Nona Blue
Address9685 Lake Nona Village Place
CityOrlando
Phone407-313-0027
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Nona Blue Modern Tavern opened May 2013 and has been been keeping the tables filled ever since. The first time I visited was a Monday, and the place was doing the sort of business that some restaurants in town would cherish on a weekend. Part of that, of course, is the newness and part is the aforementioned scarcity. And some of it has to do with the allure of Graeme McDowell, the golfer, who is one of the owners (along with Joe Davi and Bill Bona). Whether they will keep coming is yet to be seen, but with a few tweaks here and there -- especially in the area of service -- they should be able to keep those seats filled. I liked what I saw when I first walked into the place (once I found the front door, which is not easily spotted). I liked what I smelled even more. The air was infused with the aroma of hickory smoke, and it had me immediately craving something wood-smoked. The menu makes full use of that grill. There isn’t anything particularly daring or innovative on it, just your basic tavern fare. You’ve got your burgers, your steaks and seafood offerings. And quite a long list of appetizers, called shareables on the menu, some of which are priced as much as some of the fu... Read more
Nona Social Bar + Kitchen
Address9145 Narcoossee Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-674-7818
Price$$
Scott's Review
Nona Tap Room is gone and Nona Social Bar + Kitchen has taken its place. Except for the variation of the name, I can’t see a whole lot of difference between the two. It’s still a neighborhoody place that is more bar than kitchen. Still a bit on the small, cozy side. It still features a menu that is burgercentric. And the kitchen still can’t cook a burger to a medium-rare temperature. Or perhaps just refuses to.... Read more
Nona Tap Room
Address9145 Narcoossee Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-440-4594
Price
Scott's Review
A neighborhoody sort of place, with a wide array of beers on tap. The food menu stays pretty close to the basic pub fare. I ordered the Loaded Burger, which features onions, bacon and mushrooms as well as a choice of cheese. The patty was marinated in Guiness beer and had a nicely charred crust and a not unpleasant greasy quality. It was not, however, cooked to the requested medium-rare. It had passed that point some time before it was delivered.... Read more
Oblivion Taproom
Address5101 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-802-4800
Price$$
Scott's Review

As the name implies (the Taproom part, anyway), craft beers are a forte -- 40 are featured on tap -- and the extensive list will undoubtedly be a draw to those looking for unusual brews to try. Not sure I’m game for the one called Creme Brulee, but it seems as though Stone Ruination IPA might go with the theme of the place.

What’s surprising is the roster of food, which is more ambitious than you might expect. Burgers are the mainstay and they are offered in a variety of combinations with sometimes logical and sometimes confounding names. Most are done quite well (which is not to say well done, if that's not how you want it, although my burger was a tad overcooked). 

I chose the Hog Wild, which featured a beef burger topped with chopped pork, because, really, the best garnish for meat is more meat. It also had bacon, which is a bonus. Caramelized onions, onion rings and cheddar cheese, all served on a fairly fresh brioche bun, completed the burger.

... Read more
Orlando Meats
Address728 Virginia Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-598-0700
Price$
Scott's Review
Technically a butcher shop, but it sells one of the best damn burgers in town.... Read more
Shake Shack
Address119 N Orlando Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone321-203-5130
Price$
Scott's Review
Shake Shack opened a few weeks ago, but I resisted going because, frankly, I refuse to wait in line for food. The last time I did so was at a Magnolia Bakery in the West Village and I felt like the fool I was for waiting more than an hour to end up with a very average cupcake. So imagine my surprise when I finally screwed my courage to the proverbial sticking point and headed for the restaurant, preparing not only for the line but the already legendary inadequately sized parking lot, and not only got a parking space right away but also walked into the Shake Shack and stepped right up to the counter to place my order. Of course, it was 3:30 in the afternoon, so there's that. The burger, a 100 percent all natural angus patty (no hormones or antibiotics), was very good. Hour-long wait good, no, but walk right in and have a bite to eat good, yes. The patty was not too rare (too thin for that, really) but had a wonderful charred flavor, and the Shacksauce, whatever that is, added a nice condimental note. The crinkly-cut fries had a good crisped exterior and an airy potatoness inside. The shake was thick and creamy. The strawberry flavor was more of a hint than a major component... Read more
Shula Burger
Address8124 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
CityKissimmee
Phone407-238-1999
Price$
Scott's Review
Most of the menu is -- this won’t surprise you -- burgers, from basic to fancy. There are a couple of other options, most notably the Shula Steak Sandwich, but when the name of the place is Shula Burger, you're best to stick with that. And in fact I chose the one called the Shula Burger, a very basic patty with a slice of American cheese (a substance that always makes me swell with patriotic pride -- at least I think that’s what causes the swelling), lettuce and tomato. I requested, without being asked, that the burger be cooked medium-rare. The fellow taking the order winced a bit and said he could only do medium or medium-well. I asked why, preparing myself for the “it’s a state law” boondoggle, but the man answered quite honestly -- the patties are too thin to cook medium-rare.... Read more
Tap Room at Dubsdread
Address549 W. Par St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-650-0100
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Finally, a good restaurant at Dubsdread. It’s Sam Snead’slike (the owners here were involved in developing the Sam Snead’s Tavern concept)  with an emphasis on simple foods.

The pot roast and filet mignon are standouts, and if you get the Buffalo shrimp, ask the kitchen to make them spicy. And the Tap Room burger is superb.

The rustic dining room is fronted by a wraparound porch that overlooks the Dubsdread Golf Course. It's a lovely spot to enjoy Sunday brunch, and as luck would have it, the Tap Room serves an excellent one.

... Read more