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Central Florida News

Spotlight: Lion’s Pride


For a place called Lion’s Pride, there’s not a whole lot to be proud of at this soccer-themed sports bar and restaurant. I suppose the developers could take some satisfaction in having created a sports bar of epic proportions. The orchestra-and-balcony style stadium seating facing a wall of giant televisions provides great viewing. But although they’ve got the visual part down, this sports bar loses on all other aspects, from service to food and even to the warm and flattish beer. A good sports bar should be able to manage a decent burger. LP’s All American Bacon Cheddar Burger certainly looked good, a thick patty topped with a slab of almost melted cheddar cheese, a couple of rashers of bacon …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: El Pueblo


El Pueblo’s sign says it is a grocery as well as a restaurant, but unless I missed something I saw nothing in the way of a market. It operates as a quick-serve — order at the counter and the friendly staff member will bring your food to you when ready. What the sign should say is: We serve authentic and good Mexican food I chose No. 4 on the menu, the Chilaquiles. As is traditional in Mexico, the chilaquiles is available with a red or green sauce and a choice of meat. It’s a simple dish with squares of tortillas as the base, with sauce, meat and cheese on top. I cheated. I got the green sauce and requested some …
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Scott Josephs Restaurant Guide

Spotlight: The Waterfront


If you were worried that the sale of Julie’s Waterfront and the excision of her name from the business would mean that the South Orange Avenue venue would lose some of its grunge, you can rest easy. The Waterfront, under new owners, still has its delightfully divey demeanor. If you were hoping that new ownership might usher in better food and service, well, that might be a little more hit and miss. A hit was certainly the Waterfront Burger, a thick patty, cooked precisely to medium-rare, topped with melted swiss cheese plus a bit of blue, with some caramelized onions and some peppery leaves of arugula. The bun was nicely toasted, and though it was big, it was appropriate to …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Reyes Mezcaleria


That space that for many years was Citrus Restaurant, long before the neighborhood it sits in became known as the North Quarter District, has been transformed into Reyes Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant that brings street food inside to a fun and comfortable atmosphere. You’d be hard pressed to find any of the old Citrus in the place. As reimagined by Sue Chin, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Jason, the space is more open, especially the bar area, thanks in part to a clever move of the restaurant’s main entrance, which also netted some additional patio seating. Like the Chin’s Baldwin Park restaurants and Seito Sushi, Reyes’s chef is Austin Boyd. It’s difficult enough for one person to oversee …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar


The servers at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant in the old Ravenous Pig space, have apparently been instructed to explain to new guests that it is “a contemporary version of a classic fish camp,” but they’ve not been told how to respond when someone asks, “What does that mean?” So I can only assume that it means taking tastefully casual decor of the previous tenant, gluing some weathered planks to some walls and stenciling the words Fish Camp on a brick wall. One will never confuse Reel Fish with, say, JB’s Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach. In fact there’s very little that’s campy about it. But fish? Yes, there is fish. But here, too, the …
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Photo courtesy of scottjosephorlando.com
Spotlight

Spotlight: Viet-Nomz


Let me just put this right out there at the beginning: Viet-Nomz might just be serving the best Vietnamese food in the area. Those of you who know me know that I don’t make such statements lightly. It’s a bit of a silly name — the Nomz part is for nom nom, which people type in a message when they want to affect chewing sounds. Don’t look at me, I just report these things. The menu here is less confusing than most Vietnamese restaurants, which often have more than 100 types of soup, rice and noodle dishes, though the actual options may even be more numerous here. That’s because Viet-Nomz’s concept is a variation of an assemblage operation. That is, …
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