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CRAVE Orlando

CraveQuingio

CraveExteriorCRAVE is a chain restaurant with eight locations in the U.S., two of which are in Florida.  The Orlando location is located near Mall of Millenia.

CraveInteriorI had heard some pretty good things from some of my friends and decided to check it out.  Their tagline is “Fresh. Vibrant. American.”  It definitely was vibrant in here.  I really was fond of the atmosphere here.  It felt like someone from Pier 1 Imports came in here and decorated this place.  It’s very spacious inside, high ceilings, and warm inviting colors.

The menu had a good variety of food with sushi, salads, burgers, tacos, pasta, flatbreads, etc.  I selected the Kogi Beef Tacos as an appetizer.  The tacos contain beef short rib, kimchee, spicy mayo, green onion, and cilantro.  I found the Kogi Beef Tacos too salty.  Where’s the flavor of the kimchee?  Where’s that pungent smell? I just get a lot of saltiness.

CraveKogiBeefTacos

 

CraveLambBurgerCraveSpicyLambBurger1The only item I was really fond of during my visit here was the spicy lamb burger although I would hardly call it spicy.  I enjoyed the unique flavors and this would be something I’d reorder again.  I always enjoy a good tzatziki sauce and the combination of goat cheese and carmelized onions definitely made this burger.  The french fries were more thin than I had preferred.  The burger is a good portion size.

CraveQuingioThe Quingio is a fruit sushi roll consisting of soy paper, apple, mango, grapes, cream cheese, topped with strawberries & coconut with a blueberry sauce.  It sounded intriguing but unfortunately this is one of those items that sounds way better than it tastes.  The cream cheese was overpowering, it made the roll salty and I did not get enough sweetness from the fruits.  Less rice and less cream cheese would have made this more enjoyable.

 

The service here was fair.  Not impressionable, not terrible, just fair.  The atmosphere is great.  The food was very much a hit or miss in my book. In general, I would find it hard to come back and pay full price.  CRAVE does have some good happy hour specials Sunday through Friday.  I most certainly would not go out of my way to come here.  Being a the location so close to Mall of Millenia, there are plenty of other establishments I would go to first.

http://craveorlando.com

HOURS:
Sun: 10am-10pm
Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30am-11pm

 

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Greens & Grille Millenia

GreensGrilleSteakHouseSalad

GreensGrilleExterior
So I finally stopped in to see what Greens & Grille was about.  Why has it taken me so long?!  Well, let’s see…Whenever I drive past this place, it looks closed.  That dark tint threw me off and then the restaurant didn’t really stand out to me.  The sign looked gimmicky or perhaps TOO healthy.  I don’t know, there was just something that never made me stop in to eat there.  Also, I didn’t know anyone else who had ate there before.  Finally someone I knew ate there and just raved about it.  Well, you don’t have to twist my arm to get me to eat food!  Maybe bone marrow.  Maybe.  As soon as I walked in, I see the menu on the wall to the left.  It’s got nice, vibrant colors in here.  As soon you walk up to the counter, the employee takes your order.  It’s not till the end of the line where you pay for your meal.  In between the trip from the ordering station to the register you’ll pass the salad station and then the grill station.

GreensGrilleInterior

 

 

 

 

I was a little overwhelmed at first.  It seems so simple, salad or sandwich but the choices were abundant.  If you weren’t feeling either option then you could also order some grilled items.  I selected the “steak house salad”.  The menu description reads: ‘Mixed greens, candied almonds, sliced egg, cranberries, grilled onions, bleu cheese with aged sherry thyme dressing served with flank steak.’  There’s always a moment of ‘will the description match the dish’ and in this instance, it really did.  I thoroughly enjoyed my salad.  The portion was generous, the flavors were great!  I kept eating more than I should have but it was just so good!  Even the candied almonds were amazing.  Instead of just roasting whole almonds or roasted pieces, they used sliced almonds.  The great part about this was the fact that it was candied all together so there was a layering effect and then broken into pieces.  Thus more flavor achieved and easier chewing.  My flank steak was very tender and flavorful.  I tried some of the baked mac and cheese, pretty tasty as well.GreensGrilleSteakHouse

I like how Greens & Grille uses half sheet trays as trays for the customer.  How resourceful!  The employees were quick and attentive. My only quip would be that the outdoor seating was so crowded. I thoroughly enjoyed this place and will definitely return for more!

http://www.greensandgrille.com/index.shtml

HOURS:
Mon-Sat: 11am-9pm
Sun: 11am-8pm

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Keke’s Breakfast Cafe Millenia

KekesPinaColadaStuffedFrenchToast2

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.

KekesFloridaWaffleThe 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!

 

 

KekesPinaColadaStuffedFrenchToast

 

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!

 

KekesEggPortabellaNext, 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.

KekesGreekOmelet

 

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.

KekesCottageCheeseFruit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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