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Off site dining what's the best out there?

ArmoredRodent

Premium Member
Even without being picky, a recommendation would require a bit more information. For example, do you have wheels, and if so, how far do you want to go? Do you want fancy or expensive? Do you use one of the rating services (and do you know how to screen out the fake reviews on those)? Warning, these are all pre-pandemic reviews.
For example, if we have wheels (and we usually do, being off-site), we make our way up to the Dr. Phillips residential community up Palm Parkway. There, tucked behind a Trader Joe's (and I mean really hidden), is Slate restaurant on Sand Lake. From a review I wrote on a different site: "Slate treats its meats as an art." Wonderful, non-chain local restaurant with an enormous, copper-clad wood-fired oven. Fancy, expensive, sometimes a little too inventive (if you know what I mean), but an absolute wizard with meats. Not so much with seafood (just boring). Having eaten at the best on-site, this is better. The decor and service are top-notch. Sometimes a bit too much "corporate executive meat market"-type vibe, but usually not. I mean, after all, you fight for parking in a TJ's parking lot; how would that possibly put you in a Tinder-type scouting mood?
If you want a little less fancy, how about Venezuelan? That would be Q'Kenan, off I-Drive at Vineland. Family restaurant, really cheap but really good food. In a strip mall behind the Florida Outlet mall minutes from EPCOT. You can get a sampler, but better to ask the server, who might just be the grand-mother (in both senses of the word) behind the place.
Over-rated? Gnarly Barley on S. Orange. Sandwich place, nice people, but meh. Again, from another review: "The menu said: "it's really cheesy," but they don't mean it has a lot of cheese, they mean it's cheesy and not so great. And the BLT doesn't have strips of bacon; it has bacon bits, without flavor." Similarly over-rated: Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine in Winter Park. It's a kebab place, without charring on the kebabs!! How can it have been cooked in a traditional manner without at least some charring?
Nice if your expectations are right: Little Greek Fresh Grill on Blake Blvd in Celebration. Neighborhood place. Not at all fancy. Simple white plates. But the food's good and the service very nice. Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) have one of the best lemon sauces I've had, and the lemon-chicken soup was outstanding.
Weird, but good: Hash House A Go Go on I-Drive. So you think you know what a chicken pot pie is? Everybody does, right? Well, HHAGG has a great reputation, but this dish is really in another universe. A bizarre one. They put a giant pita bread in a bowl, then put a thick chicken stew in the middle, so it softens the pita and makes it bend downward into the bowl. The filling's delicious, but the pita is off-putting if you're expecting the usual flaky crust. Yikes!
I could go on, but those should get you started.
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
I don't know about the best, but when I'm in town I try to visit Chuys and Bahamas breeze.

Hoping to try some of the places near Margaritaville next visit.
 

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