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

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

First Watch

Exterior

Interior

Veggie omelet

**** (4 stars)

I really like the interior decor of this place, with high, modern ceilings, and large walls of glass. It’s much nice than the other First Watches I’ve been to, and also the competitors.

I have to confess that I’m a bit old school as far as breakfast, and I actually prefer most of the items at coffee shops to here, but there are some more heathful options that are interesting. The veggie omelet is a good choice, for example.

The staff was friendly and service was quick.

First Watch
7910 Winter Garden Vineland Road
Windermere, FL
33125
(407) 612-2022
https://www.yelp.com/biz/first-watch-windermere

The Henry

Breakfast burrito

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a good place for 24 hour comfort food. Even though it’s right off the casino floor, it’s not smoky and not noisy.

The portions are large. The tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich was listed under “snacks” but my companion could only finish half of it! I had the breakfast burrito (substituting bacon for chorizo) and couldn’t finish it, either. Both were quite good.

Service is good, and our server was vigilant about keeping the coffee cups–which are the size of salad bowls–topped off.

The Henry
3708 Las Vegas Blvd SLevel 1, The Boulevard Tower
Las Vegas, NV
89109
(702) 698-7980
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-henry-las-vegas

Imperium Food & Wine

***** (5 stars)

This is my favorite place to eat in Celebration. They have an eclectic selection of wines by the glass, and a nice sampling of small plates and sandwiches. The outside dining on the sidewalk is one of the nicest outdoor spots in Central Florida.

On a recent visit we enjoyed a bruschetta special the most

Imperium Food & Wine
606 Market St
Celebration, FL 34747
(407) 566-9054
https://www.yelp.com/biz/imperium-food-and-wine-celebration

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe

Interior

Exterior

Belgian waffle and bacon

**** (4 stars)

I guess I’m a little ambivalent about Keke’s menu. It’s probably because I’m not a big fan of sweets, and the emphasis here is on sweet variants of waffles and pancakes.

The rest of the menu is pretty much typical eggs and omelet dishes that aren’t particular standouts, and are more expensive that at traditional coffee shops.

On the other hand, the atmosphere is bright and open, and the service is excellent.

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe
6526 Old Brick Rd
Ste 130
Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 612-5800
https://www.yelp.com/biz/kekes-breakfast-cafe-windermere

Bill’s Bar & Burger

Interior

Exterior

Ranch hand

**** (4 stars)

This place is a complete remodel of the Italian place that was here before. Although I miss that place, this is probably a better space for serving three meals a day for the attached hotel. It’s lighter and more open, and looks more like a diner.

There’s a large selection of various burger styles, but you can get pretty much anything you like on them. The patties are the smashed kind, so they’re all cooked all the way through. I had the Ranch Hand, basically a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, and it was very good.

The accompanying fries weren’t very exciting, but a side order of onion rings was nicely done.

Service was friendly. The kitchen was a bit slow, considering they weren’t busy, but we weren’t in a hurry.

Bill’s Bar & Burger
30 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-0446
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bills-bar-and-burger-chicago

IHOP

Ihob

Interior

Burgers

Brunch burger

**** (4 stars)

Since the iHob advertising campaign generated enough traction for even me, a non-TV-watcher, to hear about it, we decided to try their now hamburger menu on its first day of introduction.

Of our party of seven, five of us had various burgers (there were two dedicated breakfast lovers), and we all enjoyed them.

I had the Brunch Burger, which included bacon, a fried egg and very crispy hash browns(!). It was an excellent burger, with a perfectly cooked thick patty and over easy egg. I was concerned the hashbrowns would be soggy, but they were very thin and extremely crispy, and added a nice crunch to the burger.

My only complaint is that the bun is very soft, and with such well-stuffed burgers it tends to disintegrate before you’re done with the burger. Other than that I’d rate it as one of the better burgers from a chain.

You have your choice of sides. I had the onion rings, which were heavily breaded and not crisp enough, although perhaps they could be ordered extra crispy. But you can also get pancakes as your side. That wounds like a fun way to get lunch and dessert!

IHOP
5203 Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-0597
https://www.yelp.com/biz/ihop-orlando-2

The Glass Knife

Egg salad sandwich

Curry chicken sandwich

Interior

Exterior

Mini Florida Citrus with White Chocolate Mousse

***** (5 stars)

Of course you would expect beautiful pastries at a place called The Glass Knife, and you’d get them. What you might not be expecting are:

– Beautiful and stylish interior decor.

– Delicious sandwiches and salads.

– Professional and friendly table service.

That last item is particularly noteworthy because of the restaurant’s odd policy of making you place your order at the counter. Not only is this confusing, it seems to serve no purpose, since you don’t pay at the counter, and you then immediately seat yourself and are waited on by a conventional server, who brings place settings, water, can take orders for additional items (dessert, anyone?) and accepts your payment.

Anyway, despite this oddity, it’s a delightful restaurant and an excellent choice for a treat, coffee (real pour overs) or a complete meal.

The Glass Knife
276 S Orlando Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 500-2253
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-glass-knife-winter-park

Sealegs Wine Bar

Interior

Chilequilles

Ceviche

***** (5 stars)

This is a pretty darn good place, especially for an airport lounge. There’s a nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle, at fairly reasonable prices for an airport. There’s also a great menu off well thought-out, atypical food. Service was a bit slow, but when you’re trying to kill time during a layover and have a nice bottle of wine, that’s fine.

Sealegs Wine Bar
200 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(424) 227-8295
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sealegs-wine-bar-los-angeles