Have you ever driven past a restaurant and wanted to go in purely based on their vibe?
That’s how it was for me when I drove past The Smiling Bison. It’s set on a sweet little side street in the Baldwin Park District of Downtown Orlando, complete with a mini cacti garden and string lights…swoon! I love to shop locally and source from my community, so I felt compelled to recap my experience for my fellow Orlando peeps! Fast forward to dinner the next week with two of my favorite gals and I quickly discovered the best part about The Smiling Bison – THE FOOD! I’m a sucker for anything locally sourced and artfully plated, so I was basically the happiest woman on earth! First up: the dranks.
You guys!!!! They are amazing. The Peach Cobbler was my favorite, but of course I tried everyone else’s too because I’m THAT girl. The FireBloom was my second favorite; I’m not sure how they mix hibiscus and jalapeno and make it taste good, but it’s a flavor party for your mouth, trust me. Starry Nights is their take on an Old Fashioned and has aztec cocoa bitters as a special note, which was rich and flavorful. The Spring Thyme Sangira has -you guessed it- thyme, strawberries, and other goodies in it. It was refreshing and delicious as well. I probably could have stayed there and just sucked down drinks all night, but I’m 30 now so I guess I’ll be responsible and not drink my food anymore…
Anywho. We were lucky enough to go during their springtime menu; they change their menu seasonally to reflect the produce of the season that they get from local growers. Each of us got an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert so we could all sample each other’s picks. I. Was. Impressed. Chef Josh is a culinary master. I choose the House Made Summer Sausage which came with cheese, grain mustard, house made pickles, and grilled bread. For a relatively simple spread, it knocked my socks off! My new mission is to figure out how to make my own summer sausage…it’s gotta be easy right? No? Moving on. I also sampled the Peach Salad (goat cheese fritters, enough said) and the Poutine (cheese curds, ditto) and both were ridiculously tasty. Apparently they have Brunch Poutine which I can’t wait to shove in my face and wash down with mimosas soon. Can you tell I’m writing this post while hungry? Never food blog while starving!