Gallettos Wine Bar & Grill

Exterior

Lunch Salad bar

Lunch buffet

*** (3 stars)

Gallettos offers a well-tended buffet at lunch time. While the food on the menu is Spanish and Portuguese, there was little evidence of this on the buffet. I’m pretty sure neither stroganoff or Chicken Milanese are from either of those countries!

The salad bar is somewhat limited by has very fresh ingredients for making a Caesar salad or a simple green salad. There are several soups available, too.

The main course buffet offerings are more extensive, wth two types of rice, two types of beans and several types of chicken. There were also ribs.

There were also a couple of dessert offerings.

The price of lunch was a very reasonable $9.95.

Everyone working there was friendly and attentive, but there were more employees than diners on the day we went. I would have liked to try the Portuguese specialties from the menu, but many were over $23, which was too much for lunch time. Perhaps I’ll go back for dinner.

Gallettos Wine Bar & Grill
3875 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 295-3146
https://www.yelp.com/biz/gallettos-wine-bar-and-grill-orlando

Nine Spices Hot Pot

Interior

Veggies

Table

Sauces

Conveyor

**** (4 stars)

This is a fun and healthy place for dinner, or for lunch if your budget will handle it. The idea is to use a pot of boiling broth to cook your own vegetables and meats at your table. At lunch you can select vegetarian, which is reasonably priced, or one meat, which is rather pricey, or all you can eat, which is definitely dinner pricing.

The fun thing about the all you can eat option is that you then select your ingredients as they pass by on a conveyor belt that makes its way around the whole restaurant. This seemed to be what most customers were doing. Note that there is an advantage to being “upstream” on the conveyor, as you have first choice of ingredients.

I went with the vegetarian lunch and the “original” broth. This was a good choice, because the “spicy” broth was pretty spicy, and there is a condiment bar where you can add your own desired degree of spiciness and other flavors.

My favorite ingredients were the corn on the cob and the rather spicy “pickles” on the condiment bar. I also used lots of fresh cilantro.

I won’t say it was my favorite lunch of all time, but it was a fun experience, and I’ll probably go back someday.

Nine Spices Hot Pot
5320 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(321) 270-0830
https://www.yelp.com/biz/nine-spices-hot-pot-orlando

Bulla Gastrobar

Exterior

Interior

Gazpacho

Ceviche

Flatbread

Salmon rillettes

Burger

**** (4 stars)

I love the interior design of this place, which has cool lighting and excellent acoustics. It is a Spanish tapas restaurant, but at least at brunch I found the selections to be more modern American that authentic Spanish tapas.

My companion had the gazpacho, which was excellent, although unusual in that it seemed to include cream. She also had the ceviche, which included a very generous portion of cooked shrimp, but wasn’t really what she was looking for in an authentic Spanish ceviche.

I had the brunch, which allows you to choose three plates for $27. While that might sound steep, they are very large servings and quite shareable.

I had the flatbread with Mah├│n cheese, sunny side up quail eggs, caramelized onions, oyster mushrooms and bacon. It was one of the best flatbreads I’ve had, with a thin, crisp crust, charred around the edges, and the eggs and bacon perfectly cooked. The sweetness of the caramelized onions went perfectly with the savoriness of the other ingredients.

My second plate was supposed to be the salmon crostini, slices of salmon on crostini. Due to confusion in the kitchen (or a mistake our waiter was unwilling to admit to) they actually brought me the Salmon Rillettes, which was a spread. It’s actually not a selection on the brunch tasting menu, but I liked it fine, despite my confusion.

My third plate was the least successful. The Bulla Burger was a generous serviing of 45 day dry-aged beef, topped by cheese, sauteed onions and a single pepper. The meat was, in fact far too generous, more of a baseball than a patty. As a result the “medium” I ordered ended up charred on the outside but completely raw throughout the middle. I also felt the burger needed some condiments, as the ingredients didn’t really have that much flavor. However at this point I’d had so much food it didn’t really matter that this course went largely uneaten. I will say the accompanying “truffle fries” (which were actually rosemary flavored diced potatoes) were well cooked and tasty.

I’m not a big brunch fan, so I appreciated the wide varieties of non-brunchy offerings at Bulla. Service was friendly, and I’d definitely go back.

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave
Ste 7
Winter Park, FL 32789
(321) 594-4175
http://www.yelp.com/biz/bulla-gastrobar-winter-park-2

Fruit ?n Smoothie Sensations

Stracciatella

Interior

**** (4 stars)

I can’t comment on the fruit or smoothie quality, but the gelato is excellent, and the service was friendly. The mall’s food court is one of the nicest anywhere, with lots of nice furniture and landscaping for you to relax in while you eat.

Fruit ?n Smoothie Sensations
4200 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 363-0304
https://www.yelp.com/biz/fruit-n-smoothie-sensations-orlando

Maoz

Falafel

Interior

***** (5 stars)

This is the answer to the question “What do I do when I want to eat healthy and all my friends want a burger, fries and pizza?”

How refreshing to find good, healthful food in a food court! And yes, your friends can find all those other options just a few steps away.

Maoz offers bowls or falafel sandwiches. The quality of the falafel is top notch, and you can select what other ingredients you like. I added hummus, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and onions, and some banana peppers. Seriously, banana peppers in a falafel sandwich are really good. There’s also tahini, garlic sauce and other condiments you can add yourself.

The food court at the Millenia Mall is one of the nicest anywhere, so you and your unhealthy friends can eat together, in a nicely furnished and landscaped environment.

Maoz
4200 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 363-3555
http://www.yelp.com/biz/maoz-orlando

Mrs Potato

Exterior

Interior

Empanada

Chicken Catupiry Rosti

**** (4 stars)

This is both a counter serve and sit down restaurant. Although there are only three tables in the building, an adjacent permanent tent accommodates many more. The menu offers many variations of potatoes rosti, and also baked potatoes.

Rosti is essentially a beret-sized mound of hashbrowns with whatever filling you like. I tried the Chicken Catupiry Rosti. I enjoyed the crispy brown hashbrown crust, but the filling wasn’t my favorite.

In addition to potatoes, they also have many Brazilian and South American entrees and appetizers. My favorite was the empanada. The beef version I ordered was unavailable so I tried cheese, and it was excellent, with a delicate crust cooked a perfect golden brown, and served with an excellent salsa/relish.

Service was excellent, very friendly and efficient. I was impressed that every customer was promptly and warmly welcomed upon arrival.

They also have a large assortment of Mr. Potato head toys for the kids to play with!

Mrs Potato
4550 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 290-0991
https://www.yelp.com/biz/mrs-potato-orlando-2

Tom + Chee – Orlando

Exterior

Interior

Tomato basil soup and BBQ+Bacon grilled cheese

*** (3 stars)

This is a quick serve place that offers a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, variations on tomato soup, and some odd-sounding cheese donuts.

I tried the BBQ+bacon, with American cheese, bacon and BBQ potato chips on white sour bread. It probably wasn’t the best choice, as I usually prefer a more flavorful cheese. I should also have realized that the expected flavor of BBQ sauce was not going to be there, since all the flavor came from the BBQ potato chips which, of course, taste nothing like BBQ. I also feel the bread could have been a bit more grilled.

The basil tomato soup was good, with lots of fresh basil leaves in it.

It’s useful but also discouraging that they list the calorie counts of everything on the menu. It’s not good news.

Tom + Chee – Orlando
12533 State Rd 535
Orlando, FL 32836
(321) 395-4930
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tom-chee-orlando-orlando

Sushi Kichi

Spicy salmon and Philly Lynch rolls

Sashimi lunch plate

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a pleasant strip mall sushi restaurant that offers a good price for a variety of combo lunches. The sushi or sashimi samplers are good choices, or you can select two rolls. All come with soup and salad, and there are three choices of dressing.

The kitchen also offers hot lunch combos. All run from $10 to $12.

The dinner menu offers more selections.

The fish was fresh, and service was attentive.

Sushi Kichi
5368 Central Florida Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 778-1953
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-kichi-orlando

La Perla Deli

Chilequiles

Quesadilla

Nachos con queso

Interior

Exterior

**** (4 stars)

This is a small, well-run restaurant that offers table service food, with a fairly extensive menu of home-cooked classics. Counter service to-go food is also available.

Nachos con queso were served with plenty of jalapenos, but I’d rather they’d left off the refried beans, which I don’t think were mentioned on the menu.

Our favorite item was the chilaquiles, which were served with a very savory green sauce. The house-made chips really made a difference. I also liked the simple but flavorful rice.

Service was friendly, and prices are reasonable.

La Perla Deli
608 S Dillard St
Winter Garden, FL 34787
(407) 905-0440
http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-perla-deli-winter-garden

Gaviota

Fried rice gaviita

Ceviche

Causas

Exterior

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a good Peruvian restaurant in a space that has been many restaurants. As was the case for those others (and even more that were planned here and never opened) the challenge is finding customers. I suspect one reason is that it is nearly impossible to park in the neighborhood. As a result, the staff outnumbered the patrons throughout Saturday lunch, and the two of us were alone for most of it.

The dishes we sampled were all good.

The complementary corn kernels were skinnier, puffier and better than any of the other Peruvian restaurants we’ve been to.

The Causa assortment (they were out of one kind, so we only tried the chicken and octopus) was delicious, the best thing we had.

The ceviche assortment was good, similar to others in town, with three different types of fish, all steeped in lime juice.

The house fried rice was tasty but a bit unusual, more Chinese than Peruvian.

The Pisco Sour we started with was a bit sweet, but we added lots of lime juice and it tasted more authentic.

Service was friendly, but had the tentative feeling of inexperience.

If I was in downtown Orlando and in the mood for Peruvian food I would definitely go back, especially if I didn’t have a car to park.

Gaviota
100 South Eola Dr
Ste 104
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 428-4682
https://www.yelp.com/biz/gaviota-orlando