Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
Address1562 N. Mills Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-581-9861
Price$$
Scott's Review
Firebirds is a Charlotte, North Carolina, based chain started in 2000 by Dennis L. Thompson, who co-founded Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. There are 34 locations (over two million dollars in bar inventory!); the Orlando restaurant is the company's first in Florida. The menu features little creativity yet tries to offer something for everyone. You've got your steaks, chicken dishes, various fish, burgers, meatloaf, five salads, distinguished from four others designated "Firebirds Signature Salads." (The "Soups of the Day" section has eight selections, so figure that one out.) Most everything I tasted was just fine, though nothing rose to a level of wonderful.... Read more
FishBones
Address7005 County Road 46A
CityLake Mary
Phone407-581-3474
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

The Lake Mary FishBones impresses first with its size and splashy décor. It is easy to believe the rumors that put the price tag for the new restaurant somewhere around $6.5 million. There are multiple dining rooms as well as a sushi bar, indoor lounge and outdoor bar with tables that feature personal gas fireplaces. There are numerous display aquariums with exotic marine life plus a live fish tank for your dinner selections. Among the upscale decorations and touches of classiness are numerous glass works by Tampa artist Duncan McClellan. Directly behind the host stand is an immense wood-fired grill, which is something of a trademark in various Talk of the Town restaurants.

The sushi selections are listed as bait, an unfortunate pandering to those who think of raw fish only in derogative terms.

This is a second location for a Sand Lake Road restaurant – sort of. The two really are quite different, and I don’t recommend the Sand Lake Road version. The Lake Mary restaurant is big and splashy, and steaks are treated with the same skillful deftness as seafood. Try any of the fresh fish and sample some of the sushi. One dessert will serve four people.

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Four Rebels American Taco Kitchen & Bar
Address1618 N. Mills Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-601-6575
Price$$
Scott's Review
Don't expect a lot of disruption in the taco sector. However, the food is good enough, and there's a rooftop deck for casual dining and sipping.... Read more
Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
Address400 S. Orlando Ave.
CityMaitland
Phone407-960-5533
Price$$
Scott's Review
The chef owner of the restaurant is Francesco Aiello (I love it -- a name that’s two-thirds vowels!), a native of Palermo, Sicily. He is not new to Central Florida kitchens; he’s been cooking here since 1998, most recently at Terra Mia in Lake Mary. The menu isn’t dissimilar from other Italian menus in the area, but the execution of the dishes certainly sets it apart. I especially liked Aiello’s pizza. The platform of the crust was thin, but the edges had poofed up from the 700-degree wood-burning oven. The toppings on the carne pizza -- pepperoni, sausage and ham -- were plentiful, as was the cheese and sauce. And yet the pie retained a certain crispness in the crust. I ate each bite with a slight bit of awe. If you’re among those who lament being unable to find good pizza in Orlando, you must try the one here.... Read more
Graffiti Junktion
Address700 E. Washington St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-426-9503
Price$
Scott's Review
The original Graffiti Junktion has moved a couple of blocks east to the corner of Summerlin Avenue. Graffiti Junktion, if the name doesn’t already give it away, goes more for a grunge aura, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it seems kind of appropriate. The decor relies heavily on the graffiti part (must have been easy to decorate -- just leave a few cans of spray paint out overnight and when you come back in the morning, voila!). Its subname is an American Burger Bar, so red, white and blue figure into the scheme. I had the burger called the Lone Star, a big thick patty, cooked close to the requested medium-rare, topped with thick rashers of bacon and cheddar cheese and slathered with barbecue sauce. It had crispy lettuce, tomato and pickles on a fresh bun. And it was accompanied by a generous portion of slender, spiced fries. Good burger.
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Graffiti Junktion College Park
Address2401 Edgewater Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-377-1961
Price$$
Scott's Review
This is a second location for the popular burger monger from Thornton Park. The name should tell you everything you need to know about the decor, although I'll add that it can be very, very loud. Burgers are good, but they also do some terrific bar snacks for watching the games on the many televisions. (Don't expect to hear anything from the tv's speakers.)... Read more
Greek Corner
Address1600 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-228-0303
Price$$

It’s Greek, and it’s on the corner; you can’t get more succinct that that. But no corners are cut on the quality. All your Greek favorites are here, served in a small, unassuming space.

I supped on the melitzanosalat, a dip made with roasted eggplant, and followed with a bowl of tangy avgolemeno, the chicken soup thickened with a lemony egg sauce. For my main course I had the moussaka, a big brick of seasoned beef, eggplant and potatoes topped with a fluffy bechamel. Substantial and delicious.

If it’s a warm day – it’s Florida, the odds are in your favor – sit on the patio, across the street from Lake Ivanhoe.

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Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar
Address4315 N. Orange Blossom Trail
CityOrlando
Phone407-291-8881
Price$$
Scott's Review
An inland version of a popular Port Canaveral seafooder. The lakeside locale is pleasant, the food is good and the servers will make you feel welcome.... Read more