Orlando, Florida: What to Eat, Where to Stay, What to Do

So my husband and I got to attend DEMA (Diver’s Equipment & Marketing Association) 2017, Go Dive Now. This is a yearly show that bounces between Las Vegas and Orlando, although I’ve heard a rumor that they are adding New Orleans into the mix in a couple years. But this was the year that DEMA was in Orlando. That means we hopped a plane with Deb and Grady and flew to Orlando, Florida.

Where to Eat

The first question is…. Where to eat in Orlando. Oh gosh. We were there at the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive. Let me just tell you there were gobs of GREAT places to eat, but here’s what we chose… And let’s just say, YUM!

Dunkin Donuts

7440-A International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

We actually had a Dunkin Donuts almost right outside our hotel room. Not quite but pretty darn close. In fact, we had a lot of breakfast places right in that area. The first day we were there, hubby and I chose to walk here and get breakfast. Good choice!

Oh gosh, I love Iced Coffee. Probably a good thing we don’t have a Dunkin Donuts near me… although I sometimes wonder why we don’t! But seriously, this is a treat! This was a Mocha Iced Coffee because it’s truly my favorite. I think I had my first one on our trip home from Mississippi when we stopped in Memphis for a night a few years ago.

And this Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel. YUM! Hubby got a Sausage Egg and Cheese Bagel. He’s more the sausage/ham morning person and I’m all about the bacon. The good thing about that though is we can both get what we want and get to try something else too. His was good but I much preferred mine!

Bacon Egg & Cheese Bagel

Uncle Julio’s

8409 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Oh gosh, we had quite the time finding a place to park for Uncle Julio’s. Uncle Julio’s happens to be one of our favorite places to eat when we go to Ft. Worth, Texas, so when we were driving by and saw they had one here, well we knew that we had to stop. Normally we try to eat local cuisine and places we’ve never tried before, but since we don’t have one of these around home, this was quite okay to go to and eat at!

Uncle Julio's in Orlando Florida

They have the best chips. They are the thin type which is my absolute favorite! Their queso is one of the yellow cheese versions. This seems to be a rarity these days, but gosh is it good. Then they give you salsa.

A bathroom selfie? Sure, why not… No, guys, check out that sink. Is that not amazing? there was no lip, it just rounded side to side and was higher on the front end than the back. It was really cool.

We got there about 11:30 or so. Kind of early, but we had a full range of the place to sit. We chose over by the bar. No one was over there, plus there was a GREAT view to the outside. There was also outdoor seating. That’s one of my favorite things. Man, I keep using the word favorite. But it was October 31, I was running around in short sleeves (hubby in shorts) and it was mid 70’s and we got to eat outdoors (well basically). Love it! See I think I was meant to live in the south, not the midwest… lol.

Hubby and I went for the Beef/Chicken fajitas for 2. It came with enough chicken and beef for two people, our own plates of rice, beans, guacamole, cheese, and pico. Plus, fresh, homemade tortilla shells. Now, one weird thing about me, I typically don’t eat fajitas with taco shells (weird I know), but because they were fresh, I had to try at least one. Let’s just say, I wasn’t sad about my decision. And I’m pretty sure the waiter thought I was crazy walking around our table taking pictures.

FishBones

6707 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

That night we met back up with Deb & Grady and took off driving down International Drive looking for something that sounded good. Earlier in the day hubby and I passed a restaurant called FishBones and that night Deb said someone at their Platinum meeting had said it was good, so that’s where we decided to eat.

Everyone’s meal came with a Salad and fresh bread. The bread was amazing. It was herbed bread with a cheese top crust. Yum! But the Salad. What? Someone is bragging about the Salad. Yes, sir/ma’am. It was a Caesar salad with fresh, housemade caesar dressing.

FishBones Salad and Bread

Deb and hubby went with the house special that day, Grouper with a side of Broccolini. It was okay.

Grady and I went with the 8 pieces of Fried Shrimp. We all agreed that what Grady and I got was better. These were 8 pieces of jumbo shrimp that were breaded and fried and served with cocktail sauce. Then we both got a baked potato for our side. I got mine loaded, I was living dangerously.

Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse

6115 Westwood Blvd, Orlando, FL 32821

The first night we were in town, after dinner we went driving around. We drove and drove and drove and wound up on a lot of dead-end streets. It was quite funny really. But just around the corner from our hotel, we found a restaurant called Delmonico’s. Grady isn’t a huge Italian food fan, or so they say, but the night of hubby’s birthday, we decided to go somewhere special. Initially, we thought of going to a restaurant they had eaten at a few years ago with our SCUBAPRO rep, but then we decided somehow to go to Delmonico’s.

I’m so glad we did! In fact, we liked it so much we came back a second night. Usually, I’m against that too when I’m traveling because I want to try everything I can, but it was soooooo totally worth it!

While we were waiting, there was a magician that came by our table. He was great entertainment. Now I think he cheated on the numbers game. He asked us each what we ordered, then asked us to pick a number 10-100 (I think). Then he showed us he “knew” our numbers we’d choose. I’m pretty sure that one of those is pen and the other is in pencil.

Then he had hubby sign a card. I had to write I love you on it. Then he scribbled a circle and made the marker go through the circle. I soooo can’t explain that. Then eventually the card wound up folded in a small Altoids box. I still have no explanation there.

The first night I went with the Chicken Prosciutto. Oh. My. Gosh. It was friggin phenomenal. In fact, it was so great, that’s what Deb went with our second night there. Holy cow! Penne Pasta, Grilled Chicken, Mushrooms, Proscuitto, Greens, Red/Green Onions, in an Asiago Cheese Sauce. I swear I felt like I died and went to heaven… although another truth about me, I kind of hate that saying.

As we were reading the menu, we noticed that the lasagna was 1 pound. Yes, I said, One Pound. Deb went for it. Between the 4 of us at the table, we ate 3/4 of it. Of course, we all had to try it. Yes, you read that right…. 4 of us and all we could finish of it was 3/4. Of course 3 of us had other things also, but still… you get the point. It was HUGE. And It was really good.

The first night Hubby and Grady got the Sliced Sirloin Steak. A Sirloin, cooked to order, sliced and covered in a Mushroom sauce with a side of Garlic Mashed potatoes. I never did get to try the garlic mashed potatoes, but the steak was amazing. That Mushroom sauce was just the top it needed. Delicious. And hubby usually orders (as do I) his steak Medium Rare and they usually come to us a little more medium, this was cooked pretty well medium rare. Good job!

Being hubby’s birthday the first night, they brought him a birthday Cannoli and sang to him. I love when restaurants do that, except when they do it to me. The Cannoli was excellent. The shell had a cinnamon taste and it was filled with that good cannoli cream drizzled with chocolate and topped with mini chocolate chips. Excellent. We were all so stuffed at this point but had to eat it too.

The second night at Delmonico’s

The second night we were there, Grady and I got the Filet Gorgonzola Alfredo. It was on a side menu that was on the table. Now I’m not a bleu cheese fan, but I can and do like Gorgonzola. Holy cow. These filets were cooked to perfection. And the Gorgonzola added a nice touch to the Alfredo. I was so full yet couldn’t quit eating it because it was that good.

The big joke of our trip to Delmonico’s was this… This is the Delmonico’s Delmonico Steak. It was a 1-1/2 pound Ribe-eye steak that comes from Midwestern Grain Fed Angus Beef. We joked that we had to come to Florida to get Midwestern grain fed beef. haha… you know, being from the midwest… it could have been from just down the road… haha. I guess maybe you would have had to have been there? It was funny!

Hubby got this on our second night there. Um… Hello YUM!

Orange County Convention Center

Guys, I’ve never been to the Orange County Convention Center before… In fact, I’ve only been to Orlando one other time and that was when I was 15 years old and with our high school band to go to Disney World. So I can’t tell you if what we ate are always the vendors there or not, but they were good none-the-less.

I don’t have a picture of my sandwich from our first lunch there. It was from the Boreshead booth. There I had I think a Ham sandwich, Deb got a Turkey, and hubby got the Roast Beef. They were really good.

Thursday we were there Deb and I ate at the restaurant that was upstairs on the 2nd floor. I use the word “restaurant” loosely. It was more a cafeteria style. We went to the Tacos. It was either Chicken or Fish. She had fish, I had chicken.

The third lunch we had there, we were all so stuffed because I swear all we did was eat, so hubby got a Red Velvet Cupcake (should have gotten this!!!) and I got a cinnamon roll (it was okay).

Cafe Mineiro Brazillian Steakhouse

6432 international drive, Orlando, FL 32819

I never really did figure out what the local cuisine was down there, but if I had to guess, Brazillian Steakhouse would be my guess. I swear, they were all over the place. One night we were down there, we ate at Cafe Mineiro. Yum.

So you order. You get a trip to the salad/sides bar which had some interesting things including some cheesy thing we ate that wow. Then they come around with I think it was 12 different cuts of meat including Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Chicken. And for the most part, they worked to accommodate your liking, aka medium rare-medium well, etc.

Then… you got a trip to the dessert bar. Um… I saw something on the dessert bar that was called cooked bananas. I thought, what? So I tried it. Isn’t that what you would do? I think the waitress told us that they cooked these bananas for a couple hours. I can’t quite remember. But they get this carmelized texture/taste to them and on the first bite… well… but then it really grows on you to the point, I’d definitely eat them again. The texture was a little weird, but wow.

What to Do

Most people hear you’re going to Orlando, Florida, they assume one thing… Disney World or Sea World or Universal Studios… You know, the big attractions. But we only had one day. We did look into going there, but in the end, decided not to. Later in the week, we did find an outlet mall that had discount tickets to those places and kind of wished we had gone, but we weren’t sad with our choice either. We used the day off to bum around, get our gifts for the girls, and relax. Relaxing is nice.

Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf

8501 International Drive, Orlando, Florida

One thing we did though was play mini golf. There are many mini golf courses in the area, but this one was kind of just across the road from Uncle Julio’s so it was perfect. Less finding places to park. I’m telling you… We have this thing about parking places.

I think the last time hubby and I have been somewhere to play mini golf, we may have been married a year. I keep telling him we need to, but time isn’t always in our favor at home. It was nice to relax.

And looky, looky here… I think I won… oh and I had just a couple hole in ones…. haha. We did play the easy course. I might have liked to have played the hard course just to say I did, but I’m the one who chose easy.

Where to Stay

Red Roof Inn

9922 Hawaiian Ct, Orlando, FL 32819
We stayed at the Red Roof Inn. The best part, it was within walking distance to the Orange County Convention center, breakfast places, and more. That meant we didn’t have to drive and find a place to park. I mention this a lot, but I”m not sure I told you about our experience when we went to Cozumel in May…. So yeah. Parking is a big thing on our mind.
Hubby and I were in the room next to Deb and Grady’s, but there was a walkway between the two rooms. I won’t mention what Grady told the guy checking us in… Glad I wasn’t standing there or my face would have been beet red if that gives you any indication…
We had a King size bed, a nice hot shower, and a TV. And get this… we slept with the air conditioner on… in November. haha. Sorry, I’m being silly… Kind of.

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One thought on “Orlando, Florida: What to Eat, Where to Stay, What to Do

  1. Sounds like a great trip. We have a Delmonicos
    Steak house here in Up State NY the food is awesome and yeah, that 1lb Lasagna is delicious.

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