Saturday
Nov102012

Harborside Food Truck Festival Review & Photos

On November 3, 2012, the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal hosted their first Food Truck Festival. The promenade was filled with several linen covered tables, eight different food trucks parked around the perimeter, one booth of Portofino Bay restaurant offerings, a beer & wine cash bar and live entertainment throughout the night. 

Moderately low crowds tonight meant short lines which is important because these delicious items take some time to create. Portofino tells us this event was designed to draw in more locals to their resort, and we think with a little more advertising, it will only get more popular.


Food Trucks in Attendance
Visit each truck's website to view their menus, as they change on a regular basis.

bembom
Portuguese entrees & appetizers


City Eats
"The Art of Fusion Cooking"


The Crooked Spoon
Burgers, sandwiches and more.


Fork In The Road
Unique twists on favorite foods.


Kona Dog
Hawaiian style stuffed hotdogs


Monsta Lobsta
Seafood & lobster rolls.


swedeDISH
Swedish traditional favorites.


The Flattery
Specializing in unique flatbreads.
 

Portofino Bay Restaurant Booth

 

Review
The food offerings ranged from the relatively tame, such as the pasta from Portofino, to more exotic items, like the duck tacos from Bembom. Prices aren't generally what the trendy food trucks focus on so expect to pay about what you'd pay at a full service restaurant. Most dishes were close to $10 but, if you so desire, you're able to drop $20 on a single lobster roll.
Although I don't think I can rightfully use the term "justify", for the most part, the unique and delicious menu items make up for the prices. In the future we'd love to see the trucks offer smaller (and less expensive) tastings of their popular dishes so guests can enjoy more variety. For example, the Kona Dog hot dogs, at 8" long and filled with toppings, are enough to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. We wanted to try one but just couldn't fill up on a hot dog with so many other possibilities. 


Truffle Fries - Fork In The Road
We started out with Truffle Fries from Fork In The Road. The photo might not look appealing, but this is one decadent indulgence! Thick, creamy mushroom sauce with a heavy drizzle of truffle oil and lots of chopped up mushrooms, steaming hot and poured over crispy french fries. Talk about new comfort food! A great splurge (calorie-wise!).


Arancini from City Eats
Our second appetizer sounded delicious on the menu. Arancini is a deep fried breaded ball of seasoned rice and cheese. Unfortunately they were the blandest item of the night which was a shame because the outside was fried absolutely perfectly - it was the filling that didn't deliver.


Salmon Dip & Freya from swedeDISH
Their salmon dip was one of the hits of the night. Big pieces of salmon in a delectable sour cream/cream cheese mix. Creamy, savory and just the right amount of funky Scandinavian fish in every bite. 

According to Norse mythology, Freya is the goddess of love and fertility. I'm sure she'd be happy with her cheesy potato namesake put together by SwedeDish. Potato, onions, and cabbage dressed with olive oil and white sharp cheddar cheese fashioned into a "pizza slice" and complemented with the grilled veggies with a balsamic glaze. Very good and we'd get it again.


Smack My Swine Flatbread from The Flattery
Died and went to heaven when we smelled this one. You know how Andrew Zimmern shakes his head and says "no" when he's eating something truly divine? Yes, that was our reaction to this. If you are a meat lover, a bacon lover, if you ever see this truck near you - run to it and order this! One of the best things we both agreed we've eaten all year. A perfectly crispy crust covered with a white sauce, fontina cheese, fennel sausage, sweet & spicy bacon, prosciutto, caramelized onions and topped with parmesan cheese. Never knew a flatbread could be this good. All this deliciousness for $9 is an incredible deal - after all, a flatbread from Crispers is just under $8 and it doesn't have these top-shelf ingredients. This truck needs to park in front of my house. Just sayin'.


Duck Tacos from bembom
How could anything top that flatbread? Well, we found something - a Duck Taco. For those of you who already know they love duck, you can imagine how amazing this would be. Those who've never tried duck - it's most similar to the best, juiciest dark meat chicken you've ever eaten - but better. These topped the list for the night. Duck confit with orange dust, spring slaw and finished with a drizzle of oregano vinaigrette made these to die for. The photo's not pretty, but that doesn't matter. A second "best thing we've had all year" food. At $10, this wasn't cheap eats, but the fact that you're getting 2 tacos with a high-end meat with homemade toppings makes it all worth it. 


Beer & Wine
Portofino had a beer and wine cash bar set up in the middle of the tables, near their booth. Beer was around $7, and a small glass of wine was $10 (think a little bigger than food & wine festival pours).

Parting Thoughts...
There were a lot of items on the truck menus that looked amazing that we wish we could've tried, but with such large portions, we filled up quickly. Overall, this event sure looked like a success to us and we look forward to attending this meet-up again.
 

Thursday
Oct252012

Harborside Food Truck Festival

Saturday, November 3, 2012 • 6-9pm

©LowesWHAT:
"Don't miss this food truck festival in one of Orlando's most picturesque settings. Enjoy the area's most popular food trucks, specialties from the chefs at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, live entertainment, beer and wine stations and more on the Harbor Piazza."

WHERE:
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

PRICE:
There is no cover charge to attend this event. Food and drink is individually priced.

MENU FROM PORTOFINO CHEFS:
• Pumpkin Ravioli, Braised Pancetta, Italian Seafood Salad, Tiramisu, Carrot Cake

PARTICIPATING FOOD TRUCKS:
• The Flattery
• Kona Dog
• City Eats
• Bem Bom
• swedeDISH
• The Crooked Spoon
• Monsta Lobsta
• Fork in the Road 
Click on the menu below for a list of each Food Truck's website. 

PARKING:
If you are an Annual Passholder with free parking at Universal, we highly recommend parking at Universal's lot and taking the boat to the resort (or walking, but it's a hike). The resort generally validates their parking fees if you dine there or have a round at the bar, but we are unclear if this event would count. Better safe than sorry and having to pay the $17 daily rate for 3 hours (currently posted fee online as of 10/25).

 

 Read our review of the event here.

Thursday
Sep162010

Harbor Nights at Portofino Bay 

©Portofino Bay

Harbor Nights

DATE:
Friday, February 13, 2015 • 6:30pm-9pm

Click here for the menu.

WHAT:
"Celebrate spring Portofino-style at our wine, food and music event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean. Featuring select wines and sparkling wines, gourmet foods and live music, Harbor Nights takes place under the twinkling lights of the majestic Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando."

WHERE:
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando


TICKETS:

$45 regular  |   $75 VIP

For more information, call 407-503-1200 or visit LoewsHotels.com/HarborNights


PARKING:
Free self-parking or $5 valet parking

Check out some photos from past events on their facebook page.

*Dates subject to change **Ticketing fees/tax apply.

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~~PTTP's Comments: We're yet to attend one of these events yet, but they look like something we'd like! They semi-regularly host Harbor Nights throughout the year, so if you miss this one there should be another coming along shortly with a new theme. Have you been to one? Let us know what you thought in the comments.