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Where to eat on the road from Kennedy Space to Orlando Int'l...

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Aleta Sep 14, 2010 04:53 PM

Hey Florida Hounds! Mother and child Hounds need your help to find a place to eat dinner somewhere between the Kennedy Space Center and Orlando Int'l Airport. We'll have other days (and other meals) around Disney and Universal but we're dropping off the rental car after visiting KSC and we'd like to eat dinner before that.

I've searched other posts and realize that there are some good eats in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach. Tonic sounds perfect! But, on Google maps, it looks like an hour's drive from KSC to Tonic, which will add an extra 2 hrs to our drive back to the airport. Can anyone suggest places more along the road back to the airport? 15 minute diversions max.

On my list so far is Bauern Stube and El Leoncito. We like seafood too. Ulysses looks interesting for the wagyu but I haven't found too many positive reviews. I know Cafe Margaux is a local favourite but we've had our share of French food in France. Not interested in Japanese or Chinese either.

Thanks for your help.

  1. c
    cavandre Sep 15, 2010 08:27 AM

    There's not much along Rt. 528, which is your route back to the airport, so you'll need to deviate to find something to eat.

    The next town south of Cocoa is Rockledge & there I can recommend both Vintage 56 & River Rocks (this place has a casual menu out on the riverside deck & a more formal menu inside.

    FYI...I haven't been to Ulysses, but it's owned & operated by the same folks that own Cafe Margaux.

    http://www.vintage56.com/index.html
    http://www.riverrocksrestaurant.com/

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    Cafe Margaux Restaurant
    220 Brevard Ave, Cocoa, FL 32922

    Vintage 56
    200 Barton Blvd, Rockledge, FL 32955

    12 Replies
    1. re: cavandre
      a
      Aleta Sep 15, 2010 12:56 PM

      Thanks a million! River Rocks looks perfect for us. What a view! And a very attractive menu too. I noticed they even have an Early Chef's Menu for $15 (dinner 4-6pm). Those are the hours at which we would be planning to eat! Just curious, why is there such a thing? Does this area cater to seniors or families with young children who eat dinner at 4pm? We just came back from Spain, where 4 pm is the time people leave a restaurant after lunch! Dinner over there is not until 9pm.

      1. re: Aleta
        c
        cavandre Sep 16, 2010 05:23 AM

        For some reason, this area has a tradition of eating dinner early & it's not limited to any age/family group. As an ex-NYer, it drives me crazy!

        1. re: Aleta
          bkhuna Sep 16, 2010 09:43 AM

          River Rocks is located in Suntree, about 40 minutes south of KSC. The median age is around 70. It is a retirement community. That goes for probably 50% or more of the diners in the area.

          That should answer your question.

          1. re: Aleta
            rhnault Sep 16, 2010 09:47 AM

            I live in Tampa but we eat at River Rocks when we are in Melbourne and it is good.

            1. re: rhnault
              a
              Aleta Sep 17, 2010 07:36 AM

              Thanks again, all. River Rocks, here we come! One more question about eating in the bar. Are kids allowed in the bar? I emailed the restaurant but they didn't get back to me. Of course, if the main restaurant is open, we can eat there. Just curious.

              1. re: Aleta
                c
                cavandre Sep 17, 2010 12:42 PM

                There's 2 bars; one outside on the deck & one inside the restaurant & each one has a different menu. To be honest, I'm not sure if minors can sit at the bar in FL. However, there are tables nearby both bars.

                1. re: cavandre
                  a
                  Aleta Sep 17, 2010 01:45 PM

                  Thanks again, Cavandre. The last time I asked such a question at a pub in Toronto, the barman said, "The kid's welcome to sit at the bar, as long as he doesn't order a beer!" I laughed so hard, I almost fell off my stool. But we've also been turned away at places too - something about having a bar license. As long as the restaurant is open at that time, we'll be fine.

                  1. re: Aleta
                    a
                    Aleta Oct 6, 2010 08:02 AM

                    Hi again all. I'm still doing research for our visit to Orlando and have read a ton of reviews, both on this forum and elsewhere. Finding something worth eating around Universal seems to be no problem (Bice, Emeril's, Pio Pio, Myth). Disney is entirely a different story! We're staying a few night at the Polynesian Resort and already having a few meals at Epcot (Via Napoli, Rose and Crown). For our last night, I wanted to stay close to the resort but so many places are already full for early December. It must be because of the Disney dining plan. So far, I have a booking for Ragland Pub.

                    I'm still wondering about the early dinner after Kennedy. I was all set to go to River Rocks and then I found a bunch of very negative reviews. And they never answered my email question either. If we don't eat here, I'd like to find a good seafood restaurant near Orlando. Not all you can eat, not just fried, FRESH seafood, please. I don't mind it being a chain.

                    1. re: Aleta
                      c
                      CFishman Oct 6, 2010 08:17 AM

                      How about Dixie Crossroads in Titusville? That's local and fun. Also, the Malaysian restaurant in Titusville looks intriguing to me (I have never been. Driving by it is hard to tell whether they are even still in business.). Thirteen different prawn preparations!

                      http://www.allmenus.com/fl/titusville...

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                      Dixie Crossroads
                      1475 Garden St, Titusville, FL 32796

                      1. re: CFishman
                        a
                        Aleta Oct 6, 2010 08:36 AM

                        Thanks CFishman. Malaysian food in Titusville! Sounds so exotic and the menu looks very authentic. I've spent a lot of time in SE Asia, especially Singpore and Kota Kinabalu. And I love shrimp. Unfortunately, a true Malaysian restaurant will use a lot of peanuts and peanut oil in their kitchen and my son is very allergic. Of course, I could always email and ask the restaurant about their cooking oil.

                        Dixie Crossroads and Corky Bells have both been on my radar for a while. Again, lots of really bad reviews worry me. I don't hate fried seafood when it's done well (had some excellent fried scallops at the Maine Ave. Fishmarket in Washington DC this summer).

                        1. re: Aleta
                          c
                          CFishman Oct 6, 2010 10:55 AM

                          If you like rock shrimp, then Dixie Crossroads is worth going to. It's not the kind of place that is going to change your life. Your options depend on how much time you have before your flight. With a wide window, I would probably hit K Wine Bar or the Ravenous Pig. If you want to eat close to the airport, you could take the 528 straight to the 4 and eat at Cedars of Lebanon. I was there for the first time over the weekend and really enjoyed it.

                          -----
                          Dixie Crossroads
                          1475 Garden St, Titusville, FL 32796

                          1. re: CFishman
                            a
                            Aleta Oct 6, 2010 11:24 AM

                            The Ravenous Pig would be my first choice, if it weren't for the location. I think we'll go to Dixie Crossroads. Thanks again, CFishman.

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