I have been a little absent lately… You know what they say though, when you see me less it’s because I’m doing more. I am Not Just #EatingForTheInsta. I am out here taking life a bite at a time, working on providing legitimate recommendations and quality content. Coming at you live during events and providing the know before you go info!
As I learn and grow, I want to be able to extend all my foodie adventures and tips. I have decided to *FINALLY* commit time to rolling out my YouTube channel dedicated to all things food. My Facebook page is also live @KatieEatz. And as always, if you are not already…hit ya girl’s Instagram with a follow @Katie_Eatz. Yelp is also back in action (since 2014) and working towards that Elite badge. I was also recently added as an influencer for Zipkick. Media and collaborations please email Katie.Eatz@gmail.com! Looking forward to all the events coming up this holiday season.
Thought I would check in and drop some love for all the amazing restaurants that have hosted me the last few weeks for new menu items and special events! Also have had the pleasure to meet some fellow foodies out and about in our natural habitat. Nothing better than doing what you love with your people. Truly an amazing community.
Being an Orlando native, I definitely know quite a few “local” spots and “mom and pop” establishments. I also appreciate playing tourist for a day, and going to the attractions and surrounding areas to wine and dine. There is not a place or type of cuisine that I won’t try, at least once. I have appreciated all of the love and suggestions, always looking for the next best meal. Here are a few of my favorites as of lately.
EPCOT FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Got the pleasure of spending my birthday with my mom eating and drinking around the world at Walt Disney World EPCOT. This food and wine festival begins end of August and will last through mid November. One can also enjoy their concert series as well as the rides and attractions when attending the festival. Because Florida is so stinking hot, my favorite booth this year was in fact the air conditioned tents (for obvious reasons) that served various mimosas. Also a big fan of the beer in Canada and of course the margs in Mexico are a staple for every visit. As for food I loved everything in Italy and Germany!
Got the pleasure of attending this Anniversary happy hour tasting with a fellow foodie friend. Crafted cocktails and delicious tapas is what Bulla is all about. My favorite was the octopus and if you know me at all you know I can’t pass up a Moscow Mule. These beverages taste so good, it could be dangerous. Definitely will be back to check out their seasonal menu and taste some new holiday drinks.
If you’re looking for a good spot to brunch for a birthday or special event I would highly recommend hosting it at Stubborn Mule. Granted this would be for smaller parties, as they only reserve up to 12 without a credit card authorization deposit. The outdoor atmosphere with live music and umbrella shade coverage makes this the perfect setting for even the hottest Florida day. The refreshing mimosas and other brunch time beverages are served by the bottle with a variety of juice options to mix and match. Did I mention that this is also a dog friendly spot? Yup, pretty much heaven.
Stubborn Mule’s sister restaurant, RusTeak is another hot spot for drinks and bites. In the heart of college park, this establishment is a great pick for happy hour selections. Magical Dining and Bite 30 are also specials that they participate in each year. I would highly recommend the Strawberry Gin Jam and the Tesla. Two very different flavors, both equally as delicious. If you like sweet the Gin Jam is your jam, if you go for spicy opt for the Tesla… you’ll thank me later.
For starters this place is well worth the drive, quite possibly the best sushi concepts I have ever seen. New menu items pop up frequently, leaving your taste buds wanting to try everything. The crab tower is a great starter. The baos and steak fries are also great appetizer selections. Feeling a sushi burger or doughnut? You’re in luck! Also not pictured but featured on their menu is a sushi pizza and other various delicacies. End your meal with some fried oreos and call it a day, the gym will be calling you tomorrow.
CANVAS LAKE NONA
Got the pleasure to try some of Canvas’ new fall menu selections. The view of the lake sets the scene for a perfect date night spot. My favorite thing from this tasting was the tender calamari. Without fail, I paired these bites with a Moscow mule which came in some awesome drink ware.
AMURA LAKE MARY
I cannot hype up this sushi spot enough. Highly recommend the Kamikaze roll if you’re into spicy, and my other top roll is the Lobster Gold Medal. This year I attended Amura’s Anniversary dinner special, in which you receive a gift certificate in the amount you spend on your meal for a future date. Top it off with some tempura cheesecake just to sweeten your day.
Known for their poppin’ Wine Down Wednesday and Happy Hour Friday, Pepe’s serves an array of sweet and spicy beverages. I am still needing to try their protein in a pineapple, but the appetizers (jalapeno poppers pictured) and tacos I’ve had were delicious. Check out their upcoming events and specials.
I was able to attend the fall menu roll out for HotKrust. I enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday Panini, which tasted like I was biting into all my favorite festive flavors. The pumpkin spice dessert was also the perfect treat to appease my sweet tooth. Are you vegan? There’s options such as the Impossible Burger. Highly recommend!!
New delicious fall menu items at Tony Roma this season include bold and spiced dishes. The jalapeno buffalo shrimp was a huge win for me, as I cannot get enough sea food and found the tasty flavors to be perfect amount of spicy. After stuffing my face with salmon and veal I had to end the night with cobbler and a cinnamon martini.
BUCA DI BEPPO
I was elated that I could spend World Pasta Day and celebrate World Pasta Month at Buca Di Beppo. Did you know the name itself means “Joe’s Basement” ? That explains the low ceilings and ornate wall decor. The staff here made me feel just like family, and served up some delicious pastas and desserts. Looking to celebrate a future event, request the Pope room…talk about an experience. You can also dine inside the kitchen, that’s right INSIDE there is a booth where you can watch the chef’s in action. These family style portions are perfect if you are looking to cater for a special event as well.
First timer here at Bar Taco, and I am pretty sure we ordered one of everything off this menu. What I really liked was that I could opt for a lettuce wrap, which is perfect if you’re trying to eat healthier and watch carbs. Or you could throw caution to the wind and order a spicy margarita and peppers. At the end of the day, the plantains were probably my favorite side and the ahi tuna tacos were fire.
I was blessed to have been invited to the 90’s theme new menu item roll outs at the Hawker’s in Windermere. Other locations I frequent are the Orlando and St Pete (new). The baos, riblets, and Shanghai Stir Fry were my favorite additions. Every time I come here I try something new and I am never disappointed.
Got the pleasure of a chef’s dinner special at Shari Sushi, and let me tell you this prime spot in Thorton Park is one to note. Their sake and dessert martinis compliment their menu’s unique flavors. Their spicy edamame was a huge hit, as well as their dessert bread pudding. Fave roll of the evening was the cheesy crab fondue topped veggie roll.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS & CITY WALK
Upgraded to an annual pass, which means I am taking advantage of all its perks. Discounts off dining and early entry into HHN are perfect excuses to #treatyoself at least that’s what I told myself… Had to pay a visit to Voodoo Donut and Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. I also made sure to try some seasonal snacks in the parks. By far my favorite was the twisted tater, which comes in four different seasoning flavors. I truly wish this was a year round treat because that salt & vinegar tater would become a regular thing.
I know what you’re thinking… “you’re a foodie and this was your first time at OE?!” Yes, but it truly lived up to my expectations. My eggs benny could not have been better. In fact, everything being placed at the tables around had me drooling. Next time I’ll be getting the pancakes, #IYKYK. I venture over to the Tampa/St Pete area pretty often, and I am always looking for new areas to explore food wise.
WISCONSIN CHEESE PRESENTS: CHEESELANDIA ORLANDO
This event was held in The Winter Park Farmer’s Market which is the perfect venue. Open bar, live music, and tables upon tables of cheese!! With cheese and drink pairings and create your own board station, this has been one of my favorite events. As you leave you were also given a cooler bag full of Wisconsin’s finest. Gladly will attend this again!
BOCA WINTER PARK
I had the pleasure of trying some new menu items at Boca Winter Park. This was my first time here and I had heard very good things. While everything on this preview was good, the thing that stood out the most to me was the cookie dough truffles. Quite possibly the best dessert I have had this year. Completely unique, and I am obsessed with all things cookie dough. The wings were also a hit for me, as I am a big wings girl. They pour their drinks HEAVY so hit that Happy Hour because you will definitely leave HAPPY!
This spot is new to the Winter Park area and provides some healthy alternatives for meals. Frutta Bowls has a variety of bases and toppings to fulfill any craving. I went with an Acai Bowl with nutella and peanut butter. They also have a great kale bowl!
Had the opportunity to try the Sweet Carolina Pork n Donut at Sonny’s. This was a limited edition item, and I wish they would put it permanently on the menu. With glazed donuts as buns, this sweet and hearty meal was a lot to handle. And when I say that I mean, I had no idea how to approach this and it got a little sloppy (as one would assume). All I am saying is do not go get this if you’re on a date.
SWEET BY HOLLY
I would like to thank Sweet by Holly again for treating me to so many festive cupcakes. It had been a minute since I had one, and I fell in love all over again. These are perfect because there are so many unique flavors to choose from, everyone wins. The size is also slightly smaller than your average cupcake, so you can eat 1 or 4 and feel a little less guilty. Their seasonal flavors change, and I cannot wait to see to see what’s up next.
Thank you to CFS Coffee for inviting me to try some new menu items at your media event. This rainbow latte is my favorite addition, and I am so glad to see that this is now a permanent item. You can also request to get activated charcoal. With various snacks and drinks, CFS is the perfect spot to enjoy a bite with friends.
SOHO JUICE CO.
So late to the party on this one… this is healthier alternative to breakfast and I am a huge fan. This banana toast was absolutely delectable, as well as my bowl. The atmosphere in the Tampa location is cute, and even has a little clothing shop inside. I still have yet to visit the Orlando location, but it is definitely on my list.
Do you like to create your own style bowl? Taco Dirty lets you do just that. But this isn’t like no Chipotle (unpopular opinion…Chipotle is played out). The protein options are actually fire and the topping choices vary in flavor. The restaurant also has colorful juices to choose from. The overall aesthetic is bright and colorful, which also translates to the items they sell. I enjoyed the general vibe and would suggest going if you are in Tampa. I’ll be back soon, there are so many menu items left to try.
I was recently introduced to the Truffle Truck, and my life has been forever changed. This Food Truck changes locations, so be sure to follow them on Instagram to see where you can score a bite. I need to try their gnocchi with truffles ASAP! Just trust me and try something off their menu you will not regret it.
CHILI’S BAR & GRILL
This may seem a little basic, but 2-4-1 house margaritas are cool in my book. I also had to try the chicken and waffles, for obvious reasons. This sweet and spicy combination was executed perfectly, and for someone who is not a picky eater but a little skeptical with flavors… this was a win for me. If you’re hitting up Chili’s to watch a game, or even happy hour…give the chicken and waffles a go.
This stand up market in Tampa has some of the best flatbread and salad I have had in a very long time. Yes, pineapple does belong on pizza. But if you’re not a fan, rest assured they have a laundry list of toppings for you to choose from. Same goes for the salad, customize your #SkinnySwap lunch selection.
BIG KAHUNA’S ISLAND BOWLS
Do you love Poke? What about Dole Whips? Those are two keys to my heart, and this spot serves both. It’s also available to order for delivery via uber eats and of course to go. I opted for some spicy tuna, edamame, wasabi peas, corn, masago, cucumber, scallions, sesame seeds and a spring mix. This healthy alternative had me so full but gave me all the necessary fuel to conquer my day. Definitely recommend!
HILLSTONE WINTER PARK
Hillstone’s prime location gives a beautiful lake backdrop. With a variety of crafted cocktails and a stacked season menu, it was genuinely hard to choose what to order. Of course I had to end my birthday dinner with some Key Lime Pie. Love the vibe and cuisine, I would highly recommend — definitely going back!
Thanks for catching up on my food adventures. If you have any suggestions, or take any of my recommendations please let me know! As always, Happy Eating!