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Disney World

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  • Eric Asimov Feb 11, 1998 09:44 PM
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Greetings, Chowhounders. My upcoming assignment is to
check out the restaurants of Disney World. HEELLLP!
Seriously, any suggestions about where to eat at Disney
World and in the Orlando area? I'm particularly
interested in places off the Mouse trail, though any
comments on actual Disney-sanctioned places will be
much appreciated. Many thanks.

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  1. Wow...shedding your careful cyberanonymity for the first time, and right here on Chowhound.com; I'm flattered! I hope--now that the secret's out--that you'll also participate a bit in discussion here (when not busy meeting deadlines) as well as query for article tips.

    Many years ago, the Guinness in the Ireland pavilion at Epcot was absolutely primo. Not sure if that's still the case. That's it for me, the following are tips of varying staleness that I've gotten from different sources on the 'net over the years. Haven't personally tried any of 'em, so caveat eater:


    Indian Food:

    Akabar Palace located at 4985 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hgwy. in Kissimme phone 396-4836


    SeaFood and Steak:

    Captain Nemo's - 5469 W. Hgwy 192 in Kissimmee, phone 396-6911

    Key W. Kool's - 7725 W. Hgwy 192 , Kissimmee, phone 396-1166

    Market Street - 4738 W. Hgwy 192, Kissimmee, phone 397-2300

    Charlie's Steak House - 8255 International Dr, Orlando, phone 363-0228

    The Butcher Shop - Located in Mercado at 8445 International Dr. Orlando, phone 363-9727

    Magic Mining Co. - 7763 W. Hgwy 192 - Kissimmee, phone 396-8986


    Italian:

    Pacino's - 5795 W. Hgwy 192, Kissimmee, phone 396-8022

    Bergamo's - Located in Mercado at 8445 International Dr, Orlando phone 352-3805

    Donato's - 5159 International Dr, Orlando, phone 363-5959


    Japanese:

    Shogun - 6327 International Dr, Orlando phone 352-1607

    Kobe - 2901 Parkway Blvd. Kissimme - phone 239-7188


    Chinese:

    Twin Dragons - 4002 Hgwy 192 - Kissimmee - phone 846-6161

    Ming Court - 9188 International Dr. Orlando phone 382-1355


    A little family Italian place across from the Sheraton, off Int Drive: Ciao Italia. 6149 Westwood blvd, Orlando (407 354 0770). Wonderful family...great pasta, veal, chicken and fish. The Calamari Saute for starters is a killer.


    Florida Bay Grill - on Int'l Drive

    Enzo's - In the Marketplace shopping center on Dr. Phillips

    Cappricio in the Peabody Hotel - hit or miss depending on the day (a fun place at the Peabody is the diner for lunch)

    Chatham's - across from the Marketplace

    Le Coq au Vin - S. Orange Ave.

    Phonecian - in the Marketplace also (Mediterranean)

    Ran Getsu - on Int Dr. (Japanese - a little touristy, but pretty good sushi)


    There's actually a better sushi restaurant that I can't remember the name of in a small shopping center off Turkey Lake Rd & Sand Lake Rd.

    Pebbles - two locations one in Lake Buena Vista, the other Downtown.

    Believe it or not the Italian resturant at Pleasure Island is pretty good! I think its called Portobella's. It gets really (!) crowded fast, so be patient


    There's some good spots in Winter Park if you feel like driving that far.There's a wonderful restaturant downtown, unfortunately I can't remember the name of it, but I'm sure if you describe it, your front desk would know. Its in a bank building, about 8-10 block away from Church St. Station and it has an outside patio in addition to a full restaurant inside. I can't remember the name of the street the entrance is on but the side street is Orange Ave. I think its off the anderson. exit off I-4. The building has interesting architecture, it's kind of tiered. At night you can't miss it. Its worth it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Jim,

      Thanks for the list! I have to do time in Orlando in April, and need a reason not to cry about it.

      Dave

      1. re: Dave Feldman

        Dave, I KNEW I should've emailed the list to Eric rather than post it...those places are just fodder--raw material that's unfiltered and suitable only for someone compiling lots of info for methodical research. It's not ready for prime time, and to count on one of those places for a good meal during a limited trip might be a mistake.

        Better, wait till the Times runs his article (probably before April, I'd imagine)

        ciao

        1. re: Jim Leff

          Thank you all for those tips! Jim, I'm not sure I have
          the time or the stomach to go through ALL those places,
          but I do appreciate the effort, and will do as well as
          I can. I'm not even going down until the second week of
          March, but as it happens I'm compelled to go the week
          of spring break! So I figure I better plan now.

          1. re: Jim Leff

            Don't worry. I will NOT hold you criminally responsible if I have a bad meal in Orlando.

            But I might nominate you for a Humanitas Award if I get a good one.

            DF

        2. re: Jim Leff

          Can I get an update on places to eat in Orlando area, both inside and outside Disney World? Some of these posts are "old" and might be out of date. We will be there with family including one 6 year old.
          Thanks

        3. That was quite a list Jim gave.

          Portobello Yacht Club at Pleasure Island is quite
          good, as Jim mentioned. Check ahead to see if it is
          open -- it might be closed for renovation.

          Next door to Portobello is its sister restaurant
          Fulton Crab House. The chef Clair Epting does a
          really good job. It's one of the better places to eat
          in Disney World.

          Also check out Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge.
          Believe it or not, it serves Pacific North Western
          food. I had a very nice meal there 2 years ago. It
          also has some very good wines from the North West.

          If possible, avoid Ohana (if it is still in existence)
          at the Polynesian Resort. I had some very despicable
          food there. And the staff keeps calling you "cousin"
          which is what Ohana, loose translated, means. That
          annoyed me to no end. Everything was grilled to death
          and plain awful (just like Riodizio on Astor Place
          here).

          Bergamo's (outside Disney World, on International
          Drive, I think) has been thru a few chefs, and word is
          that you should not waste your time.

          A friend of mine raved about Dux, at the Peabody
          Orlando on International Drive.

          Have fun. Can't wait to read that article in the
          Times !!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gary Cheong

            "That was quite a list Jim gave"

            Yeah, well...I wouldn't have given it to a "civilian". Eric has the budget and time to ferret through mostly stale tips, while someone vacationing there needs more well-honed tips.

            Ciao

          2. Forgot one more.

            Bacco -- 10065 University Blvd. Ph: 407-678-8833

            It's a little bit of a drive from Disney; I think it's
            northeast of downtown Orlando. It's located in a
            small strip mall. Food was unexpectedly good.
            Restaurant is a member of GRI (if it means anything to
            you). Call for directions if you want to make the
            trip.

            1. Lets face it, most of the the food at Epcot and Disney
              World is pretty institutional. Since I was lucky enough
              to stay at the Grand Floridian, I ate at Narcoossee's
              which is on a pier that juts out on the lagoon facing
              The Magic Kingdom. The view of the Electric Parade at
              night is spectacular and the food was the best I had on
              our trip. A decent raw bar and grilled alligator (
              tastes like chicken) did me just fine.
              Welcome to Chowhound, Regards, JK

              1. I had a very memorable meal in Orlando three yrs ago
                downtown. I can't remember the name of it. But like Jim
                said about the Winter Park bank place (was it 'Park
                Place' or 'Park Avenue', Jim? I had a wonderful meal 10
                yrs ago in WP at a "Park xxx".) from this description
                you should have no problem finding it:

                It's in downtown Orlando in the business district, in a
                skyscraper, top floor. The name of the place is the
                street number...486...123?! Very upscale, AWESOME food!

                And the decor is most unusual. All the tables I saw
                were along the windows in cozy upholstered booths that
                fit 2 (or 4 at the curved ends) sitting side-by-side
                and directly facing out the windows. Feels like you're
                in your own cozy capsule.

                Menu printed daily, and suggests wines with each
                course. Fabulous food/wine-- from bread through
                dessert.

                Service was wonderful. The way the seating is arranged
                you only see the wait staff when they come to your
                table.

                Hope this place is still there!

                JT

                1. s
                  steve drucker

                  In October 1998 while trapped for 4 days at the Swan Hotel in Disneyworld, we uncovered Tarantino's Italian Restaurant, in Orlando. OK/Good Queens style Italian food--which for Orlando means exceptional. The owners (like myself) went to Martin Van Buren H.S in Queens Village. The place is small, maybe 60 seats, so in season you should call for a reservation.

                  1. Within Disney, I like O'Hana in the Polynesian best. It's a no-menu, fixed price meats-on-skewers-over-the-fire place with interesting side items. Costs about $20, and has a great view of the fireworks. House of Blues in Downtown Disney is OK, Wildhorse Saloon pretty good. Off property but nearby, you're swamped with chains and no-name feedbag places that embarrass all of us who live here permanently. On International Drive, I like all the restaurants in the Peabody (Capriccio for Italian, Dux for four diamond fancy, and B-Line Diner for informal but still interesting.) Jack's Place on I-Drive has good steaks, as does Vito's Chop House (so I hear.) Atlantis and Haifeng at Sea World are OK, I hear. Pebbles is a nearby favorite (local chain.) California Grill and Arthur's 27 have a good reputation on the high-end front, as does Victoria and Albert's in the Grand Floridian (just got a five-diamond award from Mobil.) Universal has some new ones, like Emeril's and a couple of places in the Portofino Bay hotel. Lots of folks like Rainforest Cafe, although the locals can't figure out why. For a fun evening, MurderWatch Mystery Theatre in the Grosvenor is decent a buffet and murder mystery. I'm sure I could think of several others, but basically there's a lot of disappointment (and not a lot of us locals) lurking in the restaurants in and around The Mouse. After all, LOOK at you tourists! (just kidding.)