Black Bean Deli ~ A Cuban Café in Orlando

I was excited when I heard that Black Bean Deli would be opening up another location on Colonial Drive. I had heard great things about their Winter Park location, but I hadn't had a chance to visit that spot since we moved here. With a location closer to me I had a better opportunity to see what all the fuss is about.
Local Eats in Orlando ~ Black Bean Deli
Both of my visits were with groups of friends. Which is interesting considering the restaurant isn't very big, but both times we were accommodated for. While the space inside is a bit small there is a large covered patio with plenty of tables.  

Peterbrooke Chocolatier Winter Park

Last week I was invited to a Valentine's Day Preview Party at Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Winter Park. The owners Jami and Kevin Wray graciously welcomed some food bloggers into the store to share with us some of their chocolate creations they have available for Valentine's Day.

I walked in and the first thing I spotted were these amazing Chocolate Covered Strawberries! These beauties are big and delicious.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries Peterbrooke Chocolatier Winter Park
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Our group enjoyed tasting many favorites that the store offers not only for Valentine's Day but also year round. One of my favorite treats they have at Peterbrooke and one of their top sellers is the Chocolate Covered Popcorn. You can get this in both milk and dark chocolate but call ahead for dark chocolate since it's not always available.

Weekly Explorations in Orlando with Local Eats, Parks, Events, Walt Disney World and More

I was out and about this week. I had a great time at the Sandwich Eat Up at Black Bean Deli hosted by Deli Fresh Threads. He hosts these meet ups once a month as a way to try local sandwich spots and gather with social media friends in real life. If you're looking to enjoy some tasty local eats with some fun company I would suggest you join us.
Cerveza at Black Bean Deli in Orlando

The Thirsty Topher Beer and Wine Bar

I was looking for a local bar where our Lady Crafters could meet up for some craft beer and camaraderie.  I had reached out to a couple of places in town and it was nice to hear back from Jason at the Thirsty Topher.  He responded that they'd be more than happy to host the Ladies.

We were all excited to check out this new bar located in Ivanhoe Village.  Word was it's a good local spot to enjoy a beer.
Entrance to The Thirsty Topher
I love how The Thirsty Topher is a bit hidden off the main streets; it's a bit tucked in the neighborhood. Our group of eighteen ladies came rolling in shortly after five and made ourselves at right at home. The bar isn't that big, but with the open garage door it adds some nice outdoor seating and opens up the venue a bit. The night we were there the temps were a bit nippy, but the outdoor heaters kept us all warm.

Day Trip to Melbourne

Getting to downtown Melbourne from downtown Orlando takes a little over an hour. There are many gems found in this Space Coast town that make it nice for a day trip.

*Start your day at the Sebastian Inlet State Park. You'll find many activities to choose from including; birding, surfing, kayaking and nature trails. Check out the events page and Ranger Programs to see what is happening during your visit.

*Once you've enjoyed spending time in nature head up to Downtown Melbourne. This charming main street has an array of shops and restaurants. If you are there on the weekend be sure to check out the year-round Farmer's Market that takes place on Saturdays from 10am-3pm and Sundays 11am-4pm

*Grab some lunch at The Burger Place. This local eatery is serving up some tasty eats. Save room for a shake!
Milkshake at the Burger Place

*After Getting fueled up and enjoying strolling around Main Street head over to Florida Institute of Technology and enjoy exploring their 15-acre Botanical Garden.

*As you make your way back to Orlando head up 1 and stop by Intracoastal Brewing Company for some Florida Craft Beer.  

*If you continue up 1 you can enjoy some more Florida craft beer at Charlie & Jake's Brewery Grille. This is a nice stop to enjoy some Florida Craft Beer and grab some dinner before heading home.
Beer Flight at Charlie & Jake's Brewery Grille Melbourne Florida

This day trip can be enjoyed all year long. Be sure to check out Melbourne's Calendar of Events.  There are lots of fun activities taking place each month.

What are some spots you enjoy in Melbourne?

The Burger Place in Melbourne

Our family was on our way down to Vero Beach for the Christmas holiday. We thought we'd take a detour through Melbourne and grab some lunch. This was our first time in downtown Melbourne and I had no idea they had such a charming main street.

I had done a little researching and found our The Burger Place was a restaurant worth checking out for lunch.  
The Burger Place

Dining With Teens at Walt Disney World

Our first family visit to Walt Disney World was in August of 2000. It was such a magical visit! I was three months pregnant with our youngest, and my other two were both under five.  We enjoyed visiting Walt Disney World every year for family vacations and now we are enjoying it as Florida residents. Our family has eaten at many of the restaurants on property and while the days of princess meals are just a memory, we have found other places great for teens to enjoy dining at Disney.

Here are five restaurants we enjoy grabbing a bite as a family when while visiting Walt Disney World.

Beaches & Cream
Tip~Great place to celebrate a teen birthday.

Via Napoli in Epcot

Our family headed for Epcot to enjoy Holidays Around the World. We were there to get into the Christmas spirit. Though before we could do some exploring the first thing we needed to figure out was where to eat. Dining at Walt Disney World can be quite expensive, and since this wasn't for a special occasion we were looking for something of good value.

While we've dined at the majority of restaurants in Epcot, Via Napoli was one of the few places we had never enjoyed a meal at.

I love the openness of the restaurant,t and as soon as you walk in you see the unique pizza ovens.
Via Napoli in the Italy Showcase at Epcot

Via Napoli
I had heard amazing things about the pizza being served here and we decided that while we've been enjoying dining at Tutto Gusto it was time to try some pizza and see for ourselves.

Garden View Tea Room

The Grand Floridian is one of my favorite Walt Disney World resorts. We've enjoyed a couple of stays at this resort and we've dined at the resort many times; one of my favorite things to enjoy at Walt Disney World is afternoon tea in the Garden View Tea Room located off the resort lobby.

I like to save the tea for special occasions. My birthday was coming up and I made a reservation for my family, but I soon realized I'd have more fun with some friends.  

Our tea took place the Sunday before Christmas when the Grand Floridian is decked out in its holiday finest. The seasonal decorations made it quite a lovely atmosphere for my holiday birthday.
Christmas Tree at the Grand Floridian
This was my first visit to the Garden View Tea Room was there was no al la carte menu. I'm not sure if this is standard now or if they were only doing this during the busy holiday season?

Exploring St. Augustine

Bryan and I headed up to St. Augustine with some friends for a nice day trip.  Such a beautiful city worthy of exploring.

Fountain at Flagler College St. Augustine