Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property

We know that lots of theme park fans don’t like to go off theme park property when they vacation in Central Florida. We used to be like that, too. Eating at a theme park is usually faster than traveling off property to dine, it keeps you immersed in the theme park experience, etc. And we get it – there are indeed some really nice places “on property” that give you awesome food and/or theming, and you get to maximize your time in the parks. But if you limit yourself to just eating on property, you are denying yourself some incredibly good eats that usually cost a fraction of Disney’s and Universal’s prices and often taste even better than anything you can get in the parks or on property.

These are some of our most favorite “off property” restaurants. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, since it would be almost impossible to put them in order of which is
best, second best, etc., and they run the gamut in terms of price point, food type, dress requirements and distance from the parks. Many offer meals throughout the day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, brunch, high tea), although we’re specifying our experiences with them for dinner. Most are places you can’t find anywhere else (or at least have only limited locations), they’re all “not to be missed” and some, we admit, are really just for adults (we’ve included level of “kid friendliness,” based on our observations, in each of the narratives). Continue reading “Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property”

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My Unusual Toilet Encounter At The Epicurean Hotel

As Joe said in his post earlier today, we enjoyed our short stay at the Epicurean Hotel. However during our visit, I think I discovered one of THE most poorly designed bathrooms in the state.

We were hanging out on one of their 2nd floor terraces when nature started calling, so I walked to the elevator and up to the 4th floor. Since there was a bar (“Edge”) there, I figured there would therefore would be facilities, as well. And I was right – there was a mens’ room and a ladies’ room right off the elevator.

I opened the door to the ladies’ room and the room was dark but as I stepped in to look for the light switch, the light suddenly went on automatically. I was then able to see that the “regular” light switch had been replaced with something different, so I surmised that in an attempt to save money on electricity when no one was actually in the bathroom be green, the light was controlled by a motion sensor. Interesting. Continue reading “My Unusual Toilet Encounter At The Epicurean Hotel”

Hotel Review: Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, FL

We try to visit Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Florida at least once a year. It’s one of our favorite places to eat, anywhere. We love going with friends and introducing them to the Bern’s experience but when we get the urge to go, we’ll make it a date and take the hour (or three hour with bad traffic) drive on I-4. Most time we’ll go earlier in the evening and then head home afterwards. For this trip, we also had to be in Tampa the following evening so we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the visit to the Florida west coast.

I knew what hotel I wanted to book. In 2013, the owners of Bern’s Steak House helped open a hotel across the street. The four story, 137 room hotel is focused around fine food and great wine. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re eating at Bern’s because after the steak and a trip to the dessert room upstairs, all you need to do is make it across the street and fall into bed.

Continue reading “Hotel Review: Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, FL”