151 Welbourne Ave E
Winter Park, FL 32789
My food spirit guide from Oviedo, suggested a road trip to Winter Park. For anyone who has not been there, if you’re heading anywhere near Orlando, make the detour and spend a few days here. A wonderful community, beautiful open spaces, boat tours on the lake, art galleries, museums and boasts one of the oldest and largest art festival in the nation and not to be forgotten some of the best restaurants in the area. This trip was to explore Cocina 214 offerings. No a fan of Tex- Mex, but open minded I was in for the adventure. Street parking made it a challenge to find a space, but we lucked out with a space no too far from the restaurant. We did find out later there is valet parking, but this town is made to walk in, so it was a win win. Upon arrival the building was quite plain, nothing to grab the attention, but that ends immediately upon entry. A spacious, covered street side dining space is available, and going in the door, a well appointed bar, dining area is also available, take a few more steps into the space and it opens into a beautiful large, well decorated space, open kitchen, and plenty of space to move around.
Despite the crowd we were seated immediately the service prompt and friendly. Water was poured, chips and salsa offered and shortly our server arrived to supply menus and take our drink orders. Kick off was the Elderflower Margarita and the El Diablo both drinks were tasty and refreshing on what was a very warm night.
We took our time to looking over the menu, there are many selections, and for someone like me who is not a fan, I did find several dishes to select from. We started with Mexican Street Corn, grilled corn, cayenne pepper, lime, cotija, queso fresco. There are two ears per serving so it is perfect for sharing. I can’t tell you it’s the best I have ever tasted, but it was nice, I would not order again
We also tested the Guacamole Trio, this was a much better experience. The flavors consisted of blue cheese, mango pineapple, habanero. Habanero was my favorite, spicy is always on my radar, an my guide liked the blue cheese.
One more share dish, the Ceviche, this is a dish I can get into and it did not disappoint. Tart, solid pieces of fish, just enough heat to please and tease the taste buds. We devoured this and could have eaten more.
Next up some street tacos. If I eat tacos I prefer the crispy shells, but slowly am being converted to soft shells. We opted for the street tacos, one with steak that held chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeno, fire roasted salsa that was so very flavorful, I had to ask for a second helping, and a most tender steak filling, the veggie taco was a combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, coastal slaw, jalapeno, citrus dressing, sliced avocado, verde sauce. Both of these dishes were voted very satisfying, and light. We were so full, there was no coaxing us into dessert.
Once again my spirit guide took me to a spot worthy of a second or third visit. This certainly got our vote and high marks at that. There is everything to like about this spot, good service, fun atmosphere, tasty drinks and food and prices that will please.