For someone who has been in Orlando over half of her life now (I still can’t wrap my head around that one, by the way), I hardly ever get a chance to try out new venues. So I have been keeping my eyes open every time something comes up that I haven’t tried. I want to start doing an “around town” type of series where I tell you about cool/yummy places in the area.
Recently, I had a chance to visit a place that falls into both of these categories. I had the opportunity to visit Gatorville Poolside Bar and Restaurant at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. Here’s a little background story: I used to go there to participate in the Spanish Language State competition. Every. Year. I remember it all too well. What I don’t remember is the pool area complete with a Floribbean feel, palm trees and an outdoor restaurant and bar. It seems that the Wyndham has been undergoing a facelift and man, does it look good.
The minute I walked around the pool to get to the restaurant I felt like I’d entered my little personal haven. Although I was in my home city, it was as if I could have a few hours “on vacation” while I visited. Which was much needed!
It made me want to pack a bag and stay for a few days. The hotel renovations are going to allow for a better experience if you are going there for a conference (or thinking about having one at that hotel).
I really loved the feel of the place. Very Floribbean indeed. Do you know what I liked best though? The people. Everyone I met had been there for eons. And what that did for me was as follows: I very much felt like every person that worked there owned that hotel. So the experience was very personal and the service level was above board.
Being a local, I loved hearing about how they have a cat adoption program on the grounds since there are so many strays out there (they actually give the employee $50 after they’ve had the cat for 3 months and prove that they still own it). I swear each one of us almost walked out with a kitty after one small cat stopped by to join us for dinner.
Oh yeah, and then there was dinner. Sushi…
Oh my! And let’s not forget dessert. Um, yes, this is a bananas foster with the ice cream in a deliciously light and fluffy crepe. Are you hungry yet?
I believe the word you are looking for is: YUM! Executive Chef Patrick Coombs did a bang up job on the food. All I can say is, I’m glad I wore a loose fitting dress because I was totally carrying a food baby by the end of the night. I could not waddle my full self over to the other side of the table otherwise, I’d show you a picture of the Kuala Cured Beef Short Ribs, the Garlic Butter Tostones and the Lillipop Lamb Chops.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been having food dreams about this menu. I mean, who wouldn’t?! So, who wants to go to the Orlando Wyndham’s Gatorville Pool Bar and Restaurant with me?
Disclosure: I was paid in delicious food for this post. If the food had not been delicious, I wouldn’t be telling you about it. All full-bellied thoughts, comments and drool are my own.