Mad Girl Eats Black Bean Deli in Orlando



Black Bean Deli, 1835 East Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL. One location also available in Winter Park, FL.

Florida is so fortunate to have restaurants and food trucks that offer magical fare, especially Cuban. Going in, Black Bean Deli had an award-winning, good reputation and I was intrigued to try them out.

The place was boomin’ busy! The line moved swiftly,  it was clean and inviting, and the staff was welcoming and friendly. You order at the counter first. My order was random, wanting to hit my faves and some the resto is known for. Of course, a Cubano/ Cuban sandwich was needed, along with a Papa Rellenas, and Empanada. I could eat these 3 items everyday. Honest. Ok, I’m not done…Black Beans is a must-try (it’s the name of the joint! Duh!), and their Yuca Fries are crowd-pleaser popular. Orangina to pair it all with, and I’m set.

I’m given my Papa, Empanada, Orangina, and number to put on the table. I’m so happy I don’t have to wait for everything, cuz this girl is mad hungry! OMMMMMGGGeeee the Papa Rellenas were a potato powerhouse. A big ball of Cuban happiness (mashed potatoes with a spoonful of beef, spice, and green olive in the center) breaded and fried. I really wanted another one, but had ordered enough for 3. Ok, Empanada, you’re up next. I chose the Picadillo empanada with its rich ground beef, spice, herb and veggie mixture. The crust was perfectly flaky and tender, and the filling was the right choice, a wonderful burst of flavor. I wanted another of these also. Dang yummy!

Soon the rest of the order was delivered, in cute little aluminum trays. I dove into the award-winning Cuban sandwich. Oh yeah, that’s it. The bread was a perfect balance of crisp and chewy, and not too crusty to rip up the roof of your mouth. I hate that. The meats, cheese, and pickles were all in perfect harmony. I agree, award-winning! Next, the Black Beans. They didn’t disappoint! A generous amount of beans over a small layer of rice. The beans were spiced just right and was a fantastic side dish. When the girl taking the order was asked what I needed that I didn’t order, she recommended the Yuca Fries. They looked delish and tasted even better! Substantial heft to each piece, nicely fried, seasoned with salt, and extraordinary dipped into the accompanied tangy garlic mojo sauce. I have to admit, I dipped my sandwich in the sauce too. Yeow, that was amazing food!!!! I generally have water with my meal, but the Orangina went beautifully. A bit of effervescent orange…realllly good.

In Orlando? Go, go now…well, don’t go on Sunday because they’re closed. Here are their hours for this location. Check their website for Winter Park location hours.

Hours: Mon – Thurs  11:00am – 8:00pm, Fri and Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm. Closed Sundays.

Off street parking and small parking lot. Dining tables inside and out.

5 out of 5 drool-worthy points

Mad Girl Eats Tako Cheena in Orlando


Tako Cheena, 932 Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.

I had a hay-day ordering takos (tacos) off this Asian Mexican Latin swirly cool menu at Tako Cheena. I’m crazy for anything Asian BBQ, so some choices were easy, but I also heard they make a fab fish taco so let the taste testing begin!

They offer Daily Specials, from this, the Hawaiian chicken tako was ordered. A nice array of takos were chosen off the regular menu; Thai Peanut Chicken, Korean Beef, Asian Braised Beef, Panko Crusted Cod, Chinese BBQ Char Siu Pork Belly, and to round it out let’s try a Asian hot dog.

Hits: Korean Beef, with mixed cabbage sesame seed, cilantro and Kimchi slaw. Asian Braised Beef, pulled beef marinated in ginger, hoisin spice, with mixed cabbage, ginger scallion oil and cilantro (MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE). Chinese BBQ Char Siu Pork Belly, with mixed cabbage, cilantro, ginger scallion oil and crispy pork rind. Panko Crusted Cod, crunchy and light fish served in a sweet and sour onion sauce, with mixed cabbage and scallions. Plus the Daily Special, Hawaiian chicken tako. Absolutely packed with flavor. Addicted!!!

I love a sweet sauce, but if you don’t, order a side of their special sauces and salsa. They are only 33 cents, so order a few and max out your taste buds. The Asian hot dog (Chinese sweet sausage) wasn’t my thing , but I’m game to try a burrito and empanada next time!

Totally taken with Tako Cheena. It is on a busy street, parking is somewhat difficult, just go to a side street or back street and you’re golden. Small, quirky resto with about 8 tables, and a snack counter facing the picture window. Definitely worth going. Located in the Colonialtown neighborhood of downtown Orlando.

Take note of HOURS: Fri and Sat – 11:00am to 4:00am (great after bar time eats), Sun– 11:00am to 11:00pm, CLOSED MONDAYS, Tues Wed Thurs– 11:00am to 11:00pm.

4.50 out of 5  freaking fantastic tako tastes of happiness.

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