#193: The Station: A Bistro & Lounge

A while back I drove by The Station and noticed a sign that said Nouzari’s American Grill. First I thought “huh, The Station is gone.” Second I realized I had never been there and that I was pretty sure I had missed it entirely when making my list. Sure enough when I got home and pulled up the map, it wan’t there. I’ve been thinking about it regularly since then and last night finally went over to check it out.

The Station (which it is still called) is the odd building made up of railcars on Orlando, right across the street from Back Forty Texas BBQ that’s been there forever. This one was a strange one to try and get an exterior picture of because it doesn’t really seem to have a “front”. It’s just railcars from every angle. The entrance does not face the street and is near one end of the red caboose. I’m not really sure of the history, I’ve only ever known it at The Station, and didn’t even really know what it was beyond the name. From what I understand, the kitchen side of things has been commandeered by Nouzari’s American Grill, but everything else is basically the same.

I headed in at about 5:45. It was extremely quiet inside, which was even more apparent due to how wide open the place is inside. It was not at al what I was expecting. I figured it would be a maze of rooms and railcar hallways, but there is only one (plus the caboose) that you can go into and is clearly that, a railcar. The rest is a giant room with a bar on one side, kitchen on the other visible through a couple windows and a dance floor in-between. A huge oversized disco ball hangs in the middle of the vaulted ceiling. There is a smallish stage for live music and a side area with lots of tables.

I was slowly meandering past the bar while taking a look around and the bartender said to me “here’s a good spot” and cleared an empty glass from the middle of the bar. I asked for a menu and ordered a blue moon. She asked me if I wanted a regular or super(might have been a different word, but along the lines of super) Blue Moon. I figured it was just a size difference but asked just in case. That was a good thing because I learned that the Super Blue Moon basically has a shot in it, upping the alcohol. I opted for the standard. She then asked if I wanted an orange slice or OJ. I’ve never heard of OJ in a Blue Moon, though in hindsight it totally makes sense. She poured me a small amount to try first and it was pretty good so I went ahead with it.  It’s kind of a sweeter, smoother orange flavoring than you get by squeezing an orange into it.  I kinda dug it.

Meanwhile I looked over the menu, which was broken into Burgers/Sandwiches, Pasta and Steak/Chops. Nothing was really standing out to me on the 2nd page so I went back to the burgers and eventually settled on the California burger (Jack cheese, bacon, avocado & all the trimmings)[$9.00]. I added bacon and put in the order.  This took about ten minutes to prepare and be brought out to me.

The fries were very hot and crisp.  They didn’t have a ton of flavor.  Salt could have helped (it and pepper were offered to me) but I found that ketchup was really all they needed.  The burger was served open-faced.  The “trimmings” consisted of lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickles atop a layer of mayo and mustard.  The lettuce and onions were nice and crisp and the tomatoes incredibly ripe, juicy and flavorful.  I took half the pickles off because 4 seemed like a bit much.  The other side was the patty, which I think I had asked for cooked medium.  On top of that was an already melted slice of Jack cheese, three or four thin slices of avocado and a couple of long, folded, crisp strips of bacon.  After removing the pickles I put it all together and carefully picked it up.  The mayo and mustard were a little on the heavy side, which was fine because it was pretty tasty and to be honest, the patty needed a little bit of help there.  It was warm and generally cooked medium, perhaps leaning to medium-well.  I found the avocados were not as ripe and soft as they could have been, so they didn’t have a ton of influence in this burger.  The bacon was pretty good and there was enough for a little in each bite.  I didn’t really taste the cheese very much.  The veggies were all great.

This one kind of reminded me of the burger at Diamond Plate where the produce was the star, but this one had a little more potential to it.  The bartender here was all kinds of awesome, very friendly, funny and chatty.  The time that I chose to come here doesn’t at all showcase what the station is about, but I was here for dinner only, so that’s all I’m really basing this on.



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