Upcoming Orlando Trip
A friend and I will be visiting Orlando for 3 days in early November. We'll be staying a mile or two northwest of downtown. Last year we ate at K's, The Boheme and Coq au Vin. I'd be happy to return to any of those places, but wondered if there are some other recommendations. We'd prefer to stay out of the Disney environs. We basically like everything, but definitey prefer non-chain places (unless that chain is Waffle House for breakfast, in which case, count me in!). I ventured alone to the Vietnamese area one day and had some great food, though I can't remember the name of the place. What are the favorites in that area?
Citrus is a new place on Orange Ave, it's a little upscale but i've heard it is delicious. Something more low key would be El Pescatore on East Colonial and Primrose is more casual and has the best italian food.
Of those on your list, I really enjoy Citrus and Hue -- which are -- coincidentally by the same ownership group (along with Kres and the new fish restaurant in Thornton Park). I've been to Graze, and although I've heard good things about it, I was a bit underwhelmed. The Beacon is a great place for drinks, but I've never had the opportunity to dine there.
The Ravenous Pig ( http://www.theravenouspig.com ) recently opened just north of downtown in Winter Park. Excellent meal, all the way around. They really appreciate beer, also, as they highlight their eight microbrew draughts with knowledgable descriptions, listing progressively from lighter to heavier.
Graze ( http://www.grazeorlando.com ) was hit and miss last time we went, but the menu is always ambitious. We ordered four half-entrees and were mostly impressed, though the lamb was lacking (I've had better from Outback). Fifi's ( http://fifisorlando.com ), Graze's sister restaurant next door, isn't nearly as expensive, but the food is just as good. We even like just getting a few apps and munching, though the lamb osso bucco is amazing, also. And Fifi's has 2-for-1 bloody marys and mimosas on Sundays.
Ceviche ( http://www.ceviche.com ) on Church Street will be open by the time you're visiting. I've beent to the one in St. Pete and have always been very, very impressed. We'll see if this location holds its own, as well.
In Thornton Park, you'd be hard pressed to not find something to your liking. Midnight Blue, Dexter's, Wildsides BBQ, Anthony's, Hue, Shari, and Cityfish all have excellent offerings.
Good luck and have fun while you're here.