I am pleased to partner with Zagat, who is sponsoring this post
Whenever I travel to a new location, I like to do tons of research on a destination in order to choose which restaurants I want to visit. I use a variety of sources, including online forums, food blogs, "best of" lists, awards, and various independent review sources. I have always enjoyed the Zagat guide because it ranks restaurants with its points system (1-30) on a variety of different aspects: food, decor, service, and cost. Since I care most about the food, I often hone in on that particular score, sometimes placing a lot less weight on the other factors. Furthermore, Zagat is available in a lot more cities than the Michelin Guide (which I also use), and has content that is more focused than, say, something like Yelp, Tripadvisor, or Chowhound. When I'm short on time, it's a reasonably reliable way to get a sense of a place quickly.
Many people may not know this, but the Zagat guide is actually a compilation of user-generated data. The quotes that you see under a Zagat review come from actual users. Years ago I voted in the Boston Zagat survey, giving my personal opinions about numerous restaurants. In exchange, I received a free copy of the Boston Zagat Guide for that year.
Zagat is now working on their next Orlando guide and need users to come and give their opinions.
This is where you come in.
Make your voice part of the city's most influential ratings by contributing reviews of your recent Orlando dining experiences.
Zagat ratings are based on your opinions, and your comments could be quoted as part of Zagat's next signature review.
As a thanks for participating, you'll get 8 weeks of free NYTimes.com access. Plus, if you submit 10+ reviews we'll send you Zagat's 2015 America's Top Restaurants guide!
Just for fun, below I am sharing some of my favorite Orlando dishes from my recent visit to the city.
Seriously one of the best pizzas I've had all year anywhere in the U.S., you must try the phenomenal authentic Neapolitan pizza from Via Napoli at the Italian Pavillion at Epcot Center.
We loved the famous Brown Derby Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. This salad is made using the original recipe designed by Bob Cobb, the owner of the California Brown Derby restaurant.
One of the most unique and fun desserts we saw in the park, the Croque Glace is an ice cream filled toasted brioche and is made to order at Artisan des Glaces at the French Pavillion inside Epcot Center.
Jiko, the African-inspired restaurant in side the Animal Kingdom Lodge, has excellent food in general. Our favorite dish of all was this super tender and gorgeously flavorful Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin.
Lunch at the Moroccan restaurant The Spice Road Table included beautiful views of the lake and fun Mediterranean-inspired dishes. My favorite was a dish that included falafel fries, which had the beautiful spices of a falafel but were fried into these super crunchy sticks.
And finally, I absolutely loved the blueberry dessert from Bluezoo by Todd English, which included components such as a blueberry sugar ball with blueberry sorbet inside, blueberry ice cream, and a blueberry ribbon. It was surprisingly not too sweet but instead had lovely complex blueberry elements all over.
If you've visited Orlando before, consider reviewing restaurants for Zagat to get 8-weeks of New York Times access (for just one review!) and a copy of the 2015 Orlando Zagat Guide (for 10 reviews).
Click here to start reviewing now!
Offer ends June 30, 2015
This post was sponsored by Zagat. All opinions are my own.