Spanish and Mediterranean
A recent expansion of the Tampa institution Ceviche (125 W. Church St., 321/281-8140, www.ceviche.com, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon., 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Tues.–Fri., 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Sat., tapas from $6, main courses from $14) in Orlando completely eschews the tiny intimate surroundings of the original restaurant for two massive noisy dining rooms. Still, the bare brick and aged-wood furnishings have a certain romantic charm. The strength of the extensive and authentically Spanish tapas menu—more than three dozen hot and cold small plates are available to choose from—isn’t diminished at all by the surroundings.
Cafe Annie (131 N. Orange Ave., 407/420-4041, breakfast and lunch 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., dinner 5–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat., main courses from $6) suffers from something of an identity crisis. Early in the morning, steam trays full of grits, bacon, and eggs beckon office workers for breakfast, while late at night, drink specials and live music cater to the revelers on Orange Avenue. In between those times, Cafe Annie has a great menu of Greek and Mediterranean dishes. From kebabs and falafel to grape leaves and Greek salads, the basics are covered, along with harder-to-find delicacies like kibbeh, loubieh bi zayt, and Lebanese pita-bread salad.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition