When I came to Tampa in 2007 to start college, my food world didn’t go beyond Fowler Ave. Fast food joints lined both sides of the street and didn’t offer much variety. Being a food writer, I’m seeing the Tampa food scene grow right before my eyes. As a result, I know where to eat and what’s poppin. When I go home to Orlando, I have no idea where to go. Granted, I’m usually there for a short period of time but the food scene is a mystery to me. I’ve been telling Robert ad nauseam how it’s time for me to conquer the Orlando food scene because it’s important for me to know where the popular restaurants are. Instagram helps, of course, but I forget the names of so many places.
I had the opportunity to conquer the Orlando food scene via The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando. I’ve been following The Ravenous Pig on IG for a few years now so I was very familiar with them. I have so many fond memories of the area of Winter Park where the restaurant is located in. The fondest memory is riding the Lynx city bus #49 home from school some days. Last week, they were gracious enough to host Robert and I for a tasting of their brunch menu. It felt like a homecoming of some sorts because I hadn’t been to the area in about 5 years.
As soon as I walked in, one of the first things I noticed is a cabinet of aged meat; I definitely wanted a little sliver of whatever meat is in that cabinet. We walked around the corner to be seated and, now that I had a better look at the restaurant, it looks like a place that belonged in either South Tampa or Seminole Heights.
Robert and I got a tasting of their brunch menu and it doesn’t disappoint at all. Although the dishes might’ve been servings for 1 person, there is really enough for the both of us to eat. Our waitress Jenna kept bringing the food out and at one point it was like I was juggling between chewing on one dish quickly in anticipation to begin the other. I can’t really choose which brunch item is my favorite because they were all so different from another. I will say I was surprised to see the doughnuts were cream-filled.
What’s so great about their brunch menu is it’s eclectic. Of course there are the usuals like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and Benedicts; but there are healthier options like the Mahi sandwich, Gatherer dish, and a shrimp and bean bowl. Their drinks have awesome puns for names like Tiki-La and Rebel Without Applause on Tap I know would take me forever to come up with; I can’t help but stan for the person who named them all. Variety is something I appreciate a lot when it comes to menus so that way I can challenge myself. I tend to go for things that are sweet and savory; giving me the option to get something new is fun and “get out of my comfort zone”.
Having the opportunity to step into Orlando’s food scene via brunch at The Ravenous Pig is a dream. Like I said, I’d been following the restaurant for years and I’m just now finally trying it out. Now, whenever I’m home I have a go-to spot already that isn’t located far from any of my folks.