Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scratch Birthday Dinner

We celebrated my sister's birthday while we were in Orlando at Scratch, a tapas-style restaurant in Winter Park.  It is somewhat new (8 months old I believe).  We walked in just after 7 and had a short wait for one of the few tables.  We cozied up to the bar and stared at A.C. Slater while we sipped on some Cava.


Our server recommended two dishes per person. We still needed some time to think, but wanted to get started with a couple things. I guess "getting started" is the wrong term since they took forever to get to us.  First were the fries (not pictured)... perfectly crispy but soft in the middle.  But, they needed salt badly!  Then we dug into the salmon and tuna tartar duo.  The melt in your mouth tartars were perfect with the crisp blue potato chips. 


We were running out of Cava, so we ordered  a bottle of the O.P.P. Pinot Noir.  Great choice!  This Willamette Valley wine was so yum.  As you can tell by my adjective mastery, I'm a master sommelier.


Our bubble soon burst again, tons of menu items were already 86'ed!  BOOO!  Three things we really wanted to order, the Broccoli & Cheddar, Short Rib and Roasted Figs were out due to their popularity.  Apparently they just started opening on Sundays and are trying to get the ordering down.  In our desperation we got the Bread & Butter.  Four tiny pieces of bread with two huge pieces of butter.  One butter was roasted garlic and one was strawberry.  Good bread, yes.... good butter, yes.  But 4 little slices.  Booo!  They must have been running low? 


Then we had the Loup de Mer, a grilled sea bass with a beer blanc sauce.  It was flaky and flavorful with slightly crisp skin. The sauce was ahhhmazing!  I could drink the sauce.  I ate it so quickly I forgot to take a photo.

Next up was the highlight of the night, the Pork Belly Adobo.  The fattiness of the pork was perfect with the lime, fresh carrots and thinly shaved onion.  We were so happy that we ordered two of them!


The last thing we ordered was the Veal Breast Confit.  It could have been really great, but only parts of it were.  One bite was juicy and tender... another was dry and tough.  Luckily there was another slurpable sauce, Romesco, to cover up some of the dryness.


Our server brought over a complimentary dessert for my sis's bday, the Dark Chocolate Torte!  So glad that we could finish off an a high note!  It was decadent and chocolatey.  The sea salt really set it off.  But of course, we also had cake at home...shhh don't tell!


Our experience at Scratch was full of highs and lows.  But the highs were really high.  I would love to go back next time I'm in Orlando, and hopefully they would have worked out some of the kinks.  I think this restaurant has potential to be one of the best places to eat in O-town.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flying Solo

I'm back from a great long weekend visiting my family in Orlando.  My sis flew in from Denver and I flew in from Toronto to see my mom and aunt for the long July 4th weekend.  It was the first time I had been away from Wyatt for more than one night, I sure missed my little munchie man!  But it sure was nice traveling without a baby.  When I arrived at the airport, I went to this cool little place. Apropos,  where you can order from iPads (and browse the web too).... but dang that was a pricey breakfast!


The burrito came out in about 10 minutes and man was it tiny!  It was more like a taco wrap than burrito.  Luckily it tasted delicious.  I was pleasantly surprised after my initial disappointment.




I had a layover in Chicago and walked by Garrett popcorn.  I could not pass up Chicago Mix!  I got a bag to go to share with the family.  It was SO hard not to dig into it during my flight.



But right before my flight left, hunger crept in and luckily there was a Jamba Juice.  I got my favorite smoothie, the Strawberry Surfrider.  I craved that smoothie constantly when I was preggo.



I had a task to do when I landed, make my sister's birthday cake.  She had a special request which I was more than happy to fulfill.  Yes, it's bad for you cake mix and frosting, but it's only once a year.  Plus, all my attempts to make cake from scratch were less than stellar... always so dry!



Then I expertly decorated with Reese's Pieces ;)



After cake decorating was shopping, I walked away with a few things from the Milennia Mall.  We were going to eat lunch at Panera, but I saw they had a Chick-fil-a and I NEEDED it!  It had been a loooong time since I indulged in this fast food awesomeness.  It was just as wonderful as I remembered.



What else do you eat after junk food?  Even more junk food!  It was cake time... and for the first time ever, my mom did not have candles!  Oh, except one, a cinnamon apple votive that my sister had to hold, haha.



We needed a nice walk after all that, so the next morning we walked almost 5 miles in the Florida heat, blech.  Of course the sis and I had to take a photo in front of our old high school.



That night we went to celebrate my sister's birthday at Scratch, a newer tapas-style restaurant in Winter Park.  Full review tomorrow!