A Taste of Peru
Address9521 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Scott's Review
Peruvian cuisine is rich and varied in styles, with influences from the native Incans and explorers and immigrants from Spain, China, Africa, Italy and Germany. If the country has a national dish, it would arguably be lomo saltado. It’s a sort of stir-fry entree that offers a taste of the indigenous with a bit of Asian influence. It features strips of meat, usually beef and usually marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, stir fried with onions and tomatoes, with myriad herbs and spices. It is typically served atop fried potatoes with a side of white rice. Double starch -- my favorite. A Taste of Peru’s lomo was both simple and complex, with big, chewable hunks of onions, hot pulpy bits of tomatoes, a sprinkling of fresh parsley for both color and flavor, crispy fried potatoes and a resulting sauce that suited the rice.... Read more
De La Vega
Address945 City Plaza Way
Scott's Review
De La Vega is in a development called Oviedo on the Park that features a well-tailored green space surrounding a lake. The evening I visited there was a festival of some sort in the park with music and food and lots of happy people drinking beer. There were happy people inside the restaurant, too. The presumed De La Vegas of the restaurant’s name are Mano, the general manager and “rum & tequila catador,” and Nora De La Vega, the chef.... Read more
Address422 S. Alafaya Trail
Scott's Review
Guavate, a Puerto Rican restaurant, apparently has been around for several years but has somehow escaped my notice. I’m sure some of that has to do with its location, which is eastern Orlando. Actually, if you use Semoran Boulevard and the East-West Expressway as bisecting lines, Guavate is in the southeastern quadrant, which makes it a bit more off of my radar. I understand that there is such a place as Avalon Park in that vicinity. But Guavate is well before that mythical land. And I ended my ignorance of the little eatery with a blissful little lunch recently. One of the servers greeted me warmly when I walked in and didn’t protest when I insisted on choosing my own table. She kept her good humor as I quizzed her about the menu and asked for recommendations. I’ve been on a mofongo kick lately, so I ordered the Mofongo de Yuca that is listed under the Side Orders heading. For my main plate, I chose the Carne Frita Encebollada lunch special, which includes a choice of side dishes, none of which is mofongo. But it was my server who suggested that it could be my choice, which I appreciated.... Read more
Itar Bistro Market
Address7065 Westpointe Blvd
Scott's Review
The name sounds exotic but it's a portmanteau of Italy and Argentina, the two cuisines represented on the menu. Both countries are well served, but the Grilled Octopus from Spain is the best.... Read more
Jungle Skipper Canteen
Address1180 Seven Seas Drive
CityLake Buena Vista
Scott's Review
The newest full-service restaurant inside Magic Kingdom is themed on the Jungle River Cruise, which is known for its punacious river pilots. You can expect a lot of corn from the waiters here, too. Try the fish collar and shu mai.... Read more
La Abundancia
Address1555 N. Semoran Blvd.
CityWinter Park
Scott's Review

This little bakery does some fine food as well, all with a Colombian twist.

The menu is on a board on the wall behind the counter, which holds various Latin American baked goods. I wasn't getting a lot of information from the Spanish language menu, so the owner approached and asked if she could offer some help. I asked her what the specialty of the house was, but she misunderstood and told me what the special of the day was -- a plantain soup and a serving of yellow rice and chicken for $7.

I was intrigued by the plantain soup, so I ordered the special.

I couldn't believe how much food I got for seven bucks. The soup was a full bowl, not just a measly cup, and it featured a hearty chicken broth with lots of vegetables and slices of green plantains. The soup could easily have been an entree.

... Read more
La Fogata
Address1718 Sand Lake Road
Scott's Review
La Fogata, Spanish for the wood fire, features a pan Latin American menu, though there are a couple of outlier entrees from Italy. Puerto Rico and Colombia dominate the menu and all of the food is well executed and served in ample portions.... Read more
Latin Square Cuisine
Address250 S. Orange Ave.
The menu features a tidy number of sandwiches, salads and entrees. You've got your Cuban, your ropa viejo, your chicken with chimichurri sauce. When it came my turn to select, I went with the shredded pork with two sides, those being a moro rice (a mix of black beans and rice) and roasted potatoes. The pleasant young woman who took my order first piled on the moro, then the roasted potatoes, and I thought maybe she had misunderstood me or that I had ordered incorrectly because I didn't think there would be room for the pork. But then she plopped on a massive amount of the pork and somehow managed to get the clamshell container closed. I also ordered a cup of the Baja chicken enchilada soup to go. Actually, it isn't necessary to order anything to go — if you get something, you must go and make way for another person to enter the cramped space. If you wish, you may eat your food at one of the tables in the gravel area next to the lawn, which isn't as unpleasant as it sounds. I carried my lunch home and opened it up and dove right in. Every bit of it was wonderful. The rice blended with the beans had a substantial mouthfeel, the thinly sliced potatoes still had crunch and ... Read more