LTH Home

Orlando

Orlando
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Orlando

    Post #1 - September 18th, 2004, 11:28 am
    Post #1 - September 18th, 2004, 11:28 am Post #1 - September 18th, 2004, 11:28 am
    There's an excellent local freshwater fish restaurant in St. Cloud, FL called The Catfish Place. I've eaten there many times over the years. My MIL has a house nearby and we have visited many times during the winter. The catfish has always been excellent. This is a local place without the usual tourist trappings. Other menu items include turtle, shrimp, frog legs, etc. Prices are reasonable.

    St. Cloud is a nice, quiet little town with many antique shops downtown. I would say its about a 20-30 minute drive from where you will be staying.

    Another favorite place and a little off the beaten path is Pounder's Fresh Fish in Kissimmee. Pounder's is a fresh seafood market with a small New England style lobster shack inside. They serve a variety of fish fried, broiled, baked, blackened, etc. Choices range from lobster to catfish to grouper. Prices are very reasonable. I think they are only open for lunch though. Kissimme does have a nice Farmer's Market downtown on Thursdays. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Although, with the weather there this year the pickings may be a little slim.

    I can highly recommend both places. They are a little off the beaten path and great get away from the tourist trap places. We visit FL 1-2 times a year and always eat at least 2 meals here. Both Kissimmee and St. Cloud have nearby lakes with very nice parks.


    The Catfish Place
    2324 13th Street
    St. Cloud, FL
    407-892-5771

    Pounder's Fresh Fish
    1213 N. Central Ave
    Kissimmee, FL
    407-846-8980
    _________________
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #2 - September 18th, 2004, 12:06 pm
    Post #2 - September 18th, 2004, 12:06 pm Post #2 - September 18th, 2004, 12:06 pm
    Well, if Joe H. were reading this, he'd direct you to the Del Frisco's in Orlando, which is supposed to be the only one remaining under original management. The Dallas, NYC and others are part of the Lonestar group, I believe.

    Otherwise, I'd suggest you get out of Orlando, and to a place like Winter Park, nearby. A very pleasant place, though it's been so long I can't really recommend any restaurant. Tampa and the gulf beaches are a nice, short drive away also.

    Also, one thing I've always wondered about but have never had the chance to explore is the fairly substantial number of stripmall Brazilian spots in Orlando catering to the throngs of Brazilians who can't get enough of Disney. (Very few Brazilians actually move to FL, but very many make extended visits to Miami and Orlando to shop and visit theme parks. They generally don't speak much English, travel in huge, raucous, good-looking groups, and tend to eat at these humble looking spots that, somewhat like Balkan places here, don't really reach out past the target audience.)
  • Post #3 - September 19th, 2004, 12:52 pm
    Post #3 - September 19th, 2004, 12:52 pm Post #3 - September 19th, 2004, 12:52 pm
    Bruce:

    I've traveled to Orlando a number of times on business over the past few years and cannot make many enthusiastic recommendations. Here are three that I can give you:

    Straub's Seafood: Two locations. Simply prepared fresh seafood dishes for reasonable menu prices. Both are very popular and get very crowded.

    Dixie Chicken: Fresh Froed Southern Froied chicken in bare bones ambiance. More often than not, I'll take this back to my hotel rather than dine there. They cook the chicken when you order it, so prepare for a wait.

    Charley's Steakhouse: A reasonably good higher end steakhouse where they aim to please customers.
  • Post #4 - September 19th, 2004, 5:27 pm
    Post #4 - September 19th, 2004, 5:27 pm Post #4 - September 19th, 2004, 5:27 pm
    We had four more-than-fast-food meals in Orlando, and I wouldn't say any of them was stunningly good.

    Bluezoo, or rather "Todd English's Bluezoo," in either the Dolphin or the Swan hotel (non-Disney hotels on the Disney property), was exactly like a celebrity restaurant in a Vegas hotel-- minimalist chic decor, well-prepared but not very adventurous or memorable food. If I'd liked it better, I'd be able to remember at least one thing I had.

    Hue, which is down in the little nascent Old Town/Lincoln Park area in the actual city of Orlando, was kind of like a Kevin/Spring type restaurant. I thought it was decent but what wins awards as Orlando's best restaurant might have to fight for a place in Chicago's top 20. (Sorry to be a snot, but that's how I feel.)

    Two upscale Cuban restaurants disappointed as well. The Gloria Estafan-owned restaurant at Pleasure Island-- well, perhaps it's no surprise that that was all fairly bland and touristized. But I was much more surprised to feel ripped off at the Celebration outpost of Columbia, the ancient Tampa joint. I guess I should think of it sort of like a Berghoff's opened in a mall in the burbs somewhere, but when I ordered the supposed classic Red Snapper Alicante, I expected something that tasted less like sweet and sour Chinese food.

    Actually, there is one Cuban restaurant I greatly regret not eating at. It was in a mall food court, of all places, but they had a real roasted pork leg and it looked really good. I think I settled for a salad because we were going out that night, but I wish I'd had the pork there, rather than Gloria Estafan's.

    P.S. By the way, I wrote up for someone a whole sheet on how to do Disney World with small kids and stay sane; I won't post it (unless there's considerable demand) but anybody who wants to see it, email me.
    Last edited by Mike G on September 20th, 2004, 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #5 - September 20th, 2004, 2:28 pm
    Post #5 - September 20th, 2004, 2:28 pm Post #5 - September 20th, 2004, 2:28 pm
    My experience mirrors that of other business travelers, Orlando is a tough chow nut to crack.

    From my April 2003 posting on another board:

    "In preparation for this recent trip, I've been lurking intensely on the FL board, digging research from the local newspaper reviews, and finally, finally succeeded in breaking the dismal chow cycle of past visits.

    Chan's (on Colonial Drive)
    Picked up the tip for this one at CitySearch. Initial hint was that it was a Dim-Sum place. Second hint was found in a CitySearch posted user review that "it was a real Chinese place, they even set the tables with chopsticks". Sounded like my kind of place. So on my first night in town I set out to get some no hassle take out. Sampled noodles with Hong Kong won ton and broth, steamed chicken and choy sum sauteed with garlic--all in all-just like comfort food at home here in Atlanta. Quality was decent, kitchen perhaps capable of more if not restricted by takeout conditions. On the way to Chan's I passed by Straubs (recommended elsewhere here), but never got to stop in. Chan's had a separate 'black' menu of Cantonese specialties which looked intriguing enough that out of respect I didn't order, as I was bound and determined to eat takeout that night.

    Atlantis
    In the Renaissance Hotel opposite Seaworld. I've posted on this place before, about eight months ago. The same chef is still there--I checked when I made the reservation. Very pricey, but damn good, one of the few places I will even consider eating 'fusion'. The highlight of the meal was an appetizer special of briefly seared sliced tuna atop seared sea scallops garnished with a small mixed seaweed salad. The rack of veal was no slouch either. Dessert, a passion fruit torte was forgettable. Decent bottle of Parallel 45 Cote du Rhone at $26. As long as this chef remains in place and you have the budget, this should be a don't miss.

    Murphy's Chop House
    On the last night, tired, ate downstairs at the Airport Marriott, and guess what--had a damn respectable strip steak, an ok mesclun salad and baked potato. Certainly as good as any Ruth's Chris. Don't go out of your way, but good to keep in mind for very decent grub near the airport (hotel has shuttle every 15 minutes). Dinner plate included the Florida-obligatory slice of zucchini, this one glazed with parmesan. A good glass of St. Supery Cabernet at $10. Basil flakes marred otherwise ok sourdough. Oh well.

    Driving to Chan's on Semoran Road/436 north from the airport, then west on Colonial Drive, my chow antenna twitched repeatedly--saw several Cuban places that looked promising and a bunch of Chinese places too."

    Good luck--looking forward to hearing if you make any chow headway.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #6 - July 30th, 2007, 1:27 pm
    Post #6 - July 30th, 2007, 1:27 pm Post #6 - July 30th, 2007, 1:27 pm
    YourPalWill wrote:Bruce:
    ...
    Charley's Steakhouse: A reasonably good higher end steakhouse where they aim to please customers.

    I was just in Orlando for work and, on our last night there, we all wanted a good steak dinner. Our concierge at the La Buena Vista hotel suggested Vito's Chop House. After making our reservation, someone had suggested Charlie's Steakhouse so we went back to the concierge to ask which was better. She informed us (and it turned out to be true) that both are owned by the same people. Charlie's has a better selection of seafood but, of course, has steaks; and that Vito's has a better steak selection (whatever that means)

    We decided to go to Vito's and it was great. I had a 13 oz. NY Strip. Others had either the strip or a filet. Everyone was very satisfied with their respective steak and they all seemed to be cooked to perfection. The staff was super accomodating and really seem to go out of their way to be courteous. They also had a good wine selection. The price was also reasonable, if not great.

    Seeing as they are the same owners, I'm sure Charlie's is at least just as good as Vito's was.
    "Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens..."
    - Wyatt Earp, Tombstone
  • Post #7 - July 13th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    Post #7 - July 13th, 2010, 1:21 pm Post #7 - July 13th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    Hi there - sorry to dust off an old thread...

    Does anyone know of some good Brazilian places in Orlando? My starving student daughter is currently in Orlando with no car, not much money, but unfortunately a taste for good food :-)

    I'm intrigued by the Brazilian places mentioned by the original poster. Has anyone been to any? It would be fantastic to hear about some cheap & good ones not far from the theme parks.

    Cheers,

    Harry
  • Post #8 - July 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    Post #8 - July 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm Post #8 - July 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    Harry, sorry if this is off-track, but a little googling around reveals that there are multiple Brazilian steakhouse options in Orlando: Espeto de Prata, Texas de Brazil, Brazil 24 Hours, Nelore, Ipanema, and probably others. Don't know how these fit into your daughter's budget, but personally, I love Brazilian steakhouses, so I'd go for any of these; maybe she would too.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #9 - July 14th, 2010, 2:20 am
    Post #9 - July 14th, 2010, 2:20 am Post #9 - July 14th, 2010, 2:20 am
    Great - thanks - I will take a look. Have you been to any of them?

    Cheers,

    Harry
  • Post #10 - July 14th, 2010, 10:04 am
    Post #10 - July 14th, 2010, 10:04 am Post #10 - July 14th, 2010, 10:04 am
    Not in Orlando, no.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #11 - July 14th, 2010, 11:23 am
    Post #11 - July 14th, 2010, 11:23 am Post #11 - July 14th, 2010, 11:23 am
    Not Brazilian, but to add to the general depository of Orlando suggestions, I followed a chowhound suggestion far off the tourist track to Lee and Rick's Oyster Bar. It's a place where the waitress warns you away from the $6.95 a dozen oysters on the menu by reminding you that if you sit at the bar you can have a three dozen bucket for $17.95. And the bar is made of concrete. A real dive, and a lot of fun. They serve mostly Apalachicola oysters, so I hope there are still some to serve. Image. One of Orlando's oldest businesses, which, this being Orlando, means it goes all the way back to 1950.

    It figures that they would have a myspace page instead of a real website. But there's a nice Orlando Magazine write-up without blue writing and twinkly stars here.

    Lee & Rick's Oyster Bar
    5621 Old Winter Garden Road
    Orlando, FL 32811-1526
    (407) 293-3587

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more