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#51 stilgar

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:47 PM

If you are looking to go off the beaten path in Orlando, here are a couple options.

Pollo d'Oro on W Colonial Dr (SR 50) west of I-4 is some of the best rotisserie chicken ever. Is a bit of a hike if you are staying near Disney, but worth it. Map

Beefy King is a local sandwich shop that has been around for 40 years. They specialize in steamed roast beef sandwiches, but also have ham, turkey, pastrami, corned beef, BBQ beef and BBQ pork. Crispy tater tots, or 'spuds' round out this local experience. Website Map

One other that I visited recently is Johnnie's Hideaway. This might sound like a tiki themed tourist trap, but it is not. This is an upscale eating establishment, along the lines of Vito's and Charley's, which are corporate cousins of Johnnie's. We started with the steamed mussels. The mussels alone were great and full of flavor, but the broth was magical. You will want to save that for bread dipping. Our main consisted of broiled grouper topped with blue crab meat and a white wine sauce. Fish was cooked perfectly and the sauce was excellent. Sides were bacon creamed spinach and lobster mac n cheese. Both very good. Finished with a creme brulee. Excellent meal. I travel to Orlando often to visit friends and usually try to avoid the Disney area like the plague, but I will go here again. Website Map

#52 Atenna

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:22 PM

We were down in Orlando the week of December 12th, with a temperature reaching a warm & cozy 25 degrees with wind chill. But we ate really well.
-The Ravenous Pig, in Winter Park; worth the trip. The most interesting food in the Orlando area without the commericialization. A wonderful experience. Menu options include Housemade charcuterie and artisan cheese, black pepper pappardelle w red wine braised rabbit ragu, hedgehog mushrooms, percorino; pastrimi spiced veal cheeks w farro risotto, radicchio-red onion agrodolce, forelle pear mostardo; Berkshire Pork Porterhouse w fried waterkist green tomatoes, ham jam, pickled mustard seed butter; and you get the picture. Food was well executed. Staff was knowledgeable with wine parings. The bar has picked up on the craft coctail trend and is able to execute at least their whisky sour version very well. Would return if ever back in the area.
-Le Coq Au Vin, off the beaten path in Orlando. 40 year old establishment serving French county fare was truely excellent. Prices were extremely reasonable and staff was helpful with wine selections. Not in the tourist district; but would love to go back if ever in the area again.
-Lee & Ricks Half Shell Oyster Bar, on Old Winter Garden Rd. A 60 year old establishement that could be construed as a hole in the wall. 12 fresh oysters for $6. Shucked right there in front of you and placed directly on the 60 year old cement bar for your enjoyment. They steam oysters too. Some other selections are available, but really it is all about the oysters. And Budweiser. So if you do not like oysters, do not go. Again, not located in the tourist area.
-Mama Nems southern style food, 805 S Kirkman Rd. Home style prepared food and lots of it. For me, the collards were good and the fried chicken too. The ribs were tough and potatoes lacked flavor. Would not go back.
-If I remember the BBQ place we went to, I will post about it later.

#53 mame11

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:52 PM

Who would think some of the best food I've had in a while would have been in Orlando, but it was. Dinner at The Ravenous Pig was fabulous. The diversity and quality of the charchuterie was worth the trip. There was a speck wrapped grilled date stuffed with goat cheese on a fruity sauce and a lamb meatball on top of a tzatki (sp?) in addition to fabulous soppresata et al. Oh, the chicken liver pate with a preserved cherry... oh my. The salad would have been good with less dressing (I never get salad dressing on my salads unless the server insists that it is better with it...) The pastry chef (co-owner of the place) must have a way with ice creams and sorbets because the dark chocolate sorbet and ginger ice cream were better than ANY I've had in DC, including my favorites Dairy Godmother and Pitango (not a fan of Dolcezza). I'll be dreaming of that dessert for a long time.... ETA: I had the most perfect view of the kitchen sitting at the chef's bar. What a treat! I really learned a lot watching the kitchen staff and chefs work in a not huge space.

Okay, now I'll share a place with the dr.com that I discovered randomly because it was near where I was staying.... Pollos a la Braza Mario. I arrived in Orlando pretty late and was convinced I'd end up at some random chain and was more than pleasantly surprised when I saw this place and checked it's urbanspoon info. Wow. What luck. I asked some diners as well as staff what to get. They all (literally, all) recommended the skirt steak. I wasn't that hungry so I was hesitant. However, I was convinced by the locals to try it... It is a HUGE meal. The steak was well seasoned and served on a sizzling cast iron with a side of beans (something Columbian, I think) and rice which were both rich and flavorful. Instead of potatoes I asked for sweet plaintains which were great.

I really wish there were places like either The Ravenous Pig or Pollos a la Braza Mario in DC (proper).

#54 Skysplitter

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:20 AM

I need to jump on the Ravenous Pig bandwagon and wish that it magically transports itself up here. I flew into Orlando on the way to Tampa and stopped in for lunch. Spoiled me for the rest of the trip. And of the three pig logo'ed restaurants I've been to this year in the south (Cochon and The Refinery being the others), this one was the best. I got the gatherer salad with "mixed baby lettuces, beets, goat cheese, avocado, pistachios, herb vinaigrette" which was beyond ridiculous. For every crunch, there was a smooth counterbalance. Advocado and goat cheese? My new favorite combo. And I think, but can't promise, that the herb vinaigrette had basil in it. This is a salad I'll remember to some time to come, so don't bonk it if you're there, get it.
Then came the grilled cheese. Odes should be written to this grilled cheese. I desperately wanted to go back on Sunday before my flight and get one for the plane I liked it so damned much. Just a simple grilled cheese you say? Hah. It was a grilled cheese avec "arcadia peach & rhubarb jam, pepita pesto, grilled radicchio, goat cheese, aged swiss, sourdough". SaltysweetcheesycrunchyFABULOUSNESSonnaPLATE. And then. How can there be an and then? And then it was pan fried in delicious butter. I'm drooling writing about it.

As a solo diner, I was happily seated at the bar, and the bartender was fantastic. Informative, friendly, kept everything going for the restaurant. The servers are intensely proud of their food ("Ready for the best grilled cheese of your life?") and it borders on pomposity, but who cares when the food backs it up?! I don't get to Orlando often, but if I can schedule a long layover, it's worth the car rental and quick drive up to Winter Park.

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#55 goodeats

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

Funny, I had forgotten how scary dining options can be in Orlando until I went this past weekend and reread this thread. I am just sharing my theme park dining experiences, since little man and I didn't really make time to eat off-site. We only spent two days total in Orlando and most were at the parks.

We made a point of visiting Hogsmeade at the new Harry Potter exhibit on the Islands of Adventure (Universal). Little man and I decided to dine there for linner (lunch/dinner). He opted for the Turkey Leg platter ($11) that comes with mediocre wedge fries, then wanted an apple cider ($2.89), while I opted to share his platter and order a butterbeer ($3?) since it was on the must-try list. The turkey leg was huge and salty--it tasted like brined Easter ham, which would be fine if they offered a side of bread or salad. It also was big enough to last two meals. I am only writing to recommend the butterbeer, I guess.

At the Magic Kingdom, we had a snack at the Ice Cream shop in Tomorrowland, but was big enough that it covered lunch (a cone was $3.19, while my float was $3.99) apparently. It also helped that we had an early booking for dinner at the Crystal Palace at 4:30p. I wish I could say positive things about CP, since the menu does try (which was overpriced at $40.99 per adult since it was an ayce), but ultimately, was it not for the fact that Winnie the Pooh and friends were around for photo ops and autographs (pictures with Eeyore!), I would skip it. Basically, most of the dessert tasted like condensed milk (ie., flan, key lime pie, cheesecake, etc.) and while the entrees tried to inject flavor (ie., rotisserie chicken, cinnamon-lemon jasmine rice), it looked as good as it tasted (which was poor).

The experiences and memories inside the parks were great!
Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

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#56 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:26 PM

Funny, I had forgotten how scary dining options can be in Orlando until I went this past weekend and reread this thread. I am just sharing my theme park dining experiences, since little man and I didn't really make time to eat off-site. We only spent two days total in Orlando and most were at the parks.

We made a point of visiting Hogsmeade at the new Harry Potter exhibit on the Islands of Adventure (Universal). Little man and I decided to dine there for linner (lunch/dinner). He opted for the Turkey Leg platter ($11) that comes with mediocre wedge fries, then wanted an apple cider ($2.89), while I opted to share his platter and order a butterbeer ($3?) since it was on the must-try list. The turkey leg was huge and salty--it tasted like brined Easter ham, which would be fine if they offered a side of bread or salad. It also was big enough to last two meals. I am only writing to recommend the butterbeer, I guess.

At the Magic Kingdom, we had a snack at the Ice Cream shop in Tomorrowland, but was big enough that it covered lunch (a cone was $3.19, while my float was $3.99) apparently. It also helped that we had an early booking for dinner at the Crystal Palace at 4:30p. I wish I could say positive things about CP, since the menu does try (which was overpriced at $40.99 per adult since it was an ayce), but ultimately, was it not for the fact that Winnie the Pooh and friends were around for photo ops and autographs (pictures with Eeyore!), I would skip it. Basically, most of the dessert tasted like condensed milk (ie., flan, key lime pie, cheesecake, etc.) and while the entrees tried to inject flavor (ie., rotisserie chicken, cinnamon-lemon jasmine rice), it looked as good as it tasted (which was poor).

The experiences and memories inside the parks were great!

Say hi next time!

We ate at CP three times in one day. Little guy was over the moon at seeing Pooh and the gang but the food was truly mediocre. Breakfast was the best of the lot.

#57 goodeats

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:47 PM

Say hi next time!

Oooo - wouldn't it be great to have a DR caravan to Disney now that there are age-appropriate little elves amongst us? That should be the next get together. :-)
Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

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#58 pidgey

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:41 PM

Returning from a week in Orlando, well, mostly Disney, and although we ate mostly in Disney restaurants, we did get a baby-free night out in ... Downtown Disney. Raglan Road is an Irish gastropub, or at least strives to be. The portions are substantial, the food was above average, the atmosphere was raucous (they have live music 6 nights a week), and the service was harried. Entrees have quirky names like "Keen Eye for the Shepherd's Pie." We started with the mussels and some kind of tart to share, I had the chicken and mushroom pot pie, the +1 had the slow cooked ribs. All were enjoyable, none were particularly outstanding. Lots of beer, of course, with some nice craft beers. The desserts were too large to consider (so we went to Ghirardelli a while later).

Overall, not a place I would seek out, but definitely a good choice for Downtown Disney.

#59 Joe H

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:52 PM

There are now two Seasons 52 in Orlando and both are inconsistent. I've been back to the original perhaps 9 or 10 times since my last post above in '06. I continue to love the flatbreads (especially chicken and garlic; a shrimp one was good, too) and cedar planked salmon. I actually refuse to believe that many of the dishes are under 475 calories-especially the flatbreads. A bit better than Bonefish is probably a good analogy for most dishes. Still, I really like the layout and the ambience. Overall, it's not as good as, say Rock Creek here but it just works for me. Travelling to Orlando a couple of times a year for business and dining alone it is just perfect. I must also note that having been in five or six Seasons 52's and having heard 15 or 20 piano players I find something of a correlation to how much I enjoy the restaurant and how good/bad the piano player is. Most Seasons 52 also get an older crowd at the bar, I think-usually 30-45+.

I still wish there was one here.

I'll try the Ravenous Pig on a visit this spring.

An absolutey awful dinner at the Seasons 52 on Sand Lake road tonight. As noted several times above I love the atmosphere of this place but dinner tonight (standards: garlic chicken flat bread and cedar planked salmon) were indescribably terrible. If it was this bad on my earlier trips I never would have returned. The flatbread-whoch I have really enjoyed-made me long for several frozen pizzas...

#60 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:54 PM

After 2 nights of dining on gastronomical delights such as Bahama Breeze and Red Lobster, we ventured onto Disney's property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was really impressed with the ambiance. It made me feel like I was back in African, as much as the Paris hotel in Vegas made me feel I was back in the city of lights. Too bad the animals roaming on their reserve were''t served at their restaurants, because the food they did serve at Boma did not remind me of Africa. I don't recall eating alot of Indian in Africa, and certainly no pita or hummus in South Africa. The spicy chicken probably isn't even as good as Nando's but since I've never been to Nando's, I can't be sure. It's definitely not as good as Super Chicken or Crisp and Juicy chicken. At $37 per person before tax and tips, this buffet doesn't compare to its bretherns in Vegas.

#61 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:37 PM

After 3 nights of mostly self-induced crap, we found better food.

At Portobellow in Downtown Disney, they did a great job of frying calamari. Light batter, crispy, not oily, like the stuff we got in Venice, found only at Palena in DC. Decent pasta dishes, but the pizza was really small. On a 4 star scale, I'd say it's 2.5 stars.

Portobello

Also at Downtown Disney is Ragland Road, an Irish pub. We were only interested because their next door neighbor advertised Irish fish and chips (Cooke's of Dublin). After some research, Ragland's fish and chips were supposedly even better. They did no disappoint, the cod was as good as Eammon's. Too bad they only had tartar and vinegar. The SSS Beefy salad was also very good - steak wth horseradish cream accompanied by a salad. The Beef Murray - beef stew wrapped in pastry - was just so so.

Ragland Road

Thanksgiving was spent at La Luce, in the Hilton at Bonnet Creek. It's upscale but still casual elegant, and baby friendly. We tried some pizza, antipasti misti, fritto misto (good frying but not quite as good as Portobello, but the rock shrimp was especially good), orrechiette with clam and kale for me and ravioli in tomato sauce for my wife. Overall, a solid restaurant, more variety than Portobello but about the same level when it comes to execution.

La Luce

I would go back to all 3 restaurants.

#62 stilgar

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

Returned from another trip to Orlando this week. Went to two places of note. First is Del Frisco's off of Lee Rd. It seems that this location is what the Del Frisco's chain is based on, but this one is supposedly independently owned and operated. Straight forward steakhouse. Prime beef and a la carte sides. As fate would have it I was at Ruth's Chris the week before and I would say that I preferred Del Frisco's steak. Website

Second was The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Had been trying to get there for some time. It was excellent all around. Only issue I had was the pork belly starter was too small to share and believe it or not a little too fatty. Was still delicious. My main was duck cassoulet. Real depth of flavor throughout and crispy duck skin. Co-signing on what many others have said here, if you are going to Orlando go here to eat. You will not be disappointed. Map Website

#63 kturkey88

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

We went to Seasons 52 last week and honestly felt like bringing our bring our 1 year old could have gone either way. We've been there before alone, but a 5pm reservation and a wonderful server really made it work. With too many days of fried, fast food under our belts, we were desperate for something refreshing and relatively healthy and the food was exactly what we were looking for. A tuna "sushi roll" was really nice, a large duck salad was ok, and the mahi mahi special was excellent. I forget what else we ordered, but either way, it was a nice change from the Rainforest Cafes, etc. I didn't see a lot - if any- other high-chair-aged kids in the restaurant, but the server was welcoming to us and really kept things moving. He came over right away to offer to bring some warm, whole-grain type roll for our son to pick on, and gave him a cardboard sippy cup to drink from. We ordered quickly to keep things moving, but worked our way through at least 2 apps, an entree and a side in a quick, but not really rushed meal thanks to our server keeping the dishes coming, clearing as soon as he could, and treating us really well even though we could have been "those people".

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#64 Joe H

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

I MUCH prefer Sand Lake road's original Seasons 52 (first of all of them) to the Tyson's location which opens to the Mall.

#65 Pete

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:03 PM

We spent 4 days at Disney last week and, with the exception of a mediocre meal at IHOP, ate (and were gouged) exclusively at the Disney parks.

Boma–Flavors of Africa: located in the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. There were several African-inspired dishes; however, the macaroni & cheese probably doesn’t count. Most of the dishes we had were pretty good, particularly the prime rib and the basic roast chicken. There were some interesting side dishes, and the desserts were good. This was probably one of the better meals on our trip, which is kind of like picking the smartest Kardashian sister.

Magic Kingdom: Collectively is a culinary wasteland. The best meal here was, at best, acceptable. The food is designed to feed the masses. Our low expectations for food here were not met. The food here is staring up longingly at the Mendoza line.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: Located in Epcot. We had Breakfast with the Princesses which our 4-year old loved. Don’t go in expecting good food and you won’t be disappointed. Just keep telling yourself “we’re here for the princesses” and you won’t feel like you were ripped off when you get your check.

Restaurant Marrakesh: Located in the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot. We had a spur-of-the-moment late lunch here that was very good. The roasted lamb shank that I had was surprisingly flavorful (if a bit dry), while my wife’s Lemon Chicken was prepared nicely, as the lemon flavor was present but not overpowering.

Boulangerie Patisserie: Located in the French pavilion at Epcot. Decent ham & cheese baguettes, tarts, and croissants.

Fairfax Fare: Located in Hollywood Studios. They are “known” for their “gourmet hotdogs”, which we did not order. We did have an acceptable pork sandwich and a surprisingly good smoked turkey leg, which had a good smoke flavor and was not the least bit dry (given the size of the turkey leg, I would be scared sh*&tless if I ever met the full-sized bird).

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#66 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:49 AM

Disney dining at Christmas. I must be crazy. Right now we plans for breakfast at the Crystal Palace (Pooh), Kona Cafe (banana stuffed french toast) and Tusker House (Donald Duck in safari gear),lunch at Tony's (Lady and the Tramp theming) and Le Cellier. Our one big dinner splurge is Artists Point in the Wilderness Lodge the night before we leave.

The hot ticket at Disney right now is the new Be Our Guest, Beauty and the Best themed dining. I didn't get a reservation there and I'm not going to wait 90 minutes in line for lunch. Sigh...

Because we are doing this last minute and trying to keep to some sort of budget, we passed on California Grill. Maybe next time.

#67 SeanMike

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

I'm flying to Orlando tomorrow for the annual I/ITSEC conference, but this time I'll be staying at the Doubletree Sea World. Any recommendations nearby to there? I'm scared, hold me.

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#68 ad.mich

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:26 PM

I was steered towards 4 Rivers Smokehouse earlier this fall. Allow me to suggest you steer away from 4 Rivers Smokehouse, unless the idea of 'famous burnt ends' that are closer to chipped beef appeals to you.

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#69 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

Sigh... We went, we were all sick with colds, viruses and bronchitis, and we ate. The first sign that we were doing well is when the little guy opted for chicken soup at Panera the first night over pizza at Disney Hollywood Studios.

Food highlights: The Wave at the Contemporary Resort. We ended up canceling Artist Point because we were too tired and switched to the wave. Really fresh, tasty food. Mr. BLB had a lovely steak and I had a very nice lamb shank.

Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom had the best breakfast buffet of the trip. The character interaction is still the best at Crystal Palace but their food is just okay.

Yak and Yeti in the Animal Kingdom. It is owned and run by Landry. It is fake Asian food. Yet it was also really well done and tasty. Or maybe we were simply beaten down by then.

Lowlights:

Le Cellier in Epcot. People RAVE and RAVE and RAVE about how great it is. I had a perfectly okay meal there but I don't get how it has become an obsession for so many Disney fans.

Counter service at the Magic Kingdom--we had two really awful meals at Pinochio's and Cosmic Rays. Really, really, awful meals. Terrible salads, roasted chicken and burgers. The french fries were good.

I think we're done with Disney for a while though.

#70 ad.mich

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:27 PM

Three nights in Orlando this week, snow flight permitting... anyone been recently?  I've done Cask and Larder a few times (pretty solid) but thinking I might finally drop in to Ravenous Pig.


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#71 tfbrennan

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 01:14 PM

Definitely go to Ravenous Pig. We (me, wife and son) were there in early January (based on reviews here) and were very, very impressed. We arrived early (4:30), were seated in the bar area and the bartender/manager on duty attended to us with drinks and apps while the wait staff finished their meeting.Truffle pasta special of the day, a huge bone-in ribeye (Tomahawk chop, if I recall) and steak frites were our 3 entrees. All superb. My wife loved the pasta, letting me only have a taste despite that we usually equally share our orders. Tomahawk billed (and priced) as serving 2; we thought leftovers would be good in a steak salad the next day but the three of us did not leave any of it. Service excellent. If ever back in Orlando area, we will return.


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#72 ad.mich

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:07 PM

A few days again in Orlando and Orlando North, where I find myself increasingly for work...

 

Ravenous Pig was awesome.  Ate at the bar with a lively crowd for a mid-week late evening.  Ribeye Tartare ($15) with roasted beets, horseradish croquettes, and pickled quail egg went fantastic with a full pint pour of Hopslam (at $6 a pleasant surprise).  Only downside to this plate was the pile of technically edible faux 'dirt' all over the middle - I thought that silly trend had past.  The bad gastronomy was more than made up for by the horseradish croquette, which was fritter on the outside with a liquid horseradish cream core.  Next course was a special of roasted octopus with dueling sauces of romanesco and mole, with greens and grapefruit as well.  The combinations and perfectly cooked octopus (nearly undercooked, melt-in-your mouth, no char but no chew) made for rich, lusty eating.  Bartender paired it beautifully with a sparkling rose.  Dessert was a foie gras torchon served with 'dark and stormy' gingerbread.  Similar to the foie and french toast trend in dc right now, this combo is just sweet and rich enough on both sides to compliment each other.  Bartender tossed a half glass in front of me unrequested as well. "We just nearly killed a bottle of sauternes and who needs the last bit more than the guy having foie for dessert?"  Can't argue with that.

 

Also had a massive, softball sized/shaped grouper steak at Winter Park Fish Club that came with a cup of ahi tuna chili.  Yes, chunks (and bits) of ahi in chili.  I can't say it worked 100% but it was interesting enough, and the grouper was good enough to change my preconceptions about that fish.  Thicker really works with grouper.  WPFC is a super informal shack serving plates and sandwiches paired with a ton of sides (think a slightly more evolved/fancier Fishnet).

 

Cubans On The Run (their joke, not mine) was pointed to me as the best Cuban in the area.  The cuban sandwich was just ok but that was my mistake.  As I waited I saw all the regulars going towards the heated case for ropa vieja and the like.  Fortunately the papa rellena I had while I waited was big as my head and did most of the work filling me up regardless.  The liquid crack Cuban Coffee was essential for me as well, and I stopped by several times while I was visiting.   I need to come back and explore the fryer and warmers.


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#73 The Delicious

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

Dining at Disneyworld

 

Rain Forest Cafe (Downtown Disney): We were pressed for time and very hungry, so this is where we ended up. The service was pushy, always trying to upwell us, some of which worked. I must admit that I rather liked their tex-mex egg rolls, and my burger was adequate if horribly overpriced (not unsurprising since it's Disney). My wife got the  BBQ Wrap (iirc), which the server noted was made with the same beef as their brisket (or some slow-cooked meat), and was tender, flavorful and very good.

 

The Plaza Restaurant (Magic Kingdom): I had a really good Cheesesteak here! In fact, we all enjoyed our meal. We topped it off with a giant banana split and Brownie Sundae. Worth it! I've long thought that the food was surprisingly bad at the Magic Kingdom given it's their signature property, yet this place was excellent.

 

Boma (Animal Kingdom Hotel): I’ve eaten here several times and always enjoy it. It’s an expensive buffet ($37 pp) and probably not worth it, yet I can’t help but go. I do really like the food and the amount of choices. It’s also nice to get outside before/after a meal and see the animals grazing about.

 

Flying Fish Café (Boardwalk): This is our second visit here and we continue to really like the food. I had the Surf and Surf, which was a piece of fish (I don’t remember which) stuffed with crab. Others had the scallops, which were large and came with a tasty risotto. The portions are huge.

 

Sci-Fi Diner (Hollywood Studios): I had a good burger, but what you’re really going for is the novelty of the old-car-tables and giant screen showing old films.

 

San Angel Inn (Epcot, Mexico): I got the enchiladas and a horchata margarita, both of which I thought were very good. Our service was atrocious, alas.

 

Via Napoli (Epcot, Italy): We had a really good pizza here and a bunch of tasty sides including calamari, arancini, and mozzarella caprese. This place is on the list for when we return.


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#74 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

A few years ago, I thought the Wolfgang Puck Cafe was the best "table service" option in Downtown Disney. BTW, this blog has useful (if not very critical) information about Disney restaurants.



#75 ktmoomau

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 02:49 PM

Wanted to post a trip report from our trip.  MK and I went down to Orlando as he had a business meeting Monday for one company and then he wanted to investigate some of the new interactive features at Disney to get some ideas for a new museum for which he will have input.  So we flew down Saturday morning.  We headed to Epcot first.  As a note we missed our hotel shuttle (we were staying right off the parks) so we took a cab.  That was horribly expensive.  I would suggest using UberX in Orlando, it was by far a better deal.  We didn't know if they could pick us up inside the parks, so we would take the monorail to a Disney resort and get it from there.  Also Disney accepts Apple Pay, which I found really useful.

 

Epcot- I have to say bless it's heart, Epcot really needs an update.  It was kind of a sad version of it's better days.  I was also amazed they haven't found a way to get India into the world showcase yet.  It needs some new energy and rides.  BUT the good news for foodies is that we ate very well here.  We went to the sit down sushi restaurant in Japan and had a really nice meal.  I had the sushi sampler which was 6 pieces of nigri and 2 pieces california roll, 2 pieces spicy tuna.  The sushi was really good and amazingly fresh, actually some of the better sushi I have had recently.  I also had a bowl of miso and their salad.  The salad was a lot bigger than I expected, probably didn't need it and miso soup, but I didn't realize it would be such a large bowl of greens.  It was in between side salad and entree portion size.  We also had some sake, MK had a beer.  The service was really good.  

 

Ravenous Pig- that night we went to Ravenous Pig.  It was a bit of a hull.  When MK priced out the taxi he didn't want to go, but then we saw the Uber price and decided to go for it.  It was a really amazing meal.  I had a guinea hen ballotine with root vegetables and mushroom sauce that was out of this world good.  MK had a what they called a pork porterhouse, it was a huge smoked chop, maybe a triple chop if that is possible.  We also had their charcuterie which was so well done, it reminded me of one of our own talents here in DC.  It featured a duck ham that was incredible.  We also had the pretzel and doughnuts for dessert, both were fine.  But our entrees and the charcuterie really were the star.

 

Magic Kingdom- We just had burgers in the Starlight Cafe, I probably would have gone elsewhere.  I wanted a sit down service type place, but it was more crowded than we expected and MK wanted to eat early.  To be honest, the hot dogs at Coney's on Main Street looked pretty darn good. I also had a chocolate covered frozen banana which was tasty.  I am amazed how well they have done at incorporating healthier food options and gluten free, vegetarian options throughout the parks.  We also were always asked about any dietary needs.

 

Downtown Disney-  Was located really close to our hotel and since they have buses going from the parks and transportation center it's pretty to get to and back.  We went one night from in Magic Kingdom (rail to a resort then switched to bus).  Another night I just ubered to and back although note there isn't really a great place to get dropped off by independent transportation.  I know they do that on purpose, I didn't mind walking a little.  The first night we went to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant.  We had a sashimi platter to start, which was also really good and fresh sushi, the detail work on the plate was pretty impressive.  We both got their special for the evening which was a mahi with shrimp and potato in a really great broth.  Then we hopped back over to the Magic Kingdom for the parades and some last rides before the park closed. I went back my night after Orlando and ate at Fulton's Crab House, there was a long wait, but luckily I found a spot at the bar.  I started with a caesar salad because they said they had a traditional one with homemade dressing.  It was fine, but not like what I was hoping for, the cheese was pre-shredded and it was just ok.  I got the seafood platter for two under the raw bar section for one.  (Note if you are on a Disney dining plan and you have two people, apparently you can get this as a shared app, the waiter told the couple next to me)  It had blue crab, oysters, shrimp cocktail, tuna lettuce cups and king crab legs.  It wasn't the best I ever had, but it wasn't bad at all.  I would definitely get it again.  It wasn't really special in any way, but it was all fresh, especially the tuna in the raw tuna lettuce wraps, and everything tasted as it should.  I also got a loaf of round crusty bread, they need sharper knives for their bread and warmer butter.  Anyway again the service was really good. I would go back here.

 

Universal Studios- MK had to work and I wanted to see Harry Potter world, so I got an admission to both Universal parks.  I will say, I didn't go over most kids school break (it was the Monday most started back) and it was a Monday.  The rest of the park was not empty but certainly not packed, but the Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure was overwhelming with people, to a point that it made me really uncomfortable.  I don't think it was laid out well for the amount of people visiting.  Maybe they just didn't know how popular it would be.  The ride times there were also really long.  I was going to eat there, but the line just to get order at the counter, not even a real sit down meal was over 40 minutes, so I nixed that went back to the other part of the park and grabbed a kebab.  I did have a butterbeer and was glad I did, it was a frozen butterscotch drink that was very tasty.  I rode a couple of the rides, but the ride through the castle kind of did me in, so then I took it easy and jumped on the Hogwart's express (this was probably the best part of the experience, except the line.) The other section in Universal Studios is more visual focused and less ride focused.  The gringots ride wasn't near as intense so that was good.  The big draw was the wands and that you could stand at all these different places and "cast spells" and things would happen.  MK would have liked to have seen this part, it was similar to the treasure hunt in Magic Kingdom that you use your magic band for, except the wands that actually worked for this experience were super expensive (whereas a magic band costs $12 and does other things).  And without MK there to see it I didn't bother.  The Universal side was a little less jam packed because it has a more open layout.  I was disappointed that they don't have more entertainment while you are waiting in line for rides, the wait at King's Cross Station is a perfect example or where they could have put in features while you were waiting in line and they didn't.  I also thought it was silly they had a little market you pass through to get on the train, and it didn't sell the stuff from the book (which they have they sell it elsewhere) such as chocolate frogs, bert's botts, etc.  I thought that was a big miss.  It's also too bad they don't have any rides like at Disney geared towards an all ages crowd (like Peter Pan's Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean) as there was really an all ages crowd, but except for the train, was really geared to a roller coaster crowd.  Anyway I was glad I saw it, but am not likely to go back.  I also have a qualm with the dining at Universal Studios.  They have a bunch of options when you enter the first part of the park that joins their two parks: Moe's, Panda Express, Starbucks and many others.  But once you enter the gate to a park your options switch to mainly pretzels, hot dogs, burgers and their sit down options have pretty lame menus.  You don't want to take the time to walk all the way back out to the other section for lunch.  It would be nice if some of those places were inside the parks.  Anyway my two cents.  

 

On my last day, we ate by the pool at our hotel, the Hyatt Grand Cypress and then at Chicfila in the airport.  It was a nice hotel with a great pool.  I think if I was going to GO to Disney, I would stay in park.  All the perks in regard to free transportation make that a pretty nice deal, with how expensive transportation is in this area, but it really wasn't a bad place to stay at all, but again I think we were pretty off season.  


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#76 The Delicious

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 07:42 AM

Dining at Disneyworld, Redux

 

The Plaza Restaurant (Magic Kingdom): Again, I had a really good Cheesesteak, and topped it off with a giant banana split.

 

Boma (Animal Kingdom Hotel): Ditto: I’ve eaten here several times and always enjoy it. It’s an expensive buffet and probably not worth it, yet I can’t help but go. I do really like the food and the amount of choices. It’s also nice to get outside before/after a meal and see the animals grazing about.

 

Sci-Fi Diner (Hollywood Studios): I got The Famous All American Picnic Burger, which was a burger patty topped with a split hotdog. This burger was large and tasty, however it played mind tricks on me because what I was eating was clearly in burger form yet I was mostly tasting hot dog. It also came with a side of cucumber salad, which was thinly shaved with a vinegar based dressing and a bit of onion. They also had flavored cokes (vanilla or cherry) with free refills. Given the prices, and the fact that the novelty has worn off, I doubt we'll eat here again even tho it was tasty.

 

Fulton Crab House (Downtown Disney): We got in right away for lunch during a pretty bad rain storm, so props for that. I had an order of Fish and Chips, which came with fries topped with Old Bay seasoning. This was two large battered and fried pieces of white fish atop a generous pile of fries. I felt it was a large portion at the good low price of $13. While I enjoyed my meal, an was rather impressed, others in my pary thought it was just average. The wife in particular had the grouper sandwich, thought it was a bit bland and the bun didn't hold up.

 

Hacienda (Epcot, Mexico): Good view for fireworks, tho it’s best to sit near the glass windows. Fortunately, tables by those windows didn’t have a problem with kids moving to the wall and sharing that space. This place has much better food than at their indoor Mexican restaurant, and a better/larfer menu too. For apps, we got an order of Gorditas (two to an order) and Queso Fundido (a large portion of melted chees with chopped chorizo). Their chorizo was particularly good. For mains, I split their mixed grill platter, which came with steak, chicken, chorizo, veggies, beans, and rice. The wife had shrimp tacos. All portions were ample, and the food was very good; the best meal we had, I’d say.

 

Tucker House (Animal Kingdom): This is a buffet, very similar to Boma, but differentiates itself because it is a place for Character dining. Given the size and price, it lacked some things that Boma offered, in particular there were no soup offerings. However, if you have kids, this is the place to come to because of the characters (and you get the same Boma-style food).

 

Flippers Pizzeria (near Sea World): We were looking to get off property for a pizza and this place had good trip advisor reviews. It's a chain but that doesn't bother us and I was too tired to look further than the first place I came across with positive reviews. Anyway the place serves everything made to order, brick oven-style pizza (600 degrees!) with Pepsi products. The tossed salad was a good size, but had some questionable pieces of lettuce in it. The pizza came out hot and was pretty good. I would have preferred more toppings, but that's me. It's not worth going out of your way for, but if you're looking for a solid pie and are in the area, you could do worse than to find yourself at this place.

 

Well, that’s all till the next trip!



#77 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 10:52 AM

Intrepid roadtrippers, please take a moment to lament the passing of the iconic Orange Ring fruit stand off US27 in Haines City, at the northern end of the central Florida citrus belt, and site of the first citrus processing (aka juicing) plant in the US (1915).  There's a "for lease" sign on the site now.  Consistently better and cheaper than the tourist trap stands that line I-95 near Jax, this one was my go-to on the annual return trip from the Sebring race.  At least they'll still ship via mail-order.

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