It is always a welcomed surprise to wander into an unknown place only to be wowed. Orlando has several major foodie pockets, Winter Park, Mills 50, Thornton Park to name a few. What about Hunter’s Creek? People live and play there too. The Loop on Osceola Parkway rivals Waterford Lakes on the east side of town. Around Town Center Blvd is as bustling as Park Ave without the flashy cars and high end snobbery. This is where I discovered a little gem, Bistro Europa Express.
This inviting place sits on a corner storefront. There are quaint tables and chairs that line the sidewalk outdoor. Indoor seating is a combination of regular height and high top tables and chairs. Walking in greets you to the delicious glass counter. Forget looking at the menu, this is where the eye candy starts. Amazing colors and smells swarm and envelops to tantalize the senses. Looking up to the menu board leaves you conflicted. What not to order? Everything seems amazing. But the glass showcase is to capture the eyes. Almost everything else is made to order. The Greek and Mediterranean inspired dishes, small wine selections, beer, fountain drinks, coffee drinks offer something for everyone even kids. We settled on something light and less adventurous.
Latte I am not a coffee buff by any means, but I can smell a good coffee. Nice frothy head swirled with smooth strong notes. My companion enjoyed it.
Turkey and Brie Panini with Lemon Chicken Soup was a hearty meal and great presentation. The soup was packed with flavors. Turkey was tender and delicious. A nice healthy portion.
Gyro with Macaroni and Cheese was a filling portion. This generous lamb portion was lightly salted and succulently tender. The mac and cheese was creamy.
Baklava with Walnuts came fresh out of the oven. Yes, I saw it coming out. How many restaurants do you know make their own Baklava? Many import from some famous store in Michigan. Not this place. It is made in house with walnuts and pistachio. Do you think fresh made would taste different? Go taste this tender, flaky, delicate, not too sweet, crunchy bite full and then let me know about your favorite hole that buys from somewhere else. I dare you. As for me, I found my little slice of paradise.
Not too often do you find a warm welcome feeling from counter ordering establishments. It seems like this place embraces you from the warm welcome and every step of service. I am always moved when people make eye contact and nod, even to just acknowledge that you exist in the same space as they do. I am more excited when restaurants offer free portions on the house just for asking about an item. That shows an enormous amount of confidence in their product and genuine hospitality. Is it because this restaurant is nestled in the very neighborly residential Hunter’s Creek that it seems very warm? I think this is it’s culture. I am definitely going back to order more adventurously. This time I might just order from pointing at what captivates my eyes. That could put me in a whole heap of foodie goodness.