If an Orlando
restaurant can pull off the authentic feel and taste of the Big Easy, then it’s got a good thing going. Tibby’s
has managed to do just that, and then some.
This bold restaurant is the brainchild of Brian Wheeler. He’s the guy who started the Tijuana Flats chain that has been wildly popular in Central Florida for years; that in itself is a good start. Outside of the restaurant, you’ll notice that the eatery is in a strip mall. But never fear, once you are inside, you’ll feel right at home. The walls are festooned with eclectic folk art, blues tunes abound and the overall atmosphere is funky and casual.
Sample the hand-battered fried pickle slices or the chicken and sausage gumbo. The jambalaya, packed with garlic and sausage, is also well worth a try. The crawfish pie is a crowd-pleaser, too. And don’t forget deep-fried sugar-dusted beignets for dessert.
Beyond the great food, the Cajun-inspired restaurant has a cool backstory, too. The name is based on Walter “Tibby” Tabony, Wheeler’s late, great-uncle, a New Orleans native with a larger-than-life personality.
You see, Tibby lived in the Lower Ninth Ward and survived Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, his house did not. He’s the one who inspired all the tasty, creative recipes. Wheeler himself was born in Crescent City and still returns for Mardi Gras celebrations here and there.