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Jan 8, 2008 06:05 AM

New York Foodies in Orlando for Disney Marathon (Bob Mervine, you are missed!)

New York Foodies in Orlando for Disney Marathon
We are extreme New York Foodies in for Disney Marathon, staying in Orlando/Kissammee area for 7 days, with a car.

Last year, Bob Mervine was kind enough to answer my post and gave some great suggestions. His lost is deeply felt, I know, by all foodies. I am hoping that some kind souls in Orlando will help us.

Would appreciate any suggestions and greatly appreciate recommendations for:

1/ garlic crabs, seafood
2/ vietnamese
3/ carribean
4/ barbecue ;
somehow last year, I found a bbq place not far from the airport, which had a few outside tables and am trying to locate that place again (as I recall, pulled pork was one of their specialties);
also appreciate suggestions for bbq beef rib places.
5/ soul food
6/ authentic "floridian" food- you know, seafood shacks, etc. ; stuff you can't get in NY.
7/ good pasta place for carb-loading pre-marathon
8/ good steakhouse for post-marathon
9/ cuban
10/ spanish (could be argentinean, etc)
11/ other ethnic
12/ some good places not far from airport as we will be picking up/dropping people at airport on many days.

Need not be fancy - just excellent food.

Would also appreciate menu suggestions at each recommendation (as we all know, sometimes it depends on WHAT you order) , and suggestions as to other things to do in area near restaurant . Much appreciated!

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  1. I will second your emotion...a great loss in deed. RIP Bob Mervine!

    Sorry, but I won't be much help for your O-Town request as I reside in South Florida.

    Good luck!

    1. The best place for barbecue beef ribs is Cecil's Texas-Style Barbecue, with two Orlando locations. The one I know is on Lee Road directly off I-4, on the edge of Winter Park. I heard once that they only serve beef ribs on Fridays, but you can check their website and call to find out the straight dope: . It could be that they serve all-you-can-eat beef ribs on Fridays, maybe that's what I'm thinking of!

      Most of the Vietnamese restaurants are clustered around Colonial Drive (State Road 50) and Mills Avenue, not far from downtown Orlando. It's an easy trip from Disney to that area, via I-4. My favorite by far is Lac Viet, which is a little further east on Colonial than most of the others. They recently added a surprisingly great sushi bar, too.

      My favorite Cuban restaurant is Habana Grill (formerly known as Don Pepe's), in Altamonte Springs on State Road 436 (also known as Semoran). Again, it's an easy trip if you take I-4, but it's about 45 minutes north of Disney. They had another location in Winter Park that closed recently. The portions are huge and the food is very authentic (I'm from Miami and grew up eating at great Cuban restaurants). Here is their website: .

      The best steakhouse in town is Del Frisco's in Winter Park, right off I-4 on Lee Road (practically next door to Cecil's Barbecue). It's expensive, but outstanding (and in my opinion a better value than other high-end steakhouses like Ruth's Chris, with better food and a less-stuffy atmosphere).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        Thanks for suggestions. Didn't get to Cecils but on list for next time.

        Went to Bubbalou's which was only fair. Went to O'Boys which had good chicken.Ribs were ok and pork/beef were ok also.
        Recommend highly Lee and Ricks if you like oysters.
        Went to Fish on Fire, near airport. First order of chicken was dry and not dark meat as requested. Second time around, it was delicious.

        For good place for breakfast near airport, went to Cracker Barrell. Had the Golden Corral buffet breakfast (ends at 11) at 10:45 so had lunch entrees too. Excellent fried chicken, good soups and good brussel sprouts (really).

        Near Kennedy Space Center we went to Dixie Crossroads which had really good rock shrimp. My friend had excellent porterhouse.

        Each year we go to Bahama Breeze for their bahamaritas and to sit outside. This year we made the mistake of going to the one on International Drive., which for some reason does not open their larger outside space during lunchtime so we had to sit in dark restaurant. Don't understand management of that restaurant. Other BB are better run, I think. Also, they wouldn't seat us next to a window because the serving staff was not assigned there. It would have meant the waitress walking 5 more steps... Will not be going back to that branch. If you need an outdoor restaurant near airport, I wd go to Fish on Fire. No view but plenty of outdoor seating..
        Last year bec of Bob Mervine's suggestion, we went to Cafe Tu Tu which we liked for their show on friday night. Food was only ok but fun.
        At Epcot we ate at French restaurant which was mixed. Had beef short ribs in red wine sauce with polenta which was good. Friend had croque monsieu and onion soup which he liked. My husband had nicoise salad which was not authentic(more like mayonaise tuna salad on lettuce). Potato leek soup was good.
        For dinner at Epcot, we ate at Rose and Crown and saw fireworks. Bangers and Mash was good. Steak was flavorless. Fish and chips were good. If you stay for show at 9, good place to go but otherwise you can pass.
        Will be back next year around same time so keep the suggestions coming.Many thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Other Ethnic: Ole Goumet on 17/92 its a kosher dairy restaurant offering Israeli cuisine
        (Note not open Friday nite or Saturday)