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Cafe 34 Istanbul


8255 International Dr.
144 B
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 601-7712
View Website Here


Cafe 34 Istanbul is an elevated halal bar and eatery with old world decor, Turkish cuisine, a hookah lounge, and they are open 24 hours.

The executive chefs here have years of experience in making some fine foods that highlight Turkey's geographical and cultural boundaries. The dishes served up here are inspired by the fresh and local ingredients one would find at a Turkish farmer’s market mixed with organic imported spices from Turkey.

The menu here is a Halal menu. Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran. Therefore, halal foods are foods that are allowed to be consumed under Islamic dietary guidelines.

Appetizers served up at Cafe Istanbul range from Hummus, Dolma(Stuffed Grape Leaves), Baba Ganoush, Tabouli and Falafel. Entrees start with classic items like Doner Platters with chicken, beef or lamb, Shish Kebab’s served in a variety ways, Lamb Chops, and Kofte(Turkish Meatballs).

They serve traditional Turkish Coffee and Tea here, in addition to having a full bar with a variety of cocktail selections and of course they also carry Efes Pilsen beer, brewed in Izmir Turkey as well as a large variety of Hookah flavors to enjoy at the table. 


We started with a combo plate of cold appetizers and dips with Hummus, Shakshuka(sauteed eggplant dip), Ezme, a Turkish salsa, Tzatziki dip and Haydari. This was very flavorful and unique, and a great way to sample a few different items.

From the hot appetizer section we enjoyed the selection of Pacanga, which is a Yufka dough wrapped with Turkish Pastrami, tomatoes, pepper and kashkaval cheese, and sides of Cigar Borek made with Feta cheese rolled into filo pastry dough.

The Grilled Hellem at Cafe 34 Istanbul is pretty damn good. It’s a grilled Hellim cheese with fresh tomatoes on top. It is slightly crispy and a tad chewy, but with really great textures and flavor. 

This is the big boy of the day... the Meat Coma inducing combo platter with Lamb Kebab, Beef Doner, Beef Shish Kabob, Turkish Meatballs, Lamb Chops and Chicken Doner. Everything was really good with great flavors, and this is also really great to share at the table with guests.

Of course when you get Turkish food, you can't forget the desserts, like this Kunefe that is a most delicious oven shredded pastry with soft cheese filling in thick syrup. They have Baklava and Sultac, a rice pudding dessert available as well. 

There is some space inside Cafe 34 Istanbul, but the vast majority of the seats are on the large patio that seats 150. This is where all the action takes place with plenty of room and seating at the bar as well.

Stop by Cafe 34 Istanbul and immerse yourself in not only good food and conversation, but in a vibe that truly captures the essence of Turkey, right here in the heart of Orlando, and they are open 24 hours.


Cafe 34 Istanbul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Something Fishy

2107 E Semoran Blvd.
Apopka, FL 32703
(407) 703-4850
View Website Here


Recently, I had an opportunity to check out Apopka’s adored, family-friendly, seafood restaurant called “Something Fishy”.

Something Fishy has been in the Apopka area for over two years now, but I don’t get over to that side of town very often, so they were not on my radar, but that may change.

We really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere here, but the most important thing of this “mom & pop restaurant is just that… It’s about as mom and pop as you can get with a great family running the business and cooking the food, after one visit, you'll feel like family.

Chef and Owner Terence Phillips and his wife of 24 years Patrice Phillips hold down the fort at Something Fishy. Terence fulfilled his lifelong dream of opening Something Fishy, which is as he says “A reflection of the Phillips family gatherings and celebrations”

The 1500 square foot restaurant is a fast-casual concept where you order your food, take a seat, and it is brought out to you, or you can order your food to go as well. Inside there are tables and chairs with influences of South Hampton, Long Island for the decor. It’s not a huge space, but it works for them for right now. On Saturdays, seating may be limited, as lines can be going out the door, so it’s first come first serve here.

Something Fishy specializes in seafood that’s grilled, pan-seared or fried, served in a variety of selections from delicious fish tacos to crab cakes. The evolving menu, crafted by Chef Terence features starters, salads, build your own fishy bowls and classic seafood entrees with a fusion of new age, fresh flavors and innovation served straight from “Chef T’s” kitchen. 


We started our evening off with a selection of fried deliciousness that featured a sampling of fried cauliflower, calamari rings and tentacles and sweet corn hushpuppies. The fried cauliflower is a newer addition to the menu.

The Lump Crab Cake was really good with no fillers and a drizzle of cilantro aioli mayo with a side of Wasabi Slaw. We did a have a sample size portion, so the full order is a bit larger than pictured, but It’s a really good crab cake you can get as meal all by itself.

These Salmon Tacos with black bean and corn salsa and Wasabi slaw were pretty tasty also. I'm not the biggest fan of salmon, unless its raw for sushi or sashimi purposes, but these had a good flavor. You can get your tacos with any fish they offer at Something Fishy also. 

This was a very interesting Fish Sandwich made with Swai..an Asian catfish that is very tasty with a mild flavor. Chef T told me they use Swai for the consistency of the flavor and texture, and after tasting it, I can see why. The batter was perfect also.

These Jumbo Blackened Shrimp have a great flavor and are pretty damn jumbo!

I was really impressed with the Unicorn Fish…It was my first time ever having Unicorn Fish...and yes it's a real thing, and yes it was very good, especially blackened. 

One of the newer concepts to Something Fishy is called “Something Sweet” an in house bakery program, that is still being tweaked, but on our visit we had this lovely and delicious Lemon Cake that was a slice of heaven and a great way to end our visit.

In addition to introducing “Something Sweet”, Something Fishy is also implementing more catering and business lunches To Go programs.

“We could not be more excited to celebrate the second year of Something Fishy,” says Terence and Patrice Phillips. We are beyond grateful for the love, encouragement and support from family and friends and the community who have embraced us in our first year, and we look forward to welcoming even more Central Florida fish lovers into the Something Fishy family this year and for many more years to come.”

Stop by Something Fishy in Apopka and say hello! Terence and Patricia will make you feel like family from the moment you walk in with open arms, and the food is great too.
Something Fishy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar

7468 W.Sand Lake Road 
(Restaurant Row)
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 226-0550

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a review or write up for Rocco’s Tacos. My last write up for Tastes Of Orlando was back in 2012 for Rocco’s, and lots of things have changed since then.

I have visited a few times intermittently since then for friends and family members birthday events or corporate gatherings, so I was excited at the opportunity to return and revisit for a proper blog write up.

As I said back in 2012, the one of many things I love about this location of Rocco’s is the fact that it makes me feel like have arrived at an upscale version of the bar from the movie "From Dusk till Dawn".

Do you remember that movie with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino? It's the one where they get stuck at a crazy and wild bar on the dark side of Mexico and everyone turns into vampires. Although I never feared anyone at Rocco's turning into a vampire, the ambiance and feeling of the place certainly reminded me of the film.

Owner Rocco Mangel opened his first location in West Palm Beach in 2007, and has had quite a good following with a total of eight stores that have opened since then. The Orlando location was still in its infancy when I went for the first time in 2012, but they have maintained a steady business since then.

That is a testament to the brand and quality that owner Rocco Mangel brings to his establishments, especially when you consider how many restaurants have opened and closed in Orlando and Restaurant Row since then.

They have a few new additions to the menu and also have reinvigorated some of the old classics and kicked things up a notch now in 2018.


Inside, or Outside, both of the bars at Rocco’s are pretty impressive. This is the inside bar with just about every type and brand of tequila you can imagine.

Whether you choose to dine inside or outside, there is plenty of room, with great views no matter where you are. The inside is full of unique chandeliers, skeletons, bizarre statues and an array of interesting things to look at. Outside they have seating lakeside with a great view of Little Sand Lake and plenty of tiki torches to light up the night.

The Chips and Guacamole here have always been a favorite of mine, with guac made table side and the seasoned chips that are good by themselves.

Jalapeno Rellenos are stuffed and fried jalapeño poppers with cotija cheese, lime crema, avocado ranch and cilantro for a really good appetizer to share at the table.

Pollo Al Carbon is a generous platter from the Especiales de la Casa section of the menu with chicken, green bean and frisee salad, pickled red onions and sweet plantains.

Of course Rocco’s has the tacos as well, and they do a pretty good job of serving them up with a variety of protein options, like this platter with Chorizo, Carne Asada, and Pollo.

Camarones Patron are a cool item on the menu that I really enjoyed, with shrimp sauteéd in tequila and rojo chipotle butter sauce, padrón peppers and served with flour tortillas.

Hey… they have salads here too, and they are pretty darn good. The Ensalada de Espincaca at Rocco’s is made with blackened chicken, spinach, mixed greens, goat cheese, bacon, grilled onion and a very delicious charred jalapeno vinaigrette.

Enchiladas are always a good choice, especially these Mole Poblano ones filled with pulled chicken in adobo drenched in a mole poblano sauce.

For all you meat lovers out there, I strongly recommend the Gaucho Platter with grilled steak, chicken breast, shrimp, chorizo, chimichurri, grilled green onions, radishes and corn tortillas.

You can not go to Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila bar and not get a margarita. They make some of the best margaritas in Orlando. One of my favorites is the Cadillac Margarita made with El Mayor Anejo, Grand Marnier, and Rocco’s Housemade Sour Mix.

Back in the beginning phases of Rocco’s, Rocco himself went and scoured the globe and visited Mexico more than 20 times to get a better vision for his concept. His goal was not just getting the food right, but more importantly...to bring the best and widest selection of Tequila's in the southeast to his loyal patrons.

At any given time Rocco's can have as many as 300 different Tequila's on hand. A single shot of a lower end Tequila may cost you around $5.00, But, for the discerning customer, they have a shot of "1800 Coleccion Anejo" for a mere $250.00.

Back in his heyday, Rocco was known for visiting his establishments and donning the shoes Pee Wee Herman made famous during the “Tequila” song and dance in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. He would jump on the bar and pour tequila shots down patrons throats and the place would go crazy.

Nowadays, Rocco Mangel is a little laid back and not as crazy as he once was. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis not too long ago, so he has undergone a lifestyle change, but it’s all for the better. Rocco has a made a big effort to be part of the National MS Society because as he says, he wants people to know that his life, and those of others with MS, can continue to thrive.

In addition to all the walks and fundraisers Rocco is a part of, he has also added a special drink to the menu called the MS Miracle Margarita that is made with Maestro Dobel Diamante, Cedilla Acai Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice, and best of all, the proceeds go entirely to The National MS Society.

I said it in 2012, and I’ll say it again... The only thing that would have made our experience better at Rocco’s Tacos, is if Salma Hayek playing the part of Santánico Pandemonium would have been our server. The food is always good here, and it’s an atmosphere that is so fun and enjoyable and they make a damn fine margarita.


Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Fish Camp on Lake Eustis


901 Lake Shore Blvd.
Tavares, FL 32778
(352) 742-4400
View Website Here


The Fish Camp on Lake Eustis is a newer restaurant to the area, that is serving up some pretty darn good seafood in a hospitable atmosphere that is directly on the lake. 

The locals are flocking to this new hotspot, but even if you live in Orlando or any surrounding areas, this place is certainly worth the drive, especially for a Friday night or a weekend visit.

The exterior is pretty low key, but that's a good thing, because they do a fine job of selling the whole fish camp vibe. Many patrons have snapped photos of gators resting dockside, wild birds, eagles, owls, you name it, can be seen on a daily basis from the docks surrounding Fish Camp.

People who live on Lake Eustis, or are out on a weekend fishing trip or a nature tour can easily pull right up to the boat slips they have outside and go inside the restaurant to grab a bite to eat and a drink or two.

The food served here is very seafood and fish oriented, hence the name. The appetizer list starts off with items like Middle Neck Clams, Grouper Nuggets, Old Bay Crab Cake and Groveland Gator Bites. Moving on to entrees, they have Shrimp Scampi over linguini, Grouper Tacos, Shrimp and Grits, Seafood Trio and a Pineapple Marinated Sirloin to name a few.


The Bar is nice and cozy at Fish Camp with a laid back atmosphere.

Speaking of the bar, I was very pleased to find out that Fish Camp is very dedicated to not only local food sourcing, but also working with local distilleries as well. We did sample and try some very good spirits from Palm Ridge Reserve and Yalaha Bootlegging Co., both of whom are located in Umatilla and Yalaha Florida.

The inside dining room is very spacious with plenty of seating, and they also have a nice outside deck area to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature during your visit.

We started our evening off with Swamp Cabbage Ceviche that is made with fish and shrimp with lime, roasted corn, hearts of palm, red onion and tomato and is served with homemade tortillas. The flavors going on in this appetizer were pretty impressive with a perfect blend of citrus and spice, and the housemade tortillas really made this dish excell. Everyone has their own interpretation of Ceviche, and I personally really enjoyed this version.

The drinks at Fish Camp are pretty impressive as well, and they don’t skimp on the ingredients either. On the left is the Unhinged Anhinga Mojito and The Grand Ol' Osprey old fashioned on the right.

Gator Bites can be tough, chewy, or just plain not enjoyable, so when you find some really good ones, it is required to eat every last bite, and that is exactly what we did. The Groveland Gator Bites are breaded pieces of Gator Tail, fried and served with Sriracha Garlic Aioli and a Pineapple Salsa Cruda. These were delicious.

The Seafood Trio Tavares is a great way to sample a few things while dining at the Fish Camp. This dish comes with butterflied shrimp, grilled fish of your choice, and a crab cake over a dijon sauce with two sides. We chose blackened grouper for the fish. All of this was phenomenal, and the crab cake here has as much crab as possible with almost no fillers. Everything was fresh and full of flavor, and the dijon sauce went very well with all of the selections plated.

They have a variety of sides available here also like Linguini, Wilted Kale, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Fries, Corn on the cob, Bacon Cheddar Grits, Salt & Pepper Fries, Side Salad and Hush Puppies. We chose to sample the Bacon Cheddar Grits, Wilted Kale and the Shaved Brussels Sprouts and all of them were quite tasty side selections and really a notch above what one might find at a traditional fish camp type of restaurant. 

A Redneck Margarita made with Yalaha Bootlegging Moonshine is on the left, and a splash of Palmridge whiskey on the rocks is on the right.

I have been to some rather famous locations on Florida’s West Coast and have had some pretty darn good grouper, so I'm always impartial when it comes to grouper, but this is hands down some of the freshest and tastiest grouper that I have had from Orlando to Clearwater. These Fried Grouper Tacos were excellent. They are served with a light drizzle of chili crema and topped with Pico de Gallo salsa. You can order them fried, blackened, or grilled.

The Bacon Caramel Cheesecake is pretty ridiculous at Fish Camp. This little slice of heaven is worth the drive over there all by itself. This is a sweet and savory dessert that was a perfect ending to a great visit The Fish Camp in Lake Eustis.

The Fish Camp on Lake Eustis is a great place to enjoy some fine seafood, craft cocktails, and warm and friendly service, all with a view and a location that is unmatched in the area. If you are a local, make sure you hit them up. If you live in Orlando like I do, It is certainly worth the drive.

They also have a few specials throughout the week like Maryland Mondays with a Baltimore-style Blue Crab Feast Old Bay Crab Cake Dinner with Two Sides for $9.99, Soft Shell Crabs 6.99 per 1lb and a Snow Crab Dinner for $19.99

Raw Bar Wednesdays start with Fresh Oysters raw or steamed Middleneck Clams for $6/Dozen and Oysters $9.99/Dozen as well as a Pound of Peel n Eat Shrimp for $10.99.

Thirsty Thursdays feature $1.99 Margaritas and Martinis with dinner from 4pm to close, Fish Friday is Every Friday with All You Can Eat Fish N’ Chips.

They recently started doing a weekend brunch special as well, which would make for a great start to your day of fishing or sightseeing on Lake Eustis.

Fish Camp is open Monday to Thursday from 11:00am until 9:00pm and on Friday and Saturday from 11:00am until 10:00pm.

Fish Camp Lake Eustis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Olive Tree Greek Grill


2270 Town Center Ave.
Suite 113
Melbourne, FL 32940
(321) 631-0188
View Website Here


On a recent day of shopping, we headed over to Viera to hit up The Avenue. It’s pretty much a mall, but all the shops are outside, just like Waterford Lakes, and they are both Simon Properties. 

There is plenty of traditional mall type food around the area, and even other options, but mostly chain spots. We were very glad that when we got hungry, and we happened to be by the shoe store, we spotted Olive Tree Greek Grill.

The Olive Tree is pretty much a fast casual dining experience that specializes in serving authentic Greek food. The Menu here is full of your traditional Greek items one expects to find in such an establishment like Greek salad, Gyro sandwiches, Shish Kebabs, Falafels, Spanakopita, Dolmathes, and Souvlaki.

Prices are pretty reasonable and everything is al a carte. It’s a very simple ordering process where you walk up, take a gander at the menu and place your order. You then pay, have a seat and someone brings you your food.

All dishes are made on premises from scratch using the finest ingredients. Olive Tree is family owned and operated, and a sign says they have been dedicated to serving the highest quality, best tasting Greek cuisine for over 34 years. I’m certain they have not been in business in Viera for over 34 years, but there was a poster of some sort talking about the family being from New York and having a similar business there. 

The kitchen and prep area is open, so as you move along the line you can see them making your food. 

There is a decent amount seating inside, but on a Saturday, it can get packed and seating may be limited as the space is not that big.

We decided to split an order of the Falafel balls. These were really good, and served with an interesting yogurt based dipping sauce. 


My wife and I both were craving a good Gyro, so we each ordered one. This was by far one of the better Gyros I've had in quite some time, and this thing was loaded with meat and toppings. They actually make the pita in house too, and it was delicious as well. These can be ordered with Souvlaki, or with grilled chicken and served on white or wheat pitas.
Although we did not try any, the dessert case looked to have some really appealing items in there, like Baklava, Rice Pudding and Honey and Spice cookies.

I have a lot of family in Brevard County, so I’m sure I will be back to the Olive Tree Greek Grill. Since we kind of went here last minute doing some shopping, we did not get to try out the menu like I normally like to do, but everything we had was really good, and the place was packed, so apparently other people really like the food there too.

If you find yourself over on the East Coast and are at The Avenue in Viera, do yourself a favor and hit up Olive Tree.


The Olive Tree Greek Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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