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    Brazilian-style burgers and steaks leave much to be desired at Giraffas, but try telling that to the throngs of Brazilian tourists looking for a taste of home. We found steaks to be overcooked, and burgers didn't compare to their American counterparts. Beef Stroganoff was weirdly sweet, but marinated chicken ribs and desserts were much better, ensuring a spicy-sugary high.

    "Nay, take a seat with us, Honor and eat with us," They answered grinning; "Our feast is but beginning."

    When Christina G. Rossetti wrote those words in "The Goblin Market" in 1862, Dora Ann Drawdy was just settling into the Florida wilderness that would someday bear her name. And Rossetti certainly wasn't thinking about Vince and Janis Guzinski's restaurant when she told of the trials of sisters Laura and Lizzie. But "I ate and ate my fill, Yet my mouth waters still," fits the Goblin Market pretty well.

    Not yet five years old, the restaurant is tucked into a side alley that, by the looks of all the new construction, won't be hidden and secluded much longer. Call for directions anyway. Trust me. The building was actually a small warehouse once, now set up as two cozy dining rooms and outdoor seating front and back. What parts of the gray walls that aren't covered in bookshelves are filled with windows, and the place washes with light, particularly in late afternoon when the setting sun streams across the lake.

    Unlike the Goblin Men of the poem, the Guzinskis (who courted by reading poetry to each other) do not have cat faces or crawl like snails, but they do inspire some witchery in the kitchen. There's a nice hand with soups with unusual touches, like the French onion served with a crown of deep-fried onion strings, or a thick and flavorful crab bisque that's presented with a small crystal pitcher of sherry so you can season to taste ($5.95 each). A superb bread with a texture almost like pound cake comes to the table with the soup, and it's delicious.

    Appetizers are just large enough to, yes, whet your appetite. The crab cakes with a tart cucumber-onion relish are very popular ($8.00), as is the unusual combination of artichoke hearts stuffed with pesto cream cheese and tempura battered ($7.00).

    My waiter, Norm, was just attentive enough, apologizing when my entrée arrived in ten minutes instead of the promised five.

    Judging by the poem, Lizzie would prefer ordering "Filet Portabella" ($23.00), a tenderloin topped with a portobello cap and melted brie on puff pastry and Béarnaise. Laura, with her passion for "grapes fresh from the vine, Pomegranates full and fine," would probably order "Snapper St. Martin" ($24.00), the filet pan-fried with an orange sauce, kiwi and banana. I was impressed by the flavor and presentation of the Atlantic escolar ($22.00), a firm and buttery-flavored fish that's also called walu -- very trendy right now but very tasty. It's served with a dollop of crab meat and avocado and covered in Chardonnay cream sauce, and quite a pleasure. The shrimp and lobster pasta with lemon cream sauce looked tempting too... maybe next time.

    Mt. Dora is about 25 miles north of Orlando, and it's a pleasant drive if you avoid the highway. Open the windows, grab a driving-music CD, and head on up.

    Jamacian bakery and rill serves island fare to the masses, most notably patties, those staple semicircles of flaky goodness. The spicy beef, fish, and veggie varieties are decent, though not great. What is great is the curried goat, an exotic dish with fatty pieces of meat lolling in rich, luxuriant gravy. Also worth a try is the braised oxtail and jerk chicken.


    Teaser: Jamaican bakery and grill serves island fare to the masses, most notably patties, those staple semicircles of flaky goodness. The spicy beef, fish and veggie varieties are decent, though not great. What is great is the curried goat, an exotic dish with fatty pieces of meat lolling in rich, luxuriant gravy. Also worth a try is the braised oxtail and jerk chicken.

    In an area replete with mom-and-pop eateries specializing in Jamaican, Guyanese and Trinidadian fare, it may seem a bit out of place to focus attention on a fast-food chain. Then again, Caribbean fast-food chains are somewhat singular entities themselves, and foodies unfamiliar with the cuisine will find this spacious bakery and grill a proper initiation to island fare.

    Of particular note are the Jamaican beef patties ' those staple semicircles of flaky goodness sold on streets from Kingston to Spanish Town. Golden Krust takes great pride in their signature patties, offering nine different varieties from traditional spicy beef to soy. The parents of company founder Lowell Hawthorne ran a bakery in Jamaica for more than 50 years before Hawthorne himself opened his first bakery in the Bronx back in 1989. Today, there are more than 100 franchises across the country, with one in Orlando, one in Kissimmee and three more slated to open on John Young Parkway, in Ocala and in Clermont.

    Having devoured Jamaican beef patties since childhood, I can't say I was all that impressed with the ones served here. Sure, the turmeric-yellow crust of the beef patty ($1.20) is as advertised, but the somewhat overprocessed seasoned meat lacks the essential spice to give it that gusto ' no slivers of Scotch bonnet peppers; no stinging vinegary-ness. It's as if GK is purposely toning it down for mass appeal. The end result is a decent, though not great, patty. Same goes for the vegetable version ($1.40) with steamed carrots, cabbage and broccoli pulp filling inside a whole wheat pastry, and the fish patty ($1.80) with seasoned cod. Both fell a little flat. One good thing is that for 75 cents, you can order your patty with no filling at all.

    (Aside: If you're a true patty-head like myself, head down the road to the Caribbean Sunshine Bakery, located on the corner of Colonial and John Young Parkway, where the patties are more corpulent, crumbly and fiery.)

    The jerk chicken ($6.50) fared a whole lot better. Five chunks of bone-in chicken rubbed with jerk seasoning and doused with jerk sauce gave it a righteous flavor. Curried goat ($6.99) is an exotic dish often enjoyed by hungry island expats looking for a taste of home, and the fatty pieces of meat lolling in rich, luxuriant gravy easily made this my favorite dish. Also worth a try is the oxtail ($8.25), the slowly braised, slightly gelatinous and subtly sweet meat that's similar in texture and taste to beef brisket. All the above dishes were ordered 'small,â?� but were generously heaped with meat, rice and peas (the 'peasâ?� here being red beans) and steamed veggies.

    Post-meal pastries and baked goods are plentiful and made on-site. I liked the moist, buttery carrot cake ($2) with its semisweet icing layered with walnuts. Rock cake ($1.15), a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside mound of coconut cake with raisins, is best enjoyed with a spot of tea or, better yet, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (neither of which are available here, unfortunately). Bun and cheese ($2) features a thick wedge of mild cheddar between two thicker slabs of sugary, raisin-specked spice buns. A dense treat, to say the least.

    The space itself is anything but. It's airy and brightly lit with a pounding R&B beat and Carib vibe. Just call ahead, as they're prone to shutting down before the posted closing time of 9 p.m. After all, island fare and island time are a matched set.

    There's no love lost between the Greeks and the Turks ' invasions, wars, cultural boasts and religious differences have all helped to fan the flames of animosity between the two proud nations. So when Greek Flame Taverna left its Winter Park digs and settled on Anatolia's fan the flames of animosity between the two proud nations. So when Greek Flame Taverna left its Winter Park digs and settled on Anatolia's turf in the Dr. Phillips Marketplace, you knew the competitive, and culinary, juices of these two Mediterranean rivals would be flowing. turf in the Dr. Phillips Marketplace, you knew the competitive, and culinary, juices of these two Mediterranean rivals would be flowing. (The same, sadly, can't be said about GFT's chicken souvlaki, but more on that in a bit.) We've dined at both Anatolia and Greek Flame (The same, sadly, can't be said about GFT's chicken souvlaki, but more on that in a bit.) We've dined at both Anatolia and Greek Flame multiple times and we can state, without equivocation, that when it comes to straight-up Mediterranean classics ' kebabs, döner/gyros, without equivocation, that when it comes to straight-up Mediterranean classics ' kebabs, döner/gyros, grape leaves, honeyed pastries, sludgy coffee and the like ' Anatolia's dishes are unquestionably superior.

    Now them ain't fightin' words, just our humble opinion. Where GFT does shine is in the more uncommon offerings. Take the taramosalata, for instance. We fightin' words, just our humble opinion. Where GFT does shine is in the more uncommon offerings. Take the taramosalata, for instance. We couldn't quite gauge the flavor in the fluffy cream-colored spread, one of a quartet of dips comprising the 'silogi� ($12), but when the couldn't quite gauge the flavor in the fluffy cream-colored spread, one of a quartet of dips comprising the 'silogi� ($12), but when the mystery ingredient was revealed to be caviar, we liked it all the more. We also didn't mind dipping our fried pita triangles into mystery ingredient was revealed to be caviar, we liked it all the more. We also didn't mind dipping our fried pita triangles into refreshing melitzanosalata, an eggplant salsa of sorts; garlicky skordalia, a potato-garlic puree; and the ubiquitous creamy tzatziki. refreshing melitzanosalata, an eggplant salsa of sorts; garlicky skordalia, a potato-garlic puree; and the ubiquitous creamy tzatziki. Kreatopita, a flaky beef-and-pine-nut-filled pie, highlighted an otherwise ho-hum platter of pre-entrée pastries ($15) that included Kreatopita, a flaky beef-and-pine-nut-filled pie, highlighted an otherwise ho-hum platter of pre-entrée pastries ($15) that included tiropita (cheese pie) with too much parsley and an uninspired spanakopita (spinach pie). The latter two were a bit of a letdown and had me tiropita (cheese pie) with too much parsley and an uninspired spanakopita (spinach pie). The latter two were a bit of a letdown and had me longing for the flaky wonders found in the Greek bakeries off Dodecanese Boulevard in Tarpon Springs.

    From the healthy selection of mains, the kleftico ($18) intrigued with slices of slow-roasted leg of lamb mixed with veggies and feta baked in a parchment bag. The mains, the kleftico ($18) intrigued with slices of slow-roasted leg of lamb mixed with veggies and feta baked in a parchment bag. The result was nothing short of outstanding: tender lamb infused with saltiness from the cheese mixed with still-crisp peppers of all colors result was nothing short of outstanding: tender lamb infused with saltiness from the cheese mixed with still-crisp peppers of all colors and perfectly cooked mushrooms and potatoes. The other items we sampled just didn't pass muster ' lackluster fried calamari ($8) required and perfectly cooked mushrooms and potatoes. The other items we sampled just didn't pass muster ' lackluster fried calamari ($8) required deep dunks into the roasted garlic aioli to extract any semblance of flavor; and chicken souvlaki ($18), a dish that every Greek kouzina deep dunks into the roasted garlic aioli to extract any semblance of flavor; and chicken souvlaki ($18), a dish that every Greek kouzina should master, was thoroughly zapped of any moisture. The fact that the dish came with just one skewer and a miserly portion of rice made should master, was thoroughly zapped of any moisture. The fact that the dish came with just one skewer and a miserly portion of rice made it an unqualified failure.

    Desserts offer some sweet redemption in the form of chocolate baklava ($5) ' here it takes the shape of a circular pie instead of a triangular wedge. We would've preferred a little more phyllo, but the honeyed treat was chock full of nuts. a circular pie instead of a triangular wedge. We would've preferred a little more phyllo, but the honeyed treat was chock full of nuts. Homemade dark chocolate, vanilla wafers and pistachios go into making the chocolate pyramid ($8), a dense capper served with two scoops of Homemade dark chocolate, vanilla wafers and pistachios go into making the chocolate pyramid ($8), a dense capper served with two scoops of black cherry ice cream (not made in-house).

    While our servers were thorough, knowledgeable and attentive, the hostess, after seating us and announcing the Grecian-named specials of the evening, couldn't tell us what anything about said specials besides their seating us and announcing the Grecian-named specials of the evening, couldn't tell us what anything about said specials besides their names. That didn't make a good first impression, and it's precisely those intangible elements, along with a skilled kitchen, that separate names. That didn't make a good first impression, and it's precisely those intangible elements, along with a skilled kitchen, that separate restaurants that rise to the top from those relegated to Sisyphean frustration.

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