Where to Find a Table–Mothers Day in Orlando 2016

Where can you still get a table on Mothers Day in Orlando 2016? Here are restaurants that don’t accept reservations, or do but still expect to have plenty of seats available for walk-ins. Join me as I talk about these opportunities on Good Day Saturday, May 7 at 8:50 a.m.

Treat Mom to a hearty breakfast at the Pharmacy for Mothers Day in Orlando 2016

Treat Mom to a hearty breakfast at The Pharmacy. Photo by Leah Langley

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St Patricks Day in Orlando, in Style

Until someone proves St. Patrick was the saint of green beer, I’ll celebrate St Patricks Day in Orlando in a classy way, thank you. Good food. Maybe good drink. No drunken hordes.

Celebrate St Patricks Day in Orlando with Raglan Road's bread and butter pudding.

Celebrate St Patricks Day in Orlando with Raglan Road’s bread and butter pudding.

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Start Your Sunday with Brunch at Disney World

If Bloody Marys and eggs Benedict are your idea of a blissful mid-morning meal, head to the monorail.  Two top restaurants are now serving brunch at Disney WorldNarcoossee’s and the California Grill.

The Bloody Mary bar at California Grill is a specialty when brunch at Disney World.

This is part of the Bloody Mary bar at California Grill. I’ll share more details further down the page.

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Matsusaka Beef – Try It This Weekend

Try Matsusaka beef at Four Seasons Orlando this weekend, and only this weekend. It’s your one and only chance, for months on end.

Try Matsusaka beef prepared many ways at Four Seasons Orlando's Capa restaurant

A slice of grilled Matsusaka ribeye

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Learn to Make Pottery the FABU Way

Warm, funny and fast-talking Fabian Pesci draws a parade of regulars at Orlando-area farmers markets, where he sells ceramics with lacy patterns. Now the artist is opening his studio for two-part classes, teaching up to six fans at a time how to create their own platters and bowls. My advice? Learn to make pottery the FABU way. Did I mention the experience includes dinner?

Learn to make pottery from FABU

This is one of the dishes I made at FABU‘s pottery class. The intricate design comes from pressing lace into the clay.

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Introducing LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress

LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress is proof that hotels’ all-day restaurants needn’t be drab coffee shops. The bright and polished newcomer is sassy in look and menu.

LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress has a polished yet airy decor with lake and pool views.

LakeHouse at Hyatt Grand Cypress has a polished yet airy decor with lake and pool views.

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One Great Book: A Reunion of Ghosts

Here’s a holiday gift for yourself. Go buy A Reunion of Ghosts and start reading today.

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Book Review: Mile High and Healthy

The day I spent with Jayne McAllister about a decade ago, she picked up pâté and a baguette for dinner later that night.

Mile High and Healthy

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More Food Photos from Locale Market and FarmTable Kitchen

Social media fans went wild over my chestnut soup video from FarmTable Kitchen, and Edible Orlando was kind enough to post a round-up of my entire St. Pete experience. But that burger! The pizza! Dessert! (Quadruple !!!! for dessert. Chocolate was involved, after all.) I must share. How could I let snapshots of satisfying foods sit silently on my hard drive? And so, here are photos of more foods from St. Pete‘s Locale Market and FarmTable Kitchen.

Locale Market and FarmTable Kitchen

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Improve Your Coffee-Brewing Skills at Barista Bootcamp

Jump-start your java-brewing finesse by joining Barista Bootcamp.

These two ladies gave hands-on assistance during the Barista Bootcamp at Lickety--Split.

These two ladies gave hands-on assistance during the Barista Bootcamp at Lickety-Split.

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One Delicious Dish: Chestnut Soup at FarmTable Kitchen

What you must eat: The chestnut soup at FarmTable Kitchen.

It’s not fancy, FarmTable Kitchen. It’s a rustic-chic restaurant on the second level of the Locale Market, a bustling bi-level St. Pete, Florida, food emporium with scratch-made and specially chosen packaged foods. My entire dinner there was phenomenal, but the chestnut soup was a holy-cannoli, how-can-life-be-this-kind?, I-must-savor-every-single-bite  stand-out.

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Creative Asian Bites at Baoery Restaurant

I’m not sure how to pronounce it, Baoery. This casual modern-Asian restaurant arrived in Orlando’s Thornton Park neighborhood without explanation about its name. Let’s assume Baoery is pronounced like the Bowery, a downtown New York City neighborhood that borders its Chinatown. The spelling surely comes from boa, which are Chinese steamed buns. A pun.

Baoery's take on bao, Chinese steamed buns

Baoery’s take on bao, Chinese steamed buns. This one, the Dynamite, is a spongy white bread filled with tempura-battered shrimp, scallops, crab, tobiko (flying fish roe), and spicy mayonnaise.

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Wholly Holiday! The Whole Foods Menu

My Thanksgiving hostess brings in a complete meal, from appetizer to pies, from Boston Market. Don’t judge. Plenty of people open their homes for celebration but don’t want to cook. Whole Foods offers whole meals, and a la carte dishes, for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.

Whole Foods offers turkey 10 ways, a mix and match of raw, organic, brined, roasted, breast-only and kosher.

Whole Foods offers turkey 10 ways, a mix and match of raw, organic, brined, roasted, breast-only and kosher.

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One Fab Gadget: Immersion Blender

When I used this ridiculous monstrosity to purée soup on Monday night, then again to blend garlic and olive oil on Tuesday night, I realized I have to share. I just have to let readers know how much time and aggravation this intimidating-looking combo saves me. It seems I’ve fallen in love with my immersion blender.

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A New and Improved Tabla Indian Restaurant

I was never a huge fan of Tabla, an Indian restaurant, and was wary to return when it added Chinese and Thai dishes along with a spiffier decor. The owner invited me back for a look-see, and I’m a fan now. Several of the dishes are memorable.

The new Tabla decor is elegant, and modern non-Indian music plays. I took this photo from the website.

The new Tabla decor is elegant, and modern non-Indian music plays. I took this photo from the website.

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One Delicious Dish: Black Bean Burger at The Whiskey

Vegetarians, take heed. The Whiskey makes one heckuva black bean burger.

The Whiskey

The Garden Veggie (the black bean burger)

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Where to Eat in Newport Beach

We’ve got good Cuban food here in Orlando, and fine Puerto Rican fare, but Mexican? Nada muy bueno. So upon landing in Newport Beach, California, we set out to find tacos. If you like California-Mex cuisine, here’s where to eat in Newport Beach.

Where to Eat in Newport Beach

Bear Flag Fish Co.: Panko-grilled fish taco with Tommy sauce, pico de gallo, and cabbage

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What to Eat in Laguna Beach

The challenge? 48 hours to eat our way through Laguna Beach, California. Such choices! Terrific chefs, local produce, proximity to Mexico, and diners open to bold flavors converge into oh-my-heavens terrific plates of food. Here is a starter list of what to eat in Laguna Beach.

Chili Verde with the World’s Best Egg

Where to eat in Laguna Beach

Sapphire Laguna: Braised pork chili verde with fried eggs, avocado, queso fresco, roasted tomatillos, and corn tortillas

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What Makes a Hotel Worth $795 a night?

Set to swoosh across the country for a free two-night stay at Montage Laguna Beach, I inquired about rates. Why not splurge for a couple of extra days at this luxury resort, right? At $795 I had to decline, yet I got to experience the resort’s ultra-pampering touches during my 48-hour adventure.

View of the main pool, event lawns and beach from the elevated lobby picture window. What Makes a Hotel Worth $795 a night?

View of the main pool, event lawns, and beach from the elevated lobby picture window. My kids say the stunning mosaic reminds them of the Mario Sunshine logo. In other words, this indulgent destination would have been wasted on them.

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One Delicious Drink: the Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s Frozen Chew-tini

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival enters its 20th years with a fresh new batch of Marketplace foods and drinks — as always, an enticing mix of flavors. Today I’d like to introduce you to my newest cocktail crush, the Frozen Chew-tini.

Frozen Chew-tini

Frozen Chew-tini

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The Upside of an Empty Nest, Part 2

Scrubbing schmutz off the counter on yet another July afternoon, I hollered to my sons, “You people are pigs! You are disgusting! You are so dirty!” And then, humbly, “And I’ll miss you so much when you’re gone in two months, despite the mess.” Here I show you a benefit of having an empty nest. (I had to add that sentence for @*$%# SEO purposes.)

empty nest

The den/family room on a typical summer evening — although, admittedly, this geeks-lined-up-in-a-row bit only happened once. Usually the guys were on the sofa blasting movies. See the Gatorade? It’s not allowed in there. Colored beverages are banned from that room. In theory.

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The Upside of an Empty Nest, Part 1

I miss my kids, but not the junk food. Our pantry is now nearly empty of highly processed crap (although I did return that cereal to the shelf upon discovering the box unopened. The granola-shunning yunguns will eat the sugary oats in December.) Here’s an upside of the empty nest.

Before:

IMG_3969

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A Wise Guide to Magical Dining Month Orlando

Though it’s not technically September yet, Magical Dining Month Orlando is underway. Get out of the house now! Go! Eat! Don’t wait! Sponsored by Visit OrlandoMagical Dining Month Orlando involves 70+ restaurants–many of them terrific–serving three-course dinners for $33.

Magical Dining Month Orlando Chorizo-spiced duck carpaccio with friseé, piquillo vinaigrette, cinnamon pepitas, and and house-pickled onion. <a href="http://txokoskitchen.com/" target="_blank">Txokos</a>

Chorizo-spiced duck carpaccio with friseé, piquillo vinaigrette, cinnamon pepitas, and and house-pickled onion. Txokos

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Try It: Two Chefs Seafood

I knew Bernard Carmouche was one of the two culinarians behind Two Chefs Seafood. He’d made great meals at Emeril’s Orlando, in my experience, so I trotted over recently to see what he’s doing now that he’s untethered from celebity chef Emeril Lagasse.

Sea scallops with parsnip puree and porcini coulis at Two Chefs Seafood

Sea scallops with parsnip puree and porcini coulis

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