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Visiting from Ontario Canada

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My family is visiting Orlando for about 10 days in late May and we are looking for some great local places to eat, prefer that they be local, small mom and pop restaurants. We come from a city that is virtually devoid of anything but chains. I own 3 BBQ places here, and would be very happy to find that one BBQ place that is a must visit on everyones list. Any help would be appreciated.

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  1. will you have a car, what area of Orlando are you staying near?

    1. Sandwich_Sister has a great point. Orlando is very spread out. However, I think all the regular Chowhound posters will agree that 4 Rivers Smokehouse is the one BBQ place everyone can agree is the best in town, and it has three different locations.
      http://4rsmokehouse.com/

      1. Funny, I'm here now, BR!

        I plan on visiting 4 rivers as well.

        Also, these seem to come recommended (but are not BBQ):

        Victoria & Albert
        Ravenous Pig
        Cask & Larder

        3 Replies
        1. re: justxpete

          small world justxpete, small world indeed.

          I will definitely have a car, am in Orlando for three days, just south of Disney world I believe we are only 5 minutes away apparently. I have no fear of driving in Florida, getting lost, going to dodgy joints, or worry about a BBQ place looking dirty. I have spent about a year of my live cave diving in north Florida so have seen pretty much all of it.

          So of course we will be at disney, but will be eating supper outside the park for sure. We will be travelling to gulf coast one day, probably to crystal river area and will be spending one day near or at cape kennedy, one day at lego land, and 3 days at Sawgrass in Jacksonville.

          Feel free to send me out of the way (unless you want to send me to Nells in Branford - spent way too many nights at their $5.00 buffet when I was younger.

          1. re: BusterRhino

            I went to 4 Rivers today, the white-something-or-other-street location. While I thought it was quite good, I didn't think it held up to the BBQ I've had in Texas. Better than anything in Toronto, however, for sure (not including Oshawa :P). The biscuit, however, was absolutely insane, and easily the best I've ever had. They also had a mean Banana's Foster bread pudding. The ribs were good, their signature brisket sandwich a bit dry (but looked delicious), so I *had* to order it. I wasn't given a choice re: lean or tender cut, and just accepted what they gave me.

          2. re: justxpete

            Can't speak for V&A, as it is Orlando's only five-star restaurant (at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort), and I've never been. Too rich for my blood, and doesn't seem like my idea of a good time, either.

            However, to back up justxpete, the Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, both run by chef-owners James and Julie Petrakis, are awesome. The Pig is my favorite restaurant in town, and while I've only had brunch at C&L so far (not dinner), it was excellent as well. Either would be worth the 45-minute drive east on I-4 into Winter Park, which would put you close to some of our other best restaurants, including 4 Rivers.

          3. You may be close to the hunters creek area. If that is the case there are a few notable places.

            Padrino's for Cuban
            Orlando Snack Cafe - Lunch Venezuelan food
            Fortuna Bakery - Colombian menu is all in spanish
            Normans at the Ritz Carlton - Norman Van Aken "Floribean"

            For BBQ I agree with 4 Rivers
            If you are thinking about Soul Food I recently visited Chef Eddies and was pretty impressed.

            1. While at Sawgrass, head north on A1A to the ferry at Mayport. Next to it you will find Singleton's Seafood. Place hasn't changed in 50 years. Definately order the Minorcan stew. Too late for oysters, but the steamed shrimp is awesome. Catch of the day came from the boats tied to the dock. And a full service bar.