Food places come and go in the little hood of College Park. So much so that even if you spend any amount of decent time in the area (i.e., you live, work, or play in or nearby) you can blink and still miss something new (or old that has vanished). Case in point the new-ish El Vic’s Kitchen.
Located on the end of the strip opposite Graffiti Junktion, in the spot that used to be occupied by Tartine Wine Bar and Eaterie -> Croissant Gourmet -> and prior to that Ace Hardware (remember that? ✋🏼), this quaint little eatery has a very, very diverse and delicious menu – “a menu of contemporary and fusion-ish fare with a decidedly Indian bent” as Orlando Weekly so perfectly put it.
The comprehensive and creative menu takes influences from all over the world but especially from the owner Sheetal Thakur’s heritage and roots of Mumbai, India. – ElVicsKitchen.com
So this place has been around for a couple of months now. We hadn’t really done any sort of research prior to heading out for dinner for the evening, and vaguely recalled a pizza place in the vicinity, so we just headed in that direction and ended up here at El Vic’s. Pizza, they do not have. Well, actually – traditional pizza they do not have. We quickly figured that out after sitting down and perusing the menu. But we did discover there are a handful of quite attractive “nizza” dishes (naan plus pizza). After seeing all of the other amazing dishes to try we opted out of the nizza; that will be to try on a later date.
We stopped in on a recent Friday night and then place was pretty busy – even though it was fairly late (the place closes at 10pm on Fridays and 11pm on Saturdays). There was one large party at one of the outdoor tables–which is where we ended up sitting–and a couple of smaller parties at the indoor seating area.
Now, this place isn’t necessarily the cheapest place around but it’s still fairly affordable – anywhere from $14-$18 to $23.00 for the priciest (the shrimp couscous). The “small plates” are actually the most costly, but if you consider they can be shared tapas style and your party orders several for the table, it’s probably not so bad.
The dishes our party ended up landing on were both incredibly tasty, and came to the table rather quickly.
We are big, big fans of lamb. That could possibly be a controversial statement to some, but hey – we like it. Not sure if we’ve talked about it here on the site before or not, but now you know. So after laboring over the menu for a bit like we said, we decided to order the “global inspired dish” spaghetti with lamb ragu. Ground lamb in a tomato sauce, with onion, garlic, carrots & herbs, tossed with spaghetti.
There was so much flavor in this dish, not only from the seasoning of the meat but from the onion and garlic. Very delicious and probably one of our favorite dishes we’ve had from somewhere in a long while. (Question: Do you enjoy lamb?)
The butter chicken risotto is also a “global inspired dish” on the dinner menu. Indian flavored risotto, with creamy tomato, cashew nut & cilantro chicken. Equally as enjoyable as the lamb dish highlighted above, but obviously something completely different. Sort of representative of the overall diversity of the menu we’d made mention of earlier.
In addition to the main dishes, we also ordered the meatballs as an appetizer. One the menu these are the “Spanish Albodigas” in case you’re going and are trying to locate them on the menu. We’ll say they were just fine. Not the best in town (we can think of a couple of other places for this), but perfectly acceptable.
You can view El Vic’s full dinner menu here (and they have a pretty great website, too). Now as we mentioned a couple of times the menu is quite diverse – a big flair for the Indian dishes, but some others–while certainly tasty looking and ones we’d like to try out–just felt like they didn’t belong. Scott Joseph actually wrote a nice piece on this aspect when he tried out the establishment a couple of months ago.
And even though the desserts on the menu look delish, we just didn’t have time this go round. Guess we’ll have to save that for next time. In particular, we’re very interested in the “edible candle”…we’ll definitely be back!
In addition to dinner El Vic’s also has menus for the following:
2445 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32804
Are you curious to check this place out? Better make it quick in case it’s gone in a minute….