Red Eye Bar & Grill Reply

Recently I was invited to attend the pre grand opening of Red Eye Bar & Grill. It’s a brand new restaurant that just opened up in Ocoee, FL. You may recall the “Red Eye” name.  The owners of Red Eye Bar & Grill used to own the Red Eye BBQ truck, it was pretty well known in the food truck community. They actually sold the truck and the owner Rob Nelson moved away to Hawaii for a year to work in a corporate setting. Well after his stint in Hawaii they moved back to Central Florida and Rob bought the location that was previously Matthew’s Steak House, it was a German Steak House. The Red Eye Grill just does not serve up BBQ they also offer steaks and seafood. They have really expanded their menu from their food truck days. They also offer craft beers and have a nice wine menu. Red Eye also has nice new HD TVs around the restaurant so you won’t miss your favorite game!

I started off with the Red Eye Sliders. This family secret recipe starts with base scratch homemade corn muffins stuffed with slow roasted pulled pork and topped with the house BBQ sauce. Wow! These were really good!

Next, I had the Jim Beam Brisket Chili. Another home run! The meat in the chili which was the brisket which was extraordinary flavorful.  The flavor of the kidney beans, meat, tomato sauce, with fresh grated American cheese on top was probably the best chili I have tried in this town.

I also tried the half rack of the St Louis Style ribs with a side of Mac n Cheese. The ribs were very tender as expected. I really liked the fact that you can use a knife to cut the ribs. Most folks refer to great ribs for the need of the ribs to be falling off the bone.   However,  master award winning bbq pit masters some how  make their ribs like Red Eye, where the meat or the rib is sturdy, but when you bite into the rib or the meat itself it is so tender it still falls off the bone at that point.  Long story short, I can tell Red Eye did their home work when it comes to making BBQ St Louis Ribs. I also tried the Mac n Cheese. The mac n cheese was flavored by 5 sets of cheeses. Sometimes this can cause saltiness but not this mac n cheese.  Very good mac n cheese!

Who said you can’t eat half way healthy at a BBQ restaurant? So we tried the Grilled Skewer Shrimp entree. The grilled shrimp were grilled perfectly and were not over cooked, which is easy to do on a grill. The shrimp had a nice smoky seasoned flavor to it. I dipped the shrimp into some of the different bbq sauces and was in heaven. The shrimp were served with a nice sized baked potato with butter and sour creme on the side and if that was not enough it also came with a sweet corn muffin.

I don’t have a picture of this but I also tried the steak burger. The steak burger had 3 different types of meats blended together. The burger was seasoned perfectly with a special seasoned spice. The owner Rob Nelson said he could not give me his special spice mixture (never hurts to ask). The burger was so good you could just eat it plain, and I did.

For desert, I went over to some of the other food bloggers table and tried the Bananas Foster. I would like to offer a special Shout Out  to Droolius from and Katie from for allowing me to try their Bananas Foster.  The menu says it serves 2 but it I believe it would feed 3-4 just fine.  This desert was served with fresh bananas, cinnamon, powder sugar, hint of dark rum, with vanilla ice cream and the puff pastry. All 3 of us food bloggers really enjoyed this satisfying desert. It was a great way to end our dining experience.

A Big Thank You to Red Eye for having us out!

Red Eye Bar & Grill is located at

2594 Maguire Rd

Ocoee, Fl 34761


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Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ Reply


Dear Diners,

Well the local guy was in the mood for some BBQ for lunch. My first choice would have been 4 Rivers BBQ off of Fairbanks. But I had visitors with me from out of town and we did not want to blow our lunch waiting in line for 30 min and then have to eat their great BBQ outside in 90 degree weather, which  would have felt like 98 degrees with my tie on. Been  to that rodeo before.  So off we went to Bubbalou’s Bodacious BAR-B-QUE. Bubbalou’s has been around for over 20 years. Bubbalou’s is locally owned by Sam Meiner, his family has been catering in Orlando since 1907.  Bubbalous’s has several locations around the Orlando area. However, I wanted to go where this BBQ concept started out. So we went to the original Bubbalou’s location on Lee Road in Winter Park.  This is a typical BBQ joint. You walk in, place your order at the counter, they give you your drink, and then the staff brings out your food about 5-10 min later.  I must say we did not wait too long at all for our food after our orders were placed and it was extremely busy.  So service was prompt and efficient this day at lunch.  I ordered the Smoked Turkey sandwich basket $7.79 with sweet tea. The turkey is served on garlic toast  like most of their sandwiches, however you can ask for a bun instead depending on your preference.  The sandwich basket comes with 2 sides’ baked beans and French fries. I was not in a baked beans state of mind so I substituted the beans for collard greens. I also ordered a side of black eyed peas $2.29. The smoked turkey was real tender, and it was a meaty sandwich meaning they gave you plenty of turkey.   I like my smoked turkey more” smokey” in  flavor  but overall  it was still a good bbq sandwich.   I like the fact they have plenty of accessible sauces to choose from already on the table, like mild, hot, killer, mustard sauce, and ketchup, and they even have pepper type vinegar sauce for your collards, nice selection (good concept on having all the sauces at the table).   My favorite side was the collard greens. They reminded me of how my grandmother used to make collards. Bubbalous’s collards was seasoned with a ham hock. This old southern style cooking method Bubbalou’s uses  is what makes their collards so special, very impressed.  Some restaurants use nothing on their collards just salt& pepper (bad recipe) some use bacon (a short cut), some use turkey parts like turkey necks to season collards(not bad and healthier), but good ole collard greens are made with a real ham hock ladies and gentlemen.  I also added the pepper sauce to my collards for an additional kick, what can I say, I am from the south.  My sandwich basket came with French fries, they were hot and tasty, no complaints, good fried taters.  I also ordered the black eyed peas. The black eyed peas were tender and seasoned properly, again it’s all about the ham hock folks.  One of my guests ordered the fried okra. I was very disappointed is this southern side favorite. It was fried up well but it had ZERO flavor, extremely bland. Don’t understand how do you have great collards, and great black eyed peas and awful fried okra? It did not appear that salt or pepper or other spices were used before or after the okra was fried, disappointing.  I had the sweet tea to drink, there is just something right about sweet tea and BBQ, that is a match made in heaven. So is Bubbalous’s the best BBQ in Orlando, probably not as good as 4 Rivers but overall good Cue and the lines are not as long.  Diners can eat inside or outside at Bubbalou’s.  Parking can be tricky at the Lee Rd location.  The do have additional parking across the street.  Bubbalou’s is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Bubbalou’s is located at:

1471 Lee Road
Winter Park, FL 32892

ph# 407-628-1212


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