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Newsy Nuggets: New P.R. restaurants, cheese at Ft. Gatlin, Descend 21 and fun things to do this weekend

Written By Scott Joseph On February 24, 2023

D21 Bar Area

Cafe Coqui, a Puerto Rican bakery, has opened in Avalon Park, has opened. It’s on the corner across from the Marketplace at Avalon Park and serves pastries, coffee and sandwiches.

Across the way, Roberto Treviño’s Chicharron Grill has also opened inside the Marketplace, serving such things as maduros, tostones and mofongo.

The two new business add a nice Puerto Rican vibe to AP, and with the 1 Cantina’s Mexican restaurant and the Peruvian Brazas Chicken, there are lots of Latin flavors available.

South Steel SJO March AD copy

Although it’s been operating for a month or so, Formaggio & Friends, at Fort Gatlin Shopping Center, is opening grandly today, Fri., Feb. 24. It’s a little unclear from the business’s website just exactly what it offers. Apparently cheese is involved, but I don’t know if it’s a market where you can buy cheese to take home or if you sit and eat it there. And do you have to bring your own friends or are there some available for purchase? It also seems to want to be known as a wine bar. I’ll let you know when I visit. I love cheese and am in the market for some new friends.

Also now open: Descend 21. This is the redesigned space at the Hyatt Regency Orlando that used to be Urban Tide (and before that was Napa, when the hotel was the Peabody Orlando).

Descend 21, shown at top, is named for the numbers of steps one must go down from the lobby level to reach it. It is a decidedly more casual atmosphere than the previous tenants, with pool tables, interactive golf and lots of tvs. And the redo makes better use of the outdoor space with the expansion of a patio overlooking the hotels grotto pool.

Menu has such things as fish tacos, beef picanha, fried chicken sandwich and something called loaded hummus. What’s in it? That, dear reader, is a loaded question.

Fun things to do this weekend: Saturday is the 12th annual Taste of Windermere at The Grove, 4700 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Windermere, from 6 to 9 p.m. Not all of the tastes served will be technically Windermerian, but you’ll find such favorites as Highball & Harvest, Four Flamingos, Primo and others. Tickets here.

And on Sunday it’s Shake It Up!, the annual gala for Orlando Shakes, which will feature a reception with food provided by Tap Room at Dubsdread, Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe, Chicken Guy!, Buca di Beppo, Capa at the Four Seasons Orlando, Rosen Hotels, Arthur’s Catering, Kelly’s Ice Cream and UCF Catering with Aramark.

There will also be live entertainment during the reception and a performance in the theater featuring songs from productions from the Shakes’ past 34 seasons.

And don’t forget, you can bid on a silent auction to have dinner with me at Enzo’s on the Lake and help me write an updated review about the new ownership. Get tickets here.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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