Orlando is home to a variety of restaurants that cater to tourists and locals alike. You can find theme park-style eateries, upscale dining, and everything in between.
Many of these restaurants are known for their fresh seafood options. Some are even renowned for their stone crab claws!
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Florida is home to some of the world’s best strawberries, thanks to a moderate climate that allows the fruits to flourish throughout the year. And despite this year’s heat, which means the season hasn’t started off with the usual abundance of berries, Florida’s farmers are making it happen right now.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, there are plenty of places where you can go and pick your own berries. You can even get them fresh at your local grocery store, too!
The best way to grow strawberries is to plant them in a sunny spot with good soil, and keep them well watered. It is also important to provide adequate space between the plants.
You can buy bare root and plug transplants of different strawberry varieties. Generally, bare root is recommended for first-time gardeners, as it is less expensive and requires no overhead sprinklers. Both types can be planted in raised beds that allow the soil to drain during rainy periods.
The sweet, salty, plump mollusks are beloved throughout Florida and beyond. They have a buttery meatiness that sparkles raw, baked, broiled or fried.
Despite a decline in their natural population, they still remain one of the most sought-after bivalve mollusks in the country. Restaurants across the state and even in Miami and New Orleans have lauded them as among the finest oysters in the world.
It takes the right combination of water from the rivers flowing through Alabama and Georgia as well as the Gulf of Mexico to produce Apalachicola Bay oysters. The mix also depends on the chemistry of the bay itself.
Oil spills, coastal growth, and changes to rainwater quality that filter down through Alabama and Georgia have all contributed to a decline in Apalachicola oyster populations over the past decade. But conservation efforts have helped to slow the pace of the decline.
Fortunately, the town of Apalachicola itself has long done everything in its power to protect the bay from development and maintain its traditional livelihoods. It has a historic downtown filled with rambling, wood-shack-on-stilts restaurants that serve oysters harvested from Apalachicola Bay, and its iconic Boss Oyster serves up some of the freshest oysters in town.
Snapper is a firm-textured fish with mild-tasting moist white flesh that responds well to a variety of cooking methods. It’s often grilled or baked, but can also be pan-fried or boiled.
This nutritious fish is high in protein, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains selenium, which is important for a healthy immune system.
It is a popular choice for many dishes, especially grilled red snapper or fish tacos. Its light flavor pairs well with a variety of seasonings and sauces.
However, this fish is expensive and can be difficult to find in some areas. It is a highly prized food fish that should only be purchased from a reputable fishmonger or seafood retailer.
Fresh snapper is best eaten immediately but can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator before cooking. Frozen snapper will last two to three days if it is properly wrapped and stored in the freezer. It is always a good idea to wash your hands, knives, and cutting surfaces after handling raw seafood. This prevents bacterial cross-contamination.
When you’re looking for a dish that will take your taste buds to the next level, it’s hard not to consider grouper. This fish is found throughout the Gulf and Caribbean, and it’s known for being firm and tender.
It is also highly nutritious, offering a high protein, fat, and vitamin B1 content that can help fight heart disease. It’s also a great source of calcium and phosphorus, which can help strengthen bones.
In the 15 years since Liz Harris first released Grouper, her hypnotic drones have become a staple of late-afternoon twilight, a go-to soundtrack for those who need to find solace in a world that has become increasingly bleak. Whether it’s the short but stunning Paradise Valley EP or her 2008 breakthrough of sorts, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, Harris creates ethereal ambiences that are both warm and stark.
Her latest album Shade is a testament to this. It’s a record that combines all the elements of her previous work — droning atmospherics, hushed vocals and lullaby-like melodies — but takes them to new heights. It’s her most cohesive and consistent album since the taut Grid of Points, and it might be the most effective of her entire body of work.
Dole Whip is one of the most iconic frozen treats in all of Disney World. The ice cream-like soft-serve is pineapple-flavored and served in cups or floats with pineapple juice.
The ice cream can be found throughout the theme park and is also available at some resorts and in other surprising places. Dole Whips can be purchased in a cup or as a float, and they come in pineapple, vanilla or a combination swirl.
A popular flavor is strawberry. This sweet fruit is served as a float in a Fanta Strawberry Float or is available as a cup at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Magic Kingdom.
Another delicious float is the Simba Sunset at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa. It features pineapple Dole Whip and watermelon, strawberry, and coconut-flavored syrups with a touch of regular or dark rum.
Aloha Isle in Adventureland is the original location of Dole Whip at Walt Disney World and it still serves up refreshing treats daily. You can order Dole Whip in Pineapple, Vanilla, or a swirl as a cup or float, or you can choose to get it with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum for guests 21 and over.
5.Conch A Classic Dish.
Conch is an important part of Bahamian culture. The large marine snail–technically a gastropod mollusk–shows up on just about every menu in the islands.
Whether it’s a fritter or salad, a chowder or burger, a baked conch or grilled conch, the shellfish is loved by both locals and tourists alike. And with good reason–it’s easier to catch than fish and has a delicious, meaty flavor.
One of the best ways to enjoy conch is in a chilled, zesty conch salad that’s both refreshing and full of umami flavor. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or post-beach snack.
This dish is also great served over white rice or fine noodles with a green veggie such as peas and green beans. It’s a classic Caribbean recipe that’s easy to make at home, too.
Another popular Bahamian dish is cracked conch, which consists of tenderized conch meat that’s pounded and breaded before being deep-fried. It’s often eaten as a light appetizer or as a side dish, and it usually pairs with a spritz of fresh lime juice or a sprinkle of Creole sauce.
6.Fresh Stone Crab
Stone crab claws are one of the most beloved seafood dishes in Florida. The luscious meat in the crab’s pincers is a favorite for those who love to dip it in a tangy mayo-mustard sauce, or warm it up with drawn butter and lemon wedges.
When they’re fresh and available, you can find them in many of the city’s best waterfront restaurants. They’re harvested off the coasts of Florida from October 15 to May 1, and their “Best Choice” rating by environmental program Seafood Watch makes them a go-to for those who want to support local fisheries.
Billy’s On The Bay has a long history of serving up some of the area’s finest crab and other saltwater favorites. The menu is extensive and offers everything from soft shell crab po boys to steamed King crab, Dungeness, and snow crab legs.
The two-story restaurant overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and is known for its “All You Can Eat” stone crab special, which comes with their signature mustard sauce. They also serve Alaskan king crab legs and a number of other seafood and chicken dinners.
8.The Classic Cuban Sandwich
Whether you’re a local or tourist, there’s no question that the Cuban sandwich is a staple in Florida. It’s not just easy to make and a hit on Instagram(r), but it also packs quite a punch with a delicious mix of ham, roasted pork, cheese, pickles and mustard.
The Cuban sandwich originated in Tampa, and it reflects the rich combination of immigrants that founded the city’s Ybor City neighborhood. Cubans and Spanish who worked in cigar factories added moist, roasted mojo pork and creamy Swiss cheese; families of Italian stone masons contributed peppery Genoa salami and Jewish and German cooks embellished with tart pickles and tangy yellow mustard.
For the most authentic Tampa version, go to Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. It’s the oldest restaurant in Florida, and it claims to have invented the classic sandwich.