Bem Bom, which started as a food truck and then became a popular restaurant in Audubon Park, has closed.
Bem Bom was the concept of Francisco Mendonça, known as Chico, and his wife, Dee. They were early participants in Orlando’s food-truck scene, starting in 2012 with a menu based on Portuguese cuisine. They opened a brick and mortar version in a freestanding building on Corrine Drive in 2018, earning a mention in USA Today as one of “10 Best Value Venues in Orlando.”
But Mendonça was diagnosed with cancer and died in May 2021 at the age of 57. His loss and the pandemic apparently created hardships too great to overcome.
The Drake Kitchen + Bar, which is also an offshoot of a food truck, one called Duck + Drake, has softly opened in the new Radius Apartments on Rosalind Avenue in downtown Orlando. It is expected to open grandly on Feb. 22.
Tickets are now on sale for Taste! Central Florida. Sure, it’s not until Sat. Aug. 24, so you have some time. But with a Valentine’s Day promotion called Taste the Love, you can can get a Buy One, Get One Half Off – or BOGOHO – special. Details here.
Marlin Bar, a restaurant and retail operation from Tommy Bahama, has opened at Winter Park Village. The TB website has a helpful note that Winter Park is located “just 30 minutes north of Orlando.” They’re obviously taking I-4.
Satori, a sushi and “Japanese comfort food” concept by Aung Tun, is aiming for a March 1 opening for its bay at the Marketplace at Avalon Park. Avalon Park is just 30 minutes southeast of Winter Park.
Steak and Ale, chain restaurant that specialized in steak and, um, ale that went bankrupt in 2008, is
threatening promising to make a comeback. They probably figure that enough people who might remember it have died off. Founded in Dallas in 1966, Steak and Ale restaurants were recognizable for their Tudor-style buildings and unlimited salad bars, a novel idea back then. The concept is being revived by Legendary Restaurant Brands, parent company of Bennigan’s. I’ll warn you if one is announced for Orlando, or anywhere within a 30-minute drive. (Apparently there are still people with fond memories of S&A – the Steak and Ale’s Comeback Facebook page has over 54,000 followers.)