Tag Archives: orlando florida

BBQ Heaven in the Middle of Central Florida

21 Jul

I was first introduced to the marvelousness that is 4Rivers Smokehouse about 3 years ago when visiting their location on Fairbanks Avenue located in Winter Park, FL. This location became so incredibly busy that they actually had to move to a much larger location a little further down the street. As the demand for their succulent BBQ continued to grow, they proceeded to open their second and third locations in Winter Garden and Longwood, Florida.

Hot Brisket Now at 4 Rivers

Hot Brisket Now at Four Rivers

Four Rivers' wide variety of bottled sodas

Four Rivers’ wide variety of bottled sodas

4Rivers is currently rated the #1 BBQ establishment in Orlando and rightfully so. They offer some of the best BBQ this side of Texas! Their signature menu item, which also happens to be my go-to meaty entrée, is the 18-hour slow smoked beef brisket. You can’t help but watch them slice this juicy masterpiece. Be careful not to drool.


Other magnificent meats offered include their southern pulled pork, juicy Texas sausage, pulled chicken and smokehouse turkey. You can order any of these tasty options on a sandwich, in a quesadilla, or part of a dinner plate. One of the best values I have found is their set of 3 Smokehouse Sliders – just pick your meats and load them up with some of their mouth-watering sauces!

One Brisket, One Texas Sausage, One Pulled Pork Slider

One Brisket, One Texas Sausage, One Pulled Pork Slider

BBQ isn’t complete without some pretty rockin’ sides and 4Rivers has it covered! Their mac-n-cheese is super creamy, the smokehouse corn is fantastically seasoned, their baked cheese grits are rich and smooth, the cornbread is moist and their biscuits are buttery. And make sure to order a side of their amazing Krispy Kreme bread pudding, you won’t regret it.



They’ve created some awesome signature sandwiches too. One is affectionately dubbed the Texas Destroyer. They pile their tender smoked brisket, onion rings, jalapenos and provolone cheese all onto a soft bun and then smother it with their signature 4R sauce. I’ve also had the pleasure of trying their fried pork cutlet sandwich which is topped with chipotle aioli! Admittedly, you can put chipotle aioli on anything and I will eat it but on this sandwich, it was just the icing on the cake. The pork, being the main event, was juicy and fried wonderfully and the aioli delivered an ideal amount of heat.


In the mood for wings? Fear not – 4 Rivers offers perfectly smoked wings which can be ordered in either 6 or 10 increments. Add a side of their wonderful BBQ sauce and you can’t go wrong. Oh, and you can’t forget their St. Louis style ribs. These can be ordered in either full or half rack servings, sure to satisfy anyone’s cravings.


On one of my more recent trips I tried a bowl of their brisket chili. I was completely blown away before I was even done with my first bite! It starts with a layer of Fritos on the bottom that’s topped with a huge serving of their out-of-this-world brisket chili and that is finished off with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. I would dare to say this is my favorite item on their entire menu. The combination of seasonings and huge tender chunks of their smoked brisket create pure perfection!


4Rivers not only prepares crazy good BBQ, they also create some of the best desserts Central Florida has to offer! Being blessed with the luxury of space, their Fairbanks and Longwood locations have a Sweet Shop attached where you can watch their pastry chefs create some pretty amazing confections. I’ve devoured so many of their treats I’ve lost count. Their chocolate covered cake balls are to die for and their cakes and cupcakes are moist and decadent. Love ice cream? Well you must try some of their amazingly creative flavors – the red velvet alone is worthy of a trip! Any of their spectacular creations would be a delicious end to any meal at 4Rivers.

The Sweet Shop full of delicious desserts

The Sweet Shop full of delicious desserts

4Rivers Red Velvet and Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

4Rivers Red Velvet and Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

So don’t wait, run to your nearest 4Rivers Smokehouse! Just look for the never-ending line, you can’t miss it.

4 Rivers Smokehouse

1600 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

1047 South Dillard Street
Winter Garden, FL 34787

1869 State Road 434 West
Longwood, FL 32750



A Delicious Dinner at Brio Tuscan Grille

21 Jul

It was the night before Christmas Eve and my friend and I were heading to The Mall at Millenia in Orlando. We finished our last minute shopping and decided it was time for dinner. We were a little nervous wondering if we would be able to find a restaurant that didn’t have an hour long wait. Low and behold, there was Brio. I’ve been to their sister restaurant, Bravo, many times so I was certainly intrigued. We walked up to the podium and crossed our fingers…they sat us immediately!

After taking our drink order, our waitress brought over our bread basket. My first impression of a restaurant always comes from the bread…and this bread was yummy; warm and fluffy on the inside and crusty on the outside – perfect for melting butter! After serving such great bread, I knew only good things could come. We ordered the spinach and artichoke dip and the lobster bisque for apps. Both were delectable! Their lobster bisque is some of the best I’ve ever tasted! It was very flavorful and absolutely enough for two people. The spinach and artichoke dip was extra creamy and the flatbread that’s served with it is also delicious.

For entrees I ordered the Pasta Brio, rigatoni topped with grilled chicken, mushrooms and roasted red pepper sauce, and my friend ordered the Gorgonzola Crusted Bistecca, an 8 oz filet topped with Gorgonzola. When our dishes arrived, we quickly dug in….annnnd then I realized I wasn’t brought the actual dish I ordered. I was brought was the Chicken Pomodoro Classico, which was actually my second choice. It consisted of angel hair pasta topped with perfectly grilled chicken, ripe tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. It was delish!


Since our waitress wasn’t the one who brought over these entrees, she noticed right away this wasn’t the dish I ordered. It took her about five minutes to bring the dish I had actually ordered and then let me keep both! Even though The Chicken Pomodoro was really tasty I still preferred the Pasta Brio. It was absolutely heavenly! The rigatoni, the seasoned grilled chicken and velvety red pepper sauce put it over the top! It was a wonderful pasta combination!


We couldn’t leave without having a little something sweet, so we decided we would try their Dolchino Sampler. It came with five of their individual desserts – each being about the size of a shot glass. My favorite was the Milk Chocolate Caramel Cake. The moist chocolate cake was layered with chocolate ganache and caramel and then topped with chocolate frosting – completely decadent! When the bill came our waitress explained that dessert was going to be on the house due to the entree mix up! It felt like Christmas had come two days early! Excellent service and an excellent meal, what more could we ask for?! We will definitely be back!!

Brio Tuscan Grille
4200 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32839