F&D Kitchen & Bar



***** (5 stars)

This gastro pub has an excellent menu that is more healthy than most. There is less frying, more grilling, and a thoughtful selection of vegetables.

There is also an extensive selection of carefully chosen quality wines by the glass.

The decor is sophisticated, with an acoustic-friendly ceiling that works well.

Service was friendly and helpful.

F&D Kitchen & Bar
1541 International Pkwy
Ste 1001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
(407) 915-5687

Del Taco


**** (4 stars)

Del Taco consistently seems a bit more generous than Taco Bell, and the ingredients often seem a bit fresher, or at least more discrete. This location–a rarity in Central Florida–seems fairly friendly and efficient.

My wife and I have always disagreed about whether Taco Bell’s or Del Taco’s tostadas are better. There’s a philosophical argument about whether the cheese belongs underneath the lettuce, where it melts, or on top, where it imparts more flavor but falls off. More research is needed. I’m on it.

Del Taco
6855 Grand National Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 363-0738

Earls Kitchen + Bar



Dining room

Salt and pepper wings

Kung pao


*** (3 stars)

This is an absolutely stunning (and huge) space, that sports perhaps the best interior design of any restaurant in Orlando. Unfortunately the food doesn’t live up to the high expectations set by the design.

We tried the salt and pepper chicken wings (actually we wanted to try Leroy’s crispy ribs, but the waiter got the order wrong). They were the best thing we had, with a nice crisp skin, not too much oil, and a nice black pepper spice. The accompanying parmesan ranch dressing was also good.

We almost tried the Bronx Burger, and probably should have, because it seems like the strategy here is to stick with junk foods. But instead we tried the Hunan Kung Pao and the Bibimbap.

It’s a good rule to avoid Asian foods in non-Asian restaurants, and that was reinforced here. The Kung Pao didn’t offer any of the fresh, discrete tastes that make it special (although it looked very nice). The Bibimbap didn’t even look nice. By the time it was mixed tableside to get the raw egg to cook, the rice had turned into a gelatinous mess that was a pale imitation of a well-made bibimbap. I would definitely not order this.

Lunch for one, without appetizer or alcohol, but including soft drink and a tip will run you about $20.

Our waiter was well intentioned, but as he talked about how two weeks of soft opening had benefitted the staff since many had never worked in a restaurant, we became a bit worried. Getting the order right and splitting a check, and even tableside credit card processing were all part of the learning curve. Still, I will say that every employee we encountered (and there were many) were extremely friendly, outgoing, and obviously cared about making a good impression. I’m sure this will soon be a very well run operation. Now they just need to do something about the food.

Earls Kitchen + Bar
Mall At Millenia
4200 Conroy Rd, Unit H246
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 345-8260

Pizza Hut


Side Caesar

Hand Tossed Pepperoni Lover's Pizza

Hand Tossed Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza


**** (4 stars)

This is a counter service location with a small dine in area that includes a bar. There is the obligatory wall of sports-bar-like TV monitors.

Service was efficient, even on a bustling Saturday night. The side Caesar salad is a great deal at $2.50, and the individual hand tossed pepperoni lovers pizza was served piping hot from the oven and had plenty of toppings.

Pizza Hut
7970 Winter Garden Vineland Rd
Ste 100
Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 909-4327