I-Drive 360 will soon enter its second year in operation, but what makes it worth a visit? There are some hits and misses here, that’s true. The misses, like a gift shop selling the same mugs and t-shirts you can find along less desirable strips of highway, make it difficult to be on the level of Universal Orlando’s CityWalk or Disney Springs. The hits, however, make it a worthwhile destination.
Though Madame Tussaud’s Wax Figures don’t appeal to me all, not a day goes by that I don’t see someone in my social media feed posting selfies with their favorite wax celebrities. It looks to be a fun, inexpensive attraction. Secondly, SeaLife Aquarium appears to have some beautiful settings and lots of great photo opportunities.
Combine these two attractions with a breathtaking ride aboard the Orlando Eye and now you’ve got a great afternoon mapped out. I’ve been aboard the Orlando Eye twice. I felt a swell of pride as we rose above and gazed out over the attractions area. On a clear day, Fall is a great season to hop on board and enjoy the views from the Orlando Eye.
I-Drive 360’s best feature is actually their dining offerings. I appreciate that there is a range of options to fit practically any budget. Most of the restaurants are popular chains, but there is one in particular that is my favorite reason for visiting I-Drive 360. Tin Roof is the place! Every night live music can be heard pouring out of this place. It is vibrant and friendly. Best of all, the food is fantastic and a new menu has elevated Tin Roof to an even higher level, making it a must-visit for anyone who likes good music and great food.
Tin Roof’s new menu
Let me first say, I enjoyed Tin Roof’s previous menu so when they announced that a new menu was coming I got a little worried. Thankfully the revamp has taken a good thing and made it great! A group of local social media and blogging enthusiasts were invited to try out the new menu, but many of us were already regulars at Tin Roof, so this was a real treat!
On a night out, especially with friends, I tend to gravitate towards ordering 2-3 appetizers and sharing them as a group. So it’s important to me that this part of the menu have some stand outs. In fact, one of the items has now become something I crave on occasion.
Dixie Biscuits ($9.00)
These little bad boys became the hit of the table. Love at first bite! Three sliders are presented on the plate and I would have a hard time sharing them. A new star of the menu is the house smoked beef brisket. It is served in a few ways, but in this case it is sandwiched in between a deep fried biscuit – yes, that’s right a deep fried biscuit, then topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and peach jam. Everyone at the table loved these!
Bacon Mason ($5.00)
For those that enjoy the simple things in life, this one’s for you. A nice stack of crispy bacon is served alongside peach preserves. The end. For $5.00 this is a quick and easy snack to share.
Confession: I love pimento cheese. It is a slightly spicy creamy, cheese spread that nearly every Southerner knows from their childhood. These little croquettes are filled with peppadew and pimento cheese, then wrapped in bacon. My one qualm with these poppers is they can be difficult to eat without being messy.
Choose from five different pub boards. You create your own combo with the main dish plus your choice of two sides. The main dishes are: House Smoked Brisket ($16.50), Nashville Hot Chicken ($14.00), Voodoo Shrimp ($14.00), BBQ Pulled Pork ($13.50), and Candy Pig Mac n Cheese ($12.00).
Then you have your choice of two sides, and boy are there some good ones: coleslaw, black beans, mac and cheese (someone please order the Candy Pig Mac n Cheese with a side of mac and cheese, you’d be my hero), side salad, fried pickels, street corn (order this, it is so flavorful), ranch potato salad, spicy giardiniera, and squash casserole. I didn’t get to try those last two, but I am definitely curious to do so.
Nashville Hot Chicken ($14.00)
My favorite item on the original Tin Roof menu was the Hot Chicken Torta, a delightful sandwich with a crispy chicken breast, topped with potato salad and pickles. Though this exact sandwich is no more, it is reincarnated as the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich as well as a pub board.
This new Nashville Hot Chicken pub board is satisfying, filling, and has the right amount of heat. Three large chicken tenders are rubbed in cayenne pepper and then doused in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. Pickles and a few slices of white bread help keep the heat at bay, plus you get your choice of two sides. I would definitely order this again.
House Smoked Brisket ($16.50)
The new star of the menu is the house smoked beef brisket, and it is available in a few entrees and appetizers. However, this pub board puts the brisket front and center. It is tender, juicy, and flavorful. Any two sides would be lucky to grace the same plate as this brisket.
Voodoo Shrimp ($14.00)
I love seafood and Cajun spices. The Voodoo Shrimp is an unexpected dash of comfort food. It is fantastic for anyone who likes Cajun or Creole spices. The heat level is just about right amount. The rich flavors of the tomato sauce base with tender vegetables shine through among the sweet shrimp.
Cast Iron Cookie ($7.00)
There is only one dessert on the menu, and it’s the only one they need. A salted-caramel-pretzel-chocolate chip cookie is gooey and warm in the cast iron pan. A generous scoop of vanilla ice cream oozes into this sweet, salty, soft, melty cookie. It is indulgent, comforting, and delicious!
Tin Roof’s live music
Although the food is fantastic, and enough of a draw for me to go back to Tin Roof repeatedly, what makes this place such a great addition to the International Drive area is the live music. Each and every single night you will find live music here. Many times there are two acts, one starting around 6:00 PM and another act starting around 9:00 PM. This entertainment is a nice rotation of local bands and musicians with a healthy dash of visiting performers. I’ve never been disappointed in any of the talent that graces the Tin Roof stage.
With a tantilizing new menu, entertaining live music, and surrounding shops and attractions, a visit to Tin Roof is a memorable evening. I-Drive 360 is still in its infancy stage, but there is enough fun things to see that it is worth an afternoon visit, especially with a great place like Tin Roof at its center.