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.

... Read more
Palm Restaurant
AddressHard Rock Hotel
5800 Universal Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-503-7256
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

This New York-based chain has shown some improvement in recent years and can now hold its own among the area’s high-end steakhouses. The meat is masterfully prepared -- my New York strip was perfect. Whatever you have as your main course, be sure to get the au gratin potatoes for a side dish. These are so gooey and thick you may not notice there are potatoes included.

... Read more
Pub
Address9101 International Drive
Pointe Orlando
CityOrlando
Phone407-352-2305
Price$$
Scott's Review
It certainly looks like an authentic British pub, albeit one that is about five times the average size. The British fare is fine -- shepherd's pie had some nontraditional cheese on top, but otherwise pretty good. Guests can tap their own beers from a wall of select brews using a prepaid card that meters the flow. (Gimmick)... Read more
Senor Frog's
Address8747 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-2525
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Senor Frog’s is owned by Grupo Anderson, a restaurant group out of Mexico that also owns Carlos’n Charlies’, which made a brief appearance a couple of years ago in Lake Mary. Most of the company’s restaurants are in Mexico, but a few are scattered in the Caribbean and in the U.S. They tend to target tourist spots, hence the new location on International Drive.
 
Some question the appropriateness of an establishment known more as a watering hole than a restaurant, given that Orlando is known more as a family destination. But its proximity to the convention center and the surrounding hotels means that it will be on the radar of plenty of adults looking for out-of-town fun, so it should do well there.
 
Not that it should. At least not for the quality of its food. I won’t be surprising anyone by saying that food is not its forte. But I certainly recommend that you do order copious amounts of items from the menu if you visit on one of the rowdier evenings, if for no other reason than to fill your stomach with something that will help sop up any alcohol someone happens to squirt into your mouth.

... Read more
Sloppy Joe's Orlando
Address8371 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-698-5485
Price$$
Scott's Review
Tourist World version of the touristy Key West original.... Read more
Spencer's
AddressHilton Orlando
6001 Destination Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-313-8625
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
The full name is Spencer's for Steaks & Chops, but that's a bit limiting. Spencer's is a terrific all-around restaurant. Be sure to try the crab cakes and fried poached egg appetizers. Steaks are first rate, but so is the double-cut lamb chop and king salmon (served under a glass dome filled with smoke). Although Spencer's is located inside a hotel next to the Convention Center, this is a restaurant worthy of local attention. The decor is upscale casual, and a meal here is a relaxing evening.... Read more
Tapa Toro
Address8441 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-226-2929
Price$$
Scott's Review
Amid the myriad chains and franchises that are populating the area around the Orlando Eye attraction, an independent restaurant is a welcome find. And that it offers very good food and a fun dining experience makes it all the better. Tapa Toro comes to us from Vassilis and Katerina Coumbaros, who also own Taverna Opa at nearby Pointe Orlando, one of my favorite Tourist World recommendations. Opa, of course, is the Greek restaurant where every evening is a raucous party of napkins tossed in the air to buoyant balalaika music and belly dancing atop the tables. At Tapa Toro the theme is Spanish and the music flamenco, and here the napkins stay in the lap and the clacking heels of the dancers punish only the floor.... Read more