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Recent Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On September 20, 2018

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews


Meza interior

Meza isn’t anything like Cafe Annie, but it’s that late lamented eatery from downtown Orlando that gave rise to this Baldwin Park mediterranean newcomer.

In fact, although there is still a Facebook page for Cafe Annie, the address it gives is the one for Meza in Baldwin Park.

Meza is bigger and brighter than the old place, and the menu is more ambitious. And it’s all wonderfully delicious.

Watch a video of this review here.

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Yellow Dog Eats

Yellow Dog extPhoto: Yellow Dog Eats

It had been years since I first visited Yellow Dog Eats, longtime favorite sandwicherie and recent silver winner of our Foodster Award for Best Outdoor Dining. So I called up a friend who lives in Gotha and we made a lunch date.

There’s also a location in New Smyrna Beach. But do you remember that the first YDE was in the Hidden Gardens off Park Avenue in Winter Park? It opened there in 1996, and I wrote my first review of it almost exactly 22 years ago, on Sept. 5, 1996, appropriately enough in my Chow Hound column in the Sentinel’s separate Calendar section. Do you remember when the Sentinel had a separate Calendar section? Do you remember the Sentinel?

It moved to Gotha in 1999 (Yellow Dog Eats, not the newspaper) to a historic structure called the Brockman House, circa 1910. It was originally a residence but was converted to a store called Hamm’s Grocery.

It’s now owned by the Morgan family, and it’s their son, Fish, who started Yellow Dog Eats in Winter Park and moved it to Gotha.

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Former Mitchell’s Fish Market Space Goes to Bar Louie

bar louie logo

The former Mitchell’s Fish Market space in Winter Park Village is finally getting a new tenant, the first non-seafooder in a very long time.

Bar Louie, the Texas based franchise chain, will add another to its approximately 135 locations across the country. There are currently three in Orlando.

Mitchell’s Fish Market closed in November after nearly seven and a half years in the large corner space across from the entertainment and shopping complex’s movie theaters. Before Mitchell’s, it was a place called Beluga’s, which was a precursor to present day’s Big Fin Seafood Kitchen on Sand Lake Road; Blackfin; and Kovar’s, which opened with the development in 2000.

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New Restaurant Opens in Former Cafe Madrid Space

cafe madrid deli sign

A new restaurant opened Friday in the former Cafe Madrid space. It’s called Cafe Madrid Deli & Bakery.

The deli and bakery should be a clue that it’s not the old Cafe Madrid, which closed in January after a 28 year run. (It closed a week after I reviewed it, but I swear it was a positive review.)

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Other Stuff

Taste! Raises Over $252K to Fight Hunger

Taste overview

The numbers are in for this year’s Taste! Central Florida, help Sept. 8 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Presented by Uncorked Gourmet, the eventraised $252,031 to support the childhood feeding programs and services of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Technically its 29th year, Taste! Central Florida was previously part of the national Taste of the Nation. The organizers decided to go independent last year, which means that all of the monies raised stay local.

Nearly 2000 people attended this year’s Taste!, which had competition from other charity events. Nevertheless, they sipped cocktails, craft brews and wines from 24 beverage vendors and sampled the food of more than 50 of the area’s top chefs and restaurants.

Among them were:

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Best Greek Restaurant Finalists

Greek Kebabs

Here are the top vote getters from the nominating stage for Best Greek Restaurant in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.

You may vote for only one restaurant, and please vote just once — this isn’t Chicago (though it has a very nice Greek Town).

After placing your vote, leave a comment below telling us why you like your selection (be sure to mention the name of the restaurant in you comment otherwise we won’t know which one you’re talking about). We may use your comments when we announce the winners.

Voting ends Sept. 19 and the winners will be announce Sept. 20.

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