Just came back from Orlando. The town has come a long way since my last visit. However, the restaurant situation is very chain oriented.
Here are few of the places I eat at:
Johnson's Diner--I had the friend whiting w/cabbage, mac & cheese, corn. It was the worst "soul food" I every had in my life. The vegetables were canned. the cabbabge over cooked. The whiting was tough, over cooked, poorly seasoned, and clearly not fresh. My friend had the Oxtail--it was dry, not seasoned--terrible. He hated all of his sides. lunch for 2 can to $15.00. Luckily this wasn't a big investment. I will NEVER return.
Cafe Tango Tu Tu--fun artist colony environment. Very average food. Had the sangria--wasn't great. The baby lambs--very small and a tad expensive for the portion size. Wings--just OK. Will return because its a cool experience nevertheless. Orlando is very short on this type of "unique" place.
We mainly stuck with local chains after the Johnson's experience, such as Bahama Breeze--fun, but contrived "caribbean" atmoshere. Average chain food quality and preparation, decent live entertainment on Sat night. One of the few "late" night spots (Orlando closes early compared to NYC, San Fran). Went to some natl chains as well.
On my next trip I'd love to try the Samba room, Moon fish, Bone fish, etc in Dr Phillips. Honestly, the non-chains didn't seem very appealing. By my next trip, I hope some high quality non-chains enter the Orlando market as its is a nice town otherwise.