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Orlando Recommendations?

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montrealwaitress Mar 28, 2010 02:37 PM

Hello!
My mother, her sister and their best friend are spending a girls' week in Florida next month and are looking for some great food in Orlando. My mom doesn't eat meat (but eats fish), they'd like to find a good seafood restaurant, they would like to find at least one vegetarian or vegan restaurants, they also like Italian but are open to all sorts of recommendations.
They'd also like to find a nice (but not too loud) wine bar if there are any around.
They're actually staying in Davenport so if there are any gems there, they'd love to check those out too.

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  1. b
    Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: montrealwaitress Mar 28, 2010 02:47 PM

    A bunch of ladies enjoying themselves would probably love the traditional Italian food and beautiful decor of Enzo's on the Lake in Longwood. They aren't a typical "red sauce joint" with checkered tablecloths and garlic knots -- they have a lot more old world ambience and many seafood dishes: http://www.enzos.com/Welcome.html

    Unfortunately, Orlando isn't known for terrific seafood, being so far inland. I like High Tide Harry's a lot, but it's a lot more of a casual dive: http://hightideharrys.com/

    My in-laws love Boston's Fish House in Winter Park, which is a little pricier but still casual. The portions are huge, which is nice: http://bostonsfishhouse.com/portal.htm

    I'm also not a huge fan of vegetarian or vegan restaurants, but I've always heard great things about Ethos Vegan Kitchen in downtown Orlando ( http://www.ethosvegankitchen.com/ ) and Garden Cafe, a fully-vegetarian Chinese restaurant in a rather sketchy area near downtown ( http://www.gardencafevege.com/ ). I'm not sure I could recommend three female tourists heading down to the latter if they don't know their way around, though.

    They may prefer the funky bohemian vibe at White Wolf Cafe, in the middle of an arty antiques district, with several seafood and vegetarian options: http://www.whitewolfcafe.com/

    Or if they're adventurous and want to try Vietnamese food, Lac Viet Bistro is probably the nicest restaurant in Orlando's large Vietnamese neighborhood east of downtown, and they will also have a variety of seafood and vegetarian dishes. I strongly recommend them: http://lacvietbistro.com/

    I don't drink so I won't be much help with wine bars, but it seems like there are several along picturesque Park Avenue in Winter Park, where they would probably enjoy strolling and shopping as well.

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    Boston's Fish House
    6860 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792

    High Tide
    3754 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224

    2 Replies
    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
      m
      montrealwaitress RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 28, 2010 03:14 PM

      Hey BBVL, thanks so much for your suggestions. Those all sound great!
      Looking forward to hearing more!

      1. re: taylork65
        rgcblackie RE: taylork65 Mar 29, 2010 08:56 AM

        I've got to agree on High Tide Harry's. Its a pretty casual place, but the seafood is fresh and abundant. Another one (albeit a chain) is McCormick & Scmick's at the Mall at Millenia. It's pricey, but seafood is their specialty.

        I'll also agree on The Wine Room on Park Avenue. But if you walk a little further down to the Eola Wine Company, they also have bruchettas and flatbreads which may appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

        My favorite Thai/Vietnamese place in Orlando right now is Viet Garden (on Colonial Drive). They have vegetarian options too.

        Hope this helps!!!!

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        High Tide
        3754 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224

      2. askdrtodd RE: montrealwaitress Mar 29, 2010 07:59 AM

        I absolutely love Bikkuri Sushi on Colonial, it's near the Little Vietnam part of town, great sushi and for what it is, it's quite inexpensive!

        www.bikkurisushi.com

        Also Shin Jung is excellent Korean food, it's on Colonial too. 4 Rivers on Fairbanks near I-4 is the best BBQ in the state, get the brisket!

        3 Replies
        1. re: askdrtodd
          b
          Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: askdrtodd Mar 29, 2010 10:49 AM

          My wife and I are big fans of Bikkuri. It's amazing they can provide such high-quality sushi for so cheap, especially compared to equally good places like Fuji in Winter Park and Bento Cafe downtown, where we always end up with higher tabs.

          Four Rivers is indeed the best barbecue in Florida, but the only reason I didn't mention it originally is because the OP's mom doesn't eat meat, and I can't imagine that place being too much fun for a vegetarian or even a pescetarian.

          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
            r
            Rona Gindin RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 29, 2010 12:52 PM

            For vegan food, consider too our only raw foods restaurant, Cafe 118 in Winter Park. It has beautiful, interesting and animal-free food.
            www.RonaGindin.com

            1. re: Rona Gindin
              askdrtodd RE: Rona Gindin Mar 29, 2010 12:59 PM

              I enjoyed this place, the smores were a really cool treat at the end too.

        2. m
          melpadilla RE: montrealwaitress Mar 29, 2010 01:24 PM

          I would suggest having them jump on the Beeline and head over to Port Canaveral for really good seafood at Grills. Just ate their a couple of weeks ago and still just as good as ever and very fun lively atmosphere on the weekends.

          I agree with BBVL that Orlando sucks when it comes to looking for good seafood although I'm hearing good things about Winter Park Fish Company.

          Just ate at my fav place to get fresh seafood, Grills.

          1 Reply
          1. re: melpadilla
            askdrtodd RE: melpadilla Mar 29, 2010 04:07 PM

            fyi, port canaveral is just a hop, skip, and a 45-60 minute jump away...

          2. m
            montrealwaitress RE: montrealwaitress Mar 30, 2010 06:23 PM

            Thank you so much everybody! I've been passing these along to her. They will have quite a few meals to get in, so anything at all you can recommend is appreciated.
            Are there any breakfast/brunch stand outs?

            3 Replies
            1. re: montrealwaitress
              askdrtodd RE: montrealwaitress Mar 30, 2010 06:39 PM

              Oystercatchers Sunday Brunch. Best one in Tampa.

              1. re: askdrtodd
                Mild Bill RE: askdrtodd Mar 30, 2010 07:07 PM

                I want...

                1. re: Mild Bill
                  askdrtodd RE: Mild Bill Mar 31, 2010 05:52 AM

                  haha me too. especially with the weather as beautiful as it is right now, going down to the beach area for a couple (or 3) more complimentary champagne/mimosa glasses after brunch - just can't beat it.

            2. g
              glowworm RE: montrealwaitress Mar 31, 2010 01:08 PM

              If they are going to be in the Winter Park area I would try to fit in the Ravenous Pig. It's one of my favorite restaurants with an eclectic menu and a very nice wine list. There is a restaurant area and a bar area so it might be a nice substitute for their wine-bar needs, especially if they want to nosh a little too. It's a foodie's delight.

              They are closed on Sundays and Mondays though (I point it out because I know I always end up at places that are closed when I'm on vacation since I'm not on a typical working schedule).

              1. s
                starbucksbrew RE: montrealwaitress Apr 3, 2010 09:33 AM

                Admittedly, it's been years since I've eaten at High Tide Harry's or McCormick & Schmick's, but that's because my husband and I weren't impressed with either of them. For shellfish seafood, I would recommend The Crab House in the Buena Vista area or Fulton's Crab House at Pleasure Island. For plain, regular FISH, I would go with a restaurant known for fish, like Roy's, Moonfish, Oceannaire, Ocean Prime, or Fishbones. There are too many fantastic FISH restaurants to settle for HTH or M&S on that.

                Another cool place that has some excellent fish options is Columbia restaurant in Celebration. It's an upscale Florida/Cuban restaurant that will give you some good local taste. From your screen name, I take it you are from Montreal (I love Montreal!), and I would definitely recommend Columbia as a not-to-be-missed spot. In fact, my husband and I are going there tonight for a regular date.

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                Ocean Prime
                7339 W Sand Lake Rd # 400, Orlando, FL

                Fulton's Crab
                1670 N Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

                Crab House
                811 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

                High Tide
                3754 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224

                Fishbones
                7005 County Road 46A, Lake Mary, FL 32746

                1. Sandwich_Sister RE: montrealwaitress Apr 3, 2010 01:30 PM

                  Beans Bikes and Boureaux is actually pretty awesome, I find it that even non vegitarians/vegans like this place.

                  They have a menu and other info at their site.
                  http://www.bikesbeansandbordeaux.com/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                    PeggyKate RE: Sandwich_Sister Apr 7, 2010 08:52 AM

                    Are you kidding starbucksbrew about recommending The Crab House or Fulton's in Downtown Disney over High Tide Harry's? Those are tourist joints and the food is not that great at all. We have eaten at High Tide Harry's many times, always had great food and consider it a true local Florida fishouse. I would hate for people visiting here to go to The Crab House and think that is what the locals consider great seafood.

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                    Crab House
                    811 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

                    High Tide
                    3754 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224

                    1. re: PeggyKate
                      rgcblackie RE: PeggyKate Apr 13, 2010 01:21 PM

                      I agree with you about High Tide Harry's, PeggyKate!!!! This is an authentic seafood "joint." The Crab House & Fulton's are overpriced tourist traps with mediocre seafood dishes, at best. Sure, High Tide Harry's is a bit of a dive, but who cares when the seafood is fresh and the meals are delicious????

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                      Crab House
                      811 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

                      High Tide
                      3754 N Access Rd, Englewood, FL 34224

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