Universal Studios/City Walk for dinner
We are going to Universal Studios for a closed conference evening in November. Are there any good restaurants in the park or in City walk (this is right outside of the park, isn't it)?
Emeril's Orlando in CityWalk can be good; Tchoup Chop has never been. Lagasse started with the name (it was supposed to be a chophouse on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans) and tried to build a restaurant around it. Didn't work. Pretty place -- if you don't look at the cracks in the rough-hewn tabletops, which tend to collect crumbs.
Also at CityWalk, Latin Quarter for pan-Latin cuisine (turns into a nightclub in later hours); Pat O'Brien's, a duplication of the NOLA landmark, which, it should be noted for anyone looking for food, is known for its drinks; Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville (see Obrien's, Pat above); NBA City, which actually does good burgers and such; Hard Rock Cafe, ditto; NASCAR Cafe (under no circumstances should anyone who enjoys food enter here); Pastamore, decent enough.
Nearby in the other Loew's Hotels you'll find a Palm Steakhouse, a replica of the New York City steakery but with localized caricatures drawn on the walls (good steaks, but not in the top five in town); Bice at Portofino Bay, an offshoot of the, again, New York City Italian, horribly expensive with food that doesn't quite match the price; Mama Della's, also at Portofino, less expensive, less chi-chi, better food.
You're not far from several other good restaurants in the International Drive Tourist World corridor, including: Blue Nile Ethiopian; Nelore Brazilian churrascaria; Bergamo's Italian with singing waiters (impressive talent); Vito's Chop House; Capital Grille steakhouse; Taverna Opa (Greek); and others.
Enjoy your stay.
I just visited Tchoup Chop on 8/23/08 for my Birthday and my husband and I had a wonderful meal and the environment was just as nice. I would recommend it. That is the only time I ate there, but we definitly want to go back.
I disagree with Hardrock being even a little good. Every time I've eaten there its been horrible. The last time I ordered the veggie burger and it tasted like I was eating a brick of salt.
I'm usually not one to complain about service, but for the two times I've been there to eat, Hard Rock Cafe had some of the worst service I've ever encountered. Plus the food is terribly overpriced -- I'd much rather go to Fuddruckers on I-Drive for a tasty burger any time.
Come to think of it, the one time I went to Roy's the service was pretty awful too. I'd never go back there.
re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jumping on the tangent, I've had bad experiences at Roy's too; the food is tasty but they pack people in on busy nights. You're elbow to a...pendix with the diners at the next table and the service suffers. I'd pick Seasons 52 next door or drive over to Oceanaire anytime over Roy's.
Granted, I've never been at either of those restaurants on a Valentine's Day or similar where as I've been at Roy's on VD and Mom's Day. But even a regular Saturday night seems cramped there.
Back on topic, I've gotten bar food at Latin Quarter (empanadas, something else, shared with others while having cocktails) and it was fresh and tasty. Jimmy Buffet's--not so much; it's pretty much McFood.