Recently, I had the chance to have dinner at The Downwind. In full disclosure, I have eaten at this restaurant before and I have a close friend who has previously worked there. With that said, The Downwind has since made some changed to the bar, the decor, and the food. I was dining with two other people for this review and the photos did not turn out all that great. We arrive on a weeknight around 7pm and there were a number of people eating both inside and in the outdoor seating area. Just as a note, the outdoor seating area overlooks the taxi and runways of the Spruce Creek Fly-In Airport.

For the three of us, we ordered the Cheese Sticks as a starter. Though, they were not handmade, gourmet quality cheese-sticks, they were good.

Dinner for two people at the table consisted of this portabella sandwich. The sandwich was quite tasty and came with either waffle fries, potato salad, or chips. Below is the potato salad which is worth noting as it contained ham. Now this is not a big deal in itself, but when ordering a vegetarian item from the menu, we felt that it should be disclosed that the potato salad contains ham. But, the waitress was very courteous in bringing a large plate of waffle fries to replace the hammy salad.

Picture below is the Blackened Mahi-Mahi sandwich. My only complaint with this sandwich is that the bun was much too large for the piece of fish on it. Either increase the fish or decrease the bun. The waffle fries were delicious as was expected.

Overall, The Downwind has a casual, sports bar type atmosphere and serves quality food at reasonable prices. It should be noted at some point that this restaurant is located in a gated community but can be accessed by the public by telling the guard that you are eating there.

I give The Downwind three forks. Enjoy!

Quality Eats:

Exciting news! Monday night dinners at the parents are back! Though I have been slacking and have not updated for the past couple of weeks, we have been going up to Ormond for dinners. We are fortunate enough to be served delicious organic vegetarian dishes. Also, we have started participating in Front Porch Pickings. We get a large green basket delivered each Friday and we each what we are given. This has made us branch out and try new things and each local and seasonally fresh stuff.

This is some of the first week’s delivery

Friday night dinner to celebrate was sweet potato and bok choy stir fry with cashews.

Plated with raviolis:

Apple dumplings made on a whim.

Hehe. Ashley waiting for dinner or dessert or something.

Another instance of dinner at the rents. Sweet potato biquits which I had about six of, cream spinach, and sweet potato soup.

This is actually dinner at our house with a friend but we have avocado soup and English muffin pizzas.


Some of these pictures are not of the best quality but here are some food happenings lately.

Making the filling…

Blurry filling on puff pastry:

Covered and in the oven:

Homemade hot pockets!

Saw this sign when we were walking the Granada Bridge a couple of weeks ago and of course we were there.

This is just a few of the items that we had, egg noodles and cabbage, perogies, pickled beets,  and cheese pastries.

Some of the desserts that we brought home:

Basic stuff:

Cream Zucchini with pasta and cheese.

More to come as weekly dinners at the parents has returned with a cool twist.

I had the chance to eat at La Hacienda de San Angel, Disney’s new restaurant at Epcot a few weeks ago. The restaurant was brand new, having been open only a few days when we dined there. Everything was new and beautiful including these paintings located just inside the doors.

I value to decor of a restaurant and how well it matches the theme. This place was nicely done and gave me the feel that I was dining in Mexico. It helps that outside the restaurant is Epcot’s Mexico.

I made note that the menus were decorative.

The drink menu and such.

Funny story. We walked by the outside of the restaurant earlier in the day and asked if they had a vegetarian menu. The nice representative said yes and that they had just come up with it that morning because they had not included vegetarian choices on their menu to start off. I suppose they had already gotten a lot of negative feedback about that. She presented us with this typed on paper version of their vegetarian menu.

Here is little Duffy.

We ordered from the vegetarian menu of course. We had the Cheese Empanadas, which were delicious. They were also beautifully presented.

If you noticed on the menu, the Cheese Empanadas was supposed to come with black beans and rice. Here is a shot of the beans. Also, just a little note, the cheese that topped these items was lovely. You’ll notice that I do not have a shot of the rice because were were not given any. When I asked about this the manager came to the table and told me that because they had just planned the vegetarian menu, the rice that they had was cooked in chicken stock. We asked for the rice anyway because we are not too prudish.

We shared the main course above so that we  could each get desserts. Here is my Chocolate con Churros. The churros has a lovely caramel-like sauce. The hot chocolate was sweet and complemented the churros well.

My LW’s dessert: Tamal de Dulce. I heard it was good.

Overall, everything we ordered was delicious and presented nicely. The whole new restaurant forgot to have a vegetarian menu thing is okay because they were clearly trying to fix that. I would like for them to have noted that the rice was cooked with chicken stock prior to me having to ask why it wasn’t brought along with the meal but oh well. I will attest that too the waiter who seemed pretty young. The atmosphere was definitely fun and I would dine at this restaurant again. I give it four forks. Enjoy!

Quality Eats:

Though it was a couple off weeks ago now, I am posting about our trip to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. We spent one day there walking around and eating random food. Something that was new this year was this little notation, the green V, on the sign that an item is vegetarian (see the first photo). In the second, third, and fourth photos you can see Ashley walking back from the booth with her random dish, Ashley’s favorite, the Heirloom Tomatoes at the American booth, and a photo of the tomatoes in the jar waiting to be sliced(Ashley made me take that). After we had eaten all that we could we headed over for our free photo with the characters. Because we ate so many different things I thought I would try and gallery view of the food instead of inserting every single photo. Hopefully it works out.

We had a great time and I hope that we can find time to get back and eat more though with my new schedule, I’m not sure how that will work out.

The Boheme

The Boheme is a restaurant located on the first floor of the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando. We (me, my LW, and my parents-in-law) embarked on a journey to eat at this restaurant as a last night out prior to the parents departure to Europe for a month. LW read that several restaurants in the Orlando area were participating in a fund raising event where if you ordered a three course meal from a special menu of selections, they would donate a percentage to arts programs. We were very choosy about finding which restaurant to eat at and finally decided on The Boheme.

When we arrived it was of course raining and being in downtown Orlando, the options were valet or walk a mile. We ended up walking a mile and getting wet. When we arrived though we were seated immediately at a table. The design of the restaurant was, in my opinion, a mixture of elegance and richness. There were lots of bright colors and photos of exotic animals on the walls. The dining area was well laid out so that each table seemed private. The menus, pictured below, lit up when opened…

LW with the menu. I made her take this of course.

The waiter brought bread to the table automatically and it was delicious. There was a whole grain option and a warm a moist sourdough type that had pesto and balsamic reduction drizzled over the top.

This is a blurry picture of the Lump Crab Cake appetizer that I had. It was almost entirely crab meat and very little filler stuff. It was served with organic arugula and basil oil.

The other appetizer option was this Fried Green Tomato dish. There is a fried green tomato under there somewhere. It is tops with diced tomatoes and goat cheese. As much as I like tomatoes, which is not at all, I hear this dish was tasty.

Cashew crusted and oven roasted Salmon with sauteed spinach, Yukon smash, mandarin glaze and pepper sauce. I thought this dish was very good. It was very filling but tasted so good I ate it all.

Risotto with tomato, pecorino cheese herbs,vodka cream sauce and pea coulis.

Crab Ravioli with sauteed shrimp, sweet peas, asiago cheese, and a vodka cream sauce.

And when you ask for Parmesan cheese at a nice restaurant what do you get? This. Yum.

Desserts were not my style but well put together and flavorful. Mascarpone Cheesecake with blueberries.

Specialty Apple Pie with ice cream. This apple pie was rather good despite the fact that there was no chocolate on it. I was disappointed that there was no chocolate option for dessert on the menu we got to choose from.

Overall, the Boheme was an excellent place to dine. I’m not sure that it should be elegant fine dining and I’m not sure that I would go back there for the price. I suppose for the price you could go to a lot of nice places. The beginning of the meal was the best and gradually declined in amazement from there for me. I give the Boheme two and a half forks. Enjoy.

Elegant Fine Dining:

Chedder’s Casual Cafe

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe is the last of the reviews from our trip to Georgia. We always make a point to stop at Cheddar’s when we are in Macon, as there isn’t one in our area of Florida. Cheddar’s is a chain place but has lots of variety and is fairly cheap. I had lunch with my wife and my father.

First of all, Cheddar’s has these delicious honey butter croissants. This is a reason in itself to visit Cheddar’s. Just walk in and order about 35 of these little guys.

Of course, because we were on a roll with the country home cooking, we ordered up some country vegetables and casseroles. I got green beans, broccoli cheese casserole, and salmon.

Ashley got fries, red beans and rice, corn, and broccoli cheese casserole. Any another croissant. Just a note here. It did not specify that the red beans and rice was in the form of a soup with sausage. This happens a lot in Georgia, though, the non specification of meat items in a vegetable.

My father ordered fried shrimp which was also a hit.

Overall, the service was friendly and timely, the food was good and fairly priced, and the atmosphere was that of a casual neighborhood bar and grill. I guess it should also be noted that there are large TV in each room that display the local sports games that are going on. Also, we arrived around 12:30p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and despite the gigantic crowd inside and outside of the restaurant, we only waited about 15-20 minutes.

All in all Cheddar’s gets four forks in the Family and Chain Places category.

Family and Chain Places: