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    Orlando, FL
  1. I married into a Lebanese family, when we visited over there I was scared s***less by boys with guns, but if you stay out of a few areas you'll be fine. It is a party town, guess that's what 20 years of civil war will do for you. Couple recommendations - try Bar Bar downtown for some great street food and get a manooshi (zatar) from a street cart sometime after 2 AM - better than a slice of pizza to ward off a hangover. Also, the mezza in Jounieh is awesome at a place called Manuela's - the whole fried birds, pickled lamb brains and testicles should be right up your alley. Finally, please take your cameras to Jeita caverns - people in America need to se this amazing place to understand what a beautiful country they're missing because of the fact folks in that part of the world just can't seem to get along. Be safe.
  2. Honestly, and I'm not being pessimistic or overly critical here, there is NO good Chinese food in Orlando. In fact, the Sentinel food critic passed on a winner in the Foodie awards. Instead, eat some Vietnamese or Japanese - there are good options there. Vietnamese - Lac Viet, Little Saigon, Viet Garden, Pho 88 Japanese - Nagoya, Hanamizuki, Amura Thai is OK here, couple options we've liked include Red bamboo and G&G Thai.
  3. Yeah, it's the "wine cellar" room, very nice. But it's often hard to reserve, but it's worth an inquiry if you can afford to eat there. Depends how good these clients or partners are
  4. First off, I would recommend avoiding all the restaurants at your resort, I've heard many negative reviews. You should also know that resort is in the "sticks" a bit, so any cab fare from there will be pricey. For that large of a group, you could try Columbia in Celebration, it is a beautiful space with good solid Spanish food but nothing too adventurous. Another option may be Jiko at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge or Todd English's bluezoo at the Dolphin hotel. If you want a steak place, contact Charlie's at the I-Drive location, I think they have a shuttle van that will pick up large groups to bring them to the restaurant. Their steaks are really good and they have a nice wine list.
  5. From that list - California Grill first, Jiko second. Citrico's is also nice and usually a little quieter. Artist's Point used to be great but has slipped. Let them know it's an occassion when you book priority seating - you have a better shot at a window table. Be aware though that other than Victoria & Alberts there are noisy kids EVERYWHERE at Disney as others have no respect. You can still enjoy yourself if your expectations are set right
  6. Tony, it looks great again! We keep meaning to get in there but your dinner hours are challenging for us working professionals. You need a late seating! Remind me again, do you take/need reservations?
  7. I checked the "Pinned" guide and searched on Whistler, but saw no answers. Pretty simple request. We are spending 2 nights in Whistler August 24-24 (at the Westin). Any recommendations for lunch and especially dinner?
  8. Wow...thanks! I find it a little sad that I had to find out about this place from a tourist but I'm already making plans to head over there for lunch sometime this week. I can't wait. I get a feeling there are alot of good hidden places in South Orlando with the QUICKLY growing Hispanic population down there. I think all us eGulleteers need to go exploring down there to see what's poppin' up. Anyone try Lenos y Carbon yet? (it's Columbian)
  9. I'll 2nd the recommendation for Jiko. It's unique, consistent, and it accompanies a visit to the Animal Kingdom lodge, which is worth seeing. Make sure to get a bottle of wine - they have the best South African selection in the States. I hear bluezoo is much improved, it was a beautiful space when I visited, but the seafood was only OK. But it's location right next to your hotel may be a plus or a minus depending on your perspective. IMO Flying Fish is vastly overrated. I have been 3 times as I keep hearing rave reviews from others but everytime I go I'm disappointed. Maybe the others are comparing it to Red Lobster? If you have the time and money though, you should make sure to try either Victoria & Alberts or the California Grill. Both of those are the best options at Disney. We've also enjoyed meals at Citrico's and Artist's Point.
  10. Hello everybody. As an Orlando resident and frequent poster on the Florida board, I am used to getting multiple posts every month asking for recommendations for people vacationing at Disney World or around Orlando. We usually point them towards a couple of very long threads that have evolved over time with many recommendations based on their specific needs. After spending some time on your, well, FANTASTIC forum, I must say I am impressed and a little overwhelmed. My pregnant wife and I are planning a 10-day vacation to BC, and I was hoping for your insight. Either direct recommendations or a link pointing me to the best exisiting thread is much appreciated. We will be visiting the last 10 days of August. We will spend 2-3 nights in Whistler, 5-6 night in Tofino at the Long Beach Lodge, and then 2 nights in Vancouver after returning our car. We are not sure where we are staying in Whistler yet (either the Four Seasons or the Westin) or in Vancouver, but it will be centrally located. So I would mostly appreciate recommendations for those 2 Vancouver dinners. We are looking for places with a unique Pacific Northwest connection (e.g., no Italian places as while I'm sure they're great I can get great Italian in NYC, Philly or Chicago). We are looking for one fine dining option and one "authentic", legendary or must-eat Vancouver experience (if you catch my drift). My guess is that seafood or Asian places are the way to go. And please make them "pregnant" friendly. Also, any list of must-visit establishments in Whistler or near Tofino would be great. Again, I commend all of you on a great forum, and salivate while anticipating your recommendations. Thanks, Bill EDIT: I just saw the PINNED post at the top of the forum that listed recommendations Regardless, as usual on good boards it is just TOO much to process with my hectic life. I would appreciate your specific options for the BEST choices based on my criteria above.
  11. I posted this months ago, but with this fine thread I thought I'd bring it forward a couple of pages. It's another viewpoint on Primo.
  12. I came across the following article written for a trade magazine that was having a convention in Orlando. It is written by a writer for Orlando magazine and recommends place to eat for those here for a convention. Please note that Orlando magazine is one of those city magazines that tends to read like advertising copy and is rarely critical, so take the recommendations with a grain of salt and cross-reference with other comments you have seen in this thread. It is also far from a complete list, but it is quite comprehensive. The best thing about this is that it describes much of the menu and atmosphere of each of the places and alos provides contact information. Orlando Convention Dining
  13. Sorry you missed out on Cedar's. It is open later on other rnights, but they do close earlier on Sunday's because most Arab's eat their Sunday meals in the late afternoon. Maybe we can join you there when you return. I think you hit the nail on the head with Tchoup Chop and Season's - good but not great. They are not my first choices in town but I don't mind eating there if someone else wants to. I'm glad you liked Antonio's. It can be a little hard to find but I've never had a bad meal. Something you discovered on your trip was the general "nice-ness" of most folks here in Central Florida. Whether it's in a grocery store or the mall or anywhere out and about, I have always been pleasantly suprised at how friendly people are. Of course, I lived in NY before moving here, so perhaps my comparisons are skewed :)
  14. Here's the details: 7732 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando, Florida 32819 407 351 6000 Here's a link from the NY Times Now, the REAL directions: Take International Drive south to Sand Lake Road, make a left and go under I-4. After a couple lights, you will be right in the middle of Restaurant Row. Cedar's is on the left, basically in-between Season's 52 and Roy's. 2 things to keep in mind: 1) Service can be slow. They are very nice and helpful with unknown ingredients, but they are always understaffed. More importantly, especially on a Sunday, the Lebanese use the meal as a social occasion, so it is culturally normal to slowly pace the meal. 2) I would recommend dining "mezza" style. While the entrees are good, the traditional Lebanese way is to order a ton of hot and cold appetizers (mezza) and stuff yourself silly. For a different taste, make sure to try the sujuk and the mouhamara. The pita bread is heavenly. And for a treat save some room for their deserts - usually VERY sweet cheese-based items that are perfectly offset by mint tea or super-strong Arabic coffee. Enjoy (I hope). Wish we were avaialable to join you - my wife is half-Lebanese and was born in Beirut. She's invaluable in picking things you might not normally try.
  15. The area is called "ViMi", for Vietnam on Mills. If you take the SR 50 exit (Colonial Drive) off of I-4 downtown and head east about 5 minutes, you will find it at the intersection of Colonial and Mills. The area actually radiates from that intersection north on Mills and east and west on Colonial. These restaurants and stores are not fancy at all - they are low priced and low ambiance. But the food is great and a great value and very authentic (most menus are like 20 pages long ) If you are ever in Orlando and want to try Vietnamese in a nicer place, Rice Paper is a good option (although it was trashed by Tony on here a month ago). It's not perfect, but I think the food is good. The service is just ok. Rice Paper is in the Restaurant Row area on Turkey Lake Road right off Sand Lake Road (and next to the best Indian in town - Memories of India)
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