|Address||205 E. 1st St.|
Voted the second best German restaurant in the U.S. but readers of GermanDeli.com for 2009. (Bavarian Grill of Plano, Texas, was number one; go figure.) I don't know if I'd go that far, but I'm prepared to call it the best German restaurant in Central Florida.
Although the surroundings leave something to be desired, there’s good German food to be had here. Have a schnitzel, or the sausage platter, but beware: it’s a lot of food.
The place is especially festive Thursdays through Sundays when there is entertainment. Oom-pah-pah!
|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.
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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.
|Address||8255 S. International Drive|
|Address||8126 International Drive|
|Address||7339 W. Sand Lake Road|
An upscale seafood (Ocean) and steak (Prime) supper club (live music) in the vein of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. The main dining room features warm wood walls with huge five-foot portholes that look through to the lounge area. (The dining room has its own bar for more intimate imbibing, a nice touch.) Touches of blue neon and a soft glow from drumlike light fixtures offer romantic notes, and white tablecloths and candles with frosted shades add a touch of elegance.
A “surf n turf” appetizer had lovely sea scallops and boneless short ribs plopped together in a smallish bowl with way too mashed potatoes. Good scallops, good ribs, bad presentation.
Onion soup was distinguished by a near lack of broth under heavy cheese; she-crab soup had a slight astringency and was not nearly as rich as it should have been.
Service was professional and thorough, and once the kitchen makes the right improvements, Ocean Prime will be a good choice.
|Address||1640 Buena Vista Drive|
|City||Lake Buena Vista|
You’ll find traditional music, familiar ales and even genuine fittings from old bars in Ireland, but the food is an updated version of Irish classics, some a bit highfalutin.
For example, we started our dinner with a seared scallop on a mint and pea puree. Just saying the words mint and pea puree will get you thrown out of most pubs in Dublin. But it was tasty, as was the potato and asparagus soup, lighter and smoother than you'd expect.
The next course was shepherd's pie, but as I said before, things aren't done in a traditional way at Raglan Road, and this was certainly the oddest shepherd's pie I've seen. Here, the ground meat mixed with gravy was dolloped onto a large spoon with a little mashed potatoes piped on top. It was a little more than one should shove into one's mouth all at once, but there wasn't quite enough to reallly get a feel for the flavor.
Whatever you have for dinner be sure to have the bread pudding for dessert. And the house band, which performs nightly, will make you want to get up and dance without moving your arms.... Read more