Restaurant Listings
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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

Hamilton's Kitchen
Address300 E New England Ave
Alfond Inn
CityWinter Park
Phone407-998-8090
Price$$$
Scott's Review
Hamilton's Kitchen has a new chef, Marc Kusche, and a freshened menu. It's like the reset button has been pushed. And now the experience is more along the lines of what I was hoping for a year ago. Kusche comes to the Alfond Inn by way of the Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad, California. His menu makes good use of the bounty from local growers and has a nice mix of seafood and meat, though it seems that the former is the forte. I can't say that anything in particular has been done with the dining room since it opened last year, but it seemed to be different. It didn't have that college dorm dining hall feel — maybe it was that it wasn't as crowded this time, or maybe there have been enough subtle changes in lighting to make a difference. Whatever, it was more comfortable now, even with open kitchen. (It is called Hamilton's Kitchen, after all.) I was happy to make the return visit to HK and I'm even happier to now put it on my list of recommended restaurants.... Read more
Hanamizuki
Address8255 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-363-7200
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Hanamizuki's menu features Kyoto style cooking, which tends to be more elegant and formal than many of the dishes served in most American Japanese restaurants. It also focuses more on fresh vegetables and seafood other than sushi, although that is also a part of it and is available at Hanamizuki.

Don't be suprised to find a predominantly Japanese clientele here. No small wonder when the restuarant's Web site is written in Japanese (you can opt in to a translation).

... Read more
Hard Rock Café
AddressUniversal’s CityWalk
CityOrlando
Phone407-351-7625
Price$$$
Scott's Review

Orlando is the home of the corporate headquarters for HRC, so you’d expect the restaurant here to be superlative. And it is. It’s a massive structure, and I doubt the music plays any louder at another location. The food is basic, but more than passable.

Texas chili was a good chili, but I would hate to be there when it was served to a real Texan and he or she discovers beans in it. You can find chili in Texas with beans in it, but you'll probably also find the cook strung up out back.

Then there is the Tuscan chicken salad, which could just as easily have been named Tallahassee chicken salad, or Berlin chicken salad, or even world-class chicken salad because there certainly wasn't anything remotely Tuscan about it. OK, there were some slivers of salami and provolone cheese (which mostly comes from northern Italy, by the way) mixed in with mesclun greens, red peppers, mushrooms and asparagus. The greens were topped with cubes of grilled chicken and tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. Despite its geographical misplacement, it was a good salad.

... Read more
Hash House a Go Go
Address5350 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-370-4646
Price$$
Scott's Review
The portions here are outsized and designed to impress, if not frighten and intimidate. Take, for example, the restaurant’s signature fried chicken and bacon waffle tower, which probably has more calories than the average adult male should eat in a week. (Excuse me, could you please pass the syrup?) Or the house version of eggs Benedict with smoked bacon, basted eggs, red pepper cream on a biscuit, all sitting atop mashed potatoes. When the food gets this big and ostentatious, one naturally braces oneself for the trade-off in quality. But Hash House delivers there, too. All of the food I tasted -- and I do mean tasted; I left a good deal of it on the plate -- was quite good, well prepared and evenly seasoned. ... Read more
Havana Bistro & Cafe
Address7579 S Orange Blossom Trail
CityOrlando
Phone407-420-7278
Price$
Scott's Review
As the name suggests, Havana is actually two venues, a bistro on one side and a cafe on the other. What’s the difference? It’s subtle, but suffice to say that on one side of the place you order from a menu on and the other side you choose from among prepared dishes that a staff worker plates up for you. Again you ask, which is the bistro and which is the cafe? I have no idea, but you’ll be able to figure it out when you walk in. I chose the dish-it-out side. The rules are very clearly stated at the start of the line: You choose the type of meat you want from among the available varieties, such as roast pork, stewed chicken and ropa vieja, then the type of rice you prefer (white, yellow or congri), and then two sides. I chose the roast pork on congri with yuca and red beans. And then I watched in marvel as the young woman behind the counter started piling up the container with my selections. It was a tremendous amount of food, so much so that when she tried to close the cover of the takeout container she had to use a couple of pieces of tape so that it wouldn’t spring open. The roast pork was wonderful — and more tender and I could have eaten it with a spoon. The rice and b... Read more
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Address1103 N. Mills Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-237-0606
Price$
Scott's Review

The name Hawkers makes sense once you know the concept, and it only sounds odd if pronounced by someone with a Boston accent.

The idea behind this charming little eatery is to present an array of dishes the type of which might be sold -- hawked -- by individuals who stake out space on the sidewalks and streets of various Asian cities but with, you know, stricter health department guidelines.

I’m resisting the urge to describe the dishes as tapas-like, but most of the menu items are “small plate” in nature. And the best way to experience Hawkers Asian Street Fare is the same as you would a tapeo, except instead of doing a tapas crawl, you might virtually wander these Asian streets and sample a number of delectable items. Try the banh mi sliders (I had the duck version; delicious) and the five spice pork choplettes. The curry Laksa is a wonderful and colorful bowl of myriad flavors with chicken, shrimp and big fat egg noodles.

... Read more
Heidelberg
Address7 N. Orlando Ave.
CityCocoa Beach
Phone321-783-4559
Price$$
Scott's Review
This longtime Cocoa Beacher has been serving good German food for decades. The dining room was recently spiffed up and a patio was added. Next door is Heidi's Jazz Club, so you can make a night of it right here.... Read more
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