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Old 06-28-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
bookgirl
I don't eat onions-they squelch when you bite into them
I don't eat raisins-they look like dried up bugs
Can we say food issues?
 
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Good Resturant for Fish + non fish UPDATE/REVIEW

We will be off site next month for a Basketball Tournament.

If my step father gets to come he loves fish. Not so much shell fish (though he will eat shrimp), just regular fish like red snapper, talapia or catfish.

However mom and I won't eat any fish/shellfish.

We'd like to eat somewhere offsite that does fish well, that has decent offers for non fish eaters, and is reasonably priced ($10 to $20 a person) though for a special dinner we might splurge.

We know we can do Chili's or TGIF or most of the popular chains, but they tend to use frozen fish and we thought a local or Florida chain place might use local or coast caught fish that he would enjoy.

Anyone know of anyplace like that in the WDW area.

Thanks.

PS if anyone has info about the same thing in the Cape Canaveral area that would be awesome as well.
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Last edited by bookgirl; 07-21-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:13 PM   #2
JimMIA
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http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/celebration.asp

We eat there every visit to Orlando (or Tampa, or within an hours drive of Sarasota or St. Augustine). Great restaurant with a wide variety of Spanish dishes - nothing frozen. A must-do for us.

I had Grouper Jimmy last Friday and it was wonderful. We've eaten there many times, many entrees, and never had a less-than-excellent meal. Get a "1905 Salad" for the table. Don't get dessert at Columbia tho; Kilwin's (amazing ice cream and chocolate) is right around the corner!

As a native Floridian, I have to add that it would be a shame to come to Florida and eat tilapia! It's just tasteless. Stick with fresh snapper, grouper, etc, not some farm-raised junk.

Also, do NOT get stone crabs or Florida lobster this time of year. Stone crab/lobster season is the "R" months (Sept-April). If you order them now, they will be frozen and won't be as good as you would expect.

Also avoid "cold-water lobster." It's cold water all right, but it's from South America and nothing like Maine lobster.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:14 PM   #3
bookgirl
I don't eat onions-they squelch when you bite into them
I don't eat raisins-they look like dried up bugs
Can we say food issues?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMIA View Post
http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/celebration.asp

We eat there every visit to Orlando (or Tampa, or within an hours drive of Sarasota or St. Augustine). Great restaurant with a wide variety of Spanish dishes - nothing frozen. A must-do for us.

I had Grouper Jimmy last Friday and it was wonderful. We've eaten there many times, many entrees, and never had a less-than-excellent meal. Get a "1905 Salad" for the table. Don't get dessert at Columbia tho; Kilwin's (amazing ice cream and chocolate) is right around the corner!

As a native Floridian, I have to add that it would be a shame to come to Florida and eat tilapia! It's just tasteless. Stick with fresh snapper, grouper, etc, not some farm-raised junk.

Also, do NOT get stone crabs or Florida lobster this time of year. Stone crab/lobster season is the "R" months (Sept-April). If you order them now, they will be frozen and won't be as good as you would expect.

Also avoid "cold-water lobster." It's cold water all right, but it's from South America and nothing like Maine lobster.
Thanks, this is the sort of place I'm looking for. Usually we're onsite and eating there but being offsite I figured we'd save a little money and try local places.

We all like Tex-Mex and we've eaten Cuban before so this should provide plenty of options.

I always like to try local places when I can.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #4
JimMIA
A little Miami humor...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookgirl View Post
...we've eaten Cuban before ...
Columbia is often described (even by them) as "Cuban," but there is Cuban and then there is Cuban. The flavors at Columbia are somewhat more mild and subtle than you would find at a Cuban restaurant in Miami...or a psuedo-Cuban restaurant in Orlando or Oklahoma City or wherever.

I think it's a century thing. The people in Tampa came to Florida in the 16th and 17th centuries, so their food is much more Spanish than modern Cuban. But most Cuban-Americans -- Miami, New York, New Jersey, wherever -- came during one of two great influxes: 1960's or 1980's.

I personally love both cuisines, but they are quite different.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:42 PM   #5
bookgirl
I don't eat onions-they squelch when you bite into them
I don't eat raisins-they look like dried up bugs
Can we say food issues?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMIA View Post
Columbia is often described (even by them) as "Cuban," but there is Cuban and then there is Cuban. The flavors at Columbia are somewhat more mild and subtle than you would find at a Cuban restaurant in Miami...or a psuedo-Cuban restaurant in Orlando or Oklahoma City or wherever.

I think it's a century thing. The people in Tampa came to Florida in the 16th and 17th centuries, so their food is much more Spanish than modern Cuban. But most Cuban-Americans -- Miami, New York, New Jersey, wherever -- came during one of two great influxes: 1960's or 1980's.

I personally love both cuisines, but they are quite different.
Our exposure to Cuban was at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fl so I'm assuming that was quasi Cuban. I'm okay with Spanish as well. As long as it's not goat I'm good.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #6
JimMIA
A little Miami humor...
 
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Our exposure to Cuban was at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fl ...
The entire Hard Rock company is owned and operated by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida!

That's not to say the food was not authentic, but...
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
bookgirl
I don't eat onions-they squelch when you bite into them
I don't eat raisins-they look like dried up bugs
Can we say food issues?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMIA View Post
The entire Hard Rock company is owned and operated by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida!

That's not to say the food was not authentic, but...
well it for sure was not Mexican or Native American food (very familiar with either of those) but yeah I figure it's the equivalent of getting "Mexican" food at Taco Bell.

It was a food court walk up place. It LOOKED kinda Mexican but the spices were slightly different. And then there were the plantains.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:45 PM   #8
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Another vote for Columbia in Celebration, it is wonderful!
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:46 PM   #9
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Cascade American Bistro at the Hyatt Grand Cypress is very good! When we ate there the catch of the day was Red Snapper and it was excellent, but they have a lot of non-sea food options as well. A lot of their food is sourced from local farms which is great.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #10
bookgirl
I don't eat onions-they squelch when you bite into them
I don't eat raisins-they look like dried up bugs
Can we say food issues?
 
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Got back and did end up driving over to Celebration (only about 15 minutes down 192 from our off site accomedations) to try Columbia.

Thought I'd copy over what I wrote about Columbia on the DISabilities Board.

(I am newly diagnosed with food allergies so put this up there)

This was a great experience. They have a huge menu and they do have a separate GF menu (I am actually allergic to wheat not gluten).

http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/gluten_free.asp


I had the pork.

Roast Pork “A la Cubana”

Generous slices of roast pork with a delicious
marinade. Served like back home in Cuba with
black beans, white rice, yucca and platanos.

This was really good. Tender pork, and perfect fluffy rice and the beans were also tender without being mushy. The marinade/sauce was really heavy on the garlic but good. The Yucca also had rosted garlic on it. (this was a new thing for me) Not sure I liked it, but didn’t hate it. Texture of a potato but a little more fiberous, but the garlic did overpower the rather bland base taste. Plantains I had once before and they were much like I remember, sweet and soft with an almost nutty flavor. I’m not sure how these are usually prepared but the waiter kept telling me they were safe. It may have been lost in translation but I think he was either trying to tell me they didn’t coat it in wheat or that it was fried on it’s own.


I also had a few bites of my mom’s 1905 Salad. I was trying my best to avoid the cheese, but I can tolerate small amounts of dairy with out breaking out. The salad was a good basic salad (the dressing was a little oily for my taste but still good). The ham and Spanish olives in it were excellent.

1905 Salad

The Columbia’s legendary salad
tossed at your table. Crisp Iceberg
lettuce with julienne of baked ham,
natural Swiss cheese, tomato, olives,
grated Romano cheese and our famous
garlic dressing. The award-winning salad
won honors from USA Today as “One of 10 Great Places
to Make a Meal Out of a Salad.” The signature salad,
named for the year the restaurant was founded in Tampa’s
Latin district of Ybor City, was inspired by immigrants to
the Cigar City: Romano cheese from the Sicilians and the
famous garlic dressing used by Cubans to marinate fresh
roast pork, plus Florida tomatoes, iceberg lettuce*, julienne
of baked ham and Swiss cheese. In the 40s, Tony Noriega,
who ventured to New York City during the Depression to
find work, added a “secret ingredient,” Worcestershire
sauce, to the recipe.

My mom had the small (in reality it was a really big) 1905 and a Tapas plate of pork spare ribs with onions. She also had a side of the “Good” rice. That’s a rice made with sautéed onions. She said it was wonderful.

My step dad had a special menu item that was not listed which was an Atlantic Salmon with olive and tomato relish, yellow rice and peas. He said it was okay, which for him means it tasted good but he didn’t like all the olives, it was covered in olives.

They both also had the Cuban bread which they both loved.

We skipped dessert, we were all full and we actually prefer ‘dessert’ later, not right after the meal. He ate all his, my mom and I took leftovers back to the room and had them the next day.

Anyway hope this helps someone looking for a new dining experience.
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