This is the place that was formerly Tailgater's. It’s still primarily a sports bar mien, but one with a focus on burgers rather than barbecue. The burgers are more of the midlevel quality -- better than fast food, but not exactly gourmet quality. But a good burger nonetheless. Don't waste the extra $2.99 on the fries....
|Address||4233 E. Plaza Drive|
Castaway's Sports Bar & Grill
Kings is smaller than Splitsville, and is spread out over one floor. It occupies a space on International Drive that used to be a Gooding’s grocery store. So now there are alleys instead of aisles.
Although there are a couple of private rooms with their own lanes for party groups, most of Kings' 22 lanes are grouped together. You may not notice them at first because there are so many ultra large television screens hanging over them. Hope you’re not easily distracted as you try to roll the ball to his that sweet spot that will knock all 10 pins down.
Also like Splitsville -- there’s really no way to do this without comparing; we’re talking about a genre here -- Kings strives to offer its guests more than your average old-style bowling alley food. I can still taste reheated frozen pizzas from my youth eaten with the same fingers that had just been placed in the holes on the balls where so many other fingers had been. And this was the pre-Purell era. But I digress.
Kings’ menu is extensive (perhaps too much so). It has sandwiches and wraps, it has burgers, it has pizzas, it has sliders (different from burgers), it has salads and it has steak, chicken and seafood entrees. What...
|Address||8255 S. International Drive|
Nona Blue Modern Tavern opened May 2013 and has been been keeping the tables filled ever since. The first time I visited was a Monday, and the place was doing the sort of business that some restaurants in town would cherish on a weekend. Part of that, of course, is the newness and part is the aforementioned scarcity. And some of it has to do with the allure of Graeme McDowell, the golfer, who is one of the owners (along with Joe Davi and Bill Bona). Whether they will keep coming is yet to be seen, but with a few tweaks here and there -- especially in the area of service -- they should be able to keep those seats filled.
I liked what I saw when I first walked into the place (once I found the front door, which is not easily spotted). I liked what I smelled even more. The air was infused with the aroma of hickory smoke, and it had me immediately craving something wood-smoked.
The menu makes full use of that grill. There isn’t anything particularly daring or innovative on it, just your basic tavern fare. You’ve got your burgers, your steaks and seafood offerings. And quite a long list of appetizers, called shareables on the menu, some of which are priced as much as some of the fu...
|Address||9685 Lake Nona Village Place|
World of Beer Downtown
The location is the former Lee's Lakeside, once considered the jewel of downtown dining. It would have been nice to see an upscale/casual restaurant go here, but this franchise has turned the space into a pleasant gathering spot. Unlike many other Worlds of Beer, this one has a more extensive food menu, including full entrees. Not the greatest food you can find in the neighborhood, but when steak frites only costs $15, it's hard to quibble....
|Address||431 E. Central Blvd.|