Eat up at Batter Up

Since I moved to Florida in November 2017, we (The Kues) have been on the hunt for all of the fun and new, and that’s almost everything. My coworker who works at another campus invited me to see Arcadia, Fla. and I mentioned cupcakes, of course. She said that there is a place in downtown Arcadia for yummy cupcakes and lattes called Batter Up.


When I walked in, I loved the look of the place and the display case. It had a southern whimsy that I enjoy and the baked goods weren’t bad either. I bought the Strawberry Shortcake cupcake and cookies for my kids in Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip. My son said that it was the best peanut butter cookie he had ever eaten. The Strawberry Shortcake was light and sweet, and it is strawberry season in Florida, so the ingredients were fresh.


The bakers at Batter Up make custom cookies that you have to pre-order and there was a bouquet of edible flowers in the display case for Valentine’s Day. That’s a romantic gesture I can get behind. If you are looking for a sweet treat or you want to bring some for a friend (me), stop into Batter Up.

Batter Up, 12 N. DeSoto Ave., Arcadia, FL, 863-993-0111img_0923



The cookie dough is a Wonderland

In the Disney-created city of Celebration, there is a downtown that includes a few worthy places to eat. One of them is for a fun snack that some genius thought up called Wonderland Cookie Dough. They serve cookie dough without egg, so you can eat it without the worry of Salmonella. Dreams = answered.


The location is small with no tables or chairs, but there is a display case with all of the edible dough and a menu full of options. I decided on the classic Chocolate Chip and TK ordered the Crownie. I had to eat the Chocolate Chip to find out if it tasted the same as the chunks I’ve been stealing since childhood, and it did. TK’s included chocolate chip and brownie dough. He liked his as well.

Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

The dough was delicious and basically tasted like it always does when I make Toll House® cookies, but a small is plenty because I couldn’t eat too much of it. The cookie dough is very rich. TK felt the same way about his. Next time, I hope to try the S’mores or maybe even the Chocolate Peanut Butter. Now that I know this place exists, I might just be a frequent visitor. There are other locations in Portsmouth and Manchester, NH and Jacksonville, Fla. so there may be one close to you or you may be planning vacations to NH and Florida.

Wonderland Cookie Dough, 606 Market St., Celebration, FL, 407-964-1474

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!


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




Coming home to Homecomin’

This fall, I moved to Florida from Long Island, New York and with the move, I’ve discovered new eateries. One new favorite is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs. We LOVE Disney Springs (obviously) and go almost every weekend. On special occasions, like finding an apartment to rent, having Mom along for the ride as we moved to Florida and actually being in Florida, we have dined out at Homecomin’ and enjoyed what Florida has to offer gastronomically, since Chef Art Smith is a Floridian at heart. That means moonshine, fried chicken, biscuits and deviled eggs; all southern and all delicious. The decor is even very farmhouse elegant and it’s just my style.


We love deviled eggs, so we began our meals with the Church Lady Deviled Eggs and the pickled onions that garnish the top are delicious additions that you’ve never had at any picnic or family barbecue. They even arrive in a little ceramic egg crate. On one occasion, we also added the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits which are lovely little fried chicken sliders and on another we ordered the Bunch of Puppies. The hush puppies weren’t our favorite, but the other two were.




The menu has an array of southern delights, so it is very hard to choose just one meal. My tip is to make sure whoever you are dining with does not order what you do so that you can try a forkful of something else. I’ve tried the Art’s Famous Fried Chicken and realized that it is famous for a reason. The flavor in the skin and the meat is astounding. It is really amazing how that flavor spreads all the way to the bone. The mashed potatoes and gravy were great and so was the cheddar biscuit that accompanied the dish.


Luckily I follow my own advice and my husband ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich that had that same delicious fried chicken and a handful of house-made potato chips on the side.


At Homecomin’, the menu includes cocktails mixed with flavors of Ole Smoky Moonshine from Tennessee. We didn’t order a cocktail during any of our visits, but we tasted the array of flavors at the tasting room when we vacationed in Gatlinburg, Tenn. in 2015 and many were good and didn’t immediately light my esophagus on fire.

Homecomin’ is a fantastic location if you want to get an idea of southern Florida cooking, but can’t venture too far from Walt Disney World or Orlando. You can make a reservation on the My Disney Experience app, on or by calling the dining reservation line at Walt Disney World (407-WDW-DINE), but make it early because this place fills up. Did I mention the fried chicken?

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Disney Springs, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-560-0100

The food of my people at Puerto Rico’s Cafe

On the night before we were set to leave Orlando, we decided to eat Puerto Rican food at Puerto Rico’s Cafe in Kissimmee, Florida. We like to get authentic Puerto Rican food and we remember it being great when we visited years before.

Puerto Rico’s Cafe is very unassuming and it is decorated how you would see a home decorated in Puerto Rico. The food was what you would expect to come out of a Puerto Rican kitchen.

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Native Decor

We started out with Acapurrias and Empanadas. The Acapurrias were meat-stuffed, deep-fried fritters. Empanadas are little pockets stuffed with meat or cheese. My son Jackson actually ate the Cheese Empanada because we told him it was a grilled cheese and it worked. He said it was delicious and I did like the Empanadas better than the Acapurrias. I’ve helped my dad make empanadas and they are a great handheld food, and now we know we can make them for Jackson and he will actually eat them.

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Acapurria and Empanada

For my entree, I decided on the Mofungo Relleno con Pollo or Stuffed Mofongo with Chicken. Mofongo is made from fried plantains and stuffed with meat, seafood or chicken that is formed into ball.  I’ve had Mofongo in Puerto Rico and the fried plantains were made into a cup and filled with meat. Now, I like it both ways. TK had Mofongo Relleno con Mariscos or with shrimp. The meat, chicken or seafood is always flavorful and tender. It is made and served seconds after, so it is piping hot. The Mofongo was paired with a bowl of chicken broth, but I only tasted it to make sure it was broth and didn’t actually eat it.

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Stuffed Mofongo with Chicken

TK said his Mofongo Relleno con Mariscos was delicious and he still remembers how good it was.

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Stuffed Mofongo with Shrimp

If you are looking for a place with delicious food where you don’t need to deal with the tourist crowd, Puerto Rico’s Cafe will satisfy your appetite and curiosity.

Puerto Rico’s Cafe, 507 W. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL, 407.847.6399

Disney’s Must Eat or Drink List (1-60)

As you may already know, I’ve been to a Walt Disney theme park 14 times in my life; 13 trips to Walt Disney World in Florida and one trip to Disneyland in California. Each time I go, it is a necessity that I eat my favorite foods and try some new items that I just might add to my list of menu items to revisit. Fortunately for you, I keep track of what I love and what others love in order to share these delights with you.

Sleepy Hollow

Nutella Waffle Sandwich

To keep up, I will break down the information a little bit for you. I mean, you need to know exactly how and where to get them, if you need them.

Each listing will look like this: Food/Drink Item – Location Name, Area of Park (if there is one), Park or Resort, WDW (Walt Disney World) or DL (Disneyland).

Red items have been eaten by me and the other items are still waiting to be eaten, and there are plenty.



My Must Eat or Drink at Disney List:

  1. Tipsy Duck – Joy of Tea, China, Epcot, WDW
  2. Lobster Roll – Crew’s Cup, Yacht Club, WDW
  3. No Way Jose – Beaches & Cream, Beach Club, WDW
  4. Dole Whip Float – Aloha Isle, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  5. Naan Bread Service – Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, WDW
  6. Zebra Dome – Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  7. Profiteroles au Chocolate – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  8. Crab Legs – Cape May Cafe, Beach Club, WDW
  9. Minnie’s Bake Shop Cookies – Any Resort Souvenir Shop, WDW
  10. Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Trilobites, Dinoland U.S.A., Animal Kingdom, WDW
  11. Nutella Waffle Sandwich – Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  12. Brioche French Toast – Flo’s V8, Cars Land, California Adventure, DL
  13. Beignets – Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, Port Orleans-French Quarter, WDW
  14. Jolly Holiday Combo – Jolly Holiday Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  15. Cheese Fondue – Territory Lounge, Wilderness Lodge, WDW
  16. Peanut Butter Sandwich – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  17. Pulled Pork Nachos – Tambu Lounge, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  18. Butterfinger Cupcake – Starring Rolls Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  19. Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake – Liberty Tree Tavern, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  20. Peanut Butter, Banana and Candied Bacon Pie – Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk Resort, WDW
  21. Grapefruit Cake – Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  22. Mickey Pretzel – Various theme park pretzel stands, WDW
  23. Strawberry Shortcake – Sunshine Seasons, The Land, Epcot, WDW
  24. School Bread – Norway, Epcot, WDW
  25. Grey Stuff Cupcake – Be Our Guest, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  26. Berry Cream Puff – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  27. Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake – 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  28. Frozen Hot Chocolate – Hilton Bonnet Creek (a good neighbor hotel that is not on property), WDW
  29. All American Sundae – Plaza Ice Cream, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  30. Ice Cream Martini – L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  31. Gold Rush – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  32. Viking Mousse – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  33. Cookie Bottom Sundae – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  34. Peanut Butter Heaven – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  35. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding – Ohana, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  36. Rocky Road Brownie Mousse – Smokehouse (Food & Wine Festival), Epcot, WDW
  37. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake – Contempo Cafe, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  38. Filet Mignon with Macaroni and Cheese – Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  39. Sticky Wings – Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  40. Cronut – Refreshment Port, Future World, Epcot, WDW
  41. Apple Pie – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  42. Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich – L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  43. Monte Cristo Sandwich – Blue Bayou Restaurant, New Orleans Square, DL
  44. Grand Marnier Orange Slush – France, Epcot, WDW
  45. Lobster Nachos – Cove Bar, Paradise Pier, California Adventure, DL
  46. Pommes Frites – Cafe Orleans, New Orleans Square, DL
  47. Cinnamon Roll – Main Street Bakery, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  48. Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce – Troubadour Tavern, Fantasyland, DL
  49. Cinnamon Roll French Toast – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  50. Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  51. Margherita Pizza – Via Napoli, Italy, Epcot, WDW
  52. Shrimp & Grits – Boatwright’s, Port Orleans Resort, WDW
  53. French Onion Soup – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  54. Macaroni & Cheese – Yachtsman Steakhouse, Yacht Club, WDW
  55. Almond Crusted Cheesecake – Narcoosee’s, Grand Floridian, WDW
  56. Bread Pudding – Raglan Road, Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, WDW
  57. Bailey’s and Jack Daniel’s Mousse – Coral Reef, Living Seas, Epcot, WDW
  58. Spicy Kazan Roll – California Grill, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  59. Chocolate Melange – Blue Zoo, Dolphin Hotel, WDW
  60. Pumpkin Beignets – Mint Julep Bar, New Orleans Square, DL

So, there are my first 60 items that need to be eaten on your next trip to a Disney theme park. Did I forget one of your favorites? Do you need to know about an item because it sounds so good? Let me know in the comments.

Top Restaurant at the Top of the Contemporary: California Grill

We travel to Walt Disney World every other year and love it every time. This year, I wasn’t able to go (since I went in November 2013), but some of my family did and they had an enjoyable meal at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort.

The California Grill is one of the best places to get sushi in Walt Disney World and it is a great place to watch the Wishes fireworks show, other than Main Street in Magic Kingdom, of course. The restaurant pipes the music from Wishes through every night so that you can watch and listen to the show from your table. They also have an extensive wine and cocktail list.

So, without further ado, here’s some food from the California Grill …

Now, my family will know that I am not fibbing when I tell them that the California Grill is delicious. They know for themselves, and so should you.

California Grill, 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-939-3463