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Showing posts with label Restaurant Row. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurant Row. Show all posts

American Social is Coming to Orlando

7335 W Sand Lake Rd
Ste 101
Orlando, FL 32819


American Social Bar & Kitchen (AmSo), the upscale sports lounge and restaurant that originated in South Florida has announced the debut of a fourth location in Orlando, Florida. 

The 9,406 square-foot space, formerly known as Bar Louie, is part of the Rialto plaza located on Orlando’s famed “Restaurant Row.” Positioned in the prestigious Dr. Phillips area just minutes from the bustling I-Drive and Orange County Convention Center, the space will undergo an extensive, $2.7M beautification and build-out with help of United General Contracting, led by John Mijares. 

The new space will debut as the fourth pillar to the successful restaurant series that pays tribute to classic Americana style. The original “AmSo” (as loyal patrons refer) located on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale will celebrate its sixth anniversary this June, and the new flagship location in Downtown Tampa will commemorate its first year this October closely followed by the fourth anniversary of the Downtown Brickell location in Miami. 

American Social Orlando will keep with its good time, entertainment-for-all reputation with more than 300 indoor and outdoor seats, a sweeping patio, four bars and one VIP bar for private parties. Helmed by restaurateurs Rick Mijares and Paul Greenberg, American Social is known for its extensive selection of local and national craft beers, lively happy hours and award-winning menu items.

“The addition of our fourth location in Orlando, one of the most visited cities in the world thanks to year round sunny weather, unique attractions and a high quality of life, is truly special for American Social,” said Rick Mijares. “With our ability to offer both full restaurant and bar service and special events in addition to off-site catering, American Social’s culinary versatility and attention to detail will be unmatched in Central Florida.” 

Family is at the core of American Social. Rick’s mother, Laurie Mijares spearheads the interior design for all AMSO locations while Rick’s father, Tony Mijares, continues his integral role in the restaurant’s financial, legal and corporate growth since its inception in 2011. 

The team’s tireless efforts are not confined within the walls of the three successful locations, but reach far and wide through a new community that rallies around the patriotic concept, which pays tribute to classic Americana.

Rick Mijares and Greenberg anticipate hiring approximately 125 new team members to help execute the restaurant’s brunch, lunch and dinner service on a weekly basis. The new location is conveniently located 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World and downtown Orlando. 

American Social is characterized by its classic American comfort food, a wide selection of craft beers on draft, curated list of cocktails and wines. 

The restaurant’s portfolio of prestigious awards includes 2014, 2015 and 2016 South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s “Best Bite on the Beach,” Zagat award-winning Chicken and Waffles dish, and winner of the OBIES: A Taste of South Florida’s “People’s Choice Award.” 

The restaurant has three locations including 721 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; 690 S.W. First Court in Miami, FL; 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd. in Tampa, FL; and a fourth coming soon to 7335 West Sand Lake Road in Orlando, FL.

For more information, visit www.americansocialbar.com.

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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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