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Showing posts with label Queso. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queso. Show all posts

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.

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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

1562 North Mills Avenue
"The Market at Mills Park"
Orlando, FL 32803
407-581-9861


The first Florida location of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is officially open for business in Winter Park at The Market at Mills Park located at 1562 North Mills Ave. in front of Fresh Market. 

The restaurant specializes in aged steaks, fresh seafood, chicken and ribs seared over an authentic wood fired grill. Firebirds is Known for its Classic American cuisine infused with bold flavors, fresh herbs and spices. Winter Park guests will enjoy the high quality selections at moderate prices, top-notch service and warm ambiance that have made Firebirds successful at all 34 locations nationwide.

Firebirds CEO Mark Eason is a Winter Park native and has strong ties to the area. He has more than 35 years of restaurant industry experience working for companies such as Steak & Ale, Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon and Bertucci’s.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill believes in supporting the community, using local firewood and making every recipe in-house with the freshest ingredients. The Winter Park Firebirds will also feature artwork by local artist Leslie Neumann. Her critically acclaimed, enchanting landscapes of Florida’s coast have been featured in exhibits at all 34 Firebirds locations nationwide.

From the Chile Rubbed Delmonico to the Bleu Cheese Filet, each steak is hand-cut and grilled to perfection. Other signature items such as the Wood Grilled Salmon, Firebirds BLT Salad, Lobster Spinach Queso and Creme Brulée Cheesecake are also prepared on site from start to finish. A Kids’ Menu with items approved by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program, includes Grilled Chicken, Sirloin Steak and more, with the choice of two sides.

The 7,450-square-foot restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, an indoor stone fireplace, and two “wine walls” in the dining room and at the host stand. The award-winning FIREBAR™, complete with a waterfall of colorful bottles, hosts a selection of private Firebirds label wines and specialty cocktails such as the Double Black Diamond Martini® infused with natural, fresh pineapple for 21 days. In addition, the cozy outdoor patio features its own bar embellished with unique red art glass across the back, a sophisticated steel bar top and upscale chilled wine bin. Dark woods, vivid colors and comfortable seating create a cozy and intimate dining room setting.

Tastes of Orlando was invited to a special soft opening test run and was able to sample a few dishes and cocktails. Everything we ate tasted pretty spectacular, especially the Chile Rubbed Delmonico Steak. Although I do not comment much as to the service a restaurant provides during a soft opening, the staff at Firebirds did a fairly decent job for a test run. 

We started our evening off with the Lobster Spinach Queso.

This is a house favorite, and I thought all the flavors of this queso blended perfectly well together.



The BLT Salad is another house favorite dish. It was light, refreshing, and loaded with tasty bacon.

The salads are pretty big at Firebirds, so two people can easily split one salad.



Firebirds specializes in meats, and the hand carved Prime Rib encrusted with fresh herbs and pepper, is pretty spectacular.



The Prime Rib is available in 12oz. or 16oz. size. I ordered the 12oz., and had plenty leftover.

The Chile Rubbed Delmonico was an instant favorite. This is a 12oz. steak rubbed down with chile and other spices, then seared to lock the in the flavors.


For desert I ordered the Creme Brulee Cheesecake.

Firebirds cheesecake is very good. It is light and airy, so its not heavy at all and it's topped with caramelized sugar for the brule part and has a strawberry drizzle. 

Firebirds is open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Half-priced appetizers and drink specials from the FIREBAR™ are served from 4 – 6:30 p.m. at both the bar and outdoor patio. The restaurant also offers banquet services, catering and gift cards. In addition, guests can register for Firebirds’ E-Club to receive exclusive offers, promotions and a birthday gift.
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