Cask & Larder MCO

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CL interiorPhoto: Gary Bogdon

A recent trip had me flying out of Terminal 2 at Orlando International Airport, so I made a point of leaving a little earlier so I could check out the Cask & Larder that opened there a couple of months ago.

All I can say is that if this was the Cask & Larder that opened in Winter Park four years ago, the Ravenous Pig wouldn’t be opening there today.

Despite the expanse of the vast terminal hub, the restaurant has a comfortable, intimate feel that somehow separates the diners from the hurrying travelers without removing them from view. The space is by Anna Schmidt Interior Design and features a central sprawling tree with clear jar lanterns hanging from its branches. I imagine it looks lovely in the evening but it’s also quite attractive in the daytime under the skylights.

Besides the luxury of full table service, Cask & Larder also offers better food options than some of the other fast food purveyors in the terminal.

CaskLarder meatloaf

I very much enjoyed my entree of Burnt Ends Meatloaf with a spicy ketchup sauce sitting atop cheddar cheese infused mashed potatoes. It was accompanied by sauteed squash.

CaskLarder cuban

My friend had the Southern Cuban, a stylized version of the famous pressed pork sandwich given a bit of a drawl with the addition of collard greens. It was delicious and had ample amounts of meat and cheese. But geographically speaking, shouldn’t this be called a Northern Cuban?

CaskLarder cauliflower

We also shared a side of the Crispy Cauliflower. The florets had turned a dark beige and were given a bit of pique with a paprika yogurt sauce and a sweet note from roasted pecans.

CaskLarder tree and bar

CaskLarder bar

CaskLarder grab

There is a bar in the dining area (look on the other side of the tree) and another separate from the restaurant, overlooking the tarmac. For those running to catch a flight or not wanting to commit to a full sit-down mean, the new Cask & Larder has a grab-and-go area with prepared sandwiches and other food options.

Cask & Larder is in the airside terminal — read: past security — which has a couple of downsides.

CaskLarder utensils

First is that the food is served with plastic utensils. That makes it hard to fully enjoy good food.

Second, the location means that you can’t just pop out to the airport to dine at Cask & Larder unless a) you have a ticket to travel and b) you’re booked on an airline flying out of Terminal 2.

So the next time you’re making travel plans, try booking a flight on Southwest Airlines and give the new Cask & Larder a try.

Cask & Larder is at Orlando International Airport, Terminal 2, 1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., Orlando. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (until the last flight of the evening). At the time of publication, the website was still showing all info at the Winter Park location, including links to menus.