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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On April 13, 2023

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Park Avenue Tavern

patwp ext 1

WINTER PARK/NEW YORK – There have been instances in the past of restaurants developed and established elsewhere have opened a location in Greater Orlando. I mean nonchain concepts, even if the second location is the beginning of a bigger expansion. I’m thinking of Il Mulino, a well-known Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village that opened a location at the Swan and Dolphin resort at Walt Disney World in 2007. In most cases, the version we get here isn’t as good as the one in, say, New York. I’m still thinking of Il Mulino.

But now consider Park Avenue Tavern, a Murray Hill bar and restaurant just steps from Grand Central Terminal, on Park Avenue, that has opened a second location in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square in the space that had been Dexter’s, not on Park Avenue, but close. I dined with friends at the Winter Park PAT, as it likes to be known, then, a few days later, ate at the original in New York. The experiences were quite disparate, but this time it was the WP PAT that was more pleasant.

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Quick Bite: Dolce

Dolce table

Dolce is a pleasant little cafe on Central Boulevard, across from an entrance to Lake Eola Park. It was a perfect place to meet a friend visiting from out of town. And surprisingly, we had the whole place to ourselves.

Although the name would suggest it specialized in sweets, it actually has an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and brunch items, including crepes, pancakes, waffles and french toast. Yes, you can also get cinnamon rolls.

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Newsy Nuggets: Chicken Guy!, Market (goes) South, Chuan Fu, RockPit with rock-hard booze

Fieri and Earl wp

Guy Fieri, the Guy of Chicken Guy!, stormed into Winter Park last week with brand partner Robert Earl of Earl Enterprises to introduce some new menu items. The ensuing scrum of media – both professional broadcast and Tik Tokkie avocationers – must have made the other fried fowl vendors jealous in that area known alternately as the Chicken Strip and Cock Block. (You can see Fieri’s spiky ‘do and Earl being interviewed in the photo at top. They stepped out to the parking lot to greet a firetruck that was there for a reason that was not made immediately clear.

Among the items being added to the menu is a springtime huckleberry shake.

Market on South, the plant-based mini food hall that opened on South Street in a small two story structure in 2015, has been “temporarily closed” for a while. Now, two of its vendors, Valhalla Bakery and Dharma Southern Kitchen have announced they will move on and into the Cheney Collective, another soon-to-be food hall on Old Cheney Highway that was Mi Bodega Latina Grocery until a few years ago. When it makes the move, Dharma will change its name to Dharma Southern Chick’n, that being the preferred spelling of the unmeated food substance that mimics the taste and texture of the real-meat chicken that vegans prefer not to eat.

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Other Stuff

Local Flavor: Hamburger Mary’s Mac & Cheese Balls

mac and cheese ballsHamburger Mary’s Mac & Cheese Balls. Photo: John Paonessa

Note: Local Flavor is a collaboration between Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper.

Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille, whose motto is “Eat, Drink, and Be … Mary,” celebrated its 15th year in downtown Orlando in March. From the beginning, its Mac & Cheese Balls have been a popular appetizer. John Paonessa, co-owner of the franchise on Church Street, shared the recipe with us.

The yield on the recipe is 60 balls, scaled down from the usual 300 — I told you they were popular — but Paonessa says they can be kept in the freezer until you’re ready to fry them up.

Click the link below to go to the recipe at yourcommunitypaper.com.

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Corks and Forks is April 20

Corks and forks overview

The third annual Corks and Forks will be Thursday, April 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Venue on Lake Lily, formerly known as the Maitland Civic Center. General admission tickets are $65 plus $6.21 fee; access to the VIP Lounge is $125 plus $10.23 fee. Proceeds benefit the Venue on Lake Lily.

It’s a walkabout event featuring food and beverage stations, including flog favorites Tap Room at Dubsdread and Francesco’s. There will also be wine, beer and cocktails plus live jazz.

More details and ticket buying opportunities at the event’s information venue, formerly known as its website.

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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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