Tag Archives: florida

Cubaton Sandwich Shop

Our best bite in Miami was the cubano sandwich from a small, relatively new shop called Cubaton. It was incredible!

Had I known it was this good, I would have went twice. We were leaving for home the same day we went here.

The frozen drinks were great too.

413 15th St
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Prime 112

Prime 112 overall score: 78

My wife and I had one night to squeeze in a steak meal when we were in Miami. Since most steakhouses in South Beach seem to be chains, we went with Prime 112 based on a totality of recs we got from friends. The other contender was Papi Steak (next time).

Flavor: 9

We had the t-bone and the veal rib chop. Both were nice, and aged flavor came through. Both solid 8/10 in my opinion. I was impressed for Florida steak!

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

There’s a good selection of cuts here all day long,. In fact the menu is pretty gigantic. There’s both a T-bone and a porterhouse, a rib eye for two and for one, bone-in and boneless strips. Plenty of dry aged selections as well.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The portions are on the large side here. Sometimes I forget how small portions can be in NYC, even at steakhouses. Plating was on par with minimalist upscale modern steak joints.

Price: 7

Steaks for one here will range between $80 and $140, which is mighty high. They’re really raking the tourists over the coals here, but at least the food is good.

Bar: 6

The bar here is small. I was expecting a bigger, nicer/better bar for a hot spot like a Miami beach steakhouse.

Martini was nice, however.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

There are plenty of non-beef options to explore here, and as I mentioned earlier, the menu is massive. We tried the veal and we were impressed, so I think 8/10 is fair here for not having tried any other items.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6

We started with the foie gras and broiled Louisiana style oysters. The oysters were the better of the two, and they were great. After the apps, things went slightly downhill, and then they fell off a cliff.

I wish I knew the veal came as a composed dish with a side (spinach, cheese and breadcrumb stuffed tomato). I would have skipped the gummy creamed spinach and maybe even the scalloped potatoes.

Dessert would have been great if a couple of the mini donuts weren’t raw inside.


Seafood Selection: 8

Based on the quality of the broiled oysters, I think it’s safe to get all manner of seafood here and it will be good.

Service: 10

Our waiter was great, friendly and knowledgeable, so I have to give a full 10 here. A few things to note, though, was that there was a musty/moldy smell to the warm/moist towels they brought out for us between courses. Don’t use

The table bread was a nice assortment of cheese biscuit, nut roll and pumpernickel onion. Really liked this.

Ambiance: 7

This joint had a smell throughout that was wet/musty. It did just rain when we went there, and it is Miami/south Florida, so maybe this is common. But it was sort of like the entire place smelled like the moldy hand towel! Strange.

112 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Atlas Steakhouse

Atlas Steakhouse overall score: 78

My wife and I came to this Mediterranean style steak joint for a press meal. For us, heading out to Brooklyn is almost like a road trip, so we were looking forward to coming here and trying something new, outside the usual midtown hustle. This joint is a small mom-and-pop style restaurant, so it was a welcome change from the big mega steakhouses that are bankrolled by huge restaurant group chains in midtown. There aren’t many fine dining restaurants in this area of Brooklyn, so this is a welcome addition. It opened in the Summer of 2015 and seems to be doing well so far.

Flavor: 7
My wife and I split the tomahawk bone-in rib eye for two. The meat itself was nice and juicy, and had good flavor from the generous peppering. It could  have used a bit more crusting, but that’s not a big deal because there was very little bleed-out (as you can see from the photo of the plate below).

DSC01607 atlas

Unfortunately, however, it was overcooked. We ordered it medium rare, and it came out closer to medium well. Part of that is due to the thickness of the cut (difficult to cook evenly throughout), but part was simply just a mistake in the kitchen.

DSC01613 atlas

If I  had to guess what happened, based on how the meat looked when it came out, I’d say it was probably cooked to rare, then sliced and finished off under the broiler to bring it up a bit more. Aside from that, it was tasty.

DSC01616 atlas

DSC01617 atlas

Each steak comes with four sauces. One is a horseradish sauce, one is steak sauce, one is peppercorn gravy and one is a tomato-based sauce. All were good, but I think I liked the steak sauce the best (left).

DSC01619 atlas

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
There’s a good deal of options here. All the basics are covered for the major chops (plus a skirt), and there are various size and bone options for each. Very nice. Our cut didn’t have too much of the Spinalis cap, but from what I understand they offer table-side meat selection, so you can typically pick exactly the right cut for you. The website indicates that Atlas ages their steak on site, but I’m not certain whether the quality is prime or choice. The quality of fat on our cut was a bit more gristled than what I usually like, but not unacceptable by any means. There was very little waste on our place. We gobbled down everything. Some portions of the steak were a little bit grainy in texture, but I think that was because of the overcooking mishap.

Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are big here. Our rib eye was 48oz! And the plating is done nicely here because they use an elevated platter, that way the big steak plate doesn’t crowd the table and take up valuable dining space. I wish more steakhouses would do the same! Other than that, it is pretty basic. Nothing too fancy. Just simple and elegant.

Price: 9
The prices here are something you might expect in the suburbs. It’s refreshing to see a huge 48oz steak for two listed at just $76. Excellent! And it’s just a quick subway ride away on the B/Q. If you’re on a tighter budget but still looking for a pretty good steak, then this is your place.

Bar: 8
The bar is beautifully decorated. It’s situated near the street so you get some good light, and being located on a major street like Coney Island Avenue makes for a good place to pop in for a drink or a quick bite at the bar, especially if the live music is in session. They have a great looking burger selection on the menu. What better place to throw down on a lamb burger that at the bar?

DSC01582 atlas

DSC01587 atlas

Specials and Other Meats: 7
There were no specials off the menu, but you can go with lamb, veal or chicken if you aren’t man enough for beef. They even offer some vegetarian options for the truly vaginal.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
We started with the crab cake. This was a good size, and chock full of meat. It had a light crisp on the outside. I think it just needed a pop of some other kind of flavor inside. Perhaps a hit of spice like jalapeño or cherry pepper, or even some celery for a lithe more crunch.

DSC01588 atlas

DSC01598 atlas

We also tried the Moroccan oxtail cigars. These are essentially egg roll wrappers that have a nice braised, tender, spiced oxtail meat inside. These were our favorite of the appetizers we tried.

DSC01594 atlas

DSC01601 atlas

One of the highlights of this section is the mushroom and spinach gratin. Essentially this is creamed spinach with minced mushrooms in the mix. Absolutely delicious, and it’s one of the best spinach dishes I’ve had at a steakhouse! The big monster steak joints of Manhattan should take note of this gem of a dish. The mushrooms soak up tons of flavor, and the texture becomes dynamic rather than just a mushy goop. I loved it.

DSC01604 atlas

For our first dessert, we tried this crepe cake with chocolate mousse in the layers. Beautiful.

DSC01626 atlas

It was a bit more stiff in texture than I expected, likely because they have to prepare it well ahead of time and store it in the fridge, but I enjoyed it because it had great flavor and was something different from the standard, run-of-the mill steakhouse desserts like tiramisu, creme brûlée and flan.

Next up was yet another unique item, but this one was much more successful. The menu labels it a mango tiramisu, though it is more like a mango mousse re-invention of, or spin on, tiramisu.

DSC01640 atlas

The mango and whipped cream mixture will take you back to the flavor of creamsicles from your childhood. Also there are little buried treasures hidden within the mousse: cream puffs!!! We absolutely loved this dessert. Coffee was good too. Strong!

DSC01620 atlas

Seafood Selection: 7
There’s salmon, branzino and tuna on the entree menu, and a good deal of shellfish on the appetizer menu. Not a bad showing for a small steakhouse! This is on par with the big boys in midtown.

Service: 10
The service here is great. Our waitress had great suggestions for dessert, and everything was nicely timed and cleaned up quickly. They’re attentive, without being in your face.

The table bread was toasty warm – super fresh – and came with a delicious garlic herb butter.

DSC01583 atlas

Ambiance: 8
This place has a really nice decor. It’s a great chic look, but still comfortable. I was very impressed at this place for being a small operation, and they’re truly done an amazing job with the space.

DSC01581 atlas

Atlas also has live music in the evenings (smooth guitar, mellow saxophone and piano), and they just started offering brunch on weekends. They’re also affiliated with the newly restored King’s Theater nearby, which is beautiful. They are one of three vendors who are permitted to advertise and serve in the establishment. That’ll be great for business!

943 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime overall score: 90

I rolled through Ocean Prime for a quick NYC Restaurant Week meal one night after work with a friend of mine. They were booked solid, so we grabbed a seat in the lounge area near the bar to eat. While the menu was limited to a small filet for restaurant week (in terms of beef), I figured it was a good opportunity to test-drive the steakhouse before going balls-deep with a big rib eye. Here’s what I thought:

Flavor: 9
The filet was delicious, and was cooked to an absolutely perfect medium rare. It had a good seasoned outside, and the inside was juicy and flavorful. While the outside wasn’t super crisp, it still managed to hold in all the juices.

DSC01055 OP

DSC01063 OP

I’m looking forward to heading back for a proper rib eye. I have to say… for a place to score an 88 on a test run with a severely limited restaurant week menu… I’m impressed.

Second trip: perfectly cooked rib eye. Similar notes regarding the sear, as the rib eye had a slight wetness on top. Otherwise absolutely delicious. With a bit more crisp on the edges, this would deb full points for flavor.



Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
Three filets, two strips and a rib eye are offered here. There is no beef porterhouse. I have to take a few points for that. The menu indicates that all steaks are prime quality, but nothing is noted about aging. Perhaps a few more bone-in options would also beef up the selection here as well. But with consistent, top notch quality, it might not matter too much. Second trip: upgraded to 8/10.

Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are slightly smaller than most places for the price range of midtown steak joints. The plating is elegant and clean, nothing too fancy.

Price: 8
This is an expensive joint, with a small 8oz filet coming in at almost $50, however their most expensive steak is $57, a 12oz “bone-in filet,” so the range isn’t too wide. In any case, they do participate in NYC Restaurant Week, where they offer a three-course meal for $38 that includes an app, an entree, two sides and a dessert.

Bar: 10
This is a great bar for hanging out after work. The crowd is all suits from Bankville, USA, but the space is beautifully apportioned and you can watch the street from the well-lit seating arrangement.


Specials and Other Meats: 9
There’s lamb, chicken, and a pork porterhouse in terms of other meats. That’s a nice showing, especially considering that this place is a bit lighter on the beef selections and a bit heavier on the seafood selections. Also, on a second trip there were lots of specials read to us from all menu categories, including steak.

Second trip: 14oz strip steak with brie special. Upgraded to 9/10.



Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
I had the Point Judith calamari, which was perfectly breaded and fried to a golden crisp, and drizzled with just the right amount of sweet chili sauce. It also comes with roasted cashews, which nails home the distinct Asian dimension to the dish.

DSC01045 OP

My steak came with mashed potatoes and green beans for the restaurant week menu, so I got to taste a few items. Both were good, but nothing incredible.

The desserts, however, were a different story. I tried both the peanut butter mousse with chocolate ganache, and the carrot cake, which Ocean Prime is famous for at this point. Del Frisco’s has the lemon cake. Strip House has the chocolate cake. Ocean Prime has the carrot cake, which i shy far my favorite, and I DO love the lemon cake at Del’s. Typically, the cake is 10 layers high and a massive wedge. This restaurant week portion was just right for me, as I was already kind of full. The frosting had a great fall-spice to it, and the cake was moist without being too dense.

DSC01078 OP

The full carrot cake slice from the dinner menu:


The peanut butter and chocolate pie was good too, but too sweet for my liking. It was light due to the mousse element, though, which is nice. It was also beautiful to look at.

DSC01072 OP

Second trip: surf and turf appetizer of braised short rib and scallop was incredible. Perfectly executed.


Second trip: 99% meat in this crab cake. Lots of good crab flavor, nicely accented with a corn salad. This rivals Del Frisco’s.


Second trip: chop house corn. Very tasty, but I was expecting something more to it. Maybe the addition of some pancetta would do the trick.


Seafood Selection: 10
There’s a shitload of great looking seafood here. The menu is too extensive to list them all. I was able to try some of the scallops that my buddy ordered, and so far I’m impressed.

DSC01048 OP

When I return, I’ll definitely be trying more seafood. I like the idea of a steak joint that really raises the bar on the seafood. A lot of places just do lobster and salmon, shrimp and oysters. They don’t go outside the box. Here it is a totally different seafood experience. And it is perfect place for dates: the men can eat their red meat, and the women can watch their figure with some seafood, because sexism rules.

Service: 10
Even in the busy and crowded bar area, we had excellent service. The first course came out fast, and the waitress, Jenny, was really nice and attentive. The fun part about sitting in the bar area is that they give you a free bowl of popcorn, which is wonderfully seasoned. The bread, by the way, is delicious. You get piping hot pretzel bread logs and bread with a soft, whipped butter. Excellent.

DSC01041 OP

Ambiance: 9
While the main dining room is big and industrial looking, it still has a nice feel to it. It’s spacious, which is good, but it just lacks a little bit of character. One thing that’s cool is that you can view how the kitchen operates by peeking though the long glass window that is visible from the dining room. Upstairs there are some private dining areas, and the bathrooms are beautifully appointed. Second trip: I took more of the ambiance in and I am sold on it being a solid 9/10.

UPDATE 7/17/19

I recently returned to try some more stuff.

Steak Tartare

This was awesome. Up there with some of the best I’ve had. If tartare is your thing, then get this shit.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

This was incredible. I actually ate more of this than anything else the night we came back. Addictive!

Lobster Tails

These twin beauties tasted as great as they looked. You can’t go wrong on the seafood here.

Surf & Turf

Seared scallops with braised short rib? Yup. I loved this appetizer. Solid way to start a meal.

Mixed Sushi Rolls

Everything served on this platter was delicious but I kept hitting that thinly sliced wagyu beef roll. Amazing.

Crab Cake

If that sauce was spicy it would be on par with Del Frisco’s.

Assorted Sides

All great (especially the jalapeño au gratin), except they skimped on the cauliflower & broccoli.

Pork Porterhouse

This was nice. When comparing to Belcampo, this one fell a bit short. But it was by no means bad. Still probably a 7 or 8 out of 10.

Dry Aged Kansas City Strip

This bone in beauty brought a lot of earthy flavor to the table. Of the steaks we tried, this was the winner for sure. 9/10.

Dry Aged Rib Eye

This was less seasoned and had less aged flavor than the strip, but was still a great steak. 8/10.

Dessert Platter

As you may already know, the 10-layer carrot cake here is one of my favorite steakhouse desserts. They also served us a butter cake, which is also one of my favorite steakhouse desserts (but from Del Frisco’s).

123 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019

Disney World

I recently took a trip to Disney with my wife and her family. There’s actually some pretty decent places to eat and good snacks to try if you know where to go. Below is a smattering of places and things we had along the way.


The first park we visited was Epcot. We hit a few rides in the futuristic area, and had some popcorn snacks:


But Epcot is known for its “world walk,” which showcases 11 countries and features aspects of their culture and cuisine. This is what we were most excited to do.


Mexico: We had a frozen avocado margarita at a tequila bar inside the pyramid that had tons of different tequilas, mezcals and sotols available. The drink didn’t taste much like avocado, but it was good nonetheless.





Norway: Here, we sampled some desserts and a shot of flavored aquavit from one of the shops. The buildings here are really cool.




The first dessert was a cinnamon roll-up sort of thing. Somewhat disappointing. The second was a troll horn, which was really good – similar to a cannoli but with a creamier filling. Only down side was that the filling didn’t go all the way down into the point of the horn.





The shot was good! It had hints of anise and cinnamon to take off the strong alcohol bite.



We also sampled a meatball that was covered in gravy and topped with cranberries. It was like a Thanksgiving Swedish meatball.


China: By now we were thirsty, so we grabbed a mango and green tea slushy. This was really great. The green tea cuts the sweetness so you aren’t running on a sugar high all day.



Germany: Germany offers good beer, tubed meat and pretzels. It is essentially a Bavarian Oktoberfest all year long here.



We tried the bratworst, paprika chips and some interesting shots – a honey whiskey and a corn flavored liquor. Both very good. The brat was nice and browned on the outside, not simply boiled. It had a good snap to it, and the meat was both sweet and savory.






The town here is full of cool stores for beer steins and mugs, as well as sweets like caramels.






Japan: This pavilion has some cool offerings, and awesome architecture.

DSC00288 small






We started with a shave ice, which was a bit too icy (not soft).


While there was no ramen, they did have a ramen shirt:


In one of the gift shops you could take a crack at finding pearls in oysters. We saw a few people score. But I wonder what they do with the oyster… I wanted to eat them.



Italy: We recharged a bit here with some espresso. One thing they do here is offer gelato with a shot of espresso floating on top!



We watched some crazy flag tossing show and took in the interesting sculpture and architecture.




Morocco: I would have liked to spend more time here. The architecture was very realistic and looked like a movie set. The food smelled delicious, and the gift shops were filled with cool shit. We had dinner coming up, so none of us wanted to spoil our appetites. Next time, I guess.








France: We had dinner reservations here, so we basically just walked around and took in some of the sights before eating at Monsieur Paul. Check the review if you want. Here is a photo dump of the other shit in the French pavilion:






We didn’t eat, drink or snack at the USA spot, and we basically just walked through the UK and Canada because we were heading to a fireworks show after dinner. Here are some shots of those areas:















Our next day was at Hollywood Studios, formerly MGM. There’s a lot to do at this park, given Disney’s recent acquisition of the Star Wars franchise.

So we ended up having a snack before our main late afternoon meal at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe theme restaurant. They have turkey legs all over the place, and tons of snack and candy joints lining the roads. I didn’t eat much of that junk. The mediocre bites we had along the way were an appetizer sampler and buffalo chicken bites at the Sci Fi Snack Bar, a place that’s set up like an old 1950’s drive-in movie theater. You sit in cars and face a movie screen that plays old B- and C- quality sci-fi movies. Fun!





Our main meal was at 50’s Prime Time Cafe. This place is set up like the inside of a mid-century modern 1950’s or early 60’s home. Lots of round-screen tube television cabinets are playing clips of old shows from the era, and there are sea-foam green appliances and furniture, wood paneling, checkerboard floors, etc. I loved it.







Plus the food was pretty fucking great too. Everything is home-style cooking, like stuff that your grandma would cook for you. I ordered a smoked gouda stuffed pork chop. It was absolutely awesome. Juicy inside, crispy outside, good stuffing. I demolished it.



I also got to try the fried chicken. Same deal – crispy on the outside, juicy inside. A great thigh!


Their PB&J ice cream shake is incredible too. Not too heavy on the PB so that you get instantly full either, as the base is vanilla.


My wife had a great pork osso buco. While I liked my dish better, her dish was fall-apart tender and beautifully plated.


She also had a crazy soda concoction drink with a glowing ice cube, and they sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her a cupcake for dessert.



Check out the mixed plate, with chicken, meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Not bad!


That night, we had some special desserts and snacks as we watched a fucking AWESOME Star Wars themed fireworks show. We came away with some funky Chewbacca steins, too.








The next day we relaxed. We took the day off to rest and regroup our aching feet, and that night we had a nice steak meal at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, which is located at the new(ish) Disney Yacht Club resort.

The following day we went to Universal Studios, which is Disney’s arch nemesis in Orlando. You can check out my commentary on that park’s eats and drinks HERE.


Our final Disney park visit was Magic Kingdom. This is where I finally broke down and grabbed a turkey leg. It was absolutely awesome. It was smoky, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. It tasted like a good ham.



We picked the meat clean off the bone!!!




Nearby at Gaston’s, they used to sling a pork shank! I wanted so badly to walk around the park with a pig leg in my hand, but they no longer sell them. Instead we tried this slushy that was apple and cinnamon flavored, called LeFou’s Brew. Really delicious:




Dole Whip is also a must at Disney. It’s a soft serve pineapple ice cream thing, the same stuff we had in Hawaii. My wife got a “float” version, which has pineapple juice at the bottom of the cup.


Later on, we had a buffet dinner at Crystal Palace.



For $42 it is all-you-can-eat, and they even have some decent meat carving stations with roasted sirloin and turkey. The star, for me, was the achiote pork. I found a big chunk that was super moist in the middle. Yum.



They also had some good dessert here, in particular the small cube cakes. Key lime pie, cheesecake with Oreo crust, and a berry pie that had the same consistency as the key lime pie but with sweeter fruit and berry flavors. All great. Even the basic sugar cookie was pretty good. The ice cream, on the other hand, was too icy for soft serve.



Despite the pretty good desserts, I think the best part of this meal was that achiote pork, as I mentioned above. Either that, or getting a love-attack by Tigger!


We took pics with all four Pooh characters as they wandered around the restaurant: Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. I won’t bore you with those. I will say that the people who wear the costumes must be very patient to deal with screaming kids every day.

All-in this was a pretty great food trip. We also had some good stuff (and bad) at Universal as well on the same trip, so check that out too.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios theme park in Orlando has a few decent food items worth trying if you happen to be there. There are also some pitfalls as well, so be on the look-out.

There’s some cool shit to see, like olive oil from Genco (The Godfather) and Mel’s Diner (Alice).



If you need a snack, there are turkey legs all over. I didn’t try them here, but I did try them at Disney’s Magic Kingdom – they’re fucking great! They taste like ham. Very smoky.


We actually ate a quick lunch at Richter’s Burger Co. Please avoid this place. The burger quality is that of a frozen patty backyard burger. Terrible. Fries were at least pretty good though. And the shakes were thick, like a Wendy’s Frosty.






Springfield!!! This is the land of The Simpsons, in the event that you have been living in a fucking bubble all of your life.


I was immediately pissed off that I didn’t think to try a Krusty burger after just eating that God-aweful burger at Richter’s. Ugh. Or should I say “DOH!” I was tempted to vomit and make room to try it.



All the show favorites make an appearance.






Lard Lad Donuts is Homer’s go-to place for a forbidden donut. We tried a pink with sprinkles (the iconic one from the show) and a jelly. Both were on par with Dunkin Donuts.




Duff Beer has a brewery on site, of course.


This next shot is from the factory tour episode, where all three kinds of Duff beer come from the same tubes (Duff, Duff Lite, Duff Dry).



There actually IS a difference between Duff and Duff Lite at the bar. Both are very slightly hoppy, but the regular is a little more robust, while the “Lite” is a bit more citrus flavored.


Harry Potter’s “Wizarding World” is by far the coolest and most fun part of the park, for me at least.


You can get all sorts of flavored sodas at this one stand:


Or you can try the famous butter beer, which is similar to a cream soda, only sweeter and a bit savory as well.


This joint had some other shit:



Below is a shot of the fishy green ale, a citrus and blueberry drink.


This is a frozen butter beer – essentially a butter beer in slushy form.


Fire Whisky is like a Fireball shot, and Wizard’s Brew is like a Guinness. Not sure what the other shit is.


We ate a quick snack at The Leaky Cauldron, a better than average British food joint that’s set up like a really old tavern.




This is a kids meal fish and chips. Cod. Actually quite good!


This is a plate of two mini pies: cottage pie and fish pie (cottage is essentially shepherd’s pie, and fish pie is like a pot pie with cod, salmon and veggies inside).


Pollo Tropical

When I’m away from NYC, I love trying new fast food joints that I can’t find back home. In Florida, I kept seeing these Pollo Tropical joints all over the place, so I had to try it.


The menu is pretty simple – chicken or pork, rice bowls, platters and sandwiches. My wife and I tried a bunch of stuff.

First was the guava BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which reminded me of luau pork or achiote pork. The BBQ sauce was good – sweet and tangy with a unique fruity flavor. The chicken sandwich was pretty basic – nothing special there: grilled chicken, cheese and some fixings on a potato bun. The rice bowl we tried was the same pork meat as the sandwich, but on a bed of yellow rice with black beans, onions, and corn. This was the best value, in my opinion. You got a lot of food for the money.


Each sandwich item came with a side. We had fried yucca, and corn soufflé – both were excellent, and easily addicting snack foods.



They even serve beer from the Bahamas. Sweet!


But the thing that really sets Pollo Tropical apart from other joints is the sauce selection, all free to grab as much as you want, to mix and make concoctions of your own, etc. They have things like guava BBQ sauce (as well as regular BBQ sauce), curry mustard sauce (amazing – I know it sounds bad, but trust me), garlic cilantro cream sauce (awesome for the beef selections, if available in that particular restaurant – and it has a hint of lime), pineapple rum (thing “tropical duck sauce”), spicy poyo poyo sauce (great kick from habanero peppers), Pollo Tropical hot sauce, and fresh salsa. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.

In short, I dig this place. If there was one in NYC, I’d be hitting it pretty often.

Monsieur Paul

Epcot Center in Disney World is famed for its “world walk,” highlighting about a dozen countries and offering some cuisine and culture from each. This place, in the French pavilion, is known to be one of the better places to eat in the park.


My wife scored us some reservations in advance of our trip, and I was looking forward to trying the steak selections.

First off, the bread at this place is amazing. You can choose from about four different kinds: mushroom onion bread, Swiss cheese bread, traditional baguette, poppy seed, etc.




My wife and I each had a price fix menu. For $89, we received the following:



The escargot was great. It had the texture of clams and a great truffle essence.


For my starter, I went with the oxtail soup. It was okay – not as robust in flavor as I hoped, but the use of truffle was generous, and the popover on top of the soup bowl was magnificent. French cuisine is great for shit like this.



My wife went with the lobster item, which came with a truffle broth, quail egg and some fancy foam.




For my entree, I went with the strip steak. It was cooked perfectly to medium rare. My only gripe is that I like my steak seared hard on the outside with a crust, whereas this was served almost like a sous vide style. It was still excellent though. I’d say an eight out of ten.



It came with some tomatoes, potatoes and asparagus:


And a nice truffle wine reduction sauce for the top:


My wife’s lamb rib chop was crusted with pistachio, and also cooked absolutely perfectly.



Some other guests at the table ordered the filet, which was equally delicious and nicely prepared. On top is a mushroom and bacon mash of some kind.


La Myrtille is a short bread base with a pistachio cake, topped with fresh blueberries and compote, vanilla cream, and creme fraiche ice cream. Not only was it beautiful, but it was the best dessert of the night, and we sampled a bunch from other plates. It was unique, and the right balance of sweet and savory for me. Perfect.





Here’s a look at the almond, mango yogurt and strawberry concoction that I also tried – pretty good!


And this was my wife’s dessert, L’ile Flottante, which was light meringue, vanilla creme Anglaise, rum raisons, toasted almonds and a vanilla tuile.


The Whiskey

For our first meal down in Orlando, my wife and I tried this whiskey- and burger- centric place for lunch.


They had something like 200 types of whiskey, rye and scotch. Impressive.



The food turned out to be pretty good, so let’s get right into it.

We started with some cocktails and an order of whiskey sauce wings.


The wings were pretty good. Not QUITE as crisp as I like, but the flavor was tangy, garlicky and sweet from the sauce.


I ordered “the whiskey” burger, which has smoked gouda, bourbon bacon, whiskey onions and a dill aioli. Pretty solid burger!



It was cooked to about medium well, despite my order of medium, but the burger was good and juicy from all the toppings.


I had the regular fries with my burger, which were crispy and well seasoned.


My wife ordered “the royal,” which was similar to mine, only with wagyu beef and garlic aioli.


Her’s was cooked to medium rare, nice and pinkish red throughout a thick patty.


She also went with truffle parmesan fries, which were a nice touch.


Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse overall score: 85

My wife and I went to Disney with her family for a short vacation. While there, we hit this steak joint.

Flavor: 8
We tried nearly every cut of steak, so I was able to get a good feel for the quality of the beef as well as the skill of the chef. This place can definitely hang with NYC’s greats. I wasn’t expecting much after my last experience at a Florida steakhouse, but my wife really did her research on the dining options for this trip.

First, the rib eye, which I didn’t order but I tried a good amount. It was perfectly cooked and remained tender and juicy, with a great crust on the outside as well as a creamy blue cheese butter. This was probably a nine, and it came with a beautiful, big serving of bone marrow!



My wife and I tried the porterhouse for two. This was an eight. It was cooked nicely but just fell a slight bit short on seasoning. Otherwise, top notch. Both sides were tender and juicy, with just a few areas where things got over cooked along the edges.





My brother in law had a chimichurri strip steak, which was ordered medium well (he’s not a good steak orderer), yet it still retained flavor and some juiciness despite the ruination. Eight.


My other brother in law had the filet, which was big and juicy. Also an eight.


Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
They have a lot of options here, and several variants within – like aged and prime. Take a look at the menu. All that’s missing, really, is an aged bone in rib eye. Arguably the most important cut, but I only took a point.


With a few tweaks in preparation, and some longer aging times, this place could be incredible. They even have an aging room on the premises, visible to diners, where they age the beef and hang the charcuterie:




Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are large; plating is nice without being overly elegant. High marks on the charcuterie board, porterhouse and pork belly with clams plating in particular.

Price: 8
The prices here are pretty steep for Florida, but then again you are at a Disney resort, so a mark-up is expected. On the other hand, the food is well worth the money here. This is comparable to a NYC steakhouse, both in quality and price.


Bar: 10
This joint has a full separate-but-attached bar called the Crew’s Cup that adjoins the restaurant. It’s a great looking country club kind of place, and the drinks are pretty good and cheap as well ($8.25 for a Beefeater martini is very fair in my eyes, being used to NYC).





Specials and Other Meats: 7
There were no specials read to us, and the menu is pretty bare when it comes to other meats aside from beef: only chicken. I don’t mind much though, because I don’t go to a steakhouse to eat any other protein but beef, and the showing of beef here is pretty excellent; it even includes prime rib and bison (which I still consider to be beef, in a weird way).

My mother in law tried this vegeterian pasta dish, which was beautifully plated:


Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
The first appetizer that we tried was a charcuterie board. Here’s what was on it:


I’m always a bit underwhelmed by the amount of stuff on charcuterie boards at restaurants these days, but I get that this stuff is expensive and difficult to make. Anyway, this was all very good:


We also tried this pork belly and clams appetizer, which was incredible, although a bit salty.


The hunk of pork belly in the center was generous, and perfectly braised yet crispy on the outside. The fried lotus root was an elegant touch, and the broth was great to soak up with bread.


The sides here were great. Our porterhouse came with beef fat roasted potatoes and a trio of sides: caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and creamed spinach. I enjoyed them all. The creamed spinach was more creamy than I usually like, but it wasn’t overpowering. The beef fat potatoes were incredible – the beefy marrow flavor really took me by surprise. They were just a bit greasy, unfortunately.



The last side we tried was the truffle mac and cheese. This was made with orecchiette pasta and some fried onions. It was really delicious, and probably one of the better truffle macs that I’ve had.


Unfortunately we had to skip dessert. Too full!

Seafood Selection: 7
There’s red snapper and scallops on the menu here in the entree section. Other than that there’s just the usual shellfish apps. I was a bit surprised not to see any lobster on the menu.

Service: 10
This place is over the top and excellent. As you might expect, this kind of thing happens all over Disney. The people who work here are amazing, and they really, sincerely want you to enjoy your time there. Our waiter, Ricardo, was fantastic.

I guess I should mention the bread here. It comes with a really nice soft and salty butter, as well as a head of roasted garlic for spreading!!! You can choose onion pull-apart bread, or baguette style bread – or both.




Ambiance: 9
The building and all surrounding areas are amazing at this part of the resort. When you enter the yacht club area, you’re greeted with an amazing, huge old fashioned globe in the entryway.



The Yachtsman Steakhouse itself (which is within the club near some other restaurants) attempts to hit the mark with the country club / yacht club look. It ALMOST nails it, but not quite. Something was missing, and I can’t put my finger on it.