Restaurant Review: The Prickly Pear

8 Feb

We headed downtown on a Sunday a few months ago to visit the Lake Eola farmer’s market, and we decided to stop by Prickly Pear for their Sunday Brunch. Prickly Pear is owned by the same group as local favorites Funky Monkey and Bananas Diner, so it’s been on our “to try” list for a while. They offer a different menu for Sunday Brunch, so be aware that if you visit for dinner you’ll see a different menu than what we sampled.

We were dining with our dog and our baby, so we enjoyed dining al fresco. The generous amount of elbow room between tables was a big plus for doggy- and family-dining, but visitors should note that the proximity between neighboring buildings creates a bit of an echo effect, so this location is probably best for quiet kids and pets.

Prickly pear has an interesting cocktail menu as well as a respectable list of craft beers. My husband had the Corsendonk brown and I enjoyed a La Fin du Monde.

For starters, we had the smoked duck quesadilla. It was wonderful, our favorite of the day. The duck was tender with a rich, lightly smoked flavor, and the unexpected pairing with a quesadilla worked surprisingly well.

For our main course, my husband and I sampled the burger menu, which included sandwiches as varied as elk, smoked salmon and a veggie burger. I had the lamb burger, which was topped with tatziki, greens and a cranberry apple chutney. I wasn’t a fan of the chutney, which overpowered the rest of the dish. I usually try to eat a dish the way the chef meant it to be served, but in this case, I decided to scrape off the chutney and it proved to be a good decision. Once I did so, I could more clearly taste the lamb, the tatziki and the harmony between the two.

My husband had the bison burger, which was a stronger offering all around. The slight gaminess of the bison made for a distinctive burger and the generous portion of blue cheese on top made the sandwich a rich, indulgent treat.

My mom ordered corn cakes from the brunch menu. I didn’t taste them myself, but she reported they were much like regular silver dollar pancakes—good but not as exotic as we were expecting.

Service was prompt and courteous, and the atmosphere was relaxed, particularly since we were dining outdoors. Overall, we felt like Prickly Pear is a good addition to the downtown scene, and I’d like to try them again sometime to sample more of their signature dishes that weren’t part of the brunch menu.

Prickly Pear - Fresh American Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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