St. Johns River Restaurant

It’s fun to explore a new area, and the St. Johns River has been on my to-do list since moving to the Orlando area. After I took my car for maintenance at a dealership in Sanford, we headed east for lunch at a restaurant that I’ve wanted to visit. St. Johns River Steak & Seafood is at 550 N. Palmetto Ave. in Sanford, FL. It’s at a wharf adjacent to the historic downtown. We were very pleased with the food and the views of the expansive waterway.

 

My husband had crabcakes. I had grilled grouper with asparagus and a baked potato. We couldn’t resist key lime pie for dessert. The meal was enough for leftovers even without a salad or bread.

  

I miss the ocean in Fort Lauderdale and seeing the cruise ships, freighters, and barges offshore. This is the closest we come here, but it doesn’t compare to the Intracoastal either with its water taxis and gleaming white yachts. Still, we enjoyed the tranquility as we feasted on our meals.

 

The drinks must have filled us up. Richard had a Mai Tai and I got a glass of red sangria. With our stomachs satisfied, we kept our couches company when we got home. Forget about getting any work done.

 

Recent other excursions have been to Central Florida Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival.

Meanwhile, I’m plugging away at Star Tangled Murder. I’m over 36,000 words on page 123. My goal is approximately 80,000 words. This will be book #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.

 

Birthday Bounties

We were fortunate to have three family birthdays fall during Magical Dining month in Orlando. That makes it simple what to do to celebrate. Go out to eat! Here are the birthday dinners we attended and the delicious meals we consumed, along with one we did on our own. Never mind the added sugar and cholesterol consumption. I’ll deal with those later.

The Tap Room at Dubsdread
Buffalo Shrimp
10 oz. Herb Encrusted Prime Rib
Key Lime Pie

Buffalo Shrimp  Prime Rib  Key Lime Pie  

Le Coq Au Vin
Tarte l’Oignon

Beef Bourgignon
Crème Brulee

Tarte L'Oignon  Beef Borgignon  Creme Brulee         

Delaney’s Tavern
Roasted Mushroom and Burratta Flatbread

Almond Crusted Salmon
Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Mushroom and Burratta  Almond Crusted Salmon Peach Cobbler

Fig’s Prime
Goat Cheese Croquette
9 oz. Filet Mignon
Rum Chocolate Torte
Goat Cheese Croquette  Filet Mignon Rum Chocolate Torte

If you could wish for your favorite meal, what would be your appetizer, entrée and dessert?

Adventures in Dining Orlando

This year for my birthday dinner, I chose to eat at Boma, the African buffet restaurant inside the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World. The lobby is impressively massive with a huge Christmas tree at this season.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

We arrived early to stroll outside and view the animals roaming the plains within range of our cameras.

Then we headed to the check-in desk at Boma. After reaching our seats, we gave drink orders before heading to the buffet. What an amazing array of choices! I started with a salad, a corn muffin and a spoonful of hummus on pita bread. Since I’d had soup for lunch, I bypassed this selection.

Next I joined the line for a slice of carved prime ribs and a piece of barbecued chicken. I skipped the turkey since we’d be eating this soon for Thanksgiving. Although I’d eaten shrimp recently, I couldn’t help a few of the peel and eat shrimps on display.

The accompaniments were varied and with an African theme. I had mashed sweet potatoes, a corn pudding, corn and peas, macaroni and cheese, a pearl couscous dish, rice with coconut milk and peanut sauce, a mushroom egg soufflé, and more that I can’t remember. It was SO good that I would definitely return, although the $49 per person price is a bit steep. You do get a 10% discount as a Disney passholder.

Desserts are the to-die-for variety. Here’s a sampling of what we had. Bread pudding with vanilla sauce was one dish, plus all the brownies or cookies you could eat. I liked the novelty items, which tasted divine.

It’s not a meal you can have too often, though. I probably gained a few pounds this night. The pumpkin pancakes I ate for breakfast the next day at KeKe’s didn’t help, either. Now we are home and I am eating healthy until our next trip to Orlando.

Hollywood Studios and Beyond

We spent an afternoon last weekend strolling around Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. Turning right at the first main intersection, we passed the fast food places on our left and gift shops on our right. Straight ahead was the Tower of Terror. I went on this theme park ride for one time in the past, and it was my only time. However, I like to admire the structure because it reminds me of Dead Roots, my haunted hotel mystery. I had this attraction in mind when planning the layout for my fictional resort, which was also inspired by the delightful Tower of Terror movie.

IMG_0835 Tower Terror

Many of the former attractions were closed and we couldn’t access the back streets. Remodeling is underway for the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway and the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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We viewed the tourists along with this local resident.

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Then we went into Star Wars: Path of the Jedi to see a 12 minute film and get cooled off in the air-conditioning. The film follows Luke Skywalker from when he began his journey as a Jedi to when Rey took up the challenge in the latest saga film.

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We saw the new Star Wars Solo movie at Disney’s Dine-In Theater. The action kept me on my toes throughout along with keeping track of the various political factions. I especially liked how Han met Chewbacca and Lando. If you want a good escapist film, I’d recommend it for an entertaining couple of hours.

We ate at several restaurants in the area. Here’s the stuffed mushroom appetizer we enjoyed at Longhorn.

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Breakfast one day was at Wilderness Lodge.

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Dinner at Ahi Sushi.

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We also went to the Farmer’s Market in Winter Park and then strolled along the shops at Park Avenue after lunch.

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This was a welcome break. Back home, I completed my final read-through of Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day mystery series. Now it’s ready for production!

 

Dining Out Fort Lauderdale

You may be wondering why I write about food so much on this blog. Authors have lives, too, and I happen to enjoy dining out, taking cooking classes, and experimenting on recipes. Everything we do feeds into our creative works. You’ll find recipes and food mentioned throughout my Bad Hair Day Mysteries. So here are some local spots aside from the usual chains.

Dar Tajine is a Moroccan Restaurant that draws you in with its lush décor. The menu selections were varied enough to appeal to everyone at our table.

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We started out with Zaalouk, an appetizer with grilled eggplant, tomato, garlic, olive oil and spices. It tasted like Ratatouille and came with triangles of pita bread. For my entrée, I had the Beef Tajine that was wonderfully tasty and tender. My husband had the Vegetarian Tajine that looked substantial enough for his appetite. In my estimation, tajine means it is slow-cooked and served in these interesting pots. We’ll have to go back to try the Shish Kabob and Chicken Bastilla. Mint tea and a selection of pastries concluded the meal. The restaurant is located at 8281 W. Sunrise Blvd in Plantation. Go to http://www.dar-tajine.com

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On Mother’s Day, we dined at Vienna Café & Wine Bar. This is a favorite when we want a special night out. It has a continental atmosphere with Vienna classics on the menu. I started with the Mushroom Fricassee. The mushrooms are sautéed with port wine and cream and served in a flaky pastry. My main dish was the potato-crusted salmon, which came with a pinot noir cream sauce and steamed asparagus. I ordered a side dish of potatoes au gratin. This is located in Davie at Pine Island Plaza. http://www.ViennaWineBar.com

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So here’s my question for you. Do you like to read about my dining and travel adventures? Or would you rather I stick to how-to articles on writing and the writing process? Perhaps you like a mixture of both? Please let me know what interests you.