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Lucky Spots This St. Paddy’s Day – Our Favorite Irish Pubs in Orlando

Looking for somewhere to get lucky this St. Patrick’s Day? It’s time to break out the green hats, blinking pins and ‘Kiss me I’m Irish’ tees for our Favorite Irish Pubs in Orlando. Favorite Irish Pubs in Orlando FinnHenry’s Public House One word: Pickleback. This signature shot is a relentless punch of Jameson, washed down with a swig of pickle juice — hence the name. Some people love it and others hate it, but either way, it’s as Irish as it gets. This pub has that great downtown feel to it and it’s always a party off of Orange Ave, tucked between Washington and Central. Oh, and we can’t forget the eats. Everything from chicken cordon bleu to a mac and cheese meatloaf press. They have a great menu you can check out here –> Need a laugh? Check out this video of some of my pals doing their pickleback shots while dancing the jig (I told you that it is the real Irish deal!). Harp and Celt Irish Pub Still out in the downtown area, right off of Pine and Magnolia, you’ll find Harp and Celt Irish Pub. Sitting two stories high, this place gets packed wall-to-wall when the soccer game comes on. They’re great with keeping the authenticity from the woodwork to the food and you have to try the Scottish eggs. Right now, they’re counting down to St. Paddy’s Day on the site and we’re loving the ‘Kiss me I’m #upforwhatever’ campaign. Check the countdown here. The Pub Orlando Now, this one can get a little tourist-y over in Pointe Orlando, but believe it or not, it’s a great spot. It’s right next to Señor Frogs and The Oceanaire Seafood Room. It’s the one with all of the plaid (hehe). They don’t quite fit the Irish pub stereotype completely — the even admit on their website that they’re ‘British-inspired, American-crafted.’ But, in my defense, they serve up a mean shepard’s pie, wear kilts, and they have the best dang sidecar we’ve ever had (never had a sidecar? Don’t order it from anywhere but here… No one else gets it anywhere close to right.) As with most chains, they have a heftier menu that you can see here. Believe me — come the 17th, they will be having some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans you won’t want to miss… Before You Turn Up… Just from your friends here at Orlando Food Tours, have a heel-kicking, Irish gal kissing kinda St. Patrick’s day, but before you turn up, think it out. Don’t drive drunk and drink responsibly. We’ll see you at the pub!

Good Eats in Gainesville

At Orlando Food Tours we take you on a trip in Winter Park, FL that delights your taste buds but what about outside of Winter Park? Surely there are amazing places to eat besides local, right? Today we look at Gainesville, FL and look to help you out with some resources to check out if you’ll be visiting soon. Whether you’re moving to Gainesville because you just got into UF, a job relocation or just visiting on a gameday during football season and want to know some places you can visit while in town, we got you covered (not the bill, you gotta pay that yourself). Our friends at Rent Gainesville apartments, who specialize in helping people search Gainesville apartments, have their own top 5 places to eat in Gainesville: Hogan’s – NY style deli with awesome subs for about $7 with a soda. Don’t worry there’s a full service bar too. (CASH ONLY) Satchels – Unique pizzeria with an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you dine inside or inside the renovated van, you won’t find another place like this anywhere. (CASH ONLY) The Top – Great location downtown for those visiting just for a weekend or a gameday. Embers – This local steak house rivals some of the larger well known places in the country. Only to be found in Gainesville, it’s a definite must try next time you’re in town and looking for a nice place to have dinner. Manuel’s – This unique Italian restaurant will make you wonder what you ate previously that was called Italian food. Rated the number 1 place to eat in Gainesville, it’s a definite must have at some point in your life. Not sure about some of these choices? That’s okay because just like Orlando, Gainesville is in no short supply of foodies. Ken Eats Gainesville is a food blog that highlights several great places to eat and tries out new places all the time. If you’re looking for a sure fire winner though, check out his “Best-of List” which highlights the best of for any category you can think of. Have you been to Gainesville and had an amazing taste bud experience? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

In My Kitchen: Flirty, Girly Apron

If I haven’t made it clear yet, I’m probably a grouponaholic. It’s like having a mini heart attack every time I check my credit card bill and see how many times I’ve hit that little green buy button. My current condition: slightly poorer, but dancing around the kitchen in a new girly apron by Flirty Aprons! NOTE: You’ll see that my hair is down in the pics. I absolutely cook with my hair tied back, but I wanted to model for you. 😛 Girly Aprons by Flirty Aprons – The Newest Addition to My Kitchen It’s funny really. There’s three of us who share our recipes and cooking insights on the blog and I’m probably the worst in the kitchen, so what do I do to make up for it? Buy pretty plates and aprons so I feel better about how my cooking looks while I’m doing it. Stupid? Absolutely! Fun? You betcha!

Trader Joe’s Introduces Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter

And we’re already addicted. Just when you thought Trader Joe’s couldn’t get any better, they go and release Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter. (If have you no idea what cookie butter is, then I suggest you stop reading this and go buy yourself three jars. Yep, three jars because you will become addicted and will find yourself eating the jar in one sitting while standing in kitchen…not that’ve done that before.) So back to Cookies & Creme…According to the label on the jar, it’s a sweet spread made from crushed cocoa biscuits and creme filling. I half expected it to taste like an Oreo cookie, but without all the crumbs. It did not taste like an Oreo. It tasted way better. It’s crunchy and sweet and just plain delicious. I opted to just eat it with a spoon although the label suggests you can spread it on pancakes, serve on ice cream or dip for pretzels. My ONLY problem with this cookie better is how darn addicting it is. I worry that the entire contents of this jar will be gone before the weekend. <—–That’s me trying my first spoonful. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a jar(s) of Trader Joe’s Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter. Here’s the address to Central Florida’s only Trader Joe’s location. Then let us know if you love it or hate it in the comments below.

Swine & Sons Provisions – Opening in Feb. 2015

Swine & Sons Provisions will give takeout food a whole new meaning. Awarding winning chefs, James and Julie Petrakis, are bringing a fresh, new concept to the Central Florida area. The duo announced yesterday that their third operation will be a takeout shop named Swine & Sons Provisions. Swine & Sons Provisions will feature butcher sandwiches, charcuterie, daily pastry offerings, jams, spreads, home-made ice cream, biscuits and more. (Just typing that out made my mouth-water.) All menu items will do what the famous Chefs do best: mix sophisticated, elegant dining with southern-inspired cuisine. Joining them in this new adventure will be Chef Rhys Gawlk who has been a Chef at both of their other restaurants, the Ravenous Pig and Cask and Larder. He’ll be heading up the charcuterie program that will feature cured meats and cheese offered with seasonal, local ingredients. The pastry department will be headed up by Cask and Larder alum Koralyss Dominguez who we’re sure will be offering up daily delicious treats. In addition to serving up these scrumptious menu items, Swine & Sons Provisions will also be selling growlers of beer from Cask and Larder and carefully selected bottles of wine. (In case you aren’t sure what a growler is, it’s refillable half-gallon jug. The name dates back to the late 1890s and early 1900s.) Swine & Sons Provisions will be located in the same plaza as Cask and Larder and will open sometime in February 2015. For more information, check out their new website.   We could not be anymore excited for this shop to open! If it’s anything like the Ravenous Pig and Cask and Larder, we can expect an ever-changing menu filled with crazy new food pairings that our tastebuds will absolutely love. We’re looking forward to pastries, Lone Palm beer and hopefully, jars of pimento cheese we can enjoy in the comfort of our home. We just have to patiently wait four more months for this new spot to open.

The Spice & Tea Exchange’s Pumpkin Chai Latte Tea

Have you ever dreamed of a guilt-free Pumpkin Pie? I have and soon discovered my dreams had come true after one sip of Winter Park’s Spice & Tea Exchange’s Pumpkin Chai Latte Tea. Simply put, it’s amazing and everything you would expect Fall to taste like (if seasons were edible). This pumpkin chai latte tea is the absolute perfect blend of cinnamon, pumpkin, spices, and other fall-flavors.  It’s smooth, light and rich in taste. Whether enjoying on a cool, crisp Fall night or early Fall morning, your tastebuds will be thanking you. To enjoy this pumpkin-flavored delight, add one tablespoon of the blend to steaming hot water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Then, sit back, relax and enjoy. This seasonal delight is only available until October 31st or while supplies last. Be sure to try it while you can. It truly is all it’s steeped up to be. For more pumpkin-flavored reviews, check out the 2014 Pumpkin Spice Challenge.

The 2014 Pumpkin Spice Challenge

Try All Most Things Pumpkin Spice Flavored Fall is my favorite time of year mostly because Pumpkin Spice takes over every recipe and packaged food good imaginable. This year, I’m challenging myself to try as many things as I can with this fall-flavor. I do have my limits though which is why I’m saying “most”. I have intentionally left out Pumpkin Spice Latte. My goal every year is to consume as many as possible.   Here’s my list so far: Last Updated September 29, 2014. I have tried all the items in green so far.  Tea and Spice Exchange Pumpkin Chai Tea – Click here to read review. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes (how cute does this recipe look?!) See how my version turned out here. Pumpkin Spice Oreos – I’m very unsure about this one. Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese – Any suggestions for what type of bagel to put this on? Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Pumpkin Spice M&Ms – Disappointing. They tasted like regular old M&M’s. Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream – Any suggestions? 4-Rivers Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Jeremiah’s Ice Pumpkin Spice Italian Ice – Tastes like just like pumpkin pie. Try this treat with vanilla gelato and you’ll be a happy camper. Pumpkin Spice Beer(s) – So far, I’ve only had Pumpkinhead. It never disappoints. Fresh Market’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pie – Not my favorite. Keep a lookout for my entire Fresh Market Pumpkin review coming soon. Fresh Market’s Pumpkin Pretzels – Too much pumpkin, not enough spice. Fresh Market’s Harvest Crunch – Amazing and addicting. For each item I try, I’ll write a review and give you guys the low down. I’m sure I’m missing a TON of things to try too. Please add any suggestions in the comments below and I’ll add them to my 2014 Challenge. Let the Challenge begin! #pumpkinwasted

Foodie Finds: Publix Waffle Chicken Tenders

Have you seen this Publix Waffle Chicken Tenders sign pop up lately? Chances are, if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re living under a rock. (We’re kidding!) If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s probably coming your way shortly and you should take note because it is definitely an experience to be had. Here’s the scoop on Publix’s NEW Waffle Chicken Tenders. Secret’s in the Sauce. Well, in the powdered sugar really. According to our insider bakers (the really friendly deli guy), nothing is different about the chicken at first sight; the breading is the same and it’s cooked the same. The sweet maple flavor is in the powdered sugar seasoning that they generously sprinkle all over the chicken while it’s all warm.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Returns August 25th

Fall Comes Early This Year. Well, Kinda. Mark your calendars. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte will be available starting on August 25th about one month before the official start of fall. The unofficial fall must-have drink turns 10 years old this year. Surprisingly enough, I don’t find it odd that the drink has a birthday or let alone, its very own Twitter account which is quite frankly wonderful. I can’t wait for my first sip of heaven this year… Who’s with me?  

The Beer Tour | Summer Beer Guide

Every summer, it begins all over again. When those light, citrus-infused summer beers come out, the beer lover’s eyes light up. Yeah, nothing tops off the summer like a bit of froth and we don’t blame you for getting a little giddy. We get the exact same way. That’s why we’re taking a moment to raise our glasses to these fine summer drafts that we have an inkling that you’ll love long past summer’s end. The Beer Tour – Your Official Summer Beer Guide Summer Beer #1 The Olde Southern Wit f ABV: 5.4% Weight Scale*:  BeerAdvocate Score: N/A This beauty is brewed here locally at Cask and Larder out in Winter Park, Fla. It’s on the menu year round, but it definitely takes on a new meaning when summer rolls around. It’s crisp, refreshing taste has the perfect alcohol content to it; that’s part of what makes it a great beer to give to pretty much anyone.