City Fire American Oven & Bar Reply

I was wondering if our fine city would ever get Pebbles back or Harvey’s Bistro back, remember them? I don’t think that is going to happen but the creators of both Pebbles and Harvey’s Bistro, Manny Garcia and team have come up with a new concept called City Fire American Oven & Bar. Yes,  Restaurant Row has another interesting tenant.  City Fire is located on Sand Lake Road in the Dellagio Plaza. City Fire is a comfortable neighborhood restaurant bar hangout that combines both rustic and modern elements. The decor of the restaurant is inspired by the early to mid 1900’s, but I am still trying to figure that piece out. City Fire offers  a full bar with indoor dining and a outside patio with a variety of private dining options.   City Fire cooks a lot of their dishes in a unique open flame stone-fired oven. I have never had these types of dishes before prepared the way they prepare them.  Based on some of the food dishes I had, I really don’t know what to compare City Fire too?   But I know this, most of the dishes were very good in flavor and were very well thought out from a culinary stand point.  

On my first visit we started off with the Baked Chevre $8. This starter  consisted of  goat cheese baked in a tomato concasse served with toasted French bread. Very flavorful appetizer, great dish to share with the table.  I would order it again.

For my entree I went with the Braised Boneless Short Ribs $18. The short ribs were slow roasted in port infused au jus, served with smashed potatoes & asparagus. The short ribs were boneless, very tender and seasoned up well in the au jus sauce. It was not the best short ribs I have ever had but it was better than OK.

On another visit I started with the Sizzle Chips $5. Simply a home run! This appetizer consisted of crispy kettle chips, blue cheese crumbles  served on a” Very Hot Skillet”. They bring out the chips on a  fajita style  skillet and then the server pours mornay sauce over the chips, and the dish just sizzles and sizzles like fajitas. The kettle chips appear to fry up some more in the mornay sauce. Again, another appetizer that you can share with the table and I think you will like the small presentation that happens table side.

Another dish that was served in a very hot skillet was the Oven Roasted Blackened Chicken, reasonably priced at $12. This dish was served with a blackened breast of chicken, black beans, sour cream and tomatillo salsa. This was one of the better entrees I tried. I really liked this semi spicy dish.  This is a dish I was a little skeptical over,  it sounded like a blackened chicken burrito but with no burrito cooked up in the skillet accordingly.  Glad I rolled the dice.  Wow, what a dish. I almost reordered this dish again but wanted to save room for desert.

For desert we had the Smores $8. Smores  is a tasty treat that consists of marshmallows, chocolate sauce and graham crackers.  At City Fire you prepare this desert yourself.   You first roast your own marshmallows, pour the chocolate sauce over the marshmallows, and make your sandwich with the graham crackers.  However, we could not roast the marshmallows because  the stone  which was the center piece of the dish was not hot. So we ate the marshmallows  “as is”.  This desert also came with strawberries.  I dunked my strawberries into the mild delicious chocolate sauce. Wow, that was the best part of that desert in my opinion.  This desert can feed 4 people easily.

I was very impressed with the bar. A very nice set up with great atmosphere, nice HD TVs, just a  great place to hang out . City Fire has Happy Hour every day 11:30-7:00 featuring $3.00 well drinks, $4.00 house wines, $2.00 domestic beers and $3.00 1/2 flat breads, dips & sharables. What’s not to like about that?

  The service was very good and tentative and sincere on all visits. Overall the food quality is good at City Fire, the atmosphere is excellent, and I believe  City Fire has a lot of potential.

City Fire American Oven & Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11:30am. Outside parking is available,  if outside parking is full, try the parking garage.  They also offer valet service. City Fire is located at:

7958 Via Dellagio Way

Orlando, Fl 32819

ph # 407-722-8888

website http://www.cityfirerestaurants.com

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Italian Beefstro Reply

    

 Well the local guy wanted some authentic style Chicago food.   Is there any place in Orlando that serves up old Chicago favorites?  The answer is Yes! Our city has come through again. The local restaurant is called Italian Beefstro. This little gem is located on Colonial Dr just West of I4, not far from the heart of downtown. Their specialty is an Italian Beef sandwich,  this is a true Chicago delicacy. They also serve meatball subs, sausage subs,  Italian subs, and Chicago style hot dogs just to name a few. An Italian beef sandwich is similar to a French dip sandwich however, an Italian beef sandwich is thinly sliced roast beef with sautéed green peppers placed on  crusty French bread, then the roll itself with the meat in it is dunked into the juices from which the roast beef was cooked in. On one visit I had the traditional Italian beef sandwich $4.99. This is their  signature sandwich at Italian Beefstro,  make no mistake about it. The Italian Beef  was thinly sliced, seasoned deliciously, with fresh sautéed green peppers  on a fresh French loaf of bread.  If you want it dunked in the juices, its 30 cents extra, money well spent. You do have the option to have the juices on the side and you can pour it on your sandwich to your liking.  So this way you determine how sloppy you want it. I wanted to kick my sandwich up a notch like they do in Chicago. So I added a side of Giardiniera,  30 cents. Giardiniera is a spicy picked condiment of  carrots, hot peppers, bell peppers, celery, cauliflower  chopped up in an oil and vinegar base. Then you pour the Giardiniera over the sandwich. This special condiment really spices up the sandwich to another level.  When I was eating this Italian beef sandwich I thought I was in Wrigleyville. The Italian Beef  sandwich at Italian Beefsto is that good.

On another visit I tried the Italian sub $4.99. It came with Salami, Capicola, Ham, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Pickles, Olives, Sweet Peppers,  Cherry Peppers,  Oil & Vinegar, Salt & Pepper and Oregano. This is quite a sandwich. After you eat this authentic style Chicago style Italian Sub, you will never eat a BMT at Subway again.  

Traditional style Chicago Style Hotdogs are a rare breed as well to find in our city. I really like the ones at Hotdog Heaven and I have not found any as good as Hotdog Heaven’s . Just in case you are not familiar with a Chicago Hotdog, this dog is 100% Vienna Beef.  It is served  with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles, celery salt, and sport peppers on a steamed poppy seed bun.  I also tried this Chicago Style Hotdog $3.89 at Italian Beefsto.  Unfortunately I really did feel like I was eating a Chicago Hotdog in Orlando. The dog was good but not great. It looked fantastic and was prepared the way a true Chicago hotdog is supposed to be prepared.  A for effort here. But  I thought it was too sloppy to handle. It was a little to juicy or watery with all the fixins. Believe it or not there is a science to making Chicago style hot dogs.  Stick with the Italian Beef Sandwich at Italian Beefstro, it’s worth the trip.  Italian Beefstro has indoor seating and outdoor seating.  Parking can be very tight at times.  Italian Beefstro is open Monday-Friday  11-6 and Saturday  11-4, closed Sunday.   They are located at:

705 West Colonial Dr

Orlando, Fl 32804

ph# 407-601-7444

Website: www.italianbeefstro.com

     

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