Experiencing Orlando’s improving Black food is nothing less than pure joy. New concepts with a wave of Black chefs at the helm popped up during the pandemic and the time was used wisely as these eateries are serving up deliciousness more efficiently while prioritizing top notch service.
Chef Peterson Pierre is a great representative planting roots in the fertile ground of the brave new restaurant world. StreetWise Urban Food, located at 4434 Hoffner Ave, Orlando, FL 32812, is Chef Pierre’s most recent quick casual concept. With degrees from the University of Central Florida and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, we could taste chef’s education and experience with each bite of his outstanding menu. When walking in the space, you immediately think it is a concept dreamed up in a boardroom of a large restaurant group, but that assumption could not be further from the truth. The space design and menu creation are all from the mind and hands of Chef Pierre.
The food is incredibly fresh because he uses local purveyors, farmers, and suppliers to source his ingredients to create what I can honestly say is some of the best food in all of Orlando. The vast menu includes salad bowls, rice bowls, burgers, brunch items, and sandwiches and you can’t go wrong with any of it.
I started with the fried chicken tenders and waffles. Because I’ve had my share of this popular dish, I consider folks like Chef Nigel Drayton in Charleston, Chef Amaris Jones in Miami, and the unforgettable Chef Max Hardy of Detroit as Black Chef Chicken and Waffle royalty. They are the standard I compare everyone to whenever I experience the awesomeness of the now ubiquitous pair. I am happy to announce the royal family has a new member! Chef Pierre’s fried chicken had me reminiscing about incredible Haitian flavors from my 2018 trip to the island!
Chef created a beautiful amalgam of acidity with lime, vinegar, garlic, onions, and a hint of Scotch bonnet all woven into an incrusted fried strip with flavors embracing the Black American low county. The chicken’s delectable flavor was paired with a soft, light, fluffy and flavorful waffle with slightly crunchy edge. This was important since I hate waffles with no character. This waffle had character and a complete personality with hints of vanilla nuttiness that welcomed a generous pouring of Chef’s unique syrup. Chef’s homemade buffalo sauce infusion made this sweet-heat creation a delightful new addition to my top five chicken and waffles dishes in Florida.
The awesomeness of the chicken and waffles convinced me the other menu items were going to SLAP! They did! Sandwiches have a special place on this menu. Folks may think there is no cooking involved, just mere assembly, but that’s so not the case. I have tons of respect for great sandwich makers, especially those who tap into the unlimited potential to make sandwiches that are memorable, imaginative, and sophisticated.
Chef Pierre maxed out that potential with his Kicking Chicken Sandwich! This sandwich was EVERYTHING! The chicken was fried wonderfully with flavor through and through. The brioche bun added another amazing layer of flavor with it being slightly toasted with chef’s awesome garlic butter, giving the bun an almost Italian garlic bread quality. Each component of the sandwich complimented the other yielding a darn near PERFECT chicken sandwich.
Following the outstanding chicken sandwich, we went for the Street Burger, made from fresh, locally sourced beef that is never frozen. You can build your own burger using a variety of veggies, meats, and condiments. Mine had an amazing BBQ sauce, bacon, sauce, and cheddar cheese that I had to pack up to continue enjoying later because I was too full. The burger came with some AMAZING French fries that I washed down with their delicious craft sodas made with real sugar and no artificial flavorings. Chef surprised us with an outstanding cheesesteak sandwich with unbelievable flavor and quality proteins which was wonderfully constructed.
Mark my words – StreetWise Urban Food will surpass the owner’s expectations for its success. It has culinary star power potential all over it. If you find yourself in the Orlando, FL area, this place is most definitely worth a visit. Give them a call at (407) 367-5705 or visit the website, www.streetwiseorlando.com.