Two of my favorite International Drive restaurants, Taverna Opa and Tapa Toro have reopened after being closed a month and are offering curbside pickup from the menus of both restaurants out of the Tapa Toro space.
That’s good news to anyone who can’t decide between Greek and Spanish – now you can have both.
I placed a phone order as soon as I heard the restaurants were back open. I requested an appetizer of Spanish Tortilla from the Tapa menu and entrees of Kleftiko and Pastitsio from Taverna’s menu.
Tapa Toro is located at Icon Park, under the Ferris wheel. A table and tent has been set up near the driveway in the center of the complex, within view of the restaurant but far enough away as to discourage anyone from going inside. So customers just need to pull up to the tent, call inside and let them know you’re there for your order. When it’s ready, someone will bring it out to you. And if you do as I did and authorize payment with gratuity on your credit card in advance, the server can just place the order in the trunk and you’re good to go, contact free.
The saucier Pastitsio was packaged in a plastic dish with clear top. The Tortilla and Kleftiko were in cardboard boxes.
Actually, the Kleftiko was a package inside a package. The dish, a traditional rustic recipe, features lamb chunks marinated in garlic, oil and lemon juice then cooked with carrots, potatoes and rosemary in parchment tied up like a purse. That bundle keeps all of the aromas and flavors trapped inside and helps render the lamb into tender bites. Every bit of it was delicious.
So was the Pastitsio, which is sort of a Greek version of lasagna made with tubular pasta rather than sheets. The macaroni is layered with a well seasoned meat sauce and topped with a béchamel with Greek cheese folded in. It was a huge serving, plenty to enjoy for dinner and a lunch later.
By the way, co-owner Vassilis Coubaros demonstrated how to make his pastitsio for our Compliments of the Chef series. So if you’ve been doing a lot of cooking under lockdown, check out the video and recipe here.
You can also see the video and recipe for the Tortilla Española as demonstrated by Tapa Toro’s former executive chef Frank Galeano. The classic egg and potato dish is something of a national dish in Spain, and Tapa Toro’s always takes me back to a seaside food stand in Sitges.
The restaurants are offering takeout every day from 1 to 8 p.m. Delivery is also available through DoorDash or Uber Eats.
Tapa Toro is at 8441 International Drive, Orlando. (Pull into the drive next to Yard House.) You can see the Tapa Toro menu here and the Taverna Opa menu here. All orders for curbside pickup should be placed at 407-226-2929.