Lobster Roll Tour, Florida Style

Thursday, March 29, 2012
We went to Maine last summer and became overly obsessed with Lobster Rolls. We were in Maine for 4 nights, had Lobster Rolls everyday and went on a diet immediately upon coming home.
Me and Gabe on the Maine coast

What makes the Lobster Roll so great is the buttery toasted bun. They are called New England Style Hot Dog Buns (or rolls). The Lobster salad has very little in it, just some butter and mayonnaise. People are always trying to fancy a lobster roll up and they really shouldn't waste their time. This is a dish where simplicity is at its best. Don't ruin the lobster with celery people!

Our favorite Lobster Roll was not on the coast, but in Winthrop at a Ice Cream shop called Tubby's.
Tubby's Lobster Roll
Another one we had in Maine on the way home was in the Airport at Shipyard Brewery- it was good, but by this time, I think I was Lobstered Out

I have not been able to locate New England Style buns in FL. I looked into getting them shipped, but that would cost $20 after shipping. My Mom even bought Gabe a New England Style pan to make our own buns, which I failed miserably at. 

So thanks to Urban Spoon and Yelp, we have done our own Lobster Roll tour in Florida. lThe closest thing we have found to date was in Orlando at Stonington's Seafood Restaurant. It's not on the water and is in a strip mall. But a darn good Lobster Roll.
Perfectly toasted buttered roll with good size lobster chunks
He uses New England Style Rolls - the Lobster was a little beat up but very good
So much lobster you can't see the bun. They don't use the traditional New England Roll but still a good one
Not the right kind of bun, but good. A little too much butter for my taste

Now for the Hall of Shame:

(um....where's the Lobster and why is there so much celery for $20!)
Don't get me started. Burnt bun, nasty lobster salad. All you taste is celery. I didn't ask for a Celery Roll. Lettuce? Luckily, they didn't charge it. I never send food back and I felt I owed it to them that this was NOT a lobster roll.


Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
My Mom got a 3 day pass for Disney since she came to watch me run the Tangled 5k in February. She used one of her other days today with me at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. I have always wanted to go to this and was very happy that it was included with our annual passes. We took a day off and went to view the amazing displays by the Disney team. Below is a photo collage where you can't see any of my shots but I had to include it since it is Mickey Mouse and neat!

Here are some of my favorite photos of the day.
Epcot Park Entrance
Mickey and Minnie at the entrance to the lands

At the entrance to Epcot

Bambi and Friends in the Butterfly Garden

Daisy Duck at the entrance to the Lands

Lady and the Tramp in Italy Land

Beauty and the Beast in France Land
Obviously NOT Epcot - but had to include it.

According to Disney's website:
Excitement is in bloom at Epcot theme park each spring with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV!

Festival Highlights

Behold brilliant botanicals, unique gardens and so much more at this spectacular annual event. Festival highlights include:
  • Educational designer presentations with HGTV and DIY Network personalities
  • Themed flower and garden displays—where you'll learn new tips and techniques that you can try at home
  • Interactive areas for kids
  • Topiary displays of Disney and Disney•Pixar characters
  • The Flower Power Concert Series—featuring live performances from popular hit-makers of the 1960s and 1970s
With all this—and so much more—Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a can't-miss, springtime experience.

Ravenous Pig - Winter Park

Thursday, March 15, 2012
We are about to move offices in Winter Park, and this saddens me so. I will no longer be in walking distance of the Ravenous Pig while working in Orlando. This is one of the rare times you will see a blog post from me on a restaurant that has an amazing drink menu, without any reviews on cocktails. It is a lunch review! Their tea is pretty good :)

Ravenous Pig's menu changes. Most of the items on this review are staple items, or they have another version of what I have tried. I love this place, it is one of my favorites in Winter Park. They make their bacon in house! Plus, a restaurant with the name Pig in it is up there in my books.

Soft Pretzel Fondue - really good. I mean, really good. It came with a cheese fondue sauce and a grain mustard. The pretzel was perfect.
Lake Meadow Deviled Eggs - want to see a table full of adults fight over deviled eggs? Order these bad boys.

Farmers Salad - Quite possibly the best salad on earth. Not joking. The egg is perfectly soft boiled. The bacon is the perfect amount of savory goodness. It's just awesome.

Pub burger modified - I had them top it with sliced avocado. What I wasn't expecting was a whole avocado! This thing was amazing. Served alongside truffle fries - when will I learn I don't like truffle fries? Yet I order them every time.
 Another shot of the fries...it's not the fries that I dislike, it's the truffle oil.
Pork Belly Sandwich - This was off the chain. The pork was perfect, topped with a creamy cool coleslaw. The bread was grilled. It was just amazing!
Lobster Taco's - I wish I could say these were great. I do. I just didn't read the menu and was shocked to see tempura lobster. I am a lobster girl - so I don't believe in frying lobster!
The Ravenous Pig on Urbanspoon

Gigi's cupcakes on Living Social!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I am not a junk food eater by any means but I love cupcakes. When I first moved to Tampa, I found Gigis cupcakes on Neptune. It came to much of a surprise this morning when I saw the Tampa Living Social of the day - Gigis!!!You get a dozen cupcakes for only $18. This is an amazing deal as one cupcake is $3.50. Perfect timing too....their spring menu comes out in a few days and Gabe's 30th bday is in a few weeks!

Foodie Pen Pal - March

So I got my first Foodie Pen Pal, Jacey Sisneros of Little Miss Jacey. I was very excited to receive my first package since I signed up for FPP and Jacey did not let down!! I was beyond impressed and honored to know that my first FPP is competing in the 2012 Miss California Pageant! Jayce is a cool chick - make sure you check out her blog and follow her on twitter.

So onto my box!!! I opened it and the first thing I saw was many items from Trader Joe's. YAY!!! (yes Jacey, you are correct, we are neglected from having Trader Joe's in FL). I am not sure what I am most excited about. It
 All my snacky treats! Healthy and fun. I have never tried Seaweed chips before so I am excited to try!

 I LOVE Almond butter - and have never seen Macadamia Butter before. YAY! (Notice the Kind Bar is opened? My boyfriend Gabe doesn't understand "don't eat anything until I take photos!!). Everything in this photo rocks!

<3 Lemon Pepper in a grinder. Enough Said!!!!!! 

The cocnut water is new to me. I see it all the time at Whole Foods but have never tried it. I actually almost purchased it for the Foodie Pen Pal I received this month. Jacey got me Mango and Chocolate!

Thank you again Jacey!!!

Toms Ballet Flats!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012
After receiving an email from Nordstroms regarding Tom's release of ballet flats, I decided it was time to join the train. Pretty much every one of my friends have one or more pairs of Tom's. I love everything Toms do for the society but the original style was not for me. What can I say, I am a Sperry girl. Well now I can be part of the One for One movement and know that my new shoes gave a child in need a pair! FYI - these do run very large for those who are wondering. But soooo cute and I got quite a few compliments already!

FYI This was the first pair of shoes I have paid full price for in quite sometime.

Louis oh Louis....how I love you so

Friday, March 9, 2012
I can honestly say that 6 years ago I had a irresponsible shopping problem. Life was financially great back then and there were many times that I didn't flinch at dropping $500+ on a daily shopping trip with the girls. Fast forward to current times and spending $80 on a pair of shoes gives me a major guilt trip. I have learned to be a savvy shopper and will not buy anything that is not on sale, other than my new Tom ballet flats....which is a story in its own.

So I decided to consign a few pairs of designer jeans and a long story short, used my funds (and got a 10% discount by doing so) to purchase a Louis Vuitton Medium Looping bag from Fresh Threads in Tampa. The bag cost me $190 out of pocket when it was all said and done. This bag is practically brand new and is a style I wanted for quite some time. Needless to say, I am a very happy savvy shopper.


I'm a Foodie Pen Pal!

Monday, March 5, 2012

So as the self proclaimed foodie I am, I found my self extremely excited when my good friend, Darlynn, introduced me to Foodie Pen Pal. What is a Foodie Pen Pal? It is a Foodie + Pen Pal.....I was intrigued and very excited for my first go around. The program works like this - you send your info to Lindsay Livingston at The Lean Green Bean and let her know you want to be part of this great group. She will then pair you monthly with a different food pal. Here is what to expect...(and you can peek an example of the package Darlynn received here and the one she sent here)
  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada.
If you’re interested in participating for March, please send an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your blog name/address
  • Your twitter handle (if applicable)
  • WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so you get on the right list!

We're going to NOLA! Post 3

Thursday, March 1, 2012
PRICE LINE NEGOTIATOR.........The Big Easy Style

Oh Captain Kirk - You have never let me down....sometimes I do curse you out for not letting me be as cheap as I would prefer but this time you came through.

We attempted to book our hotel room - a 4 star hotel in the French Quarter for $85 a night and was successful at round one. That's rare for Captain Kirk - there is usually some negotiating back and forth, so I do question my price point. At the end of the day and seeing the rack rate of the hotel, I have to say that we are quite pleased.

We scored the Marriott French Quarter for only $85 a night.

This room usually goes for $180-$300+. It's walking distance to everything at the French Quarter yet far enough from Bourbon St. to be close but not too close (been there - done that). Saving $100+ a night is pretty awesome if I nust say so myself.

Total Savings: $410+
Total Spent: $315
Savings today: $300+
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