In Orlando, you don’t have to go far to find the perfect place for hungry and thirsty sports fans. Church Street is home to the official restaurant of Orlando City, Lion’s Pride Soccer Pub & Grill.
Featuring a stadium-like experience with an upstairs lounge, semi-private suites and bar seating overlooking a 200-inch big screen TV, this year-old venue makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. With 40 televisions throughout the building and themed décor showcasing soccer specifically, owner Gustavo Fonseca designed Lion’s Pride as a place for individuals who share the same passion to gather.
What’s so impressive about the menu is that it isn’t just ordinary sports bar food. Sure, there are traditional wings, cheeseburgers and fries if that’s what you prefer to dig into while you’re watching the game, but Executive Chef Scott Phillips elevates the selection much further.
The “warm ups” (that’s appetizers for all you non-sports nuts) are hearty and imaginative. Smoked Brisket Tacos are a standout dish, as the juicy beef brisket is balanced with flavors of queso blanco and chipotle-aioli sauce. Fried Fish and Ahi Tuna Poke Tacos are also solid choices. Speaking of tuna, the Peppered Ahi Tuna is thoughtfully prepared using seared sushi-grade tuna loin and has a slight kick from the sweet Thai chili sauce. However, you can cool down your palette with a bite of the Lion’s Slaw and avocado relish accompaniments.
One more warm-up worth mentioning is the Beer and Sausage Board. It includes four types of sausage – garlic and herb, Calabria, Tuscany and Chorizo – paired with your choice of four 4 oz. drafts, all for $15.95. This is the perfect game-day snack.
Dishes in the “main event” category raise the bar even higher. The Shrimp and Lobster Risotto features a creamy Parmesan version of this classic dish, and it’s loaded with plump shrimp and a generous serving of lobster. Then there’s the Blue Cheese Angus Filet Mignon with a red wine demi glaze, Boursin cheese and garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus – an unexpected and welcome option for game-day cuisine. Looking for a lighter meal? Try the Rotisserie Rosemary Chicken with those tasty mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach paired with the popular red or white Sangria.
Desserts include the Romeo and Juliet, a flaky turnover stuffed with Guava cheese, or the rich and creamy Chocolate Mousse. And any meal can be paired with wine, beer or a cocktail inspired by Orlando, such as the OCS Rita, a classic margarita with Chambord, or the Lady’s Pride, a mixture of Absolute Lime, DeKuyper Blue Caracao, fresh lime juice and simple syrup.
Throughout Orlando City Soccer Club’s season, fans can participate in an All-You-Can-Eat-And-Drink Tailgate Party with unlimited draft beers, Sangria and finger foods during home games. Make sure to also save the date for the World Cup 2018 Watch Party, which Lion’s Pride will host from June 14 through July 15.
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