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Orlando Food Experts Clap Back at Andrew Zimmern... with Kindness

"You're kinda screwed," says noted Chef and tv host Andrew Zimmern about the Orlando food scene. No you're not says local food experts and writers.

Andrew Zimmern Orlando
Credit: Steve Henke

UPDATED 6/15/18 5:54PM: Zimmern apologized. See the tweet below.

Nationally known Chef and tv host Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz on Twitter and Instagram) didn't have positive things to say about on Orlando’s food scene Thursday.

Zimmern is a James Beard award winning Chef, culinary expert and host of the television series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World, and Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations.

On June 14th, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans Restaurant critic Brett Anderson asked via twitter for suggestions on where to eat in Orlando.

Orlando food and restaurants criticized by Andrew Zimmern

Local Orlando food writers @scottjoseph, @tastychomps and @faiyazkara offered lists of suggestions. Others chimed in with ideas.

Zimmern responded, "You’re kinda screwed.... but there is some good BBQ there at 3 rivers (he means 4Rivers) and Ravenous Pig."

Orlando food and restaurants criticized by Andrew Zimmern

A few negative comments were shot at the noted Chef, but a majority of the comments came from the aforementioned local Orlando food writers and others. They clapped back at Zimmern's slight jab at the Orlando food scene not with vitriol, but with knowledge.

UPDATED: At 5:44pm Friday June 15th, Zimmerman tweeted a response to the clap back. "Dear Orlando, thank you for having so many passionate eaters who believe in their towns dining community and I apologize for being flippant. I dine there frequently and now have a TON of new places to check out come October! Message received."

The list of recommendations is a great thing that came out of this little moment. Locals will benefit from the many, many suggestions offered up by these local food experts during the twitter conversation. Readers can read the original tweets HERE or read the list below.

  1. @TastyChomps - Great series on Orlando’s Vietnamese community from @wmfeorlando

  2. @wmfeorlando - Hi, Brett, here's the latest from our restaurant critic @ScottJoseph:

  3. @ScottJoseph - Seafood? Urban Tide at the Hyatt Regency Orlando; @oceanaire_orl at @PointeOrlando and Big Fin Seafood Kitchen on Restaurant Row (Sand Lake Road). Chatham's Place is there, too, but call to make sure they're still doing the Pecan Grouper.

  4. @ScottJoseph - While in @ThorntonParkFL, wander the couple of blocks of Washington St., it'll remind you of small blocks of Magazine St. Head to Winter Park and Park Ave. Sit at the bar at Prato and have pizza and meatballs, or sister restaurant Luma on Park for a more upscale meal.

  5. @ScottJoseph - Going to Epcot? Get a reservation at Monsieur Paul (as in Bocuse; many of the staff trained at his restaurants in Lyon, and his son, Jérôme, operates the restaurants here. The Bocuses are sort of our Brennans).

  6. @ScottJoseph - If you must stay in the tourist sector, you'll find no finer restaurant than Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. In fact, you won't find a better restaurant than V&A in New Orleans (yes, I just said that)

  7. @ScottJoseph - Brett, get to downtown Orlando & to @The_Rusty_Spoon to sample the creativity of the talented Kathleen Blake; College Park and K restaurant where Ryan McLaughlin is continuing it's tradition of fine food. Soco for Greg Richie's Southern Contemporary food @STPARKFL

  8. @faiyazkara -

  9. @SQLBalls Lee and Ricks

  10. Jenny De Witt | Townie Tourist‏ - Rusty Spoon. The Strand. Buttermilk Bakery. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa. Hunger Street. Black Rooster. Guesthouse. P is for Pie. Reyes Mezcaleria. Seito Sushi. Osprey Tavern. East End Mkt.

  11. @TastyChomps - Farm to table - @Urbain40, Osprey Tavern, @pratowinterpark, Tacos - @Hunger_St_Tacos, @BlkRoosterTacos , tortas el rey, reyes, Sushi - @Kabooki_Sushi, @sushipopoviedo , @SeitoSushiBP, Vietnamese - Vietnam Cuisine, Pho Vinh, Sichuan - Chef Wang’s, Taste of Chengdu @TastyChomps - Kadence has been called the best restaurant in Orlando and i agree. Vietnam Cuisine has the best banh cuon - silky steamed rice noodles stuffed with mushrooms and pork and daikon radish, and some of the best pho in town. Chef Wang’s is run by a former Epcot chef, noodles and dumplings made in house, sichuan and northeastern chinese specialties like fish in spicy oil, best beef chow fun in orlando. King Cajun Crawfish for vietnamese style cajun - the owners are from the Louisiana and resettled in Orlando after Katrina - shabang sauce is citrus, oranges, garlic, butter, spices. For Lao street food - Sticky Rice, for Malaysian curry laksa @hawkersfare , for cookies - Gideons Bakehouse, for korean chicken wings - domu

  12. @faiyazkara - More: Ararat, Shiraz Market, Smiling Bison, Jimotti, Bangrak (they'll be at Redlight Redlight Sat). Can't go wrong w/ the old standbys: Norman's, RavPig, Rusty Spoon, Luma, K. Worth a drive: Cress and 1921. Kadence, Sushipop, Sushitomi, Domu furshur

  13. @CraigLaBan - I actually have a piece coming out shortly about where to eat in Orlando outside the parks....and @The_Rusty_Spoon is a great place to start.

  14. @DrewCarnahan1 - Disney Springs has Rick Bayless’ Frontera and Morimoto. Fiorenzo at Hyatt Regency on I Drive. Restaurants at Four Seasons and Ritz are good

  15. @TastyChomps - Ramen - @domufl , Pizza - Pizza Bruno, Desserts - @KrungthepTime , fine dining - Bull and Bear at @WaldorfOrlando , Flying Fish at Disney Boardwalk, Donuts - @donutkingfl , @valhallabakery , Vegan - @DixieDharma

  16. Droolius‏ - Brett, Try Ravenous Pig @ravpig, Kadence for Japanese Omakase, Swine & Sons, K Restaurant, @ELBUDA_DOWNTOWN, @BlkRoosterTacos, DoveCote, Luke’s Kitchen, Krung Thep Tea Time, Pig Floyd’s, The Strand, Pho Vinh’s, Osprey Tavern, Pizaa Bruno, Donut King. Pics:

Scott Joseph Orlando

tastychomps orlando food blog

Faiyaz Kara, Food Critic for the Orlando Weekly

Townie Tourist orlando food blog and podcast and videos
Townie Tourist

Droolius orlando food blog
Droolius Food Blog


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