4 Rivers Smokehouse
It's easy to spot Four Rivers when you're driving down Fairbanks Avenue; just look for the place with the line outside. Folks are happy to queue up for this 'cue, especially the brisket. But the pulled pork is pretty darned tasty, too. There is no indoor seating, just some picnic tables on a covered patio. But no one seems to mind....
|Address||1600 W. Fairbanks Ave.|
4Rivers Smokehouse Winter Garden
A second location for the wildly popular Winter Park barbecuerie. This one has better parking and indoor (read: air-conditioned) seating. But the barbecue is the same -- excellent. Lines are just about as long here, too, but with two cash registers it moves a bit faster. Try the brisket, a house speciality, or the ribs. The baked cheese grits are pretty tasty....
|Address||1047 S. Dillard St.|
I knew I was going to like AJ's Press the moment I stepped inside.
That's when I was welcomed, warmly and genuinely, and when, upon hearing that it was my first time there, someone shoved a Jalapeño Bacon Hush Puppy at me.
AJ's Press is, despite the name, which makes it sound like a news organization, a Longwood sandwich shop in a small strip mall near the railroad tracks. The Press part of the name refers to the device that applies heat and pressure to flatten the sandwiches, á la a Cuban sandwich....
|Address||182 W. State Road 434|
Babbi Babbi Korean Kitchen
Babbi Babbi Korean Kitchen wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. In fact, I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed when I walked into the new eatery at Phillips Crossing and discovered it was a quick-serve (order at the counter) operation. Even more annoyed to discover that the classic dish Bibimbap was offered as an assemblage item, with the diner tasked with choosing type of rice, which meat and what toppings to enhance or possibly ruin this traditional rice dish.
But I found plenty of other dishes on the menu that didn’t require me to act as an inexperienced chef, and I soon learned that even though one orders the food at the counter, service is supplied throughout the meal. And even better, the food was quite good....
|Address||8015 Turkey Lake Road|
Balagan Kosher Mediterranean Cafe
Located in the University of Central Florida Student Union, Balagan isn't much more than a hole in the wall. There's no seating inside the cafe -- get your food and take it to a table in the corridors of the Union, or outside for a picnic. I had a huge beef shawarma that I decided was too much to eat at one sitting. So I ate half and wrapped the rest up for later. But when I got to my car, I couldn't help myself and I finished it off. Delicious. One of the few kosher options in Central Florida. Balagan also operates a concession during events at the UCF Arena....
|Address||4000 Central Florida Blvd.|
Bar Harbor Seafood
Bar Harbor Seafood, one of the companies that provides fresh fish, shellfish and other goodies from the sea to area restaurants, has been serving lunch from its South Orlando warehouse space for about a year now. I only learned of it recently, and stopped in thinking it would be an obscure, sparsely attended out-of-the-way lunch spot to try out.
Well, it certainly is out of the way. But sparsely attended, no.
In fact, I haven’t seen lines this long for a counter restaurant that didn’t specialize in barbecue and have the name Rivers attached to it for quite some time.
Bar Harbor’s wholesale facility is on Premier Row, just west of South Orange Blossom Trail, in Orlando’s Central Park. Its neighbors are other warehouses and showrooms, and I’m thinking it was a lot of the workers from those other businesses that were cramming into the decidedly too small space where lunch orders are taken. (It’s the same space where the company offers retail seafood orders to those who don’t buy their fish by the tonnage.
The menu features fish and chips, Ipswich clams, sushi rolls, cod sliders and such. Most of the cooking seems to be done somewhere else on the property -- one of the work...
|Address||2000 Premier Row|
Big Kahuna's Island Style Bowls