Florida Guide > Dining
Restaurants at The Loop
While Orlando’s newest open air shopping complex is now open some of us look forward to that shopping break when you can have a coffee and snack or maybe a larger meal at the end of the day. The Loop located at the intersection of John Young Parkway and Osceola Parkway has combined it’s retail, cinema and dining into an open air, pedestrian friendly environment. Here you can take a mid-shopping lunch break, meet your friends for dinner or stop on after watching the latest movie. This guide will give you a chance to get your taste buds into gear before you depart.
Chili’s is a casual dining family restaurant serving south western style recipes. The menu includes Chili’s signature items; double-basted Baby Back Ribs, sizzling fajitas, Big Mouth Burgers, Margarita Presidente, grilled steaks, Boneless Buffalo Wings, South western Eggrolls and a colossal hand battered Blossom onion. If you are going to eat here then you should go for their South Western specials. I would start with the Quesadilla Explosion with Fajita-marinated chicken to share and then go on to the Margarita Grilled Chicken which is a chicken breast that has been marinated in Margarita flavouring, it’s served with rice, black beans, tortilla strips & pico de gallo.
Chipolte Mexican Grill
This restaurant advertises itself as Mexican favourites prepared in gourmet style with all handmade ingredients. They state that they “Offer a simple menu of great food prepared fresh each day, using many of the same cooking techniques as gourmet restaurants. Then serve the food quickly, in a cool atmosphere.” I have not eaten here so cannot comment but the menu seems interesting with all the normal burritos, fajitas and tacos type dishes.
Johnny Rockets restaurant boasts it has great tasting food from a menu of All-American favourites which include hamburgers and freshly baked apple pie. It has that American diner look and feel with tabletop jukeboxes that play tunes for a nickel and décor that looks authentic.
If you want to try fast food with a difference then it’s worth stopping by at least once.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
The minute you walk through the arched doorway you realize that they have tried to recreate an authentic Italian experience. The chefs prepare over 35 Italian specialties in a large open kitchen while you relax in a casual atmosphere, you may even find the occasional strolling opera singer. You may find it hard to choose between the pastas, veal, seafood, steaks, roasted chicken or pizza. My own favourite would have to be to the Lobster filled tarragon pasta topped with shrimp, asparagus, tomatoes and lemon butter. This place is also child friendly and provides crayons on the table for the kids. You can eat in or take out at the end of a long day.
Panera Bread bakery and cafe is the place to go if you are a bread connoisseur. Most of us think of bread as something basic but here it is turned into something special.
All the normal Specialty Breads such as Sourdough, Tomato basil, Honey wheat, Lower-carb Italian herb, Asiago cheese, Sunflower, Cinnamon raisin, Lower-carb golden are here as standard. However then you get Artisan bread which is perhaps even more special. Made with special artisan starter, these breads are individually hand-shaped and hand-scored and come in an array of loaves and flavours, such as mellow or sharp cheeses, piquant Greek olives or fresh herbs.
They also have freshly baked pastries and make sandwiches from all their bread. You can take away or enjoy the pleasant surroundings which a coffee and what ever you finally choose.
Red Brick Pizza
Their "3 Minute Fire-Roasted Gourmet Pizza" has created a new market niche in the fast pizza area. RedBrick has one of the best tasting pizzas, in my opinion, and this may be due to the way that it is cooked at 1000 degs for just 3 minutes. You now can have a slice or a whole pizza which has just been cooked without the normal wait.
Barnie’s Coffee & Tea
Barnie’s is one of the oldest and largest chains of specialty coffees and teas shops as well as selling all the related accessories and appliances. They always feature exclusive coffee blends, decaffeinated and flavoured coffees. They also offer a take-out menu which includes a large variety of specialty drinks served hot or cold which change daily.
Ben and Jerry’s
What more is there say, every flavour of ice cream you can think and then more. As well as the Ben & Jerry’s original ice cream in a waffle or sugar cone or in a cup you can also opt for Low fat Yogurt and Sorbet.
If the children will not try anything new then you can always take them here.
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Page added on: 15 January 2006
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