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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On October 6, 2022

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News from the Flog  


Fall on the Farm at Grande Lakes Orlando begins Oct. 15


fallonfarm logo

Grande Lakes Orlando will kick off its popular Fall on the Farm program on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. It will continue each weekend through the rest of October.

It takes place on the resort’s 18,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm, a perfect bucolic setting that includes a working vegetable patch from which many of the Grande Lakes chefs source their produce.

Each day’s events will include a hayride, arts and crafts, a maze and family games.

There will also be a pumpkin patch for picking the perfect pumpkin that kids can then carve or paint under the supervision of award-winning culinary artist at carver Victor Dagatan. Take your pumpkin beyond triangle-cut eyes this year.

Fallonfarm pumpkin

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Recent Reviews

Eola Lounge

Eola Lounge ext

I’ve learned to be leery of the restaurant space that sits midblock in the building that houses the Sanctuary Condominiums. It’s been home to so many restaurants in the past 14 or so years – some with very brief stays and three that announced they would open but never did – that I no longer get my hopes up.

And the name of the latest occupant, Eola Lounge, doesn’t exactly exude culinary confidence or creativity. Such a name tells me the owners are more interested in a drinking clientele so any food served would be secondary. But when I found myself in the area looking for a place to eat after my destination restaurant was unexpectedly closed, I decided to give it a try.

I liked it very much.

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Newsy Nuggets

Newsy Nuggets: The chainylicious edition

Jollibee exterior

Jollibee, a popular Filipino chain, plans to open its first Orlando location by month’s end, taking over the former Chuan Lu Gardens on extreme East Colonial Drive. Jollibee, which unapologetically refers to itself as a fast food restaurant, is known for its “Chickenjoy,” a hand-breaded fried chicken that, according to the chain’s website, is crispylicious on the outside and juicylicious on the inside. Not to be pigeonholed, or even chickenholed, it also serves burgers and something called Jolly Spaghetti. One pictures smiling meatballs.

  • Another chain, Crisp & Green, whose menu is comprised of things both crispy, if not crispylicious, and green, will open this weekend in Winter Park Village. It had planned to open last weekend but, well, you know. This is also a first Central Florida location for the Minnesota company – third in Florida – which plans a to have 40 statewide in the next two years. Menu highlights include salads, such as the No Prob Cobb, grain bowls, like the Bold & the Buffalo, and smoothies, including the Green Glow, which has [shudder] banana, pineapple, mango, spinach, ginger and plain pea protein. I wonder if there’s an option to upgrade to fancy pea protein to make it more pealicious.
  • In other chain news, Orlando based Earl Enterprises (Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, Buca di Beppo, Chicken Guy!) announced that Michael Beacham has joined its leadership team. Beacham is a former president of Darden International and was also chief operating officer at both Hard Rock and Chuck E. Cheese, making him one of the highest-level executives in the country with a resumé that includes Chuck E. Cheese. Beacham will report directly to Earl Enterprises’ founder and CEO, Robert Earl, who said in a statement, “Michael’s experience and knowledge of the industry are top-notch, and, with his wide-ranging background, I know he will bring new, innovative tactics and ideas to our operation.”

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Newsy Nuggets: Taste this

Taste of College ParkPhoto: Taste of College Park

We have a couple of Taste ofs coming up and one that’s ongoing into next month,

The first is Taste of College Park, Thursday, Oct. 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. in and around Historic Dubsdread.

The event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of College Park who claim it is the “oldest and most important social event in College Park.” TOCP is the club’s primary fundraising event, with net proceeds going to local and national charities. In addition to ticket sales, proceeds include bids from a silent auction.

Tickets are $75 plus a fee of $6.20 and can be purchased at the Eventbrite page. And while the Rotary Club’s site notes that the evening will feature “over a dozen local restaurants and distributors,” it doesn’t name any of them. (But I’m pretty sure we can count on Tap Room at Dubsdread being there.)

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Tornatore’s suspending inside dining for extensive remodel

Tornatore dining

Tornatore’s, the popular College Park restaurant and pizzeria, will suspend inside dining on Sunday, Oct. 2, to allow an extensive renovation of the dining room. It will reopen on Oct. 12.

“You will not recognize the place,” owner Denny Tornatore said in a text message Monday morning. “We are very excited.”

The kitchen, he said, will continue operating for outdoor dining, delivery and carry out during the remodel.

“We’re doing everything, floors, walls, ceiling, furniture,” said Tornatore. He said the renovations are meant to elevate the dining experience from its current pizzeria decor. “We have to bring the experience up to the level of the food.”

Tornatore’s is an award-winning Italian restaurant with an attached market at 3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando.

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World Orlando, TastyChomps and Z Asian team up for fundraising dinner

worldorlando dinner

WorldOrlando, which is not to be confused with Orlando World, is teaming up with Z Asian Vietnamese Kitchen and our friends at TastyChomps to host a fundraising dinner for Afghan refugees Monday, Oct. 17. The dinner will be at Z Asian, 1830 E. Colonial Drive, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

All proceeds from the dinner will go to WorldOrlando’s Afghan International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Alumni Emergency Relief Fund. IVLP is a United States Department of State program that sponsors short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. The emergency relief fund was set up to help IVLP alumni in Afghanistan and other countries who are at risk because of their involvement in U.S.-funded activities cover food, shelter and other basic needs as well as relocation expenses.

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Field to Feast returns Nov. 5

F2F pavliion

Edible Orlando’s Field to Feast returns for its eighth annual event on Nov. 5 at Long & Scott Farms, Mt. Dora. The outdoor walkabout begins with a reception from 2:30 to 3 p.m. with culinary stations and wine-pairing tables from 3 to 5:30.

The November date, a change from years past when the popular event took place in February, should lend a nice Thanksgiving harvesty atmosphere.

As always, the food stations will be staffed by Walt Disney World chefs from some of the resort’s top restaurants, including Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom Park), Tiffins, (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park), Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) Cítricos (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), The Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Flying Fish (Disney’s BoardWalk), Amorette’s Patisserie (Disney Springs), Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera (Disney’s Riviera Resort), Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Bakery, EPCOT Festivals and Global Catered Events.

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Other Stuff

2022 Best Tacos

Maritas Tacos

Tuesday seems to be an appropriate day to announce that Marita’s Latin Bites is the winner of the 2022 Best Tacos Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. Black Rooster Taqueria was voted second with Hunger Street Tacos only a few votes behind.

Marita’s, reviewed here in 2017, is a tiny slip of a place on Colonial Drive in East Orlando serving some pretty tasty, um, bites.

Black Rooster opened a second location recently in the Curry Ford West District and was re-reviewed here.

Hunger Street on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park also recently opened a second outlet, inside Plant St. Market in Winter Garden. So, yes, that’s Hunger Street Plant Street.

By the way, all of these tacos are just as delicious on any other day of the week.

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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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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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