Tag Archives: Orlando

Margaritaville and Blue Man Group on City Walk

This weekend Brent’s parents came to town for his father’s birthday. In celebration, we headed to Margaritaville and Blue Man Group. Both of them are located at Universal Studios City Walk. SO MUCH FUN.

City Walk is really just the area that connects the two Universal Theme Parks. There are tons and tons of restaurants, dance clubs, and little things to do. The collection of restaurants in City Walk is really impressive. I am DYING to give Emeril’s a try, just to see if my Chocolate Pie measures up to his version of it…haha yea right. But he does have a restaurant here 🙂

Brent’s favorite, by far is Margaritaville. He is always telling me how growing up Jimmy Buffet was the music always playing in the background. It’s what he grew up on. And who doesn’t like Jimmy Buffet?! There’s always one song that everyone can enjoy. Mine…Cheeseburger in Paradise. FOR SURE!

So when Jimmy Buffet comes on the radio, I usually end up hearing some story about his childhood when that exact song was playing. BUT, there is one song that I can already tell you the story to because it is the same exact story every time. Volcano, by Jimmy Buffet. I had never actually heard this song before Brent, but I’ll tell you Cheeseburger in Paradise is still my fav.

When Volcano comes on, I always hear about Margaritaville and the Volcano. Every half hour they play this song and at the end of it, the volcano blows! We ended up sitting right next to the thing, and I was actually kind of excited to finally see what I had been hearing about for the past year and a half. What’s funny, is when the volcano blows, it actually fills up a large blender at the bottom, which is behind the bar. It is actually used in the Margaritas. WEIRD, and cool.

The infamous volcano.

Now as you can imagine, the drink of choice is a Margarita. I’m not such a huge fan so I went with a Banana Habana Smoothie deal. It was DELICIOUS. I loved it. The list of tropical drinks is actually quite extensive. (Sorry the pictures are a bit dark, but the mood was set for romance)

 

 

YUMMO. As far as a vegetarian option, there isn’t much. But then again, Jimmy Buffet doesn’t sing about salads or veggie sandwiches. Cheeseburger in Paradise! They have tons of them. I ended up grabbing a Veggie burger. It was packed with broccoli, corn, peppers and everything else. It was actually really good! Brent said he prefered his real beef. At least they have an option for us veggie lovers!

 

 

We finished up our cocktails and started to walk across the little pond they have separating the two parks. We are actually in the midst of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, which is supposed to be seriously intense. Their slogan, “Once you’re in, there’s no way out!” Muahahahaha!

If you have seen the commercials for it, it’s usually a group of teenagers running from zombies and they narrowly make it through a gate to where they are finally safe to sip on their Coca Cola (some nice product placement here), BUT! there are zombies awaiting them on the other side too! I’ve heard fantastic things about it and really want to go, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze it in.

ANYWAYS, Blue Man Group! AMAZING! I have seen it 3 or 4 times (I can’t remember). I’ve been up in Boston and now Orlando. The shows are extremely similar but really just as good. Somehow, without talking or even making a gesture to talk they make it a funny show. It is really centered around the drums and the music but it will definitely have you laughing throughout the whole thing. What they are able to do with so many different types of materials is really impressive. If you haven’t been before, I strongly suggest it. You can check out this site, to find the one that is closest to you. If there isn’t one close to you, I suggest keeping it in mind when you travel. WORTH IT!

That was pretty much the highlight of my weekend, plus seeing Brent’s family of course! This morning I jumped up and went for a 7 mile run! WHOOT WHOOT! But more on that fun stuff later!

 

Have a GREAT Monday!

Do you have songs that remind you of specific events?? People?? Periods in your life?? What’s your most memorable song-event memory??

For me, there are almost too many to remember. The one that sticks out right now it Miley Cyrus, See You Again. My roommate and I in college would be standing in the bathroom getting ready for the night out, blasting this song with a hair straightener in one hand and a bottle of Andre in the other. It really got us excited for the night and put us in a great mood getting ready.

 

 

Pesto and Egg Sandwich and Lee and Rick’s Oyster House

This morning I ran around to a few offices before heading home to finish up some paperwork and make some lunch. For lunch, I wanted to come up with something original. But I ended up just making a version of my Pesto, Egg Breakfast. But, it was delicious.

Ingredients:

2 Slices Marble Rye Bread 1 Hard Boiled Egg, Sliced
1 Teaspoon Pesto 1/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1 Tablespoon Chives 1 Slice American Cheese

There’s really no need for directions to this one. I toasted the bread pretty good and melted the cheese on top. I would recommend lightly toasting the bread because the texture would work a bit better with the sandwich.

It was delicious.

The rest of the afternoon I spent cleaning and finishing up some projects.

When dinner rolled around, Brent and I met up with his parents to head to our favorite resturant in Orlando. Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar. I have brought everyone that comes to visit Florida to this place and they have all loved it.

It is an Oyster Bar, obviously, and you order the oysters by the bucket, raw or steamed. I usually get them steamed. You waitor pulls out the bucket and just starts shucking them in front of you. She places them on the bar for you to slurp down. YUMM.

 

The oysters are really the best I have ever had. They don’t have sand or that sour taste that you can get every once in a while that just ruins the whole experience. A bucket is about 3 dozen and it’s only 15 bucks! Can’t beat that!

 

They are so good. You have the option of topping it with lemon juice, hot sauce, cocktail sauce or some horse radish. I’m sure if there is something else you like on these slimy guys, they would help you out. If you have a problem with the texture, try it with a saltine.

For an appetizer, we got the calamari…this time.

 

They have a bunch of other options as well. Crab legs, crawfish, calamari, clams, mussels and a ton more. They also have a solid selection of beer. I do have to say, it is a unique place to eat. Just don’t wear your best clothes. Chances are you will walk out with a bit of a fish smell tagging along 🙂

It’s so much fun and just a little dive bar. If you are in town, I would say this is a local spot that tourists wouldn’t really have to opportunity to swing by.

 

Give it a go! You won’t be disappointed! It’s right up the street from Universal!!

What’s your favorite resturant?? Is is a dive bar or a large chain?? What makes it your favorite spot??

I love this oyster bar because it is a dive bar. The food is fantastic and it really is an experience when you walk in. I am a happy little clam when I walk out of there 🙂

 

 

Skinny Pumpkin Muddy Buddies!

Oh YEA!

Today was pretty typical. I went to work, picked up some dinner, came home, walked the dogs and ate. Brent was planning on joining me for dinner so I chose one of our favs, Eden’s Fresh. It is a local restaurant that I am slightly in love with. It is a salad place that has just unbelievable salads. Nothing crazy or anything, just the perfect combinations of toppings that compliment eachother so well, that they seem to do flips in your mouth and you chew it. Sounds cool right??

I picked Brent up the Buffalo Chicken Salad and I had the Chitwood.

SOOOO for the main event! Skinny Muddy Buddies! If you ever hung out with me when I was in high school I was probably eating one of a very short list of foods. For a snack, normally a peanut butter flavored power bar, OR Muddy Buddies. Yes, I had a fantastic metabolism that I wish I had back now. People always said that it would just fade off one day and like a kid, I didn’t believe them. Welcome to your Mid-20’s Lauren!

Anyways, the Muddy Buddy lover in me spotted the wonderful Chex chilling on their shelf in the cereal isle and I had a craving for my long lost snacky friend. That thought led to the, what if there was a way to make them JUST a BIT lower in calories?? Which led to, OHHHH and Pumpkin!

An idea was born. I’m truly a fat kid at heart.

The idea, turned into THIS:

Ingredients:

4 Cups Rice Chex Mix 1 Cup Orange Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoon Biscoff Spread 1/4 Teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
1 Package Vanilla Pudding Mix, Sugar Free, Instant

Directions:

1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat up the chocolate in 30 second increments until smooth. Mix between heating up. Once melted, stir in the Biscoff spread and pumpkin spice.

2. Place the chex in a medium or large sized bowl. Mix in the chocolate until all of the chex are covered.

3. Now transfer the covered chex in to a sealable ziploc bag. Add in the vanilla pudding mix, UNMIXED, and shake until all of the chex are covered. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened! And Done!

I am so excited about how amazing these came out it’s not even funny. They are perfectly pumpkin filled and fantastically ORANGE! I got the orange chocolate at Jo-Ann Fabrics at 2.99 for the bag. I used a little over half the bag and plan on starting another project with the leftovers. If you don’t want to swing by there, just grab some white chocolate chips if that is easier.

Biscoff Spread is my new discovery. After deciding to go with Muddy Buddies, I went to grab some peanut butter and on the top shelf, above the peanut butter I discovered Biscoff Spread. It is a cream made of Biscoff Tea cookies! Crazy good. It is also much lighter than the original peanut butter. And nut allergy friendly!

So, what exactly did I cut out?!

The original recipe::

9 Cups of Chex Cereal 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter 1/4 Cup Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Delicious, but the Skinny version has NO Butter and NO Powdered Sugar. AND it’s pumpkin! Whoot Whoot.

I’m really happy with it. Give it a try! It’s a great little sweet snack and something surprising to put in a trail mix!

What was your favorite snack as a kid?? Have you done anything to mix it up since then??

Frank N Stein’s

Not Frankensteins. But Frank N Steins. They are a local pub in downtown Orlando that specializes in Franks (Hot Dogs) and Steins (Beers). Cute right??! Brent and I stopped by last night for a little snack and a beer.

They have really different styled hotdogs to choose from. Even Veggie dogs! I’ve had their greek dog that included a veggie dog, feta cheese and hummus. Strange combo but really good. My go to at this bar is the Well’s Banana Bread Beer. It seriously tastes just like banana bread.

 

I wasn’t starving, and Brent isn’t picky, so we opted for some Cheesy Nachos. These are really fantastic Nachos and seriously loaded.

One of the draws of Frank N Steins, I think is the fact that they offer flights of beer. I love when there are flights of wine that are offered at restaurants because it gives you an opportunity to try a few different wines that may complement your meal. Flights of beer are a lot harder to find.

I don’t even want to guess how many types of beer they have available here, but it’s a ton. Their beer menu is MUCH larger than their food menu.

Slightly absurd. There’s no way you could give these all a try. Brent tried a blueberry beer that I can’t remember the name of, but it was also fantastic.

If you are ever in the area, I would recommend stopping by this little pub. They also have games like Jenga and connect four to have fun with at your table 🙂 It’s like an adult play room or something. Beer, board games and giant TVs. Oh and did I forget a large shuffle board??! Who could ask for more?!

 

What makes a pub one of your favorite places to go?? Is it the wide selection of beers?? The big screen TVs?? The munchies?? Or Board Games??

 

I love places that allow you to try a bunch of different things. Most of the time when I am staring at such a large menu I can’t seem to decide. So trying everything is a GREAT solution!

Abracadabra Ice Cream and an Apple Butter Egg White Breakfast

This morning was  a really slow one. I ended up sleeping in until 10, which NEVER happens. But we were out late celebrating our friend Jeff’s birthday and after the 6 miler, I can understand how I might have been a bit exhausted.

When I was looking into the cabinets for a direction to go with I found the left over egg white from the Chocolate Oreo Pie I made yesterday and some unopened Apple Butter. And BAM! Breakfast was born.

What’s in this masterpiece is 2 egg whites, 1 Tablespoon of Apple Butter, 1 Slice of American Cheese and obviously a slice of bread. It was really quite simple. The Apple Butter adds a sweetness to the sandwich that was really unexpected, but in a good way. I haven’t experimented with Apple Butter too much in the past, but after this experience, it is making it our of the fridge more often.

After devouring the sandwich, I still wasn’t satisfied, so I mixed up a protein shake with Vanilla ALmond Milk and Chocolate Protein Powder.

Brent and I then brought the puppies out on a little adventure. We swung by a nearby school to play fetch with them, but after about 10 throws they were donezo. It was in the 90’s today here. WOOF.

So we gathered up the pups and headed off to ABRACADABRA! It’s an Ice Cream shop located in Kissimmee. There is also a sister location in Clermont, FL. As I was talking to the owner, he was saying that the concept for this place was developed by a Chef in Utah and the idea is actually a nation wide concept.

But what is the concept exactly??

Well, you pick out all of your ingredients for an ice cream flavor. They also have some suggestions for you. I chose the Apple Pie Ice Cream and Brent had a Magic Mix. They put a liquid batter I guess you would call it, into a large metal bowl. Throw in the apple pie mixings, and the zap it with Liquid Nitrogen! Cooooollll.

The amount of smoke coming off of it was a crazy amount more, but my camera wouldn’t focus. 😦 Oreo actually started barking at it as it was rolling off the counter at her.

The options here are absolutely endless, which I think is the best part. Let your mind wander and come up with your ideal flavor of ice cream and you can make it come to life at this place.

If you for some reason don’t LOVE the ice cream flavor that you got, they will gladly take it back for you and mix up another one for you. Brent and I LOVED our ice creams. Arguably some of the best I have ever had.

They are extremely dog friendly as well. LOVE those places 🙂 As soon as we rolled up with our crew, Oreo got in her few barks and the owner literally ran up to the two with dog bones and a huge bowl of water. They had a great little time. I had to share a bit of my ice cream with them too. Such a sucker.

We were also noticing that they really seemed to invite everyone to come out and just hang out. I can’t tell you how hospitable the owner was. He was really on top of making sure we were loving the ice cream and the puppies were happy. He runs the place with his family and they also have pizza on the menu!

In the back, they have a fenced in area for kids to run around and enjoy their ice cream.

I really just got the sense that the owner loved what he did and really just wanted people to be happy. And he definitely did that. If you are coming down to Fl for vacation and get to disney, I would suggest popping over to Abracadabra. It is a nice little escape and you can’t get ice cream like this just anywhere. If you live in the area, just do it 🙂

For the remainder of the day, I caught up on some more sleep and it seems pizza is on the menu for tonight. Casual, lovely Sunday.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Pumpkin? Apple Pie? Fish Food?? Or just the standard chocolate and vanilla??

My go to is cookie dough. Always have and always will. It’s my no fail. But I love trying new flavors just to spice things up!