On Sunday, three of us dined at Hemingway’s in the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel in Orlando near Lake Buena Vista, or the Downtown Disney area. We live in Brevard County so took the 528 Beachline Expressway west to Orlando until it merged into I-4, then headed W (towards Tampa) on I-4 for a bit before taking the Lake Buena Vista (535) exit. We headed north on 535 (S. Apopka Vineland Rd) past Disney’s Lake Buena Vista entrance, then turned left at Palm Parkway. You can see the entrance (on the left) to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress as soon as you’re on Palm Parkway. We didn’t encounter any traffic on the way over, though we did have to pay several tolls to get there. If you drive around towards the back of the Hyatt property, you will eventually reach a self-parking area with gates. Take a ticket and get it validated at the restaurant and you won’t have to pay any parking fee. Another option is to valet at the front entrance, but be warned that Hemingway’s is at the back of the property, so you will have a longer walk than if you self-parked in the back yourself.
Two of us had the Key Wester salad. I had this same salad last year and thought it was amazing then. It was still a good salad this year, though I think they may have either changed or cut some of the ingredients.
Our friend said Hemingway’s “Cayo Hueso” crab cakes were the best she’s ever had, and she’s eaten quite a few crab cakes. She mentioned that it had real crab meat, meaning some crab cakes don’t? I obviously don’t eat crab cakes so I’ll take her word for it!
My husband and I had the Cuban criollo chicken and again, while very good, it was not the same as last year’s version. We think they switched out mashed potatoes or rice for fingerling potatoes, but I can’t be sure, since I didn’t take a picture last year. But something was definitely different.
We all had the peanut butter delight for dessert, and I was very disappointed. The one thing I remember from last year’s meal was something that I believe was called the peanut butter bomb. It was to die for, and the reason we came back. It was some peanut butter concoction shaped like a billiard ball and coated with chocolate. I remember biting into a peanut butter creme last year and thinking it was heaven. What we got this year was really just chocolate cake with peanut butter cream. But honestly, it really didn’t have much flavor, and I really couldn’t taste the peanut butter.
Service was slow because they had a full house (Labor Day weekend), and we weren’t seated for our 7:30 p.m. reservation until about 8:30. The noise level was also quite loud and it’s brightly lit, so I would not recommended Hemingway’s if you’re looking for a quiet, romantic dinner. Overall, dinner at Hemingway’s is good if you’re in the area, but it wasn’t worth the drive for us this year. [contentblock id=68 img=gcb.png]