Maxine's on Shine
Address337 N. Shine Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-674-6841
Price$$
Scott's Review

Note: This review is from Shine Neighborhood Kitchen, which has changed its name to Maxine's on Shine.

This is the quintessential neighborhood cafe, a lone business in a downtown residential area. Formerly Bravissimo Wine Bar, this space was a destination for people who simply liked the atmosphere. Now they can also like it for the good food. Clams and mussels Catalan, shrimp & grouper Maltese, and pork osso buco were some of the items I enjoyed. The owners -- who also own the decidedly different Graffiti Junktion -- did wonders with the limited space, which started its life, decades ago, as a neighborhood market. The atmosphere is soft and subdued and so very comfortable.

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Mesa 21
Address1414 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-930-8000
Price$$
Scott's Review
Situated on Lake Ivanhoe, Mesa 21 has one of the best outdoor patios in town. The food measures up, too.... Read more
Ming’s Bistro
Address1212 Woodward St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-898-9672
Price$$
Scott's Review
Once a very good Chinese restaurant, Ming's Bistro has had an ownership change and the quality has flagged. It is not currently recommended.... Read more
Napasorn Thai Restaurant Sushi Bar
Address56 E. Pine St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-245-8088
Price$$
Scott's Review
The food is basically the same as it has been for years: perfectly acceptable but rarely extraordinary. My lunch companion and I started with an appetizer of “soft rolls,” the unfried version of the spring rolls. Although shrimp was listed among the ingredients, I spotted none in the roll I ate, only noodles and lettuce inside a spring roll skin. The panang curry with beef had big hunks of bell peppers, snow peas and string beans mixed in with the sliced beef. The curried sauce was a bit on the mild side, but the flavors, which included fresh basil, were very nice. The dish would have been more enjoyable if the rice had been moister and fluffier. What we were served did not seem as though it had been recently steamed. The pad Thai was fine, the rice noodles well coated with the slightly sweet sauce, tossed with tangy bits of scallions, crunchy bean sprouts off to the side.... Read more
Noodles and Rice Cafe
Address813 N. Mills Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-895-8833
Price$$
Scott's Review
Hot pot cooking has come to Mills 50, the downtown district known for its abundance of Asian restaurants. Hot pot cooking, which is known by many names in various countries, including shabu shabu and sukiyaki (Japan) and cu lao (Vietnam), might be thought of as an Asian version of fondue, wherein raw ingredients are cooked at the table by the diners themselves. There are a variety of broths to choose from, including beef, chicken and fish, plus herbal, miso and a spicy Thai version. (A hotter pot?) Vegan options are also available. The list of ingredients to add to your hot pot -- proteins, vegetables and noodles -- is also extensive with well over 50 items. Guests are offered a long ordering sheet, a la a sushi menu, and a pencil to make their selections. Be aware, however: each option is individually priced, and if you’re not careful, the items can add up quickly.... Read more
Numero Uno
Address2499 S. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-841-3840
Price$$

The décor is a bit cheerier than it used to be, but the food has gotten a bit run down. Still, there are good things to be had on the menu, such as black bean soup and ropa vieja. And it’s a good place to dine when you’re in a hurry but want a filling meal.

The minced meat consisted of ground beef in a tomato-based sauce. It was served with white rice and a cup of black bean soup. The rice mixed well with both the meat and the beans, and made this a filling dish. The plate also contained fried ripe plantains and the usual Cuban salad of iceberg lettuce, tomato slice and dressing of vinegar, oil and chopped onions and parsley.

My stuffed-potatoes dish consisted of two balls of mashed potatoes deep-fried to achieve a golden crust. My croquettes were a bit shy of stuffing but were topped with a meat mix. In fact, it was the same meat mix as my lunch guest had on her plate. My dish came with yellow rice and the same plantains. The rice was good, but with the mashed potatoes, it turned out to be a rather starchy meal.

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Oley’s Kitchen and Bar-b-que
Address2700 S Rio Grande Ave
CityOrlando
Phone407-422-7288
Price$
Scott's Review
Pleasant place with a good blend of Southern/Soul and Caribbean style cuisine.... Read more
Oudom
Address100 S Eola Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-849-3739
Price$$
Scott's Review
Oudom, a Thai and sushi restaurant, is the latest to take over the Graze/Prickly Pear/ Lotus/Mingos space in the Sanctuary condominium building in downtown Orlando. Five restaurants in seven years isn't too bad, is it? Maybe Thai will be the magic sauce for this place. Or curry. Or whatever. A restaurant in this location needs to count on frequent vists from neighbors. A menu with a lower price point can help in that regard.... Read more