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Poolside Eats – Orlando

After the third and final day of trade show goodness, and where it was actually truly warm enough to hang outside, we ate at the restaurant at the hotel pool. And really, the weather could not have been lovelier. And it was super relaxing. For me, a passion fruit smoothie to soothe the stress away…
I think these are southwestern style egg rolls. These weren’t half bad!
A grilled chicken sandwich with fries. You can’t really tell from the photo, but this sandwich was huge. I mean, like freakishly huge. Like fit for three people to eat huge. I snagged a lot of these fries and really liked them.
I got the fish tacos. They were served with some guac, pico, sour cream, and mango salsa. The tacos weren’t all that great, I ended up eating only two of them because the last one just wasn’t worth eating. But the fixins were all good! And the fruit too. And the food came out beyond slow. I mean, you’re at a pool, so I guess you can just hang out. But it was really nearly unacceptably slow. What are you gonna do?

Latin Quarter – Universal CityWalk

After another long day on our feet, we again headed out to CityWalk for dinner at Latin Quarter. It’s a pretty ginormous restaurant, with plenty of outdoor seating too. There’s a big stage also, but nothing was going on that night, except little kids running all around it. We were seated right below a giant tv screen playing latin music videos.
they have these weird contraptions in the middle of the table with coiled wires. It looks weird by itself, but then when you put wine bottles in it and a paper cone filled with bread, it makes a lot more sense. The warm bread is super good.
Here’s the shrimp and snapper ceviche – look how big it is! It’s marinated in lemon, lime, and orange juices and is served with jalapenos, tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, and green olives. We enjoyed this.
Here’s the guacamole, which was made tableside. This was pretty good, but apparently there were olives in it. I didn’t notice them, but some people found it gross. But the guacamole tasted pretty good and zesty to me. It came with plenty of chips and a little bowl of salsa.
Here’s the churrasco skirt steak. It’s grilled marinated skirt steak with chimichurri sauce over garbanzo frito and chorizo sausage. It looks pretty good but I heard it was a bit bland.
The roast pork loin, slow roasted and basted in cilnatro mojo, served with boniato mash, black beans, and mango puree. This one is without the boniato mash and with extra black beans.
Whenever paella is available, I pretty much have to get it. So here is the Paella de Latin Quarter. It’s a giant bowl of chorizo, scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, green peas, and roasted red peppers with spanish rice. This was certainly one of the weakest paellas I’ve ever had, but it was ok. There was plenty of seafood but the rice was pretty blah. The service was pretty decent and the food came out fairly quickly, considering how large the restaurant is.

Latin Quarter on Urbanspoon

Texas De Brazil

After nearly 12 hours of standing on my feet, and having a crap ass lunch, we were all ready for a real dinner. And there is no better way to put food in your belly than to do all-you-can-stuff brazilian style churrascaria. We tried to go to Texas De Brazil last year and there was a ridiculous wait. It was later in the evening so the wait was far less. So we finally made it.
They bring out warm pao de quiejo which is the brazilian style cheese bread. For whatever reason, these suckers are always good, even though all they are is slightly cheese flavored bread.
They also bring out fried bananas, which is normally one of my most favorite brazilian dishes of all time. These ones were only ok. One of these bowls, the bananas were just kinda warmed up. There was no frying. They were just warm bananas with cinnamon and sugar on it. I mean it was still good, but not really quite fried bananas. Not enough fryingto be called fried.
Even though this is a meat brought out on swords and sliced in front of you kind of place, I actually don’t prefer that stuff. I prefer the feijoada and the other items on the salad bar. I love me some feijoada and could eat this every day. It’s not the national dish of brazil just for no reason.
I love all the random things on the salad bar… all kinds of veggies, meats, cheeses, etc. You’ll always find beets. And there’s always lots of differently prepared tomatoes. Cured meats? You betcha. I thoroughly enjoyed this manchego cheese, even though we know that’s spanish. I did eat some of the meat… I particularly enjoyed the pork ribs. Nobody tried the sausage, the sausage slinger must feel bad with all the constant rejection. The chicken options were meh. But it’s always a good time at a churrascaria!

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria on Urbanspoon

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