Food Adventures – Potpourri
Our dining critic journeys into the bizarre, healthy, spirited, "who knew?" and just plain cool and delicious. Lobster ice cream anyone?
Great Escapes: Respites at Epcot F&W
While wandering the 1 ¼ mile World Showcase Lagoon in search of international cuisine is fun, oppressive heat and huge crowds can get a bit wearing. Duck into the surprisingly overlooked gardens of Katsura Imperial Villa that surround the Katsura Grill and relax under bamboo and Japanese maple trees. Wander behind the shops of the United Kingdom Pavilion and stroll a remarkably uncrowded and very British Hyde Park replica, Tigger’s kid-sized boxwood maze and the Butterfly and Knot herb garden. Or visit most of Future World, the “non-international” side of Epcot; a boat ride through Living With the Land (left) is cool and much of it is dark.
(WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT)
Eat Their Homework
Our own Le Cordon Bleu culinary school is, sadly, no more, which means its student-run restaurant, Technique, is also gone. But there are still some classroom eateries in Florida where a well-crafted meal can be found, for a remarkably small price, while hope-to-be chefs practice their craft.
Chef's Palette Café and Grill, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. artinstitutes.edu/fort-lauderdale
Papa G’s, Charlotte Technical College, Port Charlotte. charlottetechcollege.net
The Culinary Arts & Hospitality Dining Room, Florida State College at Jacksonville. fscj.edu
Road trip and a killer burger: Engine No. 9 in St. Pete serves the Saint burger — a short rib/brisket blend stacked with cheese, bacon, beer battered chicken, a potato pancake and gravy. no9burgers.com
A proper meat pie or sausage roll: The Proper Pie Co. in Davenport makes Cornish pasties, steak and kidney pies, lamb hot pot, sausage and banger rolls, and apple pies with custard. properpiecompany.com
A mysterious meal on rails: The Murder Mystery Dinner train. A three-and-a-half hour trip from and to Fort Myers, across the Caloosahatchee River, takes in a five-course dinner of prime rib, chicken cordon bleu or poached salmon, and a comedic, interactive whodunit. semgulf.com
2 Places for a Kicking Soundtrack
Chef John Calloway at Black Rooster Taqueria picks the tunes, from Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang” to Jorge Ben Jor's original recording of ”Mas, que Nada!" blackroostertaqueria.com
Soco, where Chef Greg Richie’s personal tastes include Arctic Monkeys’
“R U Mine?” and the classic country “I’m On Fire” by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. socothorntonpark.com