The Ravenous Pig

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As one of Florida’s first restaurants to gather local farmers, fishermen and artisanal purveyors, The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, FL is serving up Southern style fare, craft beers and cocktails, with a gastropub twist.

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The atmosphere reads upscale casual, but in no way was is it pretentious. There’s bar and high-top seating in the back of the front room, and plenty of tables in the adjoining room. Each table is draped in brown paper to give some of that gastropub vibe, while the food is all presented in a modern form. 

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I ordered their Spring Vegetable Salad with added Mahi (asparagus, english peas, fava beans, heirloom carrots, local radish, minted yogurt, green garlic agrodolce, frisee). The presentation was beautiful, but I will say, unless you add a protein option to the salad, it is on the rather small scale. But, what it lacks in bulk, it certainly makes up in flavor. The Mahi was tender, light, and almost had a bit of a smoky flavor. The salad itself is dressed in a very light vinaigrette, a little peppery, adding to the caramelization of the roasted veggies.

The Shorts:
Name: The Ravenous Pig
Location: 1234 N. Orange Avenue, Winter Park, FL
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the atmosphere is really great, the staff is delightful, and the food is certainly tasty. 
Would I recommend it? If everything above isn’t an indication, well…then, maybe re-read it. 

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The Sweet Shop at 4 Rivers

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Well, I checked off the BBQ aspect of 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park, FL. But then, I noticed they had a separate bakery, The Sweet Shop, and, well…duh, I had to check that out.

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It’s a common habit, we eat with our eyes first. These desserts were pretty eye catching with their large, grand size and their perfectly confected baked goods. They offer cupcakes, cakes, ice cream and brownie bars, to name their most prominent items.

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They also have some really novel and unique items such as their Cupcake Milkshakes (your choice of a cupcake dropped into a milkshake and blended up into a shake that is sure to bring all the boys to the yard…Kelis…) and their Mountain Dew Dorito Cupcake (novel, yes, but sorry, I wasn’t too interested in eating one). 

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I certainly have eyes a bit bigger than my stomach, and had to get a few things to try. Their desserts are not for the weak, each one is large and hefty. I first had their Double Chocolate Cookie with nuts. So, if you haven’t worked out in a little while, fear not because this cookie can double as a weight for arm curls, weighing in at around 1lb. It’s huge, but the chocolate flavor and sweetness are actually more on the mild side, allowing you to make your way through more of it. It’s also a little fudgy on the inside, almost like a brownie. 

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Next, I got their Kryptonite Brownie (pecans and caramel), another huge portion. The brownie was rich, moist (I hate that word) but also not overly sweet either, allowing the sweetness and creaminess of the caramel to take that spotlight, and adding the pecans for a nice nuttiness and crunch. I think Superman would have been pretty happy eating this one. 

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Last, I got their Texas Bourbon Pecan Bar, which, was hands down, my favorite. The bourbon absolutely comes through, giving it a really rich, warm flavor. And who doesn’t love the taste of a little booze in a delicious treat? The whole pecans were coated in a crisp, sugar crumble coating, giving the bar a sandwich effect of crunch from the pecans and the bottom crust, and the contrast of the creamy, oozy boozy center. 

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And, of course, some wise words to live by.

The Shorts:
Name: The Sweet Shop
Location: 4 Rivers Smokehouse, 1600 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, FL
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. And hell, I might even get the Mountain Dew Dorito Cupcake. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely, something for everyone sweet tooth, and each item makes great to share among a few people.