The Daybreak Diner

Written By Scott Joseph On April 11, 2024

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Places like the Daybreak Diner are getting harder to find. Part of the reason is that a new place can’t recreate the timeworn atmosphere of a place that’s been slinging hash for decades.

Daybreak has been in its current location, a corner spot in a strip mall at Curry Ford Road and Crystal Lake Drive, since about 2005. When it first opened, in 1997, it was down the street in the space currently occupied by Los Generales Mexican restaurant. When another restaurant, B&B, announced it was getting out of the diner business, Daybreak’s owners grabbed the opportunity to move to the larger space.

But even though Daybreak Diner has been around for so long, and in a location that’s close enough that I could probably walk there, I hadn’t been back for many many years. I corrected that by meeting friends there for breakfast recently, and I felt as though I’d gone back in time.

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Newsy Nuggets: Enzo’s, Francesco’s, Winedos, Corks and Forks

Written By Scott Joseph On April 10, 2024

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If you’re really really quick you may still be able to score one of the few remaining seats to the Thursday, April 11, Chef’s Table dinner at Enzo’s on the Lake, featuring the wines from Italy’s Antinori Family. Chef Brandon will serve a five course dinner with pairings beginning at 6:30 p.m. Call the restaurant for more information and reservations, 407-834-9872.

Or do a little planning ahead to attend one of Enzo’s new Concerts Under the Stars featuring live music lakeside. The first is Sinatra Under The Stars on May 19 and ABBA Under The Stars on June 23. Please note that neither Frank Sinatra nor ABBA is expected to be there. Enzo’s Bites & Beverages will be available to purchase during the event. Tickets range from $20 in the picnic blanket area to $65 for premium table seating. Sinatra tickets here and ABBA tickets here.

You’ll also have to be quick to get in on the artichoke cooking class that chef Francesco Aiello is leading this Sunday, April 14, from noon to 3 p.m. at Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizza in Maitland. Call the restaurant at 407-960-5533.

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Local fundraiser to support World Central Kitchen following Gaza attack

Written By Scott Joseph On April 8, 2024

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Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps, the local food blog, is organizing a fundraiser to benefit World Central Kitchen following the April 1 attack and killing of some of its aid workers in Gaza.

The fundraiser features an online auction, and as usual, Central Florida’s culinary community is stepping up to help. The auction items, which you can see here, feature restaurant gift cards, dining experiences with local food celebrities, and others. The list is growing, so check back often for updates.

World Central Kitchen (WCK) was started by Jose Andres, whose restaurant Jaleo is at Disney Springs. Over the years, WCK has moved in whenever disaster strikes – earthquakes, volcano eruptions – setting up kitchens under impossible conditions just to make certain people get fed. For several years, Andres’ name has come up when Nobel Peace Prize nominations come up.

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KungFu Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On April 4, 2024

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Central Florida’s foodie folk have a healthy attraction to soup dumplings. Not to be confused with dumpling soup. Soup dumplings – xiao long bao in Chinese – are purse-shaped dumplings that instead of minced meat or vegetables have soup inside. 

It’s a neat trick that usually has first-time xiao long baoers wondering how they get the soup inside. But there’s no one in the kitchen with a syringe painstakingly injecting broth into the dumplings. Instead, the soup is reduced and cooled to a gelatinous consistency so that cubes of gelatin can be placed inside the wonton for shaping. When heated, voila – or whatever the Chinese word is for voila – the soup “melts” and heats as the dumpling cooks.

To get an idea of what the finished product should be, visit KungFu Kitchen, a restaurant in the Lake Buena Vista area from New York chef Peter Song. (The name of Song’s two New York restaurants are Kung Fu Kitchen, but for some reason the Orlando shop is KungFu, so we’ll go with that.)

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Kaya advances to Beard Award finals for Best New Restaurant

Written By Scott Joseph On April 3, 2024

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Kaya, the Filipino restaurant in the Mills 50 District co-owned by Jamilyn Bailey and Lordfer Lalicon, has advanced to the finals in the James Beard Foundation Award’s Best New Restaurant category.

Kaya will be the only restaurant representing Central Florida in the finals. Jennifer Berdin and Mark Berdin of Kadence were semifinalists in the Best Chef – South category, as was Henry Moso of Kabooki Sushi, but none advanced to the finals. Moso was a finalist in that category last year, the first Central Florida chef to reach the final ballot in the awards’ history.

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