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Sep 26, 2008 08:16 AM

Orange County Convention Center

Is there any hope for a traveling businessman who will be stuck at the OCCC (in Orlando) for four days without wheels? Cab is possible, but would rather not bother.

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  1. Okay - this is depressing. Are there NO promising food venues near/around the OCCC?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ulterior epicure

      literally hundred of restaurants within walking distance. How about some specifics about food or wines you like. NB: International Drive is location one for every national chain in the country, or at least it seems like that. But there are some fun places to go. Give us some guidance. LMF

    2. It's really not hopeless, although you won't get Orlando's best. The convention center is on Intenrational Drive, which has an efficient and inexpensive trolley that runs up and down all day long. Some of the better places are the following:
      Hanamizuki, an authentic Japanese restaurant
      Taverna Opa, which is offensively loud but has quite good Greek food (and seats outside if the noise bothers you)
      Texas de Brazil, a high-end chain that does a very good job for a Brazilian-style churrascaria
      Thai Thani, a cheesy looking Thai restaurant that has good food
      And a tapas place, whose name I can not remember (I'm sure someone else will help us out), that's set up like an artist's loft in Barcelona and has creative fare spanning all cuisines in appetizer-size portions.
      You might also want to cab it to nearby Sand Lake Road, which has very good restaurants including Vine's, a Chicago-style steakhouse wth great food and live jazz; Antonio's, a high-end Italian; and Cedar's, a decent Lebanese.

      15 Replies
      1. re: rudykins

        Thanks, rudykins and LilMsFoodie.

        1. No chains. At all. I can get to chains everywhere.

        2. Prefer small, locally-owned, ingredient-driven restaurants. Given your description of International Drive, I doubt there are any.

        Is there a Vico's? I think I have a pre-arranged dinner at Vico's - an Italian place?

        1. re: ulterior epicure

          Vito's? If that's the place it's Vito's Chophouse. Great steaks, heavily-Italian wine list. Expensive, but if you're not paying then have fun!

          1. re: ulterior epicure

            Also, for the types of independent restaurants you mentioned, here are some in the nearby area that are a short cab ride away:

            Chatham's Place
            Vines Grille
            Dux (in the Peabody Hotel)

            1. re: orlwine

              orlwine, thanks for these recommendations. How far away are they from the OCCC?

              It may be Vito's. All I know is that the place I've been *invited* has four letters in its name (like I said, I thought it was "Vico's), starts with a "V" and looks like an Italian steakhouse. So, I bet you're right. And I'll enjoy having someone else pay for this dinner.

          2. re: rudykins

            Can anyone help rudykins and me figure out the name of the tapas place (set up like an artist's loft in Barcelona...)?

              1. re: herbert1

                That's it. Perfect for a fun night out, but for your more serious eats I'd do Primo, Normans and Hanamizuki.

                1. re: rudykins

                  Hanamizuki looks surprisingly traditional. Yes, I am a natto lover.

                  1. re: ulterior epicure

                    Tomi on John Youg is also good traditional sushi, not quite as trad as hanamizuki, but more reasonable also.

                    1. re: beteez

                      hanamizuki's website does not list prices (at least not in English). What are the prices like there?

                      1. re: ulterior epicure

                        The prices are highish. The food is so authentic that it's not competing with regular American Japanese restaurants. They're not $35 an entree highish, but they are higher than what you'd pay for chicken teriyaki elsewhere.

                        1. re: rudykins

                          You can quickly run up a $60/person sushi tab without tryng hard.

                          1. re: beteez

                            What about foods other than sushi? The menu is so interesting I never even thought to opt for sushi there.

                            1. re: rudykins

                              It's funny that you mention that. I hadn't even though to look to see if they even offer sushi. I suppose they do, of course.

                          2. re: rudykins

                            Anything particularly good there? How's their ishiyaki? Given a colder clime, I sure could tuck myself into a big bowl of Matsutake nabe.

            1. Capriccio over in the Peabody is quite good food and it's located adjacent to the CC. Dux is also good but more upscale.

              7 Replies
                1. re: ulterior epicure

                  Dux is across the street from the convention center. Norman's and Primo are at the Grande Lakes Resort, which is a five-minute cab ride.

                  1. re: orlwine

                    Of the two, I would go with Dux, I've only had sporadic success with Norman's (although their conch chowder and foie gras french toast are to die for...). If you are going to go to grande lakes (where Norman's and Primo's are) go to Primo.

                  2. re: ulterior epicure

                    I like Primo as much as any restaurant in Orlando. Melissa Kelly has a nice concept, well executed. Excellent wines, unobtrusive service (as opposed to the fawning at Norman's). Organic food as much as possible, locally grown when possible, often grown in the restaurant's garden behind the restaurant. I was there two weeks ago and my opinion still stands. I would recommend the cab ride to the JW Marriott at Grand Lakes over Dux.


                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      I agree, Primo has never failed us & weve been there 8-9 times in the past year.

                      1. re: beteez

                        I don't see a tasting menu on Primo's website. Do you know if I could request one?