Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela with his five siblings, Pedro Alarcon has vivid memories of his mother’s daily dedication to preparing comforting meals. Her dishes, while simple, were always perfectly spiced and plentiful enough to share with family and friends. Now at his restaurant, La Casa De Pedro , he continues his mother's tradition, creating simple but flavorful Latin-American dishes such as paella, grilled racks of lamb, and shrimp sautéed in garlic, cilantro, and olive oil. The restaurant’s yellow and bright-green walls, coupled with tables set with blue glasses, matches its vibrant atmosphere fueled by specialty margaritas, caipirinhas, and mojitos. In the warmer months, guests can dine alfresco on the spacious patio surrounded by trees and a fountain.
The chefs at Shaans Panini and Roast Beef stuff subs and grilled panini sandwiches with an array of creative fillings?from chicken tikka marsala to steak tips to tofu. In addition to the dozens of handheld options, the menu serves up hearty helpings of eggplant parmigiana, baked ziti, and grilled veggie salads. Early risers can also get their fill with breakfast specialties such as three-egg omelets and home fries.
Sweet Liberty’s self-serve stations dole out new flavors of frozen yogurt each day. These daily flavors are augmented by an array of toppings, including fruit and candy. In addition to frozen yogurt, guests can also treat themselves to soft-serve ice cream.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company?now owned by the trio of siblings?reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
After 12 years of manning stovetops and rolling pasta as Focaccia Ristorante's head chef, Disney Oliveira became the restaurant's manager alongside his wife, Viviane. The duo remains faithful to the menu of time-honored Italian specialties, continuing to incorporate homespun touches into the entrees. This hominess stems from the freshly baked focaccia bread, the housemade fettuccine pasta, and the signature tomato-basil sauce, which slowly simmers over a burning pile of rejected family photos. After loading pizza crusts with any of the 20 available toppings—including prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and garlic—the chefs load the pies into a traditional brick oven alongside plates of eggplant parmigiana and ricotta-stuffed eggplant rollatini.
To complement the vivacious cuisine, Focaccia Ristorante hosts live music throughout the week. On Thursday evenings, DJs get pulses racing, while on Fridays and Saturdays, live bands take to the stage until just after midnight, which, as everybody knows, is the hour that all rock musicians turn into imp-like creatures of the dark.
At The Ginger Pad, a casual atmosphere blends with the rich aromas of garlic, thai basil, and chili sauce hanging in the air to help guests forget the world outside. Like a suspension bridge made out of udon noodles, the menu connects distant lands through food, laying out delicious examples of Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Spring rolls or edamame preempt dives into salty-sweet pad thai or korean beef barbecue. Chopsticks can also lift spicy sichuan shrimp to mouths or gently cradle sushi rolls that combine colorful mango and avocado with fresh tobiko, tuna, salmon, and scallops.