All posts filed under: Food & travel

The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival Highlights Vibrant Culinary Scene in Kingston

In October 2017, I was invited to attend the Jamaican Food & Drink Festival in Kingston, Jamaica. For over a week, the vibrant culinary scene was celebrated at the Jamaican Food & Drink Festival which took place from October 21 to 29 with seven world class food events at seven iconic venues around Kingston. More than 45 talented chefs participated and cooked at this multi-location festival, highlighting local ingredients and Jamaican cuisine. I traveled to Kingston, Jamaica for my first time. Lucky for me, Delta Air Lines had a direct flight from Atlanta to Kingston, so it was an easy trip to make. The first two festival events were Porkpalooza and Chopstix, which took place before I was able to travel. I did attend the last 3 days of the festival to experience Crisp, Picante and Meet Street & The Market events. These were all delicious culinary experiences, showcasing the fusion of diverse cultures and the deep roots of food in Jamaica. From the flavorful food to the fun vibe of each event, the drinks …

The First Stop in Chicago is Portillo’s

We flew into Chicago for my early birthday celebration and there was only one place I wanted to go to kick off my trip. The first stop, directly from the airport, was at Portillo’s for a Beef-n-Cheddar Croissant and cheese fries. This is one of my go to meals when visiting Chicago and it has been a few years since I’ve had this. It’s been so long that I forgot to order hot peppers on the sandwich. It was still good! I would have ordered another sandwich, but we had a dinner reservation a few hours later. So many good memories of eating this sandwich with friends from years ago. This entire weekend is just eating and food exploring. I have a long list of restaurants that I plan on visiting and I hope we can eat at all of them. LadyDroolius thinks it’s too much, but we shall see. The main reason why we came to Chicago was for a bucket list meal at Alinea. A birthday gift to myself, I was lucky enough …

Authentic Irish Celebration at Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs

When celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, forget eating cabbage and corned beef or drinking green beer. Those are not authentic or traditional Irish food or drinks to celebrate Saint Patrick’s day. Instead, celebrate like the Irish at the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs. The Mighty Festival just started on Friday, March 11th and runs for seven days until the big St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Plenty of time to drink pints of Guinness, eat authentic Irish food and experience live music entertainment and dancers straight from Ireland.   (click image to enlarge) The menu features cuisine by Irish celebrity chef and PBS/Create TV personality Kevin Dundon. Last year I shared my experience from Ireland on our Raglan Road Trip with Chef Kevin. Experiencing the way he creates Irish classics with a modern twist translates into the Irish menu at Raglan Road and is a must try during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival. The dinner menu features a special dish, loin of bacon and …

2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens Food Guide

The 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has officially started and it’s running for 90 days this year, from March 2nd until May 30th. This festival always has something new to see with Disney character topiaries, gardens, seminars and how-to demonstrations. There’s also many things to eat and drink with savory dishes, sweet treats, craft beers, wines and more at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens.   (click image to enlarge) A few new things for this year’s Flower & Garden Festival: • New Harmony Gardens Musical Playground • New acts to Garden Rocks Outdoor Concert Series (weekends only) • New gardens and Disney-themed topiaries • 3 new Outdoor Kitchens serving food and beverages: Bauernmarkt Farmer’s Market, Cider House and La Isla Fresca   (click image to enlarge)   (click image to enlarge) We were invited to a special Tables in Wonderland event to preview some of the dishes and drinks from this year’s Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens. A number of dishes were available to taste and we had our videographer/photographer, Thomas Babiarz of …

Droolius’ Top 7 Favorites of January 2016

I wanted to start a new blog series this year and thought that a monthly Top 7 Favorites of what I ate was a good start. Why Top 7? Mainly because it’s hard to just choose my favorite 5 dishes for the month and 10 dishes might be too much. So, Top 7 it is! This month I spent the entire time in Atlanta, the city where I’m working now. I’ve been going back and forth between Orlando and Atlanta in the past few months, so I’m getting to explore food in both cities. Here’s my favorite dishes from January, in the order of when the food was eaten, not by rank.   click to enlarge Cheeseburger and fries at Holeman and Finch Public House, Atlanta, GA This was my first time having the infamous Holeman and Finch cheeseburger at the actual restaurant and it was very impressive. I ate it first at Burger Bash during South Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2014, then at H&F Burger at Ponce City Market last year. Both …

Droolius’ Top 25 Food & Most Memorable Meals in 2015

Keeping up with my yearly tradition, this is my Top 25 list of food and most memorable meals in 2015. The year flew by and switching from freelance work to being in the office definitely was a change for me and limited my time for culinary travel. I was still able to travel a little, visiting Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Miami, along with my first trip to Ireland. My trip to the Philippines was a short one for a family emergency. Regardless, I made the best of each travel opportunity and my favorite meals are listed below. Note: Photos are in the order of when the food was eaten, not by rank.   (click image to enlarge) • Uni, toro tuna, and more uni at Sushi & Seoul on the Roll food truck. I started 2015 by eating once a week at the Sushi & Seoul on the Roll food truck, which was parked on Monday nights at The Imperial at Washburn Imports (Lake Ivanhoe area) in Orlando, FL. This was Chef Al’s “creative night” …

Cask & Larder To Open Second Location At Orlando International Airport

Looks like Orlando International Airport will finally get a taste of Central Florida with favorite local restaurant, Cask & Larder. This is great news to those who fly in and out of MCO and want to get a taste of good local food before or after a flight. The addition of Cask & Larder to Orlando International Airport is a step in the right direction and a trend that I’ve seen in other major airports across the U.S. Finally, MCO (airport code of Orlando International Airport and not “OIA”) gets a locally owned restaurant with great food and I’m excited to see this.   (click image to enlarge) The new Cask & Larder is estimated to open summer 2016 in Terminal 2 at MCO and will include a dining room with with sit-down service for 300+ guests, bar, and grab-and-go market. The menu will offer several crossover items and similar farm-to-table dining experience to the original Winter Park location, but with adaptations to meet the airport’s needs and offer something for all types of travelers. Signature …

Chef Kevin Dundon Features Local Seafood On Raglan Road Menu

Chef Kevin Dundon is featuring local seafood on the menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney. Earlier this Summer, Chef Kevin took a trip to Wild Ocean seafood in Port Canaveral to check out the local product and he liked it so much that Raglan Road has introduced seasonal dishes on the menu. The “Seasonal Showcase” menu features: Whiskey in a Jar Wild Ocean citrus poached shrimp, whiskey spiked marie rose sauce, diced cucumbers and watercress; El Niño Wild Ocean pan roasted shrimp over soft polenta, in a spiced bean, sweet onion and peppers “Piperada”; The Pale Wild Ocean shrimp and clams with golden corn, baby potatoes in a Raglan IPA lemon & herb broth, and served with soda bread scones.   Fishing with Chef Kevin Dundon in Ireland I’ve gone fishing with Chef Kevin in Ireland and he definitely knows his seafood. The fact that he is using seafood native to Central Florida shows the quality of the local product and his commitment to working with multiple local producers. You …

Droolius 5 Year Blog Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that I started this food blog five years ago and it has been quite the experience in eating food, traveling for food, and learning about food in different cultures. From watching subtitled episodes of Iron Chef in Japan to various cooking shows and chef competitions, I’ve been able to discover the food I’ve seen on TV, travel to some of the destinations, and even meet some of my food heroes (that sounds like a future blog post). I’m very thankful for where this blog has taken me and I always celebrate every blog anniversary with food. To continue my yearly tradition I wanted something that I have not done in the past. I needed five of some type of food that would look great in a photo and something we would enjoy eating. So here’s what I came up with: five scoops of gelato stacked high. The results were better than what I imagined. Plus, it’s something fun to celebrate my actual birthday!   click to enlarge Celebrating in this unique …

Raglan Road Trip To Ireland – Photo Highlights

The Raglan Road Trip to Ireland was an amazing experience with many great moments to share. Our group of travelers consisted of five Raglan Road Master Chef Cooking Contest winners, plus members of the media to capture moments of the trip. All of us were going along for this adventure of food, culture, and fun. This trip was hosted by Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant as part of their 10 year anniversary celebration and we were treated to Irish hospitality by Chef Kevin Dundon and team. From Orlando to Dublin, we made our way down to County Wexford for a few days stay at the Dunbrody Country House Hotel. We learned about local food, visited farms, and improve our skills in the kitchen. Lots of photos and stories to share from Ireland and these are only the highlights of the trip for now.   (click image to enlarge) Our adventure started with a flight from Orlando, FL to Dublin, Ireland on Aer Lingus. Friendly staff, comfortable seats, lots of green inside the play. I …

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