Groovy Goat

Menu
Menu
Grilled wings
Grilled wings
BBQ Pulled Pork Melt
BBQ Pulled Pork Melt
Classic Burger with bacon
Classic Burger with bacon

***** (5 stars)

Remarkably good sports bar food (albeit expensive) for a tourist location. Excellent burgers, wood grilled wings, wood grilled oysters.

Extensive game room with redemption games, and thankfully completely separate from the dining area. Plenty of screens for every game.

Groovy Goat
7720 Turkey Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 601-0310
https://www.yelp.com/biz/groovy-goat-orlando

Cracker Country

The General Store is good for period-themed souvenirs and treats.
The General Store is good for period-themed souvenirs and treats.

***** (5 stars)

Cracker Country is my favorite part of the Florida State Fair. It's more like visiting a historic area, such as Colonial Williamsburg, where characters in period costumes introduce you to the traditional way of doing things. Very different from the rest of the fair experience!

Cracker Country
4800 Hwy 301 N
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 627-4225
https://www.yelp.com/biz/cracker-country-tampa

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Exterior
Exterior
Porch
Porch
Shop
Shop

***** (5 stars)

This location is nearly identical to the design of most Cracker Barrels, and of course the food is the same. The distinguishing point is the staff, which is friendly and efficient. Although always busy, they never seem overwhelmed. A good location for Southern comfort food.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
3316 Daniels Rd
Winter Garden, FL 34787
(407) 654-2405
https://www.yelp.com/biz/cracker-barrel-old-country-store-winter-garden

Sakura Asian Fusion

Exterior
Exterior
Sign
Sign
Interior
Interior
Bun Saigon
Bun Saigon
Summer roll
Summer roll

***** (5 stars)

I tend to suspect a restaurant in the heart of a tacky tourist district can't be good, but Sakura is the exception. It bills itself as Asian Fusion, but there is really not fusion going on, it's simply a collection of Asian foods from many countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and China.

The sushi selections are extensive and appear fresh, but I concentrated on the Vietnamese items, and they were among the best I've had, including many of the restaurants in Orlando's Vietnamese district.

The summer rolls are delightfully fresh and cold, and sever with a tasty
peanut and chili sauce.

The Bun Saigon is a classic Veitnamese vermicelli bowl with loads of basil, grilled pork, and fresh veggies, and served with a bowl of fish sauce. Ask for Sriracha and Hoisin to elevate it to sublime. My server also gave me the tip to add my leftover peanut sauce from the summer rolls, and that was indeed a great idea!

The interior decor is pleasant, with a variety of Asian decor. Service was very friendly and efficient.

Sakura Asian Fusion
7618 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407) 239-8778
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sakura-asian-fusion-kissimmee-2

Posted in Uncategorized

Q’Kenan Restaurant

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Q'Keenan Patacon with sweet plantains and shredded beef
Q'Keenan Patacon with sweet plantains and shredded beef
Cheese arepas (26)
Cheese arepas (26)
Menu
Menu
Menu
Menu

***** (5 stars)

This charming little place in an unlikely location does a great job with Puerto Rican food.

Of particular note is the Q'Keenan Paticon. It's essentially a sandwich made with plantains instead of bread. You have your choice of sweet or green plantains, and beef or chicken filling. I chose sweet plantains and shredded beef, and the combination was sublime, especially with the provided garlic and hot sauces.

Also a shoutout to the caramel cappuccino, which was made without sugar by default, so as not to be overly sweet.

Service was very friendly.

Q’Kenan Restaurant
8117 Vineland Ave
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 238-0014
https://www.yelp.com/biz/qkenan-restaurant-orlando-2

Caribbean Sunshine Bakery & Restaurant

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Curry chicken
Curry chicken
Jerk chicken
Jerk chicken

***** (5 stars)

Excellent curries are the highlight here, served in generous portions. If you've had Caribbean curries before then you know to watch for bones, as the meat is cleavered, so if you're new to it, be alert, as this applies to not just the goat but also the chicken.

I prefer a drier jerk style, done over flames, rather than the wetter style done here, so my choice here is one of the curries.

Caribbean Sunshine Bakery & Restaurant
16112 Marsh Rd
Winter Garden, FL 34787
(407) 654-6625
https://www.yelp.com/biz/caribbean-sunshine-bakery-and-restaurant-winter-garden

Bistro Jeanty

Crème Brûlée au Chocolat
Salmon carpaccio
Smoked trout
Lobster bisque
French onion Soupe a l’Oignon
Patio
Duck liver mousse
Caviar
Exterior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.

This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.

We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.

Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.

My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.

Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!

The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.

We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.

All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington St
Yountville, CA
94599
(707) 944-0103
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bistro-jeanty-yountville

SingleThread Farm – Restaurant- Inn

Check presentation
Sorbet
Wagashi (course 11 of 11 courses)
Sonoma Grains (course 8 of 11 courses)
Duclair Duck (course 7 of 11 courses)
Bone broth for Ume Medai (course 6/ of 11 courses)
Ume Medai (course 6 of 11 courses)
Smoked Salmon with Steelhead Roe (our favorite course) (course 4 of 11 courses)
Duck Liver Parfait (course 5 of 11 courses)
Interior
Koginut squash (second half of course 3 of 11 courses)
Koginut squash (first half of course 3 of 11 courses)
Half of the second course of 11 courses, mussels and uni.
Second half of the first course (of 11 courses)!
Just half of the first course (of 11 courses)!
Kitchen
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

Phenomenal experience on Christmas Eve. Eleven courses (more like 40 if you count every item) and it’s hard to pick a favorite. But it’s my job, so I’ll make the call: the smoked salmon covered in steelhead roe!

But seriously, everthing was superb, and the service was that perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness that you rarely find accompanying elevated cuisine.

Although not inexpensive, I have to say that the dinner is very fairly priced.

The wine list has impressive breadth, and some depth, with stunning selections of the top wines, and stunning prices to match, but for those who invest some effort (I suggest a thorough perusal online before your visit) there are some gems here. A specific recommendation for chardonnay fans: 2015 Journeyman Chardonnay (complex, malolactic, good acid, touch of oak, apple, citrus, spice, caramel, honey, true expression of chardonnay fruit).

A really memorable dinner.

SingleThread Farm – Restaurant- Inn
131 North St
Healdsburg, CA
95448
(707) 723-4646
https://www.yelp.com/biz/singlethread-farm-restaurant-inn-healdsburg-7

Gott’s Roadside

Chili Cheese Fries, Impossible Cheeseburger
Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

Great historic roadside eatery from the 1940s, now occupied by a small local burger chain. Terrific chili fries, Impossible Burger, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had anywhere. Also a shout-out for the coffee shake! Sounds like a great 10am breakfast on Christmas Eve to me!

Gott’s Roadside
933 Main St
Saint Helena, CA
94574
(707) 963-3486
https://www.yelp.com/biz/gotts-roadside-saint-helena-2