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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

 

CRAVE on Urbanspoon
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Taco Bus Tampa

TacoBus

Two words.  Taco Bus.  I’ve heard about it but I hadn’t ever been there.  Well, no better time than now to try it out!  I’m on my way to go see Muse in Tampa and I’m in need of some good food.  It’s number 1 for Cheap Eats for the Urbanspoon Tampa Bay area.  There are quite a few locations in the area but I decided to go to the one in Tampa.  Located on Hillsborough, near 275 it’s in an easily accessible location.  There was ample parking.  To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of food trucks.  Often times, I find that it’s too greasy but I know it isn’t always the case.  I see the bright yellow bus with the menu in front.  Oh man!  The choices, I’m getting pretty excited.  I’m here at the Taco Bus, so I’m definitely going to get some tacos.  They also have burritos, quesadillas, ceviche, desserts and other items.  Ok, step 1. Taco.  Next, the protein.  Man, I want it all!

TacoBus

 

3tacos

A server comes by and informs me that there’s a seating area available.  Awesome, I can sit down and figure this out.  I looked around and there’s an “outdoor” seating area and also an indoor seating area.  I really like this, getting food truck food and having actual places to sit.  I’m looking for any unique items on the menu.  The beef tongue is jumping out at me.  I’m definitely going to have to get that.  The do have a 2 taco deal for $8.99 which includes 2 tacos, rice and refried beans.  Personally, I’d rather forego the rice and beans for another taco, so I’m going to get three tacos instead.  I’m in the mood to get some different meats rather than the traditional carne asada.  Ok, I think I’m finally done.  1. Fish taco 2. Beef tongue taco 3.Cochinita Pibil taco.  I really liked all the colors going on.  Fresh flavor, some pickled veggies, I’m digging it.  The tacos were a double-ply of the corn tortilla but it worked out since it had so many toppings.  I didn’t eat all of the tortillas (I find it a bit much at times) but I was glad to have it though.  The fish taco was fried, white cream sauce was a bit reminiscent of mayo.  (Which I’m not the biggest fan of.)  Next up, the beef tongue.  I’m trying to think of how beef tongue “should” taste.  Not.. quite sure.  I remember the last time I was adventurous with a taco, I wasn’t too pleased since it was pork rind taco.  It was nothing what I had imagined.  This time, I figured it would be meaty-like.  I didn’t think I was ever going to say this statement but…”That is some good beef tongue there!”  I was truly surprised.  Beef tongue?  Who knew what delicious it entailed?  (Too bad it wasn’t an oxtail taco, then the “entailed” comment would have really worked.)  Wow.  Last but not least, I had the cochinita pibil taco.  The menu describes it as “Shredded Pork marinated in Achiote and bitter orange, then wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted in a smoker  (BASED ON A 5,000 YEAR OLD MAYAN RECIPE!)”  It’s definitely not spicy but flavorful.  I could taste the bitter orange.  All in all, everything was great.

 

2tacodealMy friend ordered the 2 taco deal with carne asada, rice and beans.  For the vegetarians out there, you’ll be glad to know the rice and beans are vegetarian friendly.  The rice was “okay” for me.  It had corn, carrots, and peas in it.  Both the rice and beans were fluffy.  The menu also had some seasonal drinks and also horchata.  Horchata is a sweet drink made from rice, condensed milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  It was very sweet, a little too sweet for my tastebuds.  (Although I must say, this drink is really good with some Crown Royal.)  Three tacos in and I’m done.  Everything looked great and I can’t wait to try more.  They have plenty of vegetarian options that actually sounded delicious.  This location is open 24/7, which gives Taco Bus even more cool points.  I’m a night owl and it’d be great to have something else to eat aside from the typical Denny’s.  I’m sold on this place and I’ll definitely swing on by here next time I’m in Tampa.

 

 

 

 

Taco Bus on Urbanspoon

Sloppy Taco Palace

Sloppy Taco

A buddy of mines asked me if I wanted to go to STP.  STP?  Stone Temple Pilots?  uhhhh. no.   He tells me it’s some taco place that’s really good.  “Oh yea?”  Well, sounds like the Feisty Foodist is getting some tacos!  It’s in the shopping plaza where Agave Azul and Kim Wu are located.  It’s right over the bridge and to the left behind Chick-fil-A on Kirkman Road.  The parking lot has quite a bit of car for a Tuesday evening, which is good.

As I enter, it looks like a typical bar place.  But for the love of food, it’s freezing cold in here! WWHHHHHYYY?  I guess for the drunkards, you wouldn’t even notice the cold but for the sober chica (i.e. me) I am freezing.  Atmosphere is pretty ok, spacious on the inside, decent outdoor seating as well.  Beer selection is adequate.

The prices are fairly inexpensive, most being around 7 dollars.  A la cart items are available as well, so for those on a budget you can get a lot of food.  On Tuesdays, they have sloppy tacos (only beef or chicken) for 2 dollars each.  My server was Tiffany, she was nice although it took awhile before I was able to put my order in.  I’m just waiting….waiting…waiting….   I hope these tacos are pretty decent or else. argh.  Luckily, this place has free wifi and it’s keeping me entertained.

 

I come to the “Sloppy Taco Palace” so of course I’m going to see how amazing these “sloppy tacos” are.  I definitely recommend the beef.  The chicken was a “meh”.  The flour tortillas were slightly fried and it gave it another dimension which I appreciated.  I tend to favor more spicy food and I didn’t want to just throw some Crystal’s hot sauce on it.  That would be just wrong!  I asked the server what other sauces they had.  Surely, there’s some Cholula or something.  Unfortunately, no Cholula here but at least they had some Texas Pete Chipotle and Tapatío.  What a difference that makes!  The beef taco didn’t need any sauce but I found the chicken a bit on the bland side.  The sloppy tacos were quite satisfying and they weren’t too messy.

Another taco on the menu jumped out at me.  “Greek taco.”  Oh really?  Hm.. this could be quite tasty OR disgusting.  I’m willing to find out which.  Let’s see what we got here: chicken, romaine lettuce, onions, feta, tomatoes but no olives. NO OLIVES!  My taco could really have used some olives but they didn’t even have any in the kitchen.  It’s not a BIG deal but it definitely would have tasted even better.  Also, the tortilla was cold.  After having the slightly fried and fluffy tortilla from the sloppy tacos, I was a bit disappointed with the Greek taco tortilla.

All in all, this is a good place to go to if you want to drink and have some tasty food.  The service was a bit lackluster but aside from that note, I would return here.  With a jacket.
Sloppy Taco Palace on Urbanspoon

Be forewarned if you go their website, turn your volume down.  I’ve just saved you from a screaming “AH-YEEEEHAAAAA” in your ear.  You’re welcome.

http://www.sloppytacopalace.com/index.html