Category Archives: Dining

Sweet Tomatoes Orlando Dining Review

During a recent trip to Orlando, Fl we were given the opportunity to check out a dining experience that is nothing like anything in New Jersey.  We went to Sweet Tomatoes on International Drive.

When you first walk in you are at the salad line.  A vast selection of salads, and fixings for the salads await you.  At the end of the salad bar you come to the register to pay for your dining.  You also get your drinks at this location.

Once you pay for your meal you take a seat and enjoy the food.  After you are done with the salad you can go back up to the rest of the food.  This consists of fresh breads, soups, and more.  Also in this area you will find the dessert section which has ice cream, puddings, and more.

If we had one of these in New Jersey I know I would be there more often than I would want.  I know that the food is much better than a fast food chain, or some of the other sit down restaurants.  The prices were not bad either.  For 3 people I spent far more than I would have almost anywhere else.

If you are in the Disney area / Orlando, Fl. then make sure to definitely check out Sweet Tomatoes because it is an experience you won’t want to leave.  Go on their website and sign up for coupons.

Solaris Orlando Dining Review

We stayed in a area hotel, but after seeing the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort I wouldn’t mind staying there.  The resort seems to have something for everyone.  Located in the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort is a restaurant called Solaris.  During our media tour of Orlando we had the opportunity to dine at Solaris.  The Solaris is @20 years old.  Currently some of the Marriott resort is undergoing construction, but navigating the property isn’t hard at all.

If you are just visiting the resort for a dining experience, then you will need to park in the garage, and take the shuttle to the main building.

Our server Chong was very pleasant, and very informed on the food.

First we were served fresh onsite made organic breads. (Sunflower, Sourdough, and Raisin)  These were very tasty.

For lunch I had Thai Chili Shrimp as an appetizer, Spicy Shrimp salad, and Steak and Fries as my entree.  The food was so filling that I couldn’t fit a dessert.  The Spicy Shrimp Salad was not extremely spicy, but just right.  The Steak and Fries were superb.  The steak probably could have been cut with a butter knife.

My wife had Florida Rock Shrimp & Clam Chowder as her appetizer, a “Fit For You” Vietnamese Summer Rolls, and Rigatoni w/ Shrimp for her entree.  She also couldn’t fit a dessert due to the lack of room in the stomach.

Our little one had Chicken Nachos for a appetizer, and a Roast Turkey BLT for her entree.  She had the Warm Chocolate Chip Brownie as her dessert.  The Chicken Nachos was large enough for 2-3 people to eat as an appetizer.  Little one decided to eat half, and take the rest back with her.  The potato “chips” were excellent.

The food was served in such a manner that a new course came out as another was finished.  The food delivery was very prompt, and the food was hot each time.  The pricing for appetizers starts at $8.  Entree pricing runs from $20 to $28.  Sandwiches go from $13 to $16.  The “Fit For You Salads” are priced from $12 to $22.

I was told that on Sundays the Solaris has one of the biggest  breakfast buffets.  With each breakfast buffet sold Solaris donates $1 to the Childrens Miracle Network.

If you are in the Orlando area, then I suggest stopping by the Marriott for some very good food.  I don’t think you will regret it.  Next time we are in Orlando we plan on stopping in for the breakfast buffet, so I will let you know how that is.

Our review was not influenced by receiving a complimentary meal.  We were asked to come in and review the facility, service, food, and operations.

Benihana Ocean County Mall Review

Tonight we decided we wanted to take my uncle “L” out to dinner because he likes to surprise us when we go out by taking the bill before we can get to it.  We went to the Ocean County Mall Benihana.  Upon pulling up there was a sign about 2 people eating for $37.  We immediatelly discussed that this would be a bargain.  The Steak & Shrimp special was $37, and the Chicken & Shrimp special was $35.

We went in as a party of 8 people.  We were seated, and our host took our drink orders.  My wife presented her “Chefs Table Birthday Certificate”, and was told that they would use the certificate, but it could not be used on the specials.  We ordered.  The specials came with Japanese Green Tea, and a sorbet dessert.  Little Brother “L” and girlfriend “L” got the Chicken & Shrimp special.  Wife and daughter got the Chicken & Shrimp special.  Uncle “L” and I got Steak & Shrimp special.  Mom was not hungry.  Little brother “E” got a fried rice appetizer because they had eaten earlier, and weren’t hungry.  They came out with a onion soup.  It was very good.  Next came a salad with ginger dressing.  The ginger dressing made the salad taste strange to me, but it was very tasty.  Finally the chef came out, and started the show.  During prep of the onions he made a flaming volcano, and then made the flaming volcano into a train.  Next he used a shrimp as a fish.  As he cut the tails on the shrimp he was flinging the tails into his hat, shirt pocket, and my daughters dish.  Uncle “L” couldn’t finish his steak so he gave the rest to me.

The portions of food were very nicely sized.  Most of us were starving, but after dinner we were absolutelly stuffed.  Little brother “L” and I conversed quickly about surprising mom with a birthday announcement.  They came over, and made her blow out a candle, and she had her sorbet.  They then took our photo as a group, and gave us a print of the picture.  They told us we could go online and get additional copies.

Chefs Table is something that awards you with a gift certificate during your birth month.  You can join the Chefs Table by clicking HERE, or filling out the in store application.  There is also a childrens group that can be joined which will get them a FREE souvenier cup.

The food was good, and the service was also good.  The soft drinks seemed a bit pricey, but from my understanding per my wife this is going rate for almost any restaurant.  I would definitelly eat there again.  Warning… not even the best diet pills will work for this food, as it is very good tasting, and the show is an added bonus.