Hangin’ Out At…Amazonas Latin Grill
Jonesing for some good black beans and rice, or perhaps a nice cubano sandwich? Look no further than Amazonas. Located in the Wal-Mart shopping plaza on John Young Parkway and Sand Lake, Amazonas offers delicious Latin food at reasonable prices.
So reasonable, in fact, that I was recently coerced into going on a weekday whim (so unlike me, she who brings her lunch to work daily!). Thus, these photos are the first taken with my camera phone, which, I clearly don’t use very often. Please excuse the occasional blurriness of these pics.
I would described Amazonas as an unconventional hole-in-the-wall. The size of the restaurant gives it a mom-and-pop feel, but the quality of the menu board (above), take-out menus and general organization of the staff catapult what could easily be a “dive” into a contemporary, cozy place.
My companion ordered the oven-baked tilapia with yellow rice and green beans ($7.99). It’s his favorite dish there, something that he can order over and over again, seasoned just right to avoid the dreaded “fishy” taste.
I’ll take his word for it, as I was more interested in the lunch portion of the Shredded Pork with black beans ($4.50). The pork was tender and the black beans a bit wet, the way I like them. You may be wondering what’s sitting on top of the pork. It’s extra garlic, in a kind of sauce. Delicious, but I definitely needed a stick or three of gum afterward!
I’m a sucker for croquetas (they called them croquettes, which is weird because they used the French term in a Latin restaurant). If you’ve never had them, they’re sort of like a ball of mashed protein and potatoes that’s been deep-fried. Crispy on the inside, warm and soft on the inside. At 80 cents each, I got one ham croqueta and one chicken. Mmmm.
The takeaway: If you’ve ever been curious about croquetas, authentic paella, or even Venezuelan beer, pay Amazonas a visit. If you’re familiar with Cuban/Latin food and have wondered where you can get a decent portion of comforting food for a great price, look no further. And if you work in the area, it’s a great, cheap place to stop by with work chums.
Location: 8273 South John Your Parkway, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: 9a-7p Mondays through Thursdays, 9a-9p Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays
Menu: They’ve got a little bit of everything, so maybe narrow down what you’d like before you go.