Filet & Fin's French-trained Chef Daniel fuses California classics and fashionable French and Italian fare with New Orleans nuances and southern charm. The ever-changing dinner menu encourages diners to dive in mandible first with seafood starters such as the roasted oysters Daniel, clad in sumptuous spinach and red pepper ($11) or a half-dozen escargot, improving their backstroke with laps in a garlicky pool of butter and wine ($7/half dozen, $12/dozen).
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
O’Malley’s Alley refills depleted hunger tanks with Irish-inspired pub grub and slakes thirst with a full bar of liquid libations. The culinary lineup includes traditional Irish fare, such as sandwiches, salads, seafood, and sautéed shamrocks, served on well-worn wooden tables inside the dimly lit eatery or outdoors on the expansive patio. On select nights, live music performances fill the air with melodious harmonies.
For more than 20 years, the kitchen staff at Brick City Cafe has understood that it takes more than cucumbers to make a salad appealing to the masses. With this in mind, the crew has crafted eight specialty salads that include atypical ingredients such as tortilla chips, chili, cottage cheese, and pasta to give them some flair, which patrons can pair with classic cafe sandwiches and bountiful burgers.
With vibrant, colorful walls adorned with Latin American life and scenery, Las Palmas crafts a serene environment in which dazzled diners polish off plates of Puerto Rican and Colombian cooking. Thirsty visitors can rehydrate with a fruit shake, available in a variety of tropical flavors, including sweet mango, citrusy guanabana, and singing, dancing Copacabana ($2.95). Stultified taste buds awaken to the astounding flavor of the sobrebarriga marinated flank steaks ($8.75). Seafoodies may dive into bandeja marinera, a platter of marinated fish, shrimp, scallops, and mussels, and sandwich connoisseurs can choose from cuban, chicken, and steak sandwiches ($5.95). Polite patrons receive rice, beans, sweet plantains, and a choice of soup or salad with their entrees, but rude patrons simply get served with flawless merengue moves.
Teal booths and framed photos cast a spell over Richard's Place, imbuing it with the homey, timeless atmosphere indicative of the classic American diner. On any given day, guests enjoy the eatery’s classic breakfast fare, such as corned beef hash and strawberry pancakes, delivered to tables by friendly, fun-loving waitresses known to dress up for Halloween and Tax Day. Many dishes are American favorites, and some carry the unmistakable flavors of traditional Southern cooking. The menu is also populated with homemade desserts, including cinnamon rolls, as well as low-fat and low-cholesterol options, such as turkey sausage and egg substitute.
Since the 1970s, Hungry Bear Drive-In has served up down-home eats from their Ocala location. Gustatory revelers send their palates on comfort-food excursions, tucking full into fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and the signature Papa Bear cheeseburger, delivered to tables by an avuncular cartoon bear that hands out folksy life lessons. Keeping meals cooler than The Fonz with hypothermia, the diner serves up creamy milk shakes and ice-cream cups.