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Jul 17, 2008 02:22 PM

UCF - Orlando Threads?

Hello All Knowing Hounds ~ We are headed down to get our kids settled into UCF next month. We are staying at the Radisson on Alafaya Trail as it is close to the kid's residence. I have been looking at the many Orlando threads and just want to make sure I am not missing anything else. Any help would be appreciated.

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  1. Here are the places I go. Not an expert as I am only a visitor.
    BBQ: Babalou's and Sonny's (babalou's is very close and Sonny's about 7 miles)
    On the corner of Alafaya and University is a strip mall (it has a mexican place, indian place and mac D's in the parking lot). The Jamacian and the pizza place (they are right next to each other) are really good. The Jamacan is pretty good (get the oxtail, I thought the Jerk chicken was ok) and the pizza was pretty good as well (you'll be amazed at the size of each slice or the whole pie).

    Across the street on the other sides a middle eastern place. Pretty good gyro and falafal. I'm sorry I can't remember the names of these places.

    I also like the hotdog place at the intersection of rt50 and goldenrod. Really good dogs and very cheap. My favorite place is call the tasty wok. Head west from your hotel on RT 50 pass the executive airport and on your left side across from Publix (on the corner) is the tasty wok. Really good chinese BBQ and noodle soup. Around the area are bunch of vietnamese places. There all pretty good (not that I've tried all but I've gone to some) and pretty cheap.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Soup

      Youll find really good lunch specials in this area..
      -Fusion - located in the plaza on university and alafaya on the northside (japanese food+sushi)

      -El cerro - stand alone building right on the corner of university and alafaya northside, mexican

      -Pepinos - drive north on alafaya past university, past mccholouch (SP?) and past couple lights and on the right (right after an intersection with a light) is pepinos, i dunno about other hounds but i enjoy their lunch buffer very much, pretty good italian food

      -Duffys - drive west on university, till you get to dean, make a u turn at dean and university and the strip mall on your right has duffys in it.. really good subs, but theyre cheesesteaks are awesome, i suggest the BBQ cheesesteak.

      -Waterford lakes - drive south on alafaya past 50 and you wont be able to miss the massive outside shop area on both sides of you filled with a ton of chains and other eats..

      thats a couple of the top of my head

      1. re: Soup

        For barbecue, I like Sonny's more than Bubbalou's.

        As for the strip mall at University and Alafaya, you have many restaurants in there, but the pizza place with the huge slices is Lazy Moon, and I like them a lot too. The Jamaican place is Millie's Jamaican Cafe, which I thought was alright. Between them you have Jeremiah's Italian Ices, which is terrific. You also have a great little bar in there, Underground Bluz, with over 100 different beers if you're into that sort of thing.

        You're also close to that sprawling monument to consumerism, Waterford Lakes, which has my favorite Thai restaurant in town, Thai Singha, a little storefront around the corner from Best Buy. The drunken noodles (pad kee mao) are my favorite -- the best I've ever had. They recently added a sushi bar next door, and you can order off both menus.

        Waterford Lakes has a Toojay's as well, a New York-style deli chain that is pretty good, despite what some of the "haters" on this forum will tell you. Sure it isn't Katz's Deli in the Lower East Side or Rascal House on North Miami Beach, but for Orlando, it ain't bad.

        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

          Rascal's is closed. We'll have to live on Too Jay's - but their banana dream cake is the food of legend.

        2. re: Soup

          Falafel Cafe is the one next to the bookstore off campus (located on University and Alafaya)

        3. There are lots of places on University and on Alafaya, both north and south of SR50, several chains, which are fine. I don’t recommend any of the nearby barbeque places if you want good barbeque, the food is fine, but it’s not great barbeque. As for non-chain places, an inexpensive meal can be had at ‘El Corral Pollos a La Brasa’ a South American place with cheap chicken (pollos) & rice, and good sliced steak (la brasa). Another favorite is ‘Adita Cuban Bakery’ next to the (now closed) Krispy Kreme. For burgers and bar food I recommend ‘Friendly Confines’ at Waterford, very good burgers and wings. Our personal favorite is ‘Louie and Maria’s’ on SR50, just west of Dean Rd. A family owned Italian restaurant with a full bar with great food.

          1. Are we close to any fine dining? How far is Winter Park? Are there options there? What other areas are we close to? I just have to say, ME being in FLORIDA (from New England) in AUGUST is not the best combination. I need to have the benefit of at least a few high end dinners to keep me from curling up into the fetal position and missing the fun *will cry my eyes out later* of getting the kids settled. :-(

            3 Replies
            1. re: crazyspice

              There might be some fine dining in Alafaya Commons - past Waterford lakes.

              You are probably 30 minutes from Winter Park depending on Traffic
              There are some nice fine dining places there like 310 park, Luma, and Park Plaza Gardens.

              If you are looking for finer than that I'd recommend travelling the 45-60 minutes to Disney area and go to Normans, Citrico or Victoria and Alberts.

              1. re: crazyspice

                Winter Park is about 20 minutes away. The restaurants on Park Avenue are pretty good, and it's a great atmosphere.

                I'm a big fan of Seasons 52. There's one location in Altamonte Springs which is about 25 minutes away, and the second location is closer to Universal Studios which is 30 minutes away. Near the second location are a bunch of really good fine dining restaurants like Roy's. This website has a list of all the better restaurants in the area:

                For Italian, I like the upstairs restaurant at Antonio's in Maitland which is the closest location to UCF. Stefano's Trattoria in Winter Springs is good as well, and it's closer. It's not very fancy and upscale dining, but it's delicious.

                1. re: crazyspice

                  I forgot one more...Logan's Bistro in Orlando but near Winter Park. I haven't been there in a while, but I've never had bad food there nor anyone else I know.

                2. In the College Park area (Edgewater Drive) there is a place called Gabriells which has great sub sandwiches as well as awesome steak and cheeze subs. Great ma and pa establishment. The Lodge salad at Smokey Bones on Colonial Drive is also worth trying.