Food Adventures 2: Around the World

Tag along as we explore new culinary worlds to add to the discoveries made during last fall's inaugural food adventures mission.

Taste of Chengdu

A Taste Odyssey | One of a Kind | Around the World | Eat your Veggies | Life's Essentials | Sweet Dreams | Road Trip Adventures Past | Spotlights

Saporito Organic Bakery & Kitchen

House-made organic breads and authentic Italian cuisine seldom seen in Florida, like savory panzerotti hand pies, focaccia Romana (the grandfather of flatbread) and the Italian fish balls called polpette di pesce. Old Winter Garden Road near Maguire Road, Ocoee.

Pal Campo Restaurant

Lovely dishes of Puerto Rico: ground yucca alcapurria patties filled with beef or crab; mini bacalaitos codfish fritters; green plantain mofongo stuffed with salmon or lobster; mashed yautia elephant ear root. South Apopka Vineland Road, north of World Center Drive.

Papa Llama

A popup kitchen courtesy of Kevin and Maria Ruiz, specializing in new takes on traditional Peruvian cuisine like snapper ceviche, pulpo anticuchero charred octopus and braised short ribs in pale ale sauce.

Taste Of Chengdu

Oddly located (attached to a Best Western hotel) but offering totally authentic Sichuan cooking from Xiong “Tiger’’ Tang, former master chef at Omni Orlando Resort. Try the spicy rabbit, whole fish swimming in black bean sauce, and Sichuan wontons. Spices imported from Chengdu, in southwestern China, give that famous tongue-numbing heat to almost everything from pig intestines to soft mapo doufu (“grandmother's tofu”) to cumin lamb chops. West Colonial Drive near Tampa Avenue.


Nazih Sebaali, the former owner of the much-loved Café Annie, has finally opened his Med-centric restaurant, Meza, serving kafta, kabobs and slow-cooked lamb and chicken tagines. Baldwin Park.

Kai Kai Dim Sum & BBQ

Kai Kai is located inside iFresh Market, one of the newest Asian markets in town, selling acres of Chinese vegetables, Vietnamese coffee, Thai rice and fresh seafood (the dried mushroom aisle alone is a wonder). Within Kai Kai restaurant, next to the Formosa bakery, dim sum, Chinese BBQ, and noodle dishes are served from from a small counter. Not to be confused with Kai Street Fare in Winter Park.  East Colonial Drive at Bumby Avenue.

Saint Añejo Mexican Kitchen

From the folks who own Agave Azul (so you know the guacamole is great). Chicken cazuelitas in mole rojo is a spice-rubbed chicken dish cooked in a clay hot pot with multiherbal chili sauce, served with queso fresco and house-made corn tortillas. Red Bug Lake Road, Winter Springs.

Bistro Paradise

Owner/chef Wideline Premilien brings a bit of her Haitian history to MetroWest. Fried goat, fresh conch, joumou pumpkin soup, smoked beef, and Creole marinated chicken join live music and a full bar. Off Metrowest Boulevard, near South Kirkman Road.

Kung Fu Tea

All things tea from this multinational chain—milky, fruity or slushy; with tapioca bubbles and without; matcha, chai or mung bean; or just a nice cup of oolong. Off University Boulevard, across from UCF.

The Korean Expansion

Bee Won

Focusing on traditional dishes such as kimchi and tofu stews, miyeok guk beef and seaweed soup, gopchang-jeongol tripe hotpot and pan-fried spicy octopus. Be adventurous! Dr. Phillips Boulevard near Conroy Road.

Star BBQ

A true go hyang (hometown) restaurant, the menu is full of cold noodles; degutang spicy cod fish soup; budae jungol kimchi, sausage and bacon soup; and table-grilled Wagyu, short ribs and pork belly. West Oak Ridge Road west of South Orange Blossom Trail.

BBB Tofu House

Featured in our July issue; their silky tofu still haunts me. The kimchi bokum bap, served on a hot stone platter, and ddukbaegi beef stew served with a parade of banchan side dishes are equally impressive. Chinatown Plaza, West Colonial Drive


Surprisingly massive and nightclub chic, Izziban offers something for the gluttons among us—all-you-can-eat table-grilled Korean BBQ, sushi and shabu shabu. Plus, they have a patio on Lake Barton and take Bitcoin. Attached is the swank-looking SnowBean café, serving house-made pastries, coffee and a modern take on shaved ice patbingsu, topped with ice cream, red bean paste, cake and cereal. Locations on East Colonial Drive, Sand Lake Road near The Florida Mall, and in MetroWest.


They call it “table BBQ,” traditional yakiniku (grilled meats) done table center. Beef, pork and chicken bulgogi, beef tongue and short ribs cooked in front of you (there’s help if you’re nervous), spicy ramen and hotpots. Off International Drive near Universal Boulevard.

The Neighborhood Eatery

A fascinating amalgam of downtown lunch spot pub food (Philly cheese, fried ravioli) and “Korean style” (bibimbap, handmade sausage bulgogi).

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