Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like Meal Deals? Orlando Magical Dining Month is Back for September!

The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau (OOCCVB) have brought back Orlando Magic Dining Month and, with this economy, diners and restaurants really need it. For those of you who have not participated before, restaurants in the area work with the OOCCVB to create three-course (appetizer, entree, and dessert) prix fixe dinners for $20 or $30 in the month of September. This year, there are over 40 restaurants on the $30 list and over 20 on the $20 list. And, these are not obscure restaurants. On the $30 list are Emeril's, Fulton's Crab House, Luma on Park, Morton's The Steakhouse, Norman's, Ocean Prime, The Oceanaire, The Palm, Roy's Hawaiian, and Seasons 52, just to name a few. When else can you get three courses at these restaurants for $30?? Now, these are special menus prepared just for this promotion so don't expect a 4-pound lobster to be part of the deal at The Palm, but you can usually find a good selection of items on the promotional menu. Plus, you can always check out the menu in advance and see if it is something you will be interested in. New this year is being able to make a reservation right on the website via Open Table. I'd recommend making a reservation in advance and when you arrive, let the host or hostess know that you want the special Orlando Magical Dining Month menu. Enjoy - the promotion runs from September 1 - 30, 2009!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Restaurant Review - Redrock Canyon Grill, 9101 International Drive (Pointe Orlando), Orlando, FL

Redrock Canyon Grill at Pointe OrlandoRestaurants are popping up all over at Pointe Orlando, right in the middle of the International Drive tourist district. One of these is Redrock Canyon Grill, on the first level of the complex, where you can eat comfortably whether it is a date night or a day out with the family.

The interior of the restaurant is dark, very dark, even during daytime, which is probably due to the dark concrete floors, dark wood tables and deep brown booths. There are southwestern touches here and there such as cacti and exposed brickwork and a rotisserie spit rotates constantly with golden-hued chickens near the open kitchen.

The menu clearly features comfort food with cornbread, chicken, meatloaf, pot pie, and ribs offerings, and “skins left on” mashed potatoes, green beans, and sweet glazed carrots as side dishes. There are also salads, seafood selections, and combinations platters as well. The lunchtime menu also has a few more sandwiches available than the dinner menu.

Kids' MenuKids’ menu choices range from $5 - $6 and include standbys such as hot dogs and chicken tenders but also rotisserie chicken, ribs, and spicy meatloaf. Yep, it even says "spicy" on the menu. When we asked, the server said there are a few peppers in the meatloaf and sauce and they wanted to warn kids. That's pretty nice. There is also the Mac Daddy Mac & Cheese side dish on the mRotisserie Chickenenu for $4 that can serve as a kids’ meal as well.

I choose the house specialty, the Wood-Fired Rotisserie Chicken ($17.75) with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots on the side. I found out that portions at Redrock Canyon Grill are large when the server placed the plate of half chicken and mound of potatoes and carrots in front of me. The chicken was extremely tender and juicy. The carrots were not too sweet and still had some crispness, which is great because I don’t like mushy carrots.

Grandpa ordered the Meatloaf - the spicy one but it doesn't say so on the Meatloaf with Grilled veggiesadult menu - ($14.00) which comes with two sides, typically red-skin mashed potatoes and green beans. Our server explained that we can substitute any regular side dish so Grandpa ordered the grilled zucchini and squash instead of the green beans. The meatloaf did turn out to be a little spicy. The meatloaf comes with a tomato-based sauce and was also large portion. The grilled veggies were quartered, brushed with olive oil, and lightly cooked, leaving the insides still crisp. They were so good I wished I had chosen that as one of my sides.

Grandma ordered the Grilled Chicken and Avocado Club SandwicGrilled Chicken and Avocado Club Sandwichh ($11.00) with sprouts, bacon, and swiss cheese. The sandwich was rather high which made it difficult to eat like a sandwich so she used a knife and fork instead. While delicious, she wished it had more honey mustard dressing as the flattened chicken breast was a little dry.

Kid's Rib and FriesBB initially wanted the chicken tenders but I cajoled him into ordering something more of a specialty of the house so he ended up ordering the Kids Ribs ($6.00) with fries. They came with a BBQ sauce for dipping. He thought they were a little dry and only ended up eating half because he didn’t like the sauce, so I felt a bit bad about making him change his mind.

LB choose the Hot Dog ($5.00) and then contented himself with Kid's Hot Dogthe coloring and mazes on the Kids' menu. He ate the whole thing, although asked me to cut the hot dog into pieces half way through so he could dunk the bites into catsup.

Chop House SaladOn another visit, I tried the Texas “Chop House” Rotisserie Chicken Salad ($14.00) with black beans, tomatoes, jicama, corn, and shredded cheese with chipotle-bleu dressing. The salad was filled with large, tender pieces of chicken, which were drizzled with a BBQ sauce, and was topped by a sliced half of an avocado. The different tastes and textures combined for a great-tasting salad that was also very filling. And as a bonus, it comes with a slice of cast-iron cooked corn bread!

For dessert, there are family-size temptations for $6.50 including a brownie sundae, bread pudding and pineapple upside-down cake. We tried the Apple Blossom Pastry which is a warm apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Everyone dug in and we still couldn’t finish it, although we did try!

Don't forget to your Pointe Orlando parking ticket validated as you pay your bill. Also, don’t miss the bowl of chocolate mint sticks on your way out the door. They look like wrapped toothpicks but they are really yummy candies and are a great finish to a great meal.

Phone: 407-363-3933

Copyright © by Restaurant Mom. All rights reserved.