Tag Archives: Brazil

Inti International – Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

For my next tasting experience, I head to Miracle Mile and to Inti International Restaurant.  This concept comes from the minds and owners of locally owned restaurant chain Ay Jalisco.  Opening November 2017, the restaurant is named after an ancient Incan sun god and is a new concept for Vero.  The dishes offered come from diverse backgrounds and cultures like Peruvian, Mexican and Latin American, thus the name “International”.  The restaurant served us a nice variety of dishes to try so we could sample some of what they have to offer.

Located in Miracle Mile on 7th Ave in what was previously known as The Long Branch Saloon, is one of the hottest new restaurant concepts to come to Vero in years.  The place has been completely redone and while I don’t know what the old Long Branch Saloon looked like, there isn’t much that appears to remain from the previous tenant.  The outside has been updated with a fresh look and feel and the inside is absolutely gorgeous.  From a bright, bold tropically decorated wall, two-toned green booths, and the accent lighting throughout, no stone was left unturned when they renovated this place.  Even the bathrooms were completely redone which is something that most places tend to overlook.  Parking is somewhat limited by the spots along the side and at the rear of the restaurant, but you should be able to park in a few additional spots that are along 22nd Street later in the evening when the businesses in the strip mall next door close for the day.

Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat and drink!

 

Cancha – These are served free of charge to all tables while you wait for your food.  I found a definition online to better explain what these are.  “A popular snack in Peru and Ecuador is made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maize chulpe.  The dried kernels are tossed with oil and salt and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed”.  They taste a lot like popcorn and have a similar texture.  Be careful, they are addictive!

Caipirinha –  Living up to their “International” name, they brought us Brazil’s National cocktail to try.  Made with cachaça, simple syrup, and lime juice, my wife first took a sip and I asked her if it was tangy, sweet, or sour, and she said “Yes!”.  I took a sip and was immediately slapped in the face with the tanginess of the lime in the drink.  It truly was all of what I described above, tangy, sweet and sour.  It was so good!

Tallarin Verde con Bisteck – ($15.50) – This was the first time I’ve seen this dish, so I could not wait to try it.  Grilled skirt steak was served over green pasta that had been tossed in a pesto and spinach sauce.  The skirt steak was cooked and seasoned to perfection, the Fettuccini pasta was cooked al dente, and the pesto was not as “green” tasting as I thought it might be considering how green the color actually was.

Lomo Salteado – ($15.50) – Peruvian dishes are new to me, so I was curious to see what flavor profile the steak was seasoned with.  Peruvian marinated strips of Sirloin steak are sautéed with onions and tomatoes and served with white rice and french fries.  The Peruvian flavors seem to be a mix of Asian and Mexican spice blends with a combination of soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cumin being used in the marinade.  The steak was cut thin and had just a little chew to it.  Only thing I’m a little bit confused by is the french fries.  White rice and french fries don’t seem to go together, but they may be trying to appeal to a general audience that is not yet familiar with this type of cuisine.  I personally would have preferred black beans to be served with the rice which would have been more traditional.

Inti Burger – ($13.00) – We at Vero Beach Foodie are always looking for something different and this one fits that description!  From the bottom up, we have a fried green plantain (tostones), sirloin burger patty, bleu cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce and topped off with another fried green plantain.  Waffle cut fries and a pickle were served alongside.  First off, the presentation was gorgeous!  The burger was cooked to perfection and the veggies were very fresh.  The fried green plantains were fairly thin but held up well when I picked it up to take a bite which was another feat since I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite.  This one’s definitely a stunner!

Pargo Frito – ($18.00) – Back in the mid 90’s I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico with my dad and we had a dish similar to this, only it was called a Guachinango.  A whole red snapper is fried and served with tostones and a side salad.  If you love fish, don’t let the fact that this one still has the head on it scare you away, because it’s delicious!  It can be a little challenging to eat, but so worth it.  The fish was still moist and flaky and the skin was nice and crispy.  It brought back some great memories of my travels to Mexico.

In Conclusion:

With the variety of restaurant choices that Vero Beach has to offer, you would think it would be difficult to do something different and stand out from the crowd, yet Inti has done just that.  Even if you are not as adventurous of an eater, like some of us here at Vero Beach Foodie, there is something for everyone on the menu that will please even the pickiest of eaters.  For those of you that are adventurous, you will love this place and want to come back, again and again, to see what they come up with next.

Join us next Wednesday, March 28th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm for the Vero Beach Foodie MeetUp and try some of these dishes you just read about with other local foodies right here in Vero Beach!  They will be extending happy hour for us and I’m sure they will have a special or two planned for us that you don’t want to miss.  Hope to see you there!

Inti International Website  |  Inti International Menu  |  Inti International Facebook Page

Address2199 7th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 257-6652

Hours:  Monday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, and on Sunday, from 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The 2017 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

It’s that time of year again as I head back to the 2017 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival and try all the different dishes as we take our “trip around the world”.  Disney does a fantastic job in keeping with the authenticity of the dishes, yet making them palatable for the majority of the public that are not that adventurous of eaters.  A lot of the same options that I reviewed last year were back again, but I tried to work in some new ones too.  I always try my top 3 from last year to see if they were as good, if not better. 

Below I will not feature everything I ate, just my “Top ATE” dishes from 2017, so let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

#8 – Belgium – Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote – ($4.00) – Moving down my list from #4 to #8 is this dessert.  They prepared it differently this year and added way too much berry compote.  The waffle ended up being a little bit soggy and the whipped cream was not that appealing with the sauce over the top.  We did detect a hint of wine in the berry compote which we did not last year, so they must be playing with the recipe a bit.  This is still a favorite and it had to make the list even though the execution was not as good as previous years, but we hope they fix the presentation issue, then it would be perfect. 

***UPDATE*** – I have seen another photo of this dish from others attending the event on social media, and it was not assembled this way, so I guess it depends on who is making it.

#7 – The Cheese Studio – Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce – ($5.00) – Next up at number seven is a new dish that I was looking forward to trying the most.  While the beef was fork tender and had good flavor, the cheese sauce that should have been the star of the dish, was lacking flavor and quantity. The egg noodles were more like a spätzle than a noodle and were a little bit chewy.  I was a little bit disappointed with this dish, but it was still good enough to make the list. 

#6 – Spain – Sweet Olive Oil Cake with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Curd – ($3.75) – The first dessert to make my list is this wonderful olive oil cake!  The cake was slightly chilled and had a texture like corn bread.  The lemon curd sauce was drizzled over the top just before service and was wonderful!  It had just enough zing to “tweak the cheeks” as I like to say.  Portion size for the price paid was also very generous.

#5 – Brazil – Escondidinho de Carne “Little Hidden One” – ($5.00) – Moving down three spots from #2 to #5 this year is this “South American Shepard’s pie”.  Execution of the dish was the same as last year, but it seems like there was a flavor element that was different or missing.  It did not seem to have the same richness that it did last year.  The Yucca on top was very smooth, creamy, and slightly crusty around the edges which gives it an additional texture element that I am a fan of.

#4 – Earth Eats – Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with Caramel Drizzle – ($3.50) – Anything dessert with peanut butter in it always gets my attention, and this one did not disappoint!  While probably one of the smallest portions at the festival, it was packed with BIG flavor!  Layers of white chocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse, caramel drizzle and candied peanuts are repeated in this small container.  I think I got maybe four bites out of it, but they were so good!  I highly recommend this one, but make sure you get a few of them, because it will disappear before you know it!

#3 – New Zealand – Lamb Meatball – ($5.25) – This dish also came in at my #3 pick for last year and it was good enough to keep its position on my list again.  This time I saw them make it and put the golf ball size meatball in the bread bowl before putting the chutney over the top.  It’s a decent portion for the price and very filling.  The lamb meatball does not have any gamey flavor, so don’t let that stop you from trying it even if you’re not that fond of lamb.  The bread bowl held up well when I picked it up to take a bite.  The tomato chutney was fresh, sweet, with a slight bit of heat.  It was delicious!

#2 – Islands of the Caribbean – Mojo Pork with Black Beans and Cilantro Rice – ($5.00) – A new dish at the festival has made its way to the top of my list!  It looks quite bland, but it’s anything but.  The pork was very tender and had lots of juice with it to keep it moist.  The mojo flavor was just enough to let you know it was there, but not overpowering.  But the star of the plate was the rice and beans!  They had TONS of flavor and I seriously could have gone back just for them, they were that good!

 

And finally, the #1 dish from this year’s EPCOT Food & Wine Festival 2017 is. . .

#1 – Canada – “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon – ($8.00) – Congratulations once again to the Canada booth for taking the #1 spot two years in a row on my “Top ATE” list!  The filet was cooked to a perfect medium and cut so easy with a plastic knife, you would think you were cutting through warm butter.  Its served with sautéed mushrooms in a truffle-butter sauce that was outstanding!

In Conclusion:

How much did all of this fun cost us you ask?  We were surprised when we got home and totaled up all our receipts.  For everything that you saw in this post plus a few more dishes that were not featured, two people sharing each dish, our total was only $68.50!  Last year’s total was $63.25, so we ended up spending $5.25 more this year.  I did notice a slight increase in price on some of the items, so that accounts for the higher amount, and we may have had 1 more dish than last year too. Our total for the day, with a tank of gas and parking included on my wife’s annual pass was just a little over $98.50!  I originally was not planning on going again this year, since the dishes had not changed that drastically from last year, but Disney contacted me and offered two press passes to get into the park so I could write about it again.  If they offer them again next year, then I’ll just have to take them up on their offer and eat my way around the world again!

The 2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

It’s that time of year again as I head back to the 2016 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival and try all of the different dishes as we take our “trip around the world”.  Disney does a really great job in keeping with the authenticity of the dishes, yet making them palatable for the majority of the public that are not that adventurous of eaters.  I did notice that some of the more “exotic” items that were on the menu last year were not here this year.  I’m assuming that they did not sell as well as they had hoped.  A lot of the same options that I reviewed last year were back again, so I tried to sample some new ones, while still trying the standout dishes from last year to see if they are still as good, if not better.  My article will be a little bit different this year,  I will not feature everything that we ate, and just focus on my “Top ATE” dishes this year.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

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#8 – Germany – Schinkennudeln – ($3.75) – Coming in at number eight is a Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese.  The dish was like a hash brown casserole that had diced ham and what tasted like gruyere cheese in it.  If there was actual pasta in it, the texture seemed more like the shredded potatoes than  pasta to me.  Flavor was subtle, and I think it’s one of those dishes that would taste better the next day after the flavors have time to fully come together after being refrigerated.  Overall not bad, just not good enough to make it to the top of my list.

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#7 – Mexico – Barbacoa Enchilada – ($5.50) – Next up at number seven is this Barbacoa Enchilada from the Mexico booth.  It’s made with a corn tortilla, filled with beef barbacoa,  topped with Oaxaca mole sauce, and garnished with fried onions.  The corn tortilla was soft and had good flavor.  The beef barbacoa was seasoned well, the mole sauce was full of flavor and had just a tiny bit of heat to it.  I was a bit confused by the fried onions on top, as this does not seem traditional to me, but it did give a nice texture variation to the dish.

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#6 – Ireland – Warm Chocolate Pudding – ($3.75) – The first dessert to make my list is this wonderful chocolate pudding.  The pudding is not what you would expect  when you think of pudding, at least not for me.  It’s firmer than you think it would be, yet quite soft at the same time.  It has a cake-like texture, yet somewhat like a firm set pudding.  The custard sauce over the top tasted like Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur and was lightly sweetened.  The pudding was warm and had a wonderfully rich dark chocolate flavor.

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#5 – China – Beijing Roasted Duck – ($6.50) – Duck is one of my favorite meats, so it’s no surprise that this made it to my number 5 favorite dish this year.  It’s made with roasted duck and served in a steamed bun with hoisin sauce.  The duck was perfectly cooked and the skin was crispy.  The steamed bun was soft and very fresh.  The hoisin sauce was sweeter than I expected it to be.  At first, I actually thought it was plum sauce which is more traditional with roasted duck.  It was garnished with red onion and chives.  It was fabulous!

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#4 – Belgium – Belgian Waffle – ($3.75) – We had this dish last year and it was one of our stand-out favorites, so we definitely had to try it again.  It’s a traditional Belgian waffle served with berry compote and whipped cream on top.  The waffle itself was crispy, but I do wish that it had a tiny bit more malt flavor to take it over the top.  The berry compote was both sweet and tart at the same time and was delicious!

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#3 – New Zealand – Lamb Meatball – ($5.25) – I was a surprised at first when I received the dish pictured above, especially when I was expecting a meatball and got this.  I never actually saw the meatball, I just assumed it was in there somewhere.  It’s served in a bread bowl with a spicy tomato chutney served over the top.  I picked up the entire bread bowl and took a bite.  It was delicious!  The bread was soft and very fresh, yet held together under the meatball and the chutney very well.  The meatball was perfectly cooked and juicy, and the tomato chutney was sweet with a tiny bit of heat on the back end.

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#2 – Brazil – Escondidinho de Carne – ($5.00) – When I received this dish, I was really disappointed in the presentation.  I was hoping that it would taste better than it looked and thankfully it was way better than I expected it to be.   It’s also known as “Little Hidden One” and is a layered meat pie with mashed yucca.  In the bottom there is seasoned ground beef with mashed yucca on top, then it’s baked to a golden brown .  I would describe it as a Caribbean Sheppard’s Pie.  The seasoned ground beef tasted like the filling in an empanada, and the mashed yucca was smooth and creamy.  My wife and I were fighting over the last few bites of it, it was that good!

And finally the #1 dish from this year’s EPCOT Food & Wine Festival 2016 is. . .

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#1 – Canada – “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon – ($7.75) – Once again the Canadian booth continues to impress me with their offerings, and moving up from my number two spot on last year’s review is this fabulous wild mushroom filet mignon!   The filet was cooked to a perfect medium once again and is served with sautéed mushrooms in a truffle-butter sauce.  The cut of beef was extremely tender, the mushrooms were perfectly cooked, and the truffle-butter sauce was full of flavor!  An outstanding dish and well deserving of the number one spot on my “Top ATE” list!

In Conclusion:

How much did all of this fun cost us you ask?  We were really surprised when we got home and totaled up all of our receipts.  For everything that you saw in this post, and two people sharing each dish, our total was only $63.25!  Last year’s total was $64.25, so we ended up saving $1.00 this year!  Not too bad for all that we had.  Our total for the day, with a tank of gas and parking included on my wife’s annual pass, was just a little over $85.00!  Next year I will check the menu’s and see if they have made a dramatic enough of a change for me to go back and do this again, otherwise I will just wait a few years and try again when they have some newer dishes to offer.