Four. Day. Weekend. Wooooo!! How did I spend it? Eating. Blogging. Hitting the gym.
When I say eating, let me tell you about the Winter Park food tour (Thanks Groupon, for always being there when I’m not quite sure what to do with my life).
I took the day off from work. It was totally worth it. My good friend Caitlyn and I drove a little ways. It was a 40-minute drive, so we were ready to eat and walk and learn!
Winter Park Food Tour Galore
We’ve never been in downtown Winter Park, and I hadn’t been back to Winter Park since high school. Street parking was free (cue the gasps). Everyone was really nice. Our foodie tour friends were all friendly.
Melanie was our knowledgeable tour guide. She gave us some great backstories on Winter Park, historic houses, and secrets of the town (ahem, ParkSocial speakeasy).
Our first stop was a quaint restaurant. There were a few tables outside, and some nice tables inside. Our section was reserved right in the middle of the restaurant! We started off with some UNBELIEVABLE truffle macaroni and cheese with crumbs on top. I knew I could die happy after just one bite. We had some bruschetta on the side, and a cute little fizzy mimosa! I’m giving a big THUMBS UP for this stop!!!
Who knew olive oil and vinegar could be so…sophisticated? We learned how to properly taste olive oil and mix it with vinegar.
An Ancient Olive employee demonstrated how we should pour the oil into a small, sauce-sized container, and cup it in our hand. Our body heat naturally warms the olive oil, which preps it for tasting. Once it’s heated up after a few seconds, we remove the top of the container, sip some of the oil through our teeth, swallow the oil, and then give our taste buds a few seconds to process the flavor.
It really does take a few seconds because on the first sip, it was either sour, it was strong, it was bitter, or it was just plain olive-y! But after a few moments of processing, I was able to determine what the flavor was (pepper, lemon, or something sweet).
Dark chocolate. Blood orange. Butter-flavored olive oil. Espresso. So many choices. We dipped our chips in homemade hummus, and chips in the olive oil mixtures of our choice. They also made us some tea + olive oil cocktails!
Sweet tea, spice, and everything nice…these are the ingredients to make the perfect food tour!
We learned to smell spices just right. They served us truffle popcorn, more chips and hummus, and more light tea and spice cocktails.
The special was seafood paella. Yellow rice with chicken, calamari, and shrimp. They served some sort of beer on the side. I did not partake in that, no me gusta. It was in an adorable glass, though!
I liked the food. THAT was delicious. The restaurant had a very minimalist feel to it. The walls were bright turquoise. The name in white. I would visit again!
Yum, yum, YUM! This was our last stop on the Winter Park food tour.
We were taken “backstage” for some behind-the-scenes chocolate lessons. We sampled four different types of chocolate: white chocolate, milk chocolate, 60% cocoa dark chocolate, and 75% cocoa dark chocolate. The darkest chocolate was the best.
Then we dipped a pretzel stick in chocolate while it was spinning on the chocolate wheel, and decorated it with sprinkles. I felt like a little kid in a candy store! Oh, wait…
There were some BEAUTIFUL houses in Winter Park. I forgot how nice the area is. Our tour guide Melanie walked us to a few historic houses in the area.
I’ve already added a place or two to my dream temporary houses. I say “temporary” because I couldn’t live there or pay to live there forever!
We visited Casa Feliz, a restored Spanish Farmhouse that now serves as a museum (and celebration/wedding venue!). This was designed by architect James Gamble Rogers II, built in 1933.
The house was going to be demolished in 2000. However, the Winter Park Historic Preservation Society raised money to save the house. The city physically MOVED this 750-ton building to a new spot on North Park Avenue. A Seven hundred fifty ton building! Check out the news coverage on the Casa Feliz website.
The only suggestion I have is for the food tour team to give us something to take home! When Caitlyn and I walked the Downtown Orlando food tour, we received a bag, a map of downtown, brochures, and lots of coupons to entice us to return to the restaurants. I was a little disappointed we didn’t go home with something tangible from each place this time around.
On the bright side, we got a 10-15% discount if we wanted to buy something extra at each stop on the Winter Park Food Tour. But it would’ve been nice to have a map of downtown Winter Park and some coupons or information about the restaurants, especially since we weren’t from the area.
Other than that, it was a great day, and I would highly recommend trying out the Winter Park food tour. It was a great time eating, learning, and taking a stroll!