A series of small disappointments.
We had spent the day driving 600 miles to Altamonte for a music festival in Orlando the next day. Not wanting to waste much time choosing a dinner location we simply asked the front desk attendant at our hotel for an opinion and she recommended two places, one of which was Elephant Bar and Restaurant which was close by.
The atmosphere looked appealing, and the menu extensive, so we figured it would a good choice.
Then began the series of small disappointments.
First, for a place with "bar" in the title, the beer selection was pitiful. While there were a few selections worth drinking such as Yuengling and the Sam Adams seasonal variety, there was not a single craft, micro or local brew there. Not a deal-breaker, but a bit of a let-down.
Second, we were quoted 30-35 minutes and weren't seated until 50 minutes. Again, not a deal breaker, but we're not off to a good start here.
Knowing that tap water in Florida is horrid and tastes of sulfur, I ordered lemonade to find out upon tasting it that it's made with tap water. Gross.
I ordered a burger medium-well and a side garden salad with light ranch on the side. When my meal finally arrived my burger was medium-rare (that's two steps off, mind you), and was I in for a surprise with the salad dressing.
An honest mistake I'm sure, but while I ordered Ranch, I was given blue cheese. I detest blue cheese dressing. I didn't notice because they look the same so I poured it over my salad and started munching only to be grossed out.
I substituted the macaroni and cheese for the fries that come with the burger hoping for a hearty, homestyle baked macaroni and cheese. What I was served was atrocious. The pasta was WAY overcooked (seriously, that's practically a pasta sin), and the cheese sauce was overpowering and unimaginative. And, who tops their mac'n'cheese with croutons?
Any one (or maybe even two) of these issues might not have been so bad, but this place is definitely not worth the time, effort or money.
In short, the beer selection is embarrassing for an establishment with "bar" in the title, the food is poorly prepared and the waitstaff seems uninterested in providing a quality experience.
At best, mediocre.
My friend and I were in the area and decided to try Elephant Bar. Having both been there separately for drinks, we figured it would be a sure bet for dinner. Boy, were we wrong.
Although we were seated promptly, the service throughout the meal was lacking. Our server said to us (clearly) four times "I'll bring you some napkins and silverware". Four times. And still, when our meals arrived, we had to ask the kitchen runner to bring us napkins and silverware. The food was mediocre - there are a multitude of other places in Orlando to find the same or better dishes. My entree was "Crispy Honey Chicken" - don't let the name fool you - it was far from crispy. I guess "Soggy Honey Chicken" wasn't an appealing marketing strategy :-P My friend had requested no sauce on the entree and it arrived covered in sauce. We had also both requested a brown rice substitute to the white rice we were served on the side. The rice we were served was not whole grain brown rice: it was white rice with soy sauce stirred in to make it look like brown rice.
Needless to say, I don't think I will dine at Elephant Bar again in the near future. And I will not recommend it to anyone who asks, especially when Altamonte Springs has so many other options!
Take a culinary ride on the wild dining side while shopping at the Altamonte Mall..
Satisfy your hunger pangs at a jungle- and African-inspired restaurant. The dining destination is more casual than its sister location near the Mall at Millenia but still has a lot of class. The booths have colorful, animal-printed seat rests and the décor features an elephant head, taupe-colored zebra prints bordering the ceiling and vintage-looking suitcases with travel stickers. The Asian-influenced menu features over 20 delish entrees fordbch a little over $10 each along with tropical drinks.
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