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Orlando area top 10 - February 2012

Sorry it took so long to get back with Sis! The Mason Jar is on hwy 19 north of eustis and south of umatilla.
I plan on trying their fried chicken soon!

Dec 17, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Orlando area top 10 - February 2012

Will agree with Sandwich Sister on PioPio! This is one of the few places I will Dine in that area on a budget. And yes the chicken is that good!

I don't see any lake county posts so i will throw in my top 10. I know its not Orlando but we are mighty close;)

1. Vics Embers,,,,Old style steak house with consistant quality.
2. The Goblin Market,,,This is usually no. 1 but lately i have heard a couple of complaints.
3. Sugarboo's BBQ,,My favorite out of the three top joints in lake county
4. Thai Jasmine,,, Great authentic thai food and not bad sushi
5. El paso Meat market for the best mexican.
6. Coppa Cabbana Cuban Cafe... descent food at a descent price
7. The Mason Jar ,,,,, down home southern cooking
8. Little lake Harris Hideaway,,,best burger and fried fish around.
9.Jeremiah's,,more nightly specials than you can shake a stick at!
10. KiKu Jappanese Steak House,, it is what it is!

Nov 14, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida


Mount Dora has its first taco Truck on Hwy 19 leaving town. Tortas with homade bread! They also have taco's with a cilantro jalepeno sauce for them that is to die for! I still haven't tried there quesodillas but will report back when I do!

Oct 11, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Mount Dora Seasonal Dining report For 2012

Seems like yesterday I was doing the 2011 report and things have changed for the better her on Mount Dora!
We'll start off with the new additions, and the newest is The Bavarian Haus german resturaunt on Alexander,, This place is small inside but has a big patio in the front. Imagine being in the living room of a german family having dinner,,the tables are close and the beer mugs are BIG! The food varies from dish to dish,,schnitzel seems to be the highlight and you can hear them pounding it flat in the kitchen. Service started slow on my visit but evened out as the dinner progressed. They don't serve bread with the meals and is an extra charge(just like in germany). The portions could also be a little bigger,,except for the schnitzel ,,it was huge!
If all that meat and potato's turns you off try the new vegan spot at the corner of 3rd and donnelly. Mount Dora now has Vitality Bistro! This place is 95% vegan,glutten free! And tasty! But not cheap!,, I loved their homade fruit juice lemonades like kiwi and rasberry,, They also have unique flat breads and sides like curry coleslaw and humus. This is the place you take that health concious relative that is never happy with the norm!
If you want to go back to the old school with class try Merrils Market. This is a modern day high end butchershop and wine bar in one big store. Rumor has it that Rick the owner will even cook your steak on a charcoal grill he has out back. If you dont want him to go to the hassel he will be glad to make a deli sandwich for you and serve it to you at the picnic tables he has in the front. I haven't had Ricks steaks so I cant be a critic but others have told me they are the best.
Next door to Merrils is The Saucy Spoon a place that strives for gormet quality. Some menu items strive too hard and are too daring. The prices are also daring and a steak will cost you around $45! The highlight is the salad and bread bar. Imagine several types of salad and a bread basket with all the trimmings,,olives , olive oil, spreads and anything you want to dip your homade bread! The saucy service is good and the drinks are strong!
If you don't want to spend alot of money try the lost parrot. This place used to be the frosty mug and before that eduardo's. The lost parrot is different from both of them and features a variety of steaks, burgers ,wings and other standard margaritaville standards,,I like their cheesburgers!!
Other inexpensive options are Fiesta Grande Mexican grill and Coppacabanna Cuban. I have had better Mexican and Cuban but all in all they are in the ball park!
If you looking for consistant quality I recommend the Goblin Market. This place has been open for years and consistantly deliver quality. They are not inexpensive but they are always good!
If the Goblin is full try the newly made over Palm tree grille. This place has kicked it up a notch and now I recommend this place for the best authentic italian and If you don't like Itallian just trot across the street to the frog and monkey pub. This is a gastro pub that also delivers consistant quality and service.. They also feature live jazz on the weekends. If you are hung over from a mount dora party night stop by the winsidor rose english tea room for breakfeast. They started seving breakfeast last year and it rocks!
If you come to mount dora please use this thread to share your experiences and most of all,, have a good time while you are here.

Oct 08, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

best barbeque in Orlando/Kissimmee?

Fat Boys is slightly better than sonnys but sonnys has a good salad bar.

Aug 13, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Restaurant Recommendations in Orlando

If you are at universal there is a great latin place at the corner of kirkman and I-drive called piopio. Peruvian Rotisserie chicken and other latin treats. not expensive and not touristy!

Jun 20, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Disney chow for foodies

I recently had dinner at The Maya Grill at The coronado springs resort,, Very good and somewhat adventurous menu for a disney hotel. Steaks grilled over mesquite wood and flavorful sauces. I would hit this place if you wanted someplace quiet and out of the way. The hotel is for conventions and when I stayed there and would walk by the maya grill it was never crowded and had a nice dark lit feel to it with not too many kids!

Jun 08, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Orlando - Best Mexican Restaurant

Mexican is a very broad culinary spectrum and most what you get here in florida is americanized to the point it's not mexican. To get real mexican you have to go to a tortilloria(i think that is the splling) or a taquria. I know there is small tortilloria chain run by a mexican family that has mexican groceries and a restaurants in the same place Its called tortilloria la mexicana . One is in Winter Garden and one is in Eustis and there is another one because the eustis location is #3. You want "authentic"? lets talk about torta's (mexican sandwich) and fried whole fish with a side of pork rind or cow tounge taco's with no lettuce and tomato and just onions, fresh cilantro and slices of lime. This place has traditional taco's and burritos and the quesodilla's are the bomb. the menus also has grilled steaks and sizzling mixed grill platters that are really good and lets not forget som good ole mexican steamed cactus on the side..they have a meat counter as well where you can buy pre-marinated steaks and chicken to take home and THE BEST tortillas I have ever had! I can taste the hint of lard now;)

May 02, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Best Hamburger in Midwest

If you are in northern ark. or southwest mo. you will want to visit WF Cody's in Springfield Missouri. This place has ONE POUND burgers! and they are good! They will easily feed two people and the fries are just as good. They actally retain some of the beef fat and cook the fries in it. This place is a bar and not a place you want to take the inlaws unless they are really hip.

Best Steakhouse in Orlando?

I had a decent steak at shula's 347 in lake mary. especially for the money, , we went early during the week and had a very pleasant experience. The service was great and the the side orders were no extra charge. I can see how this place might be a bit uncomfortable when crowded,, the table are too close together. If you go early this isn't an issue. The steak was bone in ribeye that was cooked perfectly and had a nice marble texture.

Apr 25, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Visiting The Villages, FL and looking for good restaurants

I wonder if that is the same Giovanni's in winter park and oveido?? If so they aren't bad. leesburg also has some good places to eat. As far as Mount Dora is concerned bring a full wallet if you make the trip!! If you come here wanting to spend less there are four options,, The lost parrot(mediocre bar food), Jerrimiah's(think a country style bennigans),, Copa cabbanna cuban( average to good cuban ) and fiesta grande (americanized mexican). Most of the other places here in the Mount Dora are upscale. If money is not an issue you will want to make reservations at the goblin market. but before you do you will want to have happy our on the deck at piecies rising. Its the place to be seen in in mt.dora and has a beautiful lake view with a jimmy buffet impersonator on hand to make you feel like your in the keys. If the goblin is closed try the palm tree grill or the frog and monkey gastro pub. I have also heard there is a new german place opening here within the next year,,stay tuned!

Apr 25, 2012
mountdorahound in Florida

Florida-Style BBQ?

so true sarge,,I see sonny's packed and wonder what those people are thinking! Speaking of regions,, I love the bbq in st.louis and kc and its very simple,, soak the ribs in beer over night then use hickory wood with a light dry rub,,mmm!! kind of a bolder flavor without the sweetness. They use a sweet molasses sauce. KC bbq is also cooked with hickory only they don't soak in beer or use a sweet sauce. The kc method is to use a dry rub and baste the ribs in a hot, vinegar mustard tomato sauce mixture while cooking.

May 12, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

Need Daytona Beach Recs

Ocean deck is always descent,,not great but descent! Daytona has quite a few good pizza and burger joints,,I like the brickyard for burgers. For steak there is a good place about a mile west of the track called Gene's. Been there for years!!

Apr 22, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

Orlando, WP, Mt Dora - Easter lunch?

Well Ms Bnbbiz my mother has a bnb but not in mount dora,,she come here to "get ideas' ,wink,wink, she also doesn't like buffets. I would highly reccomend the Goblin Market for a nice place to dine but if you want Easter fare I would give pieces rising a shot. The have a very upscale atomosphere and it overlooks the lake for scenery. I must warn you that the prices are higher than what you might expect but it will probably fill the bill. Both places have outdoor dining. If you don't want to spend as much money,,the frosty mug servers holiday meals but the food and service can be hit or miss. If you go to sandford hollerbachs willow tree is the place! call ahead whatever you do!!

Goblin Market
331 N Donnelly St, Mount Dora, FL 32757

Apr 22, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

Best restaurant in the Orlando area?

Everyone i talk to says the venitian room at cabre royal is the bomb and totally under rated. This resturaunt always wins the awards and has critics raving nationwide for formal elegance, service, and food. I never hear anyone talk about it here so if you have been there recently,,chime in!

Jan 31, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

Fishcamps around Orlando

my fav is in deland on the st johns river. The shady oak fish camp! havent found better catfish!

Jan 31, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

food around Eustis, Mt. Dora or anywhere north of Orlando

well you came to the right place jay,, But be prepared to have some new experiences as far as local food is concerned. Local lake county is sometimes backwoods and not for your froofy types. However what is reccommended will be good to the tounge and stomach!
If you really want local and don't want to dive too far Try Zellies in Mt. Dora on hwy 19. If you eat local in central florida be prepared for some grease as in greasy fried pickles, zellies also has fried catfish but I would stick to their homemade soups and fried chicken wings. This place is pretty real they also serve fresh roasted peanuts where you just throw the shells on the floor.
As far as ethnic,,tavares seems to be gaining traction,,,I tried Basil cafe a month ago,, This place is authentic jamaican in a nice freindly CLEAN setting. It's on main street and be sure and try the homemade saffron beef and chicken patties, they are some of the best I have tasted. Tavares also has the only authentic cuban joint on hwy 488 called pichy's. they used to be on lee rd next to delfriscos. they recently moved to lake county,,,I just wish this placed served roast pork. If you want REAL mexican as in carnita's and fried whole fish you'll have to go to eustis to Tortillaria La Mexicana. Be prepaired for AUTHENTIC mexican.
As far as Asian is concernd I like Thai Jasmine in Tavares. This place is also authentic compared to the other thai places. If you want sushi Mt. Dora Sushi seems to get the most votes. Chinese seems to the same wherever you go but china wok in eustis gets quite a few votes as well.
Last but certainly not least BBQ! Lake county has some of the best bbq joints in florida. Where is the best q? Depends on what type of sauce and seasoning you like. Since i am in Mt dora I tend to go to sugarboos quite a bit. dry rub seasoned Meat cooked perfectly everytime!! The sauce however is a vinigar based and very tart. If you like the sweet hot flavor try Mikes at the corner of 441 and wolfbranch/ limit ave. in Mt. Dora. This is the same only the sauce is molasses sweeter and cooked on the meat. it tends to create a crispy burnt coating.
King's in eustis also has a large following. The meat is not seasoned but cooked right and the sauce is a mustard base sauce you can buy in lke county grocery stores. There is also the damn smoker north of eustis. This place is hit or miss on cooking tenderness but usually hits,,they also have a variety of sauces. I still have yet to try bc's general store in yalaha but it comes highley reccomended. I also like Jacks bbq in clermont. It has indoor seating which none of the places I have mentioned do. The cue I had was great with a sweet mollasses based sauce.
Hope this helps,,,,let me know if i was off!

Jan 24, 2011
mountdorahound in Florida

Is Paco's in Orlando/Winter Park any good?

hey max is Garibaldis in apopka still open. I have wanted to try the place,, Seems when i drive by the place is always empty. I 'll check into it and report back. I have a good reason to stop now.

Dec 16, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Disney Must haves?

Most of the places mentioned above are good but very pricey,,especially victoria and alberts although if you want an unforgetable experience I would recommend the chef's table there. I have dined at several disney spots over the years and found epcot to be very foodie freindly. I would second the morrocan if you have never had that type of food. I also like the german pavilion and the Le celiar steak house at canada. My favorite has to be at the norway pavilion. Its a buffet with smoked fish and scandinavian fare.
Outside of epcot there is downtown disney. If youre on a budget wolfgang puck has a walkup cafe next to his place and they have excellent roast chicken. I would also recommend ranglin road and planet hollywood. Planet hollywood not so much for the food but definitley for the scenery.
I still have yet to try the brown derby at disney/mgm studios. I have heard it is a pleasurable dining experience. Please share your experiences there.

Dec 14, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Best Pizza in Orlando?

I have to agree with sister on anthony's coal fired,, OVERRATED!! But I always like the place in casselberry on 17-92 ,,I think its called Buffalo pizza and wings. These guys are from buffalo and the pizza is good for the price so are the wings. It's take out only. I Like Del Dio's as well

Dec 02, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Florida food trucks/street food?

There is one here in Mount dora on the corner of limit and 441. MIKES BBQ!! Very good sweet sauce and to die for cinamon baked beans. A few more have opened on old hwy 441,, Bizzles BBQ serves good chicken and they have a couple more that i need to on old 441 between Mt. Dora and Tavares. I think I saw a jamacan jerk wagon,,film at 11!!

Dec 01, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Volusia County Dining

Yes,, It is a classic greasy spoon.. Complete with mis-matched table ware. My experiences there wern't too greasy of course I didn't order the hamburger and fries. But for three dollars and fifty cents ,,I will put up with a little grease.

Sep 14, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Volusia County Dining

Deland has some good home cookin places,, I drive by that place alot ,, I will stop next time.
There' is also another good home cookin place on the other side of town on hwy 44. Grams Kitchen is also known by bikers to be the place for a good cheap breakfeast. And it is Both. I had two eggs hashbrowns with biscuts and gravy with iced tea for $3.50! and It was good!

Sep 13, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Volusia County Dining

Volusia's main dining destinations are in NSB! I rarely get to go over there so I will write about the ones i do get to visit. Shady Oaks fish camp on the st johns river in deland is one of those places. Fried to order catfish fingerlings that melt in your mouth. Have the potato salad and you'll know it's real. Drive up the road a couple miles and turn right on new york ave and youll be at emmys time out tavern,,Volusia's only REal German place owned by A german Emmy who knows how to treat people right! I might have to go there tonight. I like the rouladen and pork shank on a bed of saur kraut. Her specialty is steak and prime rib and every meal comes with a salad,soup and a whole loaf of homemade bread. You'll need a wheel chair after dinner!

Shady Oaks Cafe
132 Avenue B SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880

Sep 03, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida


Mount Dora has quite the burger selection as well and with 20 eating places within 4 square blocks of eachother the rivalries run high! I have yet to try the burger at pisces rising and sidelines but I have heard plenty and here is the list using bear's grading scale.
1. zellies pub burger only gets a 1 because it is a frozen
2. palm tree grill isn't frozen but it is flavorless and over cooked.
3. NY style diner is a fried burger and also a frozen patty
4. Lisa's kitchen serves fried burgers but good meat.
5. Chili's is always consistant but not the best
6. Highland street cafe has a famous nell burger. fried but thick and seasoned well.
7. Jerimiahs has flame grilled a wide but wont cook to order
8.The frosty mug has flame grilled burgers and usually good depending on the cook.
9. The chew chew express has a fried burger with a big size and seasoned perfectly
10. the frog and monkey has top quality beef(lots of fat) and flame grilled to perfection!

Aug 30, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Real Cuban in Mount Dora, Florida

Don't get too excited and don't drive from orlando or apopka to go to this place. Portions are small and the price is high! For real cuban,,drive to orlando!
I don't usually bash mount dora resturaunts unless they deserve it. I actually bought a cuban sandwich at black bean deli in winter park, brought it back to mount dora and showed my neighbor. I didn't tell him where it came from. His first comment was,,"this didn't come from copa cabana!" A real cuban is packed with meat and is pressed with real cuban bread. The bread at copa cabana does not taste close to cuban. Maybe it is because the owner is from mexico. Their roast pork is good however,,,they just dont give you very much. I really wanted this place to be authentic and good,,it 's just not.

Aug 30, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Looking for Orlando: classic, famous, institutions, unusual specials, best kept secret

2nd johnsons! I always like the classics too but they are becomming more rare! Like The cattle ranch in sanford. good priced no frills and it takes ya back! Another good steak place just south is colorado's in Lake mary. The smoked prime rib is to be tried once in your life and it rocks!
If you dont want steak go down to shells on lee road or on 436. This chain is dying but I always loved their pasta dishes.
For chinese I always take visitors to Lams on hwy 50,, Not the cleanest place but really authentic!! Pick out the fish you want to eat while it swims in the big fish tank at th entrance. Then have them put it in the bamboosteamer with soy sauce, scalions and ginger!
If you want a good choice head down orange avenue till ya get to blackwater bbq. across the street is a killer peruvian chicken joint reccommended to me by the late great Bob Mervine(RIP)

Aug 09, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Driving Across Florida: Need Lunch ~ Tallahassee, Other Ideas

There is some decent bbq at the micanopy exit off I-75. Pearls BBQ!! just look for the signs between lake city and gainesville. It is THE ONLY place on the interstate that is not a chain and you wont have to worry about getting lost. Right at the 106 exit! get the pulled pork with macaroni and cheese!

Aug 02, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida


OK from central florida the Mount Dora hound found another REALLY OUT OF THE WAY great buger place. Its on the banks of the okalawaha river on Hwy 42 North of Eustis Florida about 15 miles. Its a bar that sits in the campground next to the boat ramp called the Blue Heron Bar. BIG burgers cooked on an open flame and Very Good think 1.5 inches thick cooked to requested doneness. Mushrooms and swiss as well as the traditionals. No store bought patties here! If burgers arent your thing nelsons fish camp is across the bridge!

Blue Heron Restaurant
387 Capri Blvd, Naples, FL 34113

Jul 30, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida

Route 46 in Sanford

Imagine sonny's, bennigans, and bubba gumps in one spot. The only plus is live entertainment!

Jul 30, 2010
mountdorahound in Florida