SJO Dining Deal Relaunch, plus News and Reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On July 13, 2017

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News from the Flog  

One More – and Final – Time: SJO Dining Deal at Tap Room at Dubsdread
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Call it the SJO Dining Deal that broke SJO! Well, sort of.

After I launched our latest Dining Deal for $40 worth of food and drink at Tap Room at Dubsdread for $20, it proved so popular that too many people tried to purchase the Deal at the same time. It was a little too much for the software to handle. Some people didn’t get their certificates; some people got the certificates that should have gone to other people. When it became clear that something was amiss, I shut the sales down.

My apologies if you were one of those caught up in the glitch. I think we’ve gotten everyone taken care of. More importantly, we think we have the problem solved.

So with fingers crossed, I’ve been authorized by the folks at Tap Room at Dubsdread to reopen the Deal. There is a limited number available, and for a limited time: Sales will close at midnight Sunday or when the supply runs out, whichever comes first.

Also, because of the demand, one certificate per purchaser, please.

But before you head over to the SJO Dining Deal page, PLEASE READ THIS:

Purchases are handled through the PayPal gateway, but a PayPal account is not required; you may use any credit card. After you get confirmation that your payment went through, you’ll receive TWO emails from my website. One will have “You’ve paid for your SJO Dining Deal” in the subject line and the second will read “Your certificate for SJO Dining Deal…” with a link to the page where you can print it out.

These two emails are sent SIMULTANEOUSLY. However, some email spam filters treat them differently because the second one contains a link to a website. If you see the first one but not the second, please check the folder that handles your spam or junk emails. If it’s not there, contact me immediately.

OK then? Ready, set…go to the SJO Dining Deals page.

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop Downtown

hubblybubbly sandwich

Vast improvements have been made between the opening of of the first Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop, in College Park, and the second, in downtown Orlando. Of course, more than three and a half years passed between the two, so you’d expect a learning curve of sorts. And as I detailed in my review of the prototype shop in September of 2013, up was really the only way to go.

I haven’t been back to the Edgewater Drive location since then, but I’ll assume they’ve made the changes that made the falafel sandwich I had at the new location so enjoyable.


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Farm & Haus

Farmhaus salad

I finally stopped in to try Farm & Haus, the little to-go food producer at East End Market.

I stress that I stopped in because a major component of F&H’s business model is offering delivery of its prepared meals. I’m sure that helps with overhead, and also allows them to serve more people than could sit at the few available tables there at the market. Otherwise they’d have to charge huge amounts of money for the food.

I can’t imagine what those prices would be, because they’re pretty steep now.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that food with integrity comes with a premium price. Honest, unprocessed ingredients cost more than mass-produced canned and frozen foods. And I have no doubt about the exceptional quality of the food at Farm & Haus.

But lordy, 10 bucks for a small salad bowl — $12.25 with tax and tip — gives one pause.

Read More


Downtown Restaurants Reported Closed

Spice patio

Word is coming in that two downtown restaurants have closed. 

According to sources, the management of Spice Modern Steakhouse on Central Boulevard told employees Sunday that the restaurant was closing. It wouldn’t be totally unexpected. Spice, which overlooks Lake Eola, has had three bankruptcy filings in the past seven years and has been under pressure to liquidate its assets.

Attempts to reach the owner, Manny Tato, were not immediately successful. The restaurant’s information on its Google search page now reads “permanently closed.”

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Bistro on Park Avenue has Been Sold

Bistropark interior

Bistro on Park Avenue, the charming restaurant in the Hidden Gardens, has been sold. The restaurant is currently closed while it undergoes renovations.

Erika Boesch, who bought the restaurant five years ago with her husband, Hugo, said that they had wanted to sell for some time, mainly because they have been separated for four years and divorced for two. “We’re still friends,” she said, “we just didn’t want to work together anymore.”

Also, the $11,000 per month rent was a factor. “It’s a great location,” said Boesch, but it was a “struggle” to make ends meet.


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Terralina Crafted Italian will Replace Portobello

Terralina Crafted Italian Interior copy

The former Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, which was the former Portobello Yacht Club, will be the future Terralina Crafted Italian. Terralina is also the name of a line of skincare products, but I don’t think there’s a connection.


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 Other Stuff

Chez Vincent Celebrates 20 Years

chezvin20 vincent and teri

Vincent and Teri Gagliano held a celebration Tuesday evening to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their restaurant, Chez Vincent. The evening began with a reception in Hannibal’s, the bar and lounge next to the restaurant, and followed with a seated dinner for the invited guests with tables in both venues.


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 Last Week to Vote for Best Barbecue 

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 Only one week remains to place your vote for Best Barbecue in Scott Joseph’s Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.

I can’t tell you who’s winning, but I can tell you the competiion is close.

Head on over to the Foodsters page to vote now.



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