Amatista Cookhouse
Address6601 Adventure Way
CityOrlando
Phone407-503-3463
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Located inside the Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, Amatista is supposed to represent the tropics, though the decor is a bit more North Polish. The food, though, is recommendable. Ostensibly Caribbean, it is presented in a creative and stylistic way.... Read more
Bahama Breeze, International Drive
Address8849 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-248-2499
Price$$$

It will be interesting to see if Darden keeps backing this Islands concept, which for some reason has never quite caught on with the dining public. For the most part, the food is good  and the restaurants are attractive and lively, often with entertainment. And they’re a favorite outdoor dining destination for locals.

As for the food, my companion out-ordered me with tortilla soup and a ropa Joe sandwich. The soup had layer upon layer of textures and tastes, with pliant avocado cubes, chicken and strips of tortillas.

The sandwich was, as the name might suggest, a version of the classic ropa vieja specialty of shredded beef served on a Cuban roll. Lots of well-seasoned meat, some cheese, peppers and onions livened it up.

For my starter course, I chose a special of ahi tuna ceviche, which featured tiny cubes of tuna dressed with citrus juices served atop a platform supported by watercress. The watercress was more annoying than helpful. It was wadded onto the plate in long stems, and every time I tried to fork a little watercress with some tuna, a long vine would trail behind.

For my entree, I had another special of... Read more

Bob Marley - A Tribute To Freedom
AddressCityWalk
Universal Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-224-3663
Price$$
This oddly named restaurant is a replica of Marley's home in Kingston, Jamaica. The menu has traditional Caribbean fare, such as jerk chicken, oxtail, beef patties and such (no curried goat, however). One taste of the food and you'll understand why Marley is a music legend. Note: after 9 p.m. only adults over 21 admitted. There may be a cover charge for entertainment (usually $7). Food is served only until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but the music keeps playing -- and the drinks keep pouring -- until 2 a.m.... Read more
Golden Krust
Address318 N Alafaya Trail
CityOrlando
Phone
Price$
Scott's Review
A small storefront location for what is a Jamaican franchise out of New York. Very friendly staff serving hearty Islands food. The oxtail stew is a specialty.... Read more
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
AddressCityWalk
Universal Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-224-2155
Price$$
As you stand in line at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville to get your beeper, which you'll carry with you as you wait even longer for your table, you might be reminded of the lyrics ``Wastin' away again in Margaritaville .''

No, you definitely will be reminded of those lyrics, because if you spend more than 20 minutes in the restaurant you're sure to hear them. Heck, you could spend 20 minutes just trying to get a drink at the bar.

The theme here is the music of Jimmy Buffett and his parrothead paradise. Sorry, I don't know why his fans are called parrotheads. And I probably missed a lot of the insider jokes and other references to his songs that I'm unfamiliar with. The upstairs bar, for example, is probably called the 12-volt bar for some reason.

I have only a Top-40 knowledge of his songs. I enjoy his music, though two straight hours of it can be a bit much. I do know that many of his songs are either themed on food and drink, or contain references to them. So that part lends itself well to a restaurant theme. And the Key Westiness and island atmosphere of his songs add to the decor.

Read more
Kreyol Kafe & Bakery
Address12014 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-6731
Price
Scott's Review
Charming Haitian quick-serve with delicious food. ... Read more
Mango's Tropical Cafe
Address8126 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-673-4422
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Don't pay much attention to the cafe designation. This is mainly a nightclub with elaborate (and good) entertainment. You basically come here for the show and to have drinks. The food might help alleviate the affects of the latter.... Read more