A Spoon Full of Hope, the product line from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, has added three new cookies flavors to its roster: chai, strawberry lemonade and cranberry pistachio. I count five. Well, four, because I’m not sure chai counts as a flavor. You can purchase the cookies and other food items at the website. With holiday season coming up, keep in mind that gift baskets are also available. Sales directly support Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, which teaches qualified, economically challenged adults culinary and life skills training to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
- Robert Earl’s Virtual Dining Concepts has added another celebrity chef to its repertoire. Buddy V’s Cake Slice from baker Buddy Valastro can now be ordered for delivery with five flavors available: Confetti, Vanilla Rainbow, Fudge, Red Velvet and Black and White Fudge. (I count six.) Virtual Dining Concepts partners with existing restaurant kitchens to secretly cook – or bake – the recipes of its various brands, which are then picked up by third-party delivery companies.
- The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek – which is now called Signia by Hilton for some reason – are offering a progressive dinner among the two hotels’ food venues on Fridays and Saturdays now through Nov. 30. It’s a four-hour ordeal that starts at Signia’s Sip, Swirl & Savor and La Luce and ends at Bull & Bear and Bar du Chocolat. Cost is $235 per person plus tax and gratuity. For an extra $249 you can get a room. Starting times are 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and reservations are required. Call 407-597-3712.
- If you’re old enough to remember Horn & Hardart, the original New York and Philadelphia automat, you’ll want to have someone wheel you into the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop franchise when it opens in Orlando at an as yet undisclosed location and to-be-determined time. BDS updates the automat experience with smartphone ordering – no dropping coins in the slot next to a dish that catches your eye through the window. In fact, you can order in advance, then once you arrive at the shop, you wave your phone at a touchscreen and the locker or lockers with your order will open automat-ically. The original shop – I’m not prepared to call this a restaurant – in New York opened fairly recently but is frantically franchising. What makes it so appealing to potential investors is the elimination of servers, cashiers or anyone else out front. Just need a cook and a locker filler.