Great buns at Morimoto Asia

To celebrate the purchase of our Florida home, we decided to try Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs. The menu had something for everyone, including my two little monsters.

We started off with appetizers and I decided on Kanikama Rangoon and Chicken Bao. Kanikama Rangoon are skinny straws of deep fried crabmeat and Chicken Bao are pillowy sandwiches of chicken. I loved the Bao, but wasn’t crazy about the Rangoon, so I passed them off to TK. The teriyaki chicken in the bao buns was tasty and the buns were so cushy, and I love soft bread, so they were enjoyable and have opened my eyes to any bao bun dishes in the future. Bring them on!

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Since the bao buns were like mini sandwiches, I thought I’d go with something kind of light for my entree and ordered the Shrimp Tempura Roll. It had spicy mayo, asparagus and obviously shrimp tempura. I always like sushi when the rice is on the outside or they use the special seaweed. Anything with regular seaweed is a definite NOPE.

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The decor in Morimoto’s is pretty awesome. There was fringe hanging from the ceiling that looked like jellyfish and the booths are cozy, yet chic. Next time, I would consider drinks and a nosh in the lounge area … that may or may not include bao buns.

Morimoto Asia, 1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-939-6686

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Making healthy taste amazing at Tula Kitchen

When my bestie wanted to go out and get some lunch, I checked the list of places that I wanted to try and decided on Tula Kitchen in Bay Shore, N.Y. I had spoken to the owner a few times and loved her concept and vision. And, I love supporting chefs or owners who are down to earth and really “get it.”

So, we headed over there for lunch on a cold December day and when we walked in, the decor was whimsical and calming. We started off with beverages and I thought I was all fancy, so I ordered a San Pellegrino and my friend ordered herself a coffee and it came out in a fancy French press, an adorable ceramic milk carton and a cute jar of raw sugar.

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We ordered our meals and I ordered lunch and she ordered breakfast. I chose the Chicken Bowl that had an array of interesting ingredients like purple rice, radishes, grilled chicken, sauteed kale, chick peas, cucumbers and feta, with grilled warm pita on the side. Even the dill tahini dressing was a great addition to this complete and colorful dish. I know what you’re thinking, “Since when do you eat kale?” Well, it really does matter how it is made. Some kale tastes like Easter grass and some tastes delicious and you need to remind yourself that you are eating kale. That’s how this meal was. Tula Kitchen really makes you forget that you are doing something good and right for your body because the food is so multifaceted and flavorful.

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I obviously enjoyed my meal and by the looks of the rest of the menu, I think I would’ve enjoyed everything else. Well, maybe not anything with tofu. I’ll eat my share of kale, but I draw the line at tofu.

If you want to go out and celebrate, but not stray too far from your summer bikini plans, try Tula Kitchen and nourish your insides while also giving your taste buds a treat.

Tula Kitchen, 41-43 East Main Street, Bay Shore, N.Y., 631-539-7183

Good pizza in Florida (Yes, it exists)

We moved to Florida three months ago and have been on the lookout for good pizza, bagels and Chinese food. Of course, they all pale to what I am used to in New York, but we have been able to locate a slice of pizza that is incredibly enjoyable and worth eating for us New Yorkers.

We love to visit Disney Springs because it is like Disney light and doesn’t cost anything to get in, but you do spend money when you get in there and it depends on how hungry you are and what tempts you in the retail shops.

We were starving one night and were in the mood for pizza. Pizza Ponte is an extension of Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, like the many Italian restaurants in N.Y. that have a pizzeria attached. I got on line to place my order and saw that the big round slice, the Big Roman, was $7. “Holy smokes! That’s a lot for a slice,” I thought, at first but, their one slice is as big as two slices. Look!

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I ordered a square slice with fresh mozzarella too, but it was cold because obviously the only slice moving quickly out of those ovens is the Big Roman. The square slice, listed on the menu as Tomato, was tasty, but I vowed to never order any other slice than the Big Roman from there ever again. So far, it is the closest pizza that I have found that is even remotely close to a N.Y. slice and we’ve eaten some cardboard with cheese and ketchup. I won’t name names, but the mom and pop pizza joints down south are not even as good as Pizza Hut. Sorry, not sorry.

I mean, I am still up to the challenge, but the Big Roman will be the one to beat. And, the best pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life was from Patsy’s in Brooklyn and Grimaldi’s in Garden City. Now, they make a stellar slice.

Pizza Ponte, Disney Springs, 1486 Buena Vista Dr., Orlando, FL, 407-939-6244