O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar






Wedge side salad

Cedar plank salmon

Appetizer sampler

***** (5 stars)

I rarely give five stars to a chain restaurant, but this place really deserves it. Sunday lunch here was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in months. Everything about our visit was perfect, from the hostess stand to the friendly and attentive server, James, to his helpful assistant and the manager. And the food was far above expectations.

The first surprise was the interior decor. From the outside I was expecting a dark and dreary steakhouse. But it turns out those brown walls are panes of smoked glass, and inside the place is lit by a two story atrium. There’s also outside seating, which wasn’t apparent from the parking lot.

I had the cedar plank salmon. It was a huge, succulent piece of perfectly seasoned fresh salmon, and had really picked up the cedar flavors from the plank it was served on. This was honestly better than the cedar plank salmon at Disney’s Artist’s Point, at about one-third the cost.

Not only was the salmon great, the sides were, too. I selected the wedge salad and a loaded baked potato. Both were every bit as good as you can get at any high-end steakhouse in town. For all that fabulous food I felt like $16.99 was an extremely fair price.

My companion went a completely different route and had the appetizer sampler. The potato skins, fried cheese, and chicken tenders were all perfectly crisp and excellent–everything you’d expect from a good sports bar-type place, but served in a much nicer environment, and at $8.99 another great value.

Our drinks were refilled multiple times, the waiter stopped by to check on us and chat several times, and the manager bid us farewell on the way out the door. I can’t really imagine a better dining experience than this.

O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar
8081 Turkey Lake Rd
Ste 700
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 354-0010

Anita’s Mexican Restaurant



Appetizer sampler

Chicken chipotle

Green enchilada

*** (3 stars)

This place serves typical Tex-Mex food in a road side diner environment.

The most interesting item we had was the chipotle chicken, which had been simmered in a thick red sauce and was fairly spicy. We couldn’t try the rellenos or the tamales because they were out of both, but the green chili cheese enchilada and quesadilla were average. The rice was good, refried beans had an odd flavor.

I would avoid the appetizer sampler, a literal pile of loaded nachos, quesadillas, taquitos and guacamole. It just sort of dissolved into a sodden mess, although the taquitos were pretty good.

Anita’s Mexican Restaurant
114 W Central Ave
Lake Wales, FL 33853
(863) 223-8504


BBQ Bacon cheddar



Spicy jalapeno Baha and smash fries

**** (4 stars)

The main attraction here is the extraordinary staff. They are definitely into providing great customer service.

The burgers are fairly juicy, despite being “smashed”. I tried the BBQ bacon Cheddar burger, which was fine, but I wasn’t a fan of the limp bun. That said, if you build your own burger there are several bun types and many toppings to choose from, so next time I would definitely roll my own. They also have turkey and black bean burgers.

The burger price seemed comparable to competitors such as Burger-Fi and Shake Shack. However the “smashfries” were a rather small serving for the over $2 price. I was expecting them to have more of the rosemary flavor that warranted them being more costly than the regular fries.

5812 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 440-3595

Mo-Chica Ceviche Peruvian Grill

Chaufa and 1/4 chicken lunch

Causa (shrimp)


Disco sour



***** (5 stars)

So far this is the best Peruvian food I’ve found in Orlando.

Of course I had to have a Pisco Sour. It was nicely made, with lots of frothy egg white on top, although it was a bit sweeter than I like.

Our server was nice, but there was definitely a language barrier. However we managed to mostly convey our order, although she didn’t understand the concept of appetizer, even though there is a section of the menu labeled that.

The Causa is extremely good, three small towers of the yellow pepper mash topped with fresh shrimp and a delicious sauce.

The Tiradito de Tuna Mikey was a very interesting preparation of sashimi style tuna slices in an Asian sauce and topped with chunks of sweet potato and avocado. The tuna was very good quality, and the sauce was excellent.

On the back of the menu is a small lunch section, with items for $9. Unlike the rest of the menu, there is no translation, so it requires a bit of research. I tried the Chaufa con 1/4 de Pollo a la Brisa. It was rotisserie chicken over fried rice. It was good, but not as good as the other items we had.

Because the tuna and shrimp were so good, on my next visit I will definitely try one of their many ceviches.

Prices seem a bit high, but not unreasonable for a tourist area. The place had only been open a couple of weeks when we went, but there wasn’t much lunch business. I’m rather surprised they opened here, because this shopping center is getting a bit tired, and I thought they were planning to bulldoze it to make room for a luxury hotel. But as long as it lasts I will be a regular visitor, because this is an excellent Peruvian restaurant.

Mo-Chica Ceviche Peruvian Grill
5700 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 723-8416

Gibson Cafe

Breakfast sandwich

Chicken and chips

Egg white omelet


*** (3 stars)

I thought this place was pretty good for an airport restaurant.

The breakfast sandwich had a nice flaky biscuit and the accompanying hash browns (which were silver dollar shaped) were nice and crispy, as requested, and had a hint of onion.

The chicken tenders and fires were nice and crunchy, and it was nice that they offered the Buffalo sauce on the side.

Service was friendly, and the food was well-prepared.

Gibson Cafe
1 Terminal Dr
Nashville International Airport
Nashville, TN 37214




Rack of lamb (reverse angle)

Rack of lamb






**** (4 stars)

Epice offers a full range of traditional Lebanese food, prepared with a few modern twists and great deftness.

The inside is very hard surfaced, so it can get noisy, but the large patio offers a delightful alternative.

We started with hummus, which was served with both plain pitas and some brilliantly seasoned fried pitas.

Then we shared two entrees:

Sayeda is seasoned fish. The night we were there it was a delicate barramundi. The accompanying rice and grilled zucchini were just okay.

The pistachio crusted rack of lamb was superb: perfecly cooked and seasoned, and accompanied by a delicious black been and rice mixture.

There is a small list of wines, including some nice choices from Lebanon.

Service was friendly.

2902 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 720-6765

Marché Artisan Foods

Croissant French toast


Chocolate croissant

Brunch menu August 2017


Interior, brunch crowd

**** (4 stars)

We stopped here on the way from the airport, and it was worth the detour. They serve a very good brunch.

The Croissant French toast is good, but maybe not quite as good as it looks in all the pictures. Croissants tend to be a bit hard to tear apart, which isn’t necessarily what you want in French toast. But the accompanying maple syrup was great, and I’m glad I ordered the delicious bacon to go with it.

The quiche and the chocolate croissant were two other things we sampled that were good. And the coffee drinks are excellent, with lots of options for preparation, flavors and type of milk.

Be aware that Sunday Brunch is really popular, right up until closing time, so there will be a wait, and it will be noisy.

Marché Artisan Foods
1000 Main St
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 262-1111

Boca Kitchen Bar Market



**** (4 stars)

I used to think this space was cursed, because of the long succession of unsuccessful restaurants that occupied it. But it turns out it wasn’t the space, it was the restaurants that were the problem. Boca is packed every day, and with good reason.

The food and service are both top notch. We had the day’s lunch special, a blackened amberjack sandwich. The amberjack was a thick piece, perfectly cooked. The accompanying mango slaw was a bit sweet for my taste, but with just a little on the sandwich it was perfect.

Rather than fries we asked for the mixed vegetables which had been sauteed and had a delightful smokey flavor.

Boca is one of the best bets for lunch on Park Avenue.

Boca Kitchen Bar Market
358 North Park Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 636-7022