When one thinks of Orlando, one usually thinks Disney, but there are actually other reasons to visit. My last visit was actually for a World Ventures event. While there, I found some awesome restaurants that deserve some attention. I stayed in the Courtyard by Marriott Orlando East located close to the UCF campus where the event was held, so all of these restaurants are within 10 miles of the campus.
The first restaurant is actually a chain as I found out later. Pei Wei is an Asian restaurant that I had never heard of but was glad my friend took me there. It has rice bowls, noodle bowls, and some entrees. It is an order first then sit restaurant. The bowls are build your own where you can choose your type of rice or noodles then what you want on it then the sauce. After you order they bring the food to you, and even though the restaurant was full the day we went it was really fast. You do not have a server, so drinks are self serve which I do not mind at all. It is perfect for a quick but healthy lunch.
GARIBALDI MEXICAN RESTAURANT
The next restaurant we visited was called Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant. The entrance although facing the street is screened by greenery and has a pleasant porch that you enter by way of an iron gate. We were pleasantly surprised when we walked through the doors to be greeted by the sounds of a live mariachi band. We were immediately swept up into a fun and lively atmosphere. They have indoor and outdoor seating along with a menu that is very unique. It is not your usual chimichangas and enchiladas kind of place although they are still on the menu. They serve several unique Mexican dishes that I have never seen before in other Mexican restaurants. I had a dish called Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo and a friend had a dish called Queso Fundido. The food tasted as good as it looked and left me wishing I had room to try more. This is also a DreamTrip Local venue, so don’t forget to rack up those points.
Our last night in Orlando, I discovered an awesome little local eatery called Eastside Bistro. It is family owned and located in Avalon Park. They have casual gourmet dining options along with a full service bar inside and out. When I walked up I loved the look of the exterior and the outside seating area. Inside was a friendly atmosphere that made me feel comfortable and relaxed. The food was amazing. I got the Boom Boom Shrimp, the Buffalo Chicken Flatbread, and shared some Downtown Artichoke Dip with my friends. I will definitely go back the next time I visit. Also, for you DreamTrippers, this is a DT Local venue and you get a perk of a $5 flatbread.