Sunday, August 5, 2007

Urban Orlando

Yesterday really was a picture perfect summer day. Nothing like spending about 5 hours floating in a pool with bright blue skies and the mercury hitting 97. Even playing Marco Polo. Really, fantastic.

Lunch was definitely a spread. Grilled dogs and portabellos with fresh fruits and veggies. I got a good lesson in the “best” brands of hot dogs, as well as their proper preparation before grilling. We sampled Hebrew National (97% fat free and my fav) as well as Buffalo dogs (sorry, I forget the brand name). Apparently the key is to make a spiral slice in the dog, not too deep, not too shallow. And grill on a low/medium low heat. Still on a high from the Mixology class, we even brought out the blender, making a yummy frozen daiquiri style cocktail with Coco Lopez (my new fav), strawberries, and blueberries. Oh, and the Captain.

Last night we went to the newly opened and eagerly anticipated Urban Flats in their downtown “Plaza” location. Still in their soft opening, they’ve been open almost a month, and seem eager to get the ball rolling and the customers in the door. The Plaza building is really quite pleasing to the eye, but rumor has it the movie theater might not make their Labor Day opening due to the fact that no companies want to take ownership, apparently intimidated by the notorious Cameron Kuhn.

Anyway, back to the food. The menu for the most part seemed similar to the Winter Park location, with a few new additions. We tried the Baked Brie with Honey and Strawberries for a starter, and the first attempt was a flop. The Puff Pastry was still raw and the Brie still ice cold. Round two brought a slightly burnt Puff Pastry, but after waiting so long for the re-cook we ate it anyway. It was good; the honey soaked golden raisins in the salad were the highlight (hopefully Dr. South Beach isn’t reading this!)

EntrĂ©e Flatbreads were the usual favorites: Tomato with Arugula and Fig/Prosciutto/Bleu Cheese. The latter was it’s usually brilliance. Seems like they have departed from their fig “jam” and are back to using more solid figs. That were heavy on the cinnamon. Ummmmm, cinnamon spiced figs and bleu cheese…..It really was delicious. The Tomato with Arugula was ok, the Arugula being a bit bland, and the tomatoes used pretty sparingly. Like ½ of a cherry tomato per slice of flat. I’m not kidding. That coupled with the heavy handedness on the black pepper led to this flat to not living up to its reputation.

But the manager was very amiable, promising (in the form of a coupon) a free flat and dessert on our next visit. Between the fantastic wine selection, uniqueness of the flats, and that all so fantastic urban flair that Orlando has been lacking, I’d have gone back anyway. Finally! The new downtown we’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner….

Urban Flats on Urbanspoon

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