Jack’s Place
Address9700 International Drive
Rosen Plaza Hotel
CityOrlando
Phone407-996-1787
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Chef Michael McMullen has reenergized this upscale dining room with a new menu. Favorites include spicy shrimp and grits, maple horseradish mustard crusted baby rack of lamb, and cedar plank roasted sea bass. Service is among the best in town. The highlight of the dining room is the array of celebrity caricatures that cover the walls. They were done by Jack Rosen, father of hotelier Harris Rosen (hence the name of the restaurant), when he was employed by the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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Kings
Address8255 S. International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-363-0200
Price$$
Scott's Review
Kings is smaller than Splitsville, and is spread out over one floor. It occupies a space on International Drive that used to be a Gooding’s grocery store. So now there are alleys instead of aisles. Although there are a couple of private rooms with their own lanes for party groups, most of Kings' 22 lanes are grouped together. You may not notice them at first because there are so many ultra large television screens hanging over them. Hope you’re not easily distracted as you try to roll the ball to his that sweet spot that will knock all 10 pins down. Also like Splitsville -- there’s really no way to do this without comparing; we’re talking about a genre here -- Kings strives to offer its guests more than your average old-style bowling alley food. I can still taste reheated frozen pizzas from my youth eaten with the same fingers that had just been placed in the holes on the balls where so many other fingers had been. And this was the pre-Purell era. But I digress. Kings’ menu is extensive (perhaps too much so). It has sandwiches and wraps, it has burgers, it has pizzas, it has sliders (different from burgers), it has salads and it has steak, chicken and seafood entrees. What... Read more
Maggiano’s Little Italy
AddressPointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-241-8650
Price$$$

Maggiano’s Little Italy is the sort of place that makes restaurant critics cringe when they hear one is coming to town. One has come to Orlando. First, it’s immense. Then there’s the issue of it being Italian, which in itself is not a cringe producer. But when you’re talking about an Americanized version of Italian food, and then factor in the mass production of a large restaurant, you can just start to picture the plates of spaghetti with sauce from an institutional sized can with meatballs that bear more than a couple of similarities to an eight ball. And it’s loud. And it plays Frank Sinatra virtually nonstop.

But it's actually a lot of fun, and the food is decent.

So don’t let a critic’s jaded bias keep you away. Go with a group and order from the family style menu. Choose the pot roast for one of your choices, and have the tiramisu for dessert.

Maggiano's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

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Mango's Tropical Cafe
Address8126 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-673-4422
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Don't pay much attention to the cafe designation. This is mainly a nightclub with elaborate (and good) entertainment. You basically come here for the show and to have drinks. The food might help alleviate the affects of the latter.... Read more
Marlow's Tavern Pointe Orlando
Address9101 International Drive
Pointe Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-3627
Price$$
Scott's Review
Marlow’s Tavern is now open at Pointe Orlando. Marlow’s is a “neighborhood pub” that has heretofore occupied only Georgia neighborhoods. The Pointe restaurant is the first outside that state and the company’s tenth. The burgers were most impressive. Big, thick patties on fresh buns with good-quality toppings. I sampled the black and blue burger, with gorgonzola and applewood smoked bacon (I get the blue part with the cheese but I’m not sure the bacon qualifies as black). I also tried the “everything and the kitchen sink” burger, which, thankfully, does not contain any porcelain or stainless steel. It did have bacon, caramelized onions and crispy onions, wild mushrooms, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and chipotle barbecue sauce. They were served with hand-cut fries, and I think they represented a good value at $11 and $12 respectively. ... Read more
Mexican Camel
Address5752 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-375-0000
Price$
Scott's Review
It's an assemblage restaurant –choose a platform, a protein and toppings. But the twist is that it features Mexican and Mediterranean options, so you can make all the wrong choices in two different cuisines.... Read more
Nile Ethiopian Cuisine
Address7040 International Drive
(north of Sand Lake Road)
CityOrlando
Phone407-354-0026
Price$$
Scott's Review

Central Florida finally gets another chance to experience the wonderful world of Ethiopian cuisine. Don’t blow it this time! Wash your hands – you’ll be eating with them – and order an array of wat to sample. What? No, wat. It's a sort of stew, and wats are the most common dishes in an Ethiopian restaurant. These might include variations of beef or chicken, but pork is never served. There are a few seafood selections on Nile’s menu, but Ethiopia is a landlocked country and seafood dishes are not common. Vegetarian wat versions feature lentils or split peas. Ethiopian restaurants are wonderful places for vegetarians to dine as meatless meals are a big part of the country’s cultural heritage. If you feel lost, ask one of your gracious hosts to guide you.

Coffee is Ethiopia’s top commodity and the coffee ceremony is a big part of a traditional meal. The coffee service area occupies a space in the front of the dining room. The whole beans are roasted in a small metal saucepan while incense burns nearby. When the beans are roasted the pan is brought to the table and waved about so the guests can enjoy the aroma. Once the beans are ground and brewed, the coffee is poured from ... Read more

Oceanaire Seafood Room
AddressPointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-363-4801
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

The promise of a good seafood restaurant has sailed into Central Florida aboard The Oceanaire. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is meant to take you back in time, with its interior that suggests a 1930s ocean liner.

Sample some of the fresh fish selections after you enjoy the crab cake appetizer. On one visit, my companion had the wahoo, or ono, a mild fish similar to the mackerel. On another visit, there was a monkfish from Georges Bank. It had the characteristic texture that mimics lobster meat but was a thick steak cut with the center cord intact. Not the prettiest presentation, but quite good.

It’s a bit pricey, but quality is worth paying for.

The Oceanaire brand was recently purchased by the Landry's Seafood organization, but so far it seems the quality is being maintained.

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