You might expect an upscale hotel like The Brown Palace to have an equally upscale dining room, but this tavern is actually more like a 60s BBQ joint. The entree selection is somewhat limited, but there are lots of sandwiches and sports-bar-like appetizers. The prime rib was truly delicious, and they make a great burger. There is also a nice selection of whiskey. Service was friendly and helpful.
Back when there weren’t many Tex Mex restaurants in town, we used to go here all the time. (Actually, our history goes back far longer, because back in the 80s this was our Sun Bank!) But somehow it fell off our radar, and we hadn’t been in years. We were surprised to discover the extensive remodel, which involved moving the door and making the bar area much larger and better than it used to be.
Unfortunately, the food hasn’t improved along with the decor. We shared an appetizer sampler, and it was pretty ho-hum. To give you an idea of how far this place has strayed from Mexican or Tex-Mex, the best thing on the platter was Buffalo wings. And, oddly, every single item included chicken, so that’s not really much of a sampler, is it?
The highlight was the house margarita, which was an excellent blend of balanced ingredients. Service was friendly and professional.
This location is a bit of dejavu, since it is almost the same as the previous Bar Louie on Sand Lake Road. No doubt this is a better spot for the evening tourist trade. The large bar makes it good for groups, and the many roll-up doors are nice on cooler evenings. The menu is the same as other Bar Louies, with a mix of bar foods and burgers. A few of my favorite items from the past have disappeared or been simplified, but it’s still probably one of the better choices in the tourist corridor.
For a chain restaurant, there are some surprisingly authentic Carribean dishes in the Bahama Breeze menu. I visited the original location when they first opened and thought it was just okay, but a recent visit to this larger venue was more impressive.
There are standard sports bar-like items, of course, including an appetizer sampler that had some nicely fried coconut shrimp and onion rings. But there are also authentically seasoned items such as the goat curry bowl, which I thought was excellent. Best of all, unlike traditional goat curry, there were no bones!
My favorite item was a drink sampler that included 8 different tropical and tiki-style drinks. They were large enough that the assortment is intended for more than one person. Since I’ve recently been researching tiki drinks at some of the country’s top tiki bars, I wasn’t expecting them to be as good as they were. There were excellent examples of a Zombie, Painkiller, and Dark and Stormy, among others. At about $26 it was a good deal.
Service late at night seemed a bit harried, but was friendly. The restaurant is very large, nicely decorated, and there is a large outside dining area with live music.
Our company has been using Maggiano’s to host our training sessions for several years, and they have always consistently delivered an excellent experience for our clients. The food is plentiful and tasty, and the service–even with a large group of up to 30–is efficient and friendly. Our customers rave about the trainings, and especially the desserts!
Sorry, there’s only one rib left for you. We fell on the rest like hungry wolves.
Trio of ice creams and bombe
**** (4 stars)
This popular cafe serves good food with a bit of a French influence to some dishes.
We started with four appetizers. The one we absolutely loved was the Sticky Asian Pork Ribs, which were coated in a wonderful soy-infused teriyaki sauce. Popcorn Cauliflower was also very good, especially dipped in the leftover rib sauce! Warm Brussels Sprout Caesar and Roasted Broccoli and Grilled (cold) Shrimp were both just okay.
Everyone also liked their entrees, which included the Steak Frites, Salmon, and a Cheeseburger.
For dessert we had a housemade ice cream trio and a Chocolate Bombe, both of which were also good.
The wine list is a bit obscure, but we found some interesting selections, and prices are reasonable.
This is essentially a boozy version of Tijuana Flats. In addition to counter ordering there is also a full bar. You can order at the counter and they bring the food to your table, or you can sit at the bar or a few booths facing it for full service.
The Whole Enchilada platter I tried was very good, with two enchiladas, rice and choice of black or pinto beans. I had one ground beef enchilada, one shredded pork, and both were good. There’s a salsa bar to spice thing up, but not the array of hot sauces you’ll find elsewhere. Most of the rest of the menu is different burritos with various stuffings.
The house margarita was made to order and very good.
The employees are all enthusiastic, and prices are reasonable.
The interior decor is nice, and they have an upstairs with outdoor seating overlooking charming Winter Garden.