Hola, Cuisine de Peru

A little while back I noticed that a Peruvian restaurant opened up near me, Rustics’s Chicken: Rotisserie & Peruvian Cuisine. My mom was visiting and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try something new.

The restaurant is small but clean and the staff was friendly. The menu was extensive with sections for appetizers, chicken dishes, beef dishes, seafood selection, and desserts. Prices ranged from $5.95 to $20.00. We tried the following:

Appetizer: Causa de Pollo: A friend explained this dish to me, so I knew I had to try it. The dish was made with yellow potato, hot pepper, lime juice, and chicken. It was very tasty, with a touch of heat and lots of flavor.

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Main dishes

Aguadito de Pollo: This chicken and cilantro soup was bursting with flavor. It was beautifully presented and pipping hot. The price of the dish was $8.95 but this is a full meal and the serving size was generous.

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Chaufa de Carne: This dish is fried rice with beef, green onions and eggs. The meat was well seasoned and this dish, like the other dishes was so full of flavor. It was served fresh and hot. The serving size was a generous portion of rice and plenty of beef.

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Having never tasted Peruvian food before, I had no point of reference as to what to try, what is traditional, and how things should taste. For me, I’m a fan of everything I tried and want to try more of the menu. All dishes were served fresh and hot. The service was wonderful and it was well priced. I would recommend the restaurant and will definitely go back.

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Top of the Box: Edition T+T

The creative coaching minds at Crossfit Troika put together a competition style event in which teams are randomly created and athletes of all fitness levels can work together in a multi-wod event. The event is held once a month, typically on a Friday, and is hosted by various boxes across the Central Florida area. The purpose of the event is to promote community building and teamwork while having fun!

Crossfit Taino hosted the Top of the Box event this month and it was such good fun!

I’ve missed the several of the previous events (including when my home-box hosted) so I was very excited to attend this event. I was initially very intimidated to take part, as the majority of the athletes were experienced and advanced athletes (I’m very much a beginner!). Thanks to my teammates (I was lucky to have been randomly paired with a long-time teammate) and the assistance of those around me, I did very well and the nerves quickly dissipated.

I continue to be in awe of the crossfit community. Everyone is friendly and supportive. It is the one place that for just a little while I feel as if I’m not being judged by how heavy I am, rather I’m seen as just another athlete. Don’t get me wrong, being surrounded by six-pack abs, hot-squat booties, and overall athletic bodies that are made for fitness magazines, is a little overwhelming … but the focus is on enjoying the journey, supporting each other, and being good ambassadors for the sport and community. Music, laughter and fitness are paired with good vibes and, in my mind, that is the formula for a good time!

The turnout was great, the event was organized, and everyone had such fun. I managed to grab some clicks after my team’s heat was up (lucky for me we competed in the first heat, so I could take pics the next couple rounds). I’ve never multitasked as both competitor and photographer before, so it was rather interesting!

A special thanks to Crossfit Taino for allowing me to photograph and to all who were so friendly and supportive!

(Hopefully all facts regarding the event are correct! I apologize profusely if I missed giving any credit to where it is due!)

Artegon Marketplace

A movie afternoon with the roomie, was in the books and a Saturday matinee was chosen as the day/time, with Cinemark at Artegon as the location. Why these deciding factors? Have you seen the price of going to the movie theatre lately?!? You need to hock a kidney! $7.50 for a 1:50 showing was a deciding factor. Bonus: Recliner seats! (The cheapest and most comfortable movie experience ever!)

Neither of us had never been to Artegon Marketplace (formerly known as Festival Bay), so we arrived a little early to walk around. What a treat! Artisan shops, all individually designed and decorated make up the interior of what once was a traditional indoor mall. Various open hallways hosts game stations with games like ping-pong, air hockey, giant checkers, etc. There is an indoor ropes course along with trampoline fun and putt-putt golf. There is a blown glass studio, where you can get lessons!

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Art work lines the walls and there are sections that showcase art by high-school students. There is even a postcard station!

The best part? It is dog friendly!!!

The only downside is that there are minimal food spots, so I recommend dining before and stopping at the bakery or waffle stop for a sweet treat.

Overall, this is a great spot for girls day/night out, a date spot, or just an afternoon out and about. I will be going back as I’m excited to do some Christmas shopping, with Ruby, and finding interesting, non-commercial, gifts.

Tapas? Yes, Please!

My friend called me a couple of weeks ago and the conversation went like this:

Friend: “I’m going to a watch a band perform and your coming with me”

Me: “Ok”

Friend: “Also we are going to eat at a new, trendy place called Santiago’s Bodega”

This was also ok with me as I’m really a fan of experiencing new dining experiences.

Santiago’s Bodega is located in the Mills area Orlando – a very up-n-coming neighborhood, that is a little hipster, a little hippy and a lot of diverse. The menu is composed of soups, salads, cold tapas, and hot tapas.

A comfortable atmosphere with ample food choices

A comfortable atmosphere with ample food choices

 Our group of 3 started the night off with the red Sangria (as any self-respecting meal that consists of tapas should be started)

Delightfully refreshing

Delightfully refreshing

Then the fun started. Our server gave us an insightful look into the restaurant’s history and design scheme (I was impressed with his knowledge) before providing pointers on menu delights and portion sizes.

Without further ado: *Tapas come in varying portion sizes and it is common to order 3+ to sample amongst the group – be warned that while it may not seem like a ton of food, your belly will quickly be satisfied.

Spicy Shrimp Bisque: I opted for a cup, as opposed to a bowl. The bisque proved to be warm and comforting, served with a single shrimp floating on the top. There was a hint of spice but for those who do not like “heat” it would still be tasty.

Comfort in a small cup

Comfort in a small cup

Cold Tapas

The beach in a bowl

The beach in a bowl

Yellowfin tuna ceviche: This tasteful bowl contains avocados, mangos, onions, and yummy tuna. The tuna was perfect and the blend of flavors conjured images of life on a beach. The portion was split between 2 people, however would have been enough for 4 people to sample.

Hot tapas

Shrimp and Chorizo – two skewers that you should eat, that is all

Get this - Don't share

Get this – Don’t share

Croquettas – these typically come two to a plate, however if you ask the server is happy to add additional for each member of the table. Filled with potatoes, prosciutto, and provolone cheese these little pan-fried babies are divine and were a table favorite. Be sure to utilize the scallion cream .

Saganaki – I’ve had the flaming cheese dish at other restaurants and enjoy the presentation more so than the dish itself. Personally, I’m not a fan of saganki however I like saying the word….

Saganaki

*warning, this image may contain adult content

Dessert

The dessert menu is small in comparison to the rest of the menu, however ask the server about the specialty of the day. We dined on “cronuts” (the croissant-doughnut fusion that was sensationalized by the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York). While I did not order an espresso or cappuccino, I wish I had as they would have paired perfectly.

Perfect completion to the meal

Perfect completion to the meal

All in all it was a marvelous evening. The service was wonderful and the food exuded thoughtfulness and a willingness to satisfy the cravings of a discerning pallet.

Go Forth and Eat

Go Forth and Eat