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Hard Rock Cafe – For Serious

It’s hard to believe, but I’m not allowed to say that I’ve never eaten at a Hard Rock Cafe anymore. When a team dinner calls, you must go eat. We were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, so the cafe at the CityWalk was just a quick walk away. It’s pretty ginormous. In fact, it’s the largest Hard Rock Cafe in the world. Wow. Yes, there’s music memorabilia everywhere. There are even these pretty cool stained glass windows. There’s also some kind of convertible that’s spinning around above the bar. It’s a spectacle.
I wasn’t up for drinking that night so I got a smoothie of some kind. It came in a giant glass and it was quite enjoyable.
Here’s M’s hickory-smoked pulled-pork sandwich. He got his with the Hickory BBQ sauce and not the carolina vinegar-based kind. The sandwich is topped with marinated slaw and also served with seasoned fries, ranch beans and fresh coleslaw. This was pretty decent. The best things were the beans!
I got the anti-cobb salad.  Basically, it was a bunch of fruit on top of lettuce, and I loved it! It was a bunch of mixed greens topped with dried cranberries, fresh Granny Smith apple slices, fresh strawberries, diced grilled chicken breast, fresh orange segments, avocado, and mango served with a tangerine balsamic dressing. This was a spectacular salad! I loved all the fruit and the dressing was just awesome. And you got a heap of protein with the grilled chicken so it wasn’t just fruit only. I really did love it so, I could have eaten this every day! Our server did a great job putting up with us. And for such a large party and a large restaurant, the food came out pretty quick. The kitchen and staff must be massive!

Hard Rock Café on Urbanspoon

Bubba Gump’s Orlando

After the company event, we did need to have a proper dinner. So we walked over to the Bubba Gump at Universal CityWalk. Yes, it’s a chain. Yes, it’s based on Forrest Gump. Yes, it’s a tourist trap. It’s decorated with all types of Forrest Gump related kitsch, and they even play the movie on tv’s.

Some restaurants have a green side / red side system. Some have buzzers. Bubba Gump has these little “Run Forrest Run” and “Stop Forrest Stop” signs if you need to fetch a server for any reason. It works!

Ok, so there were a bunch of us there and we were still waiting for more, but didn’t want to wait. So we ordered up a bunch of appetizers. Shrimp cocktail! Who doesn’t love shrimp cocktail? Well, people that don’t like shrimp, I suppose. Boo to those people! Oh, and I had a strawberry lemonade, which was delicious!

A freakin tower of onion rings! Yes, I can see how this would definitely be fun, especially for kids. Lucky for Bubba Gump, they taste pretty good too! I like onion rings in general, but I prefer to eat the onion, with very little of the batter. But it was hard to remove the batter with these ones.

Cajun shrimp! These little suckers were sauteed in a spicy cajun butter sauce. These are deceptively spicy! They were very good.

This is a shrimp restaurant so we really did stick with shrimp dishes. We got 3/4 lb of the Shrimper’s Net Catch Garlic Spice peel-n-eat and another 3/4 lb in Cajun Spice. These were so good! If you don’t like peeling your own shrimp, then obviously, avoid these. But these were quite good. Both the garlic ones and the cajun ones were good. It was actually best to mix the two together. After everyone else showed up, we did also order the steamed shellfish, which was a mix of mix of steamed mussels, clams, snow crab, lobster claw, and shrimp. It was also served with jasmine rice, cole slaw, and garlic bread. I immediately absconded the rice and cole slaw. M was nice enough to peel me some random things and give them to me, so I didn’t even have to do any work! Thanks M!

So you know I avoid chains as much as possible. But there are times it’s unavoidable. I enjoyed my meal here, I know, it’s surprising. But it was fun. So now I know that I can always have Bubba Gump’s in my back pocket as a decent chain option. Thanks Forrest Thanks!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Restaurant & Market on Urbanspoon

Shindig At The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

We had a little customer appreciation thingy at the Hard Rock Hotel for our lovely customers. In addition to drinks, of course, we had a little bit of food action too. One of the favorite items of the evening, grilled cheese shooters! Look how adorable these things are! It’s a little shot glass with tomato soup and a piece of grilled cheese shoved inside. Cute and freakin tasty!

They also had these vegetarian spring rolls with plum dressing. Now I typically love me some spring rolls / egg rolls with shrimp or chicken or what not in them, but these little veggie ones were great! The plum sauce was perfect, but it was extremely sticky! It was kind of hard to get it off the spoon and onto your plate.

They also had these little mini beef wellingtons with cumberland sauce. I don’t know what beef welling is so I looked it up. I don’t know if these mini ones had pate in them. I also don’t know what cumberland sauce is so I looked it up too. I don’t think this one was fruit based. However genuine or non-genuine these were, all I know is that I liked them.

They also had some people walking around with other appetizers. One of them were these adorable little mini puff pastries filled with crab and mango salsa. Delicious! For a little hotel catered evening, the food was great!

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