Welcome to LemonHearted.

"That's gross, I love it." - April Ludgate

Eating in Orlando Vol. 6

Eating in Orlando Vol. 6

Valkyrie Doughnuts

So these square morsels of happiness aren't exactly new to Orlando, but the new space is an upgrade in my book. Despite the fact that I live much closer to Market on South, I think I will make the trek to the new Valkyrie location near UCF for hot doughnuts and a brighter, happier vibe. After all, biting into a warm fruity pebbles doughnut made me feel things worth all the toll roads.

Other exciting sweet offerings can be found here including cold brew made in house using Lineage coffee, cones of chocolate or Dole whip soft serve, dougnut ice cream sandwiches and more to come. If you follow Valkyrie's Instagram you'll discover new fun concoctions as they are dreamt up and made.

I've never had any desire to live on the East side of town, but Valkyrie is certainly having me load up the SunPass!

MG_4966-e1489626540589.jpg
MG_4958.jpg
MG_4947-e1489626505964.jpg

The new location is at 12226 Corporate Blvd in Orlando.

Oh My Gyro

If you've had authentic NYC Halal cart food you'll be happy to know it's finally made its way to us in Florida. Oh My Gyro is a family owned restaurant in Longwood off SR 434 serving up gyros, platters, and hamburgers (all made with Creekstone Farms Black Angus meat). Other protein options include lamb, chicken, falalel, and hummus.

The large platter will cost you just under $10 and could easily be split unless you have a large appetite. It's filling, flavorful and delicious.

Don't miss the mango lassi. It's a creamy drink, very much like a smoothie, that is sure to cool you down if you use too much hot sauce.

The staff is very friendly and helpful, my only wish would be that they play music. It was real quiet in there. How can I do my happy eating dance with no jams?

Oh My Gyro is located at 1150 W State Rd 434 in Longwood.

MG_5739.jpg
MG_5740.jpg
MG_5732.jpg

Dragonfly Robata

There are so many places to choose from on "restaurant row" in Dr. Phillips, how do you know which spot is worth your money?  I've always heard good things about Dragonfly but hadn't made a visit a priority on my foodie list.

I was invited to dine there along with my partner in food, OrlandoEats, and we got to see what all the rave reviews were for. What's great about Dragonfly is that you can order off the menu or you can decide to trust the chef entirely and dine from the Chef's Select Menu.

We did a little of both.

Miso Braised Rib Ramen ($12) braised short ribs, bean sprouts, corn, cabbage, poached egg, mayu, menma, nori, miso pork broth, and scallions. I'm pretty picky about my Ramen and not much in Orlando has ever impressed me. The braised rib was perfect and it was rightfully the star of the dish. Overall I liked it better than the Ramen I've had at Domu.

Black 'n Bleu Roll ($14) rib eye (medium rare), spinach, red onions, bleu cheese, jalapeños, honey-wasabi mayo. It sounds odd, and it was definitely a roll that was out of my comfort zone but the combination of ingredients worked.

Other items included spare ribs, grilled corn, and the Chef's Branzino dish.

MG_4902.jpg
MG_4907.jpg
MG_4893.jpg
MG_4917.jpg
MG_4922.jpg

Honestly I loved everything I ate and would definitely treat myself to this spot for a date night or a special occasion with a group. They have an expansive covered patio that could easily fit a large party.

Hunger Street Tacos

You guys know I love my hood tacos. But more upscale taco joints cannot be denied. That is, if they have good food.

The newest spot is Hunger Street Tacos owned by two brothers who went from a table and tent pop-up concept to a fully operational sit down restaurant. A big change to undertake all while competing to satisfy hungry guests who all have different thoughts about what authentic tacos are.

After a few visits, my favorite items are the brisket quesadillas and the chicharrón de queso, which is wave of fried cheese you can break off into pieces and dip into guacamole or salsa. The brisket has been consistently bursting with flavor and juices that I love so I haven't strayed to much to other parts of the menu.

What I didn't like was the Chicken Tinga. The chicken has a sweet flavor to it which I personally don't prefer, but it's said to be a love it or hate it dish. It also looks like new items are coming soon as seen on the menu board which included fried avocado, so I'll be back to try that!

MG_4933.jpg
MG_4927.jpg
MG_4930.jpg

Color follows you everywhere, even into the bathrooms which I of course I love. What I'd love more is overflow parking that didn't have me running across Fairbanks, but that's Orlando for you. We are all one meal away from getting hit by a car.

Luke's Kitchen

I'll cut right to the chase with this one. Luke's Kitchen was a disappointment. For as much as I love food I don't often spend $100 on dinner casually. It's planned for something special, or a really worthwhile restaurant.

I wanted to discover Luke's as a place that had potential to celebrate a friend's anniversary or a life moment, but like so many other high end restaurants, it left me sad that I had just spent money and gotten little satisfaction in return.  And if you don't think spending $30 on an entree is "high end", good for you, but I do my comparisons in how many cheesy gorditas I could have eaten for one subpar entree.

I won't bore you with the details, but besides the fact that our sever was awesome, the meal was a forgettable bust with no foodie stand out.  To add insult to injury I was forced to valet park my Toyota Corolla in all it's missing hubcap glory in a sea of Mercedes and BMW's. Ridin dirty indeed.

I'm sure other people are having delightful meals at Luke's Kitchen, and maybe one day I will go back and give it another try, but for now Prato will remain top of mind for a dinner splurge with friends.

IMG_3193.jpg
MG_3386.jpg

Paddlefish

Oh Disney Springs, you are a beast to get to, and to walk through.  Restaurants keep opening and I keep driving that frightening strip of I-4 with its ever-changing construction lanes, but let me tell you; for these crab fries, I would drive.

Found on the starters menu the Crab Fries ($14) come in a heaping pile of hand cut potatoes, lump blue crab, spicy Louie dressing.  Again with my lady OrlandoEats, we barely made a dent in this mountain of goodness, (don't let the camera angle fool you).

For my lunch I ordered the Crab Cake BLT ($20) stacked withapplewood bacon, cheddar, romaine, tomato, mustard sauce, on ciabatta. The mustard sauce didn't really mesh well for me with the flavor of the crab cake so I scrapped most of it off to get to the good meat.

Like all things attached to Disney the price tag of your meal will not be cheap, but I will say they are generous with their portions.  OrlandoEats got the Lobster Roll ($31) and we were both blown away by the 1 1/4 pound Maine lobster that spilled over the bun.

paddlefish-fries.jpg

Dessert won't break the bank if you chose to indulge, and you will probably fare better ordering here than getting a stale cupcake from Sprinkes. That's right, I said it. They aren't good!  We split the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart ($10) with easily detected bourbon ganache, candied bacon, sea salt, and vanilla ice cream.

FullSizeRender-89.jpg
MG_5508.jpg
paddlefish-dessert.jpg

Meals at Paddlefish and Dragonfly were at no expense to myself as they were media dines. All other restaurants mentioned here were dined at with my own money. All photos are mine unless otherwise credited, and opinions are mine thanks to my personal taste buds, so don't hate, go eat and try for yourself. 

Explore Your City - Lakeland Revisted

Explore Your City - Lakeland Revisted

Freelance Friendly

Freelance Friendly