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Happy Hour at AmSo, plus Restaurant Reviews and News

Written By Scott Joseph On January 9, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Happy Hour at American Social


Amso pbj

I love the beginning of the year when people make resolutions to eat less and go on diets and even do a Dryuary, where they give up drinking for the month of January.

I don’t participate in such things, mind you, but I love that people do because it means less crowding at fun happy hours. And speaking of fun happy hours, American Social.

AmSo, or AmSosh, as I like to call it, is the South Florida sports bar and grill that moved into the Orlando market last year, taking over a former Bar Louie spot on Sand Lake Road and immediately improving the neighborhood.

American Social is big on its happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with 50 percent-off drink specials and $6 shareable plates of chef Freddy Figuera’s food.

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Spice Indian Grill

Spice exterior

I would think that Spice Indian Grill would be quite popular with grad students. First, there’s its proximity to the UCF main campus. And second, the food is quite affordable, especially the lunch buffet. Thinking back to my days as a starving grad student, I might have “splurged” once a week on a feast like the one served at Spice and felt full and stated for several days after. I probably wouldn’t have been hungry enough the next day to eat the Pop Tart that had become a daily regimen.

And that the food at Spice is good is all the more reason to recommend it, and not just for students on a food budget.

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Tasty Wok BBQ & Noodle House

Tasty Wok exterior

I enjoy going to a restaurant where the staff greets me warmly when I come through the door, serves the food with an easy smile and thanks me for my business when I leave.

I hope to visit a restaurant like that soon, but for today I’m at Tasty Wok BBQ & Noodle House.

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Update on Case Involving Owner of Old Jailhouse

Old Jailhouse interior window

Old Jailhouse opened in February. I reviewed it, favorably, here in April. And then, in May, its owner Anthony Sirica was arrested and charged with attempted sexual battery and indecent exposure. The allegations and resulting news stories had an immediate and negative effect on the restaurant’s business.

I recently contacted Sirica’s lawyer, Longwood attorney David Webster, who spoke to me by phone Monday.

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Wolfe Tapped to Lead Kitchen at Tornatore’s

Tornatore and WolfeFrom left, Denny Tornatore, Jason Wolfe and Eric Freadhoff

Tornatore’s Pizzeria, the College Park Italian restaurant, has hired Jason Wolfe as its chef de cuisine. In a Facebook post announcing the hire, owner Denny Tornatore also said that Eric Freadhoff has been hired as sous chef.

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Other Stuff

A Look Back: What Opened, What Closed, and What’s Coming

Jaleo exterior

Here are some of the highlights from 2019:

Significant openings (with links to their reviews): MX Taco opened in the Milk District with authentic regional tacos. By mid year, owner Ryan Manning would open a second location in Waterford Lakes and announce a third for 2020…Tamale Co. joined the expanding Hourglass District…The long-anticipated Delaney’s Tavern debuted and proved to be worth the wait…Wolfgang Puck returned to the area after an extended absence with Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Disney Springs…Jaleo by José Andrés also opened in Disney Springs (coincidentally in about the same spot that Wolfgang Puck Cafe had previously occupied)…City Pub moved into the former North Quarter Tavern space…The H Cuisine brought a New York style meathouse to the Dr. Phillips/Restaurant Row district…Old Jailhouse opened in an old jailhouse in Sanford, bringing the culinary talents of Bram Fowler back to the dining public. The restaurant was voted Best New and Best Overall in our 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants…Trina Gregory Propst and Va Propst opened Sette Italian in the Ivanhoe Village…Mykonos, the popular Greek restaurant, returned to Longwood following a long absence forced by a lost lease and move…Toledo started serving from the top floor of the newly opened Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs…Chef’s Table and Tasting Room owners Laurie and Kevin Tarter took over Winter Garden’s Attic Door, expanded the menu and increased their culinary kingdom…American Social, a South Florida sports bar, took up residence on Restaurant Row…Hook & Reel started reeling in seafood fans in West Orlando…Tori Tori Pub, from Domu’s Sonny Nguyen, forever changed the notion of what bar food should be…Alex’s Fresh Kitchen changed the notion of what a cafe should be…And Proper & Wild and Hungry Pants fuel the plant-based cuisine craze.

Notable Revisits

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Tasting Table: Proper & Wild

Tasting Table is a partnership project between Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide and WFTV-Channel 9’s Inside Central Florida presented by Wild Florida. You can see all of the Tasting Table episodes and other icFlorida videos by downloading the WFTV Now app, available on Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire devices. Just search WFTV in your app store.

 In this edition of Tasting Table, Scott visits the Winter Park plant-based restaurant Proper & Wild to sample the food and chat with owner Chelsie Savage. Here’s a link to Scott’s review of Proper & Wild. Click Read More to see the video.

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Join Scott in Tuscany – 1 Room Left

Tuscany one room

I like giving gifts for the holidays and I’m always careful to choose one for myself. I figure I’m worth it. If you’re the same way, I have just the thing for you: a trip to Tuscany.

Art In Voyage – Beyond Travel’s Food Secrets of Tuscany trip that I’m hosting next year is almost sold out. Only one room remains. Why not give it to yourself and come along?

We’ll start in lovely Florence with a food tour and a cooking class. And I have some favorite neighborhood spots I want to show you there. We’ll also go truffle hunting in the Arezzo region, visit Siena and Montepulciano, and stay at the luxurious Il Borro estate. There will be wine tastings, too, and two of our dinners will be at Michelin starred restaurants.

The dates for the journey are May 30 through June 6, and you can always extend to explore beyond Tuscany.

If you’ve never been to Tuscany, you owe to yourself to go. And if you’ve been, it’s time to go back.

Check the Art In Voyage – Beyond Travel website for details and booking information.

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