285 Foodies

Restaurants & Coffee Houses => The Rest of the World => Topic started by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on November 18, 2009, 02:35:26 PM

Title: Orlando
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on November 18, 2009, 02:35:26 PM

Without me going elsewhere to look up what is hot around Disney, do any of you regulars or guests know some GOOD places around Orlando?

Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: Loundry on November 25, 2009, 02:46:31 PM
Culinary wasteland.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: MNewman on December 12, 2009, 10:47:50 PM
When in Orlando, I head for Thornton Park.  I've enjoyed Hue and the neighborhood is a nice break from Mickey and Donald.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: TrickyD on December 14, 2009, 10:05:33 AM
I'm probably going to be skewered for this suggestion, but I found that most of the Disney stuff was overpriced / bland "mass produced" food.  That being said, on the last day we went to the Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney, and I loved it. 

Just a sandwich chain, but good value compared to the other Disney places(sandwitch was pretty big, came with chips) and quick ( I am partial to the Hawaiian).

Probably not the kind of restaurant rec you were looking for, but we had a 2.5 YO in tow, so it was all family-friendly, all the time.  I wish I had known about the place from day 1.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: uOTPia Dweller on December 14, 2009, 10:22:45 AM
I have to give Yapp credit. They sent me here http://paradisocafe.com/

Family owned. Everything is homemade down to the salad dressings. For those who are into Chef hobnobbing, Sal is a social butterfly.

For that price range, it would be tough to beat. Oh Sal is from Naples. Not Florida, I don't think based on the accent.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: foodnearsnellville on December 18, 2009, 04:16:11 PM
I lived two years in Orlando many years ago, and brief culinary blips are..

1. I had some *excellent* Cuban food there, done by a Puerto Rican hole in the wall.

2. Pizzeria Uno is there. That was the most reliable pizza in my time.

3. Orlando is the place where Tijuana Flats was born (original restaurant a block from my apt at the time).

4. Stay away from Disney area. Overpriced.

5. Stay away from Japanese restaurants in general. Better ones in ATL.

Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: foodnearsnellville on December 21, 2009, 08:15:26 AM
One more Orlando resource..

http://tastychomps.blogspot.com (http://tastychomps.blogspot.com)

Orlando food blog, but this blogger roams over New York City and has spent some time in Atlanta. So you can calibrate the blogger's tastes by comparing your experience in common restaurants with his (hers?).
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: TastyChomps on December 22, 2009, 06:55:55 AM
Thank you foodsnearsnellville for the shout out! :D i am a he haha.
here are my recommendations for foodies (thus far) in Orlando

Fine Dining
The Ravenous Pig

Soul Food
(don't mind the service, and it probably pales in comparison to any Atlanta establishments...but its what we got)

There is a vibrant Vietnamese community at the corner of SR 50 / Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue near downtown Orlando
My favorite would be Pho 88:

Best BBQ in Orlando belongs to a new establishment called
4Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park
renown for their brisket

Best Cuban is
Padrino's on John Young Pkway near Kissimmee

Best Thai is
Sea Thai on Colonial Drive

though there are few, things are shaping up here in Orlando for the better hopefully

here is an annual list for the Best Foodie places by the Orlando Sentinel

I am actually heading back to Atlanta next week for a few days for fun, so Im glad I found this forum! I wonder where I should look first for suggestions :D

Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: GabrielsDad on January 08, 2010, 08:21:15 PM
So I'm apparently headed to Orlando in March for a 4 day conference at the Caribe Royale Hotel & Convention Center.  Other than the suggestions above (of which the Pig sounds like a definite must) any other thoughts?

Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: KoPP on January 09, 2010, 08:21:45 AM
Ain't much in Orlando... :'(
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: GabrielsDad on January 09, 2010, 08:35:13 AM
Ain't much in Orlando... :'(

Amen to that brother!  According to the Orlando Sentinal, the reader's choice for Best Overall is Season's 52.  While I have been to the one here, and it is not bad, it hardly inspires confidence that the general populace considers this the best spot in town....

Maybe 4 meals at the Ravenous Pig?   ???
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: KoPP on January 09, 2010, 09:45:43 AM
Almost worth driving an hour to Tampa for some pretty decent Latina food. Almost - the 4 can be one of the most fustrating roads on Earth.

I don't know if the place in Disney's African hotel is still good, but it's been a few years since I did Spring Training.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: Larkemon on February 07, 2010, 08:08:57 AM
I haven't been to 4 Rivers Smokehouse (http://www.4rsmokehouse.com/) but I have been hearing about this place from my family in Orlando.  I was hoping to make it on my next visit to town.  Looks like Tasty Chomps a blogger from Orlando who has posted here before has a blog entry about this joint.  He seems to give it a big thumbs up.
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: GabrielsDad on March 02, 2010, 04:33:07 PM
Off to Orlando tomorrow.  Right now, dinners planned at Luma on Park (http://www.lumaonpark.com/) (group dinner, needed a large space) and The Ravenous Pig (http://theravenouspig.com/).  Probably go sit at the bar at the Pig on Wednesday and say "feed me."  Not sure what Friday holds...
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on March 02, 2010, 05:30:39 PM
Off to Orlando tomorrow.  Right now, dinners planned at Luma on Park (http://www.lumaonpark.com/) (group dinner, needed a large space) and The Ravenous Pig (http://theravenouspig.com/).  Probably go sit at the bar at the Pig on Wednesday and say "feed me."  Not sure what Friday holds...

I would love to spend a day or two outside of the parks and do a search-and-find like you are doing.  There just has to be some good places to go and eat.  We missed a couple of British owned fish and chips places near where we were staying on our last visit, only because we had filled the schedule with "events" and "character meals" for the kiddoes.    Next time, I'll get to make some choices.   Please let us know what the lay of the land is away from the parks. 

Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: GabrielsDad on March 05, 2010, 10:37:44 PM
3 words. The Ravenous Pig.

Great spot. 3 nights here, 2 dinners there.

Posting from my iPhone now but I will repost with details when I can get computer acess. Suffice it to say that it's a fantastic place with cool folks, a great vibe, a nice wine list and well chosen (but short) American craft beer list, and outstanding food.

Definitely the coolest thing going in Orlando. 
Title: Re: Orlando
Post by: GabrielsDad on March 08, 2010, 09:52:22 PM
Hmmm...  Can't seem to be able to modify my previous post...

So here's the deal on the Pig, for anyone interested.  It's definitely a modern American gastro-pub, with drink friendly food, an eclectic wine and beer list (all American craft), and some creative cocktails - including bacon infused bourbon.  A focus on local ingredients, with a lot of house-made meats.  A very well timed concept, with the right feel and price point for where the economy is.  And with really tasty food.

Did 2 solo meals here, Wednesday and Saturday nights, around 8ish (couldn't find anyone else crazy enough to drive the 30 minutes from our conference center near Disney).  Half the restaurant is reservation only, and half is first-come, first-serve with booths, tables, and a bar.  First night couldn't get a seat at the bar, so secured a table and asked the server to have the chef pick three courses for me, and pair them with whatever he thought I should drink.  A few minutes later, out comes the Rogue smoked blue cheese tart, topped with heirloom toms in a balsamic caramel, with a really nice fresh herb side salad.  The flavors on this really popped, and the salad provided a nice fresh counterpoint to the rich tart.  The balsamic caramel rocked, and it paired really nicely with the pinot they selected.  Second course was the tuna carpaccio, topped with a salad of thinly sliced fennel, roasted baby beets, hazelnuts and herbs.  A few too many hazelnuts, but otherwise a winning dish.  Very fresh, and paired quite well with the glass of champagne, though it also worked beautifully with my last swallow of pinot.  Last dish was the standout of the night - grilled wild boar chops atop Anson's Mill polenta cake with sauteed wild-mushrooms.  What a fantastic dish!  Smokey, rich, the pork perfectly cooked.  Best pairing of the night with a brown ale - might have been Smuttynose? - with great caramel notes and a taste of wood that worked oh so well with the boar.  All of these dishes were from the menu, but it was great to see what the chef wanted me to eat.

Second night I chose to order three things I hadn't had on the first visit.   This time I was lucky enough to snag a seat at the bar where Larry hooked me up.  I ordered the food, he picked the drinks.  Great bartender, sporting a rocking handle-bar stache.  We chatted about Atlanta restaurants, and the food scene in Orlando in general.  Terrific guy.  Dinner started with the Farmer salad, a HUGE bowl of really fresh greens, with lots of house-made bacon, brioche croutons, topped with a poached egg in a caesar vinaigrette.  What an amazing salad, it was as good as it sounds.  Salty, rich, eggy, fresh from the greens.  Yum.  Paired great with a terrific Southampton white ale.  Course number 2 was grilled octopus over chickpea cioppino with green olive aioli.  The cioppino was a nice tomato broth studded with chickpeas, and the octopus was really tender.    Another solid dish, paired with an Italian barolo.  A bit unexpected, as I would have thought perhaps a white, but it worked great with the meaty octopus.  Last course was the homemade cavatelli with braised rabbit and charred tomatoes, which went great with the Treana viogner.  Perfectly al dante pasta, and the rabbit was great. A terrific finish to a second great meal.

Other than the great food, and really nice folks, I loved that they were willing to think outside the box on what to pair with what, and it all worked great.  Progressing from beer to red to white may seem unusual, but all the pairing were spot on.  I also appreciated the great balance in the food.  Every rich dish had something bright or acidic to counter-balance, and nothing was one-note.  And the freshness of the ingredients was obvious.  This is a truly great place, with staff and chefs who clearly know what they are doing.  Very much in the spirit of some of the best places in Atlanta.