Downtown Lifestyle


10157222_241163452674018_2950388498573652634_n

*Image from Vanbarry’s Facebook Page

The South of Downtown Area (Sodo) is growing rapidly and now you have a new reason to visit – Vanbarry’s Public House. Coming from the same owners of two wildly successful establishments - Finn Henry’s and Ollie’s – Vanbarry’s is the “offspring” of the two.

The environment at Vanbarry’s is super casual and relaxed. If you sit on the covered patio you have a good view of the lake nearby. There’s also a sandy fire pit area which is relaxing and fun at night. The menu is similar to Ollie’s menu (sandwiches, salads, flat-breads) with a few change-ups and the bar is full service with a good choice of drafts as well as some specialty cocktails. You also will always get a jar of their pickles to snack on. A couple nights a week there is live music to enjoy, it should also be mentioned that the entire staff is very friendly and helpful! Be sure to stop in soon.

 

1501458_455305967933389_430616054_o

Did you know that the downtown Orlando area has it’s very own 50 acre botanical heaven? You can’t tell from the road, but the Harry P. Leu Gardens is vast with many different gardens, trees and species of wildlife. Leu Gardens is also home to the historic Leu House which holds history dating back to the 1800′s (you can tour it!). Once a month the Gardens host a Date Night with a feature movie. Date nighters can bring their own chairs, blankets and picnic baskets (alcohol allowed). The admission for the event is $6 and includes access to the gardens (normally $10).

The next Date Night is Friday, May 2nd. The movie that will be screening is “A Street Car Named Desire”. The gardens open at 6 with the movie starting at 8:30. If you don’t want to bring your own dinner, Dixie Land Food Truck will be at the event serving up some noms’.

photo (10)

Farm-to-table is all the rage and there’s a super cool joint in Winter Park serving up local deliciousness. B&B Junction crafts specialty burgers using high quality local food. B&B works with local farms to use organic produce, grass-fed hormone and antibiotic free beef, free-range all natural antibiotic hormone free poultry, fresh seafood and naturally raised pork. They also bake all their own breads and buns! There’s a lot of  great sides to choose from (the sweet potatoe fries and fried pickles are just way too good), an assortment of desserts (the gluten free chocolate cake is right on the money) and craft beers to pair with your burger.

B&B is located in Winter Park on Fairbanks and Formosa and  has a super relaxed environment. The staff is incredibly friendly & welcoming. Read more about their philosophy on food!

 

TASTE-LOGO-29th-2014#E52E67

Hey foodies! This one’s for you.  Winter Park will be holding it’s annual Taste of Winter Park this Wednesday, April 16th. Get your all inclusive ticket and enjoy unlimited samples from 40 of Central Florida’s top chefs, bakers, caterers and confectioners for an exciting night at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market.

The event will have live entertainment as well as raffle prizes. don’t miss out!

T

unnamed

unnamed

 


Authentic french fare may be one of the harder food groups to come by in Orlando, luckily Benjamin Frech Bakery exists! Not only can you get delicious, hand made pastry wonderfulness – you can also stop in for breakfast or lunch! The breakfast menu features croissant sandwiches and omelets, while the lunch menu features sandwiches made with baguettes, fresh salads, and the ever so popular quiches. Don’t forgot to add on a few macaroons to your order!

Benjamin French Cafe is located in the Thornton Park neighborhood at 716 E. Washington. The cafe is open Monday – Sunday but the hours very, so be sure to check the website.

 

2014SpringFiesta_m400

This one is fun for the whole family! The Spring Fiesta in the Park is in it’s 25th year at Lake Eola. The lake is already a fun weekend spot and this weekend will be no exception. The fiesta includes live entertainment, a kids area (complete with inflatable fun), and over 200 arts and crafts booths with original work from around the country. The event will also have food and drink vendors, and is pet-friendly. The fiesta is a great way to kick off spring in Central Florida, and oh yeah – it’s free to attend!

The Spring Fiesta in the Park is April 5th & 6th from 10am-6pm. Check the website for additional information.

We just read over at the Orlando Weekly that one of Orlando’s favorite taco joints is helping out local non-propfit, Zebra Coalition by donating 15% of all proceeds to them today! This is what community is all about, collaborating and supporting your neighbor.

Tako Cheena has some of the best tacos you will ever taste, who knew that Asian and Mexican food melded so well together? Apparently they did, and they do it better than anyone else. For April 2nd only, Tako Cheena will be donating 15% of all sales to the Zebra Coalition. Zebra Coalition does amazing things for the LGBT youth in the Central Florida community by providing helpful services and a safe place. Get your nom’ on and support a good cause!198206_209141909098704_5974839_n

1921100_10153904826970314_1426279302_o

One of the coolest things that happens in Orlando every year is the Florida Film Festival . Now in it’s 23rd year, FFF is an Oscar-qualifying festival that spans over 10 days with 170 movie selections, fabulous parties and celebrity mingling across multiple venues. The festival kicks off April 4th and ends on the 13th. The Orlando Weekly featured some of the most anticipated films, parties and forums that will be taking place. Be sure to purchase tickets soon!

*Image take from floridafilmfestival.com

photo (7)

You may or may not have seen that little “Winery Open” sign near the corner of Virginia and Mills. Tip: follow it! We visited Quantum Leap over the weekend and can say these folks know what’s up! The staff is extremely friendly and super knowledgable about the many different wine offerings. You can get a “tasting” of many wines or a full glass and enjoy it inside or on the patio outside.

Quantum Leap Winery is Florida’s only sustainable winery, meaning that they focus on reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional wine production. Basically, they have found a way to bring us delicious wine that is also eco-friendly! Bravo.

The winery is open on Thursdays & Fridays 2-7pm as well as on Saturdays from 12-6pm. About once a month or so there is also a “Wine Down” event with live music. The very cool urban feel also makes the winery an ideal location for private events and parties.

front, postcard, McRae Spring 2014Don’t miss out on one of Winter Park’s hidden art gems. The McRae Studios house some of Orlando’s finest talent in the visual arts. Tucked away in a warehouse by the railroad tracks, the studio has 22 different artists working in a variety of medium.

McRae will be having an open studio tour on Saturday, March 29th from 6-9pm. This is a great chance to  check out the artists studios, and see new work as well works in progress. We went to the last open house in December and it’s truly a great time. The event is free and artists are available for questions and conversations (there’s also refreshments!)

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 457 other followers