Cheap Eats: Mediterranean Hot Spots In Orlando
From meatballs to the best fried chicken, don't sleep on these winners!
The Meatball Stoppe
7325 Lake Underhill Rd., Orlando | themeatballstoppe.com
Don’t miss: Meatball Trio
Chef Isabella is co-owner of The Meatball Stoppe with her husband, Jeff, and is a first-generation American, born of Italian descent in Brooklyn, New York. Her love of cooking came from her namesake, her grandmother, who lived in the family home and had a huge influence on Isabella’s passion for Italian traditions and food. “It’s all about bringing your famiglia back to the table. That’s where meaningful moments happen.” While the restaurant focuses on scratch-made dishes and fresh ingredients, guests will find a surprising selection of offerings—including a vast array of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The Meatball Stoppe is also passionate about community, and partners with other local makers, such as Trevi Pasta Factory and Peterbrooke Chocolate. Fresh, from-scratch Italian cuisine served with love? Sign us up. And here’s some fun news: we will be welcoming a new location sometime soon in East Orlando! We recommend the Meatball Smash sandwich ($10) or the Meatball Trio over Polenta ($14.00). -C.W.
2952 Curry Ford Rd., Orlando | theoskitchen.com
Try this: Two-piece Leg and Thigh Snack
A culinary mecca in a Curry Ford strip mall, Theo’s Kitchen offers the best of two worlds in one friendly stop. The Mediterranean menu serves up delicious homemade bites like flavor-packed Gyros with Theo’s special-recipe tzatziki, Moussaka that’s to-die-for, Stuffed Grape Leaves and Pastitsio. However, what’s most unusual about this spot is its second menu, one that specializes in broasted chicken pressure-fried in peanut oil—a moist and addictive chicken lover’s go-to. Theo’s crispy, light chicken can be ordered by the piece, the snack, the dinner and the box. Seafood lovers also have options, with platters of pollock, cod, shrimp and clams. Most meal options and specials, which include two side dishes and a roll, run between $7.99 and $9.49.
Steering the course of this 32-year-old family-owned eatery—11 years in its current location—are owners Younan Ghazal (known to many as John) and his wife, Rina, who keeps the kitchen humming along. Daughters Adele and Aylah manage the restaurant with hospitality to spare. At least half the restaurant’s customers are regulars; many show up for Rina’s popular Greek salads served with homemade dressing and topped with grilled chicken, falafel, yalanji or taboule. Check out the menu and fresh offerings on Facebook and Instagram. -J.H.
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