Food & Drink - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best mint tea this side of Marrakech
Pasha Taverna & Lounge
4104 Millenia Blvd.
Mint tea is part of any Moroccan feast, and its preparation has been elevated to an art form in Mediterranean North Africa. Here in Central Florida, no one does it better than Pasha Taverna & Lounge. Ornately designed teapots hold the elixir fashioned from sugar, gunpowder tea and fresh mint sprigs, a beverage that's at once smooth, refreshing and very sweet. The sugary quaff has put off a few local patrons and owner Simo Soaf has capitulated by scaling back the sweetness, but if you ask for your tea to be prepared (and poured) in the traditional manner – tooth-singingly sweet and poured into tiny cups from a pot held dangerously high above the table – he will gladly oblige.
118 S. Park Ave., Winter Park
The proliferation of frou-frou coffee drinks may have gotten a little out of hand, but at Barnie's CoffeeKitchen, they've elevated the art of espresso drinks to sheer sophistication. This ain't no ordinary double shot. Barnie's lattes come with the kind of practiced, sleight-of-hand latte art one sees in Milan, topped with a foam so thick and creamy, it's practically dessert on its own.
Best morning deal
910 Lee Road, 407-622-0601
Get past the objectification. Those girls press a mean breakfast panini and use a real espresso maker complete with milk frother, both death-defying feats while wearing a bikini – and all for under $5.
Best way to widen your dining horizons for cheap
Orlando Restaurant Week
Each year, usually in May, Orlando Weekly releases its dining guide, BITE. And each year, to celebrate this utterly stellar collection of condensed critics' reviews, dozens of Orlando restaurants offer three-course prix fixe meals for between $10 and $35, giving locals a low-risk, high-reward impetus to try a new dish, a new restaurant, a new part of town. Go eat!
Best Asian market
Woo Sung Market
5079 Edgewater Drive
Whether you're raiding the ready-to-eat banchan (the bevy of condiments/garnishes/side dishes that accompany Korean meals), stocking up on house-made kimchi or furrowing your brow over unrecognizable vegetables, there's always something to take a chance on (and love!) at Woo Sung Market. Even if you have no idea what the packages say, it's cool. Chances are, it'll be an eye-opener.