Dining Date: 5th August 2011
For our first full day in Orlando, we planned on hitting Downtown Disney to see what they had to offer and then to Paradiso 37 for our ADR.
On the drive to Downtown Disney, my diary tells me that Liam fell asleep, so we decided to see if we could get our ADR a little earlier, for fear of him falling back to sleep in his dinner!
Finding Downtown Disney was easy enough. The signage was very good and along with our hired (from eBay) TomTom, complete with Homer Simpson giving us directions, we were parked up in not time at all.
We stopped to take some photos along the way, and we found Paradiso 37 quite quickly. It was virtually empty We explained about our ADR and asked if we would be able to come in a little earlier, which they were fine with. So in we went!
We were shown to a table, ordered some drinks and read through the menu.
Steve thought a start of nachos would be a good idea…
When ordering, our waiter said he’d put the main dishes on hold so we could finish our starter and give us some time…we were disappointed when another server brought out our mains when we were only half way through! We asked if they could go back under the heat lamps for now, as we weren’t anywhere near ready for them. Considering the place was so empty, there really was no need for the rush. The dude looked a little disgruntled, but took them back.
The nachos, were nachos. Nothing spectacular. A large portion, easily enough to feed 4-6 people for $13.99.
Liam decided on a cheeseburger and fries, and told us it was the best burger he had ever eaten! That too was $13.99. It came with ‘slaw and fries. All the gunk (lettuce, mayo etc) was left out at Liam’s request!
Steve had fish tacos as he had been looking forward to trying these out in the States. He said they were delicious – no clue what fish it was though! For $14.99 he got three soft tacos with a generous portion of fried fish and a side salad with tortilla strips on the top.
I ordered the surf and turf, which was VERY generous – and I should hope so too for $25.99! My Argentinian skirt steak, a cut which I’ve never hear of before, let alone tried, was cooked to perfection – tasty ad juicy. The three giant shrimp on a skewer, even more so. Both were covered in a delicious sauce. I also had a half, half of corn on the cob (so half a cob, which was then cut in half through the middle – sneaky!) A street style potato pancake patty thing, which went well, was quite sweet though; and a humungous portion of roasted veg – green beans, carrots, potatoes and jicima, which I had to ask what it was as I was eating. Turns out it is a South American tuber – you learn something new everyday!
I couldn’t manage a dessert, but Liam, who always can, wanted the chocolate stack. Steve and I tried a spoonful each, but Liam polished the lot off! It was a mammoth dessert – very dense, dark and rich. I don’t know how he managed it!
There was a LOT of staff in the restaurant, and our waiter, called Adam, was very upbeat, which I was expecting. What I wasn’t expecting however, was him to not actually do anything much with us as a table other than take our order and bring our bill! I felt like giving a tip was a dilemma as he didn’t really do anything. Pile on top, that when we actually booked, they ask if you are celebrating a special occasion, and we emailed saying that it would be our 2nd wedding anniversary..we were a bit miffed that not so much a “happy anniversary” was muttered :( We went with the flow however, and gave the suggested 18% tip.
Because it wasn’t very busy in there, there was zero atmosphere, and I was expecting to hear some nice South American music, and not the British 80s junk we were subjected to!
From their website: Paradiso 37 is a high energy restaurant and bar located in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Paradiso 37 features North, Central and South American cuisine favourites all presented in a colorful and lively atmosphere overlooking the vibrant and exciting panorama of Downtown Disney. The combination of flavorful foods, signature cocktails and nightly entertainment allows guests to indulge in the cultures and tastes of the Americas; making Paradiso 37 a truly unique dining experience never to be forgotten.
Would we eat there again? Perhaps. There didn’t seem to be much choice overall, especially for kids..however, if you’re knocking back a cocktail or two, with the place a bit busier, it’s probably a nicer experience. My shrimp and steak were delicious though – I’d go back for that meal!
The total bill, with tip was $107. As this was our first Disney dining experience, we didn’t know if this was average…or expensive…but hey ho. We’re on holiday!