Universal Orlando will kick off Mardi Gras 2020 on February 1, and it will run daily through April 2 with authentic Cajun-style cuisine, an incredible nightly parade, and live concerts from some of the biggest names in music.
Cajun and Creole food fans on the north side of Orlando now have a second Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen to enjoy, with the opening of the Altamonte Springs location.
Created by the minds behind the popular Tijuana Flats eateries, Tibby’s first opened in Winter Park a little over two years ago.
The menu, as one would expect, is full of New Orlean’s goodies, including Muffuletta, Andouille sausage jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish etouffee. Their Po-Boys even use Gambino’s French Bread, shipped in from the Big Easy. Prices are reasonable, too, with most entrees and sandwiches in the $9-$14 range.
The new location is at 494 W SR 436 in Altamonte Springs. The original can be found at 2203 Aloma Ave in Winter Park.
We were so excited to see a new cajun restaurant opening in town. We have missed having a really good one here in Orlando. Others have tried, but haven’t succeded in filling the niche that Jockamos had when it closed. So we had high hopes for the newly opened Little New Orleans Kitchen & Oyster Bar on South O.B.T.
When we first arrived, our party of 5 were asked to sit at the counter. However, since we had two young children among us, we asked for a table instead. The larger tables are in the back of the restaurant, so that is where our group had to go.
It smelled so good when we opened the door, that we were excited. I had stopped by earlier in the week to inquire if they had LIVE crawfish as it is season right now. I was told they could order some for us. I asked to have 4 lbs for us when we came back on Saturday. I was told that would be fine, and they’d see us on Saturday.
When we arrived though, they did not have the LIVE crawfish that I ordered. They did have the frozen kind, however that is just not the same. But, they did give us a couple lbs of frozen on the house to make up for not having the live. We also ordered etouffee, boiled shrimp & crab, and beignets. The food was good, and it could be spicy or not, dependent on your taste.
The etouffee was good but spicy. Almost too hot for me, but I still ate it even though I don’t like things very spicy. The crab tasted fresh and was not overcooked. My husband, Kirk, said that the frozen crawfish were good. Not as good as fresh, but still good.
Our friend, Susan, who was with us, ordered boiled shrimp and she said, “Omg, this place is fantastic cajun. This restaurant had some of the best cajun boiled shrimp I’ve ever had. It’s definitely worth coming to!”
The service was okay, but it could have been better. The kitchen had no sense of timing. The boiled crawfish and shrimp came out first, then the etouffee, with the crab and shrimp coming last.
The menu does not list kids meals, but they did have chicken tenders. Our kids love seafood, however I wanted the tenders instead. They came out of the kitchen last and did not come with fries. Our server came to check on us only once and only asked to refill our drinks very near the end of our meal.
I should note that the restaurant has been open for less than 1 month, so I’m sure time will iron out some of the major issues. We will be back to give them another try, and I’ll try to order the live crawfish again. I’ll also have to try a Po-boy. The family next to us did and it looked really good.
Little New Orleans is located at 9741 S Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. You can phone them at 407-438-6990. Hours are 11am to 9pm Monday through Thursday and 11am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday.
Seems that Louisiana is slowly invading Orlando, at least in the culinary world. Recent openings of eateries like Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen (from the Tijuana Flats people) in Winter Park and Mojo Cajun Bar and Grill downtown have been a big hit with folks wanting some Cajun cooking.
Now the southwest side of Orlando will get a little of that cuisine when Hot N Juicy Crawfish opens at 7572 W. Sand Lake Road in Dr. Phillips Restaurant Row area (near the the intersections of Sand Lake Rd and Dr. Phillips Blvd).
Hot N Juicy Crawfish’s signature menu items include blue oysters, an assortment of crab, shrimp and their namesake dish—fresh Cajun-style crawfish. These seafood items are then prepared with your choice of seasonings to your preferred spice level. The menu also includes sides like corn, potatoes, sweet potato fries and rolls.
The restaurant was recently featured on the Travel Channel’s ‘Man vs Food’ series, where Hot N Juicy trainer Noemy Avalos teaches host Adam Richman the right way to eat their signature crawfish, served on a bag to keep it hot and juicy down to its last bite.
Orlando will be the fourth location for the company, which also has two Las Vegas locations and one in Washington, D.C. It is set to open sometime this month (June 2011).
For more information, check out the Hot N Juicy Crawfish website.