Five Spots to Enjoy Running in Orlando

Orlando has a number of parks and trails where one can keep active.  I have five favorites that are close to me.  *Click for more info.
*Blanchard Park
Blanchard Park in Orlando

Tip-The views of the Little Econ River are quite nice. Watch out for gators in the spring.

Rocket Fizz Winter Park

If you enjoy candy or soda you are in for a treat. Rocket Fizz is an overload of sugar delights. While I prefer chocolates to candy and beer to soda I can't help stopping in when I'm wandering along Park Avenue.
Rocket Fizz Winter Park

This candy store is a true visual delight. I suggest going slow as you explore the store. There are so many choices that you may miss some very cool finds. There are some oldies, but goodies in here along with some unique treats as well. The items are priced for their uniqueness, but you're bound to find something that will leave you happy that doesn't have to cost a lot.

Fall Fun on the Cheap at Walt Disney World

Halloween is next week, so this is your last weekend to get your seasonal fix. While we can't feel the change of seasons in the air and we're lacking apple orchards there are some fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy fall in Orlando.

One of our family favorites is to head to Walt Disney World.  Sure you can enjoy all the fall decorations on Main Street, but there are cheaper ways to get into the holiday spirit while visiting Walt Disney World.
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in the Fall

Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie

I love eating and drinking my way around World Showcase over at Epcot. I enjoy the sights and sounds of each county, I always feel that I have magically been transported to that country.  

One of my favorite countries to wander about is France. It's beautiful with the fountain and the French music playing. While I've enjoyed dining at all of the eateries here in the French Pavilion, my favorite is the Boulangerie Patisserie located in Les Halles.
 Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie
Wander past the seating area and boutique, there you will find cases filled with French goodies. On our recent visits, we stopped for lunch with our kids. These picky teens had no problem finding sandwiches to enjoy.
 Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie

 Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie sandwiches

 Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie

 Desserts at Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie

We went with a couple of cold sandwiches served on a demi baguette. Since we were in France I had to get a glass of Chardonnay to enjoy with my lunch.

We also got a Chocolate Cream Éclair for dessert; while it was tasty it did not wow me. That's all right, there are plenty of other treats to choose from.
 Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie sandwich
Jambon Beuree
Our next visit was for a light bite. We had stopped in Germany where we enjoyed a pretzel and some beer, so now we wanted some cheese and wine. We through in a baguette and had a nice meal all for about $20. I enjoyed the cheese offerings and together it all tasted wonderful. Sitting in the courtyard may have had an impact as well!
 Cheese Plate & Baguette Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie
Baguette & Fromages
My favorite time to enjoy eating at the Boulangerie Patisserie is early in the morning when Epcot first opens. While World Showcase doesn't open until 11 am you can come over to France and get a pastry and coffee before the rest of the park opens.

I enjoy it because it is so peaceful in the morning. Plus starting out your day with a croissant and coffee in France is wonderful.

I enjoyed my Chocolate Croissant very much; thought the coffee wasn't as great as I'd hope.

Whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner I'm sure you will find the food at Boulangerie Patisserie as wonderful as it looks. If the weather is nice, enjoy your meal outside where you can feel as if you are enjoying a meal in a Parisian neighborhood.

*November 2013 visit
 Coffee & Croissant at Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie
Coffee & Chocolate Croissant
*June 2014

 French Desserts at Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie

Cheese, baguette & wine at Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie
Imported Cheese Plate ~ Baguette ~ Bordeaux

Bem Bom Food Truck

I will never forget how tasty my first meal from Bem Bom was. Bryan and I were at Zombietoberfest 2012 and Bem Bom was one of the food trucks serving up some local food truck fare.  I enjoy getting food from the trucks, but I prefer to do it in a setting where I can find a place to sit and enjoy a craft beer with my meal. Events that combine the two are a perfect way for me to come out and see what's on the menu.
Bem Bom Food Truck
Bem Bom Food Truck

For our first visit, we got two different types of tacos. Both were amazing with the way the meats and the toppings came together. I've had issues with good food being covered up with bad garnishments, but this wasn't the case. Everything tasted fresh and came together with full flavor. This was some of the best food I had enjoyed from a food truck. A nice bonus that night was being able to enjoy the food inside Redlight Red Light.



Fish Tacos from Bem Bom Food Truck
Mango Fish

Our next visit with Bem Bom was over in the Milk District during a Tasty Tuesdays. We enjoyed the Carnitas Taco so much the first visit that we got another order. We got a side of Nachos as well. The Nachos were a special that day. They were good too, but the sauce had a bit of a kick to it; stepping it up a notch from what I'm used to. I like it, it was just something I wasn't expecting.
Nachos at Bem Bom Food Truck in Orlando
Nachos
This last visit to Bem Bom brought us back to Audubon Park for Zombietoberfest 2013. This time, Bryan went with the Piri-Piri Chicken Prego. This sandwich was delicious with a nice zip to it; the heat was there, but it wasn't overwhelming. The garnish was fresh and really made the sandwich a great dish. It was topped off with a refreshing Mexican Coke.
Piri-Piri Chicken Prego  Bom Food Truck in Orlando
Piri-Piri Chicken Prego
If you're looking for some great food truck eats check out Bem Bom's schedule on his website. They have a nice events calendar so you know where and when you can find them in Central Florida.  

I look forward to stopping by the truck again when it's their turn at the next Tasty Tuesdays.
Bem Bom Food Truck tacos
Tacos from Bem Bom Food Truck


Jake's Beer Festival at Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Our Lady Crafters had a great time at Jake's Inaugural Beer Festival held over at Loews Royal Pacific Resort this past weekend. The festival was an extension from the monthly craft beer dinners that take place at Jake's American Bar located in the resort.
Jake's Beer Festival Loew's Royal Pacific Resort Universal Orlando

The festival took place outside on the beautiful grounds where the weekly Wantilan Luau takes place at the resort. There were food and beverage stations scattered about, allowing a nice flow for the guests. When I first got there I made my rounds just to take in all that was offered.

Hawkers Asian Street Fare

Mills 50 is an eclectic neighborhood in Orlando; it's a fun area to do a little exploring and check out the local shops and eateries. Hawkers is one of the spots I enjoy visiting when I'm in the neighborhood.  Hawkers Asian Street Fare is somewhat new to the restaurant scene. They opened their doors shortly after we moved to town in the spring of 2011.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
While there is street parking on Mills they also have a lot as well. I like the look and feel of the restaurant. The outside is Asian and the inside is a bit industrial with the shiny metallic walls. Along with indoor dining, there is a nice patio on the side.

Il Pescatore Orlando

Our family had dinner at Il Pescatore last fall and we really enjoyed ourselves. The food was delicious and the atmosphere reminded us of being back in Philly; it had that Northeast charm about it. For how much we enjoyed it, I can't believe it took us so long to get back and enjoy another meal here.
Il Pescatore Restaurant in Orlando
This time, around it was just Bryan and me on a date, so to say. We were in the area and got to Il Pescatore a bit early for a Saturday night. While it was around 5 pm there were a number of folks enjoying their meal and the staff was setting up for two large groups.

I'm not sure how long the restaurant has been here since I've only lived in Orlando a couple of years, but you get a feeling that it has been around for some time. It has that lived in local look about the place that makes it a bit charming. I got a sense that a number of the customers that evening are regulars; I love places like that.

We didn't have the kids, this time, to help us eat a bunch of food.  Last time I ordered the Pollo Al Parmigiana and loved it, so I knew this time around I had to get it again. We got pizza and a Caesar Salad last visit and enjoyed those as well.  

The entrées are all served with a dinner salad, garlic bread and a side of pasta marinara. That is a lot of food for the two of us, so instead of ordering another entrée, we got antipasti of Mozzarella Fritta.
Mozzarella Fritta  Il Pescatore Orlando
Mozzarella Fritta
The Mozzarella Fritta was delicious; I enjoyed the breading and the sauce was perfect. The salad was your average dinner salad, it was tasty and I enjoyed the ranch dressing. The garlic bread is good and they gave us another loaf once we finished our first.
Dinner Salad and garlic bread at  Il Pescatore Orlando
Dinner Salad & Garlic Bread
I enjoyed the Pollo Al Parmigiana again. I love the homemade marinara sauce it's simple yet flavorful. I do hope the next visit to branch out a bit and try a Pasta Entrée.
 Pollo Al Parmigiana
 Pollo Al Parmigiana
Il Pescatore is a great local Italian eatery. I think you can enjoy it best when you come with a group so you can sample many entrées. I do wish the dishes had the option of family style. My only complaint is the $2 charge for sharing items, as I think when you come to a place like this you want to share your food.  

Il Pescatore is a popular place among locals; good eats in a simple setting with friendly service is what keeps them coming back.
 Il Pescatore Orlando