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All reviews are honest opinions. All meals were paid for by the author of the article. Enjoy Life Magazine has not received any endorsements for our reviews. Enjoy Life Magazine is not affiliated with the chefs or restaurants in any capacity.

Eastside Bistro at Avalon- Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed

By Lakesha Woods
Published: July 22, 2014

After picking my mom up from Orlando International. I decide to detour and get off the highway to gas up. Our detour knocked us off course (we didn't know where we were) but we ended up in an area called Avalon. It was there that we stumbled upon Eastside Bistro - a hidden treasure in quaint town. Our waiter was Brandon Mazzone ... really nice guy who just so happens to be the restaurant owner's son. My mother was asking for extra things ... more sauce ... napkins ... this and that. I was a little worried that she was going to get on his nerves and then maybe we would start to get a lack of service, but Brandon didn't roll one eye or hesitate to accommodate. He was on point in every manner. When I asked my 15 year old daughter to describe her experience she said, "I enjoyed my experience at Eastside Bistro. the service was superb!"  My mother even gave an extra tip. And, why not? The food was delicious (American cuisine). We ordered: (1) Cajun Mahi Wrap with fries, (2) Chipotle Chicken Wraps; 1 with fries and the other with sweet potato fries; (1) turkey burger with fries and a glass of White Zinfandel. Our total cost was $52.98 (before the tip) and this was an order for 4 people. The atmosphere was cozy, very clean and quiet. I would suggest this place as a nice outing
for a group of friends or even a date night. Eastside Bistro is family owned and operated and they often have live entertainment along with special happy hour promotions. Eastside Bistro is located at 12001 Avalon Lake Drive; Orlando, Florida 32828. For large groups you'll need a reservation call: 407-381-0047 - don't forget to mention that Lakesha Woods from Enjoy Life Magazine recommended Eastside Bistro!

A Salad that Screams Bingo!

By Lakesha Woods
Published May 15, 2011

It was love at first sight! I fell in love with the ambiance before I even had a bite to eat. Kelle, aka Queen City SuperMom, asked me if I wanted to get out for my birthday; she originally wanted to go somewhere else but I?m glad she changed her mind and took me to Mert's Heart & Soul. This place is going to be one of my new stumping grounds.


     People where sitting outside chit chatting in the 70 degree weather ... wind blowing, passerbyers walking along the side walk. We tried to hang outside but after maybe about a good 7 minutes we decide to dine inside.

No problem, our waitress assured as she welcomed us to take a seat wherever we wanted to. We scanned the menu and Kelle said, "Girl, wait to you taste the cornbread" I love cornbread, I'm just a bread type of girl anyway, so I was looking forward to it.

It was kind of late in the evening for a full course meal so we both decided to have a salad. Kelle called me a copy cat because I decided to have the Buttermilk Chicken Tender salad like her. I beg to differ, I'm truly an independent free spirit but hey, I know when to follow a good idea and I'm so glad that I followed suite because they have a salad that screams BINGO!

The mixed greens were topped with chicken tenders that were soaked in buttermilk, herb marinade and white cheddar cheese. I added blue cheese and ranch salad dressing and it was oh so delicious. Let me add that this salad was huge, they weren’t stingie with the lettuce! We also ordered some Home Fries (wedges) and after that on top of corn bread, I was full and very satisfied! The waitresses even sang happy birthday to me! That topped the evening; I’d recommend Mert’s Heart & Soul. I know I’ll be back soon to try more dishes on the menu.

Mert's Heart and Soul is located at 214 N College Street; Charlotte, NC 28202


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Lotus Buffet - A Few Good Things

By Lakesha Woods
Published December 1, 2010

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With a craving for a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and an irresistible taste for some Chinese rice and crab rangoons, I found myself headed to Lotus Buffet located in the University area of Charlotte, North Carolina. The wait wasn't long, I was seated just as soon as I walked in the door. The weekend price was the only shock, it went up just a couple of dollars and although the price was still reasonable, the increase was not mentioned over the phone when I called prior to coming. Le's talk about the food. I started with a salad, the plates appeared to be clean, the lettuce was nice and fresh but the selection of salad dressing was slim. I ate some Sushi and came back for a second plate that included vegetable fried rice, crab rangoons and shrimp. Now I don't know why I chose the shrimp with the shells still on. Bad selection, that's a clear indicator that the shrimp is not deveined, but I went for it anyway. I peeled and picked and chewed up some parts only for the taste and then politely spit out pieces of shell in my napkin. That spoiled the meal a bit and I later wished that I didn't waste my time picking away at the shrimp.

The dessert select wasn't very good. All of the desserts seemed to be too hard, for instance the cakes, the cheese cake dessert was not good so I would have to say don't set your heart on the desserts. There was a variety of American foods, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and I even saw pizza. Out of everything that I tried I would have to say that I enjoyed the chow mein, the Sushi, Salad Bar and vegetable friend rice. For an all you can eat buffet under $12 on the weekend, I would say that it was worth it. With any buffet there will always be a some things that are better than others you just have to remember what they are and make a meal out it in order to feel satisfied with the money that you've spent. 
Lotus Buffet is located at: 9605 N Tryon Suite H. Charlotte, NC 28262-8572. Request a Review email: [email protected]
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