Last Minute Thanksgiving Dining, Restaurant Reviews and Recent News
Written By Scott Joseph On November 20, 2015
News from the Flog
Where are you dining Thanksgiving Day?
OK, it’s decision time. It’s less than a week from Thanksgiving and none of your friends have called to invite you to their house for the big feast. So you either have to go out and buy a Butterball and all the appropriate trimmings or find a restaurant that is open on Thursday. You don’t strike me as the basting and stuffing type, so I’ve got a list of restaurants that have special menus for the big day. But don’t wait — find one that sounds good and make your reservation now.
They’re suddenly everywhere. Well, OK, that’s an exaggeration, but they’re showing up on enough menus to declare them an honest-to-Buddha trend. In the past week, I’ve eaten at two restaurants themed on the steamed buns: Bao in Ft. Lauderdale and Baoery, an Asian gastropub in downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park. The latter, from from chef Greg Richie and Thornton Park Restaurant Group, which also owns the nearby Soco, replaced Cityfish.
But why bao now? Part of the proliferation, I’m sure, is that the dining public enjoys exotic foods, especially those that aren’t too adventuresome. Asian dishes are particularly popular, and anything associated with street food is extra attractive. Bao are small but filling, and they can usually be gotten for a low price even as the restaurant selling them can claim a good profit margin.
Guavate, a Puerto Rican restaurant, apparently has been around for several years but has somehow escaped my notice. I’m sure some of that has to do with its location, which is eastern Orlando. Actually, if you use Semoran Boulevard and the East-West Expressway as bisecting lines, Guavate is in the southeastern quadrant, which makes it a bit more off of my radar. I understand that there is such a place as Avalon Park in that vicinity.
But Guavate is well before that mythical land. And I ended my ignorance of the little eatery with a blissful little lunch recently.
One of the servers greeted me warmly when I walked in and didn’t protest when I insisted on choosing my own table. She kept her good humor as I quizzed her about the menu and asked for recommendations.
For a restaurant group with its headquarters in Orlando, and one with over 14 brands, Tavistock Restaurant Collection has a dearth of restaurants in its hometown. In fact, it has none.
That will change in January with the expected opening of Canvas, an original concept that the group is developing in collaboration with Atlanta-based Concentrics Restaurants (Luma on Park, Prato, Slate). Billed as a dinner-only restaurant and market, Canvas will be at the Laureate Park Village Center in Orlando’s Lake Nona community.
According to a press release, the waterfront restaurant will feature fresh Florida seafood (not from that particular waterfront) and a chef-driven menu. A chef has not yet been named to do the driving.