Anthony Bourdain in Orlando this Fri April 26 for Guts and Glory book tour
Where would you take him in Orlando to show him the real Orlando?
We've got tickets - saw him in Miami in this format a few years ago and he was great and as expected pulls no punches. We also see him every year at the Sobe Wine and Food festival in Miami. He's great but some of his "fans" are really unbearable in the Q & A s he is famous for. So much pointless vulargity and drug jokes. Ugh.
Frankly, I'm a little terrified of what he might say about Orlando, especially if he gets in here superficially and is limited to typical tourist areas. I once remember him "going off" on cruise ships and on the surface Orlando is a big fat target for cultural critics like him. Maybe having a young child now will soften his edges as far as family friendly options, but likely not as I follow him on Twitter and he tweeted a pic from his young daughter's birthday party of the food - it featured a charcuterie plate from an Salumeria Rossi and a bunch of things my kids would never eat no matter how much we love it.
Knowing his style, I'd take him to one of the the Mills Vietnamese places (I'd pick Lac Viet), or Pio Pio on I-Drive or maybe somewhere like Hanamizuki or Nile Ethiopian or maybe Magic Wok or Teriyaki House or Border Grill. Basically anything authentically simple and ethnic run by a family - and it is funny as that is one of the hidden styles of food where I think Orlando really shines. Though I love RP, C&L, Luma etc, our versions of these food genres are just examples of what is found in much more abundance in other cities, but our amazing ethnic diversity driven by our tourism industry is really where it's at.
You are so right Sam!
Here is my list
Chuan Lu Garden - best authentic Chinese (Sichuan style with hand pulled noodles etc) -
Banh Mi Nha Trang - specializing in Nha Trang style banh mi (with a hot chili fish sauce added)
Boiling Crab and Seafood - fresh cajun style shrimp made by Vietnamese family
Pho Vinh - Vietnamese
Tako Cheena - Asian/Latin fusion tacos open late and run by Chef Pom Moongauklang, formerly of Nobu http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Orland...
Prato - modern/progressive Italian run by James Beard nominated Chef Brandon McGlamery ( The French Laundry / Chez Panisse alumni) and his chef di cucina Matthew Cargo
Hanamizuki (for lunch only) - shio butter ramen
Sushi Tomi - really good fresh sushi and homestyle japanese dishes
Just tried Sushi Tomi a few weeks ago and it is great, and I always hit Hanamizuki for lunch. Prato and Tako Cheena are also faves. I need to try your first four, though I think that any of the top Vietnamese places in the Mills area is fine we just all have our personal favorites.
BTW, have you tried Hot and Juicy Crawfish on Restaurant Row? Also run by a Vietnamese family and specializes in cajun shrimp and crawfish in a bag.
The other place I might take Bourdain is the 1st Oriental Market on West Colonial - figure he'd love the live fish tanks and whole cooked ducks (head and all)
Boiling Crab and Hot and Juicy both sound like the place I love, King Cajun Crawfish, on Mills just north of Colonial (next to Bananas Diner). It's nice to have so many great restaurant options in Orlando.
Prato and Tako Cheena are tops on my list of places to try next, now that I've finally been to Cask & Larder (for brunch, not dinner).
I had some ideas some of you covered them.
I think it would be awesome for him to go to Uncle Matt's. Now they don't do tours of the groves anymore but I'm sure they would make an exception for him.
In the wake of the GMO debate Uncle Matt's is a local grower in Clermont that is 100 percent USDA Organic
They proudly display the PLU starting with the 9.