La Granja

Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

This place far exceeded my expectations for a counter serve restaurant. I had the mixed ceviche, and it was wholly authentic, and almost as good as the best I've had in Lima, Peru. My companion had the quarter chick, which was a great lunch time deal.

The only downside of this location is that the strip mall needs a parking lot twice as big!

La Granja
3120 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811

https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-granja-orlando-2

Achilles Art Cafe Coffee Shop

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Turkey Apple Brie
Turkey Apple Brie
Toasted Tuna! Wow!
Toasted Tuna! Wow!

***** (5 stars)

This is such a great neighborhood find, I almost hate to review it rather than keep it to myself! First off, note that this is not really a coffee shop. Sure they have lots of coffees, in all the various forms and flavors, but it is oh so much more. The incredible sandwich menu is too good to ignore, so please think “cafe”, not “coffee shop.” I had the Toasted Tuna, and it was fabulous. Really it’s a huge salad with lettuce, chunks of tuna, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, and tomatoes, between two panini style pieces of toast. Basically, you disassemble it, eat half the salad, then reassemble it into a scrumptious sandwich.

The other thing that distinguishes this place is the amazing ambiance. It’s filled with cozy nooks and comfortable seating on couches or at tables, plus several outdoor tables as well.

They also have beer and wine, so it would be great for happy hour too.

Finally, the staff is enthusiastic and friendly, and although it is counter service, food is delivered to your table. This is not a place to go for a fast bite, it’s a place to linger and enjoy the ambiance–although you certainly could stop in for a quick and delicious coffee I suppose!

Achilles Art Cafe Coffee Shop
2869 Wilshire Dr
Orlando, FL 32835

https://www.yelp.com/biz/achilles-art-cafe-coffee-shop-orlando-4

K-Town Cafe

Exterior
Exterior
Salmon
Salmon
Chicken Bulgogi
Chicken Bulgogi
Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

I love Korean food, with all the elaborate little side dishes, and large range of flavors. But sometime you just want your Korean fix without taking the time for a multi course st-down meal. K-Town Cafe hits the high points in a quick serve format without sacrificing flavor. Beef or Chicken Bulgogi are probably the go-tos here, although I also really liked my grilled salmon. Each mean comes with either white rice or fried rice. I really like that the fried rice was light and flavorful without being oily. You also get a choice of side dishes, and my generous helpings of kimchi and spicy cucumber were both excellent. There's a more elaborate Korean BBQ next door, but I suspect I will find myself often opting for the convenience here.

K-Town Cafe
7800 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/k-town-cafe-orlando

The Nook on Robinson

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

Definitely well named, The Nook is a cozy little spot that specializes in mostly locally sourced beers. You can find the menu here: thenookonrobinson.square… but there are many, many more selections in the cooler. Knowledgeable, friendly staff make it a great place to hangout at one of the few bar seats, a table for two, or a sitting area.

The Nook on Robinson
2432 E Robinson St
Orlando, FL 32803

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-nook-on-robinson-orlando-2

Lexus of Orlando

***** (5 stars)

I've been having cars services at Lexus of Orlando for nearly twenty years, first up in Winter Park, and now at the beautiful new facility near Universal Studios. I actually look forward to getting my car serviced because of the wonderful personnel and great facility. Manny and Nick are both great service reps, and I can tell they really care about their customers. Work is always done right the first time, communication is great, and the car is returned looking like new. A great service experience.

Lexus of Orlando
5725 Major Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lexus-of-orlando-orlando

Posted in Uncategorized

Blue Apron

***** (5 stars)

During the pandemic rather than visit restaurants I subscribed to five different meal preparation kits. Here is how they compare.

Blue Apron is the first kit we tried. Limited customization of meals is available, but there is a lot of variety in the recipes. There are some good ethic selections. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. My only nit is that sometimes condensation had soaked the instruction cards. This is an excellent choice, and a moderate price.

Home Chef offers the most flexibility in swapping ingredients. Nearly every meal allows substantial customization of the proteins, including upgrades in quality, change from beef, to chicken, to vegetarian, etc. When fish is part of a recipe it is impressive how fresh it is. We had a bento box that included raw tuna, and it was as good as at any sushi place. Instructions are clear, and the recipes are interesting and varied enough to avoid repetitiveness. They also have options you can simply heat up, although we never tried these. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. For overall quality, this is my favorite of the five plans.

Purple Carrot is a vegan meal kit. It has the most ambitious recipes, excellent ethnic options, and a lot of variety. Because a lot of the recipes involve tofu or seitan, neither of which are my favorites, I stuck with the vegetable only recipes. I really like that instead of instruction cards each week includes a very professionally produced booklet with all of the recipes. This is the most expensive of the five plans.

Hello Fresh offers by far the most different meals each week, and has an excellent selection of vegetarian choices in addition to meat based ones. Limited customization of meals is available. I really like their recipes. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is my top pick in terms of value for the variety.

Every Plate is by far the least expensive of all the meal kits. The downside is that the recipes are quite repetitive. If there are three possible proteins, three possible sauces, three possible carbs, and three possible vegetables, then there are 81 possible combinations, and you tend to see them, over and over. True, there are also some other varients, but it just seemed too mundane. Instructions tend to be very simple. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is a good pick if price is your most important consideration.

Overall, my choices are:

Most Customizable – Home Chef
Best Selection plus great Vegetarian options – Hello Fresh
Cheap – Every Plate

Blue Apron
New York, NY 10009

https://www.yelp.com/biz/blue-apron-new-york-12

The Purple Carrot

***** (5 stars)

During the pandemic rather than visit restaurants I subscribed to five different meal preparation kits. Here is how they compare.

Purple Carrot is a vegan meal kit. It has the most ambitious recipes, excellent ethnic options, and a lot of variety. Because a lot of the recipes involve tofu or seitan, neither of which are my favorites, I stuck with the vegetable only recipes. I really like that instead of instruction cards each week includes a very professionally produced booklet with all of the recipes. This is the most expensive of the five plans.

If you are willing to go vegetarian rather than vegan, it's worth considering Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh offers by far the most different meals each week, and has an excellent selection of vegetarian choices in addition to meat based ones. Limited customization of meals is available. I really like their recipes. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is my top pick in terms of value for the variety.

Blue Apron is the first kit we tried. Limited customization of meals is available, but there is a lot of variety in the recipes. Vegetarian selections and swaps are available. There are some good ethic selections. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. My only nit is that sometimes condensation had soaked the instruction cards. This is an excellent choice, and a moderate price.

Home Chef offers the most flexibility in swapping ingredients. Nearly every meal allows substantial customization of the proteins, including upgrades in quality, change from beef, to chicken, to vegetarian, etc. When fish is part of a recipe it is impressive how fresh it is. We had a bento box that included raw tuna, and it was as good as at any sushi place. Instructions are clear, and the recipes are interesting and varied enough to avoid repetitiveness. They also have options you can simply heat up, although we never tried these. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. For overall quality, this is my favorite of the five plans.

Every Plate is by far the least expensive of all the meal kits. Vegetarian selections are very limited. The downside is that the recipes are quite repetitive. If there are three possible proteins, three possible sauces, three possible carbs, and three possible vegetables, then there are 81 possible combinations, and you tend to see them, over and over. True, there are also some other varients, but it just seemed too mundane. Instructions tend to be very simple. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is a good pick if price is your most important consideration.

Overall, my choices are:

Most Customizable – Home Chef
Best Selection plus great Vegetarian options – Hello Fresh
Cheap – Every Plate

The Purple Carrot
460 Hillside Ave
Needham, MA 02494

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-purple-carrot-needham

Every Plate

***** (5 stars)

During the pandemic rather than visit restaurants I subscribed to five different meal preparation kits. Here is how they compare.

Every Plate is by far the least expensive of all the meal kits. The downside is that the recipes are quite repetitive. If there are three possible proteins, three possible sauces, three possible carbs, and three possible vegetables, then there are 81 possible combinations, and you tend to see them, over and over. True, there are also some other varients, but it just seemed too mundane. Instructions tend to be very simple. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is a good pick if price is your most important consideration.

Blue Apron is the first kit we tried. Limited customization of meals is available, but there is a lot of variety in the recipes. There are some good ethic selections. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. My only nit is that sometimes condensation had soaked the instruction cards. This is an excellent choice, and a moderate price.

Home Chef offers the most flexibility in swapping ingredients. Nearly every meal allows substantial customization of the proteins, including upgrades in quality, change from beef, to chicken, to vegetarian, etc. When fish is part of a recipe it is impressive how fresh it is. We had a bento box that included raw tuna, and it was as good as at any sushi place. Instructions are clear, and the recipes are interesting and varied enough to avoid repetitiveness. They also have options you can simply heat up, although we never tried these. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. For overall quality, this is my favorite of the five plans.

Purple Carrot is a vegan meal kit. It has the most ambitious recipes, excellent ethnic options, and a lot of variety. Because a lot of the recipes involve tofu or seitan, neither of which are my favorites, I stuck with the vegetable only recipes. I really like that instead of instruction cards each week includes a very professionally produced booklet with all of the recipes. This is the most expensive of the five plans.

Hello Fresh offers by far the most different meals each week, and has an excellent selection of vegetarian choices in addition to meat based ones. Limited customization of meals is available. I really like their recipes. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is my top pick in terms of value for the variety.

Overall, my choices are:

Most Customizable – Home Chef
Best Selection plus great Vegetarian options – Hello Fresh
Cheap – Every Plate

Every Plate
Richmond, CA 94801

https://www.yelp.com/biz/every-plate-richmond-2

HelloFresh

***** (5 stars)

During the pandemic rather than visit restaurants I subscribed to five different meal preparation kits. Here is how they compare.

Hello Fresh offers by far the most different meals each week, and has an excellent selection of vegetarian choices in addition to meat based ones. Limited customization of meals is available. I really like their recipes. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is my top pick in terms of value for the variety.

Blue Apron is the first kit we tried. Limited customization of meals is available, but there is a lot of variety in the recipes. There are some good ethic selections. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. My only nit is that sometimes condensation had soaked the instruction cards. This is an excellent choice, and a moderate price.

Home Chef offers the most flexibility in swapping ingredients. Nearly every meal allows substantial customization of the proteins, including upgrades in quality, change from beef, to chicken, to vegetarian, etc. When fish is part of a recipe it is impressive how fresh it is. We had a bento box that included raw tuna, and it was as good as at any sushi place. Instructions are clear, and the recipes are interesting and varied enough to avoid repetitiveness. They also have options you can simply heat up, although we never tried these. Packaging is very good, with the ingredients in separate bags. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. For overall quality, this is my favorite of the five plans.

Purple Carrot is a vegan meal kit. It has the most ambitious recipes, excellent ethnic options, and a lot of variety. Because a lot of the recipes involve tofu or seitan, neither of which are my favorites, I stuck with the vegetable only recipes. I really like that instead of instruction cards each week includes a very professionally produced booklet with all of the recipes. This is the most expensive of the five plans.

Every Plate is by far the least expensive of all the meal kits. The downside is that the recipes are quite repetitive. If there are three possible proteins, three possible sauces, three possible carbs, and three possible vegetables, then there are 81 possible combinations, and you tend to see them, over and over. True, there are also some other varients, but it just seemed too mundane. Instructions tend to be very simple. Shipments always arrived with the ice packs still frozen. This is a good pick if price is your most important consideration.

Overall, my choices are:

Most Customizable – Home Chef
Best Selection plus great Vegetarian options – Hello Fresh
Cheap – Every Plate

HelloFresh
Toronto, ON M6J
Canada

https://www.yelp.com/biz/hellofresh-toronto