Restaurant review on Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food restaurant at Universal Orlando's CityWalk! A must to visit if you are vacationing in Orlando, Florida!

Last night, I had the chance to attend a media event for the brand new Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food restaurant at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk. Since all I crave right now is Mexican food this event was right up my alley. Plus, I haven’t been to CityWalk in a while and I wanted to see for myself all the updates they’ve been working on.

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is located in the heart of Universal CityWalk, right next to the groove nightclub.  Visitors to the vibrant, two-story restaurant can enjoy two unique dining experiences, both featuring a delicious menu that combines authentic, traditional Mexican fare with all-new flavors – all made from scratch using the freshest ingredients.Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant

I took full advantage of having one of my last girls nights out for a while. I met up with my friend, Kristen from Yellow Bliss Road (who just so happened to be visiting from California on vacation with her family), and Christine from Cook the Story. When we got to the restaurant we started off with delicious house-made chips and salsa on the spacious outdoor patio. The mariachi band was playing popular music that you’d here on the radio–not your traditional mariachi music!  I sipped on an agua fresca while the girls tried one of the signature margaritas. Restaurant review on Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food restaurant at Universal Orlando's CityWalk! A must to visit if you are vacationing in Orlando, Florida!

When we got inside I immediately noticed the eclectic decor; a mix of traditional Mexican folk art with new-aged style decorating. Lots of bright and vibrant colors. Antojitos takes diners on a journey through the cantinas, street carts and markets of Mexico City for craveable Mexican fare that is unlike any other.  The restaurant has two floors and each floor has a different menu.

Guests can choose to dine downstairs and enjoy a more casual dining experience that includes items like carnitas al pastor tacos (made with beer and chile braised pork, grilled pineapple and guajillo salsa) and oaxaca enchiladas (chicken tinga and house made mole sauce, queso fresco and lime crema). Click on the link to find all the offerings for the the Antojitos Menu.

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Taste of the Nation from

Last year, I was invited to attend Taste Of The Nation event and was unable to attend due to family being in town. After turning down the invite I vowed I would attend the Taste of the Nation event in 2013.  All the proceeds from the event including the live auction and silent auction go to support Share Our Strength, which as you may know helps end childhood hunger.

This is the same organization that we do our annual food blogger bake sale for each year! So, it was a no brainer to not go and support such a great cause. All in all they raised $245,000 for childhood hunger relief in Central Florida!

Taste of the Nation from

When we walked in I was blown away by the massive room filled with food, friendly people, tables, and items to be auctioned off!

Taste of the Nation from

This year they did their silent auction via mobile app. All the items for the auction were donated anywhere from golf games to hotel stays to celebrity memorabilia! During the middle of the event they also did a live auction for some of the big ticket items like 2 tickets to the American Music Awards and 2 tickets to the ESPY’s… not just tickets, but hotel, limo, etc… 

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Taste of the Nations Orlando

Photo Credit: Taste of the Nations Orlando

Next month, Share Our Strengths Taste of the Nation® Orlando returns August 10  for their 24th annual fundraising event! If you live in Central Florida you are in for a big treat. Tantalize your tastebuds with appetizers, entrees and desserts from more than 30 of Central Floridas finest chefs and restaurants complemented by silent and live auctions and live entertainment.

As you know Share Our Strength is an organization that I’ve been supporting over the past few years to help end childhood hunger. This is the same organization that we host our annual Food Blogger Bake Sale for each year raising thousands of dollars. Last year, the Taste of the Nation event drew more than 2,200 attendees and raised $249,000 for Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.


When: Saturday, August 10, 2013
6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Where: Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, Florida 32821

Tickets: $150 each

Attire: Cocktail / Semi-Formal

Purchase Tickets HERE

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Last Sunday, I was given the opportunity to attend a media preview event of Red Eye Bar and Grill. What makes this restaurant so special is that it once was a very popular food truck. The owners turned their love for food not only into a successful food truck but a restaurant! The inside is low-lit with exposed brick and lots of wood giving a very rustic feel. Over looking the bar area you’ll find the grill. All of the proteins served at Red Eye are cooked over a smoked grill. No propane being used here, people!

Red Eye Draft Rootbeer

They have a wide variety of craft beers as well as wines that pair with all the main dishes on the menus. They have two house-made sangrias (pictured on the left) and root beer on draft!

Red Eye Bar and Grill

My partner in crime for the evening was Julius from We were both big fans of the food truck and the one item we missed the most when they closed their food truck was the Red Eye Sliders ($8). These house-made cornbread muffins are filled with BBQ pulled pork and topped with BBQ sauce and honey.  I seriously, could have eaten two orders of these sliders by myself… they are that good!

Red Eye Bar and Grill

Each entree is served with a choice of soup or salad. Since I’m the worlds biggest fan of soup I knew I had to give the Crab & Corn Chowder Soup ($4) a try. This creamy soup is filled with crabmeat and sweet corn and has quite the kick at the end. I loved the flavors of this soup and couldn’t stop slurping it up!

Red Eye Bar and Grill

Julius had the Jim Beam Brisket Chili ($4). Now, for those who know me–know I’m not a huge chili fan, but I could not write this post and not RAVE about this chili. Seriously, I think this is the best chili I’ve ever had. I loved the chunks of brisket throughout the chili as well as chili beans and a hint of Jim Beam. It has been a week since I had this chili and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so glad Julius shared with me and let me try some!

Red Eye Bar and Grill

I decided to have the Ultimate Combo ($14). As you can tell from the picture above it comes with a hearty serving of smoked pulled pork and beef brisket. You also get one side, a cornbread muffin, and a soup or a side salad. Large portions for a very affordable price. I made two meals out of this one dinner (and let me just tell you–it tasted just as good the next day).

Red Eye Bar and Grill Sides

I’m a side dish kind of girl… always have been, always will be. Our waitress raved about the newly revamped 5 cheese macaroni and cheese ($3) so I knew I had to give that a try. Boy, was she right. It was creamy and fresh tasting–this is no boxed mac and cheese. Taste just like mom use to make!

We also tried the Apple Cabbage Slaw ($2). I was intrigued by the apple in the slaw and as I suspected made with apple cider vinegar. Delicious spin on the traditional coleslaw.

Last up is my favorite… Hot Cinnamon Apples ($3). This is a classic dish that can be found at just about any bbq joint and one to not miss!

Red Eye Bar and Grill

Dinner isn’t complete without dessert. Right? We finished our meal off by trying the House Made Bananas Foster ($9). This is a hefty portion that they recommend two people sharing. Well, I can attest that after a large meal like we had you can easily have 4 to 6 people share this bad boy. It had just the right amount of rum to it and the ice cream sat between two pieces of puff pastry. A delicious spin on the classic dessert.

If you live in the area or happen to be visiting Central Florida. I highly suggest you head on over to Red Eye Bar and Grill.

Red Eye Bar and Grill
2594 Maguire Road
Ocoee, FL 34761

Stay connected with Red Eye Bar and Grill on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to attend a media preview dinner. I was not compensated to write this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Last week, Christine from Cook the Story and I spoke to Suzanne from KokoCooks about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This is a festival held at Walt Disney World every fall. This year you can find the festival from September 28-November 12, 2012. This is the 17th year they have had the festival and I can honestly say that I’ve been to 15 of the 17 years! I love going and look forward to it each year. Watch as we talk about what to do, where to eat, and tips and tricks to navigate the crowds and have an enjoyable time!

Like I mentioned during our show not only do I look forward to the Belgium Waffles, but I LOVE the Eat to the Beat Concert Series! Because we are traveling the first part of October we will be missing out on some great acts, but don’t worry–I plan to find the time to squeeze in a few visits to see the remainder of the musical acts I adore like Javier Colon from The Voice, Gin Blossoms, and Blues Traveler!

Epcot Food & Wine Fest Morocco

Photo from 2011 Morocco booth!

And if you yearning to learn a little more about Food & Wine Fest you can read my 2011 Food & Wine Fest recap. Are you local or are you planning a trip to Disney during this time of year? Do you think you’ll attend and if so, what do you look forward to most?


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Today we are going to travel to Epcot in Orlando, Florida for the 16th annual Epcot International Food &Wine Festival. Because I live in Florida I have the pleasure of going every year. To be exact this was my 14th year attending the annual food and wine fest. It’s something I look forward to attending every fall. For me it’s the best of both worlds… eating and drinking around the world. It mixes my pleasure of food with travel! Typically I go once or twice through the almost 2-month long festival. This year, I had the opportunity to go three times; however, on my second time to the festival it was raining, so I didn’t bring my camera in fear that it would get damaged! 
I love Moroccan food! Specifically vegetable couscous, but when I can’t have that I always get a Kefta which is essentially a beef patty in a pitta pocket with a red sauce. Typically you’ll find some shredded cabbage or lettuce at the bottom of the pocket! I get one every year! Something new to Food and Wine this year was the Harisa Chicken Roll (top left corner). I gave it a try and ended up getting one each time there after! The best way to describe it… a Moroccan style egg roll! The intense flavors used in Moroccan cooking could be found throughout the egg roll. 

This picture was taken (by my mom–hence why its a little blurry) of my husband and I during our first trip to Food and Wine 2011. 

My husband loved the sausage with onions, peppers, & olives this year! He would definitely get it again if they have it next year!
My mom ordered the Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream and Baguette on our first visit together. She enjoyed them and was pleased with the portion. On all three visits I indulged in the Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream. The waffles were made to order and most importantly light and fluffy. I honestly could have consumed at least 5 on each of my visits. I am still dreaming about them and hope that Epcot will bring them back again next year! 
Ireland has always been a favorite of mine. For the past few years they’ve kept the Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie. A rich mix of thick pieces of lobster along with bay scallops in a cream sauce topped with mashed potatoes and baked with cheddar cheese. I got the recipe for this pie last year in the newspaper and have yet to make it at home. I see it in my future in 2012! No visit is complete to Ireland without indulging on the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Ganache.  These are tiny little gems, but worth every penny. I will admit. I had both the Fisherman’s Pie and Lava Cake on each of my visits. I can’t resist! They are too good to pass up! 

My dad convinced us to stop at South Korea, and I’m so happy he did! My husband and I shared a plate of the Boolgogi BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Kimchi. I could have just had a plate of the rice and kimchi! 

On my third visit I met up with a few of my food blogger friends to eat around the world. I specifically saved a few of the countries, so I could try them with the girls! 
Pictured left to right: 
Lenore from Insatiable, Me, Suzanne from KokoCooks, and Julie from The Little Kitchen
The girls and I indulged in Italy. Pictured above is the cannoli al cioccolato (chocolate-covered cannoli shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese, chocolate and candied fruit). I could have just eaten the cream out of this cannoli. Pictured below: cappellini con gamberi piccanti (cappellini pasta with spicy shrimp), The sauce was rich and flavorful with a nice kick to it! 
My last stop of the day with the girls was to France. Julie and I had the Coq Au Vin sur gratin de macaroni. It was a red wine-braised chicken, mushroom, pearl onions on a bed of macaroni gratin. The chicken was good–but remember I’m not a meat lover, so I could have skipped that and just ate a plate  of the macaroni! Lenore and Suzanne both feasted on Escargots persillade en brioche. The garlic and parsley snails were nestled in individual brioche mini bowls. I’m not a fan of Escargots–its a texture thing for me… but my husband and parents love it as well! Everyone always indulges in these every year (except me)! 

I hope you enjoyed my foodie travels to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and if your ever planning a trip to Disney make sure its between mid-September to mid-October. That’s when you can indulge in foods like these! 

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Last year I gave a glimpse into a short weekend trip up to Keaton Beach, Florida where I go scalloping every year. Once again (like we try to do each year) we went back up to Keaton in July to go scalloping. This time I have a big treat… I’ve made a video on how to clean scallops! That’s right. My first video. It didn’t take that long to make thanks to iMovie, and although it’s very “amateur” it’s something that I’m proud of! This was our first year cleaning our own scallops. Typically we pay locals to clean them for us, since it’s not the most glorious job. 

*not sure why my voice is off on the video–doesn’t show that way on iMovie

Between four of us (alternating) we cleaned 10 gallons of scallops in a little less than two hours. It took longer than expected, but it happened to be raining, so we honestly we had nothing better to do than clean scallops. I’ll be posting a few bay scallop recipes within the next week, and if you can’t wait to cook some scallops then please feel free to browse through my current scallop recipes. 
There is still about two week’s left of scallop season.
Will you be scalloping this weekend for Labor Day?

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