By Cindy Cummings
Some of the best small eateries in Florida can be found in Apopka. Orlando Weekly highlights Cafe Verona on Edgewood Drive and The Catfish Place, on South Forest Avenue, are just a tiny selection of the increasingly finessed restaurants that Apopka locals have on their own doorsteps. This trend, of restaurants going from simple but delicious eateries to places with serious culinary pedigree, is being seen all across the town - and sometimes in the most unexpected places.
Getting off the ground and creating a food business is easier than it ever has been. Culinary arts websites like Bon Appetit, foodservicehq.com and CookingDude.com have helped would-be chefs to hone their arts. The result is exquisite food often found just at the roadside. The Orlando Sentinel recently featured Conch Queen, a fast food truck experience that, nevertheless, had the fine dining training of chef LaRondra Graham behind it. Based at the intersection at 3780 Ocoee-Apopka Road, this is a leading light in the increasing trend of good food for all.
Fine dining extends to steakhouses, too, and Apopka has lovers of steak covered as well. The Back Room Steakhouse, featured by the Apopka Chamber of Commerce, was recently voted the best steakhouse in central Florida. Steak is a real labor of love and experience; only the best cuts and the most knowledgeable chefs and cooks know how to handle it in the way that will make for a top class meal. The Back Room shows just how high-class Apopka cuisine can be.
While new restaurants do a lot of work to spread the good word of Apopka, there’s also the fact that the city is often overlooked. Caffe Positano, on 3030 East Semoran Blvd, has been a city mainstay for years. It’s had glowing reviews from the likes of culinary critic Scott Joseph, an Orlando expert, since 2011. However, the incredible ingredients and culinary history of the place hasn’t really been focused on until recently.
The more the merrier, however. As more people come around to the wonderful culinary diversity and quality of Apopka, they’ll see just what’s in store for food lovers in the city. The restaurants and eateries that call it home have a huge amount of history behind them, and it shows on the plate.
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