Orlando’s Best Barbecue

Orlando may be better known for citrus, Mickey Mouse and tourists, but barbecue aficionados can still find their fair share of great barbecue in the “City Beautiful”.

Whether you prefer pulled pork, dry rubbed beef ribs or fall off the bone tender ribs and beef brisket, Orlando gives St. Louis and Memphis a run for their money when it comes to barbecue restaurants.

 4Rivers Smokehouse

400 S Orange AveOrlando FL 32801

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With a claim to bring the BEST de-regionalized barbecue in Orlando and the lines to back it up, this smoke house is serving up some of the finest barbecue.  The menu includes ribs, smoked chicken, sausage, brisket, tri-tip, turkey, pulled pork and other barbecue classics.  But in typical Orlando fashion, they also serve some incredible and creative other options including many farm to table selections.

Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

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This popular Orlando barbecue adds an ‘International twist” (Latin, Caribbean, Asian) to barbecue!  Pork is the specialty of the house and the menu includes “traditional” barbecue ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and brisket. The sides are delicious with items like plantains, apple and fennel slaw and Cuban banana pudding.

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que

Kirkman Shoppes, 5818 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32835

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It isn’t fancy, but then again neither is eating fall off the bone ribs with sauce so delicious you won’t want to miss a single taste.  The menu serves traditional barbecue like ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage.

Try out these great barbecue restaurants all located not far from your luxury apartment in Orlando.

Family Fun in Orlando

Kids grow up fast and before you know it they are teenagers and too independent to spend time with their families.  Whether they are your children, nieces or nephews or friend’s kids, don’t miss out on being a kid again by enjoying these family fun activities near your Orlando apartment.

Here are our top five picks!

  1. Whether you typically leave Magic Kingdom for the tourists or have season passes, watching the fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World is a magical experience that can’t be missed.
  2. Ride bikes on West Orange Trail in Winter Garden.  This flat 22-mile long trail is the perfect family fun activity.
  3. Take a thrilling air boat ride through Florida’s Everglades.  This fast and fun activity is ideal for older kids and a great way to get out and explore nature in Florida.  There are many companies who offer these rides, Boggy Creek Air Boat Rides is just one that has great reviews.
  4. Visit Orlando’s upside down building where you can learn and discover at Wonderworks.  There is so much to do at this “edu-tainment” attraction, you will want to schedule a whole day.
  5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is a great way to spend a day with kids.  You will be amazed at some of the exhibits!

These are just five family fun things to do and visit near your apartment in Orlando. Have Fun!

Orlando’s Best Local Lunch Spots

From old-fashioned burgers to fast Mexican and creative pub fare these local restaurants are a great choice for lunch near your Orlando apartment.

Hamburger Mary’s

Church Street Station, 110 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801

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This funky little place specializes in fresh, all natural half-pound burgers, sandwiches and fries.   It is fast, affordable and delicious!

Open daily at 11am

Gringos Locos

22 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

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With a self-deprecating name and fast service, this Orlando Mexican restaurant has a few locations and some great lunch offerings.

Open daily from 11am to 3am

Dexter’s of Thornton Park 

808 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

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A little more upscale than our other local lunch choices, Dexter’s is open for lunch with some creative sandwiches, entrees, and a full bar.

Open for lunch on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (brunch).

These lunch spots are local favorites and are located near your apartment in Orlando, FL.

Orlando’s Best Bakeries

Living in an apartment in Orlando and enjoying relatively warm weather year-round means that you probably watch your weight, trying to keep up your beach body!

We get it, but sometimes you just have to cheat and indulge in a piece of pie, cake, cookie or donuts! If you are going to cheat and have something sweet, it might as well be the best.

To help, we have put together a list of the best bakeries and sweet shops near your Orlando apartment. You can thank us later!

Fortuna Bakery & Cafe

12701 S John Young Pkwy #106, Orlando, FL 32837

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This South American bakery features delights from Colombia and Venezuela!  Enjoy both savory and sweet baked goods, coffee and decadent cakes at this small, family run bakery!

Blue Bird Bake Shop

3122 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

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We can hardly contain our excitement over this wonderful little shop that features delicious, small batch cupcakes!  With over 50 varieties you will find it hard to buy just one!

P is for Pie Bake Shop

2806 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

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This shop is SWEET!  Everything from cutie pies, pie pops, pies and cakes, this shop is definitely worth the splurge!

St. Patrick’s Day in Orlando

There really is no shortage of fun things to do in Orlando all year long so it should be no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is shamrockin’ with fun parties, parades and celebrations.

Liam Fitzpatrick’s Restaurant & Irish Pub

Colonial TownPark, Market Promenade Ave, Lake Mary, FL 32746

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One of the Orlando area’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties is happening at Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub!  This fun celebration will be hopping with DJs, Irish Dancers, music food and drink specials.  The fun begins at 11am and goes until 2am with NO cover charge!

Don’t miss the Orlando Fighter Fighter Pipes and Drums at 6pm and 8pm.

Wall Street Plaza – St. Patty’s Day Block Party

Block Party Website

The self-proclaimed biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day Block Party in Orlando is happening at Wall Street Plaza on Friday, March 17th.  The party starts at 4pm with over 7 venues and 2 city streets.  So get out something green and get down to Wall Street Plaza for drink specials, giveaways, green beer, music and tons of giveaways.

St. Patrick’s Day Disney Style

Head to Disney to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Raglan Road at Disney Springs celebrates with a big Irish party with music, authentic food, dance performances and family friendly activities.  The fun goes on all week!

The Rose and Crown Pub in the UK pavilion at Epcot honors St. Patrick’s Day with green beer or cider, food and unfortunately lines!

 

Visit Orlando’s Botanical Gardens

As the weather starts to warm you might be looking for activities to do without the influx of tourists.

Did you know that the Orlando area has some great botanical gardens that offer classes, tours and allow you to welcome spring with the fragrant scent of local flora?

Here are a few gardens near your Orlando apartment with a focus on the beautiful 200 acre Harry P. Leu Gardens located at 1920 North Forest Avenue in Orlando.

University of Central Florida Arboretum

4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816

The Arboretum of the University of Central Florida is located on the main campus of the University of Central Florida and offers tours for a small fee and features Florida plants and flowers.

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Hollis Gardens

702 E Orange Street, Lakeland, FL 33801

This beautiful Botanic Garden is set in a neo-classical architectural environment with patterned flower beds, public art and ornamental fountains. It is a lovely way to spend an afternoon or a few hours.

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FEATURED GARDEN

Harry P. Leu Gardens

1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL

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This gardens is open from 9am to 5pm every day with a small admission fee. Self-guided and guided tours are available where you can tour the Leu House Museum, a historical home as well as the gardens.

Dinosaurs will be roaming the gardens until April 30th with an outdoor exhibit with life-like prehistoric creatures throughout the gardens.

You can also explore the wide array of gardens including the Arid Garden with agaves, cacti, succulents, yuccas and flowering trees.  You can also explore the Aroid Collection, a tropical stream garden or the fragrant Azalea Collection and Magnolia Collection, the Bamboo Collection and the Banana Collection (not the edible kind), the Butterfly Garden and Conifer Collection.

Flowers in bloom in February:

Camellias, azaleas, gold/pink/yellow trumpet trees, orchid tree, sweet osmanthus, powderpuff, citrus

Flowers in bloom in March:
amaryllis, camellias, herbs, vines, gold/pink/yellow trumpet trees, citrus, shaving brush tree, angel trumpet, orchid tree

They also offer classes for horticulture, landscaping, fine arts, and specialties all year round for both children and adults.

Try These Orlando Breakfast Restaurants

Americans LOVE breakfast and more and more restaurants are extending their breakfast hours and adding new breakfast items to their menus to meet a growing demand.

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, here are a few interesting facts about breakfast and a few places near your Orlando apartment to eat breakfast.

Breakfast Facts

In the 1600’s breakfast would typically be a snack, a piece of bread and cheese or left overs.

In the 1800’s, eggs and bacon became the norm and as the world became more industrialized cereal was introduced.

Yogurt, now a staple for breakfast didn’t become popular until the 1980’s when low-fat yogurt options came to the market.  Greek yogurt became popular in 2007!

You can eat dessert before your meal at breakfast. Some studies have found that eating a little something sweet in the morning can help curb a sweet tooth cravings later in the day.

Breakfast Spots Near Your Apartment in Orlando

Artisan’s Table

22 E Pine Street, Orlando, FL 32801
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Le Gourmet Break

150 S Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801

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Pearson’s Cafe

807 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801

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Celebrate the Oscars in Your Orlando Apartment

It seems that your invitation to the 89th Annual Academy Awards celebration didn’t arrive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!  You can put on the Ritz by hosting an Oscar party at your Orlando apartment.

Experts suggest that you serve smaller bite sized foods and serve Oscars inspired cocktails. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Meatball Sliders: Turn store bought meatballs in to something extraordinary by slicing them and serving them on fresh rolls with aged comté or fontina.

Oven-Roasted Shrimp: Instead of boiling shrimp, try roasting.  Roasting brings out the shrimp’s natural sweetness.  Purchase peeled gulf shrimp and serve with a tomato pesto sauce.

Bananas Foster: Easy and impressive bananas foster is a great Oscars dessert.  Simply slice a few bananas and sauté until caramelized with brown sugar and a bit of butter. Deglaze the pan with a quarter cup of rum and stand back!  Serve with a scoop of gourmet vanilla ice cream.

Oscar Cocktail: This golden cocktail will surely set the mood.  2/3 ounce of peach vodka, 2/3 ounce of peach puree (or syrup), 1 lump of sugar, 1 teaspoon of grenadine.  Place the cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, add the grenadine, peach vodka and puree, stir and top with champagne!

Decorate with gold and black, ask your friends to dress up and maybe add a red carpet to the entrance of your Orlando apartment for the perfect Academy Awards party!

Orlando’s Most Romantic Restaurants

Valentine’s Day just calls for romance.  If you have been struck by Cupid’s bow and are looking for a romantic restaurant near your Orlando apartment, these three top our list!

K Restaurant

1710 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804

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K Restaurant seems to appear on everyone’s list of most romantic restaurants in Orlando, so we felt it needed to be on top our list!  Maybe it is the white table cloths, impeccable service, creatively plated American fare or delectable chocolate desserts, we aren’t sure, but we are certain it is a great Valentine’s Day and date night restaurant.

Le Coq Au Vin

4800 S Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32806

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This quaint and cozy restaurant made it to our list because well, French food is just romantic.  With good reviews and French classics, this would make a great romantic Valentine’s day choice!

Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant

125 W Church Street
Orlando, FL 32801

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Last on our list is Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant on Church Street.  When a restaurant includes the word passionate in their tag line, it has to be a great restaurant to kindle or rekindle your romance!

Orlando’s Best Super Bowl Parties

There really is nothing like Super Bowl Sunday.  Whether you tune in to catch the game, watch the commercials, marvel at Lady GaGa’s half-time performance or are just looking for a chance to eat good food and cold beer, this is the night to get out at some of the best Super Bowl parties in Orlando!

Bloodhound Brew

Bloodhound Brew throws one of the best Super Bowl parties every year!  This year you can celebrate with an all-you-can-eat buffet, drink specials, over 30 TVs, plus one super large (like we mean really large) TV, prizes and fun!  Don’t miss it!

Majesty of the Seas – 3 Day Super Bowl Cruise

Why celebrate for one night, when you can do it for 3?   Board Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas for a 3 day cruise and Super Bowl party!   With TVs and food, plus football fans, this is a party to remember.  There are still rooms available, but don’t wait!

Downtown PourHouse

20 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

With lots of TVs, great drafts and good food, this place will be hopping on Super Bowl Sunday!