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Mar 17, 2008 09:46 AM

Super-Chowish in Orlando area?

I might have an opportunity on an upcoming business trip to get away for a real Chowhound-type meal in Greater Orlando: I'm looking for the kind of place that is generally known only to locals and has extraordinary food. Off the beaten track is fine: I'll have a car, and am willing to travel a good distance for something wonderful.

Any price point, any cuisine, but no chains. Without really knowing, I'm guessing I don't want to try anything on a Disney property: my memories of its restaurants from some years ago is that they are all sorta chain-like.

I'm hoping to find something like Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, a place really amazing food that most visitors never even hear about, much less take the trouble to get away from the well-worn tourist paths to visit.

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  1. Since you're coming from Boston, it'll be difficult for me to offer any suggestions that you cannot meet or exceed from your home, but I think the following are hidden "gems" that Orlando (and vicinity) have to offer. You can put away the business suit & tie as well as each of these places qualify as "dives".

    1) Porkie's bbq in Apopka. Be sure to try to the ribs.
    2) Lee & Ricks Oyster Bar
    3) Taquitos Jalisco Ameca - Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando FL

    4) Lac Viet (Vietnamese) - Not a dive
    5) The Ravenous Pig (Winter Park, FL) - upscale

    1. I've been splaying this place across the board, but I'll do it again. You must check out Choo Choo Churros. There was another recent post of mine that described it in detail here:

      Choo Choo Churros
      5810 Lake Underhill Rd, Orlando, FL 32807

      1 Reply
      1. re: johnmlinn

        Sounds great - thanks for the recc. I will check it out this weekend.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I tried Asian Bagus in once when I was in Orlando area a year ago, and I liked their food and service very much. This is a review of the same restaurant :

          From the review :

          Name: Asia Bagus
          Phone: 407-397-2205
          Address: 2923 Vineland Road
          Kissimmee, FL 32746
          Hours: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

          It was my first taste of Indonesian food and I would very much like to try it again on my next visit to Orlando. If you do not like hot food let them know because I found some of their food to be on the hot side.

          1. Hue and Midnight Blue in Thornton Park (downtown) are very popular with locals. Midnight Blue is one of my favorites.

            Ditto on The Ravenous Pig. It's the hot new place in Winter Park.

            Also try Le Coq Au Vin for great family-owned French, and Il Pescatore for family-owned Italian. Both are unexpectedly good for the price.