Is Honey Garlic Chicken a Florida Thing?

Listen. 

The food up here in Michigan is nothing short of incredible. Everywhere we eat – from the diviest of dive bars (where I have finally gotten over the stigma of ordering a ‘diet coke with grenadine, like a child!!’) to the fanciest of fancy restaurants… we are eating GOOD. 

Like, over Mickey’s last weekend, we went to a restaurant which will change the way I order (or not order) a single dish every time I see it on the menu. 

I don’t know if you know this or not – I really love mussels. They are the single food I think I could happily eat my own weight and still want more. 

If mussels are on the menu, I’m ordering them. No questions. 

Until we ate at Sindbads on the River and I ordered their mussels appetizer as my full meal, along with a side Caesar and a cup of clam chowder that Mickey said was *almost* as good as the deliciousness at Legal Seafood. 

I mean, just look at these babies – They look like they’re singing!

 

And they were fat and juicy and delicious and incredible and I loved them the most. But they have ruined me for mussels from anywhere else for the rest of my life. 

Upon reflection, I think they might have been the first fresh mussels I’ve had in my entire life. So, I think I might have to be one of those people that ask “are they fresh or frozen” when they see mussels on the menu. Ugh.

Or, I’ll just exclusively eat them at Sindbad’s. They were just the best.

And over the new year, I had the best mussels of my life in Canada! 

I am rich in mussels, I tells ya. 

You know what I’m not rich in? 

Honey Garlic Chicken. I CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE AND I MISS IT SO MUCH. 

Like I said, for the most part, I vastly prefer Michigan food to Florida food. 

HOWEVER. 

There are two dishes that I miss very much that I can’t find here. 

One is the Garlic Noods from Kai Asian Street Fare. I prepared for that one, cause I knew that was extremely location specific. I ordered it a bunch of times and deconstructed the flavors and can now feast on that pile of garlicy yumminess whenever I get the hankerin’ for ‘em. 

I do have to cook them myself, though. 

The other one, though? I thought was a standard thing. I could get Honey Garlic Chicken at almost every single Chinese Takeout Place in Orlando. 

Look, I know it’s not traditional, but you know what it is? TASTY AF. 

I don’t crave Chinese food very often. When I do, however, the dish I am craving is Honey Garlic Chicken. I need that sticky sweet garlic-y goodness in my belly. I cannot find it anywhere up here. 

Honey Chicken? Yulp!

Garlic Chicken? Affirmative.

But the combo of Honey AND Garlic in a chicken dish? Nah, buddy, you’re outta luck. 

So I figured it was just a Michigan thing, right? We don’t have it in Michigan, but it exists outside of Florida. It must!

Then! My friend came to visit. She’s a recent Florida transplant as well, however she landed in Ohio instead of Michigan. Only four hours away!

Well, on one of the nights of her visit, we were trying to figure out where to eat dinner. We kind of both wanted Chinese food so we started looking. 

Then she said something like, “I wonder if I can find that here?”

And I asked, “what?”

And she replied, “there was this dish that I used to get all the time in Orlando and I can’t find it at the new house yet.”

I couldn’t believe in a million years that it would be the same dish that I so missed. I asked jokingly, “Is it Honey Garlic Chicken?!”

Y’all, it was!!! She had also been missing it muchly. So we made a valiant effort to find a restaurant, any restaurant, that served it.

We both came up empty, so we ended up eating at Mugly’s. 

You can’t go wrong with Mugly’s. Trust me when I say, if you come visit me for more than a day, we’re eating a Mugly’s. You will give me the side eye when you see it is inside a pink Best Western that looks like a castle, but the first bite of food will make those same eyes wide with delight. 

Plus, you can rub Mugly’s barely-hanging on nose for luck on the way out!

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