My sister & I were in Orlando this weekend and had lunch at Hawkers. It’s an Asian street fare tapas restaurant We ordered and shared four different items. First up, the vegetarian spring rolls.
These were pretty standard spring rolls. Next up were the curry meatballs.
These had a bit of spice to them, but the curry wasn’t overwhelmingly hot. The meatballs had a good texture and flavor. The last two items we ordered were the Bok Choy and Crispy Canton Noodles.
Both of these suffered from an overabundance of salt. The bok choy was cooked well, but it was also supposed to have shitake mushrooms and I think there was one on the plate. The veggies in the crispy noodles were tender crisp with some pieces of pork. We kept dunking the crispy noodles into the sauce to soften them, but then they just got too salty to eat. They have a large menu of different items, but these four were enough to fill us for the afternoon. Total bill was $21.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N. Mills Ave
We wandered around Universal Studios all morning and then decided to get lunch out on City Walk. We didn’t realize so many of the restaurants didn’t open until late afternoon. We finally ended up out on the patio at Pastamore. The waitress brought bread & dipping oil to the table first.
The bread was wonderful. Soft and warm and very tasty. The dipping oil, on the other hand was served in a rather large bowl and didn’t have any herbs in it. It was just odd. We started off with the fried calamari.
I felt the portion size was small for a $9 appetizer, but I had to remember we were in a theme park. Realistically, though, it was enough to share without totally spoiling our appetites for our entrees. The calamari was cooked well and had a nice crunchy exterior without being too chewy on the inside. The balsamic glaze and garlic aioli added a nice flavor, but the marinara sauce was pretty bland. Loren got the salmon salad.
He said the salmon was cooked perfectly and he enjoyed the salad. He likes olives and there were plenty in the salad. I went for the chicken marsala.
This was the lunch half portion, though to be honest, I didn’t realize that’s what I was ordering. Again, I had to remember theme park prices. The chicken was very tender and the pasta was just the right tenderness. The dish could have used a bit more of the marsala sauce, but overall, it was pretty tasty. I was also craving chocolate, so we settled on the chocolate sabayon for dessert.
It was a pretty little plate with a very tasty raspberry sauce. It was a light and fluffy sort of dessert, just what I was craving. Total bill with a drink was $47.
6000 Universal Blvd
The smell of cinnamon was just too much to pass up on our way through City Walk into Universal Studios.
I got a minibun, but Loren went for the Pecanbun which was more sugar and deliciousness than one person should eat first thing in the morning. But it was good. Total bill for the mini & the big bun was $8.50.
Universal City Walk
We went to the Matchbox Twenty concert at Universal Studios tonight and took in a late dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co in City Walk. We got there a little after 10pm and there was a good 45 minute wait for a table. The restaurant was pretty loud, but luckily we were seated in a back corner so it wasn’t too bad. The whole place is filled with memorabilia from Forest Gump and our waiter even quizzed us on the movie. Loren went for Lt Dan’s Drunken Shrimp.
It had shrimp and a very mild andouille sausage over mashed potatoes. He really liked it. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the mashed potatoes were smooth and tasty. He ate every last bite on the plate. I got the stuffed shrimp.
This was also a really tasty dish. The crabmeat stuffing was plentiful and had a good flavor and the shrimp were cooked well. It also came with rice and a piece of garlic bread. Service was quick and efficient and our waiter was really friendly. Total bill with a drink was $41.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
6000 Universal Blvd
We spent the day at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. I didn’t get any photos, but we ate lunch at Croissant Moon in Islands of Adventure and dinner at Pat O’Briens in City Walk.
Nothing’s cheap in the amusement parks. Lunch was $30 for a couple of sandwiches, salad and a piece of cake. The food was fresh, but nothing to write home about.
Dinner was also $30, but it was really good. I got the crawfish etouffee and Loren got the taste of New Orleans trio which had a bowl of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice. I’d definitely eat at Pat O’Briens again. We sat outside and it was really dark, but they had portable heaters going so at least it was warm.
We were headed to the Fringe Festival in Orlando and stopped at Dixie Belles Cafe for breakfast. It was a cute, clean little restaurant with friendly servers. Loren got some scrambled eggs, bacon, ham steak & pancakes while I went for some over easy eggs, hashbrowns & a biscuit.
The ham actually came with my breakfast combo, but I didn’t think I really wanted any meat with my breakfast so I put it on Loren’s plate. Then I tasted it and ended up eating half of it anyway. The ham wasn’t overly salty or sweet, it was just tasty. The pancakes were light & fluffy, so was the biscuit. Eggs were cooked fine and the hashbrowns were crispy on the outside & soft in the middle. Overall, just a pretty good and inexpensive breakfast. Total bill was $14.50.
Dixie Belles Cafe
7125 S Orange Ave
We’re at Disney for the Backstage Magic Tour and decided to spend the night since we’ve got to be here early in the morning. We went to a movie in Downtown Disney and ended up eating dinner at Bongos Cuban Cafe. Unfortunately, it was too late for us to go find a restaurant off property which we would have preferred.
This was another one of those restaurants where you can’t hear yourself think. It was really crowded and we had about a 15 minute wait for a table. We started off with some fried stuffed potatoes.
They were interesting. They looked like they had a crunchy exterior, but it was actually pretty soft. The filling was flavorful, but the overall texture didn’t really do it for me. Loren ordered the masitas.
He said they were ok. Honestly no better than what he gets at Cuban Breezes for half the price. He didn’t like the rice and beans that came with it. I tried the shredded chicken breast.
I liked the flavor of the chicken. It had a lime flavor to it and the onions were flavorful too. The rice was very soft, but I kinda like it that way. My only complaint is that the dish felt like it needed some tortillas or Cuban bread to go with it. Total bill with a drink was $47. Overpriced for what it was, but what we expected in Downtown Disney.
Bongos Cuban Cafe
1498 E Buena Vista Dr
Went to Disney today with my sister. Neither of us had been to the Magic Kingdom in years and we were quickly reminded as to why we haven’t been back in so long. I think almost every ride we went on stopped at some point and the food wasn’t that great.
We ate lunch at the Columbia Harbour House. I ordered the chicken nuggets with fries and my sister got a hummus sandwich.
Almost $8.50 for this small basket. Good thing I didn’t order a drink or it would have been over $10. The hummus sandwich had very little hummus on it. It came with coleslaw, which my sister assumed would be on the side, but it was actually in the sandwich, so in essence, she had a coleslaw sandwich for lunch for $11 with a drink.
We spent another $12 at the Main Street Bakery on an apple turnover, chocolate cupcake and two drinks. And then another $11 each for cheeseburgers at Pecos Bill’s.
I will say, though, that Pecos Bill’s does offer some yummy sauteed onions and mushrooms plus other toppings in a sidebar in the restaurant.
The best part of the day was when they lit up the castle.
We were in Orlando to see a play at the Shakespeare theater and ate lunch at Bubba Lou’s Bodacious Bar B Q near Universal.
Loren ordered the baby back ribs and I ordered the brisket, both came with cole slaw, beans and fries. I also ordered a side of macaroni & cheese.
We were both disappointed in the bbq. The restaurant smelled like bbq, but the meats didn’t have any smokey goodness flavor whatsoever. I wasn’t expecting the brisket to be sliced so thin. It was more like a plate of roast beef and somewhat dry. The mac & cheese was also dry, but had a good flavor. The ribs came off the bone easily, but just lacked flavor.
After the $5 coupon we had, the total bill was $27. The restaurant was really busy, but this wouldn’t be my first choice for BBQ.
Bubba Lou’s Bodacious BarBQ
5815 Conroy Rd
Ok, silly me, when I saw other reviews raving about the goat cheese cheesecake at Logan’s Bistro, I just assumed it was a dessert cheesecake. I thought it sounded interesting, that the goat cheese would give it a very unique flavor.
I was on my way out of Orlando and decided to stop by and get a piece to go. Imagine my surprise when they handed me my take out order and it was served with toasted bread, a pesto sauce, tomatoes and garlic and some olive oil.
Once I got over my disppointment at not having my sugar craving quenched, I was pleasantly surprised at the burst of flavors from the cheesecake. It makes an excellent appetizer, but for $9 seemed a bit pricey.
802 Virginia Drive
My sister and I meet up every year in Orlando in July to exchange birthday gifts since our birthdays are only a few days apart (8 years & a few days) and we usually try to find a play or something to do. This year, she chose “The Little Red Riding Hood Show” at the Shakespeare theater. Yeah, it was a kid’s show and we were probably the only ones there without kids, but it was still pretty funny. The kids in the audience were hilarious.
Before the show, we ate lunch at the Greek Corner on Orange Ave. It was a quaint little restaurant that had a nice patio as well as seating inside. It was too hot to be outside today, so we chose the dining room.
My sister asked if they had sweet tea and our waiter said they didn’t, but he could make her some. I don’t find it often that a waiter will go through the trouble of making something special, but he did and she said the tea was good.
We started off with the spinach artichoke dip.
This was a very unique take on this dish. Any place else I’ve had it, it’s usually chunky, but this was completely smooth as if it had been through the blender. It had a lemon-garlic taste to it more than spinach artichoke. It was tasty and the pita bread that came with it was fresh and yummy.
We both ordered gyros, mine with rice and hers with a Greek salad.
The rice was bland, but the gyro was very flavorful. The tzatziki sauce was creamy and garlicy, but not overwhelming. There was a lot of meat on the pita, so much so, that I was only able to eat half of it. My sister ended up taking the salad home since it was just too much food. Total bill was about $30. Based on all the other plates I saw served, I don’t think anyone leaves here hungry.
1600 N Orange Ave
My sister and I meet up every year for the Fringe Festival in Orlando and Brian’s Restaurant is our stop for breakfast.
It’s a little diner on Orange Ave near the festival and I found it a few years ago because it claimed to have the best sweet buns in town.
These are pretty good, but I have to say, they were better when we first started coming here a few years ago. The last couple times I’ve been, the buns were a lot drier and didn’t seem as fresh.
We ordered some breakfast, I got some eggs with toast & hashbrowns, she got an order of hashbrowns and my niece and her boyfriend shared some eggs and a Belgium waffle. I had sweet bun frosting on my fingers so I didn’t take any other photos. Everything was cooked well and the total bill was $16, so it’s definitely a cost effective place to eat breakfast. Our waitress was nice, in fact I think we’ve had the same waitress every time we’ve been there.
It’s a good little restaurant to get a quick, inexpensive breakfast.
1409 North Orange Ave
I met my sister in Orlando today to go see the “Out of this World” costume exhibit at the Orange County Regional History Center. Last time we were in Orlando we ate at the Crooked Bayou and really enjoyed it, so we headed there again today.
It’s more of a bar than a restaurant and you really need to sit outside. Inside smells really stale. But since it was such a beautiful day today we wanted to be outside anyway.
I ordered the oyster po’ boy with tater tots.
This place makes a great tater tot. My sister got an order of the spicy tots plus a cup of jambalaya. The po’ boy was really good. Nice crisp oysters with lettuce, tomato and mayo lightly pressed in French bread. For $14, it was plenty of food for both of us.
50 E Central Blvd