A great meal, good friends and a classic cocktail. That pretty much sums up a perfect night for me. I could be in Oslo, Oakland or Orlando, as long as I’m eating a good meal I am one happy camper. Orlando marks the half way point of my Florida adventures and I’ll admit to craving a little dinner conversation. I’ve invited my Orlando hosts Ken and Sarah to join me for a bite and I have a treat in store for them. I am taking them to the only place in Orlando to get a Caesar cocktail. It’s a classic Canadian drink and it is served by one of my favourite west coast Canadian restaurants, Earls Restaurant. A taste of home while snowbirding in Florida.
The Orlando location of Earls Restaurant is not the first Florida location for this casual dining restaurant chain. The first is in Miami. This location opened up at The Mall at Millenia in September 2016 and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
What do I love about Earls? Everything. When I first moved to Vancouver, BC in 1989 I would order a beer and devour the Bigger Better Burger. I still love that burger but as my palette has grown so has the menu offerings at Earls. Now I tend to order a craft inspired cocktail or a glass of wine and pair that with one of their internationally inspired entrees. The Korean Bibimbap dish is one of my personal favourites.
As I mentioned earlier the first round of drinks has to be a Caesar. Like a Bloody Mary but different. A Bloody Mary uses Tomato juice whereas a Caesar uses Clamato (a clam and tomato juice blend). Two thumbs up from Sarah.
Now that I’ve won them over with a cocktail it is time to wow them with some light finger food. Avocado Toast and Pork Carnitas Tacos seem like the perfect dishes to share with friends. Whoever created Avocado Toast should get a Nobel prize in culinary genius, just saying.
For our main dishes, Sarah went for my favourite the Bibimbap, Ken ordered the Salmon and I had a hankering for Steak + Sushi. As I expected it was fantastic. Both Ken & Sarah were impressed and Ken even remarked that it was the best Salmon he had ever had. High praise as he spends time every year in Scotland and eats a lot of freshly caught Salmon there. I was thrilled with my choice as it’s been ages since I’ve had Sushi. The little taste I had in St Augustine only made me crave it more.
We are stuffed, but can’t resist one more dish to share. A Smores Brownie with all the trimmings. Thank God there were three of us there to eat it. It is as decadent and ooey gooey as it looks. If you love Smores you will go orgasmic over this creation.
I have done my duty as a Canadian Travel Ambassador in Florida. While I have been soaking up the history, adventure and sunshine in Florida it is great that I can share a little love for one of my favourite Canadian casual dining restaurants expanding into the USA. Oh, and I was able to prove once again that the Caesar rules!