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Showing posts with label East Orlando. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Orlando. Show all posts

Linda's La Cantina Steak House

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4721 E Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 894-4491
View Website Here



Linda’s La Cantina is pretty much a staple in the Orlando community. If you have lived in Orlando for any amount of time and driven down Colonial drive, surely you've seen the big red and white sign as you pass by.

They have been serving the Central Florida area since 1947 with quality steaks that are U.S.D.A. choice or above and are cut right on site. They are grilled hot and fast to sear in all the juices, and that helps to make them a cut above. In a world of constant change, especially in Orlando, and in the restaurant business, it's pretty remarkable that they have survived, and still have quite a loyal following. La Cantina celebrated 60 years in March of 2007.

What you get at Linda’s is great quality steaks at a medium price range. They are not at the price level of say Christner's, or a Ruth Chris type of steak house, but they are still more expensive than a standard chain type of steakhouse. 

The average price for a good cut of steak is about $32.00 for a New York Strip, and that's a 14oz. Strip. Also at Linda’s, a salad and your choice of side, along with hot fresh bread is included in the price of your steak. If you factor that in, and the quality of the cut of meats they serve, it's a pretty good deal.

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The inside of Linda’s La Cantina is a bit sparse and very traditional. It's very dimly lit with wood and brass accents and red and white checkered table cloths for a real old school style steakhouse feel.

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Although there is an extensive wine list on the table, they do not have any specialty cocktails or mixed drinks on the menu. The good news is, the bar staff here is very capable, and they will make whatever you desire. A Moscow mule on the left and a dirty martini on the right, were great pre dinner drinks.

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We ordered the Coconut Shrimp with Spice Plum sauce for an appetizer, and they were pretty tasty, although a tad on the sweet side.

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The House Salad, with French dressing.  A salad is served with your choice of dressing and is complementary to any entree selection.

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Steak is what they do here, and Linda's La Cantina does a damn fine job at great steaks that are moderately priced. This is the 16oz. Ribeye that just melts in your mouth.

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The side choices we decided on was the baked potato and steamed broccoli.

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They have a 14oz. and an 18oz. NY Strip at Linda’s. This 14oz version was delicious and perfectly cooked. There was also plenty left over for me to have an excellent lunch the next day.

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A slice of Coconut cake and some coffee was a perfect ending to our visit.


This is quite a unique establishment with a great deal of history going all the way back to when Orlando still had dirt roads. There has a been only a handful of owners since the beginning, but the original Linda was the longest proprietor of this fine establishment. It was torn down and remodeled in 1972, burnt down in a fire in 1994 and reopened in 1995 after a six month rebuild process.

Through the next several years some family members left, while others came, and the one constant was the traditions that had been passed down and were still treasured and protected by the ones that cared enough to stay the course.

In 2001 Linda retired to the shock of family and all that had seen her behind the desk. Although missed greatly, it was good to know that she was enjoying her golden years doing things she never had time to. Her dedication to the customers and to her family made her a matriarch in the truest sense, and that tradition still lives on today.

Linda’s La Cantina is open from 4:00 pm until 9:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. I would suggest making a reservation, as they tend to fill up fast with the limited hours.


Linda's La Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Danketsu

11425 Lk. Underhill Rd.
Orlando, FL 32825
(407) 988-3093
View Website Here


Danketsu is the all new Asian Fusion restaurant on Orlando’s east side. Although there is a big focus on Korean BBQ, the menu has plenty to offer in terms of sushi, noodles, hot pot and other popular Asian dishes.

Fusion cuisine or fusion
 food, is a general term for the combination of various forms of cookery and is offered in several forms. Danketsu may not cross mix dishes with one another, but they are certainly a regional fusion restaurant. Regional fusion combines different cuisines of a region into a single dining experience like combining the various cuisines of different Asian countries. 

So the name Danketsu derived from Japanese, that is pronounced (don-ket-su) which means combination, union, and unity…. is a very fitting one.

The location on Lake Underhill was formerly a Hooters Wings, that has been closed for a few years now. The outside received a new paint job and got new signage, but the inside has been beautifully redone. The bar has a pretty cool mural painted on the wall with vibrant colors. Of course there are the obligatory super large TV screens with a large projector screen at the front of the restaurant. The main dining room is very open and spacious with plenty of regular tables and seating at the bar.


If you know ahead of time that you want Korean BBQ or Hot Pot, let the host station know and they will seat you in the section that has booths with tables that have built in burners and a table grill. Even if you decide after sitting at a regular table, they will gladly move you.

We started out with the Tuna Tataki that featured thinly sliced seared tuna served with ponzu sauce. The tuna was really good and delicately sliced with a very light sear.

Just to sample the quality of the sushi rolls at Danketsu, we ordered the Combo Set D. They have a decent selection of sushi, nigiri and sashimi on the menu with some pre selected roll options in the combo sets. The combo set D features a California roll, spicy tuna roll and a spicy salmon roll. The rice was nice and sticky and did not fall apart after dipping in soy, and the fish was fresh with a nice kick to it.


The Yakisoba noodles were the only disappointment of our evening. The noodles themselves were cooked well and had great consistency, but really lacked any flavor or toppings. For $13.00 I expected more chicken and vegetables.

The Miso Ramen was a very large portion and tasted exceptional. I would advise Danketsu to put more descriptions in the menu. Quite a few items lack any information that tells the guest exactly what they are getting. The miso ramen is simply listed as noodles in miso base, and that sounds rather plain especially when you look at the picture of the dish we got. Our server was also unsure of what the ramen came with.


Overall, we really liked Danketsu and since we live on the east side, we will certainly return. The prices are very reasonable and the portions are large. With two sake bombs, two beers and all of the food pictured above, our bill was $68.00... we had plenty left over for lunch the next day too. 

The restaurant is fairly new, so I will give them some more time for adjustments and training servers to know the menu better. On our next visit we are doing the Korean BBQ and a Hot Pot...so stay tuned for that.

Danketsu is open from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am Monday to Sunday, and features nightly drink specials like $5.00 sake bombs on Friday and various specials for sporting events.

Danketsu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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The Meatball Stoppe

7325 Lake Underhill Rd.
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 270-6505
View Website Here

Last year, I told you about a little spot in East Orlando called The Meatball Shoppe. I say little enthusiastically though, because the shop is small inside, but full of great flavor and great character. That great character is attributed to the owners of this establishment - Isabella Morgia di Vicaria, a first-generation American, born of Italian heritage in Brooklyn, NY. and her Husband Jeff Morgia. You can see more of that review here

The Meatball Shoppe is now called The Meatball Stoppe, and they have added a few more things to the menu then just meatballs.

The concept of The Meatball Stoppe is to bring you the classic and traditional Italian meatball and then take it in a different direction. The menu is based on tradition fused with innovation that brings new life to the ‘classic meatball’. Patrons can expect to find a combination of an old world style with a retro feel and fresh originality. Everything from classic meatballs, to mediterranean style and the all new buffalo bleu chicken meatball is on the menu.

What's new is a selection of Italian favorites recreated as only Isabella could do with a selection of entrees titled Famiglia Favorites. It is here you will find such items as Baked Ziti, Eggplant Stack and Lasagna Bolognese. Additionally a few side items or starters have been added like fried calamari, bruschetta, caponata, and The Meatball Stoppe serves beer now too.


The Caprese Salad features tomato, mozzarella and a house made pesto.

The Bruschetta with crostini was pretty fabulous in a very decadent red sauce with fresh mozzarella melted in it.

I was very impressed with the Fried Calamari at the The Meatball Stoppe. I can honestly tell you..this is some of the best I have had in Orlando. The sauce had a bit of a bite to it as well. Very tender calamari, and it was served properly with the tentacles as well as the rings.

The Eggplant Sandwich is a winner. I admit, I have to have meat everyday, but I have some vegetarian friends, and If this was all I could eat...I'd be pretty happy without meat. This sandwich is stacks of fried eggplant with mozzarella, arugula, red onions and a pesto mayo on a focaccia bun.

New to the meatball section of the menu is the Chicken Parmigiana meatball with Buffalo Bleu Cheese sauce. A very tasty addition that is gluten free also.

The Eggplant Stack is a delicious stack of breaded eggplant with a mixture of imported cheeses and a roasted tomato sauce.

Of course you can never go wrong with Nona’s Traditional Italian Meatball with a fried egg in the top.

The Meatball Stoppe has always had great cannolis, and they are the perfect size.

 
Sfogliatelle is a traditional Italian pastry that is flaky on the outside and stuffed with a lemon ricotta filling. These are served piping hot and the filling just oozes out of them once they are opened. This was a very tasty treat.

Isabella believes her meatballs are special and are a representative of the best of many cultures including the Mediterranean and Latin American Countries. Jeff says his love of meatballs comes from the nostalgia that takes him back to when he was growing up, and they’re warm, inviting and are universally loved by all. 


Whether you are in the mood for some great meatballs or some really good Italian family favorites, stop by the Meatball Stoppe and say hello.

The Meatball Shoppe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Dan's Restaurant

7300 E Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32807
(407) 207- 8001


Adding to the list of really good restaurants that dot Colonial Drive on Orlando’s East Side is Dan's Restaurant. It’s one of those places that unless you try it out, you will never know what you are missing.

I admit, that I live on the east side, and it has taken me quite some time to finally stop by and check them out. Finally one Saturday morning, after my wife was asking why we don't have some type of basic simple cafe type of place with great breakfast items close to us?….I perked up and said...Actually I have heard good things about Dan’s Restaurant and they apparently have really good breakfast served all day...and best of all, it’s right around the corner.

Dan’s is family owned and operated, and has been serving great food in Orlando for over 30 years. The menu offers fresh home cooked food and has unique daily lunch specials, and they claim to have some of the best breakfast in Orlando.

For breakfast you have a huge selection of eggs any style, omelets, pancakes, waffles, sausage biscuits and gravy and what the restaurant has become known for… Skillets. The skillets are basically a concoction of various breakfast items all mixed together in a cast iron skillet and topped with cheese, or gravy or pretty much whatever you want. For dinner and lunch they have Meatloaf, Pot Roast, Chicken Fried Steak, Roast Pork, and a variety of subs, like the famous Steak and Onion Sub.


Inside of Dan’s Restaurant you really feel like you’ve found a great greasy spoon divey type of place, but not in a bad way. It feels very inviting and comforting inside. It's the sort of place you feel like you have been missing in your life.

I ordered the Super Combo with 2 eggs any style, a half order of biscuits and gravy, hashbrowns and bacon. This was great old fashioned breakfast that really hit the spot with agood portions and a down home flavor.

My wife decided on the Corned Beef Hash Skillet with massive amounts of corned beef hash topped with scrambled eggs and cheese. It was very delicious and very filling. The neat thing about the skillets at Dan’s is that you can really order one any way you want it or top it off anyway you want to.

The service at Dan’s Restaurant was very fast and always made sure we had plenty of coffee and water. The food was really good, and I would say one of the better places for breakfast in Orlando. Don't judge a book, or in this case a restaurant by it's cover, you may miss out on some great eats. Dan's Restaurant is the greasy spoon you have been looking for.


Dan's Family Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Don Julio Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar

551 S Chickasaw Trl
Orlando, FL 32825
(407) 930-3735


Say hello to the newest tenant to occupy the space at 551 South Chickasaw Trail in Orlando.

I say newest tenant simply because, the last business there was Oyster Bay, a place which I reviewed some time ago. Oyster Bay, as its name would imply, specialized in raw oysters and seafood, but more importantly...wings. 

I must admit, I still miss my Caribbean breaded wings, and have yet to find a replacement for them, but I am happy to report that after four visits to Don Julio’s, I really like this place. Don Julio’s is literally in my backyard. I could ride my bike there if I wanted to, and that's why I am so excited that the folks here seem to be getting it right and business is going good for them.

The menu at Don Julio’s is your basic Tex-Mex fare with some authentic Mexican fare on the menu, as well as some house favorites and specialty dishes. You can find a variety of tacos, quesadillas, flautas, enchiladas and burritos for your basic Tex-Mex options. If you want something more authentic, opt for Mexican street tacos with a variety of proteins available.


My personal favorite is the ChoriPollo, which is essentially chicken breasts smothered in chorizo and queso. The ChoriPollo is under the Parrilladas section of the menu, which features various steaks, chicken, pork and seafood all served up in a variety of ways from the grill. Parrillada in spanish means to grill or barbeque.

After four visits, I have been impressed with the consistency and the quality of the food. The service has been exceptional, and the house margarita has never disappointed.


All meals come with complimentary chips and salsa. It's always been good, but sometimes it can be a little on the spicier side.

The table side Guacamole is always a great starter. You can have it made as spicy as you like and have at least six different ingredients you can have added to the mix.

Our Guacamole ready to eat. We like it spicy and full of flavor.

Queso Fundido is a mix of chorizo sausage and melted Mexican cheeses served with sour cream, pico de gallo and flour tortillas. This is a must have appetizer at Don Julio’s.

We have ordered a pitcher of the house made Margarita on at least three occasions, and have never been disappointed. They make these bad boys strong and tasty. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Carnitas were outstanding chunks of Pork deep fried until crispy, but tender on the inside. Carnitas are served with Mexican rice, sour cream, pico de gallo, rice and beans, and flour tortillas.

For something on the lighter side, Don Julio’s Chef Salad was pretty tasty as well. You can add grilled rib eye steak, chicken or fish to top off your salad.

As I mentioned earlier, the ChoriPollo is delicious, and has become my favorite dish. You can't go wrong by smothering chicken cutlets in chorizo and queso sauce. This meal is served with Mexican rice and flour tortillas so you can make your own ChoriPollo tacos.

The ambiance here is very casual and laid back with plenty of seating inside and outside and a decent sized bar at the front of the house. There are a few T.V’s scattered throughout so you can stay on top of all your sports action. Don Julio Mexican Grill is quickly becoming one of my favorite go to spots for local cuisine, and I would suggest you to stop by and see them soon as well. You will not regret it. 

They do not have a website up yet, but you can check them out on Facebook by clicking here. The restaurant is open from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm most nights.

Click to add a blog post for Don Julio Mexican Grill on Zomato
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The Meatball Shoppe

7325 Lake Underhill Rd.
Orlando FL. 32822
(407) 270-6505



East Orlando's newest dining spot is a little place called The Meatball Shoppe. I say little enthusiastically though, because the shop is small inside, but full of great flavor and great character. That great character is attributed to the owners of this establishment - Isabella Morgia di Vicaria, a first-generation American, born of Italian heritage in Brooklyn, NY. and her Husband Jeff Morgia.

Isabella and Jeff have over thirty years of time and experience combined in the restaurant and food industry. Isabella’s Bella Cucina, a catering company that the couple operates, has been in business since 1992 in Central Florida. A few years ago, Isabella and Jeff were thinking of ways to bring something new and innovative to Central Florida... and The Meatball Shoppe was born. With the aquiring of a location for The Meatball Shoppe, Isabella’s Bella Cucina also acquired a larger kitchen facility that will make it possible for the two companies to support each other. The Meatball Shoppe will also serve as a retail space for Isabella’s Bella Cucina.

Isabella believes her meatballs are special and are a representative of the best of many cultures including the Mediterranean and Latin American Countries. Jeff says his love of meatballs comes from the nostalgia 
that takes him back to when he was growing up, and they’re warm, inviting and are universally loved by all. 

The concept of The Meatball Shoppe is to bring you the classic and traditional Italian meatball and then take it in a different direction. The menu is based on tradition fused with innovation that brings new life to the ‘classic meatball’. Patrons can expect to find a combination of an old world style with a retro feel and fresh originality.

When ordering you first choose "How would you like them" your options are "On Top", "Alone" and "Smash". If you select "On Top" you then you select a side you would like your meatballs on top of. Choices include Creamy Polenta, Penne Pasta with choice of sauce, Gluten-Free Pasta, Pasta Aglia Olio and a White Bean Ragout. If you want your meatballs by themselves, you would choose "Alone" and they are served atop a bed of arugula. The "Smash" option gives you the meatballs smashed on freshly baked focaccia.

Next you select the type of meatball you would like. The list of meatballs includes Nonna’s traditional Italian meatballs, Vegetarian, Gluten free Jeffy’s sausage,  Mediterranean grass fed lamb with pita bread and tzatziki sauce, Spicy pork, Chicken Marsala and a Reuben ball topped with a traditional Reuben Sauce.

Your next step is to pick a sauce. Sauces  available are Roasted Tomato Sauce, Isabella’s Signature Pesto, Creamy Provolone , Rich Marsala Mushroom Sauce, Spicy Pork Sauce. You can mix and match all you want, but the sauce selections go hand in hand with your meatball choice. You can also get a fried egg to top everything off, if you choose.

I had the opportunity to go to a blogger and foodie meet up recently, and I got to sample a bit of everything at The Meatball Shoppe. Everyone really enjoyed the flavors and creativity of all the meatballs we sampled. They were firm and seasoned well and the sauces and sides were quite tasty too. 


I ordered Jeffy's Sausage meatball smashed on focaccia with creamy provolone sauce and a fried egg on top. That was a pretty damn good sandwich.


Nonna's traditional Italian with roasted tomato sauce.








Mediterranean grass fed Lamb with pita bread and tzatziki sauce on top of creamy polenta.






Vegetarian Meatball on top white bean ragout.









Chicken Marsala Meatball with Marsala Mushroom Sauce. 







The Meatball Shoppe is open Monday to Saturday, for lunch or dinner from 11 AM to 8 PM. Stop by and say hello to Isabella and Jeff and enjoy great company along with great food.They will satisfy the kid in you with fun, delicious meatballs and satisfy your more sophisticated adult palate with gourmet flavors.

Meatball Shoppe on Urbanspoon
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