Out and About: Taste! Central Florida Offers Great Food and Drink for a Local Cause

Taste! Central Florida Offers Great Food and Drink for a Local Cause

This weekend the annual Taste! Central Florida took place, and it was an evening of great food and drink which raised funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

The numbers have yet to come in, but it’s safe to say the event raised a lot of money that will stay in Central Florida to help those in need.

Since I can’t report on the numbers, I’m going to list my choices for favorites at the event. Keep in mind I have food allergies so I couldn’t try everything. But of the dishes I tried, here’s my most memorable:

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Out and About: Sampling the New Menu at Highball and Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando

Sampling the New Menu at Highball and Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando

CSO was recently invited out to Highball and Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando to sample the new menu created by recently appointed chef de cuisine Scott Pizzo.

Chef Pizzo, formerly of Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder, has created some flavorful dishes that put a spin on the modern-Southern cuisine of the restaurant..

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Out and About: Margaritaville Resort Orlando Breaks Ground

Margaritaville Resort Orlando Breaks Ground

It’s official, Margaritaville Resort Orlando has broken ground on it’s location in Kissimmee, and CSO was there to cover it.

Margaritaville executives, project heads, and Osceola County officials were on hand to heft the golden-tipped shovels and give a toss of dirt on the site where the 187-room hotel will be located.

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Out and About: Duck Donuts Now Serving Up Made to Order Deliciousness in Kissimmee

Duck Donuts Serving Up Made to Order Deliciousness in Kissimmee

We heard about a new made-to-order donut shop called Duck Donuts opening in The Crosslands Shopping area in Kissimmee and decided to check it out. Based on our friends pictures, they looked amazing.

We found it, even though it had no sign yet above the door. It’s that new. We were greeted at the door and the process was explained to us as we had not been to a Duck Donuts before.

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Out and About: Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza in Cape Canaveral

Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza in Cape Canaveral

Recently, we were in Cape Canaveral, Florida and decided to try Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza. Friends have mentioned this restaurant to us, and it did not disappoint us.

Their menu had a good variety listed and they also had a few off menu options that looked and sounded amazing. One dish looked especially yummy from the pictures on the iPad. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of one pasta dish. And, honestly, I couldn’t spell it even if I did remember it. I do know that it was amazing. The linguini was cooked perfectly al dente, the clams, shrimp and crab were not over cooked, and the sauce was light while having plenty of it made with butter, garlic, clam sauce.

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Out and About: 139th Silver Spurs Rodeo is Fun for the Whole Family

139th Silver Spurs Rodeo is Fun for the Whole Family - photo by Kirk Garreans

The 139th Silver Spurs Rodeo was in town last weekend, and this is always a family-friendly fun event. We attended the Friday, June 2nd show. There was supposed to be a big Schools Out Bash prior to the rodeo, however, the rain and storms made that an impossibility. We need the rain, so it’s ok.

The evening began with the Junior bull riding. These kids are brave and have a great future ahead of them in rodeo.

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Out and About: Nine Spices Serves Up Delicious Hotpot Near Universal Orlando

Nine Spices Serves Up Delicious Hotpot Near Universal Orlando

Prior to arriving at Nine Spices Hotpot, the last time I’d eaten a hotpot meal was when I was 8. Once seated at my table, it became apparent hotpot had evolved quite a bit in the last few decades.

Our table featured an induction burner for each seating…and then I noticed the conveyor belt about eye level behind my head with a never-ending parade of food.

Our server was very patient and explained how their hotpot service worked.

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Out and About: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Hosts Johnnie Walker TasteMaker Dinner

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Hosts Johnnie Walker TasteMaker Dinner

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is partnering with leading beverage companies to produce a series of events called the TasteMaker Dinners, and I was recently invited to enjoy an evening filled with great food paired with Johnnie Walker Whisky.

Whisky and steak seems a no-brainer, but the chefs at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse elevated the meal with some out of the box dishes.

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Out and About: Rock & Brews Orlando Now Open Serving Up Tasty Menu Near OIA

Rock & Brews Orlando Now Open Serving Up Tasty Menu Near OIA

Rock & Brews, owned by KISS frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, has opened its second Central Florida location this week, and we went to check it out.

It’s located in the new Lee Vista Promenade development, on Semoran Blvd, just north of Orlando International AIrport.

We got to sample several dishes at a media event, and they were all full of flavor and cooked fresh to order.

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Out and About: Create Your Nature Offers Healthy Delicious Food in Winter Park #getyourbowlon

Create Your Nature Offers Healthy Delicious Food in Winter Park

If you’re looking for a a quick, healthy alternative to your average breakfast or lunch spot in Winter Park, then you’ll want to check out Create Your Nature.

Dan and Kim Dill opened the eatery in 2016, out of a desire to provide a healthy lifestyle for their family, including their two daughters. They discovered, and fell in love with, the acai bowl concept while on vacation.

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Out and About: A Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando

Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando - mock up

The popular Ace Cafe is expanding their brand and has chosen Orlando as the first North American location. We got a hard hat tour of the work-in-progress renovations of the downtown location last week, and it was impressive.

Ace Cafe Orlando is located on a three-acre block at the corner of W. Livingston St. and Garland Ave. (across from the Lynx station). It was originally the Harry P. Leu Building, and in the years since, has been home to The Edge and 8 Seconds night clubs, among others.

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Out and About: Let’s Move for a Better World with YMCA and Stuff the Orlando Magic Mascot

Let's Move for a Better World with YMCA and Stuff the Orlando Magic Mascot -  photo by Anna-Marie Walsh

From March 13 thru March 31, both members and non-members were invited to use the cardio equipment at the Downtown Orlando Central Florida YMCA for free, in order to help with the fitness challenge “Let’s Move for a Better World.”

This worldwide challenge included almost 800 fitness facilities across the globe, with over 140,000 people donating their moves to a great cause. The top facility in each country with the most donated moves, will win the opportunity to donate new state-of-the-art equipment from Technogym to a local school or health facility.

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Out and About: Millenia 106 offer New American Classics Loaded with Flavor

Millenia 106 offer New American Classics Loaded with Flavor

You’ll find Millenia 106 next to The Mall at Millenia, in a storefront facing the intersection of Millenia Blvd and Conroy Rd, but trust me, this is not mall food.

I was invited to check out the revamped menu, which comes courtesy of Chef Bruno Fonseca, who recently took over operations. It’s hard to judge the restaurant from the outside, but you’ll definitely want to venture inside for the delicious food and drink.

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Out and About: Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs Brings Flavortown to Orlando

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood has been an iconic restaurant on Disney property since it opened, but many wondered if the recent remodel and revamp would change the great food and fun atmosphere.

It did…and for the better, in my opinion.

The finished version of the Planet Hollywood Observatory features three floors of seating inside, with a new outside screened terrace that offers a great view of Disney Springs.

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