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Italio Kitchen Winter Park

ItalioSalad

ItalioOrderingWe want it all when it comes to food.  Healthy, quick, and cheap.  Italio Kitchen in Winter Park achieves that mission (well, perhaps not necessarily cheap but it’s fairly inexpensive).  The most expensive item on the menu is $8.98.  There are actually three Italio locations in Florida but only one in the central FL at this time.  Italio is like an Italian version of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

 

ItalioInterior

The interior is clean and crisp with red, gray and white throughout.  You get more of a casual, urban feel here.  Outdoor seating is available.

ItalioProteinsItalioVegetablesThe basic run down:

1. Pick your style: pasta, piadina, or salad.
2. Pick your protein: shrimp, steak, chicken, Italian sausage, meatball,
chicken fritte, or veggie (zucchini and baby portabella mushrooms).
3.  Select your sauce, pesto or dressing.
(FYI: all of the pestos are nut-free).
4. Select your toppings.
(Lots of fresh toppings here.)
Don’t forget the cheese!  MMMM… cheese.  I love some shaved Parmesan.

ItalioSpadinaSaladPastaFor the pasta, you have two options (traditional or whole wheat thin spaghetti).  Piadina is actually an Italian flatbread but at Italio you eat them as a wrap.  At first, I couldn’t get into it conceptually.  All the pictures I saw had the wraps with pasta in it.  Pasta?!  That’s like…carb overload!  Well, I stopped and thought about it.  People eat rice in their burritos, so why not pasta in their piadina?  Makes sense.

So the last time I went to Italio, I ordered a salad bowl (once again).  My salad consisted of: shrimp, romaine, blended greens, arugula, baby spinach, basil chiffonade, black olives, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, eggplant & sun-drired tomato caponata, mushrooms, red onions, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic and parmesan cheese.  That was a mouthful! Literally.  I had the balsamic dressing on the side and I actually barely used any.  The roasted garlic and basil chiffonade gave my salad an extra boost.  The staff mixes all the contents together and I recommend getting the dressing on the side.

 

ItalioCalamariMisto

 There’s also other items on the menu as well such as the Italio Sticks, Calamari Misto, and Cannoli Chips.

Italio is good for a quick meal, fully customizable.  There’s even online ordering for this location but you’ll still need to go to Italio to pick it up.  It’s a healthy option to grab a bite if you happen to be in the area but not a must-try place.

http://italiokitchen.com/

HOURS:
Monday – Sunday 10:45 am – 10:00 pm
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Matilda’s on Park

MatildasRooBurgerHalfView

I absolutely love going to different restaurants and trying new food.  Matilda’s on Park doesn’t disappoint!  I hadn’t heard much about Matildas but recently a friend told me that they served Kangaroo burgers here.  Oh really?  Hmm….

Matilda’s on Park is located on Park Avenue across the street from Panera Bread.  Outdoor and indoor seating is available.  In the front of the restaurant, the doors were open so it was more like covered outdoor seating for me.  Towards the back of the restaurant, there were more dining tables.  Flat screen televisions throughout the front area and in the men’s restroom as well (from what I was told).

MatildasCrabBitesThe menu had a nice selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, classic entrees, and gourmet mac and cheeses.  One of the appetizers jumped out at me.  The Jalapeno, Cream Cheese, Cheddar & Crab Bites ($11).  When I selected it, my server’s eyes lit up.  “They’re soooo good!”  Brittany was so genuinely enthusiastic about it.  I could only hope I’d feel the same way afterwards.  The crab bites had a nice crunchy layer on the outside and lots of crab meat inside.  Bits of jalapeno throughout, not overwhelming with the cream cheese flavor.  It was very tasty although I wouldn’t have minded if it were spicier.  The crab bites were served with a mango honey mustard although my friend and I agreed the mango flavor wasn’t that prevalent.

I just knew I had to get the kangaroo burger.  Even for the sheer novelty of bragging rights.  The Roo Burger is not 100% kangaroo meat due it’s leanness.  There is some beef mixed into the kangaroo meat to form the burger patty.  They no longer carried the pretzel buns but brioche, multigrain and croissants were still available.  There was an option to make the burger “Aussie style” by adding a fried egg and beet but I really wanted to just try burger without the extra fixings.

MatildasRooBurgerThe Roo Burger ($14) has onion straws and a cheese lager sauce on it.  I made my fries the Crab fries with a cheese sauce.  The old bay seasoning wasn’t overpowering and made the fries extra delicious!  The cheese sauce was really good as well but the only problem when you have a cheese sauce like this, it tends to solidify quicker.

So the real question is, what did the kangaroo meat taste like?  Absolutely amazingly delicious.  It was beef like; however, it gave me a food flashback to summer of 1997.  That’s when I had my first venison burger.  It wasn’t too gamey but there definitely was a unique flavor here.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed this burger.  It was simple yet so tasty.  The buttery flavor of the brioche bun, the crispness of the onion straws, the light saltiness from the cheese sauce.  I really enjoyed it overall.  Unfortunately, I was so stuffed from only half of the burger.

MatildasRooBurgerHalfView

Considering the location of the restaurant, the quality of the food, and the portion size I don’t think the entrees are overpriced.  Nice atmosphere, unique menu items, I’d definitely return here.

 

If the thought of eating a kangaroo burger isn’t appealing , I’m certain there is something here everyone.

https://www.facebook.com/MatildasOnPark

Hours:

Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
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