I clearly ordered poorly at Bocas Grill & Bar, a South American eatery out of South Florida that recently opened a location in South Orlando. (Restaurant Row, actually, but we were on a roll with the southern thing.)
In my defense, the menu is really elaborate, with 12 pages. There are breakfast items, rice dishes, noodles, arepas, tostones, burgers, steaks and seafood. I don’t know what made me choose the Pabellón Criollo Venezolano, but I did. It was essentially Ropa Vieja with a Venezuelan accent. It featured a crock of shredded meat next to a crock of black beans, a mound of white rice and sweet plantains that for some reason were topped with cheese.
It was OK.
But then a server walked by carrying one of the arepas, and I was mesmerized. It was massive, and overstuffed with meats and cheeses. I must return and try one. Which one I have no idea — the menu lists a couple of dozen or so. (You know, it really is possible to offer too many choices to your customers.)
Something you should know about Bocas Grill & Bar: there is no bar. At least not at the one in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips. At least none that I could see.
The space is attractive enough, with rough-hewn wood panelling on one of the walls and an elaborate mural on another that is as difficult to follow as the menu.
Perhaps Bocas has enough fans in South Florida that already know its specialties. But here, some introductions might be in order.
Bocas Grill & Bar is at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando. Although you won't find the information on the website, it is open for lunch and dinner daily and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. The phone number is 407-723-8351.