For an Orlando tourist after a long day at Universal and a quick trip to the "premium" outlets off of International Dr, we were tired of park food and dying for something good and local.
I happened to spot Nacho's Grill in a little strip mall across from the premium outlets (not right on International Dr, but just off of ... it is close to the Outback) and was so pleased to enter and find a sweet Cuban/Mexican place with good food and very pleasant service. It feels very "homey" inside, is decorated with pictures of their favorite celebrities, and it is clean.
We started with a shrimp ceviche and the "maduro relleno". I had gotten the feeling that this was more a Cuban place than a Mexican place, and these suspicions were borne out. The maduro was *excellent* -- beautifully caramelized plantains served as a bed for a layer of picadillo habana (ground sirloin slow cooked with olives) and topped with melted Emmenthaler. All three elements worked in gorgeous harmony together. The shrimp ceviche was enjoyed by my husband but was not rated as highly as the madruo (I am not a shrimp eater).
My husband ordered camarones enchiladas as his main (from the cuban side of the menu), which came with no tortillas embedded, but did have large shrimp in a tasty tomato-based sauce. I didn't try it, but hubby relished every last drop.
I ordered Chicharrones de pollo, which were small pieces of chicken breast dredged in flour and fried, then topped with a "mojito" sauce, which consisted of sauteed onion, citrus, and cilantro. Delicious sauce. My only complaint is that the chicken was a bit overcooked and therefore dry.
Both entrees were accompanied by white rice (perhaps cooked in a salted broth?), black beans, and sweet plantains. All the food was very "clean," no extra grease was added, and flavors were spot on.
Cousin ordered the beef nachos, which again confirmed that this was a mainly Cuban place -- it was topped with the same picadillo as was used in the maduro relleno! Very tasty, he finished every last chip.
We skipped dessert, since we were full, and because they had run out of everything but tres leches. I would've tried the flan had there been some left. It is a small, family run place, and they make everything from scratch daily (or so said the daughter/our waitress) and it shows. Lots of spanish-speakers in the restaurant when we entered, so it passes that test.
Anyway, I was so pleased to sniff this place out, and wanted to share!!! I will certainly be returning next time I am in Orlando! Enjoy.
I found the address using google maps:
8249 Vineland Ave
Orlando, FL 32821
and the menu: