I’d like to think of myself as a fun foodie, I enjoy soul satisfying food in good spirited establishments. What I mean is that I love to enjoy where I eat, with whom I eat as well as what I eat! Bustling food truck festival- I’m there! Sultry hideaway cafe- I’m there! Quiet and quaint sushi spot- I’m there! So it was no different when I traveled to Orlando and Miami, Florida with my 2 kiddos, that I would be in search of fun foodie establishments! Here are my top 3- meeting the following criteria, food quality and taste of course, atmosphere and location and bang for buck!
I enjoy dining with a certain amount of interaction, as long as I have an idea of what to expect. So with that in mind, I decided on Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Show in Orlando. After searching for the most reasonably priced tickets, I didn’t want to fall into the tourist trap (timeshare tour for tickets or overpaying), I found a place charging $110 for 3 tickets. Menu selection had to be pre ordered so we chose: for me, honey glazed cornish hen over stuffing, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables and half of a baked sweet potato. my daughter: lasagna with meatballs and garlic bread. my son: chicken tenders, green beans and mac and cheese. All served with garden salad, dessert and free unlimited drinks- even wine and beer! I must admit I had low expectations for the food, just wanted a bite and a good show, but was pleasantly surprised! Foodie heaven!!! Being the foodie I am, I sampled my kids’ plates too- yum! Dessert options were key lime pie, strawberry shortcake and chocolate cake- I tried the cakes and they were winners. Coffee was even served with dessert. The show was entertaining, great for all ages and allowed us to mingle with the other guests we were seated with. The theater is located in a plaza that has a bus stop and taxi station, we walked from Westgate Palace, approximately 20 minutes. Overall, I must say I’d do it again!
Next up as one of my faves in Orlando (and there were a few) is the Nile Ethiopian Restaurant restaurant. I selected this place in honor of Kwanzaa and to be our first African dining experience together. The very warm and nice ethnically decorated restaurant was a hidden treasure. There were quite a few family diners of multiple ethnicities. We ordered the $29 Chef’s Special, designed for 2 and it was enough for 3! The entree sampler is set on a tray and brought out covered with a bamboo top that my son called a hat. No utensils required, just grab a piece of injera (flat sourdough bread that resembles a roti or tortilla), and scoop up your food. Ethiopian cuisine is high in protein, I liked that, and is very aromatic and tasty. Included in our sampler was chicken prepared 2 ways, lean beef prepared 2 ways, cabbage, collard greens, and lentils. It spoke volumes that my fast food loving kids couldn’t get enough and we left just enough to pay compliments to the chef. At the Nile, they serve their house wine, honey wine, very delicious. They also served clove tea and a selection of international beers. Please try them- it’s a family owned business and the staff is there to please!
Lastly is a restaurant that I found on Trip Advisor (they are my review go to and I write reviews there as well) that came highly recommended. The Front Porch Cafe, Ocean Drive, Miami serving breakfast ALL DAY as well as lunches and dinner. I fell in love upon arrival! They have a rather large “porch” for outdoor dining where you can gaze at people strolling down the palm tree lined street; there’s a semi outdoor seating area that gives you a feel of being under water…serene blue lighting; and there’s indoor seating as well (I never went inside). Our server was on point and food was out in a timely manner, shared plates is a good idea unless you’re a “hungry man” because the portions are hearty! The kids shared a breakfast burrito that they couldn’t finish- I of course sampled and yummy! Light fluffy scrambled eggs with mushrooms, fresh herbs, some of the best mouth watering salsa I’ve ever had and sour cream along with a fruit bowl (mangos, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and pineapple). Pure bliss! I ordered the raved about french toast- there’s a hint of orange that tantalizes the tastebuds! Umt umt umt!! They serve probably the best mimosa I’ve ever had- cranberry mimosa! Two please! The prices were reasonable, our bill was a little less than $50 (gratuity is included).