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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On March 24, 2022

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Pho 813

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Pho 813, a Millenia-area outpost of a restaurant out of Tampa (hence the 813), doesn’t look like much from the outside. In fact, sitting between a Chipotle and a Zöe’s Kitchen in a small outbuilding in front of a SuperTarget, Pho 813’s facade looks rather bland.

But inside is bright and pleasant, and so were the staff when I visited. Even better: the food was all quite good.

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Cantina Catrina

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I could make this real quick and simply say that I don’t currently recommend Cantina Catrina, the Mexican restaurant from Miami that recently opened its second location, at Florida Mall. I could tell you that there was not one aspect of my experience that I found positive or redeeming, but I feel I need to be more specific.

The restaurant’s Facebook page states, “When you first step through the door you become part of the atmosphere.” Inasmuch as the atmosphere is predominantly influenced by the skeletal images associated with the Day of the Dead, I should have been warned.

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Newsy Nuggets

Newsy Nuggets: Drive-thru innovation, a world famous restaurant you’ve never heard of, and doggies

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When the news is as grim as it has been recently, with war, inflation, a persistent pandemic that threatens another wave, and gas prices – good god, don’t forget the gas prices – we look for the glimmers that remind us we are civilized and innovative people, and we know that not only will life go on, it will be better, and the world will once again be envious of our American lifestyle.

Which is all to say that Shake Shack is opening its first Florida location with a drive-thru window. So now, instead of standing in a line of humans who all have been tricked into thinking the New York chain has magical burgers – I mean, they must be special because New Yorkers, who are born with an innate sense of what good food is, will wait in line for hours for one – Central Floridians can queue up and idle in the comfort of their automobiles. (Did I mention gas prices? I meant to mention gas prices.)


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Newsy Nuggets: Vicky & Al’s coming back (sometime), new restaurants and another Bronx cheer from the Beardies

vanda19 kitchenThe kitchen of Victoria & Albert’s in June, 2019.

Everyone seems quite excited about the news that Victoria & Albert’s, the ultra posh high-end restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, will reopen “later this year.” There is still quite a bit of year left to still qualify as later, and Disney is offering no hints as to how much later. It’s also not saying why its top restaurant – arguably one of the finest in the country – has remained dark while so many others have reopened. And with the announcement that Michelin Guide inspectors will begin visiting area restaurants, you’d think the culineers would want it open as soon as possible since it’s almost a shoe-in for a starred rating.

The Michelin inspectors will just have to make do with Grilled Cheezus, which has opened in the Mills 50 space Bites & Bubbles left empty when it moved up the street. GC occupies the front of the store and Phat Ash Bakes, a cookie company, works out of the rear.

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Other Stuff

2nd not-quite-annual Orlando Wine Festival & Auction raised funds for Magic’s Youth Foundation

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The Orlando Wine Festival & Auction, sponsored by the Orlando Magic and benefitting its Youth Foundation, had its second event last weekend, but it wasn’t exactly second annual.

The first OWFA was in 2019, and the second was planned for March of 2020 and was to have included Michael Symon as the headlining chef and a concert by Boyz II Men. But it was cancelled – along with many other things, including the remaining NBA season – just days before it would have happened.

As Alex Martins, chief executive officer of the Orlando Magic, says in the video below, the decision to go ahead this year was made only 45 days before the event took place at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando.


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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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Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide | P.O. Box 568344 | Orlando | FL | 32856



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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