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Takeout Reviews and Restaurant News

Written By Scott Joseph On March 26, 2020

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News from the Flog  

Recent (Takeout) Reviews

Takeout Review: Tasting Room and Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

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In recognition of current social distancing and voluntary isolation, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will be focusing on restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. Check here for a continuously updated list of restaurants offering to-go options.

If you want to see how takeout should be done during a pandemic – or at any other time, for that matter – look to the folks at Chef’s Table at the Edgewater, Tasting Room and The Attic in Winter Garden.

Since I live in downtown Orlando, I phoned my order in while driving along State Road 408 (on speakerphone, of course), after memorizing what I wanted from the takeout menu posted online. But a couple of my choices weren’t available.

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Takeout Review: Tap Room at Dubsdread

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It’s a truism that the enjoyment of food often has to do with the atmosphere in which it is consumed. Food that might be considered just so-so often becomes a sumptuous feast because of the place it’s consumed in and the people with whom it is shared.

So the real test of the quality of a restaurant’s food is how it tastes off premises instead of enjoyed in situ. (Out situ?)

I can attest that the food from Tap Room at Dubsdread is just as good when enjoyed at home as it is in the bustling, clublike atmosphere with dozens of friends stopping by the table to say hello.

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Takeout Review: Shakers American Cafe

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Among the many things we’re being denied during the coronavirus shutdown is the pleasure of a leisurely breakfast at Shakers American Cafe, a Foodster Award winner for Best Breakfast.

But while we can’t all get together in the small College Park dining room we can still enjoy the excellent food through takeout or delivery.

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Takeout Review: Big Fin Seafood Kitchen

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Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, the popular Restaurant Row destination, has launched a special menu for curbside pickup.

It’s far from a limited selection and includes many of chef James Slattery’s most popular items.

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Restaurants May be Allowed to Use Staff Members to Deliver Takeout Orders

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The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued a memorandum that may allow restaurants to use staff members to deliver takeout food.

The memorandum, from commissioner David Altmaier, in part asks for “the removal of exclusions on certain personal auto exclusions.” That segment of the memo from OIR, which was issued Wednesday, reads:

“In furtherance of the state’s efforts to limit large gatherings while remaining open, many restaurants and other businesses are offering delivery of goods and services. As a result, many insureds may be temporarily utilizing their personal automobile for purposes that might otherwise be considered commercial use. Regulated entities are encouraged to consider allowing such use for insureds, provided that such use is limited to the duration of the Emergency Orders.”

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Stay at Home Order Allows Restaurants to Continue Takeout and Delivery

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has issued a stay-at-home order that goes into effect Thursday, March 26, at 11 p.m. The order instructs “ all non-essential retail and commercial businesses to close and all residents to stay home from non-essential travel.”


The good news is that restaurants are considered essential businesses and traveling to pickup your takeout order is considered essential travel.

You may also be glad to know that your favorite laundromat is an essential business and you having clean clothes is an essential, nay, necessary thing.

County spokeswoman Kelly Finkelstein sent a link to a list of FAQs with details about other businesses and how the order will be enforced.

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On-Premise Dining Banned

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis has ordered all restaurants to cease on-site dining and alcohol consumption. The order, announced Friday afternoon, is effective immediately.

Restaurants that choose to stay open may operate only as takeout and delivery businesses. DeSantis is allowing those restaurants to offer alcohol for pickup or delivery – that’s package sales only; you can’t order a negroni to go.

Previously, restaurants had been ordered to limit seating to half capacity, something that has not been difficult for most as much of the dining public has been following guidelines to stay home.

The ban will remain as long as the state of emergency that DeSantis declared earlier is in place.

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Other Stuff

Best Tacos Foodster Award 2020

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Mx Taco is the winner of the 2020 Foodster Award for Best Tacos.

Black Rooster Taqueria was voted second and Fuego Tacos was third.

MX Taco opened last year in downtown Orlando’s Milk District and chef and owner Ryan Manning followed up with a second location in Waterford Lakes. As reviewed here and in this Tasting Table episode, Mx Taco features authentic dishes from various regions throughout Mexico, where Manning worked as a chef for Ritz-Carlton.

Black Rooster Taqueria in the Mills 50 district is a previous Foodster Award winner. In placing her vote, Stephanie Wood wrote: “Black Rooster is delicious! The best guacamole I have had locally and tacos are very innovative and delicious. The food here is the closest thing to authentic Mexican food that we have in the Central Florida.”

Taylor Shelby wrote: “Fuego Tacos is the bomb. Tastes like homemade cali-Mexican food.”

Congratulations to all the winners.

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Restaurateurs: Some Guidelines for Doing Takeout

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Many restaurateurs are new to the wonderful world of takeout and delivery. It takes some rethinking and retooling to do it right. Here are some thoughts to help you adjust:

  • Limit your menu. Don’t try to offer everything from your regular menu. You’re probably working with a streamlined kitchen crew – please help them keep a distance from each other – and supplies might be limited, so focus on the foods you can make efficiently and well. Choose the items that will travel well – keep in mind that hot food placed in closed containers is going to create steam, so breaded items or anything else that should not turn soggy should be left off the takeout menu.
  • Put prices on your takeout menu. No one is going to order without knowing the cost.

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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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