Florida Guide > Dining
Just Desserts – a sweet tooth’s guide to Florida
Every time, we go to Florida, as soon as we get off the plane, my mouth starts watering in anticipation of all the lovely desserts I am going to encounter over the next 2 weeks.
As portions are so big in the States, most days we can only manage a starter and main course (or entrée) but I make sure I save room for a few desserts along the way.
On every trip, we visit TGI Fridays at least once. Their prices are really reasonable and much cheaper than the UK. On a recent visit, I sampled their Vanilla Cheesecake which was lovely and an old favourite of mine is the Cookie Madness which is twice the size of the UK version – vanilla ice cream sandwiched between sumptuous dark chocolate cookies and smothered with chocolate and caramel sauce. Plenty for 2 but at the same time too good to share!
A couple of trips ago, we discovered The Olive Garden chain of restaurants, which soon became a favourite of ours. Their Chicken Alfredo is to die for but as this is supposed to be about desserts, I shan’t dwell too long on the savouries! The lemon cake at Olive Garden is lovely with a light sponge and lemon cream filling. Last time we were there we had a take out which was great as, although I didn’t have room for my lemon cake, I was able to stick it in the fridge and enjoy it the next morning.
Another recent discovery is the Ghiradelli chocolate shop and soda fountain at Downtown Disney. On our last trip, I sent the husband and small child off to look at the Disney store whilst I indulged in a gorgeous chocolaty cookie based sundae.
Whilst visiting Universal last October, I discovered Funnel cake. This is a sort of waffley cake and came piled high with ice cream, cream and strawberries. I ate it while walking around the park and received many envious glances and even a couple of enquiries about where I had bought it.
If you are planning to go further a field and visit Naples or Sarasota, then Tommy Bahamas is well worth a visit. I can’t remember the name of the dessert I had there as it was 3 years ago but it included a ‘Blondie’ which is a white chocolate version of a brownie – this remains one of the best desserts I have ever had anywhere.
On each visit to Florida, my husband, Alan, insists on having Key Lime Pie and has tried it at several restaurants as well as from the supermarket and has enjoyed them all.
I know a lot of people like to fill up at an ‘all you can eat’ breakfast buffet before hitting the theme parks but since the first time we visited Orlando in 1999, we have always tried to get to the park early and then wolf down a delicious pastry before we do anything else. This has become a bit of a family tradition which we started when there was just Alan and me and has continued ever since with whoever happens to be holidaying with us. Our 3-year-old son certainly approves and we have the photos of him covered in chocolate chip muffin to prove it! My personal favourite is the café just inside Epcot, (can’t remember its name) where they do really beautiful pastries. Probably more expensive than the breakfast buffet option, but if you can’t treat yourself when you are on holiday then what’s the point of going???
Two definites for our next visit are the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream parlour and The Cheesecake Factory which sound like my idea of heaven.
Writing this has made me want to visit Florida again soon and I hope it has made your mouth water too!
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Page added on: 14 June 2005
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