Prato in Winter Park

I love when you find a restaurant that you can continue to dine at and the meal taste better every visit.  Prato delivers every time; from the food, service, and atmosphere. I've found a gem along Park Avenue in Winter Park.

Bryan and I have dined at dinner twice and have enjoyed lunch on the patio as well. During each visit the service was wonderful; going over the menu and answering any questions and making recommendations.  We've gone with their suggestions since so many dishes on the menu sound tasty.
Prato Winter Park
Prato has a large wraparound bar in the center of the dining room. There's a bit of a rustic charm, but stylish look about the place. I prefer to enjoy my meal on their small storefront patio; taking in the view along Park Avenue.

The Rusty Spoon

I've wanted to try The Rusty Spoon ever since I first heard about their fresh from the farm concept.  I appreciate restaurants that value local farmers and create a connection between farm to table dining.

We had stopped by The Rusty Spoon a couple of times.  Our first visit in the fall I was wowed when we walked in.  Space is lovely with a simplistic feel about it.  The pictures on the walls are beautiful and make the restaurant.  The natural clean look adds to the ambiance.
The Rusty Spoon Patio Entrance

Universal Orlando - Happy Hour

Here are a few places to check out for Happy Hour when you are at Universal Orlando.

*Lone Palm Airport

*Emeril's Orlando

*Confisco Grille

*NASCAR Sports Grille

*Emeril'sTchoup Chop

Croissant Moon Bakery & Beverly Hills Boulangerie Universal Orlando

Croissant Moon Bakery

While one usually doesn't have high expectations for theme park food, I think you may be pleasantly surprised to find you can get some tasty eats while wandering around Universal Orlando.

When looking for a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch while visiting Islands of Adventure, be sure to check out Croissant Moon Bakery. It’s located at the Port of Entry section, so it makes it an easy stop to grab something when you first come into the park.
Croissant Moon Bakery at Island's of Adventure
Croissant Moon Bakery is a favorite spot of mine when grabbing a breakfast pastry and some coffee in the morning.  I find the chocolate croissants are quite good and they are large enough to split between two.  

Croissants at Croissant Moon Bakery at Island's of Adventure
You will find a number of breakfast items available including various croissants, muffins and cereal. If you'd like to start out with a little protein they have their sandwiches ready to go in the morning as well. They also offer other baked goods if you are looking for a sweet snack late in the day.
Cookies and muffins at Croissant Moon Bakery at Island's of Adventure

Sandwiches at Croissant Moon Bakery at Island's of Adventure
There are some drink choices including various types of Lavazza coffee and your Coke brands of soda. They also have milk and juice as well.

There is indoor seating, but I prefer to eat on the patio and take in the view. The birds can be a bit pesky, but the music is nice and it's a good spot for people watching. I love seeing how happy people are when they visit a theme park.
Croissant Moon Bakery at Island's of Adventure

Beverly Hills Boulangerie

If you make your way over to Universal Studios, a similar restaurant to Croissant Moon Bakery is the BeverlyHills Boulangerie.  Located just past the main entrance and at the corner in the Hollywood section of the park, you will find this quick service restaurant is also a good spot to grab a bite for breakfast or sandwich for lunch.
Beverly Hills Boulangerie at Universal Orlando
Beverly Hills Boulangerie offers many of the same items as the Croissant Moon Bakery. I'm sure there are some small differences, but you can expect many of the same foods. You can get croissants, muffins, cookies, cakes and other baked goods.
Pies and Cakes at Beverly Hills Boulangerie at Universal Orlando

Sandwiches at Beverly Hills Boulangerie at Universal Orlando
I like to stop by here for lunch. There are a handful of choices including a veggie option. The sandwiches come with potato salad and fresh fruit for $8.99. I found that grabbing a bag of chips to go along with a sandwich was plenty of food for my husband and me.
Beverly Hills Boulangerie at Universal Orlando

Sandwich at Beverly Hills Boulangerie at Universal Orlando
The Beverly Hills Boulangerie is a nice spot in the park if you are looking for something that isn’t fried.  You could even grab a beer and sit out on the shaded patio where it’s a great location to watch the crowds, musicians, and characters go by.  

If you’re looking for an alternative to fried food, these eateries would be a decent choice. The sweets aren’t quite the healthy option, but split em’ and the guilt won’t be so bad.

Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando

The more I explore Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando the more I enjoy it. Having said that, it all depends on when I do my exploring.  If I'm there to take a stroll around in the morning or night I'm fine, but mid-day forget it.  This park out of the two Universal Theme Parks seems a bit crowded on the walkways.  There's a lot of meandering throughout the different themed islands. To get to one island you have to walk through one or two along the way.  The paths are narrow for a theme park, so crowds are bound to happen.
Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
When you first enter Islands of Adventure you will notice the enchanting music being played throughout the Port of Entry.  There are a handful of shops along the way.  You will find some fun props for photo opportunities in this exotic location.  One of my favorite things to do, when I visit Islands of Adventure, is to stop at the Croissant Moon Bakery, grab a pastry and coffee sit back to listen to the music and watch the crowds wander in.

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
As you make your way into the park and follow the path counter-clockwise you will soon find the bright colored characters and such that tout the many Dr. Seuss books.  Seuss Landing is a haven for the little ones visiting the park; while most people will use it as a walk through to get to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Dr. Seuss Land at Island's of Adventure

Dr. Seuss Land at Island's of Adventure

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
If you don't want to walk through the main hub of Seuss Landing look for the path on your left as you approach the area this will take you around back and get you closer to the Lost Continent.  The Lost Continent is an eye-catching area with Greek Gods larger than life.  This area is beautiful at night. The popular Mythos Restaurant located here along with some shops, shows, snack stands, games, henna artists and more.
Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
Once you weave your way through the Lost Continent you come upon The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is what most of the folks visiting Islands of Adventure are coming for.  When you turn the corner and you see the castle you are amazed.  This area of the park is fun to walk about.  You can just see yourself wandering around like Harry would have. While I find The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to be incredible it's also a nightmare most of the time.  I have been a number of times and there has always been a crowd.  There are times when there isn't much of a wait for the rides, but the crowds walking around this section are always full.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter entrance

View of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

View of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Now that you've made your way to the back of the park continue on your journey to Jurassic Park.   You'll see dinosaurs and hear bits of the soundtrack as you walk around. There are a couple of rides and some eateries.  If you are into dinosaurs you will be in heaven!
Jurasssic Park at Island's of Adventure
Once you leave Jurassic Park you will notice the noise level goes up a bit as you enter Toon Lagoon. Everyone enjoys watching Ripsaw Falls.  Like Seuss Lagoon this area is brightly colored and has a lot going on.  You'll find some characters, water rides, restaurants, and shops located in this cartoon inspired land.
Typhoon Lagoon at Island's of Adventure

Water Ride at Island's of Adventure

Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando
The colors continue to be vibrant as you make your way to Marvel Super Hero Island.  This is boy heaven; loud music, superheroes and the amazing Hulk coaster and Spiderman.  There's a lot of action going on in this land.
Spiderman ride at Island's of Adventure

The Hulk at Island's of Adventure
While my kids love the park my husband finds most of the rides very jerky and not worth the headache.  I'm somewhat in the middle.  I find Spiderman and Forbidden Journey to be amazing, but Hulk scared me half to death, and the other coasters gave me a headache.  I get the most out of the park by taking in the scenery, walking around and doing a little shopping and grabbing a bite to eat. While I prefer Universal Studios, Island of Adventure doesn't disappoint.
Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando

Entrance Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando

Goofy's Candy Company in Disney Springs

I have this love-hate relationship with Goofy's Candy Company. It's a fantastic confectionary treat, but it's a little pricey and I don't need all those extra calories. The flipside is that I just can't help myself, and I'm drawn into Goofy's Candy Co. every visit we take to Disney Springs.
Goofy's Candy Co. in Downtown Disney storefront
Just walking into the store is a visual delight. Everyone in your group should find something to splurge on. Take a look around look at all the Disney themed sweets as that's half the fun, and if you happen to be there during a holiday season you will find treats themed for the upcoming holiday.

Downtown Disney Marketplace

Downtown Disney is a fun shopping, dining and entertainment destination for vacationers as well as the locals.  The district is split up into three different sections; West Side, Pleasure Island and Market Place.