You spend more than three decades trying to convince the world that Orlando has a vibrant and creative culinary scene with award-worthy chefs who focus on local ingredients, you push back against those who derisively call us the restaurant chain capital of the world, and you feel that finally people are starting to see us as more than the largest purveyor of fried turkey legs. Then White Castle announces a new location, people camp out the night before it opens to be first in line and traffic stretches more than half a mile from people who will wait hours for the chance to eat a slider. A slider!
In case you missed the news, White Castle, the Ohio-based fast fooder, opened what it is billing as the world’s largest free-standing White Castle Monday at the Village at O-town West. It begs the question: Is there a larger non-free-standing White Castle somewhere in the world?
News about the attendant commotion trended all day on Twitter, where one person responded to an aerial photo of the line of cars by saying, “This is the most Florida thing to come out of Florida today. But it’s still early.”
Three local restaurants – not a chain among them – were named to OpenTable’s list of Top Brunch Spots for Mother’s Day, including Flog favorite Tap Room at Dubsdread. The other two were Disney Springs neighbors Wine Bar George and the Boathouse. The list includes more than a hundred restaurants across the country that have received top reviews from OpenTable diners. If you need other MD dining options, check out our Holiday Dining listings.
Oh look, here comes another chain, this one from New York promising to “Put some South in yo’ mouth.” Let that one sink in for a moment. To be located at Icon Park on International Drive, Brother Jimmy’s, which features barbecue, is touted as a “famous New York concept.” And let me just say right here, I’ve made more than 80 trips to New York City and this is the first time I’ve heard of Brother Jimmy’s. According to a press release, “What sets Brother Jimmy’s apart from other restaurants is its commitment to creating concepts that are completely unique to the areas they serve.” The Orlando location, for instance, will feature televisions – right there in the restaurant! – where customers can watch sporting events. That’s revolutionary. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Glad these Manhattanites are coming down to show us how Southern food is done. I’m sure when it opens this summer you’ll want to stop by and show yo’ ‘preciation.
As long as we’re talking about New York, word comes that when the vaunted Eleven Madison Park restaurant reopens it will have an all vegan menu. Mind you, the fee to dine there will still be about $335 per person, but you won’t be paying for animal protein (well, milk and honey will still be available for your coffee or tea, so not entirely vegan). Should you visit the new Eleven Madison Park and leave craving a greasy burger, you’ll have to go to 103d street to find the nearest White Castle. Or if you want barbecue you could just ask a passerby where the nearest Brother Jimmy’s is – it’s famous so everyone should know.