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Tasty Tuesday- Brunch Basics

Last Tuesday I dished on one of my favorite things…tacos! This week, it’s time to discuss another favorite of mine…BRUNCH! After being in Orlando for 14 months now, I feel confident that I’ve done enough research on the best brunch spots, and now it’s time to share them. One of my criteria for a great brunch spot is that they must have a bottomless mimosa option or really cheap, single mimosas. Because let’s be honest, if you’re a restaurant and the only option is a premixed $15 mimosa (Yes, I did experience this in real life), you will never make it in the brunch business. In addition to offering  a great mimosa, the place also needs to have a unique menu…more than just your typical brunch options.

 

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Rocking my official Brunch Shirt down by Lake Eola. Thank you Target! 🙂

I’d like to start with some “Honorable Mentions” before I get to my top 3 picks. All of these places are great, but to me, they just didn’t have that “wow” factor that I’m looking for during my brunch experience.

Shout out to the following places for ALMOST making the top 3:

Dexter’s in Thorton Park- Get there early, make reservations if you can. Outdoor seating is great for people watching. Order the double mimosa since you will be there for a while. 🙂

KASA in Downtown Orlando- This place gets a 10 out of 10 for location. It’s right in the heart of downtown Orlando, making it a perfect spot to start your Sunday Funday and frolic around town on a nice, sunny afternoon. Get the bottomless buffet which includes mimosas. Sometimes they have fun themed brunches where they change up the food and drink items.

Swine and Sons in Winter Park- I don’t even know if this place fits in the brunch category, but they open at 9am and I considered my visit there to be a brunch type meal. Everything they serve is GREAT and you can even buy stuff to take home with you…think mason jars of pimento cheese and other delicious things.

 

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My Brunch Bestie since 2005! <3

And now…drum roll please….for Wardlando’s Top 3 Brunch Picks! 

  1. Santiago’s Bodega

Let me just start my saying that this place serves prime rib, crab legs, bottomless mimosas and sangria on their bottomless buffet. It is a tad on the pricey side, but you will NOT regret the experience. In fact, my husband didn’t eat dinner the night before we went just to make extra room for it. HA! If you go, you will need reservations…like months in advance. You also have a time limit on how long you can be there so don’t waste a moment debating on whether you want a mimosa or sangria- just get both.

 

2. Txokos

This place is everything you could ask for in a perfect brunch spot- live music, great food, $2 mimosas, and it has the added bonus of being connected to East End Market (which deserves a separate blog post on how awesome it is). When my husband and I first discovered Txokos, we had only been living in Orlando a few months. According to my GPS, it was only 1.2 miles from where we lived, so we decided to walk it and burn off some of the calories that we were going to consume. While the walk wasn’t terrible, I stick to biking to/from now on. 🙂 I’m pretty sure you won’t get a better mimosa for $2 and everything on their menu is unique and delicious. You should probably go ahead and go there this weekend if you don’t have plans yet.

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This is my happy place. 🙂

3. Osprey Tavern

I honestly don’t want to know how much of my monthly income has gone to this place since they opened in March of 2015. I remember when we first moved into our apartment we saw this place under construction and got so excited that it was less than a 2 minute walk from our front door. And even  when it was nothing more than dust and boxes inside, it looked like it was going to be an awesome place when it finally opened. And it certainly is. When they initially opened we were disappointed that they weren’t serving brunch right away, but fast forward to fall 2015 and our wish was granted! Fast forward again to present day and they do Saturday AND Sunday brunch. (Insert praise hands emoji here). All you really need to know about their brunch is: bottomless mimosas, oysters, and a pastry cart that comes around with every delicious bakery item you could ever imagine. Do yourself a favor and order 1 of each so you don’t have FOMO if you pick the wrong one.

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The pastry cart at Osprey Tavern!

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The most beautiful (delicious) salmon and toast from Osprey Tavern.

While these are my 3 favorite brunch picks in Orlando so far…I’ve got my eye on some places that I still need to try because I have heard GREAT things! Next up on my list of need to try brunch spots are:

The Pharmacy

Boca in Winter Park

Maxine’s on Shine

 

Tasty Tuesday- Taco Edition

If you know me at all, you know I love Mexican food and everything that comes with it. I appreciate it all, from the chips and guac, fajitas, quesadillas, the “healthy” taco salad in the delicious hard shell, and of course, tacos. I love them so much so that my husband and I got each other these for Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says I love you like pizza and taco themed shoes right?

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While I’d like to think our love for each other is stronger than anything, our love for delicious food is pretty close behind. So on this Tuesday evening, I dedicate this post to the top 3 places in Orlando that we go to for tacos…and then some. You’re welcome. 🙂

1. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

This place is dangerously close to our apartment…however the upside is that we can bike there to off set some of the calories that we consume. At first glance it’s easy to think that this place is just a barbecue joint, but I promise you it’s so much more. In fact, in the half dozen times that I’ve eaten there, I’ve ONLY gotten the tacos…because they are that good.

Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa - Orlando, FL, United States

Photo cred courtesy of a Yelper because I was always too hungry to wait and take a picture. 🙂

Wardlando’s Pick: The Chicken Al Pastor Taco and the Shrimp and Sausage Taco. Don’t forget to add a side of Yuca fries and local craft beer! Click here to drool.

2. Black Rooster Taqueria

This place is ALSO dangerously close to our apartment and directly across the street from Pig Floyd’s. So yes, that means you can go to both places and have a taste test competition. 🙂 The Black Rooster Taqueria caught my eye on Instagram as they tracked the progress of their construction prior to opening. Needless to say as soon as I saw they were open a few months ago, we made a visit. The place itself is pretty small, but the ambiance and vibe is really laid back and mellow, with some cool personal touches added in. Similar to Pig Floyd’s you order your food at the counter and then find a seat (if they aren’t all taken) to wait for your food.

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The view from the counter where you order your food.

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Yes, this post is about the tacos but this guac was my favorite part of the meal. 🙂

Wardlando’s Pick: Get the fresh guac, habanero salsa and any one of the 5 tacos on their menu.

3. Cocina 214

My husband and I stumbled upon Cocina 214 after an afternoon of wandering down Park Ave. in Winter Park. This place is  hidden back a little bit on a side street so you might miss it if you don’t know it’s there.They have a great outdoor patio space that is perfect to dine in pretty much year round. Again, I know this post is about tacos, and while the tacos are good…this place serves the BEST margarita I have ever had, in my life. (And I’ve had quite a few). I don’t know how they make this margarita, but it’s has the perfect balance of tart/sour, smooth frozen texture, and they are strong enough that you’ll feel fantastic after just one.

It doesn’t get much better than sitting on this patio drinking a 214 Margarita.

Wardlando’s pick: The bowl of queso, the brisket tacos, and the 214 margarita.

Until next time, adios amigos!

 

Monday, you’re like really pretty.

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Driving home from work tonight I witnessed this GORGEOUS sunset when I was stopped at a red light. In that moment I stopped myself from having a personal pity party about how tired I am, how long this week is going to be, and I just gave thanks that I could witness such a beautiful sight.

Seeing a sunset always makes me think of my mom, because I know how much she loves the sun and being outside. I immediately texted the picture to her because I knew that she, over anyone else, would truly appreciate that moment that I captured. She texted me back to tell me how beautiful she thought it was, just like I knew she would.

And as I sit and type these words, this is where it all comes together. I was meant to see that sunset, meant to text it to my mom, and it was meant for her to text me back and call me out of my lack of blogging since February 12th. (Thanks mom!) 🙂

I will admit that keeping up with this blog has been harder than I thought. When I came up with the idea, I had so many things I wanted to write about, but now I find myself thinking that no one really cares if I write them or not, do they? But then I think,  I should want to do it for myself, regardless of if anyone reads these words but me, and my loving mom. And so I’ll press on, and try to write more often.

I’ll start this Monday off  with a few things that I’m EXCITED about this week! Recently, I’ve found that if I focus on all of the good things I have to look forward to, time seems to go by faster, leaving less time for negative thoughts and more time for positive ones.

1. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK!! I’ll be the big 2-9 on Wednesday and I plan to make my last year in my twenties the BEST year of my twenties.

2. My mom and dad will be here in Orlando this weekend! How blessed am I that my parents fly down all the time to see me even though I’m 14 hours away?

3. While my mom is here for her work conference all next week, I get to stay with her here!

I’ll end this post with another gorgeous sunset picture that I took in my neighborhood a few months ago. One of my favorite things about Florida has got to be the sunsets. Doesn’t get much better than this. <3

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