood pizzeria & bar. I started as a prep cook, then learned the hot line, then pizza station, and even serving from time to time.” “I liked my job but had ambitions for more, I wanted to pursue a career as a professional chef. As soon as I got my license I took a job on I-drive as a dishwasher in a much bigger and more known restaurant. It was a step backward, but it was also a foot in the door with a successful brand. Fast forward again about 3 years, I worked at few spots around Orlando, most notably the Citrus Club under chef Scott Haegele, and went to culinary school.” “Upon graduating culinary school I decided to go back to New York to learn how to transition from a cook to a chef. I got my shot, this time with accomplished chef Hung Huynh who took me under his wing, trained me, and gave me the exposure and opportunity to work with many great culinarians.” “Fast Forward another 4 years, I’m living in Miami, at this point a chef myself running various kitchens. In 2015 I created a company “Motion Hospitality Group” as a hospitality consulting business, with the intention of one day opening a place of my own. Fast Forward to today where Motion Hospitality Group currently owns and operates its first restaurant concept: “Pizzeria Roberti”.” What are your first childhood food memories? One of my first memories with food was when I was around 5 or 6, my parents weren’t home and my brother was watching me. He must have fallen asleep or something, and I made an apple omelet. The first thing I have ever cooked by my memory. What are some of your favorite dishes at Pizzeria Roberti? My favorite dishes at the pizzeria are the pesto & margherita pizzas, chicken marsala with farfalle pasta, and the pizza dough zeppoles. What do you like to cook for “comfort food” at home with your family? My Favorite thing to eat at home is Mom’s Lasagna. The Sauce “Our pizza sauce consists of a combination of San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and all fresh ingredients including fresh herbs and garlic. San Marzano tomatoes are known for their natural sweetness and low acidity.” The Dough “Our dough is made in house with our specially cultivated yeast, which is fermented on premise. This is an important characteristic of our dough because it creates a more robust flavor and the natural fermentation of our dough, makes it healthier and more digestible.” Pizzeria Roberti Address: 2751 S Chickasaw Trail Suite 107, Orlando, FL 32829 https://pizzeriaroberti.com

Mai Bistro and Me

by Trung @ Mai Bistro

Mai Story, Mai Passion, Mai Bistro The team behind Mai Bistro understands the importance of being true to one’s self, loving the life you live, and being able to tell your story. That’s part of the reason Mai Bistro was created, to tell a story. The stories are many for the Mai Bistro family, but they all have one thing in...

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Second Harvest Food Bank presents: Chef’s Night Featuring Chef Trina Gregory-Propst, Pastry Chef/Owner of SE7EN BITES

by Tiffany Nguyen @ Tasty Chomps' Orlando Food Blog

Chef Trina Gregory-Propst is amazing.  She was the one who recommended my family’s restaurant, Saigon Noodle and Grill – Bumby to the Food Network producers when they asked her if she knew of any good Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando to be featured on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.  My family had no idea that Triple D was coming to our city (for the first time ever) so we did not expect to be contacted by them, however, when they reached out to us we knew that it was truly a blessing sent from God.  We accepted the offer to film an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and it has changed our lives for the better.  We are now recognized worldwide and we have met so many loyal Triple D fans from all across the world.  Chef Trina’s restaurant SE7EN BITES was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives” and both of our restaurants are located in the Milk District, so we are actually neighbors.  What an honor it is to put our city and district on the Triple D map with Chef Trina.  My family cannot thank her enough for what she has done for our small restaraunt business.  We are so grateful for her and her awesome wife’s friendship! Chef’s Night is an evening at the food bank featuring some of Central Florida’s best chefs and cuisine, all to benefit their Darden Foundation Community Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program.  The Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.  When you support Chef’s Night, you are helping to change lives, and help pull your neighbors in need out of poverty. SE7EN BITES specializes in nostalgic southern comfort food with a modern twist.  Chef Trina has loved to bake since her Grammy first introduced her to baking when she was a child.  Grammy helped develop Trina’s love for all things sweet.  Add in a professional culinary education, talent and passion and the result is a great recipe for local Orlando Goodness.  Chef Trina created a 5-course “Brinner” menu, a delicious combination of breakfast served at dinner.  Special thanks to SYSCO for donating all of the food to Chef’s Night to make the event a success. Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar Deviled eggs with candied bacon (best deviled eggs that I have ever had in my life!) Pimento Cheese Biscuit bites with sweet red pepper butter (so yummy!) Appetizer Course – Fried grit cake with tomato jam, Andouille and dressed Arugula Salad Course – Citrus Pistachio Salad Main Course – Colonel Marmalade in the Kitchen with a Knife.  Biscuit stacked with Pimento Cheese, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, over medium egg, sausage gravy and finished with a dollop of Orange Blossom Marmalade (so delicious!) Dessert Course – Cinnamon Roll Sundae Grammies, Cinnamon Roll topped with Vanilla Ice Cream Espresso Maple Caramel, Garnished with Milk & Salted Caramel Crumble Chef Trina with her awesome wife, Va Propst. The talented Se7en Bites staff This lovely lady just got hired by Chef Trina to work at her restaurant, SE7EN BITES!  Big congratulations!!  (P.S. – She looks familiar.  I think we went to high school together.  So cool!) Follow @themichaeljavier on instagram – he’s a cool dude, I want his charisma! If you missed out this year, be sure to join us at the next Chef’s Table at Second Harvest Food Bank!  Details will be posted on their website so keep an eye out for it. (Source credit: Second Harvest Food Bank) Second Harvest Food Bank 411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL 32805 (407) 295-1066 feedhopenow.org Se7en Bites 617 N Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 203-0727 se7enbites.com  

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