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Winner of the Best Outdoor Dining Foodster and Recent Reviews

Written By Scott Joseph On April 19, 2018

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News from the Flog  

Cocina 214 Named Best Outdoor Dining Restaurant

cocina 214 patio

Cocina 214 is the winner of the Best Outdoor Dining Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. Second place goes to the Tap Room at Dubsdread and Yellow Dog Eats takes third.

Cocina 214, the Tex-Mex restaurant on E. Welbourne Avenue in Winter Park, is a first time Foodster nominee and winner. “I love Cocina’s outdoor dining – great way to enjoy Park Avenue while also eating the best food!” wrote Catriona Harris after placing her vote.

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Recent Restaurant Reviews

Enzo’s Hideaway

Hideaway interior

In terms of splashiness and go-for-the-awe design and decor, Enzo’s Hideaway, from Patina Restaurant Group, offers much less than its sister restaurants at Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia has an opulent two-story dining room with elegant chandeliers; The Edison resides in what was supposed to have been an abandoned power producing facility, and Maria & Enzo’s has the dramatic effect of a grand old airline terminal with large windows overlooking the lagoon.

Enzo’s Hideaway has no windows and no double-height ceilings. It’s dark and slightly dank and several of the walls are covered in graffiti. I enjoyed myself here more than at the others.

Which is not to say that I don’t like the other restaurants; I do. But I think the absence of splash and distractions allows one to focus more on the food here. And the food here is really quite good.

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Ali Baba’s Deli

Ali Baba ext

I’m pretty sure the first puppet show I ever saw, and most likely the first theatrical production of any type, was “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” performed by a professional traveling troupe that had set up in the gymnasium of Garfield Elementary School in Moline, Ill. I was probably 8 or 9. I think we were told it was the Bil Baird Marionettes, but I doubt that was true

I don’t remember much about it except the Open Sesame line and the horribly gruesome deaths of the thieves who had boiling oil poured over them as they hid in large pottery jars. I still have nightmares. And I’m fairly certain that some of the other grisly plot lines were omitted, such as Ali’s brother being quartered and the chunks left outside the thieves’ den as a warning. And Ali Baba still gets top billing even though it was the slave girl Morgiana who saved the day; it was she who poured the boiling oil into the jars. (Hey, Disney: next animated princess alert!)

None of this has anything to do with Ali Baba’s Deli, but you try coming up with an opening for a review after you’ve written more than four thousand of them.

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Pulapaka to Cook at Beard Gala

Pulapaka rise

Central Florida’s chefs aren’t worthy of James Beard Awards — or, this year, even nominations — but apparently they’re good enough to cook for the ones who are.

Hari Pulapaka, chef and co-owner of Cress restaurant in DeLand, has been invited to cook at the reception following the James Beard Awards presentation in Chicago on May 7.


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