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BOO 2011

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Photo by Jason Greene

Food and Drink - Staff Picks

 

Best cheap rolled food

Dosa table at Apna Bazaar
9410 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-856-0238

Every ethnic fast food has one, whether it’s a crepe, burrito, mu shu or gyro: some highly flavored and saucy protein or veg wrapped in a starch. South India’s contribution is the masala dosa, a spicy filling of potatoes and onions wrapped in a griddled lentil-flour crepe and served with coconut chutney. On weekends, you can get a dosa made before your eyes at Apna Bazaar, one of the Indian groceries in the South OBT curry corridor. Piping-hot and plopped on a Styrofoam plate, it’s a happy gutful for only $3.

 

Best furniture store turned bar

The Imperial Wine Bar
1800 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-4992; imperialwinebar.com

This unlikely drinking spot is tucked away in the back of Washburn Imports, a high-end furniture store in Ivanhoe Village. When you step inside the homey living room-esque bar area, you’re hesitant to sit on (or even touch, for that matter) the exquisitely crafted furnishings adorned with steep price tags: an armchair from Indonesia here, an ornately carved Chinese coffee table there. We suggest grabbing a libation from the moderate list of boutique wines and micro-brews, ordering a charcuterie or cheese plate and heading to our favorite nook: the comfortably squished outdoor beer garden embellished with natural cedar loveseats and soft, twinkly lighting.

Still Great Best of Orlando, 2001

Best soft-serve

Goff's Drive-In
212 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-286-3421

WE SAID THEN: Housed in what can charitably be described as a shack, Goff's Drive-In is one of the few remaining relics of the days when Orlando was surrounded by cows and orange groves. There's nothing fancy about the ice cream. It's simple – soft and sweet. But Goff's offers an old-time confectionery delight: wet nuts. That's walnuts covered with maple syrup. They taste great on chocolate or strawberry sundaes, banana splits or a cup of vanilla. The best gauge that Goff's is unique comes from its customers: At least one loyal consumer drives 25 minutes to get there – from all the way up in Altamonte Springs – just for that one sundae delight.

WE SAY NOW: Goff's is still in that shack, but the surroundings are considerably, let's say, more urban these days. In our 2007 write-up, our reviewer noted that "there isn't any place to sit except maybe the hood of your car or the tarmac, surrounded by industrial blight, but I've always had good service and some interesting conversations while waiting in line. Last time I was there, a hooker who was walking by started bickering with one of the guys waiting in line." Regardless of the lack of seating, there's still a line every Sunday after church for Goff's bestseller: vanilla sundaes. And yes, they still have wet nuts.

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