I love a good “neighborhood” restaurant ~ one that is stylish, has a creative, but not outlandish, menu and just feels like a great place to hang out with friends for awhile. Marlow’s Tavern is just that ~ a stylish neighborhood restaurant where people can come to comfortably visit for hours and enjoy some American fare with an interesting twist.
Disclaimer #1: I was invited to a complimentary tasting at Marlow’s Tavern in exchange for my honest review. All photos shown and opinions listed below are 100% mine and mine alone.
Nothing is more fun than getting together with a group of friends at a local restaurant to taste the menu and chat the afternoon away. My friend, Niccole at The Creative SAHM, recently arranged for about seven of us to visit Marlow’s Tavern on International Drive in Orlando for a sampling of their summer menu.
About Marlow’s Tavern
So – tell me about Marlow’s Tavern, T. Well, Marlow’s Tavern was created with the intent of becoming a restaurant that had both modern comforts and sleek design. It boasts an open kitchen where diners can watch the chefs at work and both communal tables and large, cozy booths in which Guests can relax. It’s a tavern, so obviously there is a well stocked bar on the premises and flat screen plasma TVs situated to be seen with every turn of the head – just in case some game is playing.
On the website, you will see that “House Made is the House Rule.” It’s a modern tavern menu and the food is made fresh daily, cut daily and prepared specifically for you. If you like traditional American fare, then you are squared away at Marlow’s Tavern. If you like American fare with a twist, then you’ll find yourself some great options, as well. There are classic tavern burgers and fries and tavern favorites that include chicken, steak and salmon dishes. There are starters to whet your appetite and then plates to share around the table, as well as some creative salads and wraps / sandwiches to enjoy. Honestly, there is something for everyone here. I can’t see anyone going home hungry.
So, what did we try?
When I arrived, the girls were all hanging out on the open patio with fans blowing to keep them cool. Drinks had already been poured and were out for photos and straw sampling. I jumped right into the mix and started snapping a few pics to post on my social media channels. Out of their fairly extensive list, they were showcasing the following for us:
- Cucumber Rita ~ Herradura Reposado Tequila, Brovo Boomerang, Cucumber, House-Made Sour and Salt, of course.
- Blueberry Buck ~ The Classic Tavern Favorite…Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka, Fresh Lime, Simple Syrup, Barritt’s Ginger Beer and Shaved Nutmeg.
- Grapefruit Ricky ~ (2.0) American Harvest, St. Germaine, Fresh Grapefruit Juice and a Squeeze of Lime
- MIA Tavern Beer ~ Featuring Amarillo and Mosaic Hops, Tropical IPA with Hints of Pineapple and Grapefruit
While most of my friends really liked the Blueberry Buck, I decided on the Cucumber Rita. It just seemed to hit the spot that day (and so did the Tequila!). Don’t worry – I took my time .
Which would you choose?
Before long, we were being introduced to the edible portion of our tasting. Mike, the Marlow’s Tavern manager, and Daniella, our faithful and amazing server for the afternoon, carried out several plates of appetizers for us to photograph, try and share. In the mix, we had:
- Marlow’s Famous Hummus ~ Classical Creamy Hummus, Grilled Toasty Seasoned Pita, Crisp Veggies, Marinated Olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. There was a fabulous little kick to it, too.
- Watermelon Salad ~ Watermelon with fresh basil, ginger and balsamic. That simple, my friends. Apparently, watermelon is huge this year (and July is National Watermelon month – go eat some watermelon).
- Fig and Bacon Toast ~ Toasty Rosemary Ciabatta, Whipped Ricotta, Black Mission Figs, Caramelized Onion, Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, Balsamic Glaze.
- Ahi Tuna Poke ~ Ahi Tuna, Hawaiian Style, Avocado, Teriyaki Glaze, Scallion and Crispy Wonton.
My ultimate favorite? Hands down, it was the Fig and Bacon Toast. People – there was so much flavor in just one little bite. It was crazy delicious! Honestly, I could have munched on that all day. And to think, I never knew I liked figs.
I had one more surprise coming my way. I had never eaten Ahi Tuna prior to this event ~ just not my thing. Of course, because I was at a sampling and wanted to make sure I could give an accurate account from my own personal taste buds, I decided to give the Ahi Tuna Poke a try. Mixed in with the tuna were chunks of avocado, which added a smooth texture to the bite.
Believe it or not – I liked it. I don’t think I could have devoured the plate, but I did like it and would likely share it with someone in the future.
Mike had even more “amazing” coming our way. Not long after we had snapped our photos of and tasted the savory appetizers, he and Daniella were serving us some mouthwatering entrees! Among the fabulous options included:
- Roast Chicken Frisco Club & Fried Okra ~ Prestige Farms Chicken, Melting Swiss, Arugula, Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, Granny Smith Apple, Pickled Red Onion and Horseradish Aioli on Pressed Sourdough Bread, paired with Fresh Fried Okra.
- Black & Blue Burger with Truffle Fries ~ Delicious Burger with Gorgonzola and Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon on a Toasted Sesame Brioche Roll, paired with Truffle Fries.
- Black & Blue Steak Salad ~ Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Crisp Field Greens, Orange Tomato, Crumbling Gorgonzola, Scallion and Pickled Red Onion topped with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing.
- Shrimp & Grits ~ White Cheddar Grit Cake, Sauteed Spinach, Roma Tomato, Shallot and Roast Tomato Buerre Blanc.
First of all, I’m a huge fan of truffle fries. They are yummy and I can’t eat enough of them (well, yes, I can ~ I do get full fairly easily). Second of all, all of these options were so juicy and delicious. It’s truly hard to pick a favorite. I will say, however, that I’m a pretty big fan of the Black & Blue Burger, but the Shrimp & Grits?? Oh – em – goodness! One of the girls called it “pure comfort food.” (nope ~ I can’t take the credit for that one)
To think we were already feeling the pangs of being completely full, Mike and Daniella brought out one more batch of food for us to sample. No one can turn down desserts, especially ones that looked just as decadent as these. They tasted just as fabulous.
- N.Y. Style Cheesecake ~ Classic Creamy Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberry, powdered Sugar and Cinnamon Crisp.
- Fried Banana Split ~ (talk about unique!!) Phyllo Wrapped Banana, Panko Crusted, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate, Strawberry and Caramel Sauces with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream. (oh, my gosh – my taste buds are screaming!!)
- Classic Crème Brûlée ~ This NYC Classic, House-Made with Madagascar Vanilla Bean and a Crispy Sweet Crust
- Pot de Crème Chocolate Pudding ~ House-Made Chocolate Pudding, Served in Cast Iron, with Chocoalte Sacue, Salted Caramel Whipped Cream and a Shortbread Cookie
I sampled a piece of the phyllo wrapped banana in the Fried Banana Split and did snag a small piece of the N.Y. Style Cheesecake and was already in Heaven. My favorite, though? Stick me in a room with a nice serving of crème brûlée and I would look like Winnie the Pooh with a bowl full of honey. I admit ~ that was difficult to share with my friends.
I now have a fabulous restaurant to visit here in central Florida and when I travel up to Georgia to visit family (or take the college kid back to the frat house). I am so in love with that Fig and Bacon Toast ~ which could probably pass as a meal. It has all the components ~ doesn’t it? Not to mention ~ crème brûlée, people!! Yum!
All in all, I loved the ambiance, the service, the food and the company. It was a win-win here and I would hope you would experience the same should you choose to visit Marlow’s Tavern.
And on that note…..
Here’s a Giveaway!!
Since I had such a fabulous time at Marlow’s Tavern, I want YOU to have the same opportunity to enjoy delicious food in a comfy, stylish atmosphere. Comment below on the food you crave most from the pics above and enter for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Marlow’s Tavern. The contest will run until July 29th at 12 AM (so enter by July 28th at 11:59 PM to be safe). See below for more details.
But I don’t live in Georgia or Florida… Okay, I hear you, but do you travel through or to them at all during the course of the year? Do you have family or friends for whom this gift card may make a good birthday gift or even a stocking stuffer? Too soon? I’m sorry, I know, but the holidays will creep up on us quickly.
🎉Congratulations to Rosemary C.!!🎉
Food Allergy Note: One member of our group does have severe food allergies (like my son). It was encouraging to see the staff at Marlow’s Tavern take great care of her and make sure that she enjoyed everything she wanted to try and with the confidence that they were taking every necessary precaution. So – if asked – yes, I would bring my son with severe food allergies to Marlow’s Tavern (Pointe Orlando).
Extra Marlow’s Tavern tips:
- Valet parking is available
- If you spend $30+ on your meal, you will receive a voucher for the valet
- Marlow’s Tavern is located in various locations throughout Georgia and Florida (click here to find out where)
- Sunday brunch is served at select Marlow’s Tavern locations.
- Here are some of the menus to glean:
A FEW IMPORTANT THINGS TO SHARE ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:
- No purchase necessary to win; only an email address is required. Your privacy is important to me. I will not share (other than with a sponsor for the purpose of getting a prize to you, if applicable) or sell either your email address or mailing address.
- This contest will run from July 19th until July 29th at 12:00 AM.
- The winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter Random Selector (which uses Random.org) and contacted via email on July 29th. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. The winner’s entries will be verified and Footprints in Pixie Dust writer and owner, Tina M. Brown, is not responsible for any technical failures or for any sponsor’s inability to live up to his or her prize obligation, nor is she responsible for lost, broken, damaged or stolen prizes.
- Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of prize, unless otherwise noted.
- Unless otherwise specified, this is open to U.S and Canada only, ages 18+.
- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway.
- The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- Footprints in Pixie Dust reserves the right to publish winner’s first name and last initial. Footprints in Pixie Dust also reserves the right to choose a different winner in the case that the randomly chosen winner refuses to cooperate with rules, doesn’t reply to the winning email within the 48 hour time period or does not have verifiable entries.
- Contact information for sponsor(s), if applicable, can be found in the review text via website links.
- This giveaway is subject to the laws of the state of Florida. Taxes due, if any, on prize winnings, are the sole responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law.
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