Old Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House

Interior
Interior
Griddle
Griddle
Bacon, eggs, and batter
Bacon, eggs, and batter
Grillin'
Grillin’
Bacon, eggs, two kinds of pancakes
Bacon, eggs, two kinds of pancakes
Mill gears
Gears
Exterior
Exterior
Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

NOTE: Do not follow your GPS’s directions as it will likely lead you to the gated service road in back. You need to enter Ponce DeLeon State Park ($6 fee per car), drive through the parking lot, and then it’s a short walk to the restaurant building.

I’ve always wanted to go to this place, but I was afraid of the wait, which I understand can be very long on weekends. The trick is to go at an unlikely time. We chose a bit after noon on a Thursday, and there was no wait.

Some of the reviews mention poor service, but our server was great.

Obviously you go here for the novelty of cooking your own breakfast on your table, and it is quite fun. It would be a great family activity–let the kids cook breakfast for the adults! But I have to say, the food was EXCELLENT! The eggs were really fresh, and the bacon was meaty.

Of course, the highlight is the pancakes and they didn’t disappoint. You can choose between buttermilk batter or a five-grain specialty blend. Our server suggested I try both, and indeed, although the buttermilk was nice and fluffy, the five-grain blend was also fluffy, plus it had a nice texture and even more flavor.

It’s a long way for us to go for breakfast (about a 90-minute drive) but I’d definitely like to bo back.

Old Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House
601 Ponce Deleon Blvd
De Leon Springs, FL 32130

https://www.yelp.com/biz/old-sugar-mill-grill-and-griddle-house-de-leon-springs

Dim Dim Sum

Sesame ball
Sesame ball
BBQ Pork
BBQ Pork
Beef Chow Fun
Beef Chow Fun
Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior

**** (4 stars)

They've done a great job of transforming this former counter-serve pasta assemblage place into a nice sit-down dim sum restaurant.

The menu offers a full range of traditional dim sum, with photos to help those not familiar with the cuisine.

We particularly enjoyed the honey glazed roast pork, cucumber with minced garlic, and shrimp pork siu mai.

Service was attentive, and prices are reasonable.

Dim Dim Sum
4700 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Windermere, FL 34786

https://www.yelp.com/biz/dim-dim-sum-windermere

Sajoma Latin Fusion

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Bar
Bar
Ceviche
Ceviche
Hummus
Hummus
Caesar salad
Caesar salad
Grilled shrimp
Grilled shrimp
Yuca Nests
Yuca Nests

***** (5 stars)

This is a beautiful restaurant with great food and service. We shared an assortment of appetizers, and they were all very good.

Highlights were the ceviche and the very creative green pea hummus with fried pitas. The grilled shrimp and the Caesar salads were also both very nice preparations. I liked the goat filling in the Yuca nests, but the yuca was a bit heavy.

We went for a late Sunday lunch and it looked like they were setting up for evening live entertainment.

They also have outside dining.

Sajoma Latin Fusion
1600 W Osceola Pkwy
Kissimmee, FL 34741

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sajoma-latin-fusion-kissimmee

Victoria & Albert’s

Kitchen view from the Chef's Table
Kitchen view from the Chef's Table
Starters at The Chef's Table: Seared Pink Pineapple  Langoustine Tartelette Cinco Jotas Iberico, Miso Caramel, "Éclair"
Starters at The Chef's Table: Seared Pink Pineapple Langoustine Tartelette Cinco Jotas Iberico, Miso Caramel, "Éclair"
Mini baguette
Mini baguette
Danish Hiramasa, Carrot, Okinawan Potatoes
Danish Hiramasa, Carrot, Okinawan Potatoes
Royal Belgian Caviar, Cauliflower Panna Cotta
Royal Belgian Caviar, Cauliflower Panna Cotta
Chef's Table platinum plated cutlery
Chef's Table platinum plated cutlery
Glacier 51 Toothfish, Charred Mushroom, Sambal
Glacier 51 Toothfish, Charred Mushroom, Sambal
Wild Turbot, Fennel, Baby Leeks
Wild Turbot, Fennel, Baby Leeks
Green Circle Chicken, Australian Black Truffle, Corn
Green Circle Chicken, Australian Black Truffle, Corn
Lamb, Pickled Blueberries, Violet Mustard
Lamb, Pickled Blueberries, Violet Mustard
Miyazaki A-5, Potato Rösti, Romesco
Miyazaki A-5, Potato Rösti, Romesco
Preparation of Cheese
Preparation of Cheese
Chef's Table Menu
Chef's Table Menu
Honey Elderflower Ice Cream
Honey Elderflower Ice Cream
Spectrum of Chocolate
Spectrum of Chocolate
Warm Chocolate Cookie
Warm Chocolate Cookie

***** (5 stars)

V&A is back and better than ever! After a more than two-year pandemic closure, Central Florida's greatest restaurant has reopened at the top of its game.

Manager Israel Perez has used the time to update the decor, service pieces, furnishings, and pairings. Matthew Sowers, always a creative spark in the kitchen, is now the Chef de Cuisine, and the new menu already shows off his skills.

We've dined at V&A dozens of times over the years, and this meal was simply the best we've ever had. We were privileged to be the first to experience the new Chef's Table, which gives you a great view into the kitchen, now easier to see into, and busier than ever.

The menu and serving pieces at the Chef's Table are the same as in the intimate Victoria Room, which offers a more romantic experience. Both offer courses not a part of the main dining room menu, including the caviar and the turbot, so they are well worth the additional cost.

Of course the menu is evolving, but our meal included:

Pink Pineapple, Thai Basil, Spiced Mango
Langoustine Tartelette, Watermelon, Finger Limes
Cinco Jotas Iberico, Miso Caramel, "Éclair"

Royal Belgian Caviar, Cauliflower Panna Cotta

Danish Hiramasa, Carrot, Okinawan Potatoes

Wild Turbot, Fennel, Baby Leeks

Glacier 51 Toothfish, Charred Mushroom, Sambal

Green Circle Chicken, Australian Black Truffle, Corn

Lamb, Pickled Blueberries, Violet Mustard

Lamb, Pickled Blueberries, Violet Mustard

Miyazaki A-5, Potato Rösti, Romesco

Preparation of Cheese

Honey Elderflower Ice Cream

Warm Chocolate Cookie

Spectrum of Chocolate:
Pistachio Petit Four
Praline Truffle
Pavlova
Tropical Caramel

Each course was a home run, and it is hard to pick favorites, but the chicken was a standout, sitting atop an incredibly complex Perigord sauce. The A5 Wagyu was also the best I've had anywhere.

New offerings are a completely vegan alternate menu, and a full set of non-alcoholic pairings. The one we sampled was delicious.

The wine list remains one of the best in the state, although most guests opt for the very reasonably priced wine pairings.

A measure of how wonderful this meal was is that before it had ended we were already planning our next visit.

Victoria & Albert’s
4401 Floridian Way
Orlando, FL 32830

https://www.yelp.com/biz/victoria-and-alberts-orlando-4

Bishop’s Castle

Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle - Rye, CO, United States
Photo of Bishop's Castle – Rye, CO, United States

**** (4 stars)

Definitely Colorado's most unique and insane roadside attraction. The fruit of one very — shall we say, Individual — person's work, this massive structure is at once breathtaking, beautiful, crazy, and dangerous as all get out. Worth the detour.

Bishop’s Castle
12705 State Hwy 165
Rye, CO 81069

https://www.yelp.com/biz/bishops-castle-rye-2

Cuptown

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Croissants
Croissants

***** (5 stars)

This nice little coffee shop is just off the main road through Sedona. They have a nice selection of locally made pastries, plus the usual coffee drinks. It's nice to patronize local business rather than the chains.

Cuptown
274 Apple Ave
Sedona, AZ 86336

https://www.yelp.com/biz/cuptown-sedona

Chateau Tumbleweed

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

What a great find! Although the grapes are not grown locally (they are from Southern Arizona) the winemaking here is impeccable. You will find many classic varieties from Europe that you rarely see in the US, and every one of a dozen wines we tried was perfectly crafted.

And what a wonderful host we had for our tasting! Even though he has only been with the winery for six months, he was very knowledgable and accommodating, providing us with great recommendations for not only wines, but also local sights and restaurants.

This was our favorite stop in this wine country.

Chateau Tumbleweed
1151 W State Rt 89A
Clarkdale, AZ 86324

https://www.yelp.com/biz/chateau-tumbleweed-clarkdale

Maskadores Taco Shop Buckeye

Interior
Interior
Wet burrito with red sauce and sour cream
Wet burrito with red sauce and sour cream
Al Pastor Street Tacos
Al Pastor Street Tacos

***** (5 stars)

This is one of a chain of taco restaurants around Phoenix. This one is in a Chevron gas station in Buckeye. It's counter service, but there is a surprisingly nice seating area, and you can buy any beverage you like in the adjacent convenience store.

The Pastor Street Tacos were excellent. As with all of the menu items, you can select your toppings (we chose onions and cilantro) and add any sauce you like from a salsa bar (the green sauce is quite good). The four tacos came with generous servings of rice and black beans.

We also tried the Barbacoa Wet Burrito with red sauce. It was stuffed with rice and beans, and we added onions, cilantro, and guacamole. It was also quite good, and authentically spicy, even without adding hot sauce.

Everything is made to order, so it takes a few minutes, but the service is friendly.

Maskadores Taco Shop Buckeye
2075 N Miller Rd
Buckeye, AZ 85326

https://www.yelp.com/biz/maskadores-taco-shop-buckeye-buckeye