Looking back to when I was growing up, I remember Florida being my parents' favorite destination for our annual family vacation. I recall hearing conversations on how Florida would be the ideal place to retire. I was all excited thinking about how fortunate I would’ve been, living nearby my idol at the time, Mr. Mouse, and Golden Corral's exquisite culinary fest. To my surprise, Orlando has been my home for almost 6 years and it's nothing compared to the land my parents saw. I got to experienced synergy on a more mature, fun, colorful city, and with the perfect amount of sassiness.
I recall a couple of years ago, a friend telling me that Orlando was a city with great diversity, but lacking a true identity. Maybe the fact that I'm an adult with a compulsive need to keep a young soul made me look at the city from a different perspective. I decided to find the beauty that colors our city. Our diversity, that cultural fusion, it creates the best scenario for art, flavors, taste, and music. So I decided to embrace my city by starting a journey to find its hidden gems.
On a Saturday afternoon, we began wondering the streets of Mills 50 and Primrose Dr., absorbing the street art. It was a fun scavenger hunt with the family. Soon after the common Florida weather gifted us with the best display of dehydration and exhaustion, I heard six powerful words that lifted my soul back to life: "Let's grab a beer and eat!". Still wondering the streets, we came across this vintage, trendy and charming place, a truly hidden gem called À La Cart. It was love at first sight. From aesthetics and ambiance, to its functionality and synergy, all my senses were activated once we set foot in it. It felt like being invited to a VIP tailgate, a well-deserved BBQ weekend with friends or even the perfect date. It’s easy to see that every detail was thought out with love and care… It's so inviting and cozy.
You should start by tasting their craft beers, 15 rotating taps, including some of the best beer, cider, wine, and cold-brewed coffee on draft. My favorite that day: El Cuco. Then head towards the patio, where you’ll find multiple food trucks ready to showcase their flair. I would recommend just creating your own tapas menu and try a bit of everything. Our crew already knows the drill and the sharing rules. Believe me, you'll need to, it's impossible narrowing down to only one item when you have so many exquisite options to choose from. Start it off by grabbing a Poke Bowl at PokeKai, with the perfect pairing of fresh ingredients in a tropical presentation. The fusion of Hawaiian dishes and Peruvian ceviche will make you go nuts on every bite. I had the Poke Ceviche Bowl - white fish ceviche, red onions, cilantro, corn, ginger, green onion, sweet peppers, mango, macadamia nuts and cilantro sauce... It's to die for. You could even create your own if you feel a bit more creative and want to challenge your culinary instincts.
If you’re more of a steak or burger person, then Steak It Easy is the right call. Brazilian barbecue, taken to the next level. The Picanha (pee-kuh-nya) burger can easily be the best burger in town with Gouda cheese, crispy bacon and house mayo on a brioche bun. For the little ones, top sirloin strips and fries, along with its homemade chimichurri never fails us. Their charcoal grilling keeps all flavors fresh and intact, and that BBQ smell sets the tone for a perfect pairing with the drink of your choice. Head back to the bar, ask a bartender to hook you up with the right beer for the night. Most likely, you will find owners Dustin and April just chatting and greeting everyone, making sure they are all having a great time.
À La Cart opened its doors on December 7th, 2019, and it’s already making us feel like part of their extended family, as if it has been there for a long time. It’s your turn, let yourself be delighted by the pinnacle of perfection its concept brings to Orlando… Be proud and #EmbraceYourCity.
À La Cart
Steak It Easy