Many moons ago, I lived in Poinciana. Where the heck is that? It is way past Downtown Kissimmee in the boonies. As I would past through Downtown Kissimmee everyday on my commute, I would always marvel at the old charming shuttered buildings. It never occurred to me that one day someone would actually revive this dilapidated eye sore.
Well, what do I know. They did! Have you been to Downtown Kissimmee lately? It has gone through from the look of things and still morphing into quite a destination. I happened by here a couple of weeks ago and was wondering why was there such a big traffic rush at 7 pm on a Monday evening. It was people flocking to the bars and restaurants that sprung up in this sleepy little charming Downtown. I don’t think there were as many cars traveling through Broadway in a week, back in the days, than there was on that Monday night. What’s the big deal?
I was amazed by the transformation. To my astonishment there was a brand spanking new complex on Dakin and Broadway called City Center. When the heck did this spring up? It is a multi use facility similar to Thornton Park Center on Central and Summerlin in Thornton Park, Downtown Orlando. Is this the new Thornton Park? It sure has similar features. City Center houses apartments, office spaces, bars, restaurants, and a parking garage. Towards the back of the complex is the Kissimmee Civic Center and Lake Tohopekaliga. The amazing sculptures being built around this area is staggering. No wonder the Daily City has a Food Truck Bazaar here. This place is popping.
The anchor spot at City Center is 3 Sisters Speakeasy. A what, a speakeasy, what are those? For those who are ancient enough to know, do those places still exist? Well young trendsetter, a speakeasy is an underground kind of joint that sold alcohol during the Prohibition period (1920-1933). Were you around then, no….I didn’t think so. The 3 Sisters story goes that this exact spot was one of those hush hush places where the password was “Apple Pie”. Sisters Dodie, Ruth, and Fannie conducted “business” during those times.
Fast forward Circa 2012, the marvelous minds who are so deftly reviving this area has definitely taken this element of history and are melting it into a hip, trendy, modern restaurant.
There is sidewalk seating which faces a giant wall painting across Dakin Ave. It is a life size replica of probably what this area would have looked like in the 1920s. Startling at first when sitting down, a closer look reveals that it is a painting.
The restaurant interior has elements of old and newer details. Amazingly enough, there is a sushi bar. It appears as two different restaurants, but they share common space. Oddly, the restrooms are out the back door into an alley, no a hallway, that is shared by all of the establishments on that block. I bet there is a whole different party going on in this hallway at night. If you get my drift. This is mostly a bar type atmosphere which serves food.
From Sushi by Chef Ha, we got the chef’s special. Tempura Shrimp, cucumber, topped with spicy tuna and eel sauce. The shrimp was crisp and flaky, cucumber fresh, spicy tuna mild and gentle, eel sauce sweet. Sounds muted? It was. I must commend the restauranteur for taking his clientele into consideration. This is a sushi bar attached to a pub type restaurant. While I hesitate to say that no sushi connoisseur is going to pull up a chair at the bar, the flavors have a wide appeal. Even going through the entire sushi menu, it shows simplicity and less complication. A perfect place for that one person in the group who wants sushi, or to try sushi for the first time, with the option of getting familiar food just in case the experience does not work out. Great idea.
Argentinean Flank Steak – marinated in chimichurri sauce served with pico de gallo, potatoes au gratin, and broccoli. Nice flavors and texture. A little over done for medium rare, but nice. Potatoes were well cooked and rich.
Mahi Mahi Sandwich – grilled on a Kaiser bun, with sweet potato fries. Tender flaky piece of fish. Sweet potato fries were firm and crisp.
I can’t say that there were any flavors or for that matter menu items that stood out or made a statement. However, everything was familiar and done well. There probably won’t be any culinary revelations here but your belly will still be smiling.
Service was a little off putting and impersonal. Isn’t this a neighborly joint? Maybe I asked too many questions? But, it might just be our dynamics. The other servers were clearly interacting in a more welcoming way than ours. Oh well…..
This restaurant has paved the way and is vital in the revitalization of Downtown Kissimmee. It is refreshing to see a restaurant taking the old and the new, and its neighborhood into consideration when developing a concept. This is a nice joint to visit. Do take in the neighborhood while you are there. Enjoy.