Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sushiology - Japanese

During Lunch hour, I'm always looking for a quick delicious and healthy meal, driving down the block I see this sushi place with a funny name, Sushiology. I thought, "Hey I love sushi, I wonder what kind of place it is", I went inside and was greeted by the whole crew.

I was looking at their menu which was very colorful and easy to understand, the prices for one to two people ranged from $10 down to about $5, they also offered big platters for about $30 to $40. It was my first time in and wasn't sure what to order, I asked what they recommended and they told me the Salmon Tempura was really good, it is a roll filled with salmon, cream cheese and deep fried with a tempura batter. I ordered the salmon roll and was soon hooked. Sushiology is considered by many to be a sushi fast food type place, I like it because its quick and you can even have it on a 30 min lunch and its healthy. All the ingredients are fresh and the place is very cleanly.

The next few times I visited I tried different things like the Kamikaze which is a tuna roll filled with crunchy tempura bits for texture and a spicy mayo sauce and covered with salty masago which is a type of caviar. I also tried their california, which is the most well known sushi roll in america that contains cucumber, crab stick, avocado and is also covered with masago and sesame.

I then ventured out and started ordering the desserts, they have four different desserts to choose from and I've had all four, the banana tempura is really good if you like fried desserts, basically it is a banana fried in tempura batter to make it nice and crunchy and then served with chocolate swirled vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. The aged ringo was bacially an apple pie served with the same kind of ice cream. My favorite was the fried cheesecake with the ice cream, it was a cheesecake that was wrapped in a kind of wonton wrapper and deep fried and then served with the same chocolate swirled vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I am a regular at sushiology, I always have something new to try because they have such a wide menu, even the appetizers were sufficient enough to fill me up as a meal. I had the miso soup which is a soup with tofu and seaweed, it was just like any other miso soup I've had elsewhere except I could tell the dashi stalk the used was not fresh but other wise the soup was pretty good. I then moved on to the donburi which translated means rice bowl. It basically is what it means, it is a rice bowl that is served with a protein on top such as fish chicken or beef, the first one I ordered was the ten don. The ten don was served with tempura shrimp and vegetables. That one has to be one of my favorites because it has the tempura sauce to dip the tempura veggies and shrimp in and then it falls on and flavors the rice. The second time I ordered the ten don though it turned out really greasy and oily.

Finally sushiology also offers Japanese drinks and snacks as well as your regular coke products. I first had the Calpico which is a carbonated milk drink, I thought it tasted more like an orange cream soda. they also offer alcoholic drinks like sake and other plum wines. They also have teas such as oolong and green tea in convenient aluminum cans.

Overall my expierience was nice, as I waited to get my food, the mucic was current, the people were nice. I was happy to find out that Japanese tourists were even eating there so if they like it, it must be authentic. I give Sushiology a 3/5 chef hats because I obviously continue to eat there but they could work on making the food consistent in quality.

Location: 8249 Vineland Ave,
Orlando, FL 32821
Phone: (407) 239-4920

Havana Bistro Cafe

Driving around looking for a place to eat, we could smell the aroma coming from this little Cuban Bistro and it reminded me of the food I had growing up. We went to check it out not knowing if we wanted to eat there yet and once we saw the selections it was a no brainer. The Bistro had authentic Cuban food as well as a glass display with the desserts they offered. Having a sweet tooth that pretty much sealed the deal.

The menu was easy to ready and understand. The choices were either to get a combo for $7.25 which was all day or just an entree. I went for the combo since it contained a lot of choices, which included picking one protein such as the beef with potatoes (carne con papas), spicy chicken, shredded beef (ropa vieja), and pork cooked in three different ways. Second a choice of rice which included cuban rice which is white rice cooked with black beans, yellow rice and regualr white rice. Third choice was the sides which included but were not limited to beans, corn, yuca, and tamales. I have to say it was a lot of food but living in these times you have to think ahead, I knew I would be getting the rest to go for lunch the next day.

Once seated with the food I went for my drink, they had regular coke fountain drinks, iced teas and for an extra charge, natural juice drinks such as mango and passion fruit. I went for the iced tea, I wanted the green tea but the machine was not working properly and came out as plain water so I settled for the raspberry iced tea. The building was small but looked like it could hold about 35 people.

Open for only one year, the bistro was not busy for a saturday afternoon and we had the place pretty much to ourselves as we ate. After taking the first bite, I knew I wanted to come back again, the beef was incredibly flavored and so tender it pretty much melted in my mouth, the cuban rice was authentic and the yuca was not bland at all. My fiancee had the cuban sandwich with yellow rice as a side. The sandwich tasted like an authentic cuban sandwich.

Once we ate to the point of explosion, we got the rest to go. Since the whole reason I wanted to eat there was for the dessert, we got a cheesecake and flan, a custard dessert with caramel sauce, to go. The flan tasted like flan but the texture was a bit more dense than I'm used to, it tasted great though.

I give the Havana Bistro Cafe a 4/5 chef hats for a great dining experience and great food. The price was reasonable for the amount of food I got, but the experience felt like I was eating at a fast food restaurant, I would have liked to see more things inside and maybe cuban music playing in the background. I would defiantly suggest eating at the Havana Bistro Cafe if you are looking for authentic cuban food, but for a Saturday night when you want to go out and have fun, I'm not sure this place would be too entertaining.

Location: 7975 S, Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32809
Phone: (407) 420-7285