2012 Gift Card Deals

It’s that time of year again. It’s the holiday season, and with it come gift card deal from restaurants and eateries. These deals can be a great bonus to a nice gift to someone, or you can get them for yourself to save some money at one of your favorite eateries. Keep in mind, some of these bonus deals come with stipulations, like only being useable for a limited period of time, or on purchases of a certain amount. Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing.

  • Applebee’s
    • Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 bonus card
  • Boston Market
    • Buy $25 in gift cards, get a $5 bonus
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
    • Buy $25 in gift cards and get a Blazing Bonus card.
    • Blazing Bonus card is worth $5, $15, $25, or $100. Go back between January 1 and February 28, 2013 to find out the value of your bonus card.
  • Buffalo Wings and Rings
    • Buy a $25 gift card, and get a $5 gift certificate
  • Carrabba’s
    • Buy $100 in gift cards, get a $20 bonus card
    • Bonus card is valid from January 1 to February 10, 2013
  • Cheesecake Factory
    • For every $25 spent on gift cards, receive a coupon for a free slice of cheesecake.
  • Chipotle
    • Buy $30 in gift cards, and show your receipt on your next visit for a free entree.
  • Del Taco
    • Buy $25, get a free combo meal
    • Buy $50, get 2 free combo meals
    • Buy $100, get 4 free combo meals
    • Buy the special $100 Del Taco Black Card, get a $25 gift card
  • Denny’s
    • Buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card
    • Shipping is $1.95 for purchases made online
  • Firehouse Subs
    • Buy $10 or more, and get a free dessert with coupon
    • expires December 15
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs
    • Buy $10 or more, get free chips and a drink with coupon
    • expires December 9
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
    • Buy $100, get a $20 bonus card
  • Mimi’s Cafe
    • Buy $25 in gift cards, get a $5 bonus card
  • Outback Steakhouse
    • Buy $100 in gift cards and get a $20 bonus card good from January 1 to February 10, 2013
  • Qdoba
    • Buy $25 in gift cards, get a $5 bonus card.
    • Bonus card good January 1 through February 28, 2013
  • Smokey Bones
    • Buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 bonus card.
  • Texas De Brazil
    • Buy $60 and get $10 more
    • Buy $100 and get $25 more
  • Texas Roadhouse
    • Buy $30 in gift cards online, get a $5 bonus gift card
  • T.G.I. Friday’s
    • Buy $25, get a $5 bonus card
  • Tijuana Flats
    • Buy $25, get a $5 gift card.
    • While you’re there, pick up a bottle of Smack My Ass and Call Me Santa hot sauce. It’s only $5 and proceeds go to benefit the Just in Queso Foundation

Jersey Mike’s To Open Two Orlando Area Locations on the Same Day

Jersey Mike’s To Open Two Orlando Area Locations on the Same Day

Owners Celebrate with Separate Free Sub Fundraisers

Jersey Mike’s Subs, known for its fresh sliced/fresh grilled East Coast-style subs, will officially open its doors in Orlando and Winter Park on
December 5.  Both locations – separately owned – will hold grand openings and free sub fundraisers from Wednesday, December 5 to Sunday, December 16.

The new restaurants, located at 54 W. Church Street in Orlando and at 1150 South Orlando Avenue in Winter Park, will each circulate 10,000 coupons throughout the community, offering a free regular sub for a minimum $1 contribution to the charities outlined below.

Raul and Lisa Ceide owners of the Orlando location (54 W. Church St.) will support the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.  Arnold Palmer Hospital is a 158-bed pediatric hospital facility located in Orlando. The hospital is part of Orlando Health and is supported by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation. Arnold Palmer Hospital is the first facility in Central Florida to provide emergency care exclusively for pediatrics. The Bert Martin’s Champions for Children Emergency Department Trauma Center is part of the area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.

“For Raul and me, it was vital to uphold the tradition of Jersey Mike’s charitable spirit, and finding a worthy organization to support was an essential element in this mission,” said Lisa Ceide. “Fortunately, we didn’t have to go far to find a partner for our new location. This will be our second grand opening working with the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.  This state of the art facility couples the most advanced technology with an extremely dedicated staff to make it one of the most trusted names in children’s healthcare worldwide.”

Raul added, “It is our hope that our partnership with the hospital only furthers the amazing advances and accolades they have achieved thus far.” This is the fourth Jersey Mike’s location for Raul and Lisa Ceide. The Ceides entered the Jersey Mike’s system in July 2011, when they purchased an existing location at the Shoppes at Windsor Oaks in Orlando.  They went on to open two additional locations in Orlando in November 2011 and most recently in September 2012.  Store hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. You can contact this store directly at (407) 730-4400.

Winter Park franchise owner Jeff Padgett (1150 South Orlando Avenue) will support Pink Army.  Pink Army uses a new approach to developing breast cancer treatments. They are a community-driven, member-owned cooperative operating by open source principles. Pink Army uses synthetic biology and virotherapy to bring individualized treatments tailored to each patient’s DNA and cancer, faster and cheaper than ever before.

“Jersey Mike’s commitment to giving back to the community is what appealed to me as a business owner when I opened my first Jersey Mike’s location in Lake Mary in October 2008,” said Padgett.  “For this grand opening fundraiser I chose to partner with Pink Army to give back to my customers who have been affected by breast cancer and raise awareness for this terrible disease.” This is the sixth Jersey Mike’s location for Jeff Padgett.  In addition to the Lake Mary location, which he opened in October 2008, Padgett also owns a Jersey Mike’s location in College Park and Maitland as well as two locations in Altamonte Springs.  Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. You can contact this store directly at (407) 960-2881.

Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey Mike’s continued its steady growth in 2011 opening 69 new restaurants throughout the country, a 15 percent increase overall.  The popular sub shop wins best sub awards in virtually every market it enters.

Padgett and the Ceides exemplify Jersey Mike’s quest for excellence as it selects franchise owners who share the company’s commitment to quality products and exceptional customer service and who are dedicated to giving back to the local community.  In 2011, locations throughout the country raised more than $2 million for worthy local charities and distributed more than 200,000 free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

Passionate Jersey Mike’s fans crave their subs made Mike’s Way; with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a signature blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar and spices. The company uses only private labeled meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh for each sub sandwich and piled high on in-store baked bread.  Everything is quickly made to order for each customer, just the way the first subs were made at the original Jersey Mike’s more than fifty years ago.  The Jersey Mike’s experience always includes its trademark neighborly banter served up by a high-energy Jersey Mike’s team.

Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 750 stores open and under development nationwide, has a long history of community involvement and support.  Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey Mike’s serves authentic East Coast-style subs on fresh baked bread – the same recipe it started with over 50 years ago.  The company’s mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it operates. A store locator and franchise information for Jersey Mike’s can be found at www.jerseymikes.com.

Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines in Orlando

If you haven’t had a chance to check out one of the many Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines in Orlando, or elsewhere, you really should make it a point to do so. These machines are really cool. They’re not much bigger than a traditional fountain machine, but they provide over 100 different options compared to just a handful.

The machine employs a touch screen with large icons making it easy for anyone to use.

When you first approach the machine, you are presented with the main menu.

I chose the Coke menu.

From there, I picked my favorite option, Coke with Lime.

I really like Coke with Lime, but it’s hard to find in stores. Luckily, any place that has a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine also has Coke with Lime.

To find a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine near you, visit their website, and enter your zip code. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

In the gallery below, you can see all the different options available to you.



Taste is a mix of Jamaican and American cuisine (and probably a few others) located in the heart of College Park. I went with my wife for lunch. The restaurant was practically empty. I was surprised, but we generally like having the place to ourselves. We ordered a couple beers and the jerk chicken and jerk pork. Both came with a house salad, rice, and plantains. The salad was good. The dressing had a unique flavor that I liked, but couldn’t quite place it. The entrees were excellent. Both the jerk pork and jerk chicken were flavorful, and just the right amount of heat for jerk seasoning. The fried plantains were delicious, but I like mine a little crispier on the outside. They were incredibly sweet though, which was a great complement to the salt and spice of the jerk seasoning. The entree came with a small side of jerk seasoning, which I used on my steamed rice, which really added some nice flavor to an otherwise plain side.

The atmosphere was nice, with a few rooms, a main area, and a full bar. The walls were decorated with modern art, and all the rooms were colorful. Like I said earlier, the place was mostly empty for lunch. The owner informed me that they have open mic night, a comedy night, and local bands on the weekends.

Given the price, close to $50 for 2 beers and 2 entrees, I can’t see going back there for lunch. Even though the food was excellent, it was just too pricey for what you get. I could definitely see going back there for a nice dinner though, especially for the entertainment provided as well. I would like to try it for dinner because it seems like it would be very fun, and lively. I’d like to see them offer some lunch specials too to bring the food to a reasonable price for a casual lunch. I can kind of understand the high prices though, considering the location.

  • Price: $8 – $20
Taste house salad
I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the entree as well. It smelled so good, I dove right in before I even thought about taking a picture. By the time I remembered to take a picture, it wasn’t very presentable anymore. but, I think this serves as a testament to how good the food was. I was overcome with my desire to devour an amazing meal.

Taste on Urbanspoon

Jamaican Cuisine Jerk Spot

If you’re looking for a hole in the wall joint, Jamaican Cuisine Jerk Spot fits it to a tee. It’s not in the nicest part of town, and it’s tucked away in a run down strip mall on a side street, off of Semoran Blvd. The food is excellent though. The jerk chicken with rice and beans is delicious. It is spicy and flavorful, and you get large portions. Their meat patties are excellent as well. You can’t beat the prices either. The jerk chicken entree is around $6, and the meat patties are less than $2 each. One meat patty would be enough for a small lunch, and two would make for an excellent meal, or you could get a side of rice for a couple dollars instead. While they prefer cash, they do use Square for debit/credit card payments. It is really nice to see a small business embrace new technology like this.

  • Price: $2 – $8

Jamaican Cuisine Jerk Spot on Urbanspoon