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Best Burger Foodster Winner, plus recent reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On November 29, 2018

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News from the Flog  

Upstart Hangry Bison Takes Best Burger Title

Hangry Bison Doddzilla

Newcomer The Hangry Bison has been voted Best Burger 2018 in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. Perennial favorite Tap Room at Dubsdread was second. Kiwi’s Pub & Grill of Altamonte Springs was third.

If you need any further demonstration that every vote counts, consider this: only three votes separated first place from second place.

 

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Tokyo Soul at Dragonfly Dec. 6 & 7

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ORL TOKYOSOUL ASSETS 8

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, the very good Japanese restaurant at the Dellagio — and a Foodster Award winner for Best Sushi — is hosting a fun dinner event called Tokyo Soul. It will be offered on two nights, Thursday, Dec. 6, or Friday, Dec. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Actually, you’re meant to choose just one of those nights, not both, but when you consider the cost — $50 per person — you may just opt to go twice.

 

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Recent Restaurant Reviews

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster

Christners wine glass

One in a series of reviews celebrating Central Florida’s classic restaurants, those open 25 years or longer.

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. But just as with Linda’s La Cantina, another independently owned restaurant reviewed recently in this series, the milestone comes with an asterisk.

As those who have lived in the area longer than five years know, Christner’s was originally known as Del Frisco’s Prime Steak & Lobster. It was not part of the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle chain, though both had the same origin. I won’t go into all the details here, but if you want to know more about the backstory, I’ve written about it in this article.

 

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Ford’s Garage

Fords Signature

I suppose it’s a good thing they didn’t call it GM’s Garage.

Ford’s Garage is a burger and beer brand born out of Ft. Myers and now headquartered in Tampa. You’d think Michigan, right? But there is a natural connection to the Sunshine State over the Great Lakes State: Henry Ford had a Winter home in Ft. Myers, less than a mile from where the first Ford’s Garage restaurant opened in 2012 (Henry did not attend).

As you might expect with a garage-themed restaurants, Ford’s is tricked out in a design that might be classified as early grease monkey. But except for the exterior, which like the rest of the mall structures is your basic faux Mediterranean-meets-Florida pale yellow stucco, it isn’t cheesy at all. In fact, there are a lot of nice details.

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Cafe Madrid Deli & Bakery

Cafe Madrid wall

Cafe Madrid is gone; long live Cafe Madrid.

Cafe Madrid, you may recall, was the Cuban restaurant that occupied a corner of a strip mall on Curry Ford Road at Conway Road in Orlando for 28 years. I revisited it in January of this year to do an update review, and a week later it closed. (I swear it was a good review; here, read it yourself.)

In September, a new restaurant moved in, conveniently keeping the Cafe Madrid name but adding Deli & Bakery to it. As you might expect, it’s no longer a full-service restaurant as the old CM was, and selections aren’t as fulsome, either. There are no longer complete dinner entrees, for example. But the food I sampled at the new iteration is good and worth visiting if you’re in the area.

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 News

More on the Dexter’s Saga

Dexter lake maryNew information coming in on the status of the four Dexter’s restaurants. As reported earlier, and confirmed in this story, Greg Peters, founder of Graffiti Junktion, is part of a partnership that took over the Thornton Park and Winter Park locations.

I confirmed that John Hoffmeister, who was one of the partners with Dexter Richardson and Adrian Mann, has retained the Lake Mary store. In a phone conversation Friday morning, 

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Other Stuff

Bullet Point Buffet: Black & White Edition

Truffles

  • You’re thinking Black Friday, I’m thinking White Truffles. Word comes from Rocco’s Italian Grille that the truffles have arrived and owner Rocco Potami is offering them up in daily specials. Really, if you’ve never experienced fresh truffles you owe it to yourself to have some grated onto a pasta dish. Heaven. Pricey, but heaven.
  • K Restaurant has truffles, too, and will offer its annual Truffle Dinner on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Six courses with pairings for $160 all inclusive.
  • If you’re reading this while stuck in traffic around one of the Premium Outlets shopping malls, you may be interested to know that Foxtail Coffee Co. is continuing its campaign for world caffeine dominance with a partnership with the Tommy Hilfiger outlet stores. Foxtail will have a cafe space in the stores and will offer light food options, as well. They’re not open yet but they may be by the time you find a parking space

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Epcot Festival of the Holidays Runs Through Dec. 30

Epcot Holiday tree

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is over, so — Next! — it’s time for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. That includes more food and wine, so it’s basically the same sort of festival but with more strings of lights and jingly bells.

Now, before you start putting on your war gear and asking why it isn’t called the Epcot International Festival of the Christmas you should know that there are plenty of other holidays celebrated at this time of year and they’re all represented here. For example, there’s L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen in recognition of Hanukkah (which starts Sunday, by the way) and there’s, um…well, that’s pretty much it. There’s a nod to the Lunar New Year observed by some Asian countries, but considering that the next Lunar New Year isn’t until Feb. 5 and the Epcot festival ends Jan. 30, so it’s a stretch.

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FusionFest Offered a World of Good Eating

Fusionfest samosa

The first FusionFest was held Saturday and Sunday on Seneff Arts Plaza in front of the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando. It was a two-day celebration of the area’s diversity, with a parade of flags, multicultural entertainers, and food, food, food.

A number of diverse food vendors lined the plaza, which I consider to be Orlando’s Front Yard.

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