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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On November 3, 2022

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News from the Flog  

Southeast Steel offers early start to “Black Friday” with sales and rebates


Signature Series

You all can sit around and wait for the day after Thanksgiving if you want, but Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse is starting its Black Friday Sale…[checks watch]…now, so you can get your shopping done early and avoid the madness.

Through Nov. 30 the popular downtown appliance center is featuring sale prices and rebates of $800 or more on many popular brands. And supply chain issues have improved, which means Southeast Steel has ranges, refrigerators and dishwashers in stock and ready to deliver. On my wish list: The Signature Kitchen Suite 48-inch Dual Fuel Pro Range, pictured at top, with gas or induction cooktop and built-in sous vide.

The thing I like about shopping at SES, which has been around since 1940, is that I can actually talk to someone who knows the appliances and can make recommendations. If you go to one of the big box stores and need advice, they might call over some kid who usually works in carpeting or the lumber department. And not for nothing, the boxes at Southeast Steel are pretty big, too.

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Recent Reviews

Soco Thornton Park unveils new menu items

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For the first time since it opened just over eight years ago, Soco, the Thornton Park anchor restaurant “where Southern meets Contemporary,” has a revamped menu. It’s a major redo – chef/partner Greg Richie tells me there are about 20 new items.

I was happy to see one of my favorites, the Soco Style “Chicken and Dumplings,” still on the menu (one of the few original items to remain). But after I was invited to sample many of the added items, I think I’m going to have some new favorites. And many, like the chicken and dumplings before them, capture the very essence of what Soco was meant to be.

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Newsy Nuggets

Spanish River Grille set to return to New Smyrna Beach with original owners


SRG extLocation of new Spanish River Grille, via Google Maps.Spanish River Grille, the once-popular New Smyrna Beach restaurant that closed in 2017, is set to return, with a projected opening day of Dec. 19.

That date is significant because it was Dec. 19, 1999, that Michele and Henry Salgado opened the original iteration. The restaurant was a critical hit and Henry Salgado, as its executive chef, became a James Beard Award nominee in the Best Chef South region for his cuisine.

In 2014, the Salgados also opened Txokos Basque Kitchen at the then-new East End Market but sold it a year and a half later, in September of 2015, partly due to the logistics of operating two restaurants so far apart. (That space is now occupied by Domu.) They continued to focus on the New Smyrna Beach restaurant but sold it in early 2017. The buyer, Henry Rodriguez, found that without the Salgados the restaurant’s regular customers stopped coming, and a few months later, he closed the business.

The new Spanish River Grille will once again be owned and operated by the Salgados.

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Newsy Nuggets: Pancakes griddling again at DeLeon Springs

Sugar Mill

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, which announced in August that it would close for renovations after a new vendor took it over, has reopened, though the name now is Old Sugar Mill Pancake House. The previous name must have sounded too ethnic. The popular DeLeon Springs breakfast stop had been operated for 61 years by members of the Schwarze family. Guest Services, Inc., a Fairfax, Va., company that operates concessions in state and national parks throughout the country, won the bid to operate the restaurant for the next 10 years. The concept remains the same, with guests sitting at tables outfitted with griddles onto which pancake batter is poured. Many, many people consider this to be fun.

Bruno’s Oysters has opened at Plant Street Market in Winter Garden in the facility’s Barrel Room. Culinarily speaking, whenever something with Bruno in its name opens, it’s usually either Bruno Fonseca or Bruno Zacchini of Pizza Bruno. In this case it’s Fonseca, who also operates The Foreigner, a non-Asian omakase dinner experience that pops up in different places but will eventually have a permanent home in Audubon Park. If the Winter Garden seafood joint was owned by Zacchini, it would be called Oysters Bruno.

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Newsy Nuggets: Untrucking

SmokeDonuts sign

Smoke & Donuts, the barbecue and fried dough business that started as a food truck, then entered into a partnership in a restaurant space at Mills Park, then moved back out to be a food truck again will once again transition to brick-and-mortardom when it moves into its new space in the Milk District this week. It has been renovating a former popcorn store next door to Se7en Bites Bakery, close to A La Carte where it has had its truck parked lately.

OverRice, a Filipino and Hawaiian specialty that has also been operating as a food truck business, will take over the Mediterranean Gourmet space at 1084 Lee Road, Orlando. No time frame has been announced.

Capital Tacos, a Tampa-based taqueria that has been operating out of the ghost kitchen on Dollins Avenue in Orlando, will go live at 7484 University Blvd., Winter Park, in the near future. Another site is planned for Clermont.

Hope to see you at Edible Orlando’s Field to Feast this Saturday, Nov. 5, at Long & Scott Farms, Mt. Dora, with food from Disney chefs and wine pairings orchestrated by George Miliotes. Tickets are $195 per person and available at edibleorlando.com. All proceeds go to benefit Kids Café Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

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Other Stuff


Turkey Time! Be sure to check out the Holiday Dining page for a list of restaurants serving on Thanksgiving Day. The list is updated daily, so check back often.


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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