I went to this particular shop because they are... either corporate or franchise, and the one I normally go to was... (the other)... so these guys had a better special, and they are both just about the same distance from my house. Not their fault, the stupid website doesnt let you leave a personalized note with specific instructions (or anything else we need or want to tell them for whatever reason), so after ordering online I had to call. Well EVERYONE was taking advantage of the special that nite so the lines were clogged, and by the time I got thru, my pizza was already in the oven. I wasnt happy but I didnt make a big deal about it... then the more I thought about it I was like, I cant believe Im buying a pizza from a shop right down the street from Orlandos redlight district slum, JUST SO I CAN SAVE A DOLLAR... the place is probably filthy... and if the punk I was just talking to felt like I was arguing with him hes probably making SURE theres cockroaches in it, if there arent already..; So yah, Im just about sick from food poisoning before I even get there... and as Im pulling up I notice it looks kinda... bright... so that was a little comforting considering the area I was driving through to get there... and when I open the door and walk in the place is IMMACULATE; I mean SHINY, SPOTLESS clean... the employees are all also clean, and super friendly, and even very respectful, to all the customers (regardless of everyones... differing... culture (my side of the counter looked like the DNC, and theirs actually looked like the RNC that night!?), Im telling you, if Hotel California was being piped over the PA I wouldve ran for my life... then the manager, who was apparently waiting for me, and also about half my age (Im 42), comes up to me all professional and apologizes, he -italics- shakes my hand, opens the box up and asks if Im sure everythings ok, or did I want him to make me another one- it looked so good I almost shoved my face into the scalding pizza while he was holding it (and when I got home it was AWESOME.) So yah, after I did shove a few slices down, I had to share my bitterness'n'fear-turned-shame'n'delight with their online feedback, assuring them that their pride-and-joy of Orlando sits like a golden palace in the middle of the ghetto... the next day the district mgr calls me to tell me they work very hard at that store, and my feedback made it all the way up to... some national Vice President. Eh, then the next few times I went there it was still very clean but they seemed like pretty typical teenagers, which is fine and normal, and actually a bit relieving cuz that first experience got uh... kinda spooky... and the food has always been great so they always take their baking seriously, which is all that matters to me: I would MUCH rather have good food from a clean restaurant with even the most obnoxious service I ever had, than uh, ANY lesser kind of food or hygiene! So dont storm out of there without your food just because they seem... less than overjoyed to see you, because YOU will be overjoyed when you eat it!
There's the saying that goes something like "Good things found in small places" well, that is what this place is. The location is sure of hidden so if we weren't walking the stretch of International Drive we won't have seen it. It's a smaller place tucked away in like a corner that has very good flavor. My family and I have gone on many vacation to different places and eat all sort of food. The food here didn't have that American/Thai flavor, it was more flavorful and rich. I ate the peanut sort of flavor curry... I think it was Panang Curry, I loved it. I had it before at other places and it's usually watery and blunt in tasting. But this one was thicker and richer, there was a lot too. The rest of my family order, Pad Thai, Sweet Basil Stir-fry, Roasted Duck, and something from the specialty menu but I can't remember what it's called...something with soft shelled crab. But anyway, they were all good. Full of flavor, fresh ingredients....we went at the prefect time, they just open for dinner so it wasn't busy yet. We didn't order any appetizers, so we did have to wait a little because everything is cooked to order...so we didn't mind. I rather wait for fresh food than the already made fast food. Thai food is not like Chinese food and so it's not going to be fast. Plus, you can't compare the two, they're two totally different countries and culture, so the food is also totally different. Of course, we ordered way too much food and didn't finish everything but we did take it home and it tasted as good the second time around. I really like the place and would really love to eat there again when we go back to Orlando.
We do not have authentic paella in Hawai'i so this was a must try! We found this hidden gem through the groupon site and drove 20 minutes for early dinner. and we're glad we did! We walk up to this quaint little restaurant and were greeted and seated immediately. Our waitress (Nicole) had great customer service and was friendly with us. She was more than obliged to share the story of the family-owned restaurant. Exactly the kinds of places we like to eat- where people treat you like family and friends :-) We ordered the mixta paella, sangria pitcher, ham croquet, calamari, flan, and tres leche cake. The ham croquet and calamari were excellent (how do you screw up calamari?)! Both were crunchy and hot and the sauce for both complemented the dishes quite well. The mixta paella was OH EM GEEEEEE good! My wife has been to Spain and verified it's authenticity. Lol. The paella was moist, flavorful, hearty and more than we expected! (It was so good I purchased another grouping on the spot to order another to take home!! The sangria was made the way we like it- homemade, cherries, not so strong wine. Deliciously compliments the paella. Then....dessert. The tres leche cake was moist and firm but the flan (oh, the flan!) the best flan I have EVER had!! Firm and rich with none of that caramel water soup stuff! All in all, we spent waaaay more then we would have but it was worth every cent!!! The flavors alone will twist your arm to eat more than you thought you could!!! Mahalo e Paella House :-)