Ever wonder what everyone is spending their hard earned holiday cash on this season? Check out this insightful infographic that shows this season’s holiday shopping trends and what people are buying the most of in stores. Have a happy and safe holiday season from everyone here at Restaurant Equipment World (REW).
Check out our fun Turkey Facts Infographic just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday. All of us here at Restaurant Equipment World wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Guavate by definition is the mountainous, forested area in South-Central Puerto Rico known for its culinary delights. I can say the same about our recent trip to the restaurant Guavate right here in Orlando. Walking up to Guavate you get that tropical island feeling. Bright colors and a nice outdoor patio to sit, relax and enjoy friends and good food. Inside the restaurant takes you back to Puerto Rico, with the hustle and bustle of the staff, cozy seating and strong aromas of tasty old style Puerto Rican cooking.
Mere minutes after we arrived practically to whole staff was belting out their rendition of “happy birthday” to a customer, complete with maracas, bongo drums and the ever popular cowbell. On special occasions and holidays, you are apt to see live entertainment, but at this time Guavate does not have any weekly events.
We were hungry so we jumped right in and started with the Surtido Aperitivos de Carne which included pastelilitos de carne, alcapurrias de carne, rellenos de papas and chicharrones de pollo. Okay, now I will translate that for you for those of you (myself included) do not understand Spanish. It is an assortment of meat appetizers including meat turnovers, root vegetable fritters, potato balls filled with meat and chicken crackling. Everything in this sample platter was seasoned to perfection, lightly fried and served with a very tasty homemade salsa. You could opt to try their homemade habanero sauce as I did, but be warned – it is hot, hot, hot.
Our entrees arrived remarkably fast (we were still in the process of devouring our appetizers)for a restaurant that has a seemingly endless supply of guests. We orderd the Tripleta sandwich and Mofongos Rellenos. The Tripleta was served on a crisp, soft sandwich bread stuffed with pork, steak and ham. This sandwich was so large, it could easily be shared by two. I decided to go for the house specialty (I’m told), the Mofongos Rellenos or Stuffed Mofongo. I chose the Camarones al Ajillo or shrimp in garlic sauce. First an foremost, this entree is huge. A mound of green plaintains, garlic and pork cracklings ground together then stuffed with shrimp. The monfongo is perfectly complimented with a delicious garlic herb sauce. It smelled divine and it tasted incredible. Again, this entree can definitely be shared – it is a very large serving. It was our first time eating what Guavate calls “Old Style” Puerto Rican food. A unique and flavorful experience I would highly recommend.
Feeling homesick for the lovely isle de Puerto Rico or in the mood to try something different? Check out Guavate located at 422 S. Alafaya Trail (just past Lake Underhill). The are open daily from 11am to 9pm and on Friday/Saturday until 10pm. Guavate tiene una excelente auténtica comida puertorriqueña y usted será tratado como parte de la familia (thank you my Spanish speaking friends). Try Guavate, excellent authentic Puerto Rican food where you will be treated like one of the family.
Come one, come all to the friendly community of Avalon Park and visit a neighborhood favorite . . . the Eastside Bistro. This charming café style restaurant is the epitome of upscale casual dining. Purchased by a new owner at the beginning of the year, the Eastside Bistro has been completely renovated. Not only has the inside been rejuvenated, but the outside boasts a delightful new patio and bar area that overlooks a quaint little park with a great view of the fountain in Avalon’s town center.
Eastside Bistro features an extensive menu featuring food for all age ranges and appetites. We decided to start of with the stuffed mushrooms. Mushroom caps stuffed with lump crabmeat stuffing and topped with a lemon white wine sauce. They were just as delicious as they looked. For main entrees we choose to experience the menu from different sides of the spectrum picking the Pan Seared Salmon and the Pub Burger. The salmon comes pan roasted to perfection, accompanied by crisp asparagus and Florida citrus salad with arugula, cherry tomatoes, orange and lime slices, citrus dressing and salsa verde. A great combination of flavors that was very light and tasty. The Pub Burger was charbroiled and topped with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, Swiss cheese, an excellent house made steak sauce with a heap of freshly cut, crispy steak fries on the side. I’d say it was burger heaven for sure. On Tuesday’s I’m told they have all the burgers on their menu for just $6, what an awesome deal and something I would highly recommend. The owner, JC has told us that he will be bringing back the ever popular Sunday brunch in about a month – okay I’m in because it’s back by popular demand and it’s bound to be as palette pleasing as his daily menu. And last but certainly not the least by far, was the pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Seasonal decadence at its finest and just so you know all of Eastside Bistro’s dessert are made locally by a bakery right in Avalon Park.
Craving good food along with entertainment? Eastside Bistro has something yummy or entertaining every night of the week. Bingo, trivia, $6 burger night and live music on the weekends. What more could you ask for? Take your pet for an evening walk, on your way stop by Eastside Bistro and have a bite to eat, enjoy the ambiance and chat with a few of your neighbors. A great place to socialize, bringing the community together like JC says, “it’s all about relationships”. Visit often and keep your eyes peeled – I hear an expansion is a brewin’.
If fun, food and a great atmosphere is what you crave, check out Eastside Bistro. It is located in the heart of Avalon Park at 12001 Avalon Lake Dr., Suite F in Orlando. Planning a big event, they cater too. Give them a call at 407-381-0096, you’ll be glad you did!
REW has started a new monthly event . . . “Vendor Demo Days”. Our first event was this past Monday, September 16th featuring Blendtec. Barrett, our local Blendtec representative came and spent time in our showroom demonstrating the Blendtec Stealth blender. He made some fabulous and fresh pesto with pita chips for dipping, along with a couple types of tasty smoothies for all to enjoy.
Then it came time for the grand finale. Just as in the hugely famous “Will It Blend” videos produced by Blendtec, Barrett proceeded to show us just how purchase worthy buying a Blendtec blender really is. He blended a wooden broomstick handle! Yes, you heard me right . . .before a room full of customers and staff, Barrett blended a broomstick handle. It was shredded to mere saw dust in minutes. The room was filled with the pleasant odor of a lumber yard, and we all were amazed at just how quick and efficiently it blended. I have attached a video, in case you missed out. Don’t forget we have these events every 3rd Monday of each month, so mark your calendars today for October 21st and don’t miss out on our next adventure.
So . . . this is one of those restaurants where I say to myself “Where do I start?” Stefano’s Trattoria is the epitome of fine Sicilian dining. Owned by Stefano and Marie La Commare, and keeping it in the family you will see his daughter Antoniella and son Leonardo “Lenny” working right along side of them. It is tucked away in the back corner of a strip mall in Winter Springs, but don’t let that hinder you. Just walking up to the entrance can send your taste buds awry – you can actually smell garlic miles away. Okay, that may be exaggerating a bit but you get the picture, it smells wonderful. As you enter the restaurant you are taken aback by the plethora of awards and accomplishments that adorn the walls. Pictures of Stefano on the boat he grew up on in Sicily and stories and photos from years gone by definitely tell the story of a long line of family tradition. And if you were lucky enough to catch Stefano not in the kitchen cooking up delectable new recipes (like I was), he is more than happy and willing to talk about his family and their history. Walk inside Stefano’s and the ambiance makes you feel as if you are back in Italy enjoying a meal with Stefano and is family. Italian music playing, pots clattering and people everywhere running around with food – makes you feel right at home. And right at home you are with Stefano – who personally chats with each and every customer to make sure they thoroughly enjoyed their meal. Now that’s Italian!
On to the food . . . and again I am speechless (which is hard to believe where I’m concerned). Stefano fixed us up a “little” something he likes to call Antipasto Contadina. Not only was it extremely pleasing to the eye – a piece of culinary artwork, but it was more than tasty. Chunks of salami, sopresato, prosciutto, sharp provolone cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, black and green olives and anchovies marinated in a seasoned olive oil. The very best antipasto I have ever had, packed with only the freshest ingredients, bright colors and an amazingly simple marinade.
Then, we were lucky enough to be able to go back in the kitchen and watch as Stefano prepared our entrees. I think it was because we were filming him and he has a secret passion to be a movie star . . . but that is another story. As we watched him cook our entrees, I was amazed at how effortlessly he seems to breeze through the process. I was talking with his daughter Antoniella and she was saying how she has asked her father how he makes everything taste so good – his reply in his strong Italian dialect “it isn’t'a not rocketa science Antoniella”. No, he just makes it look easy. He conjured up his famous Zupa di Mare di Stefano for us in a matter of mere minutes. A colorful seafood platter with shrimp, mussels, calamari, clams and snapper deliciously simmered in a tomato sauce over linguine. Magnifico! Stefano also prepared one of his extremely popular daily chicken specials for us, Pollo Romano. Chicken wrapped around mixture of mozzarella, prosciutto, spinach and pine nuts covered in a marsala wine sauce with mushrooms. Call ahead and you can find out their specials of the day – I highly recommend this one.
Stefano’s specials, entrees and soups are so wildly popular that they actually have a book you can leave your name and number in and on the day that item comes up you will get a friendly call to let you know. How is that for customer service? Stefano’s also has an event called the Tavolata – six courses with a variety of dishes paired with wines from around the world. Call and get your name on the list – it’s a must do and it sells out very fast I’m told.
For desert we were presented with the Italian classic tiramisu and cannoli. What a way to end a meal, made fresh at Stefano’s and scrumptious beyond mere words.
The food, the family atmosphere, the service . . . oh did I mention the food. Well, it is by far one of the best I have ever experienced. The pride and the passion that goes into every meal is truly evident at Stefano’s Trattoria. If you don’t go to Stefano’s Trattoria, you will be missing out on a little slice of Italian heaven – it’s as simple as that. They are located at 1425 Tuskawilla Road in Winter Springs. The hours are Tuesday through Friday 11:30am to 9:15pm, Saturday 12pm to 9:15pm, Sunday 5pm to 8:30pm. They are closed on Mondays to take time with “la famiglia”.
Our very first REW Customer Appreciation Days have came and gone. We would like to take this opportunity to say “thanks” to all of our customers and vendor partners who attended. We had 17 vendors come to display and demonstrate all kinds of restaurant equipment and products. We had hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches and various other snacks prepared for everyone with products we carry right here in our showroom. We had the “Luv the Nug” ice truck parked right out front so all who attended were kept refreshed with water and soda. We gave away plenty of door prizes too – like REW and restaurant gift cards, blenders, snow cone and popcorn machines, inductions ranges, chafing dishes, pans, utensils, t-shirts and so much more. It was a tremendous success for REW and all those who were able to attend. Check out our event video, who knows you may be one of the stars. If you missed out . . . don’t worry, we will be announcing the date of our next event real soon.
While large corporate coffee chains continue their imperial march, Sleeping Moon Cafe reminds us why the world fell in love with coffee in the first place. Stationed in Winter Park, this best-kept Orlando secret pushes back against their larger competitors, maintaining the philosophy that exceptional coffee and delicious food comes without compromise.
Located in a rather pallid plaza on the corner of Semoran Blvd. & Aloma Ave., Sleeping Moon Cafe creates quite the paradigm shift when you walk through the front door. The decorative walls are adorned with paintings from local artists; various sources of lighting create a soothing polychromatic ambiance, and the bohemian décor ushers you into a mood of relaxation. In terms of first impressions, Sleeping Moon is out of this world.
Their health-conscious menu consists of items that satisfy both vegans and those with carnivorous cravings. For those with a ravenous appetite, they offer full-sized Paninis that will require both of your hands to eat. We devoured the Avacado Bravado, a vegetarian hodgepodge of avocado, Swiss cheese, tomato, cucumber, red onion, spring mix, and a delicate drizzle of honey mustard. We also loved Sleeping Moon’s take on a Cuban sandwich, the Tony Montana, which included ham, Swiss cheese, sliced pickles, and mustard. Those stopping in for coffee can find a myriad of snacks to munch on, including strawberry cheesecake, banana-nut muffins, and chocolate biscotti.
Speaking of coffee, Sleeping Moon Cafe offers their very own brand of locally roasted coffee that comes in three distinct blends. From a Moon Shadow dark roast that offers more traditional flavors such as chocolate and walnut, to the Exotic Moon blend with notes like honey and green tea, Sleeping Moon is sure to satiate your palate. To boot, their coffee, which arrives with the beans still warm from their morning roasting, is sold by the pound—they will even grind the beans for you.
During the day, Sleeping Moon Cafe is a great place to catch up with a friend, turn a few pages of a novel, or grind out your homework. As the sun bows its head below the horizon, the lights are dimmed, candles kindled, and the cafe evolves into a venue, offering live entertainment and local musicians. From art classes, to folk song circles, to beatboxing, to jazz jam sessions, Sleeping Moon welcomes the many faces of Orlando to an open, free, creative space.
With an uncompromising Earth-friendly business model, Sleeping Moon Cafe continues to advocate the message that a view from the Moon helps you appreciate the finest things on Earth. Sleeping Moon Cafe is located at 495 N. Semoran Blvd in Winter Park, a stones throw away from Full-Sail University.
Restaurant Equipment World (REW) President Brad Pierce just returned from delivering medical supplies and other items to Haiti. Brad commented, “It was truly a life changing experience. I’ve seen pictures and watched television shows, but there’s nothing in the world that comes close to visiting in person. These people live in tough conditions, there’s little reason for hope when you see the conditions that are their reality. Yet, there’s a bright spot of sunshine amongst the rubble – the amazing group of passionate volunteers at the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. They’re not talking about change, they’re making it happen every single day. These are modern day miracle workers.”
Originally, Brad didn’t even want to have this post written as he doesn’t want credit for doing the right thing to help others in need. After all, in his words, “I was just a delivery guy flying an airplane, the real credit goes to those who are there every day making the world a better place.” Upon further reflection, he decided this would be a good platform to call attention to the cause to reach even more people. “It’s my hope that by reading my experience and story, others will be inspired to step up and get involved as well.”
You can read an inspiration story about Brad’s Haiti experience by visiting his blog post entitled: Flying a Relief Flight to Haiti: A Life Changing Experience
You can learn more about the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti by visiting: http://www.stlukehaiti.org