Our crew of 6 visited over Spring Break (April 5-11, 2014). When I travel, I always look for the mom and pop restaurants to get a taste of the local flavor. It was my birthday, and I was given the opportunity to choose the restaurant, so I began searching the internet for a local BBQ restaurant. There were a couple in the Orlando area, but the others seemed to "touristy" by the looks of their websites and some of their reviews. This was not the case with Bubbalou's.
We set out to find the restaurant. While it was a little bit of a drive from the Kissimmee area, the interstate was clear, making the drive an easy one. When we arrived, we were a bit skeptical of the place. There's nothing pretty about the place. It's definitely a mom and pop place, which is exactly what I wanted. Most in the crew were ready to opt for something else, but I said, "Sometimes the best food is found in the dive restaurants." Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is not on TV because of the poor tasting food.
So, you place your order at the counter, take a number and wait for your food. There are picnic tables inside and outside (under a roof), but there probably aren't more than 24 tables total. The staff prepares your food and brings it to your table, but that's it....mainly self serve. You go to the counter for drink refills, throw your own trash away, etc. The atmosphere is comfortable and not too loud. The folks behind the counter taking our order were very pleasant. I believe we either ordered from the manager or the owner, as we entered into a conversation about how difficult it is to find good mom and pop restaurants. I also advised him I'd be posting to Trip Advisor, so make sure the food was good!
He didn't skimp on the portions either. The restaurant has a plate of food with 4 different meats and two vegetables for only 14.95! The plate had sliced pork BBQ, sliced beef BBQ, a 1/4 chicken and 3 pork ribs. It also came with bread. It was a very filling meal, and it tasted very good. The mustard sauce (they keep this one at the counter) was the best! It was delicious. The others were good, but I kept going back to the mustard sauce each time. Three of us had this meal while the other three had sandwich baskets. One had the fried fish (flounder, I believe), one had the double cheeseburger and the other had the BBQ sandwich. They were served with fries; and again, a good portion of food.
The restaurant seemed clean on the inside. The side parking lot, as you enter, didn't look very clean. I would encourage the owner to make that more presentable. You might get more customers if it were cleaned up. It was one of the reasons we almost turned away. As we left that night, we passed by a pedestrian walking his bike, and he asked us for money. When I turned him down, he made a smart remark to me and went on his way. While this is not indication of what the restaurant is like, it would give some credibility to the way we felt when we first arrived.
Food: Very Good
Price: Very Good
Service: N/A, but the personalities of the staff were very good
I will visit again when I'm back next year.
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