This past weekend was the 8th annual Downtown Orlando Food and Wine Festival, complete with awesome food, wine and music. This festival is special because you get to taste many of Orlando's finest local cuisine and listen to some great live music at the same time. As we walked downtown right near beautiful Lake Eola in the heart of the city, the most amazing smells were right ahead of us. It was a great experience for locals and visitors alike. The best part was trying many different foods in one central place. One reason I loved going was there are so many restaurants I have never tried before. For me, it's simple I get to sample a restaurant's cuisine at the festival and if I like the food it's a new place to enjoy for lunch or dinner.
When you arrive at the festival, you buy tickets to purchase each food of your choice, about 2 or 3 tickets per food item. With so many choices, your tickets will go fast. Here's a quick low down -- cuisine ranging from Sushi to Burgers to Italian to New Orleans, Beer Dip, Chinese and lots of seafood too. If your a visitor this would be a great way to check the local scene because, there's lots of info provided by each establishment and menus are there for you to take with you. I also like the relaxing atmosphere of just walking down the street with a glass of wine and listening to some great music. The musical acts play the entire time of the festival and there is a spot for you to relax on the lawn in front of the stage. I'm going to share with you the foods and places we tried but feel free to check them all out when you are in Orlando! Lots of pictures below....
2015 Foodie Award: Marlow’s Tavern Shrimp & Grits
2015 Sweet Treat Award: Primo at JW Marriott Orlando Cannoli Gelato Cone
2015 Best of Show:Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott (winner 2013-2015)
Over 30 of Orlando's finest restaurants are represented and here are a few of my favorites.
Marlow's Tavern - One of my favorites, the food is always fresh and delicious. Shrimp and Grits - It was my favorite, love the taste of the shrimp mixed with the cheesy grits. The real delight was the marinated beef tenderloin, so tender and delicious a real melt in your mouth dish.
Next stop was the Sushi House and their Volcano roll was excellent. A California roll with a very spicy crab salad, yum!!
Cooper's Hawk - We enjoyed a very delicious and spicy Jambalaya. This was awesome and had a lot of of flavor and lots of shrimp too.
The Pub - Had some amazing (highly recommend) beer cheese with hot pretzels to dip into the cheese.
The cheese definitely had a beer taste and was savory and so delicious. An awesome snack.
The loaded Gouda Mac & Cheese - had so much gooey creamy cheese and the taste was amazing, gouda is the perfect melted cheese for the mac.
Jeremiah's Italian Ice - They had many of you favorite flavors and we choose - Sea Salt Caramel - very sweet and refreshing.
Dancing Pigs Deli - Had the most interesting hot dogs. The Farm Dog was indeed the best with bacon, cheddar, radishes, onion relish and mustard - At first I wasn't sure about the combo but after, tasting - the combo totally worked, yum. Another interesting combo included The Brit - white cheddar, cakes, onion. The Muff Dog with Italian meats, swiss, olive salad. Some really different ways to add to that classic hot dog and this was the place to do it.
Here's a list of some of the other restaurants that were there - Feel free to check them outline!!
Hard Rock Cafe
Dick's Last resort
Shari Sushi Lounge
Carmel Fire Grill
Thanks again for stopping by! Enjoy :-)
For more information, please visit www.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com