As many of you know, college football season is back. Our own UCF Knights played their season opener last night, narrowly losing by 1 point to FIU. In our family, football is more of a religion than a pastime. We anxiously wait all spring for the countdowns to begin. We pre-order new gear to wear, proudly hang flags on the cars and in the front yard, and plan trips to cheer our teams to victory.
This weekend is chocked full of opening college football games. Both the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles play on Saturday night. There will be a Garnet & Gold Watch Party at Wall Street. While their game doesn’t start until 8PM the festivities at Wall Street will commence promptly at noon, as any good tailgate would. The Gators watch party will be hosted at the Wildside Bar & Grill on Washington St. in Thornton park. If Florida teams aren’t your thing, have no fear (you’re not alone!). There are plenty of other notable games like Texas vs. Notre Dame, Wisconsin vs. Alabama or BYU vs. Nebraska.
On this long Labor Day weekend I encourage you to get out, socialize, watch some football and throw back a few cold ones. College Football season is finally here!
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One of my favorite things about working in Downtown Orlando is finding all the neat spots to eat! The range of options can be overwhelming but it’s been so much fun checking new places off my “Must Try” list. One of those locations was a recommendation from a friend, Hot Dog Heaven. My friend had lived in Downtown Orlando for years but recently relocated to the West Coast. I think she’s reliving locations vicariously through me, which is fine with me! I’m certainly thankful for the recommendations. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
So on to the locale – Hot Dog Heaven. It’s a little dive-ish building at the corner of Colonial Drive and Semoran Blvd. The walls and counters inside are all white. There is outdoor seating on picnic tables or indoor seating on barstools at a bar that wraps around the room. You stand in line, which is at times is out the door, and wait your turn to place your order. The staff still handwrites the orders with big smiles and great customer service.
Hot Dog Heaven is a nod to true Chicago-style hot dogs. The poppy seed buns come steamed and soft. The Vienna hot dogs are slightly smokey and delicious. They have a huge variety of toppings to choose from. Or you can pick from the list of custom dogs – from the traditional Chicago dog to a fully involved Chili, Cheese & Slaw Dog.
As you can see, I couldn’t help myself. I had the chili cheese dog, with the bean chili and an order of chili cheese fries (which could easily feed 2). Coming from Texas, chili is a big deal to me. It has to be just right. This chili was great! It was a perfect consistency of chunky and smooth at the same time. One suggestion I would make – ask for extra napkins if you go chili crazy like I did!
This is definitely a local spot you should check out. Perfect indulgence!
Image Credit: April Martin
Snap! Orlando will be hosting the Snap! Print Day this Saturday, August 29th from 11AM – 4PM. This one day event is a community print sale at the Snap! Space located at 1013 E Colonial Drive. Snap! Orlando’s mission is “to celebrate master photographers, and artists, discover and cultivate emerging talent and promote the appreciation of photography and art worldwide.”
Prints will be available from artists including works by Thomas Thorspecken, Dan L. Hess, Marcus Adkins, Nathan Selikoff, Tina Craig, Erika Rech, Derek Gores and Chris Tobar Rodriguez. While special limited edition prints will be available from international artists Mark Gmehling, Andrew Soria, Elena Vizerskaya, Joe Conzo, and Patricia Van DeCamp will also be available. Sam Flax will even be offering 25% off custom framing to all buyers that day. Admission is free, so don’t miss your chance to get some beautiful prints at great prices!
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To say I have a new found love for Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sanwicheria would be an understatement! Sometimes you just need a good sandwich and Pom Pom’s definitely delivers. The location is small but the team is very welcoming and the food is phenomenal.
I had the Mama Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving sandwich and chef’s pasta with a glass of sweet English Breakfast iced tea. The sandwich is everything you love about Thanksgiving leftovers! It’s filled with roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a ginger cranberry spread. What’s even better? It comes with a side of gravy to dunk your sandwich in. The chef’s pasta was a spicy turkey macaroni and cheese with an out of this world sauce!
If you don’t stuff yourself full like I did, I would also recommend trying their delicious looking pastries. I heard the waiter tell a patron the brownies are their top sellers. They all looked amazing.
While waiting for my food, I was able to review friends and fans posts on Facebook. While this was only my first trip to Pom Pom’s Teahouse, it will certainly not be my last!
Image Credit: PomPomsTeahouse.com
The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Downtown Orlando will be hosting the Red Bull BC One North America Final on Saturday, Aug. 22nd. This free event will feature two local B-boys going head to head with other competitors for the North American title and a chance to go to Rome for the World final in November. Orlando will be represented by last year’s North American Final champion, Victor Montalvo and Rob Adamyan.
B-Boying is a dance style, also known as breakdancing, that first became popular in the 70’s and 80’s. According to Wikipedia, “b-boying consists of four kinds of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes. B-boying is typically danced to hip-hop, funk music, and specially breakbeats, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns.”
While this event is free, online tickets for the event are already all reserved. Some tickets will be available for walk-up guests at 8PM on Saturday. There will also be a viewing party on the Seneff Arts Plaza for all overflow guests. The event will also be live streamed on RedBullBCOne.com. This should be a great event! Don’t miss it!
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Trying to choo-choo-choose what to to do tonight? Why not hop a ride on the Sunrail for their monthly Conductor Crawl? Having celebrated their 1 year anniversary in May, this successful event brings locals together for a much more sophisticated and safer pub crawl. The monthly event is held the 2nd Friday of each month. While the event is free, you will be responsible for your own Sunrail ticket and libations. You can purchase advance Sunrail tickets or packages that include drink tickets online here.
This month’s event starts at Graffiti Junction Church Street, offering specials for the event like $3 wines and $4 wells. Then make a quick jump onto the Sunrail for a ride down to The Gnarly Barley, near Sand Lake Road. The crawl is offering a speed dating for 50 lucky ladies and gentlemen at the Gnarly Barley, as well as drink specials. After some fun at the Gnarly Barley you can jump back on the Sunrail and return to downtown. But keep in mind, the scheduled itinerary has you on the last ride from Sand Lake. If you miss the ride, you’ll have to find another way home.
For more information on this and their upcoming events, click here.
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I’d like to feature a cool little place I was introduced to in May. The Magnolia Orlando Bar is located on S Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando. The location is a quick walk from the Central Blvd parking garage, which is always helpful when libations are involved!
I’ll admit the first time I walked I was a little under enthused by the low-key atmosphere. The downstairs bar, while long felt a little small and cramped, but don’t let this give you a reason for pause. I went for a good friend’s going away party and had arrived early, as I despise tardiness! I ordered my usual drink and began to take in the scenery. You could tell a lot of people at the bar were locals. When their drinks got half way down, they had another prepared and waiting for them. I do appreciate an attentive bartender. The bar backs were diligently squeezing fresh orange, lemon and lime juice and pulling leaves off of various herbs. The walls are all painted murals and are truly striking, featuring Magnolia’s of course!
At 7PM the private party area upstairs opened up and I was instantly over the moon. Upstairs is a small bar, private bathroom, a pool table and a large picture window so you can spy on people walking by on the street below. Once upstairs my husband decided he wanted something different to drink. The young bartender recommended that he try their namesake drink, the Magnolia. It is a drink mixed with a ginger beer, some kind of liqour and some of those fresh picked herb leaves muddled at the bottom. I am never one to deviate from my drink but I have to tell you, I really like it! It had a nice flavor and was very refreshing. The upstairs area was fairly large. Easily holding our 30+ guests comfortably and allowing for a nice place to toast our friends “bon voyage” as they were about to embark on a new life adventure to sunny SoCal.
While I haven’t been back recently, my husband and I talk about the bar and the Magnolia drink often. We will definitely be back. I think I’ll introduce my friend from Texas to Magnolia Orlando Bar, after our ghost tour over Labor Day weekend. Maybe we’ll see you there!
Image Credit: Magnolia Orlando Bar Facebook