Cedar’s (7732 W. Sand Lake Rd., 407/351-6000, 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., noon–2 a.m. Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun., main courses from $16) presents a selection of authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes in a stylish atmosphere. Saturday nights feature live belly dancing performances.
The cafeteria-style Spice Cafe (7536 Dr. Phillips Dr., 407/264-0205, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Tues.–Sat., noon–10 p.m. Sun., main courses from $8) may not win any points for atmosphere, but this quick-service Indian restaurant has the best malai kofta in Orlando, and is one of the only places in town that has bhel puri on the menu. Tandoor-cooked meats and breads are also available—the tandoor is in plain sight, allowing the mysteries of naan-making to be revealed—as well as a standard selection of north Indian dishes.
Finding an Ethiopian restaurant tucked away among the ticky-tacky businesses of International Drive is something of a surprise, but right there, sitting next door to an Irish pub, is the family-run Nile Ethiopian Cuisine (7040 International Dr., 407/354-0026, 5–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 11 a.m.–midnight Sat.–Sun., main courses from $12). Food is served family-style and utensil-free, leaving you to sop up the richly spiced and delicious marinated meats and vegetables with the spongy sour injera bread. Although many of the dishes are based around poultry and beef, there are a number of vegetarian selections available as well. For a treat, finish off the meal with traditional Ethiopian coffee service.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition