Throughout the lifetime of this blog, we’ve pretty well established that I grew up in Southwest Michigan – the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area. It’s not the most culturally diverse. Most of the restaurants serve the same meals, just branded differently.
My mom was a busy lady. She’s also not a big fan of cooking. Dinner was often catch as catch can. There were a few dishes she liked to rock. Her goulash, meatloaf, and spaghetti will always be fan favorites. Not to mention her phenomenal blackberry jam.
Michigan foods are protein and potato heavy. Lots of steak and potatoes, or random beef with some form of potato – and seasonal veggies on the side. I’ve introduced My Companion to several of the dishes I like to cook from there and he enjoys them.
We’ve also established that I’ve lived all over the place. The Pacific Northwest for a short time, Denver for a bit, the Southwest in Arizona and now the seriously south east here in Florida. The menu options seem like they would be diverse and yet …
I’ve never ventured far with my palette. I have issues with food, some of which are psychological. I have tried a few things, but now I find myself trying more.
Welcome to Day 25 of the #WingWritingChallenge. Today we’re discussing our favorite meal.
One of the first people we met since moving to Orlando happens to be a training or trained chef. If you were on my author or personal page, you’ll know he and My Companion cooked for me for my birthday. What they made was my favorite meal, but that’s not actually what I want to talk about today.
Do you like how I rearrange topics to suit what I feel like talking about? I certainly get a kick out of it.
Our new friend Sebastian has been a great addition to my “people I adore” list. He’s a young guy – technically, very technically, I am old enough to be his mother – and he’s going through the growing pains that I remember so (un)fondly. To be honest, it’s kinda fun to watch.
I could write an entire blog post about Sebastian and his back story but I’m not going to. I’ll be saving that for one of my standalone books. Trust me, if you met this guy, you would never let him stop talking.
Watch as I once again bounce back off topic for a moment! It’s a special skill.
I like to pretend I am adventurous. I mean I am, I’m usually up for anything. Let me rephrase that. I like to pretend I am adventurous when it comes to food. I once ate breakfast out of a food truck in Arizona. It was meat and potatoes with egg. Yep, I’m that cutting edge.
About 200 years ago when I was visiting a friend in Portland, Oregon, we decided to try an Ethiopian place. He, too, was a trained cook and I trusted his judgment. I may have learned better that day. He enjoyed it. I lost all capabilities of eating when they brought out their bread. It was … not what I was expecting. My lamb stew came out in a green broth. I’m not sure I ate that day.
That experience soured me on trying foods from that side of the globe.
Sebastian is one of those people where, no matter what the subject matter is, we end up discussing food. Detainees at Gitmo should be released? Well of course and, oh, hey, have you tried this Cuban place down the street? And off we go.
He’s from Columbia though they moved to the States when he was young. They go back and visit family and friends, and they’ve made quite the life for themselves. I’d love to go more into the back story there, as mentioned above, but I won’t. But god do I want to. He’d let me, I’m sure, but still saving that for another day.
You may not know me well, but if I mention something or someone interesting like this, it’s good to sit up and take notice. Often what I take as “situation normal” blows other peoples’ minds.
So, right, we talk about food. Often. On Sunday the guys made me filet mignon (grilled) with grilled asparagus and these garlic mashed potatoes that I desperately want more of right this moment. It was da bomb. That is actually my favorite meal right now.
Sebastian has been introducing us (mostly me) to Latin street foods. The first time he took us to the barrio was about a month ago. We tried a Venezuelan food truck. It would have taken us 20 minutes to order had we not had our translator with us, and we probably wouldn’t have gotten what we thought we were ordering, so I bless him automatically for that.
We tried arrepas. They’re amazing and the perfect food for a hangover. In a restaurant it easily would have cost $30 for two of us. At the food truck that $30 covered all three of us with drinks and a tip. So that’s nice.
Not that we worry about cost when it comes to food. Nourishment is an essential thing and we’re more than happy to spend a few extra bucks to have something amazing. That is one of those things My Companion and I agreed on instantly when we met.
My Companion and I were stoked to try some more Latin food trucks when I got the most amazing call in the world. Okay, one of the most amazing calls. I shouldn’t oversell this.
There’s this place in Old Town Kissimmee – it’s a giant flea market with 250 booths indoors. Outside is what is important here, though. The owner of the flea market made a deal with about 20 food truck owners. They’re all set up in the parking lots, both front and back.
This is new, so not many people in Orlando have heard about it yet. As soon as they do, this is going to explode. Especially with new laws going into effect about how late the food trucks can stay open in Orlando. Kissimmee is a different county, they can keep them open as late as they want.
It’s the World of Food Trucks. Straight up any kind of food you can imagine and then some. A quick listing of options from when we pulled in: BBQ, pizza, french fries (yes, only french fries done in many different ways), Puerto Rican street food, juice (drinks only!), and so many I didn’t get a chance to explore.
They’re all owned and operated independently, which is really cool. I choose small business over franchise whenever possible.
Sebastian is working for the Puerto Rican truck so that’s the one we went to try this weekend. From what I can tell, most of the Latin street foods are similar. They mostly change out spice amounts to gain different flavors.
Let me tell you, I’m starting to wish I was born in Latin America.
If you ever have the opportunity, please – PLEASE – try some of these foods. You can’t regret it, there’s no way.
If you’re planning a trip to Florida – Disney or SeaWorld – I suggest heading over to the flea market and checking out the food. They’re conveniently located off of I-4.
5811 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
And that, my friends, covers us for Day 25 of the 30 day #WingWritingChallenge created by the amazing JC Wing. Author Randy Brown will be creating our next 30 day challenge. I’m looking forward to it!