Considering the name of the restaurant is the Back Room Steakhouse, I shouldn't be completely surprised that even after having dined there I'm still not at all sure where it is or exactly how I got there. (Thanks, for the directions, Siri.)
What isn't surprising is that it is located in a strip mall, nestled between a Beef O'Brady's and a Little Caesars pizza.
Once inside the ambience is a little more, um un-strippy, with a clubhouse decor that includes red leather tufted banquettes and wood floors. It's slightly more barlike than upscale. And by the way, despite the name, the restaurant is right up front.
The average check total is decidedly higher than the neighbors'. O'Brady regulars who might wander in and decide to try Back Room's beef might gasp at the $31 fee for a 14-ounce New York Strip. But folks who appreciate good steaks and know that a good quality cut, aged four weeks, costs a bit more will understand the cost once they take a bite.
Mai Bistro, a Vietnamese restaurant, has opened in the Mills 50 district, bringing a bit of difference to the Asian-restaurant-rich neighborhood. Not only different, but very good.
The menu features street foods of Vietnam -- nothing new there, Hawkers and Mamak are also in the street food business. But Mai brings a combination of fast- and quick-serve. And instead of the small-plate, Asian-style tapas servings, Mai Bistro offers full sized portions.
You’re going to want a complete serving of the Sticky Rice, one of Mai Bistro’s specialties and a dish that is surprisingly hard to find locally. (A new restaurant called Sticky Rice is due to open soon in the same area, so maybe we’ll have more opportunities.)
I love sticky rice and it’s one of my go-to street foods whenever I’m in New York’s Chinatown. In Vietnam, it’s known as xôi and can be had in sweet or savory versions, though given that coconut milk is one of the ingredients that adds to the stickiness even the savory has a bit of sweetness.
Corey Crawford, chef de cuisine at Fiorenzo's, the Italian restaurant at Hyatt Regency Orlando, shows you how to make Chicken & Ravioli, one of the restaurant's signature dishes, in this episode of Compliments of the Chef.
Watch the video, then gather all your ingredients and give it a try.