Ormond Beach has some very good new restaurants on Grandada( Rt 40) near the bridge. Cuvee is a Tapas restaurant with excellent wine choices. Very interesting food; unlike what you can find anywhere near here. Rt. 40 ( Granada near A1A).
Cafeen- Unusual casual food from sandwiches to macaroni lobster. Excellent service and interesting surroundings.
Frappes North, also on Granada on the West side of the bridge is a fine food restaurant but priced well with excellent staff. A little more traditional the the above but with some unusual menu choices. Lovely bar, too.
If you only eat one meal in Orlando... you must do dim sum at Chans. I suggest going on weekend mornings to early afternoon when the variety is at its max! I make it a point to drive from Brevard at least once a month to hit the place up!! By far the most unique and tastey place in O-Town.
I recently researched a piece on the Sanford area and here are a couple of reccs for there.
Also, there is a cluster of restaurants in and around the Lake Mary exit of I-4 (46-A, I think). Thsse include Amura (Japanese), Harvey's (American), Jinja Cafe (casual Pan Asian) and a new place, the name of which escapes me, in space where Blackfin was, Believe it has the word "Lucia" or "Lucina" in the name.
In Sanford, Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe (205 E. First St., (407) 321-2204) is a flourishing German restaurant. The food is utterly authentic. Try the schnitzel, in pork or veal versions, and the breaded cutlets presented with a variety of accompaniments. My preference is the Holsteiner, topped with the traditional fried egg and anchovy. The creamy egg, salty fish, crispy breading and moist pork make oom-pa-pa in your mouth. Also, I suggest the heaven and earth potatoes, fried with apple, bacon and onion, as a side dish.
Instead of dessert there, walk to the nearby Bruno's Gourmet
Kitchen (2533 S. Laurel Ave., (407) 323-9300) where the French chef, who trained with Gaston LeNotre, creates marvelous desserts, pastries, fruit tarts and eclairs in his patisserie.
For barbecue, try Rib Ranch ‹ 2545 S. French Ave.,
(407) 321-0090 ‹ where they not only serve up good, pit-cooked ribs, but great pulled pork and a nice side dish of beans. Service is great, and the manager usually makes a visit to each table.
Da Vinci ‹ 107 Magnolia Ave., (407) 323-1388 ‹ is a place that isn1t quite as over the top as it once was. Chef Kenny Stingone earned his chops at Park Plaza Gardens, Bistro Capuccino and Café de France, so diners can trust his dishes, but sometimes spotty service is an issue. Pick your favorite Mediterranean fare from the eclectic menu and give it a go.
The other Sanford shooting star is called Blue Dahlia, and at last check, had closed.
Hope this helps.
In Ormond Beach, I second Billy's Tap Room. It's got a nice atmosphere and the food's really good (I apologize for the generic description, but it's been years!).
Secondly, I really like Stavro's Pizza on AIA on the north end of Ormond. Their greek salad is outstanding as is their pizza. They have beer on tap as well to help you wash down the pizza.
There's a seafood place called Martin's on AIA just N of Ormond on AIA that's been good every time I've been there, although the last time was about 4 years ago.
I second Covert Ops comments about Orlando restaurant choices.
Unlike DeLand and Ormond, Orlando is a large city with numberous smaller neighborhoods. Each has restaurants that fit your general description -- but without knowing what end of town you are in, there's no point in listing 75 restaurants that are "really good but not expensive."
Just typing in the word Orlando on the saarch engine will produce an enormous number of previous posts on this subject which can be helpful to you.
Even something as basic as whether you are talking about the tourist end of town (Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, International Drive) or staying with friends in Winter Park or the Conway area will make a big difference.
Not to mention the other questions regarding kids, having a car, etc.
PS -- Not sure how long ahoward has been in town, but to my knowledge at this point, there are only a very few -- perhaps 3 -- good restaurants on Church Street (Kres, Amura and the new Mediterranean place -- Pearl's is open but, from what I can tell, still shaky and VERY expensive, such as a $35 steak entree). Church Street as a restauaant destination has been dead
and gone for 4-5 years.
Winter Park Village has little to recommmed it beside some good -- but expensive -- chains such as PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory and Ruth's Chris. There's some decent Thai, and a couple of decent sushi places (Wazzabi and Fuji Sushi) nearby.
Houston's is good for what it is, but again not inexpensive.
Closer to downtown, I find Linda's La Cantina a bit tired, although it is a nice little neighborhood steak place. I agree on Bareny's highly underrated steakhouse; clean, good service, great salad bar.
I also agree with ahoward about M&S. Also a chain, but consistantly good seafood in a town that doesn't offer much good seafood.
PPS -- What DO you consider expensive?
That all depends on where you want to eat. There a pleanty of great places on Church Street. You can also visit Winter Park Village, there is Houstons although its a chain they still make good food. Lindas LaCatina is good, as is Barneys. Also for really good seafood McCormicks and Schmidts excellent seafood.
I live in New York now but am from the great town of DeLand. Here are my recommendations:
Pizza - Tom's
Italian deli - Bellini's
Italian (nicer restaurant) - La Dolce Vita
Cuban - Havana Cuba
Mexican - El Potro
Fried chicken - Hampton's
Southers - Grandma's Kitchen
Ice Cream - Rodeo Whip
BBQ - Sonny's / Brian's
Thai - Mr. Phad Thai's
Nicer continental = Artisan Inn
But, if you want to go to the best in the area, Karling's Inn in DeLeon Springs (one town over from DeLand) is excellent (German fare). The duck is ALWAYS phenomenal.
Tom's pizza and their subs (I liked the eggplant parmesan sub and my wife was surprised and liked the steak salad) and salads were just fine and a big hit with my son who liked the thin crust very tasty pizza. Had food from Artisan Inn, rather good and they have a earlybird special that they at first weouldn't give us for take out and then they changed their mind -- two dinners for about $20. Tried Hamptons for lunch, very colorful, very crowded, liked the fried okra and hot dog and the chicken looked great. Last night went to Karlings Inn and had schnitzel ala Holstein and they put a couple of quite authentic anchovies on it, along with red cabbage and spatzel. Karlings has their waitresses in those low cut peasant blouses and short skirted German fraulein outfits; the service was wonderful; the food great; they catered to the kids we brought by bringing out a plate a tasty pasta with veggies right away for a hungry two year old. Everybody had a great time. So we're working our way down your list. Thanks to everybody who has replied!!!! This has really opened up a world for my son and daughter who moved here not too long ago.
I just had wings at Houligan's in Ormond Beach (SR 40 and Clyde Morris, in a strip mall). They are AWESOME. A little smaller than I would like (but I'm used to the giant wings from RJ Gator's). Very meaty, though. They are breaded, fried, sauced and THEN grilled. They're called Wally wings and they're terrific.
Another place, and I almost feel guilty admitting I've been there, is Greg's Steak and Shrimp in Ormond, on U.S. 1 (I think it's called Yonge Street there -- 165 Yonge St.) just north of Granada (SR 40) on the east side of the road. The decor looks like Lee Greenwood threw up in there (lots and lots of red, white and blue) and I didn't see another party under the age of 65, but the two foods in the eatery's name are done PERFECTLY. Hush puppies, fried seafood (the shrimp are huge), well-cooked steaks, even great daily specials. You'll wonder why you're there when you walk in, and wonder why you didn't come sooner after you ate.
Also heard great things about Billy's Tap Room in Ormond, search the board for that (and the other cities) and you'll find more on that.
I'm not trying to be difficult, but "really good but not expensive" in Orlando will get you zero replies. We need more help than that -- there are hundreds and hundreds of great places to eat in Orlando. Where are you staying? Will you have a car? What kind of cuisine? Kids? Wine? Scene? Narrow down what you're looking for and we'd be happy to point you to some great places. (And the above-mentioned search does work fairly well.)
re: Covert Ops
I've lived in DeLand for 19 years. Here are our favorites:
Italian - Bellini's Deli and They Call It Macaroni
Pizza - Stavro's in Orange City
Mexican - Mi Mexico or for a different type, Penacho's.
Barbecue - Sonny's
Chinese - Top China
Try Belly Busters for great gyros!
The Artisan and Main Street Grille are good and not expensive.
The Brickhouse has some good fish dishes.
Out in DeBary, try the Swamp House Grill. Good fish and the setting is right on the river, and with the right weather, it's open air. Very casual and lots of families go there.