I have acquired to be leery of the cafe space that sits midblock in the building that residences the Sanctuary Condominiums. It’s been household to so a lot of dining establishments in the past 14 or so several years – some with very brief stays and three that declared they would open but under no circumstances did – that I no longer get my hopes up.
And the title of the latest occupant, Eola Lounge, does not exactly exude culinary self-confidence or creative imagination. This kind of a identify tells me the owners are a lot more interested in a drinking clientele so any food items served would be secondary. But when I observed myself in the place seeking for a position to consume just after my vacation spot restaurant was unexpectedly shut, I made the decision to give it a try.
I liked it extremely substantially.
The menu has a slight Asian conquer and is much more inventive than I envisioned. Daring even. This is without doubt the only restaurant in downtown Orlando – it’s possible the full metropolis – with Crispy Pork Bung on the menu, which is just what you are wondering it is.
I previously felt like an ass for underestimating the kitchen area so I opted for a thing a small bigger on the hog, the Braised Pork Belly Bao. The meat experienced the characteristic fatty and juicy mouthfeel and was garnished with pickled mustard greens and a drizzle of soy sauce in the doughy steamed buns.
My companion experienced the Crab Fried Rice, a substantial mound of white rice tossed with blue crabmeat, scallions and bits of fried egg. The crab was abundant and the portion was enough. The menu warned that there could be crab shells in the dish and in fact there had been. But at minimum you know it’s new (and actual crab).
We also shared a plate of Calamari, frivolously breaded, crisply fried, blended with onions, garlic and warm chili peppers that extra tons of oomph.
I was also incredibly delighted with the assistance and the awareness we were being paid out not only by our server but by the administration, as well. Our server even helpfully pointed us to the satisfied hour choices that had been quickly to time out. We got the $14 Calamari for $9 (along with a forgettable glass of wine for $5).
We chose to sit exterior simply because the patio is pet pleasant. The inside has a decidedly loungey vibe with a significant neon blue glow that feels a bit chilly. I just cannot say substantially has transformed with the decor from the previous tenant to the existing – I have missing keep track of.
Of training course obtaining good foodstuff and provider is no guarantee of good results, specially in this individual place. There have been many worthy contenders about the many years that just couldn’t dangle on. It’ll be up to the downtown eating denizens to decide.
Eola Lounge is at 100 S. Eola Generate, Orlando (map). It is open for dinner everyday, brunch Saturday and Sunday. The mobile phone range is 407-985-3002.