Orlando – (Leap) Day Four
Another day of vacation (Wednesday), another trip to the hotel gym. The treadmills were full, and I was not a fan of those ellipticals (I prefer the Precor brand), so I got my cardio on with a series of dynamic lunges, squats, and ab moves in which I used a 10-lb dumbbell a lot like I would use a kettlebell. I was even called out by a nice fellow gym-goer as a “kettlebeller” – that made me feel good! We had a good conversation about workouts, running in Vibrams, and YouTube fitness gurus. I could have those kinds of conversations forever!
I was feeling well enough to go for it at Starbucks and get my usual grande nonfat iced coffee with cinnamon powder. Mmm, not much different than the decaf Americano, but definitely an improvement.
Morning workouts are the best on vacation, because then I can proceed to move as little as possible alllllll day 😉
Unfortunately Grannan and George headed back home that afternoon, but that also meant a more unique dinner destination, and one the Greek-food-lover in me was SO excited for – Taverna Opa!
What a lively place! The Greeks know how to party, and I think it’s great. Belly dancers rotate throughout the restaurant, patrons dance on tables, and slips of white paper (traditionally, they would be dollar bills, but Taverna Opa can’t go giving away money!) fall from the ceiling.
I made sure to select a Greek wine. Our waiter assured me that any red I chose from that part of the menu would be very dry and full-bodied, so I chose the Agros Merlot, even though it was specificed as medium-bodied.
I wish I’d listened to the menu – the wine was a bit too light for me. It was pretty good, but not what I was hoping for. I was also disappointed when it came served in a regular glass – maybe this is how wine is served in Greece? If so, I respect the authenticity of the restaurant, but I really prefer to drink wine out of a wine glass, even if that seems like something silly.
My mom ordered half a carafe of a different red, and the carafes were certainly unique-looking too!
We received the freshest hummus I’ve ever tasted, ground right at our table, and freshly baked pita. Even my dad, who NEVER eats hummus, loved it!
My go-to order at any Greek restaurant, because I hate making decisions regarding all the amazing choices I’m always faced with, is an appetizer sampler platter (or two). I stuck to one that evening, the Cold Pikilia platter of tzatziki (yogurt dill dip), tarama (caviar dip), melitzanosalata (eggplant dip), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and olives.
I was so proud of my dad – I convinced him to try a stuffed grape leaf, and after a hesitant first bite, he immediately gobbled up the rest. Finally, my parents were seeing the reason why I’m in love with Greek food!
In an effort to get some veg into my day, I also ordered a side of tomato and cucumber slices for dipping. Perfect!
The padre continued trying different foods and ordered the Moussaka (I corrected his pronunciation before he ordered :D) and loved it! He called it the “Greek Shepherd’s Pie”. I had a bite and man, oh man, it was tasty. And HUGE! It’s impossible for me to leave a Greek place not-stuffed, and my parents experienced that same phenomenon. Half of the moussaka became his breakfast the next morning.
Another satisfactory meal in Orlando! This time I was definitely too full for dessert, so I went home and essentially passed out immediately. Wild and crazy 9:30PM vacation bed time for the win!
Have you ever tried an ethnic cuisine that you were nervous to sample? How did it turn out?