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.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/crisp-and-green-winter-garden

Fresh Kitchen

This is a bowl assembly concept similar to Chipotle, but focused on healthy selections.

My choice was coconut rice and kale slaw topped with chickpeas and salmon. The ingredients worked well together. The sriracha-based sauce I selected was fairly bland, but my wife’s ginger sauce was excellent.

The counter setup at lunchtime is extremely efficient, so it took no time at all to order and pay.

There’s a nice outside seating area in addition to the indoor space.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/fresh-kitchen-winter-garden-3

Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory

Exterior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

This is one of those places where they freeze your ice cream to order using liquid nitrogen, and mixing it in a stainless steel bowl. You have your choice of base–regular, sugar free, lactose free, etc– and added flavors and mix-ins.

I've been to some of these where the result is a smoother consistency, but here is turns out rather chunky, sort of like frozen curds, which wasn't my favorite, but if that's your thing then you'll enjoy it. I also thought my lactose free coffee with chocolate chips was very, very sweet. I'm not sure why. But again, if you're getting ice cream with mix-ins, perhaps that's just what you're looking for.

There are bounce houses out back for the kids to further mix their ice cream after consumption,

Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory
520 N Main St
Kissimmee, FL 34744

https://www.yelp.com/biz/abracadabra-ice-cream-factory-kissimmee

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant – Temp. CLOSED

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Bar
Bar
Salad, breadsticks, Alfredo sauce
Salad, breadsticks, Alfredo sauce

**** (4 stars)

This is one of the very first Olive Gardens because Orlando is Darden's test market for new restaurant concepts. They definitely kept it fresh, with lovely remodeling. The bar is well-separated from the restaurant, and the dining room is open, spacious, and airy, with lots of windows.

The food is Olive Garden standard, so not much more needs to be said.

Service is good. The Darden restaurants have recently gone to table top devices for ordering and paying, no doubt to deal with staffing challenges. I'm not sold on the efficiency, but time will tell.

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant – Temp. CLOSED
12361 State Road 535
Orlando, FL 32836

https://www.yelp.com/biz/olive-garden-italian-restaurant-orlando-24

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant

Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Bar
Bar
Salad, breadsticks, Alfredo sauce
Salad, breadsticks, Alfredo sauce

**** (4 stars)

This is one of the very first Olive Gardens because Orlando is Darden's test market for new restaurant concepts. They definitely kept it fresh, with lovely remodeling. The bar is well-separated from the restaurant, and the dining room is open, spacious, and airy, with lots of windows.

The food is Olive Garden standard, so not much more needs to be said.

Service is good. The Darden restaurants have recently gone to table top devices for ordering and paying, no doubt to deal with staffing challenges. I'm not sold on the efficiency, but time will tell.

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant
12361 State Road 535
Orlando, FL 32836

https://www.yelp.com/biz/olive-garden-italian-restaurant-orlando-24

A Brasileira Bar & Grill

Exterior
Exterior

**** (4 stars)

This is in the large space that used to be Crafted, a sports bar with a giant central bar and very spacious patio seating.

The space is largely unchanged, but now the menu is Brazilian. There are a few lunch-priced items on the menu, but I really wanted to try the Moquequinha Capixaba de Camarao, even though it was $25. I must say that it was worth it. The metal bowl was served literally boiling hot, and was filled with shrimp–probably close to a pound, I would guess.

My companions also liked their food: a veggie burger, and a sandwich.

Service was pleasant. The kitchen is not terribly speedy, even though there weren't many lunch customers, so don't go in a hurry.

A Brasileira Bar & Grill
2417 S Hiawassee Rd
Orlando, FL 32835

https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-brasileira-bar-and-grill-orlando

Lynchburg Cafe

Interior
Interior
Whiskey burger and fried okra
Whiskey burger and fried okra
Lynchburger with onion rings
Lynchburger with onion rings
Exterior
Exterior

*** (3 stars)

This place serves a pretty good hamburger, with all the fixings I like on it. I would have liked a bun the held up a bit better, but it was tasty. We really liked the fried okra and onion ring sides. The service was fine. We visited after our Jack Daniels Distillery tour, and it was one of the least crowded places to eat.

Lynchburg Cafe
177 Main St
Lynchburg, TN 37352

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lynchburg-cafe-lynchburg

Nick Filet

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Surf and turf
Surf and turf
Old bay tater tots
Old bay tater tots

**** (4 stars)

I’m not sure whether Orlando is ready for an $18 sandwich, but if it is, this is the place to get an excellent one. The “Surf and Turf” is a Lobster Roll plus Filet Mignon, and the quality of the ingredients do, indeed, justify the price. The lobster was fresh and flavorful, and the filet mignon was tender and juicy. Add a perfectly butter-grilled and toasted roll, a bit of mayo, and you’ve got a scrumptious sandwich.

In all fairness, there are other selections featuring just filet or lobster, but they’re $12, so you may as well go all-in and get the Surf and Turf.

Sides of fries or Tater Tots are available, either plain, with Old Bay seasoning, or with truffle and cheese. I had the Old Bay Tater Tots, and they were WAY too salty. Note that the “mini” size is actually quite generous, so unless you’re serving a group, don’t get anything larger.

Service was friendly, and fairly quick, even though the place was fairly busy–certainly busier than the former occupants of this space. If you’re concerned about masks, note that none of the customers or staff were wearing any.

Nick Filet
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/nick-filet-orlando

Nessas Food Co BBQ Restaurant

1/2 rack ribs
Exterior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

Wow! I’ve been to every BBQ place in Orlando (most of them more times than I care to admit!) and this one blows them away.

What amazing ribs! Obviously slowly smoked to perfection over hours, with a slight crust, but incredibly succulent center, with oodles of meat. The half-rack portion is very generous and well-priced. The BBQ sauce, served on the side, is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy and spicy.

Pulled pork is also tender and tasty. The baked beans have a rich sauce and tender chunks of meat, and just a hint of spice. Usually I add BBQ sauces to baked beans, but these didn’t need it.

It’s counter service, and friendly service at that.

There’s just one table inside, and one on the lawn out front, but there’s also parking in the rear. This is a cozy little downtown area of Ocoee, so a pleasant place to eat outside.

Nessas Food Co BBQ Restaurant
14 West McKey St
Ocoee, FL
34761
(321) 370-8172
https://www.yelp.com/biz/nessas-food-co-bbq-restaurant-ocoee

Brother’s Restaurant At the Red Barn

Fried oysters
Tuna tartare
Exterior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

This place offers perfectly grilled steaks and other meat and seafood dishes in a vibrant environment.

in addition to the inside dining area, there is a large outdoor area in back, plus a very lively bar.

The wine list is one of the best in the area, featuring local wines with good pedigrees at reasonable prices.

Service was friendly and professional.

Brother’s Restaurant At the Red Barn
3539 Sagunto St
Santa Ynez, CA
93460
(805) 688-4142
https://www.yelp.com/biz/brothers-restaurant-at-the-red-barn-santa-ynez