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College intern at Orlando for the month of July...any good, cheap eats for recommendations?

I'll be in Orlando for the entire month of July, and as a typical unpaid college intern, I'm living on a budget. I'd like to avoid eating homemade sandwiches and ramen noodles for my entire stay here and actually also enjoy what Orlando has to offer but need to be practical.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I've been reading up on the threads and looking up most of the recommendations. I'm looking forward to trying out Red Bamboo, thinking about Taverna Opa (but I've been warned about parking/traffic at I-Drive), and might check out the food truck bazaar at the Oviedo Mall on the 10th.

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  1. Where will you be living and interning? Orlando is really spread out, and our recommendations will depend a lot on your immediate area(s).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

      I'm staying near the Universal Studios area and part of my internship will be around there as well. I may find myself near the Altamonte Springs area, from time to time.

      Being in the middle of the touristy area, I don't want to really find myself in tourist traps and also would rather try more local fare--I'd like to avoid major national chains but okay with Florida chains if worth the trip. I've been told to check out Kobe Japanese and Miller's Ale House...what are your thoughts?

      1. re: krissyka

        In the universal studio's area you have a few options.

        A great little bar and taco place - The Sloppy Taco Palace. home made salsa's great beer, liquor and they have specials on sloppy tacos on Tuesday and regular tacos on Wednesday. The sign on the building says STP

        Memories of India on turkey lake road is a great - They have decent prices for lunch, never been there for dinner.

        Staying near Universal you won't have to deal with too much i-drive traffic to get to Red Bamboo - lunch specials there are great.

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        Memories of India
        7625 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

        Red Bamboo
        6803 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

    2. oh and yes the food trucks - that would be fun. The bazaars are very busy with some long lines, so don't think you'll get to try everything but great people to meet and fun to be had.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

        What are your top favorites that are a must for me to try? I saw Red Eye BBQ today but wasn't hungry at that time yet!

        1. re: krissyka

          I love the Korean BBQ Taco Box truck, which serves a beef, chicken, or pork taco and a whole lot of neat sides in a box for something like $6. The Crooked Spoon serves an incredible cheeseburger for $8 (second-best in town, after the Ravenous Pig's Pub Burger, if you ask me), and their macaroni and cheese is really amazing too. I attended my first food truck bazaar recently, and realized that if you show up when they start at 5 PM, you can easily get in and out of two or three trucks' lines without waiting too long. I wouldn't even bother showing up as the evening drags on, though.

          I'm not nearly as familiar with the touristy side of town, unfortunately. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza has amazing crispy, charred thin-crust pizza and oven-roasted rosemary chicken wings and spicy, vinegary spareribs. It's a small, Florida-based chain, but definitely worth trying. I used to love the burgers at Fuddruckers in Festival Bay Mall on I-Drive, but I think the quality and consistency have gone downhill since Fuddruckers was purchased by Luby's, a Texas cafeteria chain. And Ale House is great if you don't know exactly what you want to eat or you're with a big group, simply due to the large menu. Nothing is knock-your-socks-off amazing, but they have pretty solid sports bar food.

          -----
          Fuddruckers
          5250 International Dr Ste 51, Orlando, FL 32819

          The Crooked Spoon
          University Blvd Metric Dr., Orlando, FL 32803

          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

            I second The Crooked Spoon for food trucks

            Also Big Wheel Provisions, Treehouse Truck and a Pinchomania

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            The Crooked Spoon
            University Blvd Metric Dr., Orlando, FL 32803

            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

              Had Ale House with a couple of friends that I met up with, and you definitely are right about the large menu. It all took us some time to figure out what we wanted to eat...definitely satisfied of all our choices!

              There's a Fuddruckers back where I am from and feel the same about them being a chain. I'll have to check your other recommendations.

              -----
              Fuddruckers
              5250 International Dr Ste 51, Orlando, FL 32819

              Ale House
              1756 Wells Rd Ste A, Orange Park, FL 32073

              1. re: krissyka

                Ahh the Ale House. I remember being in college and ordering drinks and the chicken nachos which is so big and can be shared among a group of people.

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                Ale House
                1756 Wells Rd Ste A, Orange Park, FL 32073

            2. re: krissyka

              I haven't tried red eye yet. I'm trying to get to them but I always miss them.

              we do have a local chain Bubba Lous Bodiacious BBQ which is pretty good.

              Or 4 rivers which has locations in winter park and winer garden.

              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                Yes, Four Rivers Smokehouse is the best barbecue I've had in all of Florida. They have a third location in Longwood scheduled to open in November. It's supposed to be on 434 near I-4, and unlike the Winter Park location, it'll have plenty of parking and indoor seating.

                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                  Had both Bubbalous and 4Rivers--and coming from a state where BBQ is taken pretty damn seriously, I'd say that both places were pretty solid choices.

                  When I ordered at 4Rivers, they recommended to order the kid's meal with an extra order of a side, and I got 1/4 smoked chicken, mac-n-cheese, sweet potato casserole, and a drink for $5.85. Great deal! What a steal!

                  1. re: krissyka

                    Awesome I'm glad you liked both :)

            3. Two great unique Orlando options in that area are Junior's Colombian Burger (open very late like 4 am) and Hula Dog (also known as Kona Dog)

              5 Replies
              1. re: YosemiteSam

                I forgot about Hula Dog, those suckers are huge and they are a good deal, Small little counter service place with outside seating.

                I still need to check out Juniors, Heard great things about it.

                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                  Any word about parking for either places? I'm worried about the I-Drive traffic.

                  1. re: krissyka

                    Traffic is a myth from people who live on the other side of town (people who complain about I-Drive traffic should have to drive in LA/NY/Miami/Boston just once so they quit whining - now I4 north of the city is a WHOLE 'nother situation) - tons of parking at/near both places and neither is in the "busy" section of I-Drive. Recommendations - get the burger (double or triple) with everything at Junior's as the rest of the menu is just meh and at Hula /Kona Dog get the spicy sausage with Garlic Sauce, Mango Sauce and Mango Mustard.

                    1. re: YosemiteSam

                      right there is not much traffic, but it's a slow drive because of the tourist crossings and lights, but no bumper to bumper, or traffic jams.

                    2. re: krissyka

                      Another option you need to check out is Yellow Dog Eats in Gotha - best sandwiches in town by far and the BBQ rocks too

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                      Yellow Dog Eats
                      1236 Hempel Ave, Gotha, FL 34734

                2. There is an awesome Ethiopean restaurant on Intl, south of Kirkman. It's tucked back off the road in a bit of a strip area. Highly recommended. And very close to Universal Studios.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SlapnChop

                    Nile Ethiopian, and it is fantastic!

                    http://www.nile07.com/

                  2. I'd skip taverna opa unless going out with a group of friends that wanted to spend 30 bucks or more on dinner and even more for drinks.

                    Anatolia - Turkish or Cedars - Lebanese is better in my opinion

                    and for a group settting with friends Cafe Tu Tu Tango - although not really cheap depending on what you get.

                    We've got a good local tex mex chain here that was dreamed up by some old UCF kids - Tijuana Flats cheap, fast and decent. check locations.

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                    Cafe Tu Tu Tango
                    8625 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

                    1. you HAVE to try the shio butter ramen noodle soup at hanamizuki (its available only during lunch) for $7.50 add a half order of fried rice for $3.00 and you are set for deliciousness

                      theyre on idrive south of sandlake

                      here are some photos : http://tastychomps.blogspot.com/2009/...