Kona Café (Orlando, FL)


My last stop on my Florida roadtrip was my return to Orlando. Here, of course, I decided to try out another Disney Hotel restaurant for breakfast. I chose the Kona Café at the Polynesian Village Resort. This resort demonstrates the spirit of the South Pacific with tropical palms and lush vegetation. I had been at this Resort Hotel before with my friend for a quick nighttime stop for fireworks and a drink at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.

At the Kona Café

The Kona Café is located on the second floor of the Grand Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Village Resort. It is an open casual table service restaurant with view of the atrium. It serves American dishes with an Asian twist and also offers an open sushi station for lunch and dinner. 

What I ordered:

  • Mimosa Flight - three mimosas, one with Liliko'i Juice (blend of orange, passion fruit and guave juice), one with pink grapefruit juice, and one with pineapple juice
  • Seven Seas Samoan - Poached eggs with a citrus sauce hollondaise on turkey and pulled pork hash with mustard greens and tomatoes tossed in a citrus vinaigrette

Other famous Kona Café dishes: 

  • Tonga Toast - the legendary large banana stuffed french toast with a cinnamon sugar crust and strawberry compote
  • Loco Moco - a tower of rice with a hamburger patty, chorizo gravy, eggs and tomato salsa
  • Polynesian Egg Platter - traditional platter with eggs, potatoes, a choice of meat and with a Mickey shaped coconut macademia nut muffin
  • Macademia Nut Pancake - with a macademia nut butter and pineapple sauce

 

Runny Eggs in Florida :)

The Kona Café offers with their Seven Seas Samoan a special and interesting version of eggs benedicts/ runny eggs. The mix of pulled pork and turkey in the hash was great. Surprisingly, the dish did not seem to heavy despite the meat, the citrus hollondaise and the greens tossed in a citrus vinaigrette really lightened the dish up.

This was a nice continuation to my previous experiences during my Florida road trip. I do love my runny eggs!














Another Broken Egg Café (Naples, FL)


Naples, FL -

My next stops on my way through Florida were Ft. Myers and Naples. I originally had planned to spend my last week on the east coast side of south Florida. However, after Fort Lauderdale did not really work out for me - too stormy and rainy - I had returned to the west side of south Florida.

Naples is a really nice town right beneath Ft. Myers Beach. It is a little more upscale. The beach there is just amazing with nice little palm tree huts. Before driving back to Orlando, I enjoyed a nice breakfast and some nice last beach time here in Naples :)

What I liked about "Another Broken Egg Café"

My friend recommended to try out the "Another Broken Egg Café" as a nice chain restaurants. I looked at the menu and was sold :) Also, if it is your first visit to one of their cafés, you get a free order of their specialty biscuit beignets with a sweet dipping sauce. There are freshly made and crispy.

They offer a nice selection of decadent eggs benedicts including a vegetarian one and some with lobster, salmon or crab cake. They also have a good variety of sweet treats including different kinds of pancakes and toppings. And check out their incredible nice brunch cocktail section. They have different juice mimosas, bloody marys and champagne cocktails.

Also, everything I tried tasted really delicious. I was most surprised by their country potatoes. They do look like they have been sitting under a heat lamp for a while, but they are real crispy on the outside and soft inside. They were probably fried instead of re-heated, but it defenitely worked. They were also not greasy at all.

And look at their cute signature clay mug! You can also buy them, even though they are a little pricy.

My decadent brunch :)

As always on my vacation, I went a little overboard and ordered way too much. I just wanted to try everything ;)
  • A free serving of biscuit beignets
  • Breakfast tea in a nice signature clay mug
  • Peach Blini (Champagne, peach and orange juice)
  • Crab Cake Benedicts served with country potatoes
  • A side of Peach Cobbler Pancake (cake filled with honey-roasted granola, topped with peach compote, cream and maple syrup)








Brunch at First Watch (St. Petersburg, FL)


Another nice sunny day on my Florida vacation. How to better start the day then with a nice brunch. This time I tried "First Watch" in St. Petersburg out. It is an American restaurant chain that focuses on breakfast and light lunch dishes. They have a nice outdoor seating area and surprisingly, I was the only one who wanted to sit outside. I had the entire area for myself, while it got more and more crowded and loud inside...

Why "First Watch"?

The name references to the first work shift aboard a ship as the restaurant is usually only open from 7am to 2:30pm. "First Watch" serves food from the crack of dawn :)

What's so special about them?

"First Watch" emphasize the freshness of their products. They do not use heat lamps or fryers. They serve fresh fruit and made to order dishes. While they offer the classic favorites such as eggs & bacon, omlettes and pancakes, they also serve healthy dishes including granola, yoghurt, superfood bowls, avocado bread, and more. They also have tasty seasonal specials and a juice bar :)

Breakfast Hash the way I like it :)

Well, I do like runny eggs over good breakfast potatoes, a good skillet hash. However, the potatoes need to be fresh and not re-heated and mushy. I do not like the shredded hash browns, they have to be the real potato cubes preferably fried with some vegetables and onions... So, I got the "Market Hash" and I was not disappointed. It was fresh, with lots of veggies, well seasoned and very tasty!
  • Seasoned freshly cooked potatoes with crimini mushrooms, zucchini, shallots, red peppers, baby spinach, melted mozzarella and herbed goat cheese.
  • Served with two eggs over easy that were still runny inside.
  • Along that, whole grain artisan toast and fresh fruit.











Disney Brunch at the Grand Floridian Café (Orlando, FL)


I love brunch time and I love Disney :) What better way to start my vacation then having brunch at one of the Disney Resort Hotels? They always look so neat and cute with their special themes. This time we chose The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Grand Floridian Café for breakfast.

I had been to the Grand Floridian Resort before for the Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room which was really nice, food tasted delicious and the Victorian style atmosphere was really charming.

Now we chose breakfast at the The Grand Floridian Café which is located in the same building, right behind the foyer. The Café had also the typical Victorian charm which I really enjoyed. They also had a nice view of the rose garden and the nearby courtyard pool. They did not have outdoor seating which was a little sad. While we waited for the food (which unfortunately took quite some time), we got complimentary biscuits with jam and cream.

Decadent Eggs Benedicts, Sweets and Drinks

The Grand Floridian Café is known for its great selection of decadent Eggs Benedicts. Among the traditional version with ham, they also offer Lobster Eggs Benedicts and Spicy Chorizo Eggs Benedicts. Their traditional sweet section of waffles and pancakes is also very interesting. The waffles are Mickey shaped and the pancakes come with different decadent add ones including different fruits, creams, sauces, and decadent syrups (e.g., citrus-pecan syrup). They also have a great variety of intersting non-alcoholic drinks and smoothies which make for a great start :)

What we ordered

  • Coffee (featuring Micky), Raspberry Colada (puréed raspberries and creamy colada), Tropical Splash (blended strawberries and orange juice)
  • Eggs Benedict Flight (Three Signature Benedicts: Traditional Ham, Chorizo and Lobster Benedict)
  • Lobster Eggs Benedict
  • The Café Sandwich (open faced with ham and turkey)
  • Buttermilk Pancake with Add On (Mandarin Oranges, Dried Cranberries, Chantilly Cream, and Citrus-Pecan Syrup)












My Mom's "Kartoffelsalat mit dunklem Öl" (potato salad with pumpkin seed oil)


This is no ordinary potato salad - it's neither a traditional German (Swabian or Bavarian) potato salad with a vinegar-oil dressing nor a traditional American potato salad with mayonnaise :)

 The Dark Oil - Pumpkin Seed Oil

We call this potato salad one with a "dark" oil because of the use of the black pumpkin seed oil. It is a pretty simple vinegar-oil dressing with the addition of the dark pumpkin seed oil. The dark oil does not only gives it a special color, it also adds kind of a nutty flavor.

Crunchy Onions and Firm Potatoes

There are two more things that I really enjoy about this salad. First, the onion rings, no diced onion. The rings give a slight crunch and are easily visible, but they are very thin and not too strong. Second, the kind of firm potato slices. I like the salad because the potatoes are not mushy or completely broken up. You can easily identify the potato slices. So, it is the complete opposite of the "schlotzig" Swabian potato salad :)

Ingredients:

  • 5-7 big potatoes (unpeeled, waxy and firm potatoes)
  • 1 liter saltwater
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  • 2-3 tablespoon vinegar (wine or apple vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
  • 1/4 cup water (cold)
  • salt, pepper, vinegar to taste

 

Preparation:

Boil the potatoes: 

First, put the unpeeled potatoes in a pot with saltwater and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 20-25 minutes, till a fork goes in smoothly. Time depend on the size of the potatoes, so keep checking, they could also be done earlier. The potatos shall be soft but not broken up or overcooked. The fork should come out smoothly, but the potato should not completly break when pricked. Drain the potatoes and set aside, let cook down for a bit.

Prepare the salad:

Then, peel the potatoes and slice in thin slices. You can do it by hand or use a mandoline. Cut the onion. I like it when the onion is cut in thin half rings, but you can also dice it. I prefer the crunch that the rings add to the salad.

Add the dressing:

Now, add salt, pepper and the vinegar and oils. Just pour it over the potatoes. You do not need to mix the dressing in a separate bowl. Add a bit of cold water. Mix all the potatoes with the seasoning and dressing, but be careful to not completely break down all potatoes. There should still be some unbroken potato slices :)

Season to taste:

Last, try the salad. Add some more salt, pepper or vinegar if needed. When you let the salad sit for a while, you may need to mix it again and adjust the spices. There should always be some dark vinegraitte visible in the bottom of the bowl. If the potatoes have soaked up all the liquid, you need to add more vinegar and water.

Bon Appetit!







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    My Mom's "Paprika-Hähnchen Reispfanne" (chicken, bell pepper & rice )


    My Mom used to bring home those little recipe cards that they sometimes had at the grocery store. We usually never cooked with them, but there were two cards that became family recipes - one beieng a stuffed zucchini and the other one this colorful and fresh rice dish with chicken and bell pepper.

    I especially love the colors of the bell pepper. You do have to use all three colors - red, yellow and green. It is important that you do not overcook the bell pepper, it should still keep the vibrant color and be a little on the crispy side.

    Seeing this dish with those bright colors of the fresh vegetables, it always gives me the feeling of a caribbean vacation ;)

    Ingredients (4 servings):

    • 1 liter saltwater 
    •  250g rice
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 3-4 chicken breast (ca. 500g)
    • 2 cloves garlic - minced
    • salt, pepper
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon paprika seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 onion- finely diced
    • 1 green bell pepper - sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper - sliced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper - sliced
    • 2 tomatoes - diced
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
    • salt, pepper, paprika seasoning to taste
    • 1/4 cup fresh cut parsely
    • optional: 1/4 cup corn

    Preparation:

    Cook the Rice: 

    Heat the saltwater and cook the rice according to package instructions.

    Prepare the Chicken:

    Heat the oil in a big frying pan or wok. Add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes from both sides. Add the minced garlic, some salt, pepper and paprika seasoning. Stir and keep frying the chicken for 2-3 more minutes. Take it out of the pan and keep it warm on the side. Be careful not to overcook the chicken as it dries out fast. You do not need to completely cook it through now, as you will set it aside and add it to the rice dish later on and continue cooking it.

    Mix Rice with Vegetables and Season: 

    Melt the butter in the same frying pan that you used for the chicken. Don't clean the frying pan, the chicken spices will add some seasoning. Add the diced onions and sliced bell pepper to the melted butter. Fry for about 5 minutes and keep stirring. Don't fry the bell pepper too long, you do not want to overcook it. It should still be crispy. Add the rice and diced tomatoes. If you want to, you can also add some corn now. Add tomato paste and stir. Add salt, pepper, paprika seasoning to taste. Mix well.

    Simmer and Serve: 

    Now, put the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Close the frying pan with a lid. Let simmer for 10 minutes at low heat. Right before serving, sprinkle the parsley on top of everything and give it a quick stir.






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