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Recent Restaurant Reviews and News

Written By Scott Joseph On June 29, 2017

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Kres Chophouse

Kres interiorPhoto: Kres Chophouse

I was walking around downtown Orlando with a friend recently when we passed Kres Chophouse. It occurred to me that it had been a long time since I’d dined there, so we popped in for dinner. I’m glad we did.

I don’t know why, but Kres hardly pops into my mind when I’m asked about recommendations for downtown dining. Maybe it’s because the last couple of times I had dined there I found it to be only so-so. But sitting at the bar on the other night, I was reminded about the long history of this space.


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Greenbeat exterior

There’s a new lunch spot in downtown Orlando called Greentbeat, and with a location just across the street from the Orange County Courthouse, it’s a good option for people serving on jury duty. Though deciding the fate of the people on trial might be easier than choosing their lunch items.

Yep, we have another assemblage restaurant, this time with salads. Here, you have to pick two “bases,” meaning the type of lettuce or even nonlettuce, given that quinoa and rice are also options.

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Mathers Social Gathering

Mathers french 75

Downtown Orlando has a lot of bars. A LOT of bars. But I don’t think we can have too many as cool as Mathers Social Gathering, which opened recently at 30 S. Magnolia Ave. in a structure known, not coincidentally, as the Mather Building.

According to Mathers’ website, the building was constructed in the late 1800s and was at one time the home of Orlando’s post office, a music school, and a medical office for Dr. James Nixon Butt. Let’s all try to guess what kind of a doctor he was.

Anyway, Mathers Social Club occupies the third and top floor of the building, and walking into the space is like walking into the past. And there is a certain wow factor when you take it all in.

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PR’s Taco Palace Derailed: Winter Park Restaurant Closes

prs taco exterior

Blame the train.

PR’s Taco Palace in Winter Park has closed. Owner Perry Inman closed the original location of the Tex-Mex restaurant Saturday after nearly 30 years in operation at that location..

“It’s sad to leave,” he said when reached by phone Monday. “I’m sad, but we’ve had fun.”

Inman blamed the problems with the building, notably a lack of parking, an issue he didn’t have when he first opened in November 1987. PR’s is on Fairbanks Avenue at the railroad crossing, and until a couple of years ago, there was a street that followed along the tracks, angling from Fairbanks Avenue to New York Avenue. Patrons of the bar/restaurant could park along the street next to the tracks.



SJO Dining Deal: $40 of food and drink at Tap Room at Dubsdread for $20

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Scratch, Creative Winter Park Restaurant, Closing



This hasn’t been a good week for restaurants on Fairbanks Avenue.

First we learned that PR’s Taco Palace would close after three decades. Now comes word that Scratch, the creative little small-plates restaurant that opened in 2013 to critical acclaim will close next week.

A formal announcement has not been made, and attempts to reach manager Ashley Byrd were not immediately successful.

Despite a storefront location that looked out on Fairbanks, Scratch didn’t have great visibility, and it was always difficult to know where to park for the restaurant just off of New England Avenue. But people filled the seats at the bar or one of the few tables to taste dishes like Pork Belly Adobo and Loup de Mer.

In July of 2015, Dustin Haney, who opened Scratch as its chef, parted with his partners and left Central Florida. He is now a merchant marine, which tells you something about the life of a chef,

According to a post on Byrd’s Facebook page, the restaurant will close on Monday.


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