now browsing by tag
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, in that case, ya better eat good! It’s a bit strange for me since I work nights. Is it technically still breakfast? Do I count it as dinner for me? Regardless of what I should classify my meal to be, I aim for it to be a tasty.
Whenever I find myself craving breakfast food after I get off of work, I end up at First Watch in Maitland. First Watch has been around since 1983 and it’s easy to see why. I have consistently had great service and consistently good food. The interior isn’t much to brag about but when I come here, I’m not going for the ambiance. It’s clean, bright and simple. No frills.
First Watch has a breakfast and lunch menu. Most of the food I’ve ate here has been from the breakfast menu. One of my favorites is the Florida French Toast. I love all the fresh fruit on here. Banana, kiwi, strawberries, what’s not to love? Yummy sourdough french toast with a delectable very berry compote. This is definitely a great way to start the day!
For those not into the sweets for breakfast, I always recommend the Chickichanga. It’s always great tasting and fun to say. A flour tortilla filled with eggs, chicken, chorizo sausage, green chilies, Cheddar and Monterey Jack, onions and avocado. Delicious and hearty! Topped with Vera Cruz sauce and sour cream. The taters are good with the Chickichanga.
Both of these meals aren’t the most healthy items, needless to say. For those who are more health conscious, there are plenty of options. Give First Watch a go and start your day off right!
First Watch Maitland
View Larger Map
Chicken and waffles, is it my latest obsession? I don’t care much for the Lay’s Chicken and Waffles Chips but as far the real stuff goes, it’s pretty good. Chef Eddie’s is supposedly THE place for chicken and waffles but being the feisty foodist that I am, I knew I had to go try some for myself. Not only did people speak highly of Chef Eddie’s for the chicken and waffles but for soul food in general. Well, that’s a tall order to beat! Being raised in Virginia and living in the panhandle of Florida, I’ve had my fair share of soul food.
Chef Eddie’s is located off of John Young Parkway on Orange Center Boulevard. This was my first foodventure here. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I entered into the restaurant. A couch to the right, the kitchen area to the left. The decor was a bit more, down to Earth I suppose? Not quite sure how to describe it. “Homely” is perhaps the best word.
Well, I knew for certain I was going to get some chicken and waffles but the shrimp and grits caught my eye. Yes, I’m a glutton and I ended up getting both. Who can pass on shrimp and grits?! The shrimp and grits here comes with a “gravy” and a piece of buttered toast on the side. If you haven’t tried grits with biscuit gravy, you’d be surprised how good it tastes. Well, this Shrimp and Grits ($6.99) has a very seafood flavored gravy and whole deveined shrimp. It was on point! The shrimp was perfectly cooked, very tender and full of flavor. Needless to say, I took care of that dish.
I also have my chicken and waffles to take care of. At Chef Eddies, not only can you get chicken and waffles but you pick the type of waffles. The ten different choices are: Plain, Red Velvet, Apple Cinnamon, BIG Berry Mix (Fresh Strawberry, Blueberry &Raspberry), Banana Walnut, Chocolate Chip, Sweet Potato, Strawberry, Butter Pecan and Blueberry. Wow, that’s a lot of different waffles. You can get additional flavored waffles for an additional $1.50. I started to imagine some colorful leaning tower of waffles.
I ended up ordering the Chicken and Big Berry Waffle ($7.95) which came with 5 pieces of chicken drumettes and wingettes. The waffle itself was pretty good, nice flavor although I’ve developed a preference to Belgian Waffles. This is more traditional style so it’s not as thick. The fried chicken didn’t have much batter and it was slightly reminiscent of the chicken one would get from a Chinese takeout. The chicken was crispy, seasoned well and good overall especially with some hot sauce. I can’t say that this is the BEST chicken and waffles I’ve ever had, but I can definitely say it’s the most unique. You can definitely make it your own and if fried chicken isn’t your style, then they have fish, shrimp, or steak to accompany the waffles.
Definitely get the shrimp and grits here. As far as chicken and waffles go, it’s something to try although I’m not sure if I’d order this every time I visit. If you’re wanting a one of kind place for breakfast, come here. I know I will and I intend on returning back to try some of the dinner entrées.
Mondays – Closed
Tuesdays – Sunday 8 am – 8:30 Pm
View Larger Map
Yes, I went back to Keke’s again. Not long ago, I went to the Keke’s in the Hunter’s Creek location. I wasn’t too fond of the place, to say the least. I had been to the Keke’s in the Millenia area over 3 years ago and I remembered having a good experience there. The Chefettes wanted to hang out and I’m not one to turn down a social outing! It had been since December since we had gathered together so it was much needed. The weather had been getting cold and warm, cold and warm (frustratingly so). I just had gotten off of work and took a power nap before meeting with the ladies.
One thing to make of note with Keke’s is that they will not seat you unless all members of the party are present. Luckily, I had made it just in time. This Keke’s location is in front of the Mall of Millenia. It can be a bit frustrating to get to this location especially when you see the restaurant right in front of you but can’t really move anymore due to traffic. ARGH!! For a Tuesday noon, it’s quite packed. But then again, it’s right in front of Mall of Millenia. As soon as I walked in, we got seated. Our server, Priscilla was very pleasant and prompt in taking our orders. What to order, what to order? There’s the breakfast menu of course, but it is already noon so perhaps lunch menu? Naaah….. Breakfast it is! Now what to get? I remembered this first time I came here, I had the Florida waffle and it was just amazing. I suggested to the ladies we should all get a dish and share. Hey, what can I say? I love to try all sorts of stuff. We ended up settling on the Florida Waffle, Piña Colada Stuffed French Toast, Greek Omelet, Eggs Portabella, and a side of cottage cheese. I wasn’t terribly hungry but I definitely am always up for food.
The interior had the same paintings as the others, bright warm colors throughout. Not really much to make a fuss over though. I get my Florida Waffle and it’s just how I remembered it. Fresh fruit on top of my waffle, this was just excellent. It really hit the spot. Strawberries, bananas, blueberries, yum!
I didn’t know what to think about the Piña Colada Stuffed French Toast. It honestly just sounded too sweet, as far as the pineapple, coconut and cream cheese. Honestly, this was super delicious. My only gripe about this dish was the fact it was with Texas toast. In my opinion, it really seems like the sourdough holds up really well for French toast. The Texas toast wasn’t bad, mind you, but it did seem a bit much. One of my friends commented on how dry the bread was. Overall, this dish gets my seal of approval for flavor. It definitely wasn’t too sweet at all!
Next, I had the Eggs Portabella. I’m actually glad one of my friends ordered it, since this is what I originally ordered the last time I was at Keke’s but received the wrong dish instead. Just look at the color of the home fries, it’s already so much better looking than the home fries I had at the other location. I’m not trying to gripe but since I had only went to the other location not long ago, the experience is still fresh in my head. The eggs were served over an English muffin.
I’m still making my way to the other dishes. The Greek omelet was decent, nothing amazing but definitely eggs were cooked right. I could have used a little more feta. The cottage cheese plate was a very large portion. It was good. In totality, I’ve been to Keke’s 4 times now and I think the Millenia location has been the best one so far. I’ve always had great service here. The french toasts and pancakes tend to be the better entrees on the menu but you really can’t go wrong with any of the breakfast items here. I have yet to try the lunch menu, but I’ll definitely return to check it out.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m hungry. As in I need food, NOW! Hmm…Where to go? I’m certainly not going to Keke’s. I may go back one day…in the far distant future. Well besides the fact that I’ve established where I’m not going to get breakfast, I’m in need of some food in my belly! Close by, is Cracker Barrel. Now, I remember my first experience at Cracker Barrel back in August 2004 somewhere in the middle of Alabama. Boy, have my thoughts on this place changed since then.
Cracker Barrel is a southern food style restaurant with a store in the front. Rocking chairs everywhere, household gifts inside and nostalgic candy. If you’ve been to one, it’s pretty much the same thing for all of them. Not saying that’s a bad thing, at least that ensures consistency. I’ve always said if you do something, do it well. For breakfast, Cracker Barrel hasn’t disappointed me so far. It was pretty packed inside but my friend and I managed to get seated quickly. Our server, Sarah was prompt with our order. I decided to get “Momma’s French Toast Breakfast”. You can select between various fruit toppings for the French toast or 100% natural syrup. For those who are into low carb diets, there are low carb options available. I toyed with the idea of getting a low carb breakfast but nahhh, I’m going for the French toast! To occupy your time. the table has those wooden peg board games. Did I mention how nostalgic this place is?
My food is here! Boy, am I ready! Four slices of sourdough bread dipped in eggs, topped with peaches and whipped cream. What’s not to love? I enjoyed it thoroughly although I do feel 4 slices of french toast is a bit too much to consume. Especially since I had scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon as well. Presentation-wise, my eggs didn’t look neat or scrambled really. More like a haphazard omelet/scrambled egg product. Hey, it tasted good so I wasn’t going to complain although I did ask for no whipped cream on my French toast. Oh wells, these are only minor things. The bacon was right on the money, thick and crispy. All in all I’m full in a good way, mission accomplished.
After eating, I like to wander around the store and see what interesting products they have. Candy, clothes, music, random knickknacks, it’s fun to see. You’ll find this location in front of the Target on OBT and 417.
Keke’s Breakfast Café is located on Town Center Boulevard near John Young Parkway. This is a local chain that have 5 locations in the area. I have been to 2 other locations and had thought this location would be of the same caliber. In the Hunter’s Creek area, there aren’t too many breakfast places aside from the typical IHOP/Perkins/Cracker Barrel restaurants. I normally am not the biggest fan of breakfast but anyone who knows me, knows I love food.
It’s Saturday morning and boy, is it packed! Luckily, it didn’t take long to get seated. My server introduced himself and then proceeded to tell my friend and I that it’s his first day on his own. Well, that’s not good since it’s quite busy. I look over the menu and if memory serves me right, the Florida Waffle is quite delicious. However true that may be, I’d rather have eggs this time. I ordered the “Eggs Portabella”. What came out wasn’t the “Eggs Portabella” instead, I got the “Portabella Omelet.” I’m 100% certain I said “Eggs Portbella” but I decided to keep my dish, perhaps this will be good.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t really pleased with my dish at all. Flavor-wise, the omelet was fine but the egg itself was overcooked. The home fries tasted like they were parboiled then slightly fried. It was greasy and bland, some pieces burnt. You ever try another bite of something, perhaps thinking it’ll taste better? Yeah, totally didn’t work. I looked around at other guests, the home fries looked the same too. Dull and blah. The rye bread should be fine at least, right? They buttered that bread till it was soggy. I tried some of my friend’s “Banana, Nut and Caramel Waffle.” It was fine, nothing spectacular but a little better than my meal. I felt like the server was trying to avoid checking on us. Or perhaps he was just really busy. All I know is that he was constantly going and avoiding eye contact. I had to flag him down to get a different side item instead of these home fries. What can’t really be messed up? A cup of fruit. My fruit cup consisted of sliced bananas, strawberries, 2 orange slices, blueberries and grapes.
I did not leave here satisfied. The menu items are overpriced and not worth it. I’ll stick to Cracker Barrel for this side of town.
The Old Spanish Sugar Mill = great times. I hadn’t even heard of this place till I got here. Why has no one told me about this place before?! So since I’m such an awesome person, I’ll tell you about it. I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast but I can make an exception for today. It’s a bit of a far drive from Orlando but you’ve got to at least come here once. It’s about 45 miles/1 hour north of Orlando in DeLand. DeLand? Yes, I said DeLand. Trust me, I don’t roam around those parts very often either.
The Old Spanish Sugar Mill is a quaint restaurant where you make your own pancakes on the griddle. You also cook your own eggs. Wait? So you’re paying to make your own food?! Yes, but it’s fun! And not expensive either. It’s great families or anyone who needs to get away from the city life for a little while. I recommend making a day event where you come here for breakfast/lunch and spend a few hours at De Leon Springs State Park.
As soon as you enter, you feel as if you took a step back in time. Be forewarned, this place doesn’t have AC. Luckily there was a nice breeze outside and the restaurant had lots of fans. I hadn’t been to a place where I made my own pancakes. This definitely sounds like a fun concept. The place was packed, understandably since it’s Saturday. So far, I’m really loving the ambiance. Even the menu is cute! All-you-can-eat pancakes, eh? For $4.95, that’s a good deal. Uh oh, I think I’m going to have an impending food coma. On the menu, we have the typical pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage items. The kitchen staff cooks the meat products and the customer cooks their own pancakes and eggs. This is a plus for any ovo-vegetarians. You don’t have to worry about your food touching meat products. That’s a plus there. The menu also offers sandwiches, salads, assorted juices and toppings for your pancakes. My friend ordered a carton of chocolate milk, and even though it was good, it was 30 grams of sugar! WOW, that’s one way to get your day started.
You get two types of pancake batter. The typical white batter and a 5 stoneground flour blend. So, if you have a health nut, give them the other stuff. I decided to get blueberries as my topping for the pancakes. I asked my server, Jessica, if the blueberries were fresh. Well, I’m thinking she meant “freshly frozen” because my blueberries were definitely not fresh. There’s a difference between the two, just saying. Also, the menu states they have “real” peanut butter. As if there is “fake” peanut butter! I found it quite amusing especially since they don’t even make it themselves. Don’t bother ordering the peanut butter unless you want unsweetened peanut butter. (It’s not the best tasting in the world.) Even despite those factors, I am still enjoying the experience. I had a great view and just relaxed. Perhaps relaxed isn’t the right word. I leisurely made breakfast.
(Left) Regular Batter (Right) Flour Blend
You get an option of raw honey, syrup and molasses. Let’s just say molasses wasn’t for me but having more than one option is nice. The tasty bacon was a nice thick cut, great flavor. The sausage had that hint of spiciness in it. All in all, I had a great time here. After you get all filled up on the food, walk around the park, enjoy the sights and burn some calories!
FYI: this place automatically adds 18% gratuity.