May 26 2023

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine


108 S Park Ave
Winter Park/Orlando, FL 32789

Will return.

We came for the NCAA tennis championships at Lake Nona’a USTA. Only an hour into the matches, rain came done. So we decided to have lunch.

Beautiful lighting features – I’m wondering if the Tiffany lamps got its inspiration from -:) – arts has no borders.

I tried their national drink Raki (Maotai to China?) – which is an alcoholic – snaps – made of twice-distilled grapes. Not bad. The namesake lager is good too.

The food is delicious, especially the rice : kind of like Chinese oil rice, the most delicious. According to the staff, it made with very little oil. They saut


May 25 2023

Yummy House China Bistro


2620 E Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL 33610

2nd visit – dine in
… more pix on Google Maps

It’s raining like crazy. 6:30 Thursday, the phone isn’t being answered – too busy.

A pleasant restaurant, cross street from Sanwa.

Tap beer, bottled wines, dim sum, Peking duck.

I ordered take out, which took 20 minutes. Hunan Beef 湖南牛肉 and Sichuan Beef 水煮牛:

– Hunan beef is very sweet
– Sichuan beef, way too soft/silky and has peculiar taste, like intestines

Both, should be pretty spicy and salty – waste of my time! I called to ask the manager if this is correct, she won’t answer but offered to refund me.

For these two, I won’t return – they’re simple to make but taste terrible. But a few friends said their dim sum is good – who knows I’d return for it.


May 25 2023

Marlow’s Tavern


13134 N Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, FL 33618

Will return for the food

Thought their service is slow in early afternoon. We waited at front for their hostess, who, as it happens, was sitting right by the front, doing paperwork (?)

I’ve $50 credit for winning a small tennis tournament. So we’re here -:) before losing it.

French Open qualifying round has started this Monday. One of the screens is showing a men’s singles on red clay: GoNet Geneva Open.

At 3:30 Thursday, it’s pretty packed. Perhaps due to the ice cold cold cold beer ? My Chardonnay is good too.

Salmon and chicken stack are really good – def will return for them.

Their ‘classic’ cream br


May 18 2023

Mourning dove 哀鸽

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Recently, I have been visited by a couple of mourning dove (or the same one?) in the garage.

Monday, as soon as I opened the garage, it flew in – the light is still on. Today, the garage is open since I left and, as soon as I pulled my suv into the garage, it flew in too, to the same location, holding a straw or thin branch in its mouth.

Despite its name, this post claims that

From the legends told in African nations to Greek and Roman mythology and modern-day beliefs, mourning doves are universally seen as a sign of good luck and new beginnings. Whether you’re looking for answers or missing a lost loved one, a visit from a mourning dove is a message of comfort and love.


May 11 2023

Jerry’s Dockside Bar & Grill


9808 Vaughn St
Gibsonton, FL 33534

We had lunch here last September, it was average. So is today: on the water, good service, average food, clean single booth bathroom, average food with big portion. The ten of us got there by boat.

My Pinot Grigio is served in a glass tumbler, thank you.

   


May 11 2023

Sunken Island, FL

This man made island is in Hillsborough Bay, north of Apollo Beach and west to Bird Island, off Route 41. Alafia Bank Sanctuary operates from this little island.

 

We sailed close to the installed reef barrier/system, saw plenty sandhill cranes 沙丘鹤, pelicans 鹈鹕 and the little oystercatchers 蛎鹬, among many other species. 

We waited for the Tropicana train to pass by on the swing bridge at Alafia River ↓

… and lunched at Jerry’s Dockside. Returned to the boat club slip by 2:30.


May 8 2023

Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant


10281 Big Bend Road
Riverview, FL 33578

A decent Mexican restaurant with very good tortillas chips (dry and crispy but not hard) and salsa on the table.

Our group has 18 dinners and one staff took care of us all by herself.

From drink (margarita) to food – spicy , I found them to be bit too sweet.

 


May 5 2023

Big Top Brewing Company


975 Cattleman Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

Big Top Brewing Company at Cock n’ Bull is a neat sports bar with indoor (many tv monitors showing major league games), outdoor under the roof and an open air backyard where smoking is allowed, for performances. They started out when there wasn’t craft breweries in Sarasota vicinity. Their beers are decent and I like the fact that they use real glasses, even for outdoor section.

Beauties, dogs and someone’s birthday whose friend brought many vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. It’s a good party.

This band Dead Set, that playing Grateful Dead music at 7pm, isn’t as decent as the one that played at Skipper’s Smokehouse two weeks ago.

   


May 5 2023

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants


3130 Fruitville Commons Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34240

The tasting room in the front, restaurant located in the back. Simple decor, pleasant vibe, good food and decent service.

We got there at 4:50 on a Friday without a reservation – I forgot – and are seated within 15 minutes, despite many empty tables.

The staff is friendly. Their first restaurant was opened in 2005 and this one in 2021 (?). Their winery is in Ohio or Illinois (? – getting old, can’t remember …), and buy their grapes, instead of growing it – so there isn’t a bad year so to speak. Two reds we tried are good – Merlo and Cooper’s Red. Schott Zwiesel glasses are nice.

The bread is good and warm but not the whipped butter. My tuna appetizer is good, however, is bit sweet. Chicken is fine. Gumbo came a little cold, my friend loves his food HOT, asked them to heat it up.
“We don’t have microwave. We’ll have to remake it from scratch.”
“Oh, never mind. Just put it in a box, I’ll take it home.” They served him another one rather quickly and took it off the bill.


May 4 2023

My cooking: huntun/wonton 馄饨

One kind of dumplings is wonton (云吞 by Cantonese). According to this baike post, huntun came first then evolved to or branched out to jiaozi 饺子. Whichever came first matters little, they both are my faves.

I like both wonton and jiaozi but with store made wrappers, I usually find wonton skins are better while jiaozi’s round skins are way too large.

What’s your favorite?