The Typical Tourist – Page 3 of 3 – Follow Your Heart, Plan The Trip, Travel On!

When you child’s social schedule out-paces yours, you take the opportunity to hook up with other parents in the same situation for a spontaneous double lunch date! While the girls birthday partied it up at Splitsville ( -review coming soon!), the parents headed over to The Edison for a nice long lunch. The Edison is a 1920’s Industrial themed restaurant with all kinds of Disney level details, from menus called “Catalog of Parts” to pipes, valves, and meters of all kinds to a monumental, two story clock of visible cogs and moving parts. So fun! Our companions had been there once before, so they got us started with DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon’ right away while we perused the menu. The bacon did not disappoint! Salty, peppery, a little sweet and a lot delicious!

DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon’ – maple, black pepper, sweet and spicy pickles and fruit mustarda (more like a chutney to me)

We finished out appetizers with some very fresh and flavorful guacamole – it had red and yellow peppers for a sweet note – different and delicious. Eventually we ordered lunch – Fish (mahi) Tacos, French Dip, The Edison Burger and Fish and Chips. Everything was very good – not overwhelmingly great – but very good. I especially appreciated the mahi sliced and grilled in the perfect size for the hand-held corn tortillas so that I didn’t end up with fish pieces falling out and slaw everywhere -excellent construction in the industrial restaurant! (Here I should note that our burger eater is gluten free and was able to easily sub in a gluten-free bun and sub out the crispy onions.) As usual, we didnt leave room for dessert, but my oh my, did we drool as the Lollipop Tree of cheesecake pops and a Great Big Rocky Road Shake went by. Next time, sugar rush. Next time!

Check out everything The Edison has to offer here:

A Note about Disney everywhere… we walked right in at 1:15 pm today BUT I would always recommend making reservations if you know you’re headed to a sit down restaurant at Disney. If you’re being spontaneous – go you! – go on ahead with the idea that a cocktail or mocktail might be the trick to fill the wait time for your table.

#disneysprings #theedisonfla #mahitacos #lunch

To top off a wonderful Girls Day Out last weekend, my daughters and I headed to Suncreek Brewery in Downtown Clermont. Suncreek utilizes the idea of a common, shared space for multiple small businesses; there’s Suncreek Brewery, Michael Ali’s Coal Fired Pizza, Savoree, and (Coming soon!) Mac’d Out. My younger gal was hoping that Mac’d Out – design your own mac ‘n cheese place – was open, but we missed it by a week! Darn! (Looking forward to returning and checking that out!) So, we decided to place orders at the two other restaurant counters for a smorgasbord of 20 mild wings, a basket of fries, a chicken Caesar wrap and a Turkey Cranberry Sandwich. It’s important to note that a place like this is a bit like a small business food court. First note: it takes time to go through three lines, so if you can, divide and conquer. Savoree takes Apple Pay, so I handed my phone to the girls and I headed over to order wings and fries. When you order, you give your cell number, then when the food is ready, you get a text to come back and pick it up. After placing our food orders, we grabbed two beers and a water to drink while we waited. Second note: these are small businesses, so while the dishes are freshly made and delicious, they are not inexpensive. In total, dinner, two beers, and a bottle of water cost us about $75. However, I believe strongly that communities thrive on small businesses, so it’s worth it to me.

Overall, we would order everything we had again! This was actually my second visit and the wings don’t disappoint (though 10 probably would have sufficed), the wraps are big and packed with goodness, and the beers – a Saison for me and a Blueberry Lemonade sour for my Gator girl – were a full pint, fresh and delicious! You are able to taste any beers you want, as well as order a flight in case you’d like to have a full variety. 

Looking for a place to enjoy a variety of good eats, really good craft beer, indoor or outdoor casual dining with cornhole and live music on weekends? Come on down to Suncreek Brewery!

Like to check out the menus before you travel? Me, too! Here are the links:

The Organic Margarita at San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant. Delicioso!

My college girl is home for the weekend after a big exam, so we headed for margaritas at our favorite hometown Mexican joint – San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant in the King’s Ridge Publix Plaza in Clermont, FL. We’ve eaten here so many times that two of the four of us didn’t even open the menu – we just ordered our favorites! My Gator girl and I started with organic margaritas (no mix and less sugar- yum!) to go with our salsa, chips (complimentary) and large queso (necessary!). She loves fajitas and ordered the chicken variety. I love the carmelized onions in this dish! My younger gal got her usual Quesadilla Rellena – a large quesadilla with shredded chicken, refried beans, and cheese. My sweet hubs got an uncommon order for him: Enchiladas San Diego (three cheese enchiladas in red sauce topped with steak and pico de gallo) – it looked fabulous before it disappeared! And finally, I opted for two favs – a cup of chicken and rice soup and ceviche de camaron. San Jose’s chicken and rice soup is my “I-don’t-want-to-cook-because-I-feel-awful” absolute GO-TO! And the ceviche is the perfect choice for a low carb lifestyle (ditch the rounds and it’s all good!) Note: normally ceviche is seafood “cooked” in citrus and its acid; in this case the shrimp is pre-cooked. A little disappointing to a foodie, BUT no worrying about undercooked shellfish is a plus! We have had MANY meals at San Jose’s and it rarely disappoints.
Kids meal note: They do have a kid’s menu with chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cheese quesadillas, and more for your littles.

Locations include Clermont, Ocoee, Leesburg, and Altamonte Springs.

Check out their complete MENU here:

#clermont #sanjoses #mexican #texmex #organicmargaritas

As teachers for over 20 years in the same area, my husband and I are used to running into former students on a regular basis. (Just ask our kids.) However, when we’re three states away, it comes as a bit more of a shock! As we were relaxing in the Workshop Lounge of The Foundry Hotel our first night there, a deep, sonorous voice called our names across the room. And there he was – a former student and son of a former colleague from many years ago! To not only be recognized, but welcomed by a former kid who has grown into a kind, wonderful man is such a gift! Below is a picture of my hubby and I with Geoff, Bell Captain at The Foundry. He took extremely good care of us and I know he’ll do the same for you. When you go to The Foundry, ask for Geoff – and tell him we sent you!

Sometimes, it is crystal clear what a blessed life we live! The inner courtyard at The Foundry Hotel Asheville, Curio Collection by Hilton

I have a confession to make. While I have being dying to write about our time at The Foundry Hotel… selfishly, I have wanted to keep it a secret. From the fixtures to the history to the rooms to the whole ambiance, it’s just so special! The Foundry Hotel is boutique hotel in the Curio Collection by Hilton that opened December 1, 2018. Yes, it is brand-spanking new! And when two glasses of champagne met us as check-in, we knew we were in for a treat. The Foundry Hotel is made up of five buildings connected by stairwells and you’ll find an historical or artistic detail around every corner. Several of the buildings actually started life as a foundry – a factory for creating metal castings – and the result of the renovation is a hotel that is part industrial, part historical, part Asheville eccentricity, and ALL absolutely phenomenal! We stayed in Building E with a gorgeous view of the courtyard and exposed brick in the corners. For coffee lovers, each room has a a Nespresso machine – yum! In addition, the staff is welcoming, warm, helpful, and real. The second day, they greeted us by name and we felt like part of the Foundry family. Also, since the hotel is so new, there are some perks that may not last forever – specifically “house transportation” in the form of a Tesla Model X. Yep, you read that right. We caught a ride to a downtown spot in a 2018 Tesla SUV. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been that cool before. 

  • Welcome to The Foundry!
  • Art, History, Exposed Brick
  • Details of the past in the luxury of the present – The Foundry Hotel Asheville
  • The 10 piece swing band on Thursday nights!
  • House Transportation at The Foundry Hotel – and our future celebrity!

Some planning notes: The Foundry is a boutique hotel, so it’s a bit on the expensive side – $275-300/night and although our retro-loving 13 year old adored it, it’s definitely adult oriented. On Thursday nights, there is a 10 piece swing band in the Workshop Lounge and it is hoppin’ in that joint! We topped off our first night people watching while drinking a coffee with Baileys – perfection! Also, if you’re going to go – which you should! – definitely make sure to become a Hilton Honors Member first. Even as a Gold member, the lowest level, you’ll get breakfast credit at any Hilton with a restaurant. At The Foundry, it was $40 which easily covered the three of us, not including tip. Plus, in our view, that brings the price of the room down $40/night. 

Benne on Eagle – January 2019

Benne on Eagle is the restaurant in the actual foundry building of The Foundry Hotel and it’s a historical monument on its own. Facing the Main Street of an historically black neighborhood, it pays homage to four women who owned soul food restaurants in the area. Sweet potato French toast, steel cut oats with golden raisins, and a fluffy cheese omelet accompanied by Benton farms sausage all prepared in the open kitchen area fueled us up for a long day of sightseeing – and it was (nearly) free! Just a fabulous way to start the day! We did not eat dinner here, but based on breakfast, it is sure to be made to order, farm-to-Table, soulfully-made delicious. 

  • The Four Food Legends
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal

  • Sweet Potato French Toast with sauteed apples

Check out more about The Foundry Hotel, Asheville and Benne on Eagle here:
(And, please, if you plan to go, comment or message me! I’d be happy to gush about it even more. But for now, enjoy the photos!)

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

We had to get back to reality and our regularly scheduled lives this week, but I can’t wait to share all our adventures in Asheville with you! We enjoyed our short time there immensely and it is definitely on our “must return to” list. Foodie that I am, I decided that Part 1 of the trip would have to be “Places to Eat” because we came home fat and happy!

The bar area Nightbell.

Nightbell – January 2019

On our first night in Asheville, we chose Nightbell as our destination. It was a quick walk from The Foundry Hotel. It could have been a 15 or 20 minute walk and it would absolutely have been worth it! It is a small plates restaurant- a little of this and a little of that- so definitely not small kid friendly. However, if they’re adventurous and your wallet can take the hit, then maybe. They have a lengthy specialty cocktails menu so I started by telling the server what I would normally order then he asked if I wanted him to surprise me. Um, yes! As expected, the drink was perfect- a vodka riff on a French 75 – and we were off and running. Fresh oysters, brown butter cornbread and a charcuterie board encompassed Round 1. For Round 2, cavatelli with short rib Bolognese and duck, beans, pork belly cassoulet. Oh my heavens. Winter at its best.

Check out more info and the latest version of the seasonal menu here:

  • French 75*
  • Cavatelli with short rib Bolognese
  • Charcuterie
  • Duck and Pork Belly cassoulet

The Marketplace – January 2019

After exploring The Grove Arcade and ogling the monster piece of carrot cake at The Battery Park Exchange and Champagne Bar (where I could live for weeks… we were ready for some dinner. Upon my daughter’s suggestion, we walked a few short blocks to The Marketplace. The restaurant is along a row of restaurants and bars on Wall Street with cute outside spaces and live music. The night we ate there, a three piece group provided the perfect soundtrack. As with many restaurants in Asheville, The Marketplace prides itself on a menu that includes farm-to-table, locally sourced small plates and individual plates. As par usual, I enjoyed the charcuterie board, which was delicious, but I did learn that I don’t really prefer rabbit turine. I did change it up when I traded in my usual glass of wine for a “Grey’s Hound” cocktail as pictured. If you’re a vodka fan, I highly recommend giving this a try! Smooth, refreshing and delicious! My daughter chose a house salad and cavatelli with venison, which she very much enjoyed – a bit to my surprise since she had never had venison. However, the best meal of the night was my husband’s – seared scallops over jalapeño smoked cheddar grits with Benton country ham. The scallops were perfectly seasoned and seared to a crispy edge and the grits had an incredible depth of flavor – all served in a personal cast iron skillet. Wow! It was a delicious meal and just the right amount for each of us. What a delicious find!

Check out more info and the latest version of the seasonal menu here:

  • Grey’s Hound
  • Cavatelli with venison
  • Charcuterie board
  • So you, too can mix this at home!
  • OMG = these seared scallops over jalapeno smoked cheddar grits!

Be sure to hit the subscribe button because my next post will review our hotel, The Foundry– a stunning new property in the Curio Collection by Hilton – and I promise you don’t want to miss it!

Welcome again to The Typical Tourist!

In the coming days, I will post reviews from the following places…

  • Siesta Key, FL
  • Winter Park, FL
  • Savannah, GA
  • Asheville, NC
  • Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA

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On this site you will find my personal commentary and recommendations for places to stay, things to do, and where to eat – definitely where to eat – in Central Florida, around the country and around the world! (Or at least, you know, the places I’ve actually been!) Most of the time, I travel with my family, so you will also find tips and tricks for inspiring and creating that memorable, meaningful and oh so imperfect trip that’s been on your mind.