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Showing posts with label Lakeside dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lakeside dining. Show all posts

The Waterfront

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4201 S Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 866-0468
View Website Here


If you have ever traveled further down South Orange Avenue any time in your life, you may have noticed a divey lake side dining spot called Julie’s Waterfront. 

I always wanted to check the place out, just out of curiosity, but I could never convince myself to do it.

Amazingly, it was one of the longer standing establishments in Orlando, and even more so in that part of town, which is a lot more industrial. Julie Drobot who was a water ski pro opened the original restaurant on south Orange Avenue in 1988. She sometimes would hold informal ski shows on the lake all the while serving up food and cold beers.


Julie’s withstood the test of time, often with mixed reviews, but with the opening of more restaurants in that area, over time, the business was no more.

The good news is that although Julie’s is closed, a new much better and more refined establishment has opened at this location, and they plan to take full advantage of the waterfront property and all that it has to offer.

Say hello to The Waterfront. Inside and outside, The Waterfront has undergone some light renovations since the days of Julie’s while keeping a somewhat divey and fish camp atmosphere on the shores of lake Jennie Jewel, but the biggest change is the menu and food being served up here.

Currently, there is a trifecta of talent on deck in the kitchen at the Waterfront, that is being led by Executive Chef Matthew Wall.

Chef Matthew’s last stop was at North Quarter Tavern where he put together an impressive chef driven menu. Chef Alex Myers is from the now closed, but well acclaimed downtown restaurant Citrus, and Chef AJ Haines who most recently helped turn the Parkview into a fine dining establishment after its days as the Eola Wine Company have all teamed up.

When you have this much talent combined together in one place, it can only mean one thing...great food and great concepts with a focus on fresh made in house food and cocktails that are pretty damn crafty.

Gone are the days of simple fried fish dinners and burgers with cold beer out back. The menu now is a bit more upscale, but still pays homage to being a fish camp style dining experience that has lots of fun and tasty items that are made in house with only the freshest ingredients possible. Everything but the bread here is made in house and the freshness of the food is quite remarkable.

The menu starts out with an appetizer selection of items like Chips & Pimento Dip, Crab Cake Sliders and Seared Ahi Tuna, of course any lakeside establishment must have Wings and those are available in “house hot” or barbecue.

Salads include a BLT Avocado, Tuna Poke, House and a Caesar. They still serve up burgers here too, but much better versions like The Waterfront Burger with house ground chuck, Swiss, blue cheese, caramelized onions, bacon and arugula. A good sandwich selection is on the menu as well that features a French Dip with roast sirloin, a Pulled Pork Pork sandwich that is made with a pork shoulder that is smoked in house and a Blackened Catfish sandwich.

The entree selections start out with a simple fish camp meal of Fish and Chips, but then moves onto a Pan Roasted Catfish with sauteed kale, cheddar grits, remoulade and pickled red onion. The Steak Frites feature pan roasted sirloin, hand cut fries and a blue cheese butter. Fried Chicken Thigh is very good here also with hot honey, cheddar grits and pickled green beans.

I got a chance to check out The Waterfront back in August, and I was pretty impressed with the food, the staff, and of course the location.


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The Jennie Jewel is made with Effen Cucumber Vodka, St. Germain, fresh squeezed lemon, simple syrup, lime and mint. Quite refreshing.

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Crab Cake Sliders are made with blue crab from the gulf of Mexico and sit atop a tomato and remoulade and are topped with avocado and pickled red onion.

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The Tuna Poke Salad features Ahi Tuna, seaweed salad, arugula, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, avocado, sesame seeds and a sweet onion vinaigrette.

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Here are two smaller versions of the French Dip on the left and the Waterfront Burger on the right. These were very good, and only served in slider style to sample. All burgers are six ounces and are ground in house.

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I really enjoyed the “Dixie Bell” cocktail that is made with Jim Beam Black, muddled mint, cucumber, simple syrup and fresh squeezed lime.

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Sample portions of the Pan Roasted Catfish with sauteed kale, cheddar grits, remoulade and pickled red onion on the right, and Fried Chicken Thigh with hot honey, cheddar grits and pickled green bean on the left. Both items had outstanding flavor and the catfish was cooked perfectly.

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Steak Frites features a pan roasted sirloin topped with a delicious house made blue cheese butter and hand cut fries.

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The evening was capped off with Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and a very interesting and quite tasty Bread Pudding with Key lime syrup and whipped cream.


The Waterfront, is still very much divey in some ways, but the location of this restaurant and the food that is served up here is anything but. The restaurant's slogan is “ Food, Brews, and Views, and that is what you can be guaranteed of here. Great food, cold beer, craft cocktails and an unbeatable lakeside view.

On weekends, you can even do more than just view the lake, on Saturdays, guests can grab a float, get in the water and enjoy $3.00 beers and $5.00 slushie drinks for “Adult Swim Saturdays”. That is about as Florida as it gets. They also do various events throughout the month and have hosted a few lakeside BBQ’s as well as all kinds of happy hours and get togethers.

They also serve brunch on the weekends from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The restaurant's regular hours are from 11:00 am until 2:00 am, and they will still serve food pretty late, based on volume as well.

This is a very fun place to visit, and I would recommend you stop by and see for yourself. The menu has a base list of selections, but with a trio of talented chefs together like this, they always add stuff to it for a daily "Chef Inspired Special" … like a Tomato Braised Pork Bucatini. Follow them on Facebook to keep updated.



The Waterfront Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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