Tapa Toro

Tapa Toro

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Posted 2022-09-17 by Gail Clifford MDfollow


Our first stop on a whirlwind trip to Orlando is lunch at on International "I" Drive in Orlando's famous tourism corridor at ICON Park. The Wheel at ICON Park, formerly known as the Orlando EYE, towers over the which has rolled out the red carpet for hungry visitors hungry for their contemporary Spanish cuisine.

Welcomed instantly by staff, we move from a table by the bar to the chef's table around the paella pit and watch as Chef creates flavorful seafood paella with scents wafting across stimulating our already active appetites.



We're fortunate to have Fitzgerald as our server, photo model, introducer, and new best friend. A native of Bucharest, Romania, he was given this very Irish name after our President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Fitzgerald was the perfect person to care for us … making thoughtful recommendations over tapas, gluten-free meals, and filling iced water with lemon or Coca-Cola products as needed.

For celiacs, it's important to discuss specialty needs with the staff. For example, the potatoes, which smell and look scrumptious, are deep fried with breaded items so are a no-no for celiacs. The salmon, my choice for lunch, was served with rice, asparagus, and the largest capers I've ever seen in my life. I cut into them, just to check the flavor, and found them to be one of the saltiest things I've ever tried.

My colleagues, another travel writer and the Visit Orlando representative, were much more adventurous with Pulpo Gallego (fried octopus) and seafood combination, or the most delicious tapas I've seen outside of Spain.

recommends two to three tapas per person as the small savory dishes can be served before a main meal or, in combination, as the primary meal.



For the best of all worlds, we appreciated Paula's recommendations. She's been here before and skillfully matched flavor profiles with beef empanadas, patatas con chorizo, ham croquettes, and tomato-rubbed bread.

Fitzgerald readily supplied pepper as we requested.

Chef revealed his skills with the shrimp paella in a paellera (paella pan). His cheerful smile made the experience that much more wonderful.

In addition to the red carpet, photo ops abound at . From the flamenco dancers in the front by the bar (ready for nights when music and dance is available) to the pictures along the wall in front of the restrooms that magically move, much like Hogwarts mobile portraits that are sometimes too quick to capture.

For an excellent meal where you're welcomed as well-loved family, check out . And ask for Fitzgerald.



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%wnorlando
93973 - 2023-06-12 01:08:15

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