Florida Guide > Dining
Orlando Ale House – A Tale of Two Sittings (well three, actually)
We visit Florida regularly as a family and each time we try to visit a restaurant we have not eaten at before. Since our last visit at Christmas 2010 a new Orlando Ale House had opened on the 192 which had been given great reviews. This is a sport’s bar/restaurant so we weren’t quite sure what would be on the menu.
We decided to try it on a Saturday afternoon, and that was our best decision by far. On entry we were offered a choice of seating in booths, high chairs by the bar or outside. As the skies had darkened considerably and were threatening lots of rain, we chose a booth.
We were introduced to our server, Cindy, who was a real character with an astonishing memory. She immediately went through the specials of the day and took our drinks order and left us to choose from the menu, which was huge!
We decided on Zingers to start – boneless chicken with a choice of coatings – with BBQ coating? ? ? ? ? Which came with celery and a choice of blue cheese or ranch dips (Cindy brought us both). These were melt-in-the-mouth (with a crunch) delicious and left us wanting more!
For our mains, Stu ordered Steak and Boom Boom shrimp, elder son had seafood medley, young son had pulled pork sandwich and I had steak fajitas. All the meals came very quickly, were piping hot and totally delicious. Cindy was ever on hand to top up our sodas, remembering which was which as we all managed to have different drinks. The boys even found space to have a dessert each, which were also yummy. While we were eating, the rain that had threatened, finally fell in great torrents, so hard that the many satellite TVs in the place lost the signal for a few minutes until the rains eased. It was a spectacular storm to match the food. And best of all, the price was very reasonable and we all agreed we would come back very soon. In fact, we checked the list of daily specials and decided to come back on Monday for the full rack of ribs.
Monday arrived and we eagerly awaited our meal at OAH but we were a little later than previously, arriving just before 5. 00pm. We were delighted to be greeted by Cindy who recognised us and even remembered what we had been drinking on the previous visit. Unfortunately it was the end of her shift any she handed us over to another server, who was nice, but not a patch on Cindy for character. Zingers to start, this time with a spicy buffalo sauce. Two of us had the ribs, I had the 35 shrimp linguini (which was superb) and young son had the pulled pork again. Plus two desserts again. The food was again great, the atmosphere was good, but we did miss Cindy.
Getting towards the end of our Florida trip, we thought we might finish off with another trip to OAH. Again, it was a Saturday, around 5. 00pm, but this time the place was packed. The server for our table was not Cindy, but Summer, who seemed nice enough and we settled down for another good meal.
However, this time was definitely not like the last two. Perhaps it was that they were exceptionally busy, but our server kept disappearing on us. She gave us our sodas and brought our Zingers to start – but there was no dipping sauce this time – and she disappeared to the back of the place, not to be seen again until we had almost finished the zingers, which were not very hot when they arrived. The orders for the main courses took quite a while to come out and when they did, they had my order wrong –I had ordered the steak and boom boom shrimp that Stu had had on the first occasion and they brought out a filet mignon with no shrimp. I sent it back, but they brought the plate back out saying they would bring the shrimp out shortly. This was fine, except that the shrimp did not arrive until I had nearly finished and two of the shrimp turned out to be battered chicken instead! To cap it all, when it came to paying the bill I noticed that they had charged for the filet mignon rather than what I had actually ordered, which added $4 plus tax to the bill. I did query this (it was the principle rather than the cost) and the server did reluctantly credit $4. 00 to the bill (without any sort of an apology)
So, overall great food and atmosphere, and we will visit again, but I don’t think we will risk eating there when it is mega busy as that seems to be when they let themselves down.
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Page added on: 9 September 2011
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