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Unique Atmosphere/Surroundings

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Hi
Coming down to the Orlando area in March with the family and I am looking for unique places to eat that won't cost me a lot. Outside of Disney, the dining with sharks at Sea World looks neat, pricey and I am guessing the food is not spectacular. Aunt Catfishes looks like a nice spot, so does J.B.'s . What else is there in the Orlando, Space Coast and Tampa regions that are unique, with the food being the secondary consideration if need be. Thanks.

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  1. Tell us where you are staying and if transportation is an issue. How large of a family? Any special dislikes in cuisines?

    It appears you have already done some research. However the three restaurants you mention have almost nothing in common.
    To eat at Shark's Grill you have to be inside the SeaWorld theme park. Are you looking for theme park best?
    Aunt Catfish is in Port Orange, near Daytona Beach and an hour and a half (at least) drive away from Orlando's tourist area. Restaurants in that part of Florida are not particularly in my field of expertise.
    J.B.'s Fish Fish is near New Smyra Beach, also an hour plus and -- while both are unusual dining experiences, -- quite a jaunt from Central Florida. I'd send you to Black Hammock which, while still a trip, is about half the distance.
    And anything other than the Branch Ranch, near Tampa is pushing a two hour drive.

    I'm a little leary that food is a secondary concern -- after all the board is called "Chowhound."
    Does that mean you are searching for themed restaurants or unusual dining experiences, such as a dinner theatre?

    Bob
    Bob

    1. Sorry Bob

      The clarification needed is that we are coming from Manitoba, Canada and are making our second trip to the Orlando area. We will venture out to the space coast and we have never been to the gulf coast so we would like to consider that. The food secondary comment, maybe could have been worded differently as of course we are looking for good food, but we are also looking for uniqueness in atmosphere etc. Not diner theaters, Not chain restuarants, but places you may suggest to visitors that are not listed in tourist guides and have a wow or cool factor. Remember I am coming from a place that is currently -20, so a beer and food on a beach or overlooking the ocean is really appealing. There will be 9 of us staying in Kississimee, driving to either coast is not an issue. Would like some good seafood, burgers.....Thanks

      1. I grew up on the east coast; now live on the west coast. The variety, quality and selections of restaurants in the Tampa/St. Pete area is VASTLY SUPERIOR to any place on the central Florida east coast. Head West, young man! Pull up the Tampa and St. Pete posts and you will not have any problem finding great food in either place; lots of ethnic places; beach bars and mr. Geritas. Of course, this is only MO.