Our friend Dennis, flew in for a business trip and we were able to spend most of Sunday with him. We met at Epcot after his flight got in late morning. He wanted to see a bit of the Flower & Garden Festival and with rain coming mid-afternoon, we were able to squeeze in a few hours, walking around World Showcase to see all of the extra gardens and kitchen kiosks. This is the guests first exposure to this year’s topiaries upon arriving at Epcot.
It was really hot this particular day and pineapple soft-serve ice cream hit the spot. A version exists alcohol, but the kid-friendly style is my (new) favorite. There’s always been a lot of talk about Dole Whips – which in my opinion is overrated. This was a nice soft-service ice cream with a gentle pineapple flavoring.
We shared a few plates from the kitchen kiosks as we walked around the lake and I grabbed a violet lemonade when we departed to cool off and stay hydrated. I was told the violets are being grown at The Land greenhouses.
We escaped from Epcot just in time. The heavens opened up as we reached our vehicles and drove to Winter Park. Dennis was staying at The Alfond Inn, which is owned and run by the Rollins College.
The inside is as stunning as the outside. Orchids were inside the lobby while their courtyard is a nice green space with numerous flowering species.
Since we weren’t hungry, we walked to the Cornel Museum of Art. Hard to see, but the archway above says Rollins College. It was a few blocks away from the hotel.
The Museum was nice, small but nice. It sits along one of the many lakes in Winter Park.
We wanted something different for dinner and we found ‘Hotto Potto’, s short drive from the hotel.
Sitting down, the spice jars were the first thing to arrive, along with the menu. Drinks started our experience and was quickly followed by a pickled trio of tasty goodness.
Our waitress gave us great advice. We tried to get a variety of broths, meats and veggies. She helped us balance out our choices. Food started to arrive. Meats included chicken, beef, dumplings, beef tendon meatballs, shrimp and fatty marbled pork – a table favorite! Veggies were daikon radish, bok choy, snow peas and enoki mushrooms. Eric added some ramen noodles for additional texture.
Cooking is half of the fun, mixing veggies and meats seemed like unlimited options for flavoring. We ordered three broths: beef, miso and meat with numbing spice (my favorite). The bottom half of this photo was the meat broth that I used almost exclusively.
One thing we ordered was quail eggs. Eric tried to poach them, but eventually ended up soft-boiling the eggs. Then he had the task of removing the tiny shell. They were very tasty, but a lot of work for a small morsel of food.
It was a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday with one of Eric’s childhood friends.
The restaurant experience was a lot of fun and close to Dennis’ hotel, but WAY too far from our home in Lake County. We’ll probably be back, but not any time soon. Eric is trying to figure out a way to have our own ‘hot pot’ experience at home. I’m sure he will come up with something inventive!