Local Flavor: Asian Slaw from Pom Pom’s Sandwicheria

Written By Scott Joseph On January 9, 2024

Asian Slaw from Pom Pom's Sandwicheria
Photo: Pom Pom’s Sandwicheria

Note: This is Scott’s last Local Flavor column for The Community Paper. Beginning this month, Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps will be offering some of his favorite recipes.

Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria has been a staple of the Milk District since long before it was called the Milk District. And the sandwiches have such a loyal following that when owner Pom Moongauklang announced last year that she was switching the nighttime menu to feature cold noodle dishes – and no sandwiches – her fans rebelled. The noodles were nixed and the sandwiches reinstated.

They really should have given the noodles a try because Moongauklang knows her stuff. Raised in Thailand, she moved to New York and earned a degree as a pastry chef, working in such restaurants as the original Nobu and Lucky Chang’s, which was famous for its cross-dressing serving staff. Imagine that today.

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Compliments of the Chef: The Whiskey’s Crab Fries

Written By Scott Joseph On December 15, 2023

Screenshot 2023 12 15 at 1.01.28 PM

The Whiskey is known for its award-winning and eminently Instagrammable burgers. But one of the more popular items people order while waiting for their burgers is the Crab Fries. In this episode of Compliments of the Chef, Hector Tolentino demonstrates how he makes it and shares the recipe.

One of the secrets, he said, is a bit of liquid smoke in the butter. That and Old Bay seasonings.

Watch the video and then give the recipe a try. Then head down to the Whiskey and see how Tolentino does it – and have a burger.

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On the House: The Elite from JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek

Written By Scott Joseph On November 29, 2023

The Elite Cocktail

In this episode of On the House, Samantha Deacy, bartender at the Sear + Sea lobby bar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, demonstrates her newest creation, The Elite.

Usually, we would also share the recipe for the cocktail, but Deacy uses Buffalo Trace bourbon that she infuses roasted apple and cinnamon stick and then washed with foie gras. Probably not something you’re going to try at home.

So instead, take a look at the video and then head to the JW and ask Deacy to make you one. (Of course, you could always try it with straight, unadulterated bourbon, but you really should get the full effect.) Click below to see the video.

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Local Flavor: Aardvark’s Spicy Guy

Written By Scott Joseph On November 20, 2023

Aardvark Spicy Guy

The Aardvark — a restaurant, bar, and bottle shop in Orlando’s SoDo District — is an example of a successful reinvention.

Originally known as Aardvark Beverages, it was primarily a package beverage store and a go-to source for beer kegs for partiers of all ages. Well, over 21. The name almost certainly was chosen to come up first in the Yellow Pages listings. (If you’re under 40, ask your grandparents what the Yellow Pages were.)

Today, The Aardvark is a comfortable little neighborhood boîte serving American and bistro fare, such as this sandwich shared by owner Emmie Olivecrona. It’s called the Spicy Guy and features boneless, skinless chicken thighs, either with a hot-sauce coating or just plain.

This recipe is for one sandwich, but you can scale it up for as many people as you’d like. And if it’s for a big party, you may want to know that The Aardvark still sells kegs.

See the recipe at The Community Paper.

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Local Flavor: Crab Rangoon from Z Asian

Written By Scott Joseph On October 11, 2023

Crab Rangoon from Z Asian

In this edition of Local Flavor, Huong Nguyen, the chef and co-owner of Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant Z Asian, shares her recipe for crab Rangoon. The recipe is especially geared for those who own an air fryer, but Nguyen also includes instructions for good old fat frying.

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Local Flavor: Adobong Kabute from Kaya

Written By Scott Joseph On September 18, 2023

Adobong Kabute from Kaya
Photo: Blake Jones

According to Lordfer Lalicon, the chef and co-owner of Kaya, “One of the most iconic dishes in the Philippines is adobo, a traditional dish that utilizes garlic, suka (cane vinegar), black pepper and bay leafs as the main components.” But instead of the typical chicken or pork, Kaya uses lion’s mane mushrooms in its adobong kabute and finishes it off with some coconut milk, “to give the dish some fattiness.”Filipino adobo shouldn’t be confused with the Mexican sauce; it’s thinner and slightly sweeter.

Lalicon notes that he sources lion’s mane mushrooms from Fungi Jon, which sells at various farmers markets, including on Saturdays in Winter Park. But if you can’t find lion’s mane, you can substitute any hearty mushroom, including shiitake or even buttons. The dish can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, and it’s a good option for vegans. (more…)
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Local Flavor: Pasta Carbonara from Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

Written By Scott Joseph On August 9, 2023

Francesco Pasta Carbonara
Photo: Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

Local Flavor is a collaboration between Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper featuring recipes from area chefs and restaurants.

Francesco Aiello, chef and owner of Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in Maitland, recently celebrated the popular restaurant’s 10th anniversary. Aiello, a native of Palermo, Sicily, attended the cooking school Istituto Alberghiero there, focusing on Italian preparation of seafood and risotto.

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Local Flavor: Turci Pasta’s Prosciutto and Burrata Bruschetta

Written By Scott Joseph On July 14, 2023

Prosciutto and burrata bruschetta at Turci Pasta in College Park
Prosciutto and burrata bruschetta

When I recently reviewed Turci Pasta, the College Park Italian restaurant, I noted that one of my favorite things wasn’t the freshly made pastas it’s known for — though they were exceptional — but rather an appetizer: bruschetta with prosciutto and burrata. The owners, Vinicius Turci and his wife, Nathalia Kalil, graciously shared the recipe with me.

Burrata is essentially a ball of mozzarella with curds and cream in the center. It’s the creaminess that really stands out with this dish.

You may use a toaster, toaster oven or conventional oven, but be sure to get the bread nice and crisp.

See the full recipe at YourCommunityPaper.

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Compliments of the Chef: Ember Baked Cabbage with Bacon Aioli from Sear + Sea

Written By Scott Joseph On June 28, 2023

Tallow Cabbage from Sear + Sea at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek

In this episode of Compliments of the Chef, Peter Cox, chef at Sear + Sea at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, shares his recipe for a favorite side dish he serves at the steak and seafood restaurant: Tallow Cabbage. Cox believes in making good use of all the ingredients in his kitchen and keeping waste low, especially because the JW uses high quality ingredients – make use of it all. 

You probably don’t have the fancy grill contraption that Cox has at Sear + Sea, but he says you’ll do just fine with any type of grill you have.

Watch the video then give the recipe a try. Better yet, head down to Sea + Sea and try it from the pro.

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On the House: Flamingo Barraquito from Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On June 14, 2023

FourFlaOTH coffee

Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen, the Michelin Recommended restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, has a new mixologist heading up its beverage program. Kat Gallardo has gotten right down to the business of creating new, innovative and refreshing cocktails to pair with the restaurant’s  inventive cuisine.

In this episode of On the House, Gallardo shares her recipe and technique for the Flamingo Barraquito, a delicious dessert drink that includes the Spanish liqueur Licor 43. This is a layered cocktail and Gallardo says the secret is using the back of a spoon when pouring the liquids into the glass. Four Flamingos makes its own coconut vanilla cream foam and smoked sea salt to top it off, but Gallardo says you may use canned whipped cream and any kind of sea salt.

Watch the video then give it a try. If you want to know how it’s really supposed to taste, visit Gallardo and the staff at Four Flamingos.

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