Big Easy
Address15502 Stoneybrook West Parkway
CityWinter Garden
Phone407-654-3279
Price$$
Scott's Review

The atmosphere at Big Easy is casual to the point of having a diner feel. The kitchen is open (you could easily see a row of stools there) and there are more windows than wall space for decorations, it seems. The bare-topped tables are a royal purple. Of course, some of the best food in New Orleans can be found in uber casual spaces.

But nothing I tasted at Big Easy had me longing to return. The gumbo was a more watery version, which is how many Louisianans prefer it -- less thickening in the roux. But it also didn’t have much characteristic flavor.

Neither did the jambalaya, which was also overly dry. Estelle’s crawfish etouffe (no, no idea who Estelle is) looked the way it is supposed to, more of a brown gravy. But it was just bland. Both entrees were served with cornbread that had a texture similar to pound cake, smooth rather than crumbly.

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Big River Grille & Brewing Works
AddressDisney's BoardWalk
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-560-0253
Price$$
It’s much more interesting for its on-site beer brewing than the food, which is rather mundane. This is a non-Disney-owned restaurant, operated by Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group out of Tennessee.... Read more
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux
Address3022 Corrine Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-427-1440
Price$

Cycling fans Jen and Darrell Cunningham dedicated their new cafe to their favorite sports: bicycling, drinking coffee and sipping wine. Food is mostly sandwiches and soups.

The menu mainly features sandwiches, and most have names that might make sense only to the most diehard cycling fan. For instance, there’s the Rasmussen, named for Michael Rasmussen, whose nickname is the Chicken (chicken salad);  s.a.g. stop special, short for supply and gear stop where cyclists get basics during a break (peanut butter and bananas); and the Lance-wich, named for Lance Armstrong, who for some reason inspired this ham and turkey sandwich.

Luckily, once you get past that bit of preciousness you’ll find some good sandwiches. I had the Lance-wich, wich was not what I would call big (the menu calls it champion-sized), but it had plenty of thinly slices ham and turkey on double-deck multigrain bread with a variety of toppings. I also had a cup of soup, which is called simply soup and had rice and chicken in a creamy and well-seasoned broth.

Despite the cycling terms on the menu, there is very little bicycle kitsch in the décor. It would have been easy to go overboard with... Read more

Bistro 1501
Address1501 International Parkway
CityLake Mary
Phone407-995-7053
Price
Scott's Review
Located in the Marriott hotel in Lake Mary (which for some reason is called the Orlando Marriott), this three-mealer is known to many locals for its brunch. My experience was not a good one, with quality taking a back seat to quantity. It's a bargain at $22.95 if all you want to do is stuff mediocre food in your face.... Read more
Black Hammock Fish Camp
Address2316 Black Hammock Fish Camp Road
CityOviedo
Phone407-365-2702
Price$

Black Hammock sits on the shore of Lake Jessup, which has the distinction of being home to the largest number of relocated “nuisance” gators. This is not a place where you want to take a swim. It’s also not a restaurant for you if you’re queasy about fried food. That’s the forte here. You can have frogs legs, various types of fish, or, in a delightful twist, gator tail. Chomp them before they chomp you.

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Black Rock Bar & Grill
Address8965 Conroy Windermere Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-217-7170
Price$$$
Scott's Review
The gimmick is cooking your own food at your table on a 700-degree rock. Bring the kids!... Read more
Boheme
Address325 S. Orange Ave.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
CityOrlando
Phone407-581-4700
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

The Boheme has grown into a more consistent fine dining experience but now is trying to position itself as more accessible. Try the Kessler calamari, a silly name for a delicious appetizer, and follow with the lamb duet or the Chilean sea bass. The kitchen also has a way with scallops.

A special treat about dinner here is that most nights there is entertainment in the rotunda just outside the dining room, and the music easily wafts in. If you arrive early, have a seat in the lounge, listen to the music, and enjoy the stories of the affable bartenders.

It should also be noted that the Boheme (and by the way it's pronounced boh-HEEM and not like the name of the Puccini opera) also serves a very nice Sunday jazz brunch.

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Bohemian Bar and Grill
Address700 Bloom St.
CityCelebration
Phone407-566-6000
Price$$$
It turns out that it is at the Bohemian Hotel Celebration, a sister hotel (or maybe it’s a brother; I always have trouble determining the sex of lodging) to the Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando. Of course the restaurant there is called the Boheme, and you find it by walking through the bar and under the piano rotunda to the ornately designed dining room. Step inside the front door of the Celebration hotel and you’re in the lobby, and, apparently, also in the dining room. A bar is off the the side and there are several tables with glasses and flatware, the sort of setting that I, as a trained observer, immediately recognize as places to eat. The sausage was really quite good, and if it were available as an entree I would have gladly made it my main course. The texture was surprisingly smooth, almost like a boudin, and there were several nice spice notes. It seems to me that making sausage is one of the best uses for gator meat, which can be a little tough. Best seating is outside at the lakefront patio.... Read more