8 Restaurants in Orlando to Check Out on Your Next Visit

Over the last 5 years or so I’ve done quite the bit of exploring in the city I call home – Orlando. From working in various nightclubs to hanging out with girlfriends I’ve cultivated quite the list of places you absolutely need to check out whenever you’re in town.  From Brunch to Happy Hour and even Dessert I’ve got a list of places that you’ll love!  If you’re a foodie like Jeff and I then keep reading to see my 8 Restaurants You’ll Love Here in Orlando and What I Recommend You Order!

Brunch at The Stubborn Mule

Jeff and I have done birthday brunches and Friday night Happy Hours here and I must say I’m ALWAYS done to have brunch t the Stubborn Mule. I definitely recommend the patio if the weathers night because there’s nothing like sitting outside, downtown with live music going and bottomless mimosas! I’ve now come to terms with the fact that my absolute favorite thing on the menu is the Cloud Nine Breakfast Sandwich.  When I tell you this is the mack daddy of sandwiches, it’s huge and you’ll be so pleased! Now me being the picky eater I am I do make just a few modifications.  The sandwich as is, is House Smoked Pastrami (YUM!) Melted Swiss and Dill Havarti Cheese topped with Mule Hash (potato, bacon and mozzarella cheese) Sandwiched between a toasted Biarly Smeared with Thai Peanut Cream Cheese and served with Home Fries.  Now I do without the Thai Peanut Cream Cheese (anyone who knows me knows I HATE peanuts) and I add a Fried Hard Egg. If you’re in Orlando you absolutely have to brunch here but remember make a reservation because within minutes of opening doors, the wait jumps to hours and hours long!

Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

Jeff and I usually find ourselves sitting on the outdoor, Market light lit patio of Pig Floyd’s on Sundays in-between football games just get out for a little. This was the first of now 2 locations here in Orlando and the BBQ is hands down amazing! There are so many things I could recommend and the vibe is one that is truly unrivaled but I’m going to keep it simple in saying the Brisket is amazing, the Tacos are killer and were always my go to until our recent visit when Jeff and I both tasted the Bento Box! Yes this BBQ joint has bento boxes and when I say they are good trust me! Jeff and both went for the Mongolian Brisket and it comes with Jasmine Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Apple Fennel Slaw, Vegetable Spring Rolls and Honey Siracha (don’t forget the chop sticks) Open Monday-Sunday if you’re in town head over to the Mills 50 District and check it out!

Krungthep Tea Time

I’m always down for some good sweets and tea but Krungthep has got way more than just that. This tea house right in the middle of Winter Park has got a killer Salad and Sandwich menu and has certainly become a place where all local bloggers want to photograph as well!  All it took was 1 time taking my sister here and she was hooked! I always order the Thai Tea and her go to is the Peach Tea garnished with fresh peach slices!  When you check it out make to order a Strawberry Cheesecake High Hat!  You’ll find yourself indulging in Vanilla Bean Ice Cream , Cheesecake Crumbles, Strawberries, Crushed Peanut,  Raspberry Syrup, Ghirardelli White Chocolate Syrup and a Waffle Cone on top (DELISH!) Walk in Anytime

ROYALtea Orlando

RoyalTea is one of my new favorite spots in the Mills50 District! Those who know me best will tell you I absolute HATE sweet Tea but something about what’s done at Royal Tea is just different.  The space isn’t much and it’s often packed so I usually grab my tea and head out the door but with teas ranging from the Royal Fruits Tea (my personal fav) filled with more fruit than I can name at the moment to Cheese teas which people seem to love, I’d say if you’re taking a walk looking at the many street murals Mills has to offer definitely stop in ROYALTEA and grab something refreshing!

Yellow Dog Eats

Leave it to Jeff to bring me on a date to a place I have NEVER heard of and then quickly became obsessed with! Yellow Dog Eats is in Gotha just of the edge of Windermere and has built quite the reputation for itself. Not only is the building itself super cool but the vibe is insane. I feel like I should be beachside hanging out.  The menu is full of BBQ, Tacos, Sandwiches, Wrap and more!  I am definitely suggesting a visit here and time of day and any day of the week on your next visit to Orlando.  I ordered the What the FIG and it was SO BIG I had to eat it with a fork!  The What the Fig sandwich consists of Pulled Pork stacked with Fried Onions, Bacon, Goat Cheese and then drizzles with homemade jalapeño- fig sauce and served on a Ciabatta!  Guy’s listen to me and order this sandwich – the flavors sound strange but complement each other so unbelievably well.

BackHaus German Bakery -Deli

Whenever I’m in the Ivanhoe Village area of Downtown Orlando I have to stop at Backhaus German Bakery. This bakery has been featured in many YouTube blogs and on my Instagram quite a few times and for good reason.  Whether you’re grabbing some fresh bread for the house or you want a sandwich and my personal reason for going some sweets, you can find it all at Backhaus. Located right on Orange Ave, Backhaus is the perfect place to grab a handful of Macarons, or a slice of Lemon Mousse cake.  As soon as you walk in your greeted with big smiles and a glass case full of desserts that you’re going to want to dive into so on your next trip be sure to check them out.

The Lake Eola Farmer’s Market

Every Sunday I try to get out to the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market. Not only is the weather typically amazing here in Orlando but there are so many vendors I love to check out.  More importantly I love grabbing Sunday’s Lunch at the Farmer’s Market because my favorite Food Trucks are ALWAYS set up!  From the OverRice Truck (Filipino food) to the Tamale Co and of course the always refreshing Green Tea Mojito stand!  If you’re here in a weekend the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market is definitely a place to check out and make sure you bring some cash because you’re going to want to try everything!

Eola Wine CO

Located on Central Blvd, just across from Lake Eola, the Eola Wine CO is a place that Jeff and I frequented quite often for a while and with a Mimosa Flight why wouldn’t we. Not only do they have a great variety of delicious flatbreads but they do a mimosa flight and Jeff and I recommend it to everyone!  You order the flight for $10 and get half a champagne flute of 4 different mimosa flavors: Orange, Pineapple, Raspberry and Banana then after consumption you choose which flavor was your favorite and you get a full flute of that flavor! I mean I think it’s a deal, I always leave with a buzz and love listening to the live music on Sundays while sitting on the patio in the heart of Downtown Orlando.

Be sure to leave a comment and tell me which places you check out when you come to town!

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The Ultimate Miami Beach Packing Guide

Hi Friends!

I’m beyond excited because at the end of next month Jeff and I have both taken a full week off from work (over his birthday) to celebrate both of our birthdays. There’s a huge conference for work happening during my birthday and I’m unable to take any time off for the weeks surrounding so why not take time for his birthday since it’s only a few weeks before mine!  We are heading to Miami Beach and staying at the newly renovated Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club and I couldn’t be more excited!  We have both been craving some time on the beach and with a hotel that’s literally beach front it will be the perfect getaway! To keep up with my trip be sure to follow my Instagram for all the photo updates!

I thought with Summer basically here and so many of you planning your Summer trips why not put together the Ultimate Miami Beach Packing Guide! Complete with everything you’ll need (well at least the major things you’ll need) for your week or weekend getaway! If you’re interested in what I’ll be packing and want to get some ideas on what you should be packing then keep reading.  When I think of Summer and certainly when I think of Miami Beach I think of bright colors and easy clothing.  It’s all about being comfortable and having fun. I’ve already began doing some shopping for this trip because I want to be as prepared as possible.  Ladies for any Summer vacation you absolutely need a pair or 2 or 3 pairs of denim cut offs! Like these one teaspoon shorts, the right pair of denim cut offs are so comfortable and perfect for throwing over your swimsuit at the beach/pool and event headed to a Miami Beach dinner with a blouse and some wedges! I’m going to be honest with myself though I’ve always loved the look of a swimsuit cover up for the beach and pool days whether I’m on vacation or not and this cover up from Draya Michele’s line MintSwim and this HotMiamiStyle cover up are definitely a must for my Beach vacation.  You can probably tell that I like to keep it not only functional but a little sexy! Especially for Miami Beach. A beach cover up like those linked above are necessities because they can easily go from the beach to the beachside bar!

one teaspoon shorts

Now with all this talk about the beach and bright colors you know the Number One must on this packing list is swimwear! From the bikinis to the one pieces and even those Brazilian bottoms, on Miami beach they’re all completely acceptable! Whether you’re looking for a one pieces like this cute one from Forever21, or a sexy 2 piece like this from MintSwim or this one from Forever21, in Miami it’s all about a bright and fun swimsuit!

forever 21 one peiece

It’s not all about beach fashion though ladies! I’m super excited to bust out all of my Maxi Dresses and Sundresses for this trip!  In Miami Maxi Dress are a necessity, perfect for grabbing lunch, A Maxi Dress like this JACK by BB Dakota Luciana Dress Revolve dress can easily be worn to brunch at 11am with those slip on Sandals much like these Sam Edelman Bay Slide Sandals that will be in my suitcase or to dinner with a pair of heels much like this Isle Of Dress Amuse Society dress found on Revolve as well! You always want to pack some pieces that can easily be taken from day to night on your vacation! Remember that! And of course whether you’re lounging poolside, by the beach or on the search for some great food Sunnies are a must! I never bring just one pair! I bring my Ray Ban Aviators, My fun Gucci Glittered frames and these Henri Bendel frames that I’m beyond obsessed with!

henri bag

Of course there are those little things that are obviously going to be on the packing list! Sun Tan oil , Sun Screen, Tinted Moisturizer, Lip Balm a Beach bag! All Necessities for sure, I have this Henri Bendel Bag that I purchased in large to use for the beach that I am beyond obsessed with! It’s huge and big enough to hold beach towels, water bottles, snacks and some other things and then I’ll be bringing one of my smaller cross body bags for days that we just want to hang out and roam those South Beach streets, and as my mother and father both taught me, NEVER go out of town without packing a little black dress and a pair of heels because you never know what you’ll end up doing!

All in all I’m beyond excited for our Miami Beach Getaway and I hope my Packing List has helped you pack for your trip!

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My “Mid-Week” Getaway

This past Wednesday my mother surprised me by taking off from work, booking a room at the W Ft. Lauderdale and taking me away! I couldn’t have been more excited.  With the stress of my last semester of college approaching and my birthday being less than 2 weeks away this “stay cation” was exactly what I didn’t know I need (mother knows best).  My younger sister, mother and I packed up and we were off for a girls getaway, SORRY DAD!

THE ARRIVAL

on my way

in the car and off!!

After 3 and ahead long hours in the car we were here!! and boy oh boy was the hotel beautiful! Upon entering the valet tunnel, I was greeted by a beautifully big W with a waterfall entering rocks before entering the doors ion the hotel where there was a beautiful lighting fixture entering the hotel “living room” which had a balcony with a breathtaking view.

valet

inside W

%22living room%22 balcony W

My mother had informed the front desk agent that it was my birthday get away and we were upgraded to a room on the 15 floor with a view that I can’t even begin to describe.  Room keys were needed to even access the elevator which was also quite beautiful.  The W is a hotel I’ve always wanted to visit and from check in until dinner we were becoming once with the ocean.

For dinner my mom took us to Seasons 52 which had the most delicious food!

w sign

As appetizers we ordered two flatbreads, a tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese flatbread and a steak and cheese flatbread.

flatbread seasons

for my entree I ordered the cedar plank salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables with a cocktail

dinner seaonscocktail seasons

and for dessert the bought out the desert tray with options for us to choose from

seasons dessert boat

After dinner we strolled around the mall where I stumbled upon these Tom Ford beauties in Neimen Marcus.

shopping tom ford

DAY TWO

Day two of my stay in Ft. Lauderdale began with a walk along the beach where we came across a beautiful Mediterranean beachside cafe named Cafe Del Mar where we enjoyed breakfast and freshly squeezed orange juice.  The cozy restaurant mixed with the smell of food cooking and the sound of the ocean was simply amazing!

cafe del mar

of breakfast I ordered their home fries which were so delicious with a ham and cheese omelette and toast on sourdough bread

breakfast cafe del marIMG_4900

Breakfast was followed by a day lounging poolside in cabanas.  My mother purchased a cabana for the day and we were given another for my birthday.

pool side view

pooside

W towel

Dinner on night 2 was at a sushi place called Sushi On which everyone said was amazing, but truth be told they must’ve never had Orlando sushi because in my honest opinion the place was horrible. My mother ordered a shrimp tempura roll, I had the volcano and my sister ordered chicken teriyaki.  i don’t think any of it was good and wouldn’t recommend anyone to eat there on their trip.

The next morning we woke up shopped at the outlets and came back to Orlando.  It was honestly such a great 2 days and I’m so grateful to my mother for the perfect pre birthday Staycation!!