Boisterous sports bar out of South Florida with good food, especially the burger. Vibrant happy hour.
Beers on tap
7335 W. Sand Lake Road
358 Park Ave N
A wharfside atmosphere in the heart of Winter Park serving fresh, plump oysters and good, cold beer.
4233 E. Plaza Drive
This is the place that was formerly Tailgater’s. It’s still primarily a sports bar mien, but one with a focus on burgers rather than barbecue. The burgers are more of the midlevel quality — better than fast food, but not exactly gourmet quality. But a good burger nonetheless. Don’t waste the extra $2.99 on the fries.
1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd.
If this had been the Cask & Larder that opened originally in Winter Park, it would still be there. (Sister restaurant Ravenous Pig moved into the Cask’s old home.)
This is a “Southern-inspired public house,” which means it features stylistic takes on Southern fare. The Larder in the name is a reference to a pantry.
The Cask refers to a beer barrel and is an indication that C&L brews its own beers. (All involved would prefer that you not call it a brewpub.) Good beer, too, plus a fully stocked liquor bar (with some fun cocktails, it should be mentioned).
Cask & Larder is in Terminal 2 of Orlando International Airport, so you can visit only if you’re flying out of that terminal.
7431 S. Orange Ave
The Barely in the name, of course, refers to beer. The Gnarly, apparently, the surroundings. Rustic but comfortable.
480 N. Orlando Ave.
2438 E. Robinson St.
Iron Cow is rather a large place that in early evening hours (it opens most days at 6 p.m.) it looks like a big empty warehouse with a bar and kitchen set up on one side. Indeed, the business’ own description calls it “a modern industrial warehouse merging food, beverage and music…” (Nothing comes after the ellipses, so I don’t know what we’re to infer from them.)
3801 Avalon Park East Blvd.
A new food hall in downtown Avalon Park with myriad food vendors, including Brazas, NOLA, Cheese to Share, Pico de Gallo and Rosso Specialty Coffee. Joining them are Bowigens Beer Company; BBQ50 with conventional ‘cue; KBBQ, from the originators of the Korean BBQ Taco Box, one of Orlando’s original food trucks; Sip ’N Roll ice cream; and Lemon Shark Poke.
9685 Lake Nona Village Place
Nona Blue Modern Tavern opened May 2013 and has been been keeping the tables filled ever since. The first time I visited was a Monday, and the place was doing the sort of business that some restaurants in town would cherish on a weekend. Part of that, of course, is the newness and part is the aforementioned scarcity. And some of it has to do with the allure of Graeme McDowell, the golfer, who is one of the owners (along with Joe Davi and Bill Bona). Whether they will keep coming is yet to be seen, but with a few tweaks here and there — especially in the area of service — they should be able to keep those seats filled.
I liked what I saw when I first walked into the place (once I found the front door, which is not easily spotted). I liked what I smelled even more. The air was infused with the aroma of hickory smoke, and it had me immediately craving something wood-smoked.
The menu makes full use of that grill. There isn’t anything particularly daring or innovative on it, just your basic tavern fare. You’ve got your burgers, your steaks and seafood offerings. And quite a long list of appetizers, called shareables on the menu, some of which are priced as much as some of the full entrees.
1536 Buena Vista Drive
From the owners of the area’s popular Ravenous Pig, this Disney Springs quick-serve specializes in barbecue and cocktails on tap.