Electric Umbrella: Great quick-serve lunch in Epcot
Another park, another day at a quick-service lunch. When we walked in to the Electric Umbrella, we almost left on account that the seating looked extremely limited. However, we found another area on the second floor, and made our way up there.
Like the other quick-serve places, there's about 5 choices for adults, and three or so on the kids menu. You pay at the register, then move forward to collect your tray(s) of orders. The kids had their standard cheeseburger (includes carrots, grapes, and milk.) I, however, got to try something a little more adventurous. One of the options is the Southwest flatbread - a flatbread sandwich with Black bean cakes, Monterey Jack cheese, corn salsa, and Chipotle mayonnaise. This thing was loaded with flavor - such a great option from the standard burgers and fried food. The price for a pop was outlandish, but it more than made up for it to have such a tasty sandwich option. Highly recommended.
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Kona Cafe: Nice place in the Polynesian
For our second night out, we decided to try something we could get to from the Magic Kingdom. The Polynesian is a monorail ride away, and so that made our choice up for us. We had 5:30 reservations, but got there right as it opened (around 5:00), and they were able to seat us with no problem. The restaurant is on the second floor of the hotel, and actually right across from the monorail station. Our server was prompt, and courteous, but not quite as friendly as we experienced in other restaurants on the trip.
The food here is, our course, Polynesian themed - lots of tropical fruit sprinkled through the menu. They had a "build-your-own" multi-course meal deal for $30, which I debated going with a few times, before being talked out of it by my family. It would have been nice to try a soup or appetizer (or one of the fabulous looking desserts), but instead I just went with the straight meal. My choice was the coconut almond chicken. The chicken was delicious - I love the coconut almond crust. That came with a side salad that was also tasty. They also serve a really delicious bread while you are waiting.
The kids really enjoyed their meal too. Granted, the meal was just a cheeseburger, but kid meals come with dessert, which in this case was a build your own ice-cream sundae - a generous scoop of ice cream with multiple toppings on the side.
All-in-all, everything tasted great and everyone was satisfied. A really nice meal.
Restaurantosaurus: Quick lunch in Animal Kingdom
Because we didn't want to get too structured with our days, we decided not to make reservations for lunches. That meant visiting a couple of the quick-serve table places throughout the parks. Our first stop was here, as we were in the Animal Kingdom.
If you didn't realize it by now, food can cost a fortune in the parks, and my wife was shocked as we looked at the menu board. Knowing that it wouldn't get much better, she went and collected a table for us while I ordered. Like many of the quick serve places, you stand in line, get up to a register to order, then proceed to a counter where the folks serve your food on a tray. You'll be impressed with the efficiency of the system.
As far as the food, I found this place to be a hit-and-miss. Hit for the kids, miss for me. They got a hot dog with grapes, carrots, and a milk, all served in a little plastic pail (with shovel) They devoured it quickly, and were happy to have the toy (for us to lug around the rest of the day.) At least for the most part the lunch has a lot of healthy components to it. I went with the shrimp po-boy with fries. The shrimp were OK - there was a lot of them in the sandwich, but all the fried food was too salty and greasy. Very bad choice on my part. They did have apples, which would probably have helped.
All the restaurants generally have 3-4 choices for the kids and about 5 for the adults. That was the case here as well, so you should be able to cover most people's tastes.
Yak and Yeti: Dining at the Animal Kingdom
After a long first day, we headed over for our reservations here at Yak and Yeti in the Animal Kingdom. As we walked in, we saw the crowd was thinner than I had expected, so we were seated right away. The decor is quite interesting - lots of different items give it a southeast Asia flavor, which of course, fits in with the Asia section of the Animal Kingdom.
Our waitress was quite friendly - she answered questions and came off having a great expertise of the menu, and was very nice in her interactions with the kids. Service was pretty quick, and she checked in with us appropriately.
After some debate - there are several tasty sounding choices on the menu, I went with the bourbon chicken, which was covered in a tasty sauce and served with rice and veggies. While it tasted good, it didn't really fill me up after a long day at the parks. This was really the only time this happened the whole trip. The food was decent enough, just a little less than I needed.
Note that the Animal Kingdom generally closes earlier than the other parks, so a dinner reservation could leave you heading out after the attractions are shut down. Kind of a nice little walk when the crowds are limited!
I'd probably eat here again, but would see what else was available first.
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory: Quick time
Sassagoula is the restaurant onsite at the Port Orleans French Quarter. Most likely, if you are staying here you will be offsite for lunch and dinner, but this is a great option for breakfast. The restaurant is more like a food court or cafeteria style restaurant - several stations, a beverage area, and multiple check outs.
For breakfast, you'll get several options - they had a bagel/danish area with huge cinnamon rolls. I tried this one day, but it was way too sugary (still delicious though). Some of the standard lines include pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, and the famous Mickey waffles. My dad tried the omelets, and thought they were pretty good.
Service is OK - it's quick and functional, and maybe that's all you can ask for in the morning. When I wanted a cup to split an OJ with my 4 year old, I did get some hassle (I guess they thought I was going to run over to the soda machines.)
I did NOT realize that kid's meals came with a drink (milk, juice, etc.) until later in the trip - be sure to be aware of what you get :)
The food itself is pretty decent. I tried the chocolate chip pancakes - very light and fluffy and full of chocolate!
Finally, you know the food is going to be expensive going in. So, be prepared for a minor sticker shock. The food adds up quickly (particularly the beverages.) Convenience of having a place to grab a bite before the day is what makes this place a winner.
Home hosts: Local food
A new site just taking off is www.eatwithalocal.com it connects travellers with local people willing to cook for them in their homes. I don't know whether there are any members in Orlando but there are quite a few scattered across the USA. It is free to join and use.
Have a great summer
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Asia Bagus: Epic Indonesian/Fusion & Sushi
Excellent, excellent Indonesian/Fusion food and sushi !!!! What is even more amazing is that it is quite reasonable in price. Most all of the main dishes were in the $10-$12 dollar range.
It is located in a nondescript strip mall and the two reasons that I tried it was because in the front window it had excellent reviews from the local newspaper and the inside is very nice, considering where it is.
We stayed in Orlando for 12 days and we were sick of expensive average chain restaurant steaks and food when on the 10th day we found this place. We had been looking for local food the whole time, but it seems the the independant restaurants seem to only stay near downtown and we didn't want to go that far to eat. Needless to stay that we ate there the last two days in Orlando !!!
Favorite Dish: I am not a fan of sushi/sashmi, but my girlfriend is so we tried it, and even I thought it was great. Try the "Volcano" special roll.
We loved all of the main dishes we ate; I had the "Ayam Woku chicken" and "Ayam Rica-Rica" and she had the "chicken Teriyaki". Be careful though some if the dishes are very spicy, but many are not, so don't be afraid.
If we'd had more time I wanted to try the "Java Rub Fillet Mignon", the "beef short ribs", and the "Seared Mahi-Mahi with Lime Basil sauce". They have photos of some of the food and they looked great.
All of these dishes were under $15 and best of all, the chef is the owner, as it should be.
Special occaision? Anniversary? Birthday? And you want to do something DIFFERENT?!?!
You might want to consider Bergamos. I know there will be other Orlando experts that might wince a bit, but the entertainment is IMPECABLE and if you REALLY want something different, this is it.
I have brought many out of towners there as well as locals / family. NO ONE LEAVES THERE UNHAPPY.
It's Fine Dining Italian... it's very good. Prices are above average... but here's the novelty / unique twist: There is a baby grand in the middle of the dining floor and every hour on the hour, they have their wait staff sing. They are all trained vocalist and most operatic style. Some show style singers (Think Broadway trained, not Opera...) The entire restaurant just lights up.
If you just want a restaurant with AMAZING FOOD AND AMBIANCE, well, the Grand Floridian has Victoria and Alberts... (But it's Disney... me sticking finger down my throat!) It's Overpriced and there are still better restaurants off property!
For example, Manuel's on the 28th (Downtown Orlando) is considered the BEST (TRES Expensive, but FAB food and WONDEROUS 28th floor view of Central Florida!)
But if you want amazing entertainment w/ GREAT FOOD for that special occaision where you want a little more beyond food & ambiance, consider Bergamos. (It's kid friendly, but I'd make sure they were well behaved kids. It's a fine dining restaurant.)
One memory I shall never forget at Bergamos: My parents and sister and other family members were there for a grand dinner one night. At the table behind us was a couple - alone - no kids..family, celebrating their 50tH anniversary. Staff was alerted ahead of time... The waitstaff (singers) came to their table and sang them a special song. NO EYE WAS DRY after that... My mom, sister and I were ALL sobbing, and even my dad and brother in law were dabbing at their eyes..
Favorite Dish: Risotto's are GREAT by the way... So is the Bruschetta and the antipasto platter if you want to just nosh off the Appetizer menu and drink wine at the bar. I do that lots!
continental: K wine bar
the K wine bar is a very good restaurant in college park. good continental fare and an excellent wine selection. located on edgewater drive in the heart of the college park business district. i recommend this restaurant to visitors to the orlando area.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Business Travel
Bob Marley Memorial: Bob Marley Memorial Restaurant
The decor was blahh the food was just as bad and the drinks were worst. No live band was playing when we went there. It was just TV's all around playing the concert tribute to Bob Marley. The manager was cool and tried to make people feel welcome though.
Favorite Dish: french fries
House of Blues: Gospel Brunch
It looks like some kind of voodoo temple meets junkyard on the outside but the inside is not so scary except for maybe the bathroom decor. The food was pretty good. They gave us a lunch and a breakfast buffet with endless choices. Dont try to watch your diet in this place it is not going to work. The music and singing was good but too short. Make sure you sit downstairs where you are closer to the food.
Favorite Dish: I liked everything except for the chicken seasoning.
Tatame Sake and Tea Room: Sake and Bubble Tea
Tatame is a great experience and I am soon to become a regular. With Funky art on the walls, fantastic music, a big couch and several asian tables and pillows, you will not want to leave once you settle in. They serve a variety of sake, teas, (and bubble teas, my favorite) along wiht a small but delictable menu. The staff is extremley helpful and friendly ( and beautiful)
Favorite Dish: Bubble tea, which comes in several flavors. It is a mix of tea, condensed milk and balls of tapioca which have a consistancy of gummy bears. I tried the almond and coffee flavors which were out of this world. I also had a chicken sandwich, which when I ordered my waitress told me it was just about the best thing I would ever have. She was right. Sadly, they were out of the pork chop sandwich that night :(
Shula's Steakhouse: Join the 48oz Club!
This is my favorite restaurant. The service is wonderful, the setting is beautiful, and the steaks are MASSIVE.
This restaurant is most known for the 48oz porterhouse steak. If you can eat the entire steak then you become a member of the "48oz club"
Favorite Dish: The 48oz porterhouse!
Eating a 3 pound steak might sound like something that is difficult to do, but this steak is so good, that it is almost as if you want more steak after you finish it!Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
Golden Corral: Buffet
We had a few meals at this restaurant and in my opinion it is one of the best for buffet style meals. You pay as you enter and I think drinks were extra (remember your coupons if you have forgotton them they will have some) You can go and have as much or as little as you like from the buffet. GC also do Steaks which are included in the set price.
Joe's Crab Shack: Tasty food and drinks and friendly service
The first night we were there, it became obvious that finding a really GREAT restaurant would be a challenge, and finding a place that wasn't part of a restaurant chain, nearly impossible.
Even though there's a Joe's Crab Shack at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (where I wouldn't go), we decided to go anyway.
We were really pleasantly surprised by a fun atmosphere, really, really friendly and attentive service and very good food. Yes, quite touristy, but yes, very tasty.
Favorite Dish: The coconut shrimp that Mark got were DELICIOUS, but I opted for grilled food. I had the grilled scallop, ahi tuna and prawn skewers with rice and veggies. Very, very yummy! Though the scallops were wrapped in bacon, which was too salty for me and I just took off.
We had a shrimp dip (an artichoke/spinach/cheeze and shrimp hot dip) that was really, really, really yummy.
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