hi florida hounds,
i'll be making a trip to the orlando area during late february, and am hoping you guys can give me that insider advice for orlando just as you've done for tampa in years past.
i'm piggy-backing off my wife's business trip, so while we'll be staying in the lake buena vista area, my days are my own, i'll have transport at my disposal, and i'm already planning on doing a bit of driving. i'm running into my usual planning difficulties due to the spawling nature of florida's cities, and the multitude of neighborhood names that comprise the larger metro area. orlando's wiki entry is pretty helpful, but nothing compared to the local 'hounds.
as i'm not really the corporate theme park type, i'm planning on going a bit far afield from south orlando. one day will be a daytrip to the tampa area to visit some old faves (ted peters here i come). another day will be spent on the atlantic coast. i haven't started searching the atlantic coast area too much, but i'll probably wind up somewhere between titusville and satellite beach. i've already come across recs for dixie crossroads (titusville) and dakine diego's burritos (satellite). any opinions on those two? anything else along that stretch of coast that does it for you? will rock shrimp be in season? any beaches you recommend (i'm not the crowded tourist beach type)?
aside from those two days, i'm pretty wide open. i tend to shy away from corporate chains & tourist-friendly places. i like pretty much anything else, but am specifically looking forward to vietnamese and puerto rican food. any recs along those lines? especially at the affordable (~$20/person) end of the spectrum.
i also need dinner recs for the area in which we're staying. it sounds like orlando has pretty bad traffic issues, and i'd rather not be driving across town at rush hour. price range doesn't matter, although we're most comfortable in casual places. again, anything ethnic is good. also, we might wind up having to do the corporate/entertain-the-clients dinner one night, so anything appropriate for that would be welcome. i found a rec for del frisco's steakhouse, and thought that might be good for the corporate thing, but haven't tracked down its location yet.
some other places i've run across that might fit the bill while i'm out and about are:
muffin & grill
the columbia (is it comparable to the tampa store?)
bonnie lee's fried chicken
the catfish place
yellow dog eats
tino's cuban food
it's a secret
any updates/opinions on the above? any additions?
thanks in advance for your help, and i'll definitely post back with the results.