Ceviche
Address125 W. Church St.
CityOrlando
Phone321-281-8140
Price$$
Scott's Review

Authentic tapas just like you'd find on a tapeo (sort of a tapas version of a pub crawl) in Madrid, served in a spacious Spanish atmosphere. Be sure to stop by the Flamenco Room, Thursdays through Saturdays -- the entertainment is some of the best you'll find in town.

The name is probably the least authentic thing about this place -- Ceviche is more of a Latin American thing than a Spanish one. The rabo de toro (oxtail to you) was braised in red wine so that the meat was as tender as it could be and was falling off the bone, or off the tail, as the case may be. The cross-sections were served on a bed of cubed potatoes.

I also liked the braised baby lamb ribs, but mostly because of the white beans mixed with chunks of chorizo that accompanied the flavorful lamb.

My guests and I all agreed that one of the best dishes we sampled was the berenjenas fritas, thin slices of eggplant fried crispy like potato chips. Simple and delicious.

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Chai Thai
Address2447 S. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-898-1181
Price$$
Scott's Review

This is a second location for a small, family-run restaurant on Curry Ford Road. The new location, on Orange Avenue across from the SoDo complex, has a fresh newness about it, from its slatelike flooring to the highly polished dark wood tabletops.

Both locations, however, share the same sincere friendliness of the staffers and, most importantly, fine food.

I met a friend for lunch recently and we started our meal with an order of Angel Wings, one of my favorite Thai appetizers. It should be noted that no angels actually were de-winged in the preparation of the dish.

For my main course I chose the massaman curry with beef, with a heat specification of medium-hot. It had thin slices of beef mixed with meaty chunks of potatoes and onions in a creamy sauce dotted with red flecks of pepper. The spiciness was just right, just enough heat to clear the sinuses but not enough to permanently singe them.


The lunch specials came with a simple salad of greens topped with a ginger dressing, and a small stogie-sized fried Thai egg roll. Nothing special, but a nice addition to the meal.

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Chan's Chinese
Address1901 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-896-0093
Price$
Scott's Review
You know you’re in a more authentic Chinese restaurant when you find an entry for Crispy Fried Pork Intestines alongside the more usual General Tso’s Chicken. Of course it would be even more authentic if the General’s chicken, an American creation, wasn’t on the menu at all, but we’ll take what we can get. Chan’s must certainly be one of the larger restaurants in the neigborhood. It has a sizable menu, too, but be sure to take a look at the smaller menu that’s available. That’s where you’ll find some of the less well-known Chinese dishes, such as the pork intestines.... Read more
Chef Eddie's
Address535 W Church St
CityOrlando
Phone407-826-1731
Price$
Scott's Review
Chef Eddie's is a Southern and soul food restaurant that's worth the trip. You'll be able to spot the place by the barbecue smoker the size of a locomotive engine out front. It's an unassuming space that could be more brightly lit. There are several used and unused and very large aquariums throughout the space. And the dining tables are big, blocky things, suitable for family dining rooms, which is probably where they came from. I was warmly greeted and shown to one of those tables. I looked over the menu but it didn't take me long to decide what I wanted: smothered pork chops. It was a little harder narrowing down my two side items, but my server said the macaroni and cheese and greens were specialties, so that's what I landed on, even though the chops came with yellow rice and I probably didn't need the double starch. There were three pork chops, nicely cooked and laid out over the rice. The gravy that smothered them was dark and rich and not floury at all. I like the gravy with the rice as much as with the pork chops. The sides were, indeed, tasty, and the mac and cheese worth the added starches. The collards had a delicious pungency. The cornbread muffin that also c... Read more
Chela Tequila & Tacos
Address183 S. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-985-5272
Price$$
Scott's Review
Until very recently, this restaurant was known as Kasa, which did not focus on tacos. It did, however, specialize in small plates, but there wasn't anything about the experience I could recommend. I can recommend Chela. The food is good, the service is personable, and while the atmosphere is a bit cold and institutional it at least reflects the urban environment in which it is located.... Read more
Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster
Address729 Lee Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-645-4443
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
As those who have lived in the area longer than five years know, Christner’s was originally known as Del Frisco’s Prime Steak & Lobster. It was not part of the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle chain, though both had the same origin. Long story short, now in operation for more than 25 years and one of the best steakhouses in Orlando.... Read more
Chuan Lu Garden
Address1101 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-896-8966
Price$$
Scott's Review
Chuan Lu Garden is the area's first Chinese restaurant to specialize in food of the Sichuan -- or Szechuan, if you prefer -- province. In a very general sense, that means hot. Really hot. Be sure to order something with the sichuan peppercorn for a unique heat experiment. Everything is very good, but you must also have some of the hand-pulled noodles. Note: Chuan Lu Garden is located within Ginza Japanese restaurant.... Read more
Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub
Address2421 Curry Ford Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-895-1555
Price$$
Any out-of-towners wandering into Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub in the last few weeks might be surprised to learn that it has been away for close to a year and a half. It thrums with the laughter and chatter of a full house, background to the lilt of traditional music, sometimes recorded, sometimes live. Despite its relative newness, it feels comfortably worn, familiar. ... Read more