REWrite - The Restaurant Equipment World Blog

REW Visits Stefano’s Trattoria

September 12th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

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”.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tagged with:

REW Visits Oblivion Taproom

June 17th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

Oblivion Taproom's skull-and-crossbones logo.

Are you looking for good food and craft beer on the east side of Orlando? Then Oblivion Taproom – a tattoo bar with creative pub grub – is definitely worth checking out. It is easy to find, located where the old Straub’s restaurant used to be on East Colonial Drive in Orlando. The pub is painted black and red (inside and out) with a skull and crossbones as its logo. The staff enjoys working there, and our waitress was showing off “faux-blood-stained” socks and chock-full of piercings and colorful tattoos which go surprisingly well with the vivid skeletal paintings that adorn the walls.  The pub contains a pool table and a dart board to satisfy patrons’ entertainment needs, and music plays at a pleasantly-muted volume in the background.  Oblivion Taproom hosts a number of exciting events throughout the year, including the upcoming St. Arnoldus Day (in honor of Belgian beer) and Willy Wonka Party.  Sounds like lots of fun!

True to its name, Oblivion Taproom boasts an extensive list of 40 featured beers on tap and a large selection of ciders, so of course, our first order of business was to order a brew: first, a Rip Tide Amber (a rich beverage with a strong malt flavor) from Pensacola Bay Brewery, followed by a sweet and smooth Mermaid’s Red from Coronado Brewing Company. Some of the beers are changed out as frequently as the keg goes dry, so you’ll never have to worry about a shortage of new flavors to try. The servers are happy to share their knowledge of what’s on tap if you find the selection overwhelming. The list is so extensive and filled with so many unusual flavors, you might find yourself wanting to try a sampler. Oblivion Taproom’s sampler comes with five small samples of your choosing – a way to add some variety to your life.

Although the beer selection is fabulous on its own, nothing can compare to the truly unique findings on the menu. We started out with the Pork Lover’s Delight, and what a delight it was! Pork rinds instead of chips, covered with pulled pork, jalapeño cheese, scallions, black olives, sour cream, salsa and, you guessed it – more jalapeños. It is a culinary masterpiece of the nacho world, but way more than one guest should enjoy (great for sharing!). We placed an order for the wings as well, which came out crispy and juicy with just a spice rub and no sauce.

The food was so good I wanted to take some home to the family (to share, of course, and not at all so I could avoid cooking on a Friday). So Hog Wild I went: I ordered a juicy “Hog Wild” hamburger topped with pulled pork, bacon, BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and a big ol’ onion ring. Who would have thought meat and more meat would taste so good? I topped it all off with fried Oreo’s and a food coma. At the end of the night, we were all in agreement about the quality of the service: good food and good beer – a two thumbs up for sure.

Oblivion Taproom is located at 5101 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Visit their website at obliviontaproom.com, as they have daily specials you won’t want to miss.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tagged with:  

REW Pre-Owned Equipment

June 17th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

 

Check out this video showcasing tons of pre-owned equipment at Restaurant Equipment World. We sell only high-quality pre-owned equipment for restaurant owners and people in the food service industry. In our Orlando, FL showroom and online at REWonline.com you will find a wide variety of equipment ranging from tables and seating to ranges, refrigeration units, high performance blenders and more! Stop by and check us out. You’re guaranteed to get a great deal on a great piece of pre-owned equipment.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tagged with:  

REW Visits Lazy Moon

May 15th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

If you have a hankerin’ for some really awesome pizza, take yourself to the moon . . . the Lazy Moon, that is. Located on University Blvd, just a stone’s throw from the UCF campus, Lazy Moon re-opened in March after changing locations to the plaza just across the street from the old restaurant. The new location boasts plenty of room for guests, a sprawling plant wall, an indoor bocce ball court and, coming soon, custom artwork featuring local venues throughout the beautiful city. The owners plan to add several televisions and an outside patio seating area as well.

Inspired by a local eatery he frequented while in college, the owner manages to create giant pizzas and such without giant prices. The slices are huge and are well worth the measly $3.65 per slice. In fact, one of the best deals on the menu is the “Boxcar Willy”; for a mere $4.25, you can enjoy a slice and a pint of PBR. What is a PBR you ask? Tim (one of the owners) says he’s been asked that question only 836 times. For those of you who don’t know, or who may have been hiding under a rock for a really long time, it’s one of America’s finest brews, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Add to your slice and choose from over 40 different toppings including Woodsmoked Bacon and Mojo Pork. Is pizza not what you are craving? Try a calzone or one of their delicious melts. Also on the menu are tasty salads, soups and even cheese sticks.

Lazy Moon has a wonderful selection of beers on tap that changes every month or so depending on what the customers like, what’s in season or maybe even a beer that the staff really likes and wants to bring in for all to try. What’s trending now? According to Tim, there are two beers to definitely try – the Racer 5 IPA and the Tree Hugger Ale.

So, if beer (or soda) and pizza has been on your mind lately, take yourself and your crew over to Lazy Moon, located at 11551 University Blvd., Orlando (in the strip next to World of Beer). Trust me, you will be glad you did!

Eat Drink and Be Lazy – Lazy Moon Website

Shop great deals on Pizza Equipment at REWonline.com

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tagged with:  

REWonline How to Make Beef Jerky

May 15th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

Beef Jerky is incredibly easy to make, fun to eat, and long lasting. The most difficult part of making beef jerky is slicing the meat, assuming you don’t have a meat slicer. In the video above, we slice through 5 lbs of Eye Round steak – a process that can take hours by way of knife – in under 5 minutes. Next, you will want to marinade or brine the meat. I mix the meat and ingredients in a zip-lock bag and put it in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours. See below for my favorite recipe.

You need a Dehydrator to properly dehydrate meat, but a convection oven will also work.  When using the latter, you may want to crack the door to keep the humidity from getting too high. What both of these will do that a regular oven won’t do is circulate hot air (around 160 F), removing the moisture from the meat and keeping the humidity down. The process takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete at 155-160 F, and you will want to check the strips halfway through to make sure they are dehydrating evenly on both sides. Enjoy!

Original Style, Beef Jerky Recipe(Per 2 pounds of meat):

  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tbs Onion powder
  • 1 tbs Garlic powder
  • 1 tbs Brown Sugar
  • Add Crushed red peppers to make spicy

Check out incredible savings on Slicers at REWonline.com

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tagged with:  

« Previous Entries