Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen
It seems like new markets and restaurants are springing up all over Central Florida while other long time established eateries are closing. So when the old Huddle House in Winter Park closed, the locals weren’t sure about the kind of restaurant, if any, that would replace it. Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen is a welcomed venue for the Central Florida area. The restaurant is located in the Aloma Shopping Center at the intersection of St. Andrews Boulevard and Aloma Avenue in Winter Park. The restaurant is moderately decorated in colorful New Orleans memorabilia and includes a small, but active, sports bar. According to one of the servers (and the menu), Tibby’s was created to honor Walter Tabony (Tibby), a life long resident of New Orleans. I also learned from the server that Tibby’s is owned by Tijuana Flats, a tex-mex fast food restaurant chain, and that construction of a second Tibby’s was well underway somewhere in Orlando.
On the menu are all of the usual traditional New Orleans dishes: remoulade, shrimp creole, seafood gumbo, muffuletta’s, red beans and rice, po-boy’s, fried catfish, jambalaya, crawfish, and beignets. Tibby’s also serves their spin on a few southern classics: fried pickles served with remoulade sauce, shrimp and andouille cheddar grits, sweet potato fries, cheeseburger po-boys, and much more. The first time I ate at Tibby’s I ordered the Lower Ninth Platter: a rather large plate of fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried oysters, hush puppies, and fries. My friends ordered the Chicken Pontchartrain—an awesome dish of chicken topped with artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes and sherry. On my last visit, I ordered the shrimp etoufee, and my friend ordered the seafood gumbo. Both dishes were good, but not as flavorful as anticipated. Of course, you can’t leave Tibby’s without indulging in the beignets or the bread pudding.
Tibby’s is a welcomed addition to the Winter Park cuisine scene. Even if you’re not a fan of Cajun or creole fare, you should try Tibby’s at least once. Don’t leave without sharing an order of beignets. You won’t be disappointed.