Vivo

Universal CityWalk® – Orlando 6000 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 • (407) 224-3663 • https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/dining/vivo-italian-kitchen/index.html?__source=ban.dfa.142900316;315030842;68637547

I know it’s ridiculous to expect much from a restaurant at Universal Studios, but with places like Flying Fish Café, The Brown Derby and Kouzzina over in Disney, I figured maybe the Yelpers were onto something. Well, more like “on something.”

And while the décor is quite stylish and the service is friendly, the food is exactly what one might expect. Overcooked short rib and pastas, so mushy it defeats the purpose that they apparently make it fresh every day.

It isn’t without it’s hits though. I found the fried calamari to be quite good. As was the bread pudding. But if you truly want great Italian, do yourself a solid and make a rezzy at Prato in Winter Park. Sure it’s a bit of a drive, but remember, you put this stuff in your body. Isn’t it worth it?

Oh! One last thing I almost forgot. If you should decide to eat here anyway, do NOT sit outside. There are speakers right next door that are so blaringly loud you can feel it in your ovaries. Even if you’re a man.

Sanaa

Animal Kingdom Lodge 3701 Osceola Pkwy. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 • (407) 939-3463

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I’m guessing Indian and African fare is few and far between in the rest of the country, but by New York City standards, there’s a place this good, or better, every ten blocks. But that’s only in reference to the food. The service was actually pretty slow. They took us late for our reservation and ultimately sat us across from the service station in a half empty restaurant.

Now as for the food, skip the lamb sliders. They are VERY dry and therefore don’t “slide” anywhere. They just sit their in your mouth begging your saliva ducts to bring a little moisture to the party.

Then there is very mild fish curry dish that is so mild it’s not even worth remembering the name. Apparently mild means boring to the chef. Fortunately there is a spicy curry dish as well, and it is MUCH better, meaning I actually ate it. In fact, it was so much better than the fish, I dumped the fish into the spicier sauce just to make it worth opening my jaws.

The only other thing we had at the table was a special fish dish, which was a solid good, but a far cry from the stars people are throwing down on TripAdivsor and Yelp in praise of this extremely mediocre restaurant. But please don’t think I’m just some New York Foodie Snob (granted I am) hating on Disney. There are two other restaurants over at The Boardwalk Hotel, that blow Sanaa out of the water jungle, Cat Cora’s Kouzzina and Flying Fish Cafe.

2 teeth