For someone who has been in Orlando over half of her life now (I still canâ€™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 havenâ€™t tried. I want to start doing an â€œaround townâ€ 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. Hereâ€™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 donâ€™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 Iâ€™d entered my little personal haven. Although I was in my home city, it was as if I could have a few hours â€œon vacationâ€ 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 theyâ€™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. Sushiâ€¦
Oh my! And letâ€™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, Iâ€™m glad I wore a loose fitting dress because I was totally carrying a food baby by the end of the night.Â I could not waddle my full self over to the other side of the table otherwise, Iâ€™d show you a picture of the Kuala Cured Beef Short Ribs, the Garlic Butter Tostones and the Lillipop Lamb Chops.
Iâ€™m not going to lie, Iâ€™ve been having food dreams about this menu. I mean, who wouldnâ€™t?! So, who wants to go to the Orlando Wyndhamâ€™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 wouldnâ€™t be telling you about it. All full-bellied thoughts, comments and drool are my own.