Friday, August 28, 2015

The Shoppes of College Park Now Open

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The Shoppes of College Park (Facebook) at 2308 Edgewater Drive is now open for business. With over distinct areas for each vendor to set up their displays, the shop is busting at the seams with clothing, furniture and accessories. 





















No Antibiotics in this Wendys Chicken Sammich

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Wendy's sent us two $5 gift cards for us to try (and write about) their new grilled chicken sammich raised without antibiotics. The same chicken will be used in their salads. The sammich comes with a tangy herb sauce, toasted multigrain bun and spring mix. 




Orlando - You Don't Know the Half Of It

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The idea of regional branding for Central Florida stemmed from Mayor Theresa Jacobs’ participation in a Leadership Mission to Austin, Texas, in 2012 to learn about how that community has successfully branded itself. 

One of the key takeaways from the trip, which triggered the launch of the region’s branding initiative, was that the branding language was consistent across all the regions'  audiences: business sectors, educators, economic developers, elected officials and citizens.

In October 2012, Mayor Jacobs hosted Orange County’s Branding Summit and announced that the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) would lead the new branding initiative through a regional branding committee consisting of local business leaders familiar with the region’s economy. 

The $210,000 funding of the initial phase of the initiative came from the EDC’s Governor’s Council. 

$3 - $4 million per year over a three year period is the projected need to launch the next phase of the branding initiative, which includes print, advertising, commercials, collateral and other marketing materials within an overall marketing plan. 

Launched to the public in Fall 2014, Central Florida's branding initiative "Orlando. You don’t know the half of it" is designed to boost awareness of Central Florida's businesses and innovation assets among targeted industry leaders and site selectors to encourage economic development and job creation.

It's not about tourism. 

Research conducted by the branding committee revealed that the Metro Orlando region’s messaging did not resonate with corporate executives outside Central Florida and business relocation decision makers. One of the initial goals of the branding initiative was to position the region as the ideal place to do business for C-level executives and site-selection consultants in targeted domestic and international markets.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Black Rooster Tacqueria in Mills50 - Vision Boards + Menu Basics

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After Bungalower reported that Black Rooster Tacqueria's owner John Calloway shared a shard of his idea boards in a recent instagram post, we knew we HAD to see more idea boards and learn some facts about the menu. Here's what we learned: 

His team will be making most of the furniture in the restaurant. It will be mixed with pieces from local antique shops and garage sales. 

There will be a large Día de Los Muertos presence, with items celebrating the holiday placed throughout. 

The restaurant will feature an open kitchen.

The core menu will contain the following: 
  1. Tacos
  2. Ceviche
  3. hand made Mexican specialties 
Along with the core menu, guests will find a selection of rotating seasonal and local items. 

Organic corn tortillas will be prepared throughout the day. They will be be paired with organic chicken tinga or achiote pork shoulder.

Below are the restaurant's vision boards, a portion of which he shared on his instagram account. This is all we could squeeze out of him for now. Calloway wants to keep the decor private and not spoil the reveal when the restaurant opens. 




Ice Cream Made From Vegetables in Orlando

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Welli Desserts (Website | Twitter) makes veggie ice cream. That's ice cream made from vegetables and it sounds like it might taste terrible. According to owner Kristine Thomas, you can't taste any of the vegetables.

Thomas tries to use neutral tasting vegetables like spinach, zucchini, peas and cauliflower. Every now and then she will throw in broccoli or cucumbers. She is not a fan of Kale in smoothies, though many are. To coconut, soy or almond milk she adds "superfoods" like real cacao (not the hershey's junk), maca, hemp powder, even a protein powder etc. She sweetens her creamy creations with bananas, dates, or organic stevia. If they're served later in the evening, a shot of liquor can be added.

Vanilla Blackberry - soy milk, banana, black berries, peas, spinach, cauliflower, vanilla protein powder

Vanilla Blackberry - soy milk, banana, black berries, peas, spinach, cauliflower, vanilla protein powder

Coconut Green Tea - coconut milk, cauliflower, zucchini, peas, banana, matcha green tea, stevia

Blueberry Cream - coconut milk, banana, spinach, blueberries....

Some look very green but would you guess it tasted like coffee ice cream?

Coffee - banana, veggies, cacao, coffee, stevia

Mint

Frangelico - coconut, cauliflower, banana, maca, frangelico

Chocolate - Spinach, cacao, banana, broccoli, cauliflower, dates, maca, cinnamon

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lone Sailor Navy Memorial at Blue Jacket Park

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The City of Orlando recently started the process of adding a Lone Sailor Navy Memorial to the south end of Blue Jacket Park by approving the memorial at City Council.

This memorial, developed by the Navy League, is meant to inspire today’s youth and honor sea service men and women and their families: past, present and future. The memorial will help to convey our city's appreciation to the men and women in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine who voluntarily put their lives in harm’s way to protect freedom.

This new memorial will feature an embedded ship’s pier in decorative concrete and a dedication plaque with the chronological history of the Navy in Central Florida.

The location was selected to help commemorate the site where many heroes in uniform began their service in the U.S. Navy at the former Recruit Training Center. For more than 30 years, this site served as the Orlando Naval Training Center and was home to thousands of service personnel known as “Blue Jackets.” In 2000, the City of Orlando designated 75 acres of this site as Blue Jacket Park to serve as a special place for reflection and physical renewal.

The Navy League is continuing to sell commemorative pavers at Blue Jacket Park to help fund this memorial.

Move Over Chicken + Waffles - Itta Bena is Doing Duck & Waffles

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Chicken + Waffles are fun, but Itta Bena (9101 International Drive on the second level of Pointe Orlando) is offering Duck and Waffles! The dish contains confit of Maple Leaf Farm duck, rice pilaf waffle and blueberry poison reduction. It's $26.

Itta Bena Restaurant

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Itta Bena (Web | Facebook) is a restaurant franchise that just opened up an Orlando location at 9101 International Drive on the second level of Pointe Orlando. We learned about at Taste of the Nation this month. It's got a New Orleans vibe and serves steaks and seafood.

Photo Credit: Itta Benna Orlando's Facebook page