Once again, it is Orlando’s turn for an InfoComm. During which, the post-show dinner meetings that you have one-on-one with vendors, manufacturers, or customers can be more valuable than the business transacted on the trade show floor. Unfortunately, for many years, the dining options in Orlando have been less than inspiring. Recently, however, the City Beautiful has been experiencing a culinary renaissance complete with James Beard nominated chefs and plenty of farm-to-table options. While nearly every chain and theme restaurant you can imagine is near the Convention Center, you’ll need to venture a little farther out to experience what the city truly has to offer.
Here are a couple Orlando restaurants that are worth exploring during your week at Infocomm:
The Ravenous Pig
The Winter Park gastropub that put Orlando on foodie’s maps. It’s also where I had the best pork chop of my entire life (and I’ve had a LOT of pork chops). The food and cocktail menus are seasonal and reasonably priced, considering the portion sizes and tremendous flavors.
1234 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Cask & Larder
From house-brewed beer to cured meats, canned fruits and pickled vegetables, everything at Cask & Larder is done in-house and with a Southern influence. They also offer a special “Whole Cookery Feast” for parties of 8, featuring a whole pig or low country boil with snapper, shrimp, clams, and oysters.
565 West Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Short for “Southern Contemporary,” SoCo is in downtown Orlando and features modern twists on home-style favorites that your mom used to make (assuming your mother was Southern). With dinner entrees like grilled meatloaf on lobster mashed potatoes, chicken fried New York strip and barbecue-glazed pork belly biscuits how could you ever go wrong?
629 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801
Amura Japanese Restaurant
If you really don’t want to venture far from the Convention Center, and you can’t admit you went to Florida without having fresh seafood, consider a trip to Amura’s location on “restaurant row.” They feature enough Asian cuisine to please all hungry conventioneers from sushi to hibachi, as well as a Korean menu.
7786 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Jimi Gonzalez is manager of the Technology Group at ION Electric, LLC in Pompano Beach, FL.