About steve

Steve Alcorn is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., a company that designs products used in nearly all of the world’s theme parks. He is the author of many books, including historical fiction, romance, young adult novels, and many non-fiction books including How to Fix Your Novel, Building a Better Mouse and Theme Park Design. During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 aspiring authors structure their novels through the online learning programs of 2000 colleges and universities worldwide. Learn more at writingacademy.com

Waffle House

All star breakfast

Interior

Exterior

*** (3.5 stars)

You know what? Waffle House has good food.

I know, I know, they’re kind of low-brow, old fashioned, tacky, but that can be fun. And I would put their All-Star breakfast up against Denny’s, Keke’s or First Watch any day.

My over easy eggs were perfectly cooked, the super crispy bacon was full of flavor–as was the waffle–and the hashbrowns were well done as I requested. Coffee was decent and the service was attentive. What more can you ask?

Waffle
6990 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL
32818
(407) 293-8048
https://www.yelp.com/biz/waffle-house-orlando

Froz – N7

Interior

***** (5 stars)

This is a friendly shop that specializes in frozen to order ice cream using liquid nitrogen. I like the fact that you can select non-dairy produces like coconut milk and then add in any flavor you want to get combinations that aren’t otherwise available. They also have lots of suggested recipes, or just do your own thing.

Friendly service, and a nice space.

Froz – N7
1481 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Saint Cloud, FL
34771
(407) 593-8300
https://www.yelp.com/biz/froz-n7-saint-cloud

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Lake Nona

Interior

**** (4.5 stars)

This Lake Nona branch is the third location for this small chain, after Winter Park and Dr. Philips, and it’s definitely the nicest. (I understand a fourth is coming soon to Winter Garden.)

My favorite item is the appetizer sampler of dips, which includes Humus, Babaganoush, Sautéed Eggplant, Tabbuli, Ezme, Tarama, Haydari, and Zetinyagli Yaprak Dolma. Be sure to get it with Halvas, the large, hollow pita-like bread for dipping.

I also like the Doner Kebap, which is thin slices of gyro lamb over rice.

Don’t be afraid of the Turkish wines. They’re quite good, and a flight gives you the chance to sample two ounces of four different ones and pick your favorite.

The place is large, hard surfaced, and gets busy, so don’t expect a quiet meal. If not for that, I would have given it another star.

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Lake Nona
6900 Tavistock Lakes BlvdSte 100
Orlando, FL
32827
(407) 313-2506
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bosphorous-turkish-cuisine-lake-nona-orlando

Steak ’n Shake

Bacon cheeseburger includes fries, cookie and a side of chili

Interior

** (2 stars)

I’m always amazed a the value Steak and Shake offers. For the price of a burger at a fast food chain you can get a good sized specialty burger, a half a plate of fries, a large bowl of chili (or other side of your choice) and a cookie. And it’s table service. There are better burgers in town, but there aren’t better deals.

Steak ’n Shake
12163 S Apopka-vinland Rd
Orlando, FL
32836
(407) 238-9550
https://www.yelp.com/biz/steak-n-shake-orlando-4

Little Greek – Windermere

Interior

Gyro pita combo with Greek salad

**** (4.5 stars)

I really enjoyed my visit here. The service was friendly, the price fair, and there is an excellent outside eating area.

I had the Gyro pita combo which comes with a drink and choice of side item. I chose the Greek salad, which was a large portion of lettuce, tomato slice, olives, potato salad, a slice of beet, feta cheese, and an excellent oil and vinegar based Greek dressing.

The pita itself was warm, and generously stuffed with tasty gyro meat, lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce.

I felt like it was a very healthful and tasty meal, and I’ll be back soon.

Little Greek – Windermere
6536 Old Brick RdSte 130
Windermere, FL
34786
(407) 612-5952
https://www.yelp.com/biz/little-greek-windermere-windermere

China Lily

Pork lomein

Boneless ribs

Eggroll

Exterior

Interior

*** (3.5 stars)

This is a typical small Chinese restaurant in a strip mall. It offers a very comprehensive menu. Although they have a good size dining area, they seem to be focused on takeout. I wasn’t a big fan of the interior, so I ate at one of the two tables on the front walkway, which was very pleasant.

My food was extremely fresh and hot, obviously prepared to order. The eggroll was nice and crispy, with lots of fresh veggies inside that weren’t overcooked.

The small portion of boneless ribs was very generous, and good quality.

Pork lo mein was also pretty good and certainly hot, but I might have something more interesting next time.

Communication wasn’t all that easy with the guy working the counter, but he got my order right!

China Lily
360 Moore Rd
Ocoee, FL
34761
(407) 656-6868
https://www.yelp.com/biz/china-lily-ocoee

A Tu Gusto

Beef arepas

Exterior

Interior

**** (4 stars)

There are service issues here, but the food is very good.

What I ordered wasn’t what was rung up, and what was rung up wasn’t what I was served. So, a twofer. Fortunately I’m flexible, and it was very good, in fact the best arepas I’ve had. I definitely will return, and TRY to sample something different!

A Tu Gusto
6405 Raleigh St
Orlando, FL
32835
https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-tu-gusto-orlando-3

Ploy Thai

Front table

Duck

Interior

**** (4 stars)

Terrific Thai food is served in this charming restaurant that’s been in business for 17 years. It is definitely a family run operation, from the gracious hostess to the chef. The restaurant is named after the owners’s daughter, Ploy, who has grown up with it.

All of the Thai favorites are here. The appetizers, while fried, aren’t to oily, and I’m a particular fan of the Talay.

Ploy Thai
1941 W Brandon Blvd
Brandon, FL
33511
(813) 684-5007
https://www.yelp.com/biz/ploy-thai-brandon

Pei Wei

*** (3 stars)

This Pei Wei is organized a bit differently from the one I usually go to, with a U-turn in the queue and the menus against one wall. There’s a large wall of windows in the dining area, and a large outside dining area, too.  Other than that, it’s pretty much the same as all others.

There was a new item on my visit to this one, and I really like it: cauliflower fried “rice”. It was very good with the spicy Korean sauce.

And yes, they have Coke Freestyle machines, which are my favorite fast food device of all time.

Pei Wei
3337 Daniels Rd
Winter Garden, FL
34787
(407) 347-9928
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pei-wei-winter-garden

Hokkaido Chinese and Japanese Buffet

Buffets

Exterior

Dining room

Sushi

*** (3.5 stars)

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this buffet. There’s an extensive selection of Chinese foods, and they are kept fresh, so the flavors and crispness are about as good as you would get by ordering off a menu. There’s even a lot of shellfish. But the real highlight is the sushi buffet, which is the largest I’ve seen. The quality and freshness are amazingly good.

The price is very reasonable given the quality and location.

Hokkaido Chinese and Japanese Buffet
12173 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL
32836
(407) 778-5188
https://www.yelp.com/biz/hokkaido-chinese-and-japanese-buffet-orlando-2