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Chocolate Museum and Cafe in Orlando Florida

Chocolate Museum and Cafe

Chocolate Museum and Café

11701 International Drive Orlando, FL 32821

Chocolate Museum and Cafe
Chocolate Museum and Cafe–located on International Drive in Orlando, FL

Who doesn’t love good chocolate? I am not talking about the kind you get at the local convenience store but rather hand crafted pieces made from the highest quality beans. OK, I know there are a few of you out there but for the rest of us, the Chocolate Museum and Café can be a heavenly experience. Expensive, but heavenly.

Located in the tourist heavy International Drive area of Orlando, the Museum and Café are just that. A museum and a café. Calling it a museum may be stretch, particularly for those with any kind of museum or history background. More what you have is a collection of items with little explanation or interpretive work. Visitors will mostly rely on their tour guide to provide information on what is displayed. You can visit the two parts of the attraction without the other though the museum tour is really a sales pitch for the café.

When you walk in you are greeted with display cases of beautifully molded chocolates and sweets. If you have not pre-bought your tour ticket, you pay here. The tour is not cheap at $17 for adults. I highly recommend watching Groupon for discounted tickets. That is where we go ours. With that and the sales offers Groupon regularly displays I believe our tickets were below $10 apiece. Much more reasonable and really, much more in line with what I might expect to pay for a tour that lasts around 45 minutes.

Your Tour Guide
Your Tour Guide provides background and introductory information

Your tour begins with a casually dressed guide leading you to a short video presentation then taking you into the “jungles” where you will learn about the cacao plant.

In the next room, you will learn about the history of chocolate and how this delicacy was discovered, so to speak. Chocolate has not always been a favorite taste and you will learn more here as to how it has developed over time.

Chocolate Making Equipment
Some early equipment that was used to make chocolate candies

Have you ever wondered how chocolate candies are made? The next room features displays of machinery used to create some of the most famous candies in the world.

Next, visit the chocolate sculpture room, where you will encounter the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Easter Island, Taj Mahal, Mount Rushmore, the Great Wall of China, and much more, all carved out of chocolate. It really is amazing what these artisans can create.

A Chocolate Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore recreated in chocolate
Eiffel Tower made of chocolate
The Eiffel Tower made of delicious chocolate
Great Wall of Chine made of chocolate
The Great Wall of China or should it be the Great Wall of Chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the tasting! Here your guide will prepare each visitor a small sampling of various chocolates where you will learn how different manufacturing techniques lead to differing tastes. SURPRISE! All the samples you just tried are for sale right outside as you step back into the lobby area.

Samples
At the end of your tour, sample some chocolates that are available for purchase
Display Cases loaded with chocolate from around the world
Display cases to tempt visitors with chocolates from around the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The café offers a wide variety of chocolates made on site and from artisan chocolate companies. If you are looking for a snickers bar, head on down the road.

The café features a large assortment of coffee drinks, baked goods, pastries, sandwiches and gelatos. I will tell you, the hot chocolate is delicious and the gelatos were amazing. We did not try any of the sandwiches but we did indulge with several pieces of chocolate to go. As would be expected, prices are not cheap and your bill can add up quickly.

We had a good time even though from a “museum” point of view it fell flat. I would not recommend this for families however. It is not a cheap visit and kids probably will not grasp the difference between these chocolates and a Hershey bar. It is good for a couple’s afternoon out or maybe with a few friends.

The museum and café are open noon until 6 p.m. every day. Museum tours begin at 1 p.m. and run every hour with the last tour at 5 p.m.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

Chocolate for Beginners
Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao
Great Moments in Chocolate History w/ 20 Classic Recipes
Chocolate Wars


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Restaurant Review–Touch of Italy in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Touch of Italy
Touch of Italy
Touch of Italy restaurant exterior

Located beachside in New Smyrna Beach is a gem of an Italian restaurant by the name of Touch of Italy. It is easy to find, driving south just look for the large Dollar General Market on the west side of South Atlantic Avenue. It is in that shopping center.

Sal, the owner, is about the nicest person you will meet. Chances are he is the one who will greet you when you come in the door and he will show you to your table or booth. If you go back a second time there is a strong possibility he is going to recognize you. He is just that type of person.

The menu offers traditional American Italian cuisine. You can get everything from pizza to pasta to sandwiches during lunch hours. All of it is cooked to order and delicious. Pizzas come in traditional or deep-dish Sicilian style. Several specialty options are available or create your own from a list of toppings. This is much better than any chain you will find and priced very competitively.

Touch of Italy--lasagna
The delicious lasagna at Touch of Italy

On our most recent visit, we opted to order pasta dishes rather than pizza. We have ordered this way before so we knew we would not be disappointed. The meal starts with a breadbasket. The bread is delicious but don’t fill up here. With our entrees came a salad option. We both opted for the Caesar, which came with dressing on the side making it easy to control and customize to your preference. My wife ordered the baked ziti and I opted for lasagna. The sauce is delicious and my wife’s favorite locally. It is a thinner, more tomato based offering. It is not loaded up with sugar, as you will find in most processed sauces. Her portion was quite large and she was able to make two meals out of it. My lasagna (pictured) was perfect. Layers of pasta, sauce, meat, and plenty of cheese delivered bubbly hot. For some you might add a dash or two of salt to the sauce but I passed in order to enjoy the recipe as created.

We did not partake of dessert or view the wine list so I am not able to comment on either part of the
menu.

The service was excellent. Sal greeted us the door immediately and showed us to a booth. My wife has
eaten there many times though she and I have not been in several years. He remembered her and was
able to remember details about her mother as well. Service like that is near impossible to find. Our
server was friendly and attentive but not overbearing. She brought new drinks without any hesitation.
Once our food was delivered she and Sal both stopped by to check and make sure everything met
expectations.

The restaurant was clean, staff made sure tables were bused quickly, with tables, and booths, wiped
down and sanitized. The carpets were clean and it was easy to see that staff takes pride in their work.
A Touch of Italy is a bit out of the way if you live on mainland but it is worth the drive. The food and
service are both top notch. We will certainly be adding this restaurant back to our regular rotation.

You can visit Touch of Italy at:

4198 S. Atlantic Avenue
New Smyrna Beach, FL
386-423-8956

Review the menu below.

Take out menu page 1
Take out menu page 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for pizza options in the New Smyrna Beach area? Look no further. Take a look at my listing of non-chain options and find a delicious pizza made just for you.

Touch of Italy logo
Touch of Italy logo

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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Restaurant Review–Jimmy Doodles Sunset Grill

Jimmy Doodles Sunset Grill in Oak Hilll, FL

We had the opportunity recently to try a new restaurant in Oak Hill, Jimmy Doodles Sunset Grill. Located adjacent to the Oak Hill Flea and Farmers Market, in the old Camelot Restaurant building, Jimmy Doodles is a nice option for those living in the New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, and Oak Hill.                              

 

 

The exterior of Jimmy Doodles

Jimmy Doodles is open from 7am until 9pm seven days a week. The restaurant features indoor and covered outdoor seating. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor area. During our first visit, there was outdoor entertainment so we selected inside dining but sat outside with our dog during our second visit. Several other diners had their dogs with them so it was a nice atmosphere.

The service was very good our first visit while the second it was obvious our server was still learning. She forgot our appetizer but we were not billed for it. No big deal when you see the size of the portions. She was trying hard and I am sure she is much more comfortable by now. She offset her inexperience with her friendly nature.

The menu is pretty much standard diner fare as would be expected. It is not just short order out
of a frozen pouch or bucket though. The food all appears to be prepared to order. The meals look
fresh and appetizing.

We have not visited for breakfast yet but the menu is loaded with omelets, pancakes, biscuits &
gravy, and combo meals. Fresh orange juice from Oak Hill Country Market is available in
addition to coffee, tea, and other standard drink options.

Lunch and dinner menus include Hoffman hotdogs, ½-pound burgers, a variety of sandwiches,
and French fry baskets that are incredible in size and taste. Be sure to check the daily specials on
the board inside or ask your server. Salad options are also available. A selection of sides
including potato salad, cole slaw, beans, and more is available.

The Maytown Burger with tater tots

You cannot visit a diner and not try a burger. I opted for the Maytown Burger; a ½-pound patty with onion rings, pepper jack cheese, and bbq sauce. I selected tater tots as my side. This was a wise choice. Kitchen staff cooked the burger to a perfect medium. My wife had the Chili Cheese Tots and it was more than she could finish. Tater tots topped with house made steak and black bean chili and cheddar cheese sauce. Make sure you get extra napkins.

During our second visit, I tried the haddock sandwich special with fries. This sandwich was loaded with delicious fried fish. It was really overflowing and probably would have been two sandwiches at many restaurants. My wife had the Loaded BLT, which had a seemingly never ending pile of bacon.

You might want to try to save some room once you see the ice cream menu featuring Hershey’s
Brand ice cream. Sundaes, banana splits, shakes, malts, and scoops are available. I see they are
offering a new flavor, chocolate raspberry truffle. Sounds good.

Prices are good with breakfast omelets running $5-$8. Burgers are around $10 with fries/tots.
The loaded fry baskets are $10-$13 with most at the lower end of that range. Hot dogs are $4-$5
and sandwiches are around $10. Most drinks are $3.

Good food, service, and pricing. We will certainly be back and I recommend you stop in if you
are in the New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, or Oak Hill area. It is even worth the drive from
northern Brevard County. If you are at the weekend flea market this is a no brainer, just walk
over.

Jimmy Doodles is located at 351 US-1 in Oak Hill, FL. Their phone number is 386-210-4170.

Breakfast Menu
Lunch and Dinner Menu page 1
Lunch and Dinner Menu page 2
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Where to Find the Best Pizza in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Cheese Pizza from Flagler Avenue Pizza Company

So, you’re on vacation with the kids and looking for something to eat. You are not looking for anything
too fancy as you have spent the full day in the sun on the beach. The kids are hungry and ready to eat.
What is the go to meal? PIZZA. New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater have numerous delicious options for
you to choose from. Whether you want sit down, pick up, or delivery we’ve got you covered.

In alphabetical order are places I have eaten and can provide insight on. Below that are listings of other
local pizza restaurants. Try them before calling one of the boring delivery chains you can have in every town in America. Support your local small business, where the dollar stays in the area.

Albertos Pizzeria Family Italian Restaurant

1501 S. Ridgewood Avenue Edgewater

Pizza, sandwiches, and pasta are all available on the menu. The garlic knots are a must have. Seriously,
they are the best I have had locally. Feeling brave, ask for extra garlic but be sure to have napkins ready.

This family owned restaurant opened in 2004 but the owners have a much longer record of
accomplishment in the restaurant business. Available for dine in, pick up, or delivery through Uber Eats.
There may be a wait for seating on Friday and Saturday nights. Budget friendly. Child friendly.

Baci Pizzeria Ristorante

830 N. Dixie Freeway New Smyrna Beach

Baci Pizza
Baci Pizza
Image courtesy Baci Pizza Facebook Page

UPDATE 6/12/2022

Baci has added an amazing shop next to their restaurant that beer and wine connoisseurs will not want to miss out on. Take a walk across the parking lot to Baci Beer & Wine Cellar. A review of their website  shows some incredible options at solid prices. It appears they will seek out wines for you if they don’t have them. This looks like a great option to avoid the chain stores.

ORIGINAL POST

Wood fired pizza, sandwiches, and pasta are all on the menu. The last time we visited, there appeared to be a strong wine selection. And let’s be honest, that is important when eating Italian food.

Pizza, salads, ciabattas, and pasta are on the menu. For me, the food has been hit and miss. When they are on it is delicious and as good as you will find in the area. I have had pizza here though that was inedible due to excessive garlic. I have no qualms recommending them however. Try the Pizza Margherita or create your own.

 

Dine in is recommended for adults only. A wait for dine in is common. Pick up is available. A little more
expensive than many but this is not your average pizza place. This becomes more of an experience than
a quick meal.

Fillipo’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen

132 W. Park Avenue Edgewater

UPDATE 6/12/2022

Unfortunately, it appears that Fillipo has either sold his restaurant or is no longer working there on a regular basis. The quality and consistency of pizza has declined with his departure. To further complicate issues, prices have risen quite a bit and even the specials aren’t quite so special. Usually, the pizza is still good, just not quite as good. We are investigating other local options to see what else is out there. Unfortunately, where we live delivery options are a bit more limited.

ORIGINAL POST

My recommendation for the best take out or delivery pizza on a consistent basis. Pizza, subs, and pastas
are all on the menu. Be sure to check the specials as there are some good deals here especially if you
have a number of people to feed. Delicious New York style pizza, the cheese steak Italian sub is a go-to (we
order without the onions and ask for extra sauce).

Delivery and pick up. Be advised, they can be backed up with orders quickly so if you need dinner at a
specific time plan accordingly. Cash is preferred; see the website for details. Delivery is free within a
limited distance. Ask for details. Price friendly and the food is child friendly.

Mikey’s Pizza

808 E. 3rd Avenue New Smyrna Beach—Beachside south

Mikey's Pizza
MIkey’s Pizza on the south causeway in New Smyrna Beach

The building and parking lot don’t look like much but do not be dissuaded. The pizza more than makes up for the appearance.  Our pizza was loaded with cheese and might could have used a bit more sauce but that’s not a big problem. The pizzas was still quite tasty cold the next day. To me, that’s always a sign of a good pizza. The menu is a bit limited but they cover the basics. Prices are quite reasonable.

When you call, be sure to ask about their specials. Their sign advertises two large two topping pizzas for only $16.95. You can’t beat that price.

Delivery, take out, Pizza, pasta, subs

Panheads

113 S. Orange Avenue New Smyrna Beach

Panheads Pizza logo
Panheads Pizza
Image courtesy Panheads Facebook page

This restaurant is truly a family affair. In carrying on family recipes and traditions, the dough and sauce are homemade, and a special cheese blend is created to go on your pie. All meats are smoked in-house and only fresh toppings are used. Their slogan “Made with love from our family to yours” shines through in every order.

Dine in and carryout are available. I recommend carryout as the seating area is a bit small and gets full quickly. Everybody is always having a great time and it can get a bit loud so it’s not the best choice for a romantic meal. Kids are welcome but for me, this isn’t the best option for them. Prices are a bit higher here but the pizzas are worth it.

Pizzas, salads, subs, and pasta are all on the menu. I suggest starting with an order of meatballs in teriyaki sauce while your pizza is cooking.

Specialty pizzas have rock ‘n roll associated names; Simple Man, Dr. Feelgood, Whole Lotta Love, Ace of Spades, White Wedding; well you get the idea. The specialty pizzas are on the designer side so creating your own may be recommended. On the other hand, how about try the “Pizza Flight”; pick four specialty options and make a single large pizza.

Gluten free pizza is available in the personal size pie for those who need this option. You can still get all
the great specialty pies.

Wine and beer are available.

If you still have room, end the night with the Stairway to Heaven, a hot chocolate chip cookie served
with homemade vanilla ice cream. DELICIOUS!

Planet Pizza NSB

634 E. 3rd Avenue

UPDATE 6/12/2022

This restaurant appears to be closed! It has possibly been reopened as Perfecto Pizza NSB (see below).

ORIGINAL POST

The owners began their restaurant career in Orlando and patrons can now get hand tossed, New York
style pizza at this conveniently located beachside restaurant.

Dine in, take out, and delivery are all available. The restaurant is child friendly and prices are average.
Pizza, subs, and salads are on the menu.

Online reviews are pretty mixed and my experience was average at best. The pizza and service were nothing special and hardly worthy of a return visit. It is what I might expect at a beachside pizza place geared toward one time visitors. It has been a couple of years since I have been so it is possible things have improved.

Stavro’s (Original Stavro’s Pizza)

800 N. Dixie Freeway New Smyrna Beach

Stavros Pizza NSB
Stavro’s Pizza
Image courtesy Stavro’s Pizza Facebook page

This local culinary icon has been in New Smyrna Beach for more than thirty years. Pizza, pasta, subs, wings, salads and more are all on the menu. A children’s menu is available. Be sure to check the daily specials and consider the Monday and Wednesday 1/2 off plus $1 on large pizzas. It’s a great way to feed the family and save a few dollars. Dine in and take out are available.

The Greek Salad is just one of the things they are known for. This recipe can be produced vegetarian style for those who prefer that option.

While the pizzas are good, I often find myself going for the hot meatball grinder. For less than $10 you will leave full. If you want to go with pizza, I can recommend the bbq beef. Loaded with cheese, bbq sauce, sliced beef, and onions, this is a pleaser. There are plenty of specialty options or build your own. Prices are good for a family, the restaurant is child friendly, AND there is a Dairy Queen right across the street that I highly recommend.

Tiano’s

1000 Wayne Avenue (located at the golf course) New Smyrna Beach

Born in Naples, Vittoria Tiano visited central Florida on vacation and that was all it took for him to decide
to take up residency here.

Open for lunch or dinner Tiano’s is a great option if you have just played a round of golf at the New
Smyrna Beach Golf Club. The cold beverage selection is good and you can get your lunch at the
separate bar area if you would like. Televisions with sports, mostly the golf channel are available in the bar. There is a good pizza slice and salad combo or try the chicken parmesan sandwich. Lunch prices are budget friendly.

Dinner portions are of course larger. The options are wider as well with pizza, pasta, and seafood all
available. The lasagna is a winner in my opinion. If you want pizza, there are specialty options or you can
make your own. Cauliflower crusts are available in the 10” size for those watching carbs.

For me, Tiano’s has a weird vibe. The food has always been good. Usually way above average. I guess it’s
the décor and the musical entertainment that I have issue with. It screams dated. On weekend nights,
they usually have live entertainment that when we have been consists of modified karaoke with an
older man on a Casio keyboard and some backing music belting out Barry Manilow and similar tunes. If you look around at the diners, you will understand the appeal.

My suggestion is to skip entertainment nights or order pick up. The food is worth the visit. I would not
visit with children as the ambience isn’t really meant for them. The prices are good and as I have said,
the food is good.

Touch of Italy

4198 S. Atlantic Avenue New Smyrna Beach—Beachside south

You are only a stranger at Touch of Italy once as Sal the owner will no doubt recognize you and probably
remember your favorite order. If you are beachside, this is a strong candidate for dinner. It is a bit of a
hike if you are on the mainland. Dine in and take out are available. Limited free delivery is available from
5p-9p.

Touch of Italy is open for lunch and dinner with the lunch menu being available until 4pm. The menu
offers plenty of seafood, traditional Italian fare, and delicious pizza. The chicken parmigiana is a personal
favorite. Give the square Sicilian pizza a try if you like deep dish.

This is a family restaurant and children are welcome. I am not sure I would bring kids there myself as it
can get a bit crowded. Good value pricing and you’ll leave full. One of my favorites if we feel like having dine in pizza.

Read my more in depth review of Touch of Italy.

Other pizza restaurants in that area that I have not tried include:

Caffé Vesuvio’s

Cafe Vesuvio's
Caffe Vesuvio’s
Image Courtesy Caffe Vesuvio’s Facebook page

701 E. 3rd Avenue New Smyrna Beach—Beachside south

Dine in, delivery, pick up

New York style pizza, salads, sandwiches, dinners, kids menu

Flagler Avenue Pizza Company

396 Flagler Avenue New Smyrna Beach—Beachside north

Pick up, delivery, dine in

Pizza, sandwiches, burgers, wings, salads

Manny’s Pizza Beachside

3318 S. Atlantic Avenue—Beachside south

Dine in, pick up, delivery,

Pizza, burgers, sandwiches

Paradise Pizza

UPDATE July 5, 2022–We drove by this location over the July 4th holiday and it appears to be closed. There was a real estate sign in front of the building and there were no cars in the lot. This particular location has run through several restaurant ideas in the last few years and it appears Paradise Pizza is the most recent to close.

1518 S. Dixie Freeway New Smyrna Beach

Dine in, take out, lunch time buffet

Brick Oven and Traditional pizza

Reopened under new name December 4, 2021. New owners are originally from Maine with food industry experience.

Perfecto Pizza NSB

634 E. 3rd Avenue (formerly home to Planet Pizza NSB)

I am unsure if this is really a new restaurant or just a rebranding of Planet Pizza NSB. The similarity of the name gives me pause to be honest. The website is completely generic and provides no insight into the local restaurant. I have to say this impression is not making me rush to order.

Delivery, take out

Closed on Tuesday.

Prima Pizza Cucina

Prima Pizza Cucina
The Prima Pizza Cucina team
Photo Courtesy Prima Pizza Facebook page

112 Sams Avenue New Smyrna Beach

Dine in, take out

Pizza, salads, sandwiches

Editorial comment–This place must be REALLY GOOD. It is packed every time I drive by so I haven’t been able to get in yet.

That’s Amore

103 S. Pine Street—Beachside north

Dine in, take out

Pizza, pasta, seafood, salads

 

Do you know of a pizza restaurant that is not included or is there more information I should include? Please let me know and I will update the post. Please feel free to drop reviews in the comments. As long as the review appears to be honest and respectful (even if you didn’t like the food) I will let them show.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small
commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided
are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. I did not
receive complimentary food in return for any restaurant being listed in this post.