Orlando, FL

Eating at Don Julio Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar – A Whole New Experience

Debbie Centeno

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Entrée- photo by the author

We Chose Mexican

We enjoy trying out different restaurants and while we did not go out to eat during 2020 because of COVID; we did a lot of Uber Eats. However, returning to our occasional family treat at a different restaurant, we ventured out to Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar at 9776 Eagle Creek Center Blvd in Orlando, FL. Don Julio Mexican Kitchen has been around since 2014 but this specific location opened in 2019. 

The Restaurant Atmosphere

I like that it also has outdoor seating, though it was too hot for us to eat outside. The interior decoration is a mix of Mexican charm meets modern touch. The music was appropriate for the theme, makes you want to dance. It could have been lower, though. We arrived at 5:20 p.m. and had a wait time of 25-30 minutes, however; the hostess called us within 10 minutes of arrival. There were plenty of people eating inside and outside already, but the place is quite large so it didn’t seem too busy.

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Clay jars attached to the ceiling- photo by the author

Service Could Have Been Better

The service was wonderful. The hostess that checked us in greeted us politely. As well as the young lady who led us to our table. Our server was courteous, however, he lacked in providing a great service. But that’s okay.

We usually look at the menu online before arriving at the restaurant. It gives us a chance to learn what each plate entails and know what questions to ask while ordering. Also, it cuts the time of looking at the menu in the restaurant allowing us to engage in each other and our surroundings. We were a party of 5 and had a mighty appetite so we ordered drinks, appetizers, entrée, and dessert.

Drinks

For our drinks, we had their famous Paradise Margaritas. One was tamarind on the rocks, which were not too sweet and served over ice on a large margarita glass with a lemon wedge. It was not appealing to the eye, but good. However, I recommend you try it. The guava margarita on the rocks was a bit too sweet, but also good. It, too, was served the same way as the tamarind on the rocks. We also had a frozen tamarind margarita. The taste was pleasant and served in a large margarita glass as well. Another of our drinks was a red sangria. The sangria was watery and lacked the fruity and wine taste. I don’t recommend the red sangria.

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Red Sangria- photo by the author

Appetizers

Our appetizers (antojitos) included “Tostones Locos” and “Aguacate Rellenos.” The “Tostones Locos” is green fried plantains topped with grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak, guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, and chipotle salsa. We went for the grilled chicken and steak. The “Aguacate Rellenos” is an avocado cut in half and stuffed with either grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak and topped with onions, tomatoes drizzled with chipotle salsa, and a side of cilantro-lime rice, which was delicious. What a great combination. These treats were delicious. I can’t tell you which to choose, as they were both equally enjoyable.

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Appetizers- photo by the author

Entrees

We followed our appetizers with a great variety of entrees. We had Don Julio Bowl, which is cilantro rice, black beans, lettuce, avocado, corn, cheese, cream, and pico de gallo. One of them with shrimp and the other with steak. Another entrée we enjoyed was a Fajita Don Julio with steak and chicken topped with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a side of tortillas. There was also an entrée of three shrimp tacos. But the biggest meal was the “Molcajete Doña Pepa.” This plate includes steak, chicken, shrimp, pork, chorizo, grilled onions, bell peppers, cheese, and avocado. These entrees also include a side of Mexican rice, refried beans, lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, and tortillas. Don Julio did a great job with plating our meals. Not only did they look appetizing, but they were delicious. May I add that the refried beans are the best we’ve ever tasted!

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Sweet Touch to End the Night

The perfect end to the night was with a sweet touch of flan and churros. Topped with a strawberry and a side of whipped cream was the flan—just the right amount of sweetness and homemade taste. And they served the churros with a side of a chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream. Ahh, there’s never anything negative to say about desserts. 

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Desserts- photo by the author

Well Worth It!

Our experience at Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar was great. I rate this restaurant a 5 out of 5. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself and let me know what you think. 

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

Orlando, FL
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