Bananas Diners - Fun, Stylish Diner Delivers on Comfort Food
I recently took J on a weekend away to Orlando and Tampa for his 40th Birthday. He collects records and some of the best vinyl stores are definitely in this area therefore we did a record store tour.
We weren't sure where to go for his birthday dinner - especially because he had very specific cravings. He wanted Chicken Fried Steak. We then remembered Bananas: A Modern Diner was a premier advertiser in Hotspots. We had wanted to try it in the past, but tried to go on a busy night without a reservation (reservations are recommended for this popular diner), so we were open to giving it another go.
Bananas is part of the Funky Monkey Wine Company family, which also includes Nick's Italian Kitchen and the Prickly Pear.
As soon as we entered, we were impressed. It's a really cool place. The interior is dark red and black and there are comfy booths, tables and a bar. There are several amazingly dressed drag servers there as well. When we sat down, we saw a bunch of people at the bar eating cotton candy. As I was taking all of these elements in (drag queens, red decor, cushy booths, cotton candy and liquor), I knew I found a place that really suited my tastes.
J and I were seated in a comfy booth decorated with a portrait of the lovely Miss Danielle Hunter (who hosts a Gospel Drag Brunch on Sundays). Although I lingered on the part of the menu with tempting Handspun Milkshakes, I decided to order a cocktail instead. After all, we were celebrating.
I studied the appetizer section. They have Fried Asian Green Beans, Nachos, Housemade Potato Chips, Funky Monkey Fried Goat Cheese and many other decadent items perfect to eat after a late night out. Have I mentioned Bananas great hours? They are open from 9 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays; open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays; and open until midnight on Sundays.
The birthday boy was insistent about trying the Deep Fried Pickles ($5.99), which were breaded and fried dill spears served with a spicy remoulade sauce. The pickles were crunchy salty goodness and the dipping sauce had the perfect kick to it.
After all of that big talk about Country Fried Steak ($12.99), J went in another direction and ordered the Funky Monkey Burger ($9.99) which was topped with fried goat cheese crusted with almonds, panko and tomato jam. The burger freak couldn't resist and it was a special occasion. When he pressed the bun down on his burger, the fried goat cheese sort of blobbed out (in a good way) and gave a great flavor to the sandwich. He chose sweet potatoes fries as his side dish.
For me, it was an easy choice on what to order for dinner. I saw the words "Lobster Mac N' Cheese" and I knew it had to be mine. When two things that delicious come together, you have to go for it. The "Lobster Mac N' Cheese" ($13.99) was loaded with big chunks of fresh Maine lobster. The lobster went amazingly well with the creamy mac n' cheese and the dish was the very definition of comfort food.
Some of the other items on the menu include salads, soups, sandwiches, wings, tenders, Ever Changing Mac-n-Cheese ($8.99) and a variety of delicious sounding specialty items like Chicken-n-Waffles ($12.99), Baby Back Ribs --which are braised in Coca-Cola ($12.99), Pot Roast ($12.99), Thanksgiving Dinner ($12.99), New England Style Lobster Roll ($13.99) and Skirt Steak ($13.99).
They also have a large variety of breakfast dishes, including a omelettes, benedicts, pancakes and French Toast stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese and coated with rice krispy cereal.
J's birthday dinner was a success and we have Bananas to thank for it. The diner is fun and the food is outrageous.
924 North Mills Avenue in Orlando