The missus and I were in Orlando this past weekend, visiting from the San Francisco area and, based on some posts on this board, ventured to Don Pepe's on Saturday night.
We arrived at about 8pm and were told it would be about a 30 minute wait for a table for two so we headed for the bar and found two seats rather quickly. Had some great mojitos - the bartender pounds the mint leaves into submission and the results are fantastic. We were having such a good time at the bar with some fellow Saturday night imbibers that we decided to have our dinner right there. We ordered papas rellenas which were very good. Crispy but not overly oily stuffed with well-spiced beef. The kicker was a pesto cream cheese that brought the whole thing together. Yum.
Next was the paella. The bartender warned us about the 45 minute wait but with the mojitos flowing and good conversation happening with our fellow bar patrons we figured why not. Well worth the wait. Though they don't use saffron, the paella is full of flavor. The rice absorbed all of the juices of the pork, mussels, clams, sausage and chicken - all cooked perfectly - and resulted in a wonderfully balanced, savory combination. We ordered the single size and were glad we did - it easily fed both of us with plenty to take home.
The night was topped off with one of the dishwashers emerging from the kitchen to belt out a heartfelt rendition of the Latin classic "Eres Tu" to the delight of all the bar patrons. Great sing-along.
Head to Don Pepe's for some solid Latin cooking and a fun time to boot.