Food Adventures 2: One of a Kind
Tag along as we explore new culinary worlds to add to the discoveries made during last fall's inaugural food adventures mission.
In business for nearly 30 years (not always at the current location on Curry Ford Road), Theo’s is known for moussaka, pastitsio and other Greek items. But it is their fried chicken that has captured the attention of online food delivery customers. Bite Squad ranks the chicken, which is pressure fried in peanut oil, as its No. 1 request in Orlando. theoskitchen.com
African Soul Market
Owner Anthony Imana operates two food truck trailers preparing the cuisine of West Africa like jollof rice with goat; Nigerian chicken suya skewers, fufu and garri; and egusi melon seed soup. africansoulfoodtruck.com; call (407) 530-7971 for location
The Fish & Chip Shop
It’s easy to make fish and chips, and so hard to make it right. Out at ChampionsGate, just off I-4, they do it up a treat—haddock or cod (the two UK fish of choice) with beer batter, hand cut and double fried chips, even the uniquely British treat chip butties—basically, a French fry sandwich. The-Fish-and-Chip-Shop on Facebook.
Maple Street Biscuit Co.
You say you like biscuits? How about made-fresh, real butter biscuits stacked with fried chicken and goat cheese, covered in spicy shiitake mushroom gravy or served as French toast from Jacksonville-born Maple Street? Their fast-casual service includes asking your favorite book when you order, which they call out when your food is ready. “The Bible, here’s your coffee,” is a surprisingly standard shout. Off East Mitchell Hammock Road, Oviedo. maplestreetbiscuits.com
Not Your Mama’s Pancakes
Omar and Caylee Gonzalez have a way with pancakes, all originating from Caylee’s flapjack cravings while she was expecting. The food truck menu that was “birthed” includes a BBQ Bacon Jam Cheddar Pancake Burger (topped with BBQ sauce, truck-made bacon jam and apple slaw between two cheddar cheese-infused pancakes) and Churro Pancake Poppers—bite-sized cinnamon pancakes stuffed with caramel sauce. facebook.com/NotYourMamasPancakes
Owner Emilio Queiroga practices the Medieval Alpine tradition of oozing melted, very aromatic Raclette cheese onto potatoes, prosciutto sandwiches, Brussels sprouts and more. Plant Street Market, Winter Garden. facebook.com/morthancheese
Jpetal wraps Japanese-inspired rice flour crêpes around a world of ingredients both savory (like “The Special”: beef, chicken, crab stick, shrimp, veggies with Japanese mayonnaise) and sweet (house-made rolled Thai ice cream), plus “light bulb drinks” (served in giant plastic light bulbs), which may be the most unlikely Korean fad we’ve seen since “Gangnam Style." The Florida Mall. jpetal.com
The Red Claw
Not a Batman villain, but a place for lobster rolls, inside Orange County Brewery downtown. Maine style with mayo, warm butter-drenched New England style, or citrus tarragon-herbed Florida style—that’s a yes. Complementing OC Brewery’s fine drafts with lobster artichoke dip and lobster or wild game pizzas … oh, my. theredclaw.com
Iron Cow Café
This enormous Milk District music venue, heaven for rock and indie fans, also casually serves up some fine vittles, including surprisingly good vegan treats like no-meat meatballs, spicy hummus pizza, chickenless chicken wings and “Phish” tacos (a “carnivore” menu is also available). ironcowcafe.business.site
The Hammered Lamb
Social activist and restaurant veteran Jason Lambert uses lamb as the surprise ingredient (as if the name wasn’t a clue) in the pressed Hammered Cuban sandwich, quesadillas, flatbreads and brunch omelets. Ivanhoe Village. thehammeredlamb.com
A Night Out
Bar 17 Bistro
The 17th-floor vantage point of Bar 17 atop Universal’s Aventura Hotel affords remarkable Vegas-like views of the various Universal properties, I-Drive and downtown Orlando in the distance, framed by the flashing lights of Islands of Adventure and the lava flow of Volcano Bay. Mixed cocktails and frozen drinks are served alongside various trendy bao, Florida-sourced salads and Wagyu sliders. loewshotels.com/universals-aventura-hotel
This often overlooked, tree-covered outdoor/indoor food and drink bar at Maitland’s Enzian theater is perfect while waiting for your movie to start, or just hanging out at lunch or for a late-night drink under the stars, accompanied by salads, handhelds and flatbreads. enzian.org/food
Serving Wagyu burgers, New Zealand rack of lamb, truffle mac ‘n cheese and filet mignon, this super swank, gorgeous cocktail lounge in MetroWest takes its elegance seriously. Rich leather, warm woods and Arts and Crafts accents highlighted by live jazz and DJ’d hip hop, trap and R&B. soultrylounge.com