Graffiti Junktion
Address700 E. Washington St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-426-9503
Price$
Scott's Review
The original Graffiti Junktion has moved a couple of blocks east to the corner of Summerlin Avenue. Graffiti Junktion, if the name doesn’t already give it away, goes more for a grunge aura, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it seems kind of appropriate. The decor relies heavily on the graffiti part (must have been easy to decorate -- just leave a few cans of spray paint out overnight and when you come back in the morning, voila!). Its subname is an American Burger Bar, so red, white and blue figure into the scheme. I had the burger called the Lone Star, a big thick patty, cooked close to the requested medium-rare, topped with thick rashers of bacon and cheddar cheese and slathered with barbecue sauce. It had crispy lettuce, tomato and pickles on a fresh bun. And it was accompanied by a generous portion of slender, spiced fries. Good burger.
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Greek Corner
Address1600 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-228-0303
Price$$

It’s Greek, and it’s on the corner; you can’t get more succinct that that. But no corners are cut on the quality. All your Greek favorites are here, served in a small, unassuming space.

I supped on the melitzanosalat, a dip made with roasted eggplant, and followed with a bowl of tangy avgolemeno, the chicken soup thickened with a lemony egg sauce. For my main course I had the moussaka, a big brick of seasoned beef, eggplant and potatoes topped with a fluffy bechamel. Substantial and delicious.

If it’s a warm day – it’s Florida, the odds are in your favor – sit on the patio, across the street from Lake Ivanhoe.

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Greenbeat
Address486 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-730-6416
Price$
Scott's Review
A downtown salad assemblage concept, offering fresh lunchtime options.... Read more
Gringos Locos
Address20 E. Washington St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-841-5626
Price$
Scott's Review

What is served in this little eatery in downtown Orlando has a lot more in common with Tex-Mex than Mexican, with a definite leaning to the, uh, gringo side of the border. But they do serve some decent food in a delightfully grungy atmosphere.

The menu is a bit salacious, with such entries as Dirty Sanchez, Drunk Gringo, Mouth Hugger and 1 Night Slam. Mainly, it’s tacos and burritos. I had the Drunk Gringo, which has nothing to do with alcohol. Instead, it simply means that it is the burrito into which everything is loaded. (Drunk. Loaded. Get it?) So instead of just one meat -- or protein, as it is prosaically referred to on the menu -- you get roast pork, ground beef and chicken. You also get beans and rice and lettuce and cheese and onions and...you get the idea.

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Hamburger Mary's
Address110 W. Church St.
CityOrlando
Phone321-319-0600
Price$$
Scott's Review

A nice family restaurant, but we're talking more of the Sister Sledge "We Are Family" kind. Fun spot on Church Street with an eclectic crowd and big sloppy burgers.

It's the first national chain to market specifically to the gay community. You might have figured it out if you had wandered in on a Tuesday for Bingo Night, hosted by local celebrity Miss Sammy (hint: it's not short for Samantha) or for the Maryoke sing-alongs on Wednesdays.

At other times, you might not have noticed anything different about the place at all. Indeed, on one of my lunch visits, there was a family at the next table, a father, mother and baby in a stroller. Everyone is welcome at Mary's -- she does not discriminate. She is a terrific hostess, but I don't think anyone would call her the best cook in town, especially if you should wander away from the list of burgers. Suffice to say the place will never be called Meatloaf Mary's.

Stick with the burgers, and you'll be fine. The hard part is deciding on which burger to have. There are 11 variations, with names such as Queen Mary, Sloppy Mary, Spicy Mary and Blue Boy burger. And if you missed the Sister Sledge reference, I doubt you'... Read more

Johnny's Fillin' Station
Address2631 S. Fern Creek Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-894-6900
Price$

This is a bar -- a loud, no-apologies-for-our-raucousness kind of bar. But they have the ability to make a damn fine burger, one that has won multiple Foodie Awards over the years. The award comes and goes because consistency is a problem, but if you catch them on a good day, you'll see why the place is packed.

The Buffalo wings are another good choice for those so inclined. One nice thing about Johnny's: although it is a primarily a bar, it sells so much food that it does not qualify for the nonsmoking exemption that the State of Florida so ridiculously allows to freestanding bars. So you have the experience of the barroom experience without the need to burn your clothes the next day.

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Kaizen Izakaya
Address54 W. Church St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-316-8500
Price$$
Scott's Review
Formerly known as Amura, Kaizen Izakaya has very good sushi (especially the nigiri). An izakaya is supposed to be a Japanese pub or tavern where friends hang out. But the dank atmosphere won't make you want to linger.... Read more
Kres Chophouse
Address17 W. Church St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-447-7950
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

Kres Chophouse has been holding its own in downtown Orlando, good times and bad, for a good number of years now. Downtowners like its "adult" mien, a classy spot amid the myriad kids' hangouts.

As with any chophouse, meat is the main event. On my first visit I went right to the top and ordered the veal rib chop. It was a beautiful hunk of meat and seemingly larger than its advertised 12 ounces. The late night hours are one of the attractions here, a good place to hang out once the kiddies from the neighboring clubs have left to meet curfew.


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