18 hours in Orlando. By no means a foodcentric voyage and yet I managed to eat a stupid amount of tacos and some kickass BBQ.
The purpose of this baby road trip was to head to House of Blues and see the sold out Imagine Dragons concert with Atlas Genius and Nico Vega opening up. My friend went out of town so I was lucky enough to borrow his wife for the evening. Best. Copilot. Ever.
I scooped her up and we were off to enjoy the traffic nightmare that is I-4 at 5:30pm on a Friday. We missed the window to "Pass the Line" at House of Blues (which is an awesome feature that I fully recommend if you have the time; buy an entree/sandwich and pass the whole crazy line) so it was out to the streets of Downtown Disney to find a quick bite. We made it about 100 feet before spotting a food truck. No need to look any further. Last thing I expected to come across but I'm extremely happy we did.
Fast, reasonably priced and tasty. You've a plethora of options in Downtown Disney but this place is worth a shot if you don't have time for a sit down meal. The guys in the truck were super friendly and happy to chat. Exclusively at DD, hopefully they roll out the tacos to other spots.
Chipotle Pork with Tomato Salsa and Cilantro Cream and Mahi Mahi with Slaw and Pickled Peppers. The proteins were juicy and flavorful, especially and surprisingly the Mahi. I ate mayo without complaining and the pickled peppers provided just the right amount of heat and texture.
Concert. Epic. Mind blown. I have a thing for drums and holy crap there were so many drums on that stage, at one point four band members including the lead singer were pounding away and I was thinking very dirty things.
Checked into the hotel. I named my price on Priceline and got a sweet room for half off. My money needs to go towards food and drink, people, not overpriced hotel rooms. We ventured to downtown to meet up with one of my favorite chicks who was randomly in town. After some truly bizarre time spent at Barbq Bar and Eye Spy we went to get grub at Gringos Locos because what else are you to do at 2:30 in the morning but go wait in line for what seems like forever with drunks, hipsters and a delightful variety of party people for tacos? That said, TOTALLY worth it. I did not take pictures. I DID get a variety of tacos and a beef empanada. I got beef (too sweet for my taste), pork (always reliable) and chicken (the best of the bunch which shocked me; packed with flavor). The homemade empanadas were obviously so. Crazy crispy and like none I've ever had but I regret getting the beef because again, too sweet for my liking.
Why is Crystal the best copilot ever, you ask? Because this is the second time I've taken her to a concert and both times she's fed me chips and queso while I drive. Also, she knows Orlando quite well so no need for navigation. And to top it all off, she's hilarious.
Sleep. Wake. Off for BBQ at 4 Rivers Smokehouse. I had it on good authority from Todd at Tasting Tampa that this was the best BBQ in FL and it was confirmed by my copilot so I found myself for the second time in less than twelve hours standing in a lengthy line for food. Annnnnd again, totally worth it. Beyond worth it. Most of you have already seen the pic on my FB page but here it is again in all its unpretentious glory. I feel your envy deep in my soul and it's justified.
I don't think I need to say much. Crys ordered a half rack of St. Louis Style Ribs, Mac &Cheese and Texas Cornbread and got The Itis in under ten minutes. That's gotta be some sort of a record. Go here, wait it out and eat your freaking face off. Just make sure you aren't too far away from somewhere you can lie down and head to Nap City. The ambiance is ideal, the staff seem truly happy to be there (wouldn't you be?) and they've thought of everything. From wash basins out in the open made from barrels to a bevy of To Go supplies, this joint has you covered. I'll be back for sure. There's simply too much to savor on the menu.
We made the voyage back home in a car that smelled of BBQ heaven. I brought home leftovers because being Itis'd out is no way to drive, y'all. Safety first!
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