Archive for the ‘Ethnic eats’ category

Pho, chocolate and beer = happiness

August 28, 2010

Lunch was fresh and hearty with Vietnamese rolls and plentiful, steaming pho with sauces and toppings and a complimentary avocado shake at Orlando’s ViMi district this afternoon.

Food expert Scott Joseph joined us at popular local restaurant Pho 88, shared valuable food and dining insights and gave us copies of his book the Orlando Restaurant Guide.

Then we headed to an unique chocolate shop in picturesque downtown. Farris and Forster’s was a chocoholic’s heaven where we got to get out hands dirty – making our own chocolates – with some help from co-owner John Foster Lanenga and his staff.

An hour after handling truffle, nuts, fruits and dark and milk melted chocolate, we left giddily with boxes of our own creations.

It’s no surprise that it’s popular among children and adults alike with the calendar packed with birthday parties and date nights.

Next stop – Florida’s only certified organic microbrewery.

President and self-proclaimed beer snob John Creek let us taste their local brews and gave us a personalized tour of the hidden gem Orlando Brewing Co. Too bad they don’t preserve and transport yet – I could start craving the golden wheat brew Miami Wise back in Boston…


Turkish tapas and more at Istanbul-lu

August 9, 2010

As a huge fan of chelo kabab and similar Persian or Middle Eastern dishes, I am delighted to see the menu at Istanbul-lu (from Istanbul, Turkey) in Teele Square, Somerville and cannot wait to try it.

Reviews rave about the Paca soup and maximum yum borek, and Turkish tapas. The Globe calls it “outstanding”. It suggests Izgara patlican (grilled eggplant with tomato sauce), patlican salad (roasted eggplant), pastirmali (pastrami panini), piyaz salat (white bean salad), sultan’s delight (eggplant puree with lamb) and rice pudding.

Cafe Istanbul’lu
237 Holland St.
Somerville, MA, 02144.
(617) 440-7387.

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