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Spotlight

Spotlight: Tiffins


When I think about the top tier restaurants at Walt Disney World Resorts I usually think of Flying Fish, Citricos and California Grill, though the latter has declined somewhat in terms of experience. What those restaurants have in common is that they are accessible without the requirement to purchase a ticket to one of the theme parks. Which is not to say there aren’t good restaurants inside the parks. Certainly Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Monsieur Paul at Epcot’s France pavilion offer a higher standard than a basic meal. In that category of restaurants I now include Tiffins, a surprisingly adventurous and slightly upscale restaurant appropriately located inside Animal Kingdom. What does it say that two of …
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A bowl of fruit. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Intersection

Intersection: Summer Fun Food Tour & Holistic Cooking & Eating


Resolutions to eat healthier usually get made at the start of the new year, but Chefs Gary Appelsies and Dawn Viola say there’s no better time than summer to start eating and cooking right. Appelsies is on a tour at the YMCAs in Central Florida to promote healthy cooking and Viola is about to open a teaching kitchen in Clermont.
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Bulgogi House


I’m not really big on places where the customers are expected to cook their own meals. I call that home. When I go out to eat, I want someone else to do the cooking. I’m apparently in the minority. At least I was the first time I visited Bulgogi House, a Korean restaurant on West Colonial Drive between downtown and College Park. Each table has a grill set into it, and most of the tables were occupied with people happily turning over meats and vegetables as they sizzled in front of them. My friend and I looked at each other and thought, Nah, not tonight. (We went elsewhere and had a wonderful prime rib dinner, all of it prepared in …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Hong Kong Alley’s Kitchen


I’m sure the staff at Hong Kong Alley’s Kitchen were just trying to be nice. They were effusive in their greeting when I walked into the strip mall storefront restaurant on East Colonial Drive. And the young man who took my order had a smile on his face at all times. But no one could quite believe me when I told them, multiple times, I didn’t need the fork they kept trying to place on my table. The chopsticks were fine, I said. Not showing off, I just think Chinese food tastes better when the proper utensils are utilized. And I eat less. I had stopped in on a whim, noticing as I drove by the banner out front announcing …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Chef Wang’s Kitchen


The young man who was waiting to take my order at Chef Wang’s Kitchen pointed helpfully (if not a little impatiently) at one of the pictured menu items. “Foreigners seem to like that one,” he offered. To understand the level of authenticity, or at least a level that rises above many westernized Chinese restaurants here is Central Florida, you need to know that when he said foreigners he was referring to Americans. Chef Wang’s Kitchen is located in the repurposed yet still worn looking shopping mall now known as Chinatown on West Colonial Drive. The restaurant occupies a modest storefront tastefully appointed with stone-look tables and substantial dark wood chairs (sturdy enough for any foreigners who come in). The item …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Enzo’s Hideaway


In terms of splashiness and go-for-the-awe design and decor, Enzo’s Hideaway, from Patina Restaurant Group, offers much less than its sister restaurants at Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia has an opulent two-story dining room with elegant chandeliers; The Edison resides in what was supposed to have been an abandoned power producing facility, and Maria & Enzo’s has the dramatic effect of a grand old airline terminal with large windows overlooking the lagoon. Enzo’s Hideaway has no windows and no double-height ceilings. It’s dark and slightly dank and several of the walls are covered in graffiti. I enjoyed myself here more than at the others. Which is not to say that I don’t like the other restaurants; I do. But I think …
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