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Orlando Airport Vicinity - Hound Challenge

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Challenge:
- I'm a woman attending a 3-day seminar (Fri-Sun) near MCO next month.
- Staying in the hotel sprawl just east of 436 and north of Beeline.
- I'm a NYC transplant living in DC, so Hooters, Fridays, Wafflehouse, Crystal Burger, etc won't cut it.

Difficulty:
- I've got a shuttle back and forth from the airport, and no car. How much (and how safe) is a cab downtown? If so where should I go and how easy is it to get a cab home?
- I've got a refrigerator and a microwave, no room serivce.

What frightens me:
- My husband used to live in Winter Park. When I asked him about this area he recalled nothing but tattoo parlors being there. (That was 20 years ago, LOL)

The location has many street names with golf themes.... do I per chance smell a steakhouse with a long wooden bar nearby?

Thank's y'all !!!! (Despite living in DC, this is the extent of my so-caled "Southern Charm")

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  1. There's not much by the airport, and downtown isn't your best bet, but there are places to eat. Cab it to Sand Lake Road, i.e. Restaurant Row, for decent meals (scan the board for specifics). You can take a free shuttle to Porterhouse in the airport Marriott, which is pretty good. You can cab it to Primo and Norman's in the Grande Lakes resorts, which are only 10 or 15 minutes from the airport. Cabs are expensive but I've never heard they're unsafe. It's pretty cheap to rent a car here if you do priceline.com so you may want to look into that instead.

    1. Winter Park is a great place to go. Good for people watching and there are more and more restaurants popping up in that area all the time. If you wouldn't mind a 30+ minute drive to that area, that would be where I would go. Not sure what kind of food your looking for but my great standby is Houstons. ALWAYS good. Good for people watching too. Also, in Winterpark, excellent Turkish Restaurant called Bosphorous. If you have dinner in winter park, BE SURE to go to The Wine Room on Park Ave. A wonderful wine room/tasting room with great seating/lighting/people watching. Good Cheese platters too. I go there sometimes for cheese/charcuterie for dinner and wine too. Hope this helps. Many more places, just depends what you're after, or how far you'll travel.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mmuch

        Also in the Winter Park area is Chez Vincent's - good French food.

        1. re: dmfnole

          Thanks for the recommendation - my Mother is visiting from Virginia Beach next week & I too am unfamiliar with nice cafes (she won't do chain food). I'll check Chez Vin's out. I'm new to the greater Orlando area as well & it's difficult to truly learn where to go to eat - authentic unsurpassed quality spots.

        2. re: mmuch

          Winter Park is right up my alley, but too far to pay for a cab.
          Heard ok things about Porterhouse. Will look into GrandeLakes.
          Any markets (berries, fruits) nearby? I do have a microwave and a fridge.

          1. re: dagmar

            If you go up 436 to pershing there is an excelent spanish grocery store. It's actually just a regualr grocery store in a spanish neighborhood. This place has a huge produce section with tropical fruits. If you want to do something interesting take your free airport shuttle back to the airport ant go to the top floor of the hyatt. here you will find hemispheres. This place has huge windows that give you a panoramic view of the airport. The food is also very upscale but not too overly priced. A neet place! http://orlandoairport.hyatt.com/hyatt...

            1. re: mountdorahound

              Thank you.
              I seems cabs to Restaurant Row and shuttles back to the airport will be in order.

        3. If you can make it to Winter Park, The Ravenous Pig ( www.theravenouspig.com ) is amazing. Everything from service to food to beer selection is amazing. Another good Winter Park selection is Bosphorous.

          If you go downtown, Graze, Kres Chophouse, Ceviche, or Hue may be in order. You won't go wrong with any of them.

          On Restaurant Row, Cedar's has excellent Lebanese food, Seasons 52 offers excellent fresh foods, and Amura's sushi is some of the best around.

          Down by the airport, you won't find much but chain restaurants and latin fast food, which is good for what it is, but if you want something else, you'll have to travel a bit.

          1. Coq au Vin on South Orange Ave. wouldn't be too far by cab, and it's one of the truly great Orlando spots. Always a winner.