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Lunch at 4 Rivers Smokehouse or Hawkers Asian StreetFare tomorrow?

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laboheme Mar 29, 2012 03:19 PM

I'm heading to Orlando from Tampa Bay tomorrow for the day and can't decide between 4 Rivers or Hawkers - I've been wanting to go to both for a long time. Which do you think is better, or is there something even more amazing for lunch in Orlando? Thanks in advance for your help!

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    Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: laboheme Mar 29, 2012 04:57 PM

    Both are great. 4 Rivers is the best barbecue in Orlando, and probably the best in the whole state, but Hawkers is really unique and fun.

    However, due to the majority of Hawkers' menu being small plates, it is ideal for sharing with two or more people, to try a variety of dishes. If you're traveling with a group, it might be the most exciting option, but if you're going alone (and/or if you really love barbecue), 4 Rivers would be the best choice.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
      Sandwich_Sister RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 29, 2012 05:04 PM

      I think Voodoo just said it the best.

      Both are great which ever you think will hit the spot. Are you craving more BBQ or small Asian inspired dish?

      1. re: Sandwich_Sister
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        CFishman RE: Sandwich_Sister Mar 29, 2012 08:21 PM

        Personally, Hawkers doesn't do anything for me. To me, it's a theme restaurant. I would be much happier eating at any decent Asian restaurant. For instance, I can imagine eating a couple banh mi at Boston Bakery and being very satisfied. 4 Rivers is like any BBQ: it can be hit or miss. The problem is that the long line ramps up my expectations so that the misses are particularly painful. The last two times I have been there I have been served brisket that was so over-salted that I couldn't finish it. Anyone who has seen me eat will tell you that something must have gone drastically wrong for me not to leave a clean plate. If I were going to Orlando tomorrow, there is no doubt that I would have lunch at the Ravenous Pig. The pork belly sandwich that I had there a month or two ago was superb. I still think about it.

        1. re: CFishman
          pdpredtide RE: CFishman Mar 29, 2012 10:09 PM

          yeaaaaaaa buddy if you get a chance to go to the Ravenous Pig, I recommend their Pub Burger, made with bleu cheese, caramelized onions and angus beef with a side of truffle fries.

          Pork belly sandwich sounds amazing as well!

          1. re: pdpredtide
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            Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: pdpredtide Mar 30, 2012 06:27 AM

            You know what? I agree with these guys. I like Hawkers and love 4 Rivers, but I REALLY LOVE the Ravenous Pig. It's my favorite restaurant in all of Florida, and definitely the best in Orlando. The pub burger can't be beat.

            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
              Sandwich_Sister RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 30, 2012 08:16 AM

              I've got a decent memory and I believe Laboheme is one of the Tampa Chow Buds that gets down to Orlando Often and has eaten at The Ravenous Pig.

              Correct me if I'm wrong Lab.

              The RP is awesome but it sounds to me like lab is more interested in trying something different this time around.

              If it's a really nice day out 4 Rivers might be nice and put you in the spring summer mood. The Burnt ends and Messy Pig Sandwiches are tasty.

              But if your looking for a more sit down and be waited on kind of restaurant I would go to Hawkers.

              and if you feel like a burger then go to Ravenous Pig, Crooked Spoon Food Truck or Oblivion (opens at 4pm though)

              1. re: Sandwich_Sister
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                Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Sandwich_Sister Mar 30, 2012 09:55 AM

                I'll give an edge to the burgers at Fiddler's Green over Oblivion (aside from Oblivion's more creative toppings), but those are the best burger choices in town, otherwise.

                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                  Sandwich_Sister RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 30, 2012 02:55 PM

                  I've never been there so I can not speak to their food or burger, but now I have to go.

                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister
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                    Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Sandwich_Sister Mar 30, 2012 04:27 PM

                    Everything at Fiddler's is spot-on every time: the burgers, fish and chips, Irish stew with lamb, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, Guinness BBQ wings, housemade potato chips... I could go on and on. It's one of my favorite restaurants in town, and one of the most consistent for sure.

                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                      pdpredtide RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Apr 5, 2012 06:48 AM

                      love the atmosphere too!

          2. re: CFishman
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            jlee72 RE: CFishman Apr 24, 2012 03:19 PM

            glad to see i'm not the only one who feels that way about these 2 restaurants. it really is hit or miss for me with these 2.

            1. re: jlee72
              pdpredtide RE: jlee72 Apr 25, 2012 09:03 AM

              i ilke hawkers curry duck noodles try them next time!

        2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
          pdpredtide RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 29, 2012 10:10 PM

          Lou is right on...

        3. l
          laboheme RE: laboheme Mar 31, 2012 01:12 AM

          Thank you all so much for your suggestions and feedback. Sandwich_Sister is right...I am over in Tampa and have been to Ravenous Pig before (love it) but wanted to try someplace new. We went to 4 Rivers and oh...my....gosh were we glad we did. There was a huge line out the door (at 2:30 in the afternoon!) but it moved quickly. The food was amazing. The stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon were out of this world! My new favorite appetizer for summer and one I've got to try to replicate (maybe stuffed w/ pimento cheese for a bit of an extreme southern twist:-). The burnt ends were out of this world...the best BBQ I've had outside of Whole Hog in Arkansas. The greens were smoky, meaty and full of flavor. The smokehouse corn was garlic-y goodness and the cheese grits were tasty. My dining companion was so enamored of the food and laid-back atmosphere that she couldn't stop taking "glamour shots" of our lunch for quite a while. We'll definuetly be back...just wish they had a beer/wine license (we were at the Winter Park location)--those smoked jalapenos cry out to be accompinied by a glass of icy sauvignon blanc. A great suggestion and so happy we went! (BTW, I had read a couple of reviews on the board that said the portions had become skimpy...not true in our case as we had more than enough for lunch and 2 big "to-go" boxes to pack up.) Yum!

          1 Reply
          1. re: laboheme
            Sandwich_Sister RE: laboheme Mar 31, 2012 05:02 AM

            Glad you had such a great time... and now I'm craving some 4 rivers!!! :P

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