Fried rice gaviita





**** (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.

100 South Eola Dr
Ste 104
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 428-4682

Pio Pio

Number one with rice, beans and ripe plantains

***** (5 stars)

I’ve been coming here for years for their delicious rotisserie chicken. The number one is my lunchtime favorite. It comes with rice and beans and your choice of plantains. I like the ripe plantains, which are caramelized and make a great dessert. Try them with the white garlic sauce! Weird but good. Just watch out for the green sauce. It’s HOT!

I’m looking forward to their upcoming move to larger quarters across the street.

Pio Pio
5752 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 248-6424

Avocado Mexican Grill


Relleno and enchilada

Nachos supreme but without the beans and meat


** (2 stars)

Two stars is generous. This might be a good place to sit at a sidewalk table and have some chips and a drink, but it’s not a place for good Mexican food. The best of what we had was edible, and not everything qualified.

Runny queso poured over tortillas chips is not nachos. And the refried beans were a remarkable pool of puree closer to the consistency of split pea soup.

The saving grace was the chile relleno, which was fine.

Service was friendly but completely incompetent. It took a half hour just to get the check after we finished eating. I was beginning to wonder if our waitress had gone to another restaurant to have lunch. I wish we had.

Avocado Mexican Grill
715 Bloom St
Ste 130
Celebration, FL 34747
(407) 566-1212

Soupa Saiyan


Chicken wings

Beef broth, ramen, brisket, veggies, lime, basil




**** (4 stars)

This is a true Asian noodle place, common in big cities like Chicago, but fairly rare in Orlando. It’s a quick-serve operation where you order at a counter and they bring it to you–assuming you can find a seat. The place is very popular, and a line forms within minutes of opening.

The menu is extremely clear, enabling you to build your dish step by step. You start with a broth flavor, select a noodle type, and then two ingredients. I had beef broth with ramen noodles, beef brisket and mixed vegetables. The serving was really huge. The basic flavors are fairly subtle, so I was happy I’d asked for lime and basil as fresh accompaniments. These came in a separate bowl, and were generous helpings.

I also tried the chicken wings, which were simple fried wings and legs served with duck sauce packets.

Service was fast and friendly, but be sure to arrive early if you want to eat there.

Soupa Saiyan
5689 Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 930-3396

Rasa Asian Street Food

Wings with five spice and Thai chili sauce

Mee Goreng

Papaya salad

Roti canai

Dim sum



**** (4 stars)

Southwest Orlando can use an Asian street food restaurant, as the others are all in the Mills District. Rasa is off to a good start. While there was no absolute home run in the dishes we tried, they were all within striking range of those other places.

The menu offers a nice assortment of noodle, rice and curry dishes. It’s weak on salads, and the one we tried was far too spicy with no warning at all on the menu.

Dim Sum was four pieces of sauteed potstickers. I would have liked a bit more sear on them, but they were delicious.

Mee Goreng was quite good, with lots of shrimp and chicken mixed into a Pad-Thai-like noodle base. It was just a little more like Pad Thai than a true Mee Goreng.

Chicken wings are available simply fried (naked) or breaded, and you can select two sauces from the seven offered. We liked the five spice the best.

Roti Canai was perhaps the most on target of everything we tried. The yellow curry was rich and flavorful, but the roti is greasier than elsewhere.

Tea service needs a bit of work. I’m always a bit put off by Asian restaurants where the green tea is a tea bag, and the pot holds barely one cup.

Service was friendly and well-intentioned; it just felt like it needs a few weeks to settle in, as especially the food runners seemed a bit out of their element.

Prices are reasonable.

In all, this is a promising start, and we will certainly go back.

Rasa Asian Street Food
7730 W Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 930-0402