Quick business lunch near Orlando's Orange County Convention Center?
May 6, 2011 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I need to do a business lunch with two or three people in Orlando near the convention center on a weekday. Previous posts suggest that the International Drive area will be a crowded mess. Any suggestions for a business-appropriate lunch spot that is close to the convention center (walkable or very, very short cab ride) and that is not likely to keep us waiting?
posted by TEA to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
Thankfully, I don't know Orlando well, but I do know something else... timing.

Go wherever you want to at 11:30 and you won't usually be kept waiting. Even 11:45 usually works. However, 12:10? Not so good.

I have exploited schedule and herd behavior wherever I have lived for decades now, and I just don't live on a crowded planet. Live in town, work out of town and you have no traffic jams. Go to DC and watch... the roads out of town are empty in the morning, and the roads into town are empty in the evening. Anyplace where you can observe crowd behavior, you can use it to your advantage.

Unless, of course, you have some metabolic shortcoming that says YOU MUST EAT AT NOON AND CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BREAK THE RULES!!!!!

As my wife (lawyer) says, "Rules are for pussies." Live dangerously! Eat at 11:30, you rebel, you.
posted by FauxScot at 7:58 AM on May 6, 2011

The Peabody is a nice hotel across the street from the convention center. Its nice enough that its restaurants should take reservations.
posted by mmascolino at 8:15 AM on May 6, 2011

Seconding the Peabody. I ate at Napa at the Peabody and it was great- a little on the expensive side, and a pretty limited menu, but I think we had a reservation- I wasn't the first person to be seated, so I'm not positive. I ate there in the mid-afternoon/evening on a weekend, so can't really speak to weekday crowds. Very appropriate for a business-appropriate lunch, and they have a steakhouse and a few other restaurants as well. And you can see the ducks! (Not that there's anything particularly business-appropriate about ducks in a hotel, but it's my favorite part of the Peabody so I figured it was worth mentioning).
posted by kro at 8:41 PM on May 6, 2011

I've rarely had a problem having lunch in the Convention Center area; it's dinner that gets ridiculous and overcrowded. I'll third the Peabody recs, and add that the restaurants at the Rosen Shingle Creek (very, very short cab ride) are generally fantastic. The other Rosen Hotels on I-Drive have good dining choices as well. Pointe Orlando has a couple of good options for a business lunch, including Capital Grille and Funky Monkey Wine Company (locally owned, great sushi and even better food).

International Drive is also a 10-15 minute (at most) cab ride from Restaurant Row, where you'll find a bunch of higher end chains that could easily work, like Seasons 52, Timpano Chophouse, J. Alexanders, Cantina Laredo, and a couple of sushi places (Dragonfly is better than Amura, but both are good.)
posted by ThatSomething at 8:56 PM on May 6, 2011

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