This Lubbock institution is home to the award-winning Cheeseburger in Paradise.
Most of us go to Italian restaurants for delicious lasagna and fresh bruschetta, but in Lubbock, Texas, you also go for the cheeseburger. That’s right, local Italian restaurant Orlando’s has one of the best burgers in the state, and it’s worth going a bit off-book for the award-winning meal.
Orlando’s Italian Restaurant is a family-run business that’s been open since 1965, with two locations in Lubbock. The Cheeseburger in Paradise is the famed burger you’ll want to order: half a pound of sirloin beef topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and mayonnaise. No special sauce, no unique toppings, but perhaps it’s the Italian-influenced roll (coated with garlic butter no less) that puts the burger on another level. The last time Texas Monthly magazine did a ranking of the best 50 burgers in the state, Orlando’s came in at number 10. They said of the restaurant, “It might as well be a burger restaurant that happens to sell great spaghetti.”
Serving incredible burgers isn’t the only thing that makes Orlando’s stand out from typical Italian restaurants. Self-proclaimed “Tex-Italia” food that brings a little (or a lot of) Texas heat to classic Italian dishes is all over their menu, from their bestselling Green Chile Chicken Linguine to the Mafia Queso (spicy queso with green chilies and Alfredo sauce, served with tortilla chips and garlic bread) and their popular Down-and-Dirty Tortellini (fried cheese tortellini drizzled with a garlic habanero buttery sauce).
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Rounding out Orlando’s menu are all the classics you’d expect from an Italian joint: pastas, pizza and focaccia, chicken parmesan, and sub sandwiches. According to Visit Lubbock, the restaurants most popular cocktail is called the Blue Zuni, a potent mix of two shots of Jose Cuervo Gold and one shot of Blue Curacao, and just so happens to be the favorite drink of a former Texas governor (the staff won’t let on to which one though). While Orlando’s has plenty of options for every appetite, why not treat yourself to a cheeseburger in paradise the next time you find yourself in Lubbock, Texas.