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Recent Restaurant Reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On June 3, 2021

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Chicago Dog & Co.

Chicagodog sign

Portillo’s, the Chicago hot dogger and beef sandwich chain currently in soft opening in the new O-Town West development, has been getting the attention of local frankfurter freaks. Even though the grand opening isn’t until the middle of June, people are waiting in line now just to get their wiener on. Portillo’s is next door to White Castle, which is also boasting long lines. I guess there’s just something exciting about a new chain in town.

But for those who don’t need their sausages to come with a corporate stamp, you can get a Windy City wienie at Chicago Dog & Co. in Altamonte Springs.

Frankly, frankfurters don’t do much for me, but I don’t ascribe any any Freudian facets to their aficionados. And the Chicago style dog I had at Chicago Dog & Co. provided some pleasant, if few, bites.

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Maki Hibachi Downtown

Maki tuna

The best thing I had at Maki Hibachi, a new sushi and Japanese restaurant uniquely situated in a self-storage complex in Downtown Orlando, was something called Drunken Tuna.

It featured loosely chopped raw tuna on wafers with a slice of avocado in between. Atop the tuna were dollops of spicy mayo and a bit of fish roe along with artistically placed micro greens. The tuna was cool and fresh and the wafers – menu called them crackers but these were less crispy – added a different texture. And although I couldn’t detect anything that would warrant the drunken designation, I liked the bit of spiritedness in the spicy mayo. It was a delicious appetizer.

Unfortunately, what followed was mostly mundane.

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Road Trip Redux: Wahoo’s, Lorelei and Mangrove Mike’s Cafe in Islamorada

Isla whaoo ext

Head south on Route 1 out of Miami and you’ll pass through Homestead and Florida City and soon after that you’ll be in the Florida Keys. For most people, this is the beginning of a scenic, if long, drive to Key West and the Southernmost Point in the U.S. But Islamorada, one of the Upper Keys is worth at least a stop if not the final destination.

Not that fine dining abounds here, though Atlantic’s Edge at the chichi Cheeca Lodge is an exception. And some of the best seafood that many people will eat here is whatever they’ve caught during a deep-sea fishing charter. Many restaurants advertise their willingness to cook up whatever you catch.

But the majority of the restaurants are more rustic, shantylike, which is fine with most people searching for a Keys vibe.

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Other Stuff

Scott’s Kitchen: Grouper Piccata from Big Fin Seafood Kitchen

Big Fin Grouper Piccata still

Since taking over the Big Fin Seafood Kitchen in 2020, executive chef Eric Enrique has been making changes to the menu. One of the additions has been his Grouper Piccata, a take on the classic Italian preparation usually done with veal or chicken. Enrique has tweaked it for fish and for added flair deep fries the capers that garnish it. When I recently reviewed the restaurant, this dish was easily my favorite.
In this episode of Scott’s Kitchen, Enrique walks me through the steps to make the dish. This is definitely one that will impress your dinner guests.
Watch the video below then find yourself some good grouper and give it a try.

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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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