Ace Café -100 West Livingston Street, Orlando.
So much to say about the recently opened Ace Café in Orlando as it is so much more than just a Café, it is a veritable institution and a rite of passage for many motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. The original Ace, situated on London’s North Circular road was only minutes from my uncle Frank’s house in London and a regular stop over for another relative, my uncle Harry, who was a long-distance truck driver, so as very young boy I had been to the original Ace many times. What I had to eat has long since faded from memory but I do remember it had gravy of some sort as evidenced by the stain on my sweater and the chiding from my Mom when we returned home and a rebuke to my uncle for taking me to a “Greasy Spoon”. My other “claim to fame” was that in later years, and in true “Ace Boy” tradition I acquired a magnificent Triton motorcycle (Norton Featherbed Frame with Triumph Bonneville Engine) and met Johnny Kidd & the Pirates (Ace guys will know).
With this in mind we were very excited to say the least for our first visit to Ace Café last week. Although the café and bars were open, this is very much a work in progress development and there is so much more to come.
The tag line “There is always something happening @ the Ace” is very true, from Bikes, Bars, Cars, Food and Rock & Roll they have it all, featuring activities such as Meets & Events on their immense front parking lot to Festivals, a Motor Gallery and Memorabilia Store.
Let’s talk about the food. At the time of our visit the “Training Wheels” were still on and therefore a reduced menu, but in conversation with our server Adriel the service of a full menu starts this week (Check with Ace for details). As this is a British concept the choice was simple and made from the “From Across the Pond” section on the menu.
George’s Fish & Chips – North Atlantic Haddock coated in Yuengling beer batter, served with thick cut chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas. The fish was perfectly cooked and was presented as a full fillet (as opposed to goujons) coated with a great golden beer batter and just a hint of “Old Bay” seasoning. No skinny French fries here, just some great thick cut chunky chips. The mushy peas were unfortunately just crushed garden peas which tasted good but a far cry from traditional mushy peas. Obviously, the recipe did not make it across the pond, but as a call out to the Ace management, we would be happy to share my Mom’s mushy pea recipe with you if you decide to go totally authentic.
We came in the wrong door so totally missed the host stand (see insider tips) but Adriel picked us up and her service was attentive and informative as she explained many of the current activities and food offers, including an amazing brunch buffet and hinted of things to come.
- Enter the restaurant through the doors under the tower, I think there will be a sign soon but otherwise you miss the host stand.
- Saturday & Sunday they have an ultimate all-you-can – eat Brunch from 9am – 2pm and a build your own Bloody Mary bar.
- Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ is a likely addition this fall to the complex.
- A Backyard Beer Garden is also to be added this fall, as is a music shack with nightly “Live” Rock & Roll.
There are many “Themed” operations dotted around Orlando, in fact you could argue that Orlando is the capital of the themed restaurant, but Ace is unique in its ability to take an authentic style, history and culture, not one that has been manufactured and bring it into the twenty first century without watering down a message and experience that can be found nowhere else in the world.
Too much to cover on one visit so we will be back and like most customers will come for a meal, a beer or cocktail and stay much longer than intended.