The Whiskey, the fun Restaurant Row tavern with good food, has reopened under the state’s Phase 1 guidelines. I have not reopened myself to in-house dining just yet, but I was anxious to get some of the Whiskey’s good food for takeout.
I’ve been reviewing the takeout cuisine from a lot of our favorite, more established restaurants. So I relished the chance to try a new place, even if I am sticking to curbside .
Curry House Indian Cuisine managed to open its doors a few weeks before restaurants were ordered to close for on-premises dining. It reopened for takeout dining on May 1.
The window of the storefront space in a large strip mall on South Orange Blossom Trail still has a sign touting its lunchtime buffet. That’ll have to come down – we won’t see buffets again for a very, very long time.
And besides, I’ve always thought the food was better when prepared to order.
Ryan Manning, who opened his MX Taco restaurant in Orlando’s Milk District in early 2019 and then a second one in Waterford Lakes last September, has sold the East Orlando location to Rob Bair, who will convert it to one of his Tin & Taco restaurants.
Sweet Tomatoes, the Salad Buffet Restaurant, is filing for federal bankruptcy protection and has permanently closed all of its locations nationwide, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who understands the concept of salad bars and buffets will understand why, but I’ll come back to that.
Sweet Tomatoes was part of a Southern California company called Garden Fresh that also owned Souplantation, which had a similar concept. Most Souplantations were confined to California. In all, the company had 97 restaurants and 4400 employees.
Sweet Tomatoes came into the Central Florida market in Feb. or 1997 with a restaurant on West State Road 436 in Altamonte Springs.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango, the eclectic restaurant with an artist’s garret mien, will open its dining room under the state’s Phase 1 strictures on Thursday, May 14.
First Watch, the popular daytime cafe that closed operations nationally on April 13 after a period of takeout and delivery service, is aiming for a June 1 reopening.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango, along with Mia’s Italian Kitchen, recently began offering takeout and delivery from the Tango facility on International Drive. Both restaurants are owned and operated by Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP). Mia’s will remain closed for now but some of its menu items will continue to be offered at Cafe Tu Tu Tango. Takeout and delivery options will still be available as well.
In a press release, ARP listed several safety measures that will be implemented when Cafe Tu Tu Tango opens:
We have official confirmation of what’s been common knowledge in the culinary community for about six weeks now: Sette, the Italian restaurant from Va Propst and Trina Gregory-Propst, will not reopen, at least not in that space. That space, on North Orange Avenue at Virginia Drive across from Lake Ivanhoe, is still known by most locals as the former Brian’s Diner even though more than a few businesses have occupied it since. But all have been short-lived. There could be a number of reasons, but it’s been my observation over the years that when customers go to a restaurant, they like to have a place to park their car while they’re inside. The couple’s Se7en Bites bakery will reopen, though hasn’t yet.
The City of Orlando is allowing restaurants that want to reopen under the Phase 1 rules to use outdoor rights of way (alt: right of ways) – sidewalks, breezeways (alt: breezes-way), parking lots – to set up tables for diners, providing specified distancing is observed.