Oasis Grill

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Oasis exteriorWith the recent news of a closing (Iza) and cutting back of hours (Cafe Red), I thought I should mention that it's not all doom and gloom in downtown Orlando. There's actually a new restaurant to report on.

Oasis Grill is a small, Mediterranean eatery on the relatively quiet Magnolia Avenue. Despite what its website says, it is not fine dining (I might also take exception with the contemporary description, but I'll not niggle). It's actually a fast-casual operation — order your food at the counter then take a seat and wait for its delivery.

Oasis kabobCan you see $12.99 worth of food on the plate?

OG serves three meals a day but I stopped in for lunch. I ordered the beef kabob with rice and salad (fries are another option but I was trying to be good). It was all just fine, neither extraordinary nor unacceptable. The meat was well seasoned, the rice was unremarkable, the salad an accompaniment, not a stand-alone item. I question whether what I was served was worth the nearly $13 fee. I'd have been more comfortable with, say, eight bucks or so.

The quality of the food was enhanced just a bit by the friendliness of the servers, who stopped occasionally to ask if everything was OK or if I would like to order anything else, and they thanked me for coming when I left. That's always nice.

By the way, don't confuse Oasis Grill with Oasis Cuban Cafe, Oasis Tiki Bar, Oasis Smoke House Grill & Sports, Sandwich Oasis, Oasis Saloon or Oasis Palms Cafe. Those are all different, except for, you know, the Oasis part.

Oasis Grill is at 231 N. Magnolia Ave., Orlando, across from the old post office. (There's a Lymmo stop right out front, so it's easy access for downtowners.) It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The phone number is 407-648-1050.

Oasis counterOne of the clues that it isn't a fine dining restaurant.