Tag Archives: Good food

Eat All the Things

Austin was amazing. I loved it! I liked it even better than Seattle and I really, really, love Seattle. Austin is such a fun city and I had a great time, but before I talk about the fun, I have to tell you about the food. Sweet lord, the food. I feel the need to go back right away just for the food trucks alone. I would grow to epic proportions if I lived there because there is no way I wouldn’t want to eat out for every meal.

On Saturday, it all started at a place called Ten Oak.

Yes, it is a bar but they had amazing food. For lunch, I had the bleu cheese and bacon stuffed burger with truffle fries. It was probably in my top 5 favorite burgers of all time. Delicious. And I love a burger with spinach instead of lettuce. So much better.

Being the carb conscious girl I am, I only ate half of the bun and instead had a no-carb shot of whiskey. The things I do to continue on my path of healthy living.

That night, I went to Roaring Fork with Melissa.

Roaring Fork is attached to the Intercontinental hotel where I stayed. I had the kettle of green chili pork with hot buttered flour tortillas because Melissa insisted it was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy inhaling it but she was right, it was delicious. Also, it was only $7 on their happy hour menu. Big score.

That night, my co-workers and I stopped at a food truck for cheese steak. They said it was amazing but I didn’t have one. Apparently I kept yelling, “but I don’t want cheese steak, I want something shaped like Texas!”

I don’t remember that part.

For brunch on Sunday, we went to a tapas restaurant called Malaga.

I had the steak and eggs and opted for the side of fruit instead of the potatoes. It was by far the best thing I ate in Austin.

While I was eating, I thought, this must be how real food tastes. Every bite was ridiculously good. I’m so used to eating salads and egg whites and ordering things on the side or without sauces for the sake of maintaining my weight. It was so nice to order something I really wanted and it was totally worth it.

The fruit, on the other hand, was a bad idea. The potatoes were omg-I-die-delicious. So I ate all of my co-worker’s potatoes. Because carbs off other people’s plates don’t count. #logic

After brunch, I made everyone seek out the Holy Grail of desserts: the cake shake. (Thanks for the recommendation, Michelle!)

A cake shake is a milkshake with a big ass piece of cake blended into it. I got the red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream and a Wedding and Rabbit cake ball. Because a giant shake isn’t enough sugar. You need cake balls too.

I thought the shake would have been thicker having a piece of cake in there but it was really thin. Note to Holy Cacao…make them thicker! I was also a little bummed because the shakes everyone else ordered were way more delicious than mine.  I wish I had gotten a different flavor. I mean, I still drank it all. It is a cake shake, after all. There are people in the world without cake shakes so I took one for the team.

In an effort to continue my shame spiral, I made one more stop before we headed out of town.

Just buying this cupcake felt wrong after everything I consumed before 1:00pm. But my love for cupcakes is strong. Very strong. I got the Sweetberry flavor, which is basically all strawberry. Not even close to a favorite flavor, but I wanted to try something different.

It was meh. I wish I had ordered a different flavor but I’m not sure it would have mattered. The frosting tasted really cream cheesy – more like it should be on a bagel than a cupcake. I like my frosting sweet. So I threw part of it away. At least I know Orlando has my back in the cupcake department.

So there you have it. Two days of indulgence in which I have been paying dearly since with a non-stop tummy ache. A painful reminder of why I eat those crappy egg whites.

It was still worth it. 🙂

 

 

 

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When in Greece

Saturday night, the birthday celebrations continued because my birthday doesn’t stop until I say it stops! Hubs and I met up with a group of our friends at Taverna Opa, a Greek restaurant in Pointe Orlando. Pointe Orlando is a large outdoor shopping/dining area that is super touristy because it’s really close to Universal Studios, but it has a lot of cool places so we try to forget how annoying the parking garage is and go there once in awhile.

From left: Klainie, Chris, Moi, Lisa, Tom (Lisa’s husband making a rare appearance!), Hubs, Michelle, Susan, Elton)

Opa features belly dancers, (extremely) loud music, and a staff that encourages everyone to dance on the tables and waste all the napkins.

(source)

Chris really liked the belly dancers.

So did Michelle.

Michelle also liked other things. I can’t take her anywhere.

When we sat down, I couldn’t hear anything including those sitting next to me. The music was so loud that I wasn’t sure I liked the place. I’m not even sure why the waitress bothered to tell us about the menu because no one heard her. So, we winged it and decided that if we were going to be at an authentic Greek restaurant, we should order authentic Greek food.

The table had some pita triangles with hummus that was insanely garlicky but really good. The entrees were also exceptionally delicious, so I think that helped counter the annoyingly loud music.

Hubs had a steak he declared the best steak he’s ever had (!!) and I had the Mousaka (eggplant, ground beef, potatoes, Greek cheese).

For about a half hour, I thought my dish was named after a character in Lion King. Anyway, we tried each others meals like germs didn’t exist and they were all equally delicious. I’d go back again because the food is that good and it’s reasonably priced, but I would sit outside. It’s too crazy inside for my old ass.

Speaking of crazy, someone took it upon themselves to let the server know it was my birthday. Then this happened.

My signature dance move coming up.

You can’t contain that talent.

After we created America’s Saddest Dance Crew, we left for a more quiet place to hang out so I could enjoy getting old and discovering new wrinkles in peace. I was getting a serious headache in there.

And with that, the birthday celebrations were over. After four days of celebrating, I think I’m gonna need that year to recover until the next one.

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Foodapalooza

I had a good weekend. The little love affair I’ve been having with bacon cheeseburgers continued on Friday.

I met hubs for lunch at Graffiti Junction, a burger joint I’ve been wanting to try out for a year now. Since we didn’t drive together, it actually felt like we were on a date, which I kinda loved.

I was prepared to have my hair blown back and my pants dropped by “Orlando’s best burger” but unfortunately, I didn’t care for it. Or the fries. Or the chili we had as an appetizer.

Saturday morning, hubs and I did the Spartan workout at Crossfit. I finished in about 33 minutes. That’s a 15 minute improvement from the last time I did it. Fifteen! It’s really cool to be able to see how much I’ve improved in the year I’ve been doing Crossfit. Now I just need to figure out how to shave that time off my half marathon.

Saturday night the food fest continued when our friend Morgan was in town for the night.

We went to Ceviche, a tapas restaurant downtown, and it was delicious. We ordered a billion things and I was fully prepared to take pictures of every dish. I even had the camera in my lap the whole time, but I was so busy stuffing my face that this is the only picture I took.

We ended up at Sky Bar afterwards where our friend’s Teri and Greg joined us.

Yes. I am gigantic.

The cab ride home was equally entertaining as the night out. The driver was jamming the music so loud that none of us could hear each other speak. Hubs was in the front seat and the driver kept looking over at him while saying, “aaahhhh yeah!” as he was rocking out.

More food was had today when we went out for a Mother’s Day dinner with the in-laws at Pannullo’s in Winter Park.

We all had a hard time deciding what to order because it all sounded so good. Hubs and I ended up sharing the orange roughy, which looks like a hot mess in this picture.

And the gorgonzola stuffed chicken.

I can’t imagine why America is so fat.

Everything was delicious but I was so full afterwards that I’ve felt like a turd all day. Now I’m comatose on the couch. So far I’ve skipped my workout, taken a nap, and watched In Time. I never thought I’d look forward to eating healthy, but tomorrow cannot get here fast enough so I can get back on the wagon.

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Hillstone Heaven

Last year, I received an email from Cori (a PR Specialist for Wellons Communications) inviting me to an “exclusive” tasting at Hillstone because I’m an Orlando blogger. For whatever reason, I couldn’t make it, so I thanked her but declined. Fast forward a year later and Cori invited me again since I couldn’t make it last year. I was all over that like Charlie Sheen on hookers. Since I’m an internal awkward mess in groups of people I don’t know, I asked if I could bring a friend and surprisingly Cori said yes. So, I invited Michelle and off we went to Hillstone after work last night.

(source)

(source)

Hillstone is located in Winter Park. Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the restaurant before I went. I love trying new places and being surprised, so I didn’t exactly do any research either.

When Michelle and I arrived, there was nowhere to park. There was a huge, empty valet area. But no regular parking. So I pulled up to the valet and when he opened the door, I might have said something like, “nothing like some forced valet!” I know. Not subtle. He told me he didn’t want me to feel forced into valet and that I could drive through the cones and park if I’d like to. That was sufficient enough to make me feel like a jerk, so I let him park the car. He gave me a beeper and told me to press the button one minute before I wanted the car back.

Fancy beeper valet!

For this tasting, what I expected was a room of 20 or more bloggers with servers walking around with trays of appetizers and mini-portion entrees for us all to sample. What I got was a full-on private dinner with 8 other people out on the dock behind the restaurant. (Then I may have felt guilty for asking to bring a friend.)

And the view did not suck. In the words of Keanu Reeves, “whoah.”

Another little surprise? One of my favorite people ever was also invited. 🙂

Michelle decided to sit near Katy so I could feel awkward at the end of the table by myself. I think Michelle said something like, “see ya, sucker” as she took her seat.

Immediately after we sat down, we were offered drinks and the appetizers started making their way down the dock. Once an appetizer hit the table, my base instinct to plant my face in it had to wait while everyone took a million pictures of each dish. (By the way, that’s Cori at the end of the table.)

Once the sun started to set, umbrellas were used as lighting devices. I’m pretty sure that pork chop had more pictures taken of it than I had taken on my wedding day.

Anyway, back to the food. Did I mention the food part? First there were plates and plates of appetizers and entrees brought out to the table to share family style.

Several of the dishes didn’t make it into the collage, but you get the idea.

Honestly, everything was delicious. I think the veggie burger was the best thing on the table and that’s not something I would normally order at a nice restaurant…or ever. But when I go back, that’s what I’m getting. It was amazing. The wedge salad included yellow (or are they golden?) beets which I had never tried before and now want to marry. The restaurant makes their own bread which is also ridiculously good. We all tried to be nice and use clean utensils to scoop food onto our plates, but toward the end no one cared anymore and started stabbing things with forks directly off the main plates. Or that could have been just me.

After all the entrees were served, our server asked us if there was anything else on the menu that we’d like to try that we haven’t already. Whaaaa? More food? I seriously felt like a VIP. I mean, well I am a VIP. Duh. But you know, more of a VIP.

And then I think you know what happened next.

Banana cream pie, five nut brownie, and key lime pie. The key lime pie was the best of the desserts and I don’t even like key lime pie. So that’s says something.

After dinner the GM, Todd Martin, came out and talked to the table and answered questions. Katy is really good at asking relevant questions. I just sat there rubbing my belly and drooling out of the left side of my mouth.

And we also got to chat with Sherry Martin, the Service Captain. Super nice girl but she made the mistake of telling Michelle and I that she runs, so we may have tried to guilt her into signing up for a race. (Didn’t work. Can’t win ’em all.)

After dinner, Sherry gave us all a bottle of champagne and a basil plant to take home with us. (Yes, a fully complimentary meal and something to take home.) We said our goodbyes and I used and abused the valet guy one more time for a picture.

If you’re in the Orlando area, you need to try this place out. It’s delicious (and beautiful) and I’ve already told hubs we need to go back soon. Honestly, I have no idea why I was picked to attend but I’m so glad I was. This is one of the coolest opportunities that blogging has afforded me. So, I just wanted to say thank you to Hillstone for hosting a delicious dinner and thanks to Cori for inviting me.

I’m going to go back to microwaving hot dogs now.

****

P.S. This post was in no way a requirement for attending. I wanted to post about it. I mean, who wouldn’t? Oh, and all opinions are mine.

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10 Reasons I Might Avoid the Scale this Week

You know, it all started so innocently. I was going to spin classes, I was watching what I ate. Then Thursday night at Calypso happened in downtown Encinitas. And Friday night at Miyabi (which I didn’t get pictures of because all Japanese Steakhouses are the same). And Saturday brunch at The Tractor Room. Thanks to those 3 places, I give you the 10 (pictured) reasons I might avoid the scale this week:

1.  Brie in a puff pastry with caramelized apples, candied pecans, and  a marsala sauce. The sauce was really sweet and probably created from puppy tears. It tasted like a dessert.

2.  Crab salad with ahi tuna. The ahi tuna punk’d me because I thought it was tomatoes when I took a bite. I don’t like raw anything but ate everything I put on my plate so I didn’t look like a wimp.

3.  Blue fin tuna. (Here we go with raw food again. My brother ordered this and made me try it because he’s a bully. And it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.)

Side note: My brother asked the waitress what the difference between the blue fin and ahi tuna was and she said, “they are two different kinds of tuna.” < —– helpful

4. Thai Chicken Salad with a peanut salad dressing on the side. This was my attempt to eat healthy but salads aren’t healthy when you eat off other people’s plates, 2 appetizers, and a dessert with them.

5.  Carrot cake. Easily in the top 5 most delicious carrot cakes ever, and I have had a lot of carrot cake.

On Sunday, my brother went to LA with my niece for her volleyball tournament, so I went to brunch with his friend/business partner/brother from another mother, Oran, his girlfriend, and some of their co-workers at The Tractor Room at Hillside.

No one ever likes dishonest meat.

6. Most of their specialty drinks had bourbon. I can’t do bourbon but there was one drink that looked good. After they told me they didn’t have all the ingredients for it, I ended up with this bourbon/cinnamon/whatever else was in it concoction. It was strong. Really strong.

Still drank it. Still don’t like bourbon.

7.  Bloody Mary’s with freakin’ steak in them. Notice that drink comes with 5 “sides” and is served on a platter.

8.  Lamb scramble with sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, and potatoes.

9.  Peach brown sugar giant pancake. (This one was so good that now I want to know how their banana chocolate pancake compares.)

This is how far we got with 5 of us sharing it.

10.  Drinks at Bully’s after brunch that matched our shirts. (That’s Oran’s girlfriend, Denise.)

Brunch was at 11:30 and I still wasn’t hungry by 9:00pm. The food was so delicious and the portions were so gigantic. I had to look online to see if Man vs. Food had been there (he hadn’t) after seeing the BLT that Sarah ordered.

How do girls stay so skinny here? I need to get back to the same old boring food I eat every day in Orlando before my pants revolt.

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Low Key Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving started with a workout with our personal trainer, Linda. She opted for cardio since we all have no self-control when faced with large quantities of food. So, we did 5 rounds of:

  • 1/2 mile run
  • 1 minute boxing
  • 1 minute side step-ups on an 18 inch step (20 reps each leg)
  • 1 minute jump rope

Try to do 40 side step-ups in 1 minute. It’s challenging. I think toward the end, I only had 5 seconds to spare in each minute.

For anyone new reading, this is Linda.

That is also when my hair didn’t suck.

After the workout, we got ready to go to the in-laws for dinner and I cannot confirm or deny that I ate a piece of pizza before heading over there. Dinner was at 2:00 pm, so I’m not sure why anyone calls that dinner. But ok. Dinner it is.

Dinner was just the four of us – me, hubs, the FIL, and the MIL. I took about 3 pictures total, so here’s one with the four of us from three years ago at my SIL’s wedding.

By the way, none of us planned the red, black, and white theme and we didn’t even notice until after we took the picture. Also, everyone is in heels or on a step (my MIL) except me and my FIL’s cousin’s husband. If you see tall people in the family, it’s because they married one of us.

The MIL made turkey, ham (for me because I’m not much of a turkey fan), green bean casserole, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole. There were also sliced cranberries, but every year I like to pretend those don’t exist because they are the devil.

My plate looked like this. Times three.

I guess it was times four if you count that the sweet potato casserole gets a plate of its own. I can’t have other food tainting the beauty that is sweet potato casserole. My MIL also cooks carrots just for me (I loooove cooked carrots) and I ate 6 of them. SIX full carrots. That just seems unnecessary.

Everything my MIL made was almost too delicious and better tasting than last year. We mentioned how good everything was and she couldn’t even remember what she did differently.

After dinner, we rolled over to the couch, collectively unbuttoned our pants, and watched Hanna.

I had never even heard of this movie but it was really good.

After the movie, hubs and I headed home, took a nap, woke up, and then ate some more. After we completely defiled our bodies with leftovers, we defiled our livers with some margaritas. Then we defiled our eyes by watching Paul.

I had heard Paul was good. And we both thought it was just ok. It was about as funny as Hot Fuzz, which was barely funny. Now that I think about it, Jim told me Paul was good and he has an unnatural man-crush on Simon Pegg, so maybe I should have taken that into account.  You will never recapture the magic of Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost! You hear me!?

We also watched the Ice Age Christmas special, which was super cute. We’re gonna have to buy that one. 🙂

*****

Today, I plan on avoiding every store. I don’t get the Black Friday thing at all. I would rather pay full price for something than have to deal with all the assholes out there.

If you’re into the Black Friday thing, good luck to you. Also, tell me what awesome deals you got so I can live through you.

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Weekend

1.  Saturday morning, I had a 10 mile run with my group and it was the best.run.ever. It totally made up for my crappy 15k last weekend. It was cool, breezy, and about 70 degrees outside, so I didn’t bring my Camelbak. It was nice to run without anything but my SPIbelt. I felt like I was running on clouds and rainbows through fields of newborn kitten pelts. I ended up running at a 10:30 pace and it was magnificent.

2.  To make things even better, there was candy set out for us at one of the water stops. It was stocked with none other than the only candy that fights to the death with Peeps for my love.

3.  Saturday night, there was more birthday celebration for the hubs. We’re not even in the same month as his birthday anymore and we’re still celebrating. I need to figure out how to make that work for my birthday next year. We met some friends for dinner at Kimchi in Oviedo.

(source)

Hubs and I ordered two meals to share. I picked the Seafood Pancake, mostly because it contained the word pancake.

It was gigantic and delicious. Had we known it was so big (TWSS), we would have shared one meal instead. We also ordered the Bulgogi and tore it up. Sooo tasty.

We had some pretty nice company in Ale and Jason. (See Jason, I didn’t post the picture with your eyes closed.)

And Sheila, Richard, and Kai. Sheila is our martial arts fitness instructor and Richard is hub’s TaeKwonDo master. They look sweet but they will kick your ass. Family of deadly weapons!

Kai played with a Styrofoam cup for two hours. All you parents that are buying toys for your kids have it wrong. Find a cup and your golden. If you really want to keep them occupied, throw in a straw and napkin.

Hubs and I really liked Kimchi. We’ll definitely go back there sometime soon to eat our weight in oversized pancakes and bulgogi.

4.  Yesterday, I told hubs I wanted to go see 50/50. Then he asked me if that was “the haircut movie.”

Yes. Yes it is.

The haircut movie was really good. The last 45 minutes was a complete sob-fest for me; I was a total mess. Then again, I cry in everything. I cried when everyone finally made it out of the bus safely in Speed and I cry at the end of most episodes of Chuck. I also got a chemical peel over the weekend and let me tell you how awesome salty tears feel against that.

 

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I'm a Prickly Pear

Anyone else think of Leaving Las Vegas anytime they hear that? No. Just me? Ok, moving on.

Yesterday was the hub’s birthday. I’m terrible at planning surprises or just making plans in general. He’s awesome at it. So, yesterday, I tried to be awesome. I think it turned out pretty well.

First up was dinner. I chose a place neither of us have been to (or even heard of) called Prickly Pear. It’s located in downtown Orlando and part of Orlando’s Magical Dining Month (which is how I found it).

Prickly Pear is an “American Southwest” restaurant with a Western theme. They make everything fresh in house and they dress their waiters up like cowboys, because that’s not embarrassing for them. No hats though, which was disappointing. If you’re going to make them wear the outfit, at least make them wear the hat. Anyway, this place was amazing.

For the Orlando folks – the owners of Prickly Pear also own the Funky Monkey Wine Company, so the restaurant has a huge selection of wine.

We had a 5:15 reservation, which wasn’t needed because we were the only ones there for the first 30 minutes.

The happy hour menu had $5 margaritas, which they make fresh at your table. Um, that’s one of my favorite bad habits. Yes, please!

The margaritas have a full fresh squeezed lime, agave nectar, and your tequila of choice. Since it was happy hour, it was my choice of cheap tequila but they had a few different flavors, so I tried coconut.

Sweet flowing hair of Fabio, that was a good margarita.

I’m going to buy some of that Margaritaville Coconut Tequila, stat. It tastes like coconut but still tastes like tequila, which I didn’t expect. Maybe because flavored rum doesn’t taste like rum? The stuff was awesome.

I ordered off the poor people’s menu Magical Dining Menu. It’s an appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert for $30pp.

I started with the Smoked Mozzarella Salad. Yep, that’s a big hunk of pistachio crusted cheese. Ate it all. 

I’m not kidding when I say I feel like my heart was having a hard time beating while my body was trying to digest that hunk of cheese. It was literally the best salad I have ever had. The lemon basil vinaigrette was delicious. Usually I hate stupid fruit on my salad, but the pear really complimented it. I’ve never understood how foods compliment each other until now.

Hubs had the Black and White Soup (black bean and jalapeno jack cheese) which was delicious, but way too big for an appetizer. The bowl was so big, it was a meal in itself.

For an entrĂ©e, hub’s had the ribs.

He said they were delicious and so tender they fell right off the bone. Hubs loves ribs. I did try a bite, but I think ribs are the devil, so I’m not the best person to ask for an opinion on those.

I ordered the Seafood Chili.

The bowl was gigantic. That’s my hand inside the bowl – NOT touching any of the sides.

Now, this might have been an ordering SNAFU on my part. It sounded good in theory, but I’m not a fan of eating animals I can readily recognize on my plate.

I ate the shrimp and tried some of the other seafood (mussels, clams, calamari), but I just couldn’t do it. They did give me a gigantic spoon for my gigantic chili and that allowed me to play with my food while hubs finished his ribs.

Ok, it doesn’t look that big in the picture. But it was. I swear.

For dessert, hubs and I shared the Campfire S’mores.

Graham cracker (good!), brownie (good!), marshmallow (good!), raspberry puree (good!). What’s not to like? The marshmallow was even torched, so it had that campfire taste. Sharing this dessert made me sad because I wanted it all to myself. Stupid birthdays.

After dinner, hubs thought we were going home. Right before we passed our exit on the expressway, I handed him a birthday card that contained these beauties:

Surprise! 🙂

We headed over to the UCF Arena to see Cirque Du Soleil’s “Dralion.” No cameras allowed so I sneaked (snuck? snook?) this picture of the pre-show when security wasn’t looking. Security was a 70-year old woman that couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, so I could have taken her.

This is the 4th Cirque show we’ve seen. We’ve also seen La Nouba (resident show in downtown Disney), Zumanity (resident show in Vegas), and another traveling one in Tampa. Maybe Delirium? I can’t remember for sure. La Nouba is still the best so far.

The show was great (aren’t all Cirque shows?). One of the things we liked the most is a couple of the performers messed up twice and had to start again. Kinda shows you how hard the stuff they do really is because they make it look so easy.

Intermission picture!

We had a lot of fun and hubs was actually surprised I had planned for us to see the show. So, my job is done. 🙂

What Cirque Du Soleil shows have you seen?

(P.S. If you like Larabars, go enter this giveaway.)

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I’m a Prickly Pear

Anyone else think of Leaving Las Vegas anytime they hear that? No. Just me? Ok, moving on.

Yesterday was the hub’s birthday. I’m terrible at planning surprises or just making plans in general. He’s awesome at it. So, yesterday, I tried to be awesome. I think it turned out pretty well.

First up was dinner. I chose a place neither of us have been to (or even heard of) called Prickly Pear. It’s located in downtown Orlando and part of Orlando’s Magical Dining Month (which is how I found it).

Prickly Pear is an “American Southwest” restaurant with a Western theme. They make everything fresh in house and they dress their waiters up like cowboys, because that’s not embarrassing for them. No hats though, which was disappointing. If you’re going to make them wear the outfit, at least make them wear the hat. Anyway, this place was amazing.

For the Orlando folks – the owners of Prickly Pear also own the Funky Monkey Wine Company, so the restaurant has a huge selection of wine.

We had a 5:15 reservation, which wasn’t needed because we were the only ones there for the first 30 minutes.

The happy hour menu had $5 margaritas, which they make fresh at your table. Um, that’s one of my favorite bad habits. Yes, please!

The margaritas have a full fresh squeezed lime, agave nectar, and your tequila of choice. Since it was happy hour, it was my choice of cheap tequila but they had a few different flavors, so I tried coconut.

Sweet flowing hair of Fabio, that was a good margarita.

I’m going to buy some of that Margaritaville Coconut Tequila, stat. It tastes like coconut but still tastes like tequila, which I didn’t expect. Maybe because flavored rum doesn’t taste like rum? The stuff was awesome.

I ordered off the poor people’s menu Magical Dining Menu. It’s an appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert for $30pp.

I started with the Smoked Mozzarella Salad. Yep, that’s a big hunk of pistachio crusted cheese. Ate it all. 

I’m not kidding when I say I feel like my heart was having a hard time beating while my body was trying to digest that hunk of cheese. It was literally the best salad I have ever had. The lemon basil vinaigrette was delicious. Usually I hate stupid fruit on my salad, but the pear really complimented it. I’ve never understood how foods compliment each other until now.

Hubs had the Black and White Soup (black bean and jalapeno jack cheese) which was delicious, but way too big for an appetizer. The bowl was so big, it was a meal in itself.

For an entrĂ©e, hub’s had the ribs.

He said they were delicious and so tender they fell right off the bone. Hubs loves ribs. I did try a bite, but I think ribs are the devil, so I’m not the best person to ask for an opinion on those.

I ordered the Seafood Chili.

The bowl was gigantic. That’s my hand inside the bowl – NOT touching any of the sides.

Now, this might have been an ordering SNAFU on my part. It sounded good in theory, but I’m not a fan of eating animals I can readily recognize on my plate.

I ate the shrimp and tried some of the other seafood (mussels, clams, calamari), but I just couldn’t do it. They did give me a gigantic spoon for my gigantic chili and that allowed me to play with my food while hubs finished his ribs.

Ok, it doesn’t look that big in the picture. But it was. I swear.

For dessert, hubs and I shared the Campfire S’mores.

Graham cracker (good!), brownie (good!), marshmallow (good!), raspberry puree (good!). What’s not to like? The marshmallow was even torched, so it had that campfire taste. Sharing this dessert made me sad because I wanted it all to myself. Stupid birthdays.

After dinner, hubs thought we were going home. Right before we passed our exit on the expressway, I handed him a birthday card that contained these beauties:

Surprise! 🙂

We headed over to the UCF Arena to see Cirque Du Soleil’s “Dralion.” No cameras allowed so I sneaked (snuck? snook?) this picture of the pre-show when security wasn’t looking. Security was a 70-year old woman that couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, so I could have taken her.

This is the 4th Cirque show we’ve seen. We’ve also seen La Nouba (resident show in downtown Disney), Zumanity (resident show in Vegas), and another traveling one in Tampa. Maybe Delirium? I can’t remember for sure. La Nouba is still the best so far.

The show was great (aren’t all Cirque shows?). One of the things we liked the most is a couple of the performers messed up twice and had to start again. Kinda shows you how hard the stuff they do really is because they make it look so easy.

Intermission picture!

We had a lot of fun and hubs was actually surprised I had planned for us to see the show. So, my job is done. 🙂

What Cirque Du Soleil shows have you seen?

(P.S. If you like Larabars, go enter this giveaway.)

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Dinner with Friends

Saturday night, hubs and I went to the Grand Bohemian Hotel to make sweet love.

Just kidding. We don’t get hotels for that. We use the car.

We actually met some friends for dinner at the restaurant inside the hotel, The Boheme. You think they could have been a little more clever naming that one. We were there to celebrate Elton’s birthday. Celebrating Elton’s birthday is similar to making sweet love without the making sweet love part.

The Boheme is a more upscale restaurant. They shock and awe you with their awesome light-up menus so you forget about their heart attack inducing prices.

The Boheme is part of Orlando’s Magical Dining month. What that means is, for one month every year, poor people can eat at the expensive restaurants for a fixed price ($30 pp). Poor people don’t get light-up menus.

The price includes 3 courses (appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert) and you get 3 options to choose from. I actually prefer menus that don’t give me a lot of choices. I’ve been know to curl up fetus style under the table at Cheesecake Factory because there are too many options. I’m like a kid. Tell me I can have mac and cheese, chicken fingers, or pizza and I will pick one of those.

I started with the Kessler Calamari.

The sauce on top had a curry flavor to it which I normally like but it was so salty, it wasn’t that good. I still ate it all. I was hungry and I’m going to get my $30 worth.

For an entrée, Hubs and I each had the 5 oz Filet Mignon. It had bleu cheese on top and came with mashed potatoes and asparagus. 

5 oz was the perfect size for me (TWSS). Hubs loved it. I thought it was very good but a little on the rare side. Usually I like meat close to well done and the filet was medium rare. They didn’t even ask how I wanted it cooked when I ordered it and I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I still ate it all. I suppose it would have to moo at some point for me to not eat it.

For dessert, I had the Triple Chocolate Cake.

The cake was delicious and moist but nothing out of the ordinary. Still, I ate it all. Also, all my senses are heightened whenever dessert is around.

Hands off my not out of the ordinary cake!

Hubs had the Crème Brulee. To me, Crème Brulee is like horrible pudding (that’s my new band name – Horrible Pudding). If you want to make sure I don’t eat off your plate when we go out to a restaurant, get that.

After dinner, we headed over to the bar adjacent to the restaurant. I made a new lady-friend.

I only had a couple drinks since the place was pretty pricey. ($13 martinis. Ouch.)

Hubs and I didn’t even plan that shirt/necklace match. Since that happened on accident, I’m pretty sure that puts us in the running for most adorable.

Overall, we had fun hanging out with all our friends and celebrating Elton gracing the world with his presence. 🙂

Do you like Crème Brulee? (I think the only thing I like about it is that it rhymes with Robert Goulet.)

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