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Recent Takeout Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On July 30, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Recent Reviews

Takeout from Hook & Reel

Hookreeltogo crabbox

One of the signature items at Hook & Reel, the Cajun seafood bar in West Orlando, is the seafood boil that comes to the table in a big poofed-up plastic bag. Inside is a mess – a wonderful mess – of seafood that you selected in a sauce of your choice. To eat it, you roll the sides of the bag down and start digging in with your hands.

I was pretty sure that experience couldn’t be duplicated in a takeout experience, so I was surprised to see the seafood boils as an option on the online ordering form. So I had to give it a try.

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Bao’s Castle

Castle Bao exterior

We’ve had King Bao for about four years. Now we have Bao’s Castle. You’d think they might have some royal connection, but despite the monarchial monikers they are unrelated.

Bao’s Castle reigns over the SoDo Shopping Center. (Who am I kidding? Target is the imperial ruler here.) It occupies a humble storefront next to the complex’s Gator’s Dockside.

The menu is succinct, just eight baos and a few ancillary options.

I made my selections through the restaurant’s online ordering form, which is intuitive and easy to use, with options for pickup, including contactless curbside, or delivery through a third party.

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Other Stuff

Scott’s Kitchen: Tortellini di Stefano

Tortellini di Stefano still

Welcome to our new feature: Scott’s Kitchen. Here we’ll cook chef recipes, talk about cooking techniques, and maybe whip up some cocktails.

Today, chef Austen Suchanek of Stefano’s Trattoria in Winter Springs shares the recipe for the popular Tortellini di Stefano.

I chatted with Suchanek via Zoom and she walked me through the recipe. She also shared the recipe for the meat sauce that is used to prepare the tortellini.

Suchanek says you can find cheese tortellini in the fresh pasta section at the grocery store. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the meat sauce, you can find that in the pasta sauce aisle.

Here are the videos and the recipes:

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Newsy Nuggets: Food on TV, chicken-wing lasagna, and local food to the NBA

git messy logo 640

A couple of local restaurants are getting some national exposure. Last Friday, Git-N-Messy, a barbecue joint that operates out of a gas station, was on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Pitmaster/owner Chuck Cobb demonstrated his Southern poutine dish with pulled pork, coleslaw, cheese sauce and barbecue sauce on top of beer-battered fries.

Wed., July 29, Teak Neighborhood Grill will be on the Cooking Channel’s “Food Paradise.” The episode will focus on secret menus and Teak’s list of 37 burgers that can only be ordered if customers know a secret password. For me, the operative word there is pass. The episode will air at 9 p.m.

The 29th is also both National Lasagna Day and National Chicken Wing Day, and I’m begging chefs not to try to get fancy and combine the two into one dish.

Knife & Spoon, the much anticipated new restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, is now aiming for a Sept. 1 debut.

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Craft beer brewers see a cloudy future


Brewers logoThe Florida Brewers Guild has sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Halsey Beshears, Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary, asking for their help in putting together a plan that would allow more craft brewers to reopen. According to the letter, most of the 320 small brewers are offering their products only for takeout after the governor shut down on-premise consumption in bars in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Some brewpubs that serve food are allowed to remain open with limited occupancy, as are most restaurants.

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Brought to you by…

 Madras Cafe

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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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