Thursday 15 May 2008

Toilets at Las Brazas Chicken Showcase Restaurant's Elegant Latin Charms

Las Brazas Chicken
4797 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

This is a small place, so there aren't many places to roam around and get lost.

From the front entrance: Enter and you will face the restaurant's bar. To the left is the modest dining room. Enter that and then take a right, so that you're heading towards the back wall. There, you will find a doorway. Go through it and you will find the bathrooms, along with a supply area and lots of ornate artwork on the walls.

What's it like?

From the outside, this cozy Peruvian eatery is practically indiscernible from the other businesses located in this outdated-looking strip mall just south of Orlando's downtown. Inside, however, is a different story.

This is a quaint restaurant filled with cozy cafe tables, brick tiles, soft lighting, and enough Latin decor to impart a sense of foreignness without making it too in your face. It's friendly, family styled and fun, but also elegant and a little uppity, making it a perfect place to bring a big group or meet someone for a date. The service is down to earth and very affable.

Better still is the food and its house specialty, Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, which is slow roasted to perfection in garlic and spices. This place may just serve the best chicken in all of Orlando. Moist, succulent, flavorful -- and at $8.95 (with two sides) it's a bargain! Also worth having is the Papas A La Huancaina, a rich, decadent Peruvian potato salad that coats large potato halves in a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise, huancaina chili, a pepper native to Peru that is a touch hot but both tart and sweet. Couple it with homemade chimichurri and you've got a great meal ahead of you.

While the dining room is nice, the bathrooms here are even better at evoking the restaurant's Latin charm and elegance. These are roomy one-baggers, with drywall coated walls and red-brick tile on the floor. The drywall is painted deep sandstone red to match the color of the floors. The toilet and sink, both white porcelain and ordinary, meld cleanly with the red-heavy colors around it, almost like a counterpoint.

A few pieces of art, all of it impressively framed, hangs on the walls and serves as a great compliment to the artwork hanging the hallway outside (clearly the owners want people to feel welcome in their restaurant no matter where they are), as does the simply framed mirror, which is positioned over the sink. Like the dining room, the art here isn't overbearing or in your face -- it's simply there to make the environment more comforting and welcoming while imparting a touch of upper-class Latino sophistication. It's like the bathrooms at Tacos El Rancho, Hershey's Ice Cream Vista Lakes and American Signature Furniture South Orlando had a baby and produced this offspring, which manages to take their best qualities and produce something entirely familiar yet new from them.

Marks out of 10:

9. Great job here, especially in making the place look ornate and old-fashioned, elegant and restrained and sophisticated.

Comments to the Management:

Wouldn't change a thing. A great experience through and through. Many other businesses can learn a thing or two from your restroom design.

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