Orlando is the home of the corporate headquarters for HRC, so you’d expect the restaurant here to be superlative. And it is. It’s a massive structure, and I doubt the music plays any louder at another location. The food is basic, but more than passable.
Texas chili was a good chili, but I would hate to be there when it was served to a real Texan and he or she discovers beans in it. You can find chili in Texas with beans in it, but you'll probably also find the cook strung up out back.
Then there is the Tuscan chicken salad, which could just as easily have been named Tallahassee chicken salad, or Berlin chicken salad, or even world-class chicken salad because there certainly wasn't anything remotely Tuscan about it. OK, there were some slivers of salami and provolone cheese (which mostly comes from northern Italy, by the way) mixed in with mesclun greens, red peppers, mushrooms and asparagus. The greens were topped with cubes of grilled chicken and tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. Despite its geographical misplacement, it was a good salad.
|Address||9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd.|
|Address||4012 S. Central Florida Parkway|
|Address||215 S. Orlando Ave.|
For some reason, the parent company has decided to rename the restaurant Hillstone. Go figure. Hillstone/Houston's menu might be described as minimalistic. There are no appetizers to speak of, except for a couple of items under a category labeled this and that, which also includes side items. I did try the Chicago style spinach and artichoke dip, your basic dip served with tortilla chips. Although it is not listed on the menu, an appetizer portion of the barbecued ribs entree is also available. This included a half-slab of tender ribs with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce served on top of a mound of fries.
Most entrees include a salad, and the salads were huge. The basic salad featured a large plate of fresh, crisp greens topped with chopped eggs, grated cheese and big bits of crumbled bacon. The mustard honey house dressing was wonderful.
I also sampled a salad of seared tuna and field greens, which could easily serve as an entree. The sushi-grade tuna was seared on the outside and raw inside. The bite-size cubes were placed alongside a pile of exotic greens, which also included fresh avocado, drizzled with a cilantro-ginger vinaigrette.
The b... Read more
|Address||Disney's Hollywood Studios|
Walt Disney World
Fashioned after the original restaurant in Los Angeles, HBD is worthy of a better dressed crowd than the t-shirted masses from the theme park, but there's no getting around that. A must-have here is the Cobb salad, which was an invention of the owner of the original Derby.
I started my lunch with sweet Zellwood corn chowder, which also had bits of applewood smoked bacon. It was a large bowl -- whether it was worth nine bucks is up for debate -- and the kernels of corn still had a nice bit of crunch. I would have liked to have seen some more bacon, and the drizzle of ancho chili oil on the top, which resembled something like an oil slick, didn't add a lot, but overall it was a nice chowder.
The original Brown Derby is where the Cobb salad was invented. It was the creation of former Derby owner Bob Cobb (you’d think he’d go by Robert, wouldn’t you?), who whipped up the salad as a late-night snack for a Hollywood VIP back in the '30s. The story goes that there wasn’t much in the fridge the night the bigwig came in so Cobb just chopped up what he could find. It’s the chopping that defines a Cobb today. Here the Cobb has greens, turkey breast, egg, bacon, tomatoes, bl... Read more
|Address||1490 Buena Vista Drive|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
Its the House of Blues, a boisterous boite that celebrates the diversity and brotherhood of world culture and promotes racial and spiritual harmony through love, peace, truth, righteousness and non-violence. But despite a mission statement that makes it sound like the lunchroom at the United Nations, this is actually a themed restaurant that serves up rhythm, blues and soul and not so incidentally surprisingly good food, most of it rooted in a New Orleans style.
What's surprising about it is that everything is of good quality, prepared and presented with the sort of gourmet flair you'd expect from a fine dining establishment, not a place that is made to look like a juke joint.
Menu highlights include a smoked double-cut pork chop, etouffe and Cajun meat loaf. For appetizers, the Mississippi catfish bites are pretty tasty.
The bread pudding is a must. The Sunday gospel brunch, which features an all-you-can-eat buffet, is an inspirational treat.
... Read more