Keke’s Breakfast Cafe

I have found another one of Orlando’s hidden gems!

 

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After my 9.0 mile long run, I was HUNGRY! Mark picked me up to take me to breakfast.

 

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I had never been to Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, but have driven past it a bunch of times on the way to and from work. Apparently it’s a pretty popular place to eat, because we had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Luckily, the weather was nice enough to sit outside on the patio while we waited.

 

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The breakfast menu mostly consisted of waffles, pancakes, and omelets. The restaurant only serves from 7:00am-2:30pm, so breakfast is served “all day.” Perfect for me! I was craving carbs after my long run, and my mouth was watering at all the descriptions of the various waffles.

 

I decided on the apple-cinnamon waffle after much deliberation.

 

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The warm cinnamon apples reminded me of fall! My mom makes the best apple crisp at thanksgiving, and this made me crave FALL!

 

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YUM!

 

The waffle came with a leaning tower of real whipped cream. I used about 1/3 of it, because it was just so darn good.

 

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Plus a tiny bit of maple syrup on the other half.

 

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Even with my raging appetite, I couldn’t manage the entire waffle. It was so filling!

 

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Mark also thoroughly enjoyed his bacon, tomato, and cheddar omelet.

 

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I’ll definitely be going back to Keke’s! The service was fast and friendly, and the food was delicious.

 

The rest of the morning was spent walking off my sugary breakfast through Winter Park.

 

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I was so full from breakfast, I couldn’t even fit any fresh samples from the farmer’s market in my stomach! That waffle was so good, it was worth it.

 

Which do you prefer: Pancakes or Waffles?

 

❤ MegaNerd

The Drunken Monkey

I have never really considered Orlando to be a unique city. Besides the fact that we are the home of the Mouse (Disney), most of our restaurants and stores are big chains. It’s always a treat to find a smaller, privately-owned variety.

 

My friend Taylor and I are big fans of non-chain restaurants. Ever since our San Diego, CA spring break trip three years ago, we have made a commitment to seek out local business in Orlando. San Diego seemed to be covered with non-chains and we kept wishing that Orlando was like that! Turns out, you just have to know where to look!

 

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I often find myself going too long without seeing my friends. Blame it on my crazy work schedule (I have several part time jobs), but that really isn’t an excuse! I asked Taylor if she would meet me for a late brunch this morning before work, and she suggested the Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar. I hadn’t ever been, and it was a treat!

 

 

The inside of the restaurant had a very chill atmosphere. There were couches for reading, and even a shelf of board games to play while you enjoyed your coffee.

 

Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar on North Bumby Avenue in Orlando.

(Source: Orlando Sentinel)

 

It seemed like a pretty friendly place. The owners added a bit of their sense of humor to the tip jar. 🙂

 

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I had heard great things about Drunken Monkey’s coffee, and knew that I had to give it a try.

 

After looking over the extensive coffee menu, and flavors list…

 

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…I selected a nonfat iced chocolate chip cookie latte.

 

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While it was very delicious, I thought it had more of a nutty flavor than a cookie. Yum!!

 

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For my meal I ordered the OMG! Iran outta names!

 

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It was a breakfast burrito stuffed with potatoes, spinach, red pepper, eggs, and cheese.

 

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I ate every last bite! I would definitely order this again. :)      

 

Does your city have more chain restaurants or unique, privately owned?

 

❤ MegaNerd

The Social Chameleon

One of my favorite things to do while on vacation is to discover all the unique restaurants that you can’t get anywhere else. While Orlando is known for being “touristy” for obvious reasons, there are still some mom and pop type places randomly scattered throughout Central Florida.

 

During the week, I’m trying to keep my money on a tight budget. I don’t eat out and it’s pretty much the same breakfast and lunch every day. Mark and I decided that every other week, we’re going to pick a new place in Orlando that we have never been to. It’s a fun way to re-discover the town I have lived in for 5 years!

 

Last night, we checked out the Social Chameleon.

 

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I heard about this restaurant from my good friend, Taylor. She has the same philosophy of hating chain restaurants as I do.

 

Chain restaurant, this is not…

 

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See that yellow building? Yep… that’s it! Mark and I passed it twice before realizing it was there. There was extremely limited parking, but we did manage to find a spot along this random driveway.

 

We had the option of sitting inside or outside, and the weather had just cleared up from a 5+hour storm. We chose to sit outside!

 

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There was a casual and eclectic feel to the restaurant, and it was fun to try and figure out what the place was made of.

 

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Look! A random cat on the bench next to me!

 

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The waitress explained that almost all the ingredients are organic. They prefer spices to salt, and flavor to fat. Sounds like a good motto to me!

 

After looking over the menu, and hearing the specials…

 

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we decided to start with the “Nosh” or Nan Bread with roasted garlic olive oil dip.

 

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It wasn’t quite what we expected, but it was delicious! I thought it would be more like dunking oil but it was like blobs of garlic!

 

I chose the special, some sort of stuffed banana pepper that I can’t remember the name of to save my life:

 

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I can’t remember everything that was in it, but it included:

  • tomato
  • gorgonzola cheese
  • dried cherries
  • mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar

It was spicy but AMAZING!

 

The waitress told us that the chef randomly throws 10 things together and this was one of his creations. I am so impressed!

 

Mark chose the Florentine Organic pizza:

 

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It had:

  • spinach
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh oregano
  • ricotta cheese
  • roma tomato
  • mozzerella

 

WOW! I absolutely loved it! Luckily, we have leftovers. 😀

 

Have you recently re-discovered where you live?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Ten Hours

I’m baaaaaaack!!

 

Did you miss me? 😉

 

 

Friday morning around 5:30 am, I set out on a road trip. I really just needed to get out of town, leave school and work behind, and clear my head. I figured a mini-vacay to North Carolina to see my mom and little sister was the perfect place to go.

 

I packed one duffel bag and hit the road. The laptop was left behind, with the intention of not feeling pressure to blog, check e-mail, or do school stuff. It worked.

 

I packed food to take with me on my journey. Stopping for fast food or mustering up something decent at gas stations isn’t really my style.

 

I survived the ten hour drive with….

 

– Whole wheat bagel and PB (ate half before I remembered to take a photo)

 

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– Turkey and cheese sammie with mustard, spinach, and banana peppers. (The key is to toast the bread so it doesn’t get soggy!)

 

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– Several handfuls of cheez-its

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– The rest of the grapes from my refrigerator.

 

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Luckily, this stuff kept me occupied and full. I actually enjoyed the drive up. Blaring my ipod (Kesha, anyone?!) and sticking my hand out the sunroof kept me pretty busy.

 

I arrived at my mom’s in the mid-afternoon, and it was plenty daylight outside. We took a quick walk around the lake, chatted, and had a snack.

 

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The view from the patio looks so much different than it did just a couple of months ago. The weather was GORGEOUS!!

 

 

(Last time I visited…)

 

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My sister has been dying to take me to her favorite local Mexican restaurant, La Carretta, for years. Literally, years. I lived with my mom for the summer a few years ago, and I somehow never managed to make it there. Friday night, we changed that!

 

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We started with an order of chips and salsa. Bring me a margarita, and I would have been as happy as a clam.

 

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For my entree, I ordered the Verde Quesadilla. It was stuffed full of mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and spicy chicken. It came with lettuce, tomato, sour cream (which I don’t like), and guacamole on the side.

 

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After my long drive, I really wanted a cold beer. The selections were limited, so I decided on a Bud Light Lime. It actually was very light and refreshing. I really enjoyed it!

 

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I can’t believe that I went all of this time without La Carretta. It was seriously AMAZING food, and very reasonably priced. My quesadilla was only $4.25 and I left feeling stuffed!

 

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We pretty much came home and crashed after dinner. Car trips wear me out!

I have plenty more fun adventures from North Carolina to share, so I plan to post a little about it each day this week. I had more fun than I have had in a while!

 

I’ve been in the car for waaaaay too long. I’m off to bed!

 

❤ MegaNerd

All the Single Ladies!

Yesterday, my two aunts and my grandma came up to visit me!

 

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(Look at these three fabulous single ladies!)

 

They wanted to check out my new apartment, and take me out for a birthday/valentine’s day lunch. I have heard good things about BRIO, and had never been. We decided to go there for a nice girls’ lunch.

 

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By the time we got to the restaurant, were seated, and ordered our food, we were STARVING! It was almost 3:00pm, and we had not eaten much before.

 

We immediately dove into the bread basket. YUM!

 

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My meal came with a Caesar side salad to start. YUM!

 

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I was debating between a few options, but I knew that I wanted pasta. I ended up choosing a shrimp and scallop linguine with red peppers. I ended up eating almost ALL of it. It was SO GOOD!

 

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I need to learn how to cook scallops.

 

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We ordered this dessert for the four of us to share: a chocolate cake slice with caramel filling between the layers. It was heavenly!

 

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The waiter rang up the wrong dessert, and brought this one to us for free (along with the other one!) I was convinced he was just flirting with us on Valentine’s Day. 😉

 

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Any warm brownie/cake with cold ice cream gets me. I was in love.

 

I was done eating around 4:30pm, so that pretty much covered dinner as well. I met up with Taylor later to see Valentine’s Day, the movie, but it was PACKED. Instead, we hit up a local bar for a cocktail!

 

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I ordered the Pom Peche, which essentially was a $9 spiked grapefruit juice. Meh. Should have ordered a glass of wine.

 

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It was quite the indulgent day, but I enjoyed every bite!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Onion Volcano

Happy Birthday, Zach!

 

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Jason’s little brother, Zach, turned 20 this weekend! It’s their family tradition to go to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse for a birthday dinner celebration, and this year was no different.

 

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Kobe meals are teppanyaki style, so everything is cooked at the table right in front of you. The food is great, but I love the entertainment!

 

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Every meal starts out with a cup of soup and a side ginger salad.

 

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While I ate my soup and salad, we watched the chef cut up all kinds of veggies, different meats, and cook noodles and rice.

 

My favorite part of the evening was this onion volcano! Tell me that’s not cool.

 

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The first thing on my plate was veggies… I ate almost every single one!

 

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Next up: Shrimp!

 

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…the Japanese spaghetti and meatballs

 

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…and fried rice!

 

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I kept joking that if I ate that one last little pea, I would pop! I was stuffed to the brim. The food was so good!

 

It was hard to tell how much I was really eating, however, since the plate kept being refilled. I had no concept of portion sizes, but I tried to eat about half of everything (except the veggies) and saved the rest for leftovers.

 

Zach thoroughly enjoyed his birthday dinner, and the staff brought him a hat and cupcake to celebrate!

 

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Earlier in the day, I made a cookie cake for Zach. It was basically a giant chocolate chip cookie with chocolate icing. I hope it turned out well… at least it was fun to make!

 

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My birthday is in 10 days! I still have no idea what I want to do to celebrate.

 

❤ MegaNerd

Very Un-Megan Meal

I actually have a Saturday night free! Well, pretty much any night free is rare these days.

I had Saturday class today as usual, so my eats were basically a bunch of snacks/mini meals. Very boring and repetitive:

  • Kashi hot cereal with kiwi
  • Apple with Peanut butter
  • z-bar
  • hummus and chicken wrap
  • side salad
  • pita chips

 

 I’m skipping to the good stuff!

 

We met Jason’s mom and brother for an early dinner at Cantina Laredo. My favorite part about this restaurant is the fresh guacamole that they make right at your table.

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I had a small plate with some chips:

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We came to this restaurant a few weeks ago, and I wanted to try something new! I couldn’t make up my mind, so I asked Jason for help.

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I ended up choosing the Botanas platter with a little bit of everything! It was very un-Megan of me, but whatever.

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I started with the two shrimp and veggie skewers. YUM!

 

It came with a mini chicken and red pepper quesadilla… I ate two of the three.

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Two stuffed jalapeño peppers (I ate one of them)… Jason was shocked that I liked it!

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Two itty-bitty chicken tacos (I had one)

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…and some queso and more guac for dipping. I didn’t use much of either.

This is by no means the healthiest thing on the menu. I just really didn’t feel like eating a salad or a plate of veggies that I could have made at home!

I usually splurge with sweets, but today I chose delicious fried carbs. LOL.

 

Shin UPDATE

My left shin is feeling much better today! I’m skipping my 12.0 mile scheduled long run tomorrow for a short 3.0 miler just to be on the safe side, but I’m happy I won’t be out forever! Injuries suck- I don’t want one!

 

Off to catch up on the DVR! Jason’s off playing hockey, so I have the remote to myself 😀

 

❤ MegaNerd