As I prepare to talk about three great amazing food deals in Orlando for Fox 35's Good Day on August 11, let me share the details with you. (On August 13 or so, you'll be able to find the interview here; simply search for "dining deals.")
Who knew? you'll ask. Bar Harbor Seafood is an odd little hideaway, but one you'll want to seek out.
It's a tiny little fish vendor in an office/industrial area. At lunchtime, the retail shop also sells meals--good meals.
The "dining deal" for the Rona Recommends/Fox 35 show is a lobster roll for $6.95. It's usually $9.95, and even that is a low price for a freshly made sandwich filled with lobster salad. You can get that $6.95 price on Mondays and Tuesdays through the end of August. Tell them Rona Recommends sent you.
Chef Keith Esbin, who's the culinary creator in Bar Harbor's kitchen, offers another lobster steal. You can buy a whole cooked lobster, from 1 to 1.25 pounds, for $4.99. He says people drive from as far as Tampa to buy 20 at a time. If you just can't wait to eat it, ask and, for an extra $2, the staff will heat one up, along with drawn butter, and serve it to you there and then with a side dish of your choice. You gobble it up on one of the picnic tables outside.
For a fish store, the lunch menu is impressive. It lists 17 items. Among them: clam chowder, a clam strip plate, blackened salmon, and panko-crusted cod sliders, all under $10.
2000 Premier Row, Orlando, 407.851.4001, www.barharborseafood.com
Big Fin is a seafood restaurant too, yet it's the opposite of Bar Harbor. It's a grand space on popular Restaurant Row.
The menu is enormous, the service doting, and the bar popular (especially for happy hour, which offers terrific specials).
On Mondays, you can get a terrific deal on lobster dinners. For $17.95, you'll receive a 1.25-pound steamed Maine lobster. Add on corn and red=skinned potatoes for another $3.
Separately, Big Fin is participating in Visit Orlando's annual Magical Dining Month. Its offerings are such a value for $33 that last year 3,600 people took advantage. Read more soon when my feature about it is published in the September 2013 issue of Orlando Life.
Dellagio Town Center, 8046 W. Sand Lake Rd., Orlando, 407.615.8888, www.bigfinseafood.com
The Tasting Room always offers value. It's a romantic spot in historic Winter Garden.
The menu features scratch-made small plates that change regularly, some Creole and Cajun,others entirely different. The wine list is nice and the cocktails are hand-crafted.
On Tuesdays through the end of the August, the owners are offering a dinner special, of sorts. You receive three (small) courses, with four selections per course. You also receive wine, beer, a soft drink or coffee. The price is $49.99 for two (basically $25 per person), a $20 savings of a la carte prices.
The offerings change weekly, so I'll share menu options from a couple of weeks ago. Among them: beet salad with goat cheese; smoked fish dip; an eggroll with shrimp,Tasso ham, and spicy peach mustard; jerk grilled Cornish hen with Caribbean coconut rice; mini Wellingtons; and barbecue shrimp with heirloom grits. In other words, it's satisfying food.
Here are a couple of food photos. I promise you the food looks better (and tastes good) in person.
That's it for August, my friends.
Eat well, save $,