Breakfast at Dixie Belle’s

The brunch spot for the past two year’s has been KeKe’s (I’m all about 2 pecan pancakes with eggs and bacon, the bacon is really good – the coffee is sub-par). However, due to a noticeable drop in service level we’ve (the bestie and I) been searching for a new breakfast/brunch spot.

In a google search of “top restaurant spots in Orlando” I came across Dixie Belle’s Cafe. Top reviews on Yelp plus the proclamation of “home of the sweet potato biscuit” cemented the decision to give the joint a try.

A super cute little place, very homey and causal. I decided to go with pancakes, eggs, bacon and a sweet potato biscuit.

Service factor: 5 out of 5. Very happy with the waitress. She had a wonderful personality, offered suggestions, made sure coffee was always filled, and was attentive without being overly attentive.

Food: 4 out of 5. The pancakes were delightful and the eggs cooked as ordered. The bacon was ok, a little flimsy for my taste. The coffee sadly was sub-par (not strong at all). The sweet potato biscuit tasted like someone captured the essence of fall, wrapped it up and delivered it on a platter. Sweet without being too sweet – and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg – I could have eaten another!

I highly recommend this little place and definitely will be going back.

 

 

 

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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.

Lunch Treats: a la Persia

Friends of mine invited me to lunch. I was going to say no and go workout, but the location was a Persian restaurant in Longwood. I rarely say no to new experiences, especially when they include food!

The location was Ali Baba House of Kabob in Longwood, FL. For my first Persian dining experience, I was happy! They offer a lunch buffet and even though we came in late, the kitchen made sure to have fresh kabobs out for us. The owner was very polite and let us know that even though the buffet was closing, whatever we needed would be brought out fresh from the kitchen.

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Time for lunch, Persian style

I feasted on:

  • Persian style rice (saffron basmati rice mixed with lentil):
    • YUMMY! The rice was moist and the lentils added a subtle surprise. It should be paired with everything.
  • Gormeh sabz (green onion, parsley, spinach and herbs sautéed and cooked with beef)
    • I enjoyed this dish, it had good flavor without being overpowering with spices
  • Mirzaghassemi (baked eggplant blended with tomatoes, garlic, eggs, and spices)
    • I’ll be honest, not really my favorite. However, I was told that it is an acquired taste, so I felt better.
  • Kibbe (oval-shaped ground beef, bulgar wheat, herbs and spice;  deep fried and served with yogurt sauce)
    • This was a yummy treat. It is definitely best eaten with the yogurt.
  • Mast-o-khriar (chopped cucumber mixed with creamy yogurt)
    • Good for cutting any spice on anything. Is good with the fresh pita style bread.
  • Shirazi salad (chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and mint mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and spices)
    • Eat it, love it, you are welcome.
  • Chicken and Beef Koubideh (charbroiled minced seasoned meats)
    • A lower end cut of beef. This was probably my least favorite. The meat wasn’t very well seasoned and had an odd texture to it. However it pairs well with mast-o-khriar.

To finish it all off we had chai tea and baklava (YUMMY!)

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Time for lunch, Persian style

As an introduction to Persian food, I was satisfied. The service was good and it was a pleasant dining experience.

However, the best part of the day for me was getting to spend time with wonderful friends. It was so great to get to experience food from their homeland, share stories of different cultural experiences, and get to know each other better.