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Orlando - Sports bars (and other things)

m
Mbuzi Dec 3, 2007 12:02 PM

Next week I'll be visiting Orlando for the first time and could use a little guidance for the free evenings that I'll have. I'll be staying at the airport Hyatt. Naturally I'd prefer places close to there if possible, but will have a car and won't mind a little bit of a drive should that be necessary. From looking around this board it's easy to tell that The Ravenous Pig is the current hot spot and so I'm definitely considering making the trip. Can anyone tell me approximately how long the drive from MCO to TRP would be?

Are there any sports bars around Orlando with good food and good beer where I can catch that hockey game I'll miss otherwise?

Also, are there any Orlando (or Florida) specialties that I shouldn't miss? Any ethnic enclaves with good food? For what it's worth, I'm a southern California native who's been living in the Dallas area for the last few months, so any of the Mexican/Tex-Mex/Vietnamese type options are things that I wouldn't consider particularly unique.

Thanks for your help.

  1. c
    cjr71244 Dec 7, 2007 06:18 AM

    check out my favorite bars in orlando they aren't really sports oriented per se but they might do the trick. <a href=http://www.yelp.com/list_details?favo...>

    1. n
      Noice Dec 4, 2007 05:06 AM

      Mbuzi:

      As a SoCal native (and as a Dallas resident, most likely) you should be well-acquainted with horrendous traffic. Orlando can get pretty hairy, too. On a good day, at a good time, you could get from MCO to the Pig in 20-30 minutes, as Big Bad Voodoo Lou has mentioned (I made that drive from MCO three weeks ago, taking what I thought would be a short-cut, and it took me 45 minutes). Although it is not a very direct route from MCO, when I called the Pig and asked for those directions, they recommended I take 528 to I-4 and take my chances on that curse-worthy highway. I did not take that route, and I think it took me longer to get there because of it. You'd probably do well to head out really early or really late to avoid a lot of the traffic. You should note that the Pig has a "Pub Menu" which you can order from until the "Dinner Menu" kicks in at 5:30 p.m. You won't go hungry.

      I cannot help too much with sports bars in Orlando, but you have already received some good suggestions. I like the Ale House locations I have visited.

      Regarding ethnic eats: I would presume since you hail from SoCal that all East Asian eats are off the table. Would that be correct (you only mentioned Vietnamese being out of the question, but there is scarcely any East/Southeast Asian cuisine not available plentifully in SoCal)? If not, I can recommend a couple of Japanese places you may enjoy. What about Colombian? I know there is a sizeable Colombian presence in LA, but couldn't tell if you'd be interested anyway. Orlando's Colombian population seems to be growing at a faster rate every year, and there are several tasty places to sample Colombian goods, if you’re interested.

      Noice

      7 Replies
      1. re: Noice
        m
        mountdorahound Dec 4, 2007 06:41 AM

        A great little sports bar is right up the street on semoran and pershing. Its called Crickett's! They have been there for almost 15 years and serve a great burger with a stiff drink.

        1. re: Noice
          m
          Mbuzi Dec 4, 2007 08:50 AM

          Thanks. Yeah, I know traffic well and it doesn't usually scare me too much. It is nice to have a sense of just how bad it might be out there though.

          You're right in your assumption about my not being particularly interested in any east Asian foods (Vietnamese just happens to be the most prominent of those options in the places I've been in CA and TX). Colombian, on the other hand, is definitely something I'd be interested in trying if you can point me in the right direction. Are there any other choices from in and around the Caribbean to be found? Haitian? Dominican? Trinidadian?

          1. re: Mbuzi
            n
            Noice Dec 12, 2007 09:47 AM

            Mbuzi:

            I hope this response is not too late. For Colombian, I would recommend Oh Que Bueno and Delicias Bakery and Restaurant. Both are favorites of my Colombian family when in Orlando.

            I cannot assist with Caribbean food. Hope you are enjoying your trip.

            Noice

            -----
            Oh Que Bueno Restaurant
            1125 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL

            Delicias Bakery & Restaurant
            11570 S Orange Blossom Trl # 8, Orlando, FL

            1. re: Noice
              m
              Mbuzi Dec 15, 2007 01:12 PM

              Thanks! Unfortunately, your post did come a little too late for me, but that's okay. As it happens, on my last night in Orlando I was driving along Semoran looking for a restaurant that might catch my eye. In so doing I came upon Oh Que Bueno and just had to stop there.

              My waitress was very helpful and suggested that since I'd never had Colombian food before, if I wanted something traditional, I should have the bandeja paisa. I took her advice and wound up receiving a large platter with rice, beans, a fried egg, a thinly cut grille steak, a link of chorizo, a link of morcilla, and a giant slab of chicharron. It was a heck of a lot of food - far more than I could manage - but I enjoyed most of it. The chicharron, I confess, didn't do too much for me, but the morcilla was exceptional.

              Thanks also to Big Bad Voodoo Lou for suggesting the Ale House for my sports bar needs. It worked out perfectly. What little food I had there wasn't exceptional, but I appreciated the large number of beer options and the ability to watch the game I was hoping to catch.

              1. re: Mbuzi
                b
                Big Bad Voodoo Lou Dec 16, 2007 03:01 PM

                Great, I'm glad that worked out for you! Did you get to try the Ravenous Pig?

                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                  n
                  Noice Dec 18, 2007 10:43 AM

                  Thanks for reporting back, Mbuzi. I'm sorry my response was so late, but I was in the process of moving out of town. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and that you made it to Oh Que Bueno anyway.

                  I second BBVL's question: did you make it to the Pig?

                  Noice

                  1. re: Noice
                    m
                    Mbuzi Dec 20, 2007 04:17 PM

                    Unfortunately, no, I wasn't able to make it to the Pig. My schedule wouldn't allow it. Thanks again everyone for all your help.

        2. cherylp3 Dec 3, 2007 05:01 PM

          there is a beef o bradys at
          6651 S. Semoran Blvd., Ste. 106
          Orlando, FL 32822

          1. b
            Big Bad Voodoo Lou Dec 3, 2007 03:07 PM

            I did a Mapquest search with the Orlando Airport Hyatt address, and it says you'll be 26 minutes from the Ravenous Pig:
            http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp?go=1&2a=1234+Orange+Avenue&2c=Winter+Park&2s=FL&2z=32789&2y=US&1a=9300+Airport+Blvd&1c=orlando&1s=fl&1z=&1y=US&dir=Get+Directions&CID=lfddwid

            As for sports bars, there is an Orlando Ale House location near the airport, and you can check the official website for a map and address:
            http://www.alehouseinc.com/

            They often have beer specials, and the food is decent for sports bar food, but not anything great. If you have a sweet tooth, their Captain Jack's Buried Treasure is a huge and decadent dessert.

            I prefer the food at Gator's Dockside, another sports bar, and they have particularly good wings. I don't think any of their locations are as close to the airport, though:
            http://www.gatorsdockside.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
              m
              Mbuzi Dec 4, 2007 08:52 AM

              Thanks. Ale House it is, I guess. Let me ask you this though, if I was to eat elsewere and just go somewhere for a few good beers and the game, would Ale House still be the best option?

              1. re: Mbuzi
                b
                Big Bad Voodoo Lou Dec 4, 2007 03:26 PM

                Probably, or maybe the Crickett's place that mountdorahound mentioned below. If you're just watching hockey games and having a few beers, it would probably be best if you're relatively close to your hotel, so you can go crash and relax afterwards. You can eat anywhere, but admittedly, most of the best restaurants in town are not close to the airport.

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