Friday, March 2, 2018

Food for Thought: A Taste of Orlando

Orlando is notable for many things, but one of my most favorite things about living here is the food diversity.  There are so many locally owned restaurants featuring menus from all over the world. I love supporting local restaurants in my community.  With this trio Mecatos, La Mallorquina, and Padrino's, you can enjoy an amazing breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or happy hour at teacher-budget friendly prices. 
Mocha Latte from Mecatos
& some delicious chocolate
treat that I didn't eat.
My friend Shae introduced me to Mecatos, a Columbia bakery/cafe, in September after hurricane Irma hit and we had a six day vacation.  In the aftermath of the storm, we did what teachers do best in their time off and worked aka planning & grading. Mecatos was our gathering place for hot coffee and company.  Although it is open until 8 pm each day, I highly recommend breakfast.  You can kick start your day with one of the best espressos or lattes to be found on the east side of Orlando.  I like to add a pan de jamon & queso to my order while my daughter goes for the pan de bono. The pan de bono is freshly baked all day and if you time your visit just right, you can have one fresh from the oven.  I always take a bag home for later as they reheat well and cheese and bread, or a version of such, has always been my daughter's favorite food group. If you haven't had a version of this cheese bread, you should try it.  The bread has the viscosity/stretchability of cheese due to the use of tapioca flour.  We have unsuccessfully made a rather oily version at home, but I find it is simply more fun and economical to go Mecatos.  My friend Roxy swears by their guava ring. I also always surprise my husband with a treat from their dessert case. Savory or sweet, there is always something for everyone.  Their newest location, which is also closer to my house, has a great outdoor patio which makes it ideal place to visit this spring.

from Padrino's
La Mallorquina is a Puerto Rican bakery/cafe by my school.  I've never been there, but I've had many meals catered by them and had them cater lunch for our last edcamp. Everyone raved about their quesitos and the croquettes.  Julio knows that I love their croquettes so much that he last sent them to me in a heart shape. I would have a picture, but my phone died. They deliver and that makes it a bonus too.  I do have to pay their storefront a visit, but I've been happy with everything I've had from there including the tres leches cake.

Friday become Friyeah when I can head to happy hour at Padrinos, a Cuban restaurant, that has migrated its way to Orlando from SoFlo. They've been serving Cuban food to Floridians since 1976.  Though you could go there for lunch or dinner, I prefer happy hour where I enjoy sharing an order of a two-for-one mojitos with a friend.  Since I am a T1, I am only allowed an occasional one drink a day. It is a great place to gather before the dinner hour.  My girls love the Ropa Viejo while I stick to the happy hour menu which has 1/2 priced appetizers including empanadas. There are some real traditional Cuban offerings here, but I really want to go to one of their special events where they roast a whole pig.

If you find yourself in Orlando, you might just wander off the beaten path and try what I get to enjoy in the City Beautiful beyond the magic.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! We do have some great locally-owned restaurants in Orlando. Are the empanadas at padrino’s as good as the ones we live from Pio Pio’s ?


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