Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

click to enlarge Italian Stallion

Photo vis Se7en Bites

Italian Stallion

Orlando's best dishes of 2017 

Top tastes: The everyday indulgences that kept us coming back

1. The Italian Stallion burger

at Se7enbites, 617 N. Primrose Drive, 407-203-0727,

Chef-owner Trina Gregory-Propst runs a brilliant bakery-restaurant and bakes the best pies in Orlando, but this burger special, topped with savory-sweet tomato jam, pesto aioli and a crispy fried mozzarella plank, was my favorite burger in a year with many great new burger joints opening around town. (She had me at "mozzarella plank.") It also comes with the best fries in Orlando: crispy, crinkle-cut, and coated with ranch seasoning. Se7enbites was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives earlier this year, and chef Trina and her crew deserve every bit of popularity and praise.

2. Korean fried chicken wings

at Hawkers, 1103 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0606,

I'm not a big wing fan – especially greasy, crunchy, dry sports-bar wings, slathered in oily hot sauce to make you feel something, anything. But the Korean fried wings at Hawkers are the best wings in Orlando, juicy and meaty, with a thick, crispy breading that stays on, coated in a spicy, sweet, sticky sauce that ties everything together. The flavors and textures are so good together, I've never tasted their equal.

3. The Capone

at Bad As's Sandwiches, 207 N. Primrose Drive, 407-757-7191,

I consider myself a connoisseur of salted, cured meats, and I'm always on a quest for the best Italian hoagie. While I've been a fan of LaSpada's Famous Hoagies on Lee Road for many years, this year I was introduced to the Capone, a weekly special at the new, aptly-named Bad As's Sandwiches. It features chorizo, capocollo, mortadella, ham, fontina cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and basil-manchego aioli on a perfectly soft French roll, not those hard "artisanal" rolls that shatter and cut up your mouth when you bite into them. Every one of chef John Collazo's creative sandwiches includes an ideal complement of crunchy house-made potato chips.

4. Beef chow fun noodles

at Peter's Kitchen, 3922 E. Colonial Drive, 407-895-8174

This new Chinese restaurant on East Colonial Drive is less than a month old, and they're already off to a great start. In addition to all-day dim sum and wonderful orange chicken (no, really!), the beef chow fun is a true highlight of their huge menu. The wide, flat noodles have the perfect "al dente" consistency; the beef is flavorful, tender and not greasy at all; and bean sprouts lend a nice fresh crunch.

5. Burrito al pastor

at Francisco's Taco Madness, 6735 S. U.S. Highway 17-92, Fern Park, 407-865-4697

You can get some of the best Mexican food around from this humble food cart that sets up a few afternoons a week in front of the Lowe's in Fern Park. The tacos are excellent, but make sure you get a big burrito, stuffed with marinated al pastor pork (hard to find on local menus), rice, beans, cheese, onions, peppers and sauce, rolled in a huge flour tortilla and grilled until the soft surface is slightly crispy. So much more flavorful than any chain!

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation