Restaurant Listings
Marlow's Tavern Winter Park
Address1008 S. Orlando Ave.
CityWinter Park
Phone407-960-3670
Price$$
Scott's Review
As with my experience with the Pointe Orlando Marlow’s in October, I still feel burgers are the forte here. A friend and I stopped in for dinner earlier this month shortly after the restaurant opened its doors. Rick chose the Tavern burger but I went for something new, the crispy brick chicken that has been added as a summer menu item. The chicken featured a grilled airline breast (with the wing joint attached) served with summer ratatouille that included chickpeas, zucchini, asparagus and grape tomatoes, dressed with a kale pesto picatta. It alls sounds complex but it was fairly mundane. I kept coveting Rick’s burger, a thick patty, oozing with juices, grilled to a lovely red medium-rare, topped with shredded romaine lettuce, a thick slice of tomato and some red onion, all on a softly fresh sesame seed-studded bun. This place knows how to do a good burger.... Read more
Max & Meme Cafe
Address1050 State Road 434
CityLongwood
Phone407-429-4956
Price$
Scott's Review
At the suggestion of my server (whose playfulness and good nature added to the enjoyment), I had the pot roast lunch, a full plate of tender, falling-apart tender meat with a plop of mashed potatoes holding a well of dark gravy and steamed green beans and carrots. More than enough to eat, and priced under $9. What’s not to like? M&M also has a full roster of breakfast items, and the BLTs at the next table looked so good I almost ordered one to go.... Read more
Maxine's on Shine
Address337 N. Shine Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-674-6841
Price$$
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.

... Read more
Mediterranean Blue
Address435 E. Michigan St.
CityOrlando
Phone407-422-2583
Price$
Scott's Review

The menu is brief, a small list of sandwiches and salads that stretch the perimeter of the Mediterranean from Greece to Italy. But in addition to the seven or so sandwiches, there were, on my visit, some other specials available, shown to me by the affable server at the counter. These included a delicious looking spanakopita and vegetarian stuffed grape leaves.

I settled on a gyro from the main menu and the grape leaves from the specials. The gyro, which features the mysterious blending of beef and lamb into a single meat that nature did not intend (but which is pretty tasty), was an ample portion, served on a doughy, warm pita. It had tomatoes and onion and a tzatziki sauce that was thicker than usual. Too many tzatzikis are runny and messy. I liked this one.

The grape leaves were big and plump, not like the Tiparello-sized dolmades that most places serve. They were filled with rice and pinenuts. Nice as a vegetarian option, but I missed the meat.

The staff were all friendly and welcoming. Orders are placed at the counter and workers call out names as orders are ready. If they’re not too busy, they’ll bring it to your table. The small din... Read more

Mediterranean Deli
Address981 W. Fairbanks Ave.
CityOrlando
Phone407-539-2650
Price$

People would keep coming back to this cramped little eatery even if the food weren't as good as it is (and it's wonderful). That's because the owner makes everyone feel so welcome, often calling out, "Welcome, my brother," to those entering. He also makes sure that no one leaves without being thanked. I wish more restaurant owners would stop by here to see how customer service should be.

Gyros and shawarmas and falafels are the mainstay. All are ample and delicious.

... Read more
Mee Thai
Address1200 Lee Road
CityOrlando
Phone407-802-2323
Price$$
Scott's Review
A simple little Thai place on Lee Road with good traditional dishes. Note, however, that because it's next door to a school you can't enjoy your pad Thai with a Singha.... Read more
Menagerie Eatery & Bar
Address101 S. Eola Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-601-5219
Price$$
Scott's Review
I’m not exactly sure what Menagerie Eatery & Bar wants to be, and I’m not sure the people running it know either. The menu is a mishmash of cuisines, styles and food genres, which I suppose befits a place called Menagerie. The restaurant’s Facebook page says it is “chef driven,” but nowhere could I find the name of a chef. Or a driver, for that matter.... Read more
Merguez
Address11951 International Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-778-4343
Price$
Scott's Review
The last time I visited this space it was a full-service restaurant called Atlas House, which specialized in the cuisine of Uzbekistan. Atlas closed, one presumes with a shrug. Now it is a fast casual restaurant called Merguez, with foods of Moroccan descent. Merguez’s website says that the space is “secluded and intimate, perfect for a romantic dinner.” I’ll give them the secluded. Tucked away in the corner of an under utilized strip, the restaurant is easy to miss. I can’t go along with intimate or romantic, unless the decor of a deli, with display cases and laminated tables with nothing on top is the sort of thing that sets your heart aflutter. Perhaps the rather loud Moroccan music that played over the sound system had romantic lyrics.... Read more