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PIZZA ANYONE?

Lee and I came from NY and NJ and have had Pizza from Rome to Florida with many slices in between. Fact – each time we are up north we cannot leave without taking a trip to Connecticut to visit Frank Pepe’s Pizza or Sally’s in New Haven. Pepe’s for the Clam Pie and Sally’s for the Tomato Pie. We have had a few good slices in Florida, but now we have found some great slices at Pizza Bruno, a delicious out of the way spot in the Hourglass District of Orlando. Casual, Delicious, bubbling hot wood fired pizza, with a tasty crust, a nice craft beer selection on tap, decent wine, and the perfect spot to spend an easy weekend afternoon. The restaurant is comfortable, industrial with concrete floors, high ceilings and long wooden tables but it is the smell of the wood-fired pizzas cooking in the oven that grabs you first. The pizza is done my favorite way, thin crust, well done, with a bit of char and smoke. Pizza Bruno has some interesting and creative flavors, Lee’s personal favorite is the Peach Pie, a bubbly hot pie with fresh peaches, artisan made cheese, Nueske’s bacon and topped with arugula. My favorite is the Ninety Two with fresh mozz, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, red onions, olives, oregano, chili flakes and pecorino. But I do not think there is a pizza in the oven here you will not enjoy. Of course, Bruno’s cooks up traditional pizzas too, or you can always create your own. Pizzas are not the only items on the menu, but I cannot imagine a reason you would want to order anything else. In fact, Pizza Bruno makes so many pies, that they have two wood fired ovens burning. Interesting menu, great concept, and a nice experience. On our first visit we were greeted like old friends and that welcome has continued to this day. They do have dining outside, but not in the rain, as the patio roof currently has a leak. Insider Tip – If you go on Monday, the Pizza Margherita is on special.   You can visit Pizza Bruno 7 days a week, dinner only Monday to Friday but open from 11 -10 on weekends. Pizza Bruno is at 3990 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. If you have tickets for a show at the Plaza Live Theatre on Bumby Ave., Pizza Bruno is a good spot to enjoy dinner before the show. Drive time is about an hour and ten minutes and the good news is you do not even have to take I4 to get there. Mangia!

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End the Summer at the Pensacola Seafood Festival – September 23 – 25th

The Seafood Fest has lots to offer and is a nice way to spend the afternoon or the evening.  The seafood is local and fresh from the Gulf of Mexico and served by local restaurants.  You can enjoy shrimp, crab, scallops, grouper, alligator, crawfish, and for the folks who don’t love seafood you will find a large assortment of food including hot dogs, burgers, chicken, and nachos.  While enjoying festival goodies you can wander around and check out the local artists selling paintings, photography, ceramics, etc.  Enjoy the live bands, the chefs are doing cooking demonstrations, and as always the Florida Sun is shining.  What more could anyone want from a day.  The beauty of a festival in Pensacola is the beach.  You can stay in Pensacola, Fort Walton, Navarre, or any of the beach towns in the area that you love.  This is a great vacation stop and a nice celebration at the end of the summer.  Cool weather is coming, and I for one can’t wait.

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Looking for a new restaurant. Why not go Mediterranean and give Mediterranean Fresh Grill in Winter Haven a try.

The cuisine is Lebanese and Mediterranean and is served in a modern, spotless, restaurant that you might just drive past, as it is in a strip mall.  Please don’t let the location stop you from giving this eatery a chance.  Lee and I drove past this location many times and never gave the restaurant a second look, but while we were shopping in Winter Haven we met a group of folks that were raving about this spot.  On our next date night, we found ourselves in Winter Haven and decided to go Mediterranean.  We were both delighted by the service and the quality of the food.   The food is fresh and delicious making this stop a local gem and a place we plan to enjoy again. We recently had family with small children in town and we recommended they visit the Fresh Grill after spending the day in Legoland.  They too came back with amazing reviews.  If you are looking for a new, fresh flavor and a new restaurant add this one to your list.  If you go, let me know what you think, and we may meet you there.

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Mango, Corn, and Black Bean Salsa

This is the perfect easy summer recipe, no cooking involved, yet you can serve this with chicken or pork, or serve in a taco, on a salad, or a fajita.  We enjoy this salsa on a slice of cucumber or a taco chip. Sour Cream on the side is a tasty accompaniment. 

3 Large Mangoes, diced

16 Oz of Frozen Corn defrosted and drained.

16 Oz Can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained

2 Limes Juiced, if you feel the salsa needs more juice add the juice from an additional lime

¼ Cup chopped fresh cilantro or if you do not like cilantro sub in parsley

½ Red Onion Finely Chopped

Toss all the items except Cilantro in a bowl and combine.  Add the Cilantro, serve and enjoy.

 

This Salsa is also good on chicken or fish and since we are all grill enthusiasts, this is a great accompaniment to whatever you are cooking up on your grill.

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Pizza in Florida

When living in NY and NJ we could get great pizza with lots of flavor, sometimes we would order a thin crust, well done pie and sometimes we would order a Wood Fired Pizza with lots of crispy, burnt edges.  Living in Florida we almost forget the taste of a good pie, but recently we found a delicious pizza at a neighborhood place, unfortunately just not in our neighborhood.  We had pizza at Dimitri’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar and Grill in Sebring , Florida.  We were working with clients in Sebring who recommended we give this local “joint” a try.  We were glad we did.  The pizza was delicious and reminiscent of NY Pizza.  It was well done, served hot and bubbly and really hit “our pizza spot”.  In addition to Pizza, the 5’O’Clock Somewhere Bar has a full bar including Cold Beer on Tap, and how could you not love a beer with your pizza.  Casual, Comfortable and VERY LOCAL but Worth the trip in our book.