The great debate began around 7pm. Where to go? What to do? I leaned toward a visit to Universal’s City Walk, the desire to go dancing beckoned. In the end, we settled on doing a little bar hopping. We headed for Colonial Townpark in Lake Mary, Florida. As we headed up I-4 East we took the Lake Mary Blvd. exit and diverted to the Tilted Kilt Irish pub. We have been to the Titled Kilt before and enjoyed the food upon our prior visit. For those unfamiliar with this restaurant chain, the Titled Kilt is an Irish pub full of flat screen televisions and full chested, scantily clad servers. The parking lot was slammed and when we entered we knew we wouldn’t be here long. Sure enough we could not get a table nor a spot at the bar, so we hopped back into Blue Jean Baby and headed to Colonial Townpark (http://www.yelp.com/biz/colonial-town-park-lake-mary).
My stomach proceeded to beg for satisfaction and I feared we would struggle to find an available table at the numerous restaurants at Colonial Townpark. So we made another stop: Stonewood Grill. The atmosphere was very subdued, most of the patrons in the thirties and forties. I ordered a Spiced Lemon Drop martini as it seemed to be a “skinny” drink option and it is made with 4Orange vodka, a Florida original. The martini was fresh, light, vibrant and because it was made with fresh lemon juice it was not syrupy at all. Very nice! I ordered a caprese salad and cup of onion soup, while my husband ordered a cheeseburger. Pretty simple order. However, as the final drop of the martini passed through my lips, I realized it had been thirty minutes since our order. After pulling our bartender away from her family and friends to ask about our order, she ventured into the kitchen and returned with our food, blaming the delay on the people in the kitchen “doing nothing”. Speaking of doing nothing, our food did nothing for us and after paying our $50 bill, we decided there was no need to visit again.
After feeling deflated from our experience at Stonewood Grill, we finally made our way to original destination of the night. Colonial Townpark is an outdoor shopping and dining “village” . These types of venues have sprung up throughout suburban American over the past 15 years. Colonial Townpark neighbors a handful of hotels that cater to corporate travelers and a number of office buildings. The visitors to this establishment are a mixture of business men and Lake Mary locals. Since it is about thirty to forty minutes from the attractions area there are hardly ever any tourists.
Our first stop was the second Irish pub of our evening, Liam Fitzpatrick’s. Like most of the watering holes and restaurants in Colonial Townpark, Liam Fitzpatrick’s offers outdoor seating, in addition to its main dining room. We ducked into the bar area to the right of the restaurant and grabbed the first table we could find. The rowdy, fun loving sounds of dueling pianos filled the air. Anyone looking for dueling pianos in Orlando will find a plethora of options. The crowd ebbed and flowed between the bar room and the main room where the piano players performed. The bartenders and other staff were very attentive. If we found ourselves in an Irish mood we would return.
Our second stop did not last long. We popped over to The Vineyard, a wine bar I had been wanting to try. The sophisticated decor and warm lighting invited us in. However, the bartender apologetically informed us that they had already called their last call (it was just after 11pm), so I snapped a quick photo and we turned back around.
We then popped over to PINT, one of the newer drinking spots. This stop did not last long either as it was packed to the gills and throbbing with loud house music. So we continued to World of Beer. Much like goldilocks, we found World of Beer to be just right. Not packed, not empty. We had been to this location before, as well the location off Sand Lake Road, in the attractions area (http://wobusa.com/). Their extensive beer selection can be overwhelming at first. Their bartenders are always willing to help navigate you through the sea of beer and offer a taste or two if need be. Because of Zane Lamprey and Drinking Made Easy, I was familiar with barley wine. Never having actually seen this type of strong beer on a menu before I decided to give it a try. WOW. The taste of bourbon and coconut hit my tongue. The first few sips were delicious, but halfway through my 10 oz glass, I had to wave the white flag. I highly recommend World of Beer (any location) for anyone looking to try new beers or to enjoy a favorite with friends, coworkers, or even solo.
So there we have it. Our Saturday night bashing around Lake Mary. Took a few tries to find what we wanted, but that is the great thing about places like Colonial Townpark, you’ve got multiple options so you’re bound to find the right fit.
Share your thoughts…
Have you been to any of these places before? Do you have a place like Colonial Townpark in your hometown? Are you an Orlando visitor who has not been to the locals’ part of town before? Share your comments below.