Welcome to our first ever Friday Faves! This is a new weekly column for GOF. In addition to smaller food reviews and raves, we’ll be shouting out our favorite upcoming events, entertainment we can’t get enough of, health and fitness trends, personal posts to get to know us better and much more.


The Groove OrientWith cheap drinks, an authentic atmosphere, and live music every night, Tanqueray’s Bar is a Downtown Orlando, FL staple. Dave and the other bartenders are quick to serve and always have a great suggestion. My favorite is their take on the White Gummy Bear. Usually made as a shot, they prepare a sweet cocktail that goes down easy. The Tanqueray, their signature drink made with the same gin as the bar’s namesake, is exactly as you would expect- a strong, crisp cocktail that gets you ready to dance to the Funk Rock beats of The Groove Orient. You can catch their unique sound at Florida music festivals, on iTunes, or other downtown dives, but the local band stays loyal to Tanqueray’s every Tuesday night.

It’s impossible to sit still while the guys are jamming on stage… Feel free to try and let me know how it goes! The electric guitar, drums and keyboard instrumentals in Dead Dog and Generation Y, the album’s headliner, are infectious. Your whole body wants to move and sing along to Harry Ong’s alto voice. Somewhere between a psychedelic melody and an underground rock show, The Groove Orient has found their sound and is making their mark on Orlando’s nightlife!


Leona cookie 2
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I’m making the move to Culver City soon! There are certain things about Venice I’m going to miss. One of those is the restaurant Leona, which I reviewed for GOF late last summer when they first opened, and, if you’ve been keeping up with food on the Westside, you know they’ve been doing very well with critics and locals. They expanded their business in a fun way by opening up a cookie window. I couldn’t resist trying both cookies and their scones.





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Brown Butter Miso Chocolate Chip Cookie with the Curry Scone

The Brown Butter Miso Chocolate Chip Cookie is so perfect for those who love a crisp, sweet and savory cookie. The Curry Scone may intimidate some, but the spice doesn’t overwhelm the crumbly treat. It’s not pictured, but the scone came with a squash butter, which was interesting to try. My favorite was the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. It’s the chewier of the two cookies, and it was my favorite cookie growing up, so I just think you can’t go wrong with it. So if you’re in Venice, CA, be sure to drop by Leona and grab a cookie, live a sweet life!



DAWN: At the end of a long week there is nothing I want more than to snuggle up on the couch with some yummy food and to eye-guzzle some great TV. Someone recently recommended I watch I’ll Have What Phil’s Having.

A shot of Florence, one of the subjects on Phil

Who’s Phil you ask? Well, Phil is none other than Phil Rosenthal the creator of the hit show Everybody Loves Raymond. He is funny, endearing and passionate. Originally aired on PBS, the first season is now available on Netflix. The first season visits six meccas of food and culture: Tokyo, Florence, Paris, Hong Kong, Barcelona and Los Angeles. This is not just a travel and food show. This is a people show. I cried, laughed and salivated through all six episodes. Grab your favorite munchies and tune in. You will be so glad you did.



SAMANTHA:  The app Cover could change the way diners settle tabs forever. It functions similarly to PayPal, but for restaurants. Although Cover is currently being piloted in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York City markets, the features are promising and worth the wait until it launches everywhere.

Arancini. Fried risotto balls. Soooooooooo freaking delicious!

I recently went on a lunch date at All’onda in the East Village, which I discovered on the app. Cover is pretty simple to use. When you get to the restaurant, check into the restaurant on your phone, let your server know that you’re paying with Cover, and that’s it. Order what you like, sit back and enjoy your meal. You don’t even have to wait to settle the bill, Cover, and the restaurant will take care of all of that.



All'onda 2
Fried Chicken with Calabrian Chili, Celery Root Slaw, and Blue Cheese.

There you have it, fellow foodies. Using Cover can save you time and unnecessary headaches and math calculations. Dining just got simplified…I kind of wish I had a Staples button to press right now (that was easy).






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See you next week! 

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