We always celebrate Christmas with my dad before we put him on a plane and send him home to my sister's house for Christmas. This was our second year having our celebration meal at Maggiano's Little Italy. This is a chain restaurant and if there is one near you...go there! They serve a family style meal that is such a great value and the food is excellent. There is so much food that the girls take home enough to have at least two more meals. This year we had everything from Chicken Marsala, Salmon and a Bowtie Pasta to Tomato Caprese, Spinach Salad and Creme Brulee...plus another appetizer, entree and dessert. It isn't a meal...it is an event. You can also order off the menu.
One of our favorite places to eat is Tommy Bahama's.
The food is always interesting and just pretty!
My daughter and I shared a couple of appetizers.
Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes with a slaw and
Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese with Flatbread. Yum.
My dad had the Blackberry Brandy BBQ Pork Sandwich
My husband had the Blackened Fish Tacos
We all shared the Cinnamon and Sugar Plantains with Salsa
This year we were able to head to Siesta Key, FL for a night the weekend before Christmas. We actually put my dad on a plane early Saturday morning and then we went to his home (without him) for the night. It is about 2 hours from Orlando. We had a few things we needed to take care of and I also just wanted to spend a little time "at home" because I hadn't been there in quite a while. It is hard to explain how it felt to walk into my parent's home after over a year. The only way I can describe it is like a warm hug. I'm lucky to have a place to go that still feels like my mom. I slept in her bed, I knew where everything was located and as I walked around, I remembered so much about where she bought each item or who gave her something as a gift. Dad has made a few changes, but it is still home to my sister and me. The one thing I learned as our family moved around is that home is really where your parents live...it doesn't have to be the house you grew up in. I feel blessed that I had a chance to enjoy such a peaceful 24 hours.
One of our favorite places to go on Siesta Key, is the Broken Egg for breakfast. So, after having lunch and dinner at ocean front restaurants on Saturday, we headed out for brunch Sunday morning to the Broken Egg.
This was my breakfast...perfection!
The basics-boring, but good I guess!
Gingerbread pancakes...have you ever seen anything so huge?
Bacon Benedict Florentine...yummy!
We also had to make one trip to the little sushi place near my daughter's home. My dad wasn't convinced that he wanted sushi, but after eating here he loved it. I've tried it several places since my first experience here on our last visit and this is the best I've found. It is in a strip mall with no atmosphere...but, the sushi chef certainly knows what he is doing!
The next few pictures aren't very good. It was too dark to see much and even harder with a camera. I wanted to share a few pictures of the new Fantasyland at The Magic Kingdom. It had just opened when we were there and it was so crowded. The drink below is from Gaston's Tavern and is called LeFou's Brew, named after Gaston's sidekick in "Beauty and the Beast". It is apple juice with toasted marshmallow and passion fruit-mango foam. I didn't think it sounded all that good, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Walt Disney World's newest castle is located in The New Fantasyland. It is the Beast's Castle and houses the Be Our Guest restaurant. I understand that the interior is amazing, but because it was new and it was Christmas, they would only let people with reservations for dinner inside.
Fantasyland is also home to the new Under The Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction. My dad and my husband did this and said it was very cute. My daughter loves it. We could barely see to walk around the area. It was a dark night and it was very crowded. I can't wait to go back in the daylight during an off season. That ends our culinary tour with a few highlights of some of the foods we enjoyed. I guess you can see why I really need to be on a diet when I'm not in Orlando!
I am joining Michael @ Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.
Please visit her for some of the best recipes in the Land of Blog!