Ramen
Address486 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-233-4801
Price$
Scott's Review
The Ramen is quick-serve: Place your order and pay for it at the counter then take a number stand to a table of your choice. Someone will bring your food to you when it’s ready.... Read more
Reyes Mezcalaria
Address821 N. Orange Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-868-9007
Price$$$
Scott's Review
From the owners of Osprey Tavern and Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park, this Citrus replacement makes ample use of the patio space, but the inside is just as nice. Stick with the basic Mexican offerings.... Read more
Royal Thai
Address1202 N. Semoran Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-275-0776
Price$$

I probably hear about this restaurant from more people than any other because for many years they've posted a quote from me on the large sign in front of the restaurant -- Thai food fit for a king, by Scott Joseph -- which, to be honest are actually the words of a Sentinel copy writer who wrote the headline. Whatever, I've never felt compelled to quibble about the accuracy of the quote.

Terrific Thai dishes are presented with great pride by a small staff. Not an elegant restaurant but wonderful food. Try the pad Thai or the lemon fish (but only if you like it really, really hot). Have the tom kha gai soup for a starter. Most dishes are less than $12; very reasonable.

... Read more
Rusty Spoon
Address55 W. Church St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-401-8811
Price$$
Scott's Review
Rusty Spoon, under the direction of James Beard nominated chef Kathleen Blake, has become one of the area's top restaurants and an especial jewel of downtown dining. Blake was an early proponent of farm-to-table cuisine and she hasn't strayed from that doctrine. The menu changes depending on what's available season to season, but you can be sure that it will be excellent.... Read more
Sanctum
Address715 N. Fern Creek Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-757-0346
Price$
Scott's Review
Anyone who questions whether there is a market for vegetarian restaurants only needs to visit The Sanctum, a new meat-freetery in the Mills 50 district whose slogan is “Real, damn good food” and whose online description calls its menu plant-based. It seems that it is always packed. Admittedly, it doesn’t take a lot of people to fill the space, which is set back from Colonial Drive at the northeast corner of Fern Creek Avenue. The space is small and narrow, with a bar and communal seating up front and a few tables hugging the wall down the side, across from the kitchen area. But it was clear to me when I lunched with colleagues there recently that more than a few were repeat customers hungry for vegetarian and vegan options. That may be one of Sanctum’s secrets of success: It isn’t totally vegan but offers several items that can easily be veganized. As long as you’re not concerned about the purity of the kitchen as far as your food commingling with mere vegetarian offerings, you should be just fine.... Read more
Sandwich Bar
Address2432 E. Robinson St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-421-1670
Price$
Scott's Review
Cute little place in Orlando Milk District. You can order your food at the bar or have a seat at one of the very few tables. Sandwiches are creative -- variations on a theme of Reuben, for example -- but built on good bread and with ample fillings.... Read more
Se7en Bites Bakery Shop
Address617 N. Primrose Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-203-0727
Price$
A small bakery that does some nice fancy sandwiches. Good for a quick bite.... Read more
SEA Thai
Address3812 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-895-0985
Price$$

The Sea in the name is an acronym for Southeast Asia, but there are also some good seafood selections among the traditional Thai dishes. Try one of the curry dishes or ask if the whole snapper is available. If not, the tilapia fillets are a good substitute.

I sampled two of the curry dishes: yellow with chicken; and a massaman with beef. I enjoyed the subtle spiciness of the yellow curry, the heat of the spices tempered by the creaminess of coconut milk. Besides the pieces of chicken, the sauce had peas, carrots, onions and big chunks of well-cooked potatoes to spoon over rice. I am in starch heaven when I can enjoy rice and potatoes in one dish.

Both were included in the massaman curry, too. And it also had a base of coconut milk, but in this one had a slight gravylike texture that coated the mouth with each bite. The pieces of beef were rather negligible but the dish was otherwise enjoyable.

Spicy basil duck was something of a floorshow in its presentation.

... Read more