Shakers American Café

Western omelet

***** (5 stars)

Shakers recently won a people’s choice award for best breakfast in Orlando, and I can see why. My Western Omelet was overflowing with fresh vegetables and savory ham. Hash browns were extra crispy, just like I ordered them. And my server’s suggestion to grill my biscuit was pure genius.

I also loved the decor, with unique salt and pepper shakers on every table, and many more lining the walls.

Service was excellent, and all the servers I encountered were very friendly. Indeed, this was the best breakfast I’ve had in a long, long time.

UPDATE, MAY 9, 2024

Breakfast Quesadilla

Shakers still makes the best breakfasts in town! My new favorite is the breakfast quesadilla. It’s perfect!

Shakers American Café
1308 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 422-3534

Paris Bánh Mí Kissimmee

This counter-serve place is light and airy, with nice seating and a great vibe.

My Grilled Pork Banh Mi was as good as any I’ve ever had. The secret to a great banh mi is great bread, and this baguette was fresh, yet crusty, and filled with crisp veggies. The sauce and pork were spot on, and there was plenty of cilantro and jalapeno. Just a terrific sandwich.ánh-mí-kissimmee-kissimmee-2

Sukoy Hibachi Express

This counter service stir fry and sushi place also has adequate inside seating. The stir fry is cooked to order, with fresh veggies and a tasty sauce. I particularly liked the scallops in my shrimp and scallop combination.

And how can you beat a lunch special with two sushi rolls of your choice, a ginger salad, and a drink for $8.99? The spicy tuna roll was actually spicy, and the salmon wash fresh.

Friendly service.

Crisp & Green

This salad assemblage place is much nicer than many of the competitors, with a large, pleasant inside seating area.

Their featured combinations all seem quite interesting. There is a nice variety.

I had the Chicken Bacon Ranch. The house Ranch dressing is nice and light, and a bit herbal. The bacon was meaty, the chicken was nicely seared, and the avocado was generous.

I ordered online, and it was ready by my selected time.

P.F. Chang’s To Go

I really wish this was a real PF Chang’s, because I love the dining ambience of the restaurants. But I will say I was served exactly the same food I would have had in the restaurant. It took me about 20 minutes to get it home, and it was still nice and hot. The mixed-temperature items like the lettuce wraps were served in divided containers that kept one side hot and the other side cool. Lettuce wraps and Northern-style ribs were perfect, and like a server had just brought them to the table. Mongolian chicken was a bit more pedestrian, but still good.

I ordered in person (not online) for an early Saturday lunch, and the food was ready in less than ten minutes.

If you really want to eat here, there are two small “booths” along one wall.

Roka Hula

Awesome! It’s a word I don’t think I’ve used in more than 1000 reviews, but Roka Hula exceeds all expectations. Visiting on their second night of business we encountered near perfection.

I had assumed this would be an experience aimed at the tourist and convention business, like its associated restaurant Voodo Bayou (you check in at their reception desk), which is good, but not earthshaking. But Roka Hula is not just an experience, but also an amazing cocktail/tiki bar and a superb sushi restaurant.

The first thing you notice, as with any Tiki bar, is the ambiance. From the creative entry (I won’t spoil the experience) to the overall decor and vibe, this is a great space–calming, mysterious, and exciting all at once.

The cocktail menu is expansive, and the three drinks I tried were all home runs. The gin and ginger Psycho Starlett and the complex and tart Saigon Suzy both went well with the sushi. And the Banana Old Fashioned (a complex mix of rums and a brulee’d banana syrup) is possibly my favorite cocktail of all time, a great way to end the meal.

As expected with a Tiki bar, the wine list is very limited, but contains four interesting selections.

The other star here is the sushi. I wasn’t expecting much, because food at a tiki bar is usually an afterthought, or cliched. But this place is serving some of the best quality fish in town, and some of the most creative sushi.

The Hamachi Tiradito and Salmon Sashimi were both excellent starters. While not inexpensive, the portions and quality justified the cost. 

Smoky Spicy Tuna Roll was one of the most creative sushi dishes I’ve had. Sure, we’ve all had dishes served under a smoked dome, but the hickory and apple smoke here was a whole other level.

The Buffalo Beef on Weck Roll was also really creative, with tenderloin wrapped in carpaccio and coated in caraway seeds.

Service provided by Thyas and the accompanying staff was perfect.

I am not often this surprised by a restaurant, especially in a tourist area, but Roak Hula blew me away.

Voodoo Bayou

Voodoo Bayou is a great addition to restaurant row. The cool vibe and extensive drink menu is sure to be a hit with the evening crowd, but we went for lunch.

It was opening day (we were customer number two!) and the place was already running like clockwork.

The dinner prices are reasonable for dinner, but it’s nice that they have a lunch time “pick two” special for $15. I chose the gumbo appetizer and blackened shrimp po’boy sandwich. Both were authentic and tasty. I appreciated that they plunked down the Louisiana hot sauce right at the start of the meal!

I miss all the Cajun places we used to have back in the 90’s, so it’s great to have a really nice one to go to now.

I’m even more excited by the Asian small plate speak easy (reservation only) hidden off the foyer. That’s right up my alley, and I’ll be checking it out soon.