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The Smiling Bison Review

The Smiling Bison ReviewI have to come out and just admit it; gastropubs are just my main thing investigate this site. I like the chill feel and incredible eats where you can laugh and let loose, unlike some of those in fancier culinary sphere. When my weekend plans got jumbled due to some friends who came down with the cold that’s been making its way around town, I was giddy to make some new plans to try out The Smiling Bison off of Colonial near Fashion Square Mall.

So, here’s my The Smiling Bison Review…

The Smiling Bison Review


745 Bennett Rd.

Orlando, FL 32803

The Smiling Bison PoutineRight off the beaten path, tucked away just blocks from Fashion Square Mall, there’s a “The Smiling Bison” sign leading in from a small parking lot. You can’t really see it from the main road, but once you get your first taste, where to find these great eats is etched into your memory for life.

Overall, the food was good and the mason jars were a nice touch. It sort of reminded me of Prato with the heavy wood and earthy feel that the dining area had. Mostly, I have to commend the staff. They were very friendly and down-to-earth, which is always a major plus when you’re trying to get out of the hustle and bustle and just enjoy some grub.

There were only two of us who went so we didn’t get to sample EVERYTHING, but we made sure to hit the top picks according to our sweet waitress.

For starters, the Poutine was a good kickoff with nice big cheese curds over fresh potato wedges. The gravy was a little heavy for my liking, but they didn’t smother it over the food either, so I took what I wanted of it and left the rest.
Bison Burger - The Smiling Bison
We were told that the Bison Burger is a must and that the pork chops were incredible. I was feeling particularly adventurous and splurged to get the fried egg to top off the Bison Burger and it was great. The Texas toast in lieu of a bun gave a little more crunch and texture the burger plus the shoestring fries put a fun twist to the plate. I honestly hate mushrooms, so I made sure to get the signature mushroom ketchup on the side and taste-tested it with the fries. I kind of regret that decision because it was AMAZING!

As for the pork chop, everything was tender and it was a pretty big portion for the price. I was impressed. I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t take much for a pork chop to go wrong, but luckily The Smiling Bison hit the nail on the head.

Massive, Juicy Pork Chop From The Smiling Bison OrlandoThe menu had good prices (and the service was fairly fast, giving us plenty of time to stop in, eat and head to the theater just minutes away).

On the night we went, there wasn’t a whole lot going on which was what we wanted for that night, but things do get festive in this new smash hit. With Jazz Tuesdays and performances throughout the week, we have plans to come back and see what happens when the instruments come out! (To check out their performance calendar, click here.)

We regret not being able to try the drink menu, but all of the fun tables around us made sure to take care of that for us. They all seemed to be loving it, but we’ll have to circle back later to give you more deets on the drinks.

About The Smiling Bison’s Story

We didn’t get a chance to speak to the owners, but we did creep on their backstory online. The moral of the story: The name is a tribute to Buffalo, NY and the Bison Burger just kind of put the cherry on top of the name since everyone presumed that serving bison dishes would be their thing. They opened just last year and they’ve been putting love into their creative twist on dishes ever since. Both the Chef and Sous Chef have relations with another one of our favorites, The Ravenous Pig! Serving up American tapas, the healthy meat of the bison, pizzas, sandwiches and of course, brews, The Smiling Bison is a new hit in our books. Learn more here >>

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