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Oct 26, 2006 12:20 PM

Fast Casual in Orlando

I did a search for this, but there are just too many threads for Orlando, and none specifically on this, so here goes...

I am looking for some good (or at least different) fast casual places in the Orlando area. I am going to be at Disney, but have a car and am familliar with the area. Probably be buzzing back and forth between there and Winter Garden anyway.

I am familliar with Moes, but what else is there in the area? Something not a McDonalds, could be a chain or independant, but casual semi-counter service would be great.

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  1. You said not McDonald's, but are you familiar with the "special" McDonald's they have in Orlando? It's on Sand Lake just east of the I-4 exit 74A. It's open 24 hours, and in addition to Big Macs and fries, you can get panini, pasta, wraps, pizza and awesome cheesecake. Check their "bistro menu" at http://www.mcfun.com/rest7_3896.shtml.

    1. I would highly suggest Earl of Sandwich at the Disney Marketplace area of Downtown Disney. Wonderful sandwichs and all for just 5 bucks each. It's counter service but I've enjoyed all my meals there. They also have salads which are tossed right in front of you though I've never had one.


      1 Reply
      1. re: frienetic

        Great big second for the Earl of Sandwich. Caveat - try to go at a down time (i.e. not for lunch on a Saturday or Sunday). The crowds get vicious when trying to get a table there, but the food is excellent and fairly affordable.
        Heather W

      2. I don't disagree with the McDonald's Bistro recc -- by the way, they have a half dozen of these scattered around Orlando -- however my opinion of them is akin to the analogy of the talking dog.
        It's wonderful that he talks, but what can he add to the conversation?
        It's wonderful that the McDonald's Bistro serves pannini, pizza and gooey chocolate cake, but you can get that in a lot of places.

        Earl of Sandwich, by the way, is a great choice.

        I may be barking up the wrong tree here . . .since you requested fast casual. That also implies moderate prices, an in-and-out dining experience and a kid-friendly, restaurants. In other words (to me, anyway) a chain.
        Usually homogenized, Americanized food, amenities (high chairs), etc., may be what you want.

        If I'm incorrect, please advise. As there are such restaurants, some of which aren't doing business in wherever in the world you are from, that would suit that need.
        Maryland Fried Chicken, Sobik's subs, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, even.
        They are easy to find. In fact, between Lake Buena Vista and Winter Garden, there are dozens.

        Instead, I'll offer you two suggestions that are not fast casual, but that offer a moderately priced dining exerience you won't find anywhere else in Orlando.

        Since we are on the topic of dogs, let me suggest yellow dog eats, a "sort of" sandwich shop in an old country store filed with antiques and surrounded by a lovely garden and al fresco dining area.
        It's at 1236 Hempel Ave, Orlando, FL 34786 ยท 407-296-0609.
        They don't have a website, but here's a local review that kind of captures the essence of yellow dog.


        Call and get directions if you go as it can be a bit hard to find at first.

        Secondly, try Taquitos Jalisco, where they serve authentic Mexican food from the Jalisco region (actually a state) in Mexico. They have two locations, but the original in Winter Garden is at 1041 S Dillard St , Winter Garden, FL
        Phone - (407) 654-0363.
        No website for them either, so I'm going to lean on the Orlando Weekly again for a review (caveat -- this is for the MetroWest location, but the food is the same):


        There are others like these, if such suggestions are what you want.

        If not, I'll gladly try to come up with a few more conventional, easy-to-digest candidates.


        1. Well, I am done with Orlando. We tried Earl of Sandwich, which was fantastic! This is fast food, even on Disney property so it has a huge turnover, and they still do fantastic sandwiches. Their dessserts were OK, not spectacular.

          Never got a chance to try anything else out, I didcheck out that other McDonalds up the street, agree that it's neat, but after a few minutes the novelty is over. The person I was with was too unadventurous to try anything new.

          I do think, however, it would be a great idea to start a thread on alternatives to Disney Dining - things around that area that may be a better value or food but aren't too fancy for the average tourist.