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Jan 15, 2010 12:53 PM

Help for Orlando, Please

My wife and I need a quick R&R. Normally that means a two hour trip to to Louisville or Nashville. We find good food in each, ranging from great bar food to rather good upscale offerings.

It occurred to me this morning that our small local airport recently added roundtrip flights to Orlando. All I know about Orlando is what I gleaned from this morning on this board. We both love food, but oddly enough don't get that excited about Chinese or Indian. Hmm, though my favorite Louisville place is asian fusion or however it is defined these days.

Anyway, Lee & Ricks sounds like a definite stop (we are both originally from Louisiana, and love good, local seafood).

Old School Coffee Stop sounds like fun, but the link didn't connect. Is it still available?

The Ravenous Pig sounds very interesting. I'll try to find their menu online to get a better idea of what they offer.

Does Sunshine Bakery offer conch stew? Also, for bbq, is it Bubbalous, Cecil's ,or the Smokehouse?

Is Sanford as interesting as the Heather McPherson column would suggest?

Urban Deli sounds like fun. We use to love Louie's Bookstore Cafe in Baltimore.

The only reference I saw re burgers was Johnny's Filling Station. Are there other great neighborhood burger/beer places?

Any great bar food specials/wine nights/live blues or jazz?

This idea just came up this morning, so we don't yet have a hotel. Nevertheless, we will rent a local car and don't mind driving if the food is interesting, or sometimes just if the drive/view is worthwhile.

Okay, I go on much too long. Hopefully I've provided enough info to give you a vague idea of our interests. I've never considered myself as knowing enough to be a foodie, but have been known to spend several weeks planning our trips back from Ky to La, rarely going the direct route.

Thanks guys. I enjoyed reading through the board today. Now I have to get back to work.


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  1. Try
    Johnny's Filling Station had the best burger... in 1990...
    check out eat local week if your down on the last week of january.
    Many local restaurants and farms are partaking.
    check for the eat local week tab.
    other restaurants of intrest include:
    Luma, K Restaurant, The Ravenous Pig, Hanimizuki (for awesome japanese), Shin Sushi (for the best sushi), Journes at Alaqua, Highland Manor, Four Rivers (best local barbeque)... there is more, I just can't remember them.
    Hope this helps!

    1. There are some great restaurants here one of my favorites is Juliana's in college park all there food is made to order and is fantastic. Orlando is a big place where are you staying that will help people suggest places they like. FYI Juliana's is right off I-4 and princeton.

      1. Ravenous Pig is a must-do. That's a given. It's in Winter Park, adjacent to Orlando (some might call it a suburb, but don't tell the Winter Parkers that). If you really want to treat yourself and your wife, stay at the Park Plaza hotel in Winter Park. The adjacent restaurant, Park Plaza Gardens is better than decent, as are Hot Olives and Dexter's. For fresh, tasty, healthy food in Winter Park, Powerhouse Cafe at the corner of Park Ave and Lyman.

        For live music and excellent food, see if Vines is still open on Sand Lake Road. For good local flavor, Samba Room on Sand Lake Road, or Columbia Restaurant in Celebration (a bit of a drive south, but worth it, there's a movie theater nearby too and an ice cream shop, nice little downtown area).

        Thornton Park near downtown Orlando provides some nice options as well, including City Fish and Hue, but avoid avoid avoid Wildside BBQ. Despite having possibly the best outdoor and semi-outdoor seating in town, Wildside is overpriced and disgusting (except the chicken fingers are good).

        My favorite bbq place is O'Boys BBQ. It's a local place that did so well they opened three locations. One is on Fairbanks in Winter Park, one is on S. Orange Avenue just south of Pineloch, and one is temporarily closed for relocation. If you want to try Florida BBQ, go with O'Boys. If you want Texas BBQ, go with Cecil's, I guess. Honestly, I can't stand Cecil's.

        For better than average seafood in an authentic Florida setting and on water, try Julie's Waterfront on South Orange Ave.

        The best burger in Orlando is at Kres, downtown. Upscale, nice, not cheap.

        If you want to avoid tourist crowds, avoid any restaurant on International Drive.

        FWIW, Sanford is not the least bit interesting.

        1. Ravenous Pig and Luma would be must hits for me. For the best burger, Grafitti Junction is it. Best BBQ, that's a bit subjective. I like Blackwater, but hear 4 Rivers is great (still haven't made it there yet).

          Dim Sum on Sat or Sun at Ming's Bistro would be a must for me too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Corporate_40

            Ah yes, 4R's always has a line out the door, but I haven't made it there yet. I need to try GJ too.

          2. I totally forgot! My absolute favorite restaurant in town: Memories of India. There's one on Turkey Lake Rd, off of Sand Lake Rd, and there's one in Lake Mary, I think the address is on Lake Mary Blvd. They have a regular menu and on Sunday a champagne buffet lunch for $12.95.