Charley’s Steakhouse, 8255 International Drive Orlando, FL. Two more locations available in Orlando and one in Tampa.
Family owned since 1973, Charley’s Steakhouse has continually been named one of the Best Independent Steakhouses in the country. It only seemed fit that Charley’s was the first choice when an immense hankering for a great aged steak filled every crevice of my being. Wine lovers will fall in love with Charley’s award-winning wine list.
The restaurant location I chose was on I-drive, in the heart of the tourist and conventioneer corridor of Orlando. It had a warm and inviting atmosphere that one you would hope for when dining at an upscale steakhouse. The staff was pleasant, knowledgable and professional. Their menu offered a decent array of appetizers and entrees. Escargot Bourgogne was the appetizer choice of the evening. Made to order steaks, with extras to choose, like having your steak stuffed with bleu cheese is a nice touch as well. I wanted my entrée to be fairly simple and straightforward so I opted for their Petite Tenderloin (rare), Scallops wrapped in bacon, Roasted Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes. Also, the Kansas City Strip (Pittsburgh style, charred with red center) and a side order of Black Pepper Parmesan Kettle Fries. All entrees come with salad and three cheese bread.
First up, the Escargot. Oh my, the snails swimming in garlic-y herb melted butter, wonderful thick toasted bread to dunk and soak up all that heaven. I’m still dreaming about this dish. Superb with a capital S. The house salad (which you can upgrade to other selections) was fantastic! I don’t usually get excited about a salad, but they do it up nicely. The added bene of their warm and squishy cheese bread was fab. The only problem was to stop eating all of it to save room for steak!
Finally, the masterpieces arrive. Things of beauty to my carnivore eyes! The 8 oz tenderloin, cooked to a lovely rare temp, was amazing. Excuse me while I close my eyes and relive that moment…….okay, I’m back. The scallops were divine, sweet and gentle with a hint of smokiness from the bacon. I love my potatoes and their red mash is right up there with the best. The bone-in 22 ounce Kansas City Strip took up the entire platter, done to perfection. The Pittsburgh style char was an awesome change and I liked the first 4 bites. Beyond that, the all over char was a tad too much for me, but the steak had so much incredible flavor, yeowza….it was phenomenal. Oh boy, let’s not forget the Parmesan fries, a huge order to be shared, served with horseradish cream. It was what every potato lover dreams of. Honestly.
Every bite of this meal from appetizer to the last bite of steak, was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. See their website for an array of awards.
Hours: Sun-Thurs 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Fri and Sat 5:00pm to 11:00pm.
Reservations are greatly recommended, call 407-363-0228 or see their website http://charleyssteakhouse.com
5 out of 5. They deserve a Gold Medal at the Steak Olympics.