Holidays at Grande Lakes, plus recent reviews and news

Written By Scott Joseph On December 5, 2019

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Holidays at Grande Lakes: Gingerbread School and Teddy Bear Tea


Teddy Bear Tea

Our friends at Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes are in full holiday mode and Gingerbread School is now in session. At the school, you’ll construct your very own Gingerbread House under the tutelage of the resort’s pastry team. You’ll erect prebaked gingerbread panels on a wooden foundation and decorate it with candies and other goodies anyway you want to without having to worry about your homeowners association. And when it’s finished you can list it on Airbnb or just eat the whole thing. (Well, not the foundation.)

Gingerbread School is a popular annual event at the Ritz and several dates have already sold out. Here’s the current schedule:

  • Saturday, December 7th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Sunday, December 8th – FULLY COMMITTED
  • Thursday, December 19th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Friday, December 20th – 9am + 12pm + 3pm
  • Saturday, December 21st – 9am + 12pm ONLY
  • Sunday, December 22nd – FULLY COMMITTED

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Recent Restaurant Reviews

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

nile platter

I had the opportunity recently to join some people for a dinner at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant and found it to be just as wonderful as before.

I was also pleased to find it still doing well after 13 years.

We had other Ethiopian restaurants open in Central Florida before Nile, but for some reason they never lasted more than a year. I always assumed it was the location – one of the early Ethiopian restaurants was in a motel at 33d Street and I-4 and another was in a strip mall on South Orange Blossom Trail. Nile was smarter in choosing International Drive where a diverse clientele could find it.

It was even smarter to serve excellent food.

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Paris Bahn Mi

Paris bahn exterior

Paris Banh Mi Cafe Bakery has opened in a spacious corner spot in the Mills 50 District. And as its name suggests, it’s a combination French patisserie and Vietnamese eatery.

It was a banh mi – the distinctly Vietnamese sandwich – that brought me to the little shop. But it was the display of pastries that made the first impression.

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The Boathouse

Boathouse exterior

I don’t think I’d fully appreciated what a beautiful and elaborate space the Boathouse of Disney Springs is. From its expansive bar, the multiple dining rooms and the satellite open-air lounge that sits over the lagoon, it is a well-polished collection of woods, brass and early-nautical decor – even a full-size vintage Chris Craft boat – with the white tableclothed elegance of a yacht club.

I wish the food rose to the same level.

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New Details, Renderings for Space 220 Restaurant at (Above) Epcot

Space 220 Restaurant Interior

New details on the upcoming Epcot restaurant Space 220, scheduled to open sometime next year. It is an immersive experience restaurant that will make customers feel as though they’re dining in outer space with a view of Earth below.

In fact, the 220 in the name is a reference to the number of miles guests will travel via space elevator to get to the restaurant. I had mistakenly assumed it referred to the average check price.

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Owner of Popular Hourglass Pizzeria Plans Longwood Location

FD Italian bar

Following the success of his F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen in Orlando’s Hourglass/Curry Ford West district, owner Charly Robinson is planning a second location for Longwood. In a press release, Robinson, who also owns F&D Kitchen and Bar and F&D Cantina, both in Lake Mary, will take over the space that was previously home to Bayridge Sushi on State Road 434.

In a related note, Bayridge Sushi has left its original home on S.R. 434 and now occupies a spot nearby behind a McDonald’s.

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Other Stuff

Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company Wins Best Microbrewery Foodster Award

Ivanhoe Park exteriorIvanhoe Park Brewing Company

Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company is the overwhelming winner of our Best Brewpub/Microbrewery Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. Winter Garden’s Crooked Can Brewing Company was voted second most popular and relative newcomer Sideward Brewing Co. took third place.


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Brought to you by…

 David Ramirez Chocolates 300x250


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