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Chef Eddie's

3214 Orange Center Blvd., Orlando, FL - (407) 505-6802
Posted By Michael Stern on 3/16/2014 4:15:00 AM
Chef Eddie's, which used to be called Queen Bee's, is an unexpected treasure in Orlando: downhome dining. It's especially wonderful on Sunday, when the expansive restaurant fills up with after-church families, but it also is a great place to dine on quieter weekdays. From breakfast through supper, Eddie's offers ambiance so pacific that many community members come to sit alone and read or text or watch an overhead television while they eat.

While Chef Eddie's has a cadre of regular customers, when we walked in for the first time we were greeted by waitress Debbie as if we, too, were old friends. She told us to choose a table, but when we found one we liked and sat down, we realized that the chairs were so low that we could rest our chins on a dinner plate. When Debbie saw our predicament, she directed us to another table, just under the TV, where Dr. Oz was telling viewers that they could boost their energy if they “add something yellow” to their diet.

The menu is a full repertoire of soul-food classics. Out front, a big smoker yields barbecued ribs so tender that you literally cannot pick one up without the bone sliding out from the great cylinder of meat that surrounds it. This is not mushy meat like on a baby back rib, but it is radiant with flavor, complemented by tangy, mustard-pepper sauce.

Queen Bee's used to be famous for its smothered pork chops, a tradition Chef Eddie James upholds. When I ordered some, waitress Debbie was so happy for me that she called out to Jane, "Oh, mama, you stay on your side of the street!" The chops are thin but intensely porky, smothered with onions and peppers in a long-simmered brown sauce.

No matter what you order, I highly recommend getting Parmesan cheese grits on the side. They have a beguiling smoky flavor, as if they are laced with bacon, but Debbie assured us there is no bacon in them. The chef uses smoked gouda cheese, which enhances the grits with extra dairy richness.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Parmesan Cheese Grits
BBQ Rib Dinner
Macaroni & Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Short Rib
Peach Cobbler
Collard Greens
Pig Tails
Cabbage
Red Velvet Cake
Pork Chops
Ice Tea
Pulled Pork
Sweet Potato Pie
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Cooked five hours in a wine and vegetable marinade, beef short ribs are served with sauteed carrots. A single rib is a mighty mesa of meat, hugely beefy, that pulls away from the bone in moist, tender shreds.
"Cooked five hours in a wine and vegetable marinade, beef short ribs are served with sauteed carrots. A single rib is a mighty mesa of meat, hugely beefy, that pulls away from the bone in moist, tender shreds."
Michael Stern





Chef Eddie told us that he uses three kinds of cheese in his mac 'n' cheese and bakes it in the oven.
"Chef Eddie told us that he uses three kinds of cheese in his mac 'n' cheese and bakes it in the oven."
Michael Stern


Cabbage is laced with green leaves and vividly peppery.
"Cabbage is laced with green leaves and vividly peppery."
Michael Stern


The little brown specks in the Parmesan cheese grits are not bacon, but they taste similar. They are melty Gouda cheese.
"The little brown specks in the Parmesan cheese grits are not bacon, but they taste similar. They are melty Gouda cheese."
Michael Stern


Debbie brings a plate of chicken and waffles. The waffle is half red-velvet, half regular.
"Debbie brings a plate of chicken and waffles. The waffle is half red-velvet, half regular."
Michael Stern


Pig tails are a joy to gnaw, worrying each little piece for equal amounts of meat and melt-in-the-mouth fat.
"Pig tails are a joy to gnaw, worrying each little piece for equal amounts of meat and melt-in-the-mouth fat."
Michael Stern


Disney World, et. al. may be Orlando's claim to fame, but for us, Chef Eddie's is a main attraction.
"Disney World, et. al. may be Orlando's claim to fame, but for us, Chef Eddie's is a main attraction."
Michael Stern


Intensely green and huge-flavored collard greens are the ideal companion to pork chops or BBQ.
"Intensely green and huge-flavored collard greens are the ideal companion to pork chops or BBQ."
Michael Stern


Sweet potato casserole, topped with melted marshmallows and a crust of brown sugar
"Sweet potato casserole, topped with melted marshmallows and a crust of brown sugar"
Michael Stern


All the good soul food restaurants of Orlando serve impressive layer cakes. This one is red velvet.
"All the good soul food restaurants of Orlando serve impressive layer cakes. This one is red velvet."
Michael Stern


Pulled Pork, from the smoker out in front of the restaurant, is laced with just enough tangy sweet sauce to coax out all its fine piggy flavor.
"Pulled Pork, from the smoker out in front of the restaurant, is laced with just enough tangy sweet sauce to coax out all its fine piggy flavor."
Michael Stern


Peach cobbler dessert is big enough for at least two.
"Peach cobbler dessert is big enough for at least two."
Michael Stern


Pork chops are thin but intensely porky, almost like great slabs of lean bacon. They are smothered in a long-simmered brown sauce with onions and peppers.
"Pork chops are thin but intensely porky, almost like great slabs of lean bacon. They are smothered in a long-simmered brown sauce with onions and peppers."
Michael Stern


A hearty pork chop dinner. By the way, that corn muffin is laced with shreds of very hot jalapeno pepper.
"A hearty pork chop dinner. By the way, that corn muffin is laced with shreds of very hot jalapeno pepper."
Michael Stern


Chef Eddie's smoker is positioned right out front of the restaurant.
"Chef Eddie's smoker is positioned right out front of the restaurant."
Michael Stern


Sweet potato pie is pretty good, but not up to the high standards of the dishes that come before it.
"Sweet potato pie is pretty good, but not up to the high standards of the dishes that come before it."
Michael Stern


Tea is ultra sweet. served in a modest-sized glass that will be refilled throughout the meal.
"Tea is ultra sweet. served in a modest-sized glass that will be refilled throughout the meal."
Michael Stern



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