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Avenue Gastrobar

13 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

(407) 839-5039

Avenue Gastrobar is Orlando's newest addition to the gastropub scene. The whole gastropub thing originated in the United Kingdom in the late 20th century. It was a concept used to bring together the idea of having decent food along with your beer or whatever adult beverages you enjoy.  Most Pubs offered next to nothing in the way of foods, and if they did, you can be certain it was something greasy and tasteless. The gastropub idea brings upscale dining and food to a bar, where patrons can enjoy things like salads, steaks, and burgers along with craft beer and premium cocktails. 

Although some argue that the concept of a restaurant in a pub takes away from the character of a traditional pub, the gastropub concept has really taken off here in the U.S. and is a hot trend in the restaurant industry.

Avenue Gastrobar keeps up in this trend by offering its patrons a swanky brick lined bar full of taps and the ever present flat screen TV's. 

There's plenty of seating at the bar, but they also have quite a few tables that help to fill the long spacious hall the restaurant was placed in. 

Where Avenue Gastrobar fails to keep up with this trend, is in the food and service. From the moment my guest and I arrived, it started going downhill. 

We could not locate a host or server anywhere, as we waited up front for fifteen minutes and then walked around the restaurant to try and figure if we should seat ourselves or wait to be seated. After twenty minutes we were finally greeted by a host who sat us at a dirty table.

Growing impatient we opted to sit at the bar as two seats became available. The bartender was very courteous and seemed nice, but I don't know if it was her, or the kitchen, our entire order took over forty five minutes to deliver, and was brought out all together at the same time. I specifically requested to have the salad and macaroni & cheese delivered first as an appetizer course.

Now all of this could have been made a little better if the food was really good. Sadly it was a disappointment also. 

The first of the four dishes I tasted was the
Applewood Salad.  

This was made from baby spinach tossed in a roasted onion vinaigrette topped with smoked cheddar, apples and bacon.

The salad was a bit warmer than room temperature, perhaps because it was sitting out and forgotten about. 

The spinach was wilted and there were hardly any toppings except a few slivers of cheese and apples and three bacon bits. At $6.00 on the menu it sounds like a good value, but if this how they serve salads, I will keep my money.

The Mac & Cheese is available with blackened chicken, wild mushrooms, or pork belly. As hard as it may be to make Mac & Cheese completely flavorless and boring, Avenue Gastrobar pulled it off quite well.

This stuff was flavorless, even with the bits of pork belly we opted for. We looked for salt and pepper shakers, but could not find any of those as well. 

For my main dish, I ordered the Steak Frites.

The menu says.."Marinated skirt steak, french fries, and a shallot demi sauce"

The steak tasted okay and the fries were pretty decent, but that was not a shallot demi sauce. It tasted more like brown gravy in a bag

My guest opted for the Bleumer Burger.

Its a burger served with caramelized onions, bacon and artisan bleu cheeses atop a brioche bun.

This burger was actually decent, and by far the best thing we sampled all night. It was a bit messy, but I like messy burgers.

All burgers and sandwiches come with french fries. The fries are one of the things that Avenue has done well.  They are very crispy and tasty.

Avenue Gastrobar is a bit of new comer to the scene, having opened in May of 2013, so maybe they need some more time to figure things out, or to figure out who does what. My visit was in the middle of June and everyone still seemed really disoriented as to what was going on and who does what.

Because it is a modern bar with plenty of the mandatory flat screens, they should do pretty well in the heart of downtown. Until they get the food execution and service figured out, perhaps they should call it Avenue Bar.

Avenue Gastrobar is open 11:00 am until 2:00 am 

Avenue Gastrobar on Urbanspoon
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