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Newsy Nuggets: Late happy hour at Tornatore’s; Central Florida chefs at SOBEWFF; more chains and non-chains

Written By Scott Joseph On January 25, 2023

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Tornatore’s, the popular College Park Italian restaurant and pizzeria, is trying something different with a sort of later-in-the-evening happy hour concept. While many restaurants will offer special pricing earlier, say, 6 to 7 p.m., Tornatore’s is doing it from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They’re offering BOGO deals on pizzas for takeout or delivery, and BOGO on wines for people dining in. Also, they’re promising special secret menu items. What might those be? I don’t know, it’s a secret.

  • You know BOGO means buy one get one, right?
  • When the 2023 South Beach Wine & Food Festival kicks off next month, Central Florida will be represented by Alexia and Rhys Gawlak, owners of Swine & Sons. They’ll be participating in an event called Chicken Coupe, hosted by Michelle Bernstein in Miami’s Design District, Sat. Feb 25. And on Sunday, Ryan Whaley of the pop-up bakery Parlor Kitchen will be part of the Grand Tasting Village.

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  • After all the years of trying to convince the rest of the country that Central Florida wasn’t Chain World and promoting our local, independent restaurants, I find that people get unnaturally excited about new chain restaurants coming into the area. Jollibee, the Filipino brand, finally opened its long-promised Orlando store to long lines. As was the case when White Castle and Portillo’s opened. And will likely be for Skyline Chili when it opens this year.
  • Now the buzz is for In-N-Out Burger, which has announced that it is expanding beyond the West Coast and may eventually reach Florida. Pinch me. Even though I once lived in the Southwest, I have never been to this particular chain. I only remember the many bumper stickers I saw on cars that had the chain’s name where someone had blacked out the b and r, because everyone is essentially a 15-year-old. Nothing definite so far. If it does happen, look for long lines of people who identify themselves and food aficionados.
  • Mount Dora’s Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi restaurant has announced plans for a second location in Maitland, in the still-being-developed Maitland Social, which wcafeill occupy a former bank building. Besides Wave, Maitland Social will have Vitality Superfood Cafe and Foxtail Coffee Co.
  • Oh, look, there’s a new coffee shop in downtown Orlando’s CityArts building at the corner of Pine Street and Magnolia Avenue. I mention it just because it’s so refreshing to see a coffee shop that isn’t Foxtail open up.

Not that I would denigrate the homegrown coffee chain’s success. But I’ll be more impressed with New Yorkers are standing in line waiting for the first Brooklyn location of Foxtail to open.

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