Authors Posts by Ricky Ly of

Ricky Ly of

Florida native Ricky Ly founded in 2008 as a local Orlando food blog dedicated to finding the tastiest bits and pieces of Orlando as well as around the world. His first book, Food Lovers' Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series) is available now on and Photography is taken using a Canon EOS 6D and a Sony Nex-3. E-mail him at tastychomps(at) Google

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Alton Brown, the Food Network television personality of Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen fame, will be returning to Orlando for his live “Eat Your Science” show at the Dr Phillips Performing Arts Center on April 22, 2017.

On his last visit to Orlando, he stopped by some local favorites such as Beefy King, Credo and Lineage Coffee, Skyebird Juice Bar, Olde Hearth Bakery, Kappo at East End Market, The Ravenous Pig, Pho 88, and Pom Pom’s Tea House and Sandwicheria.

On March 14, Alton Brown posted this on Facebook:

“Dear Orlando: The last time I was in your fine city for Alton Brown Live, you directed me to these fine establishments. Well…I’m coming back April 22 ( and need your help again. Where should I go? #ABRoadEatsORL”

I humbly submit a few places for his next visit, including a few of my favorites.

Knowing he is probably on a tight schedule, I recommend visiting the Mills 50 area first, where he can hit up a few spots at once:

1. Mamak – Malaysian street food


Dishes to try: Wontons in hot peanut sauce and the roti canai.

1231 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 270-4688

2. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

Dishes to try:  The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad.

Pig Floyds
1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0866

3. Chuan Lu Garden – Sichuan Chinese cuisine

Dishes to try: La Zi Fish, fried with Sichuan peppercorns and the pan fried house made dumplings.

Chuan Lu Garden
Phone (407) 896-8966
??1101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

4. Vietnam Cuisine:

Dishes to try: Banh cuon, a rice noodle crepe dish filled with mushrooms and pickled daikon radish.

Vietnam Cuisine

1224 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

5. Seito Sushi at Baldwin Park:

Dishes to try: Pork Tonkotsu Ramen – made with a 24 hour pork broth, and topped with slices of braised pork belly, poached Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, and house made garnish

Seito Sushi
4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 898-8801

6. The Osprey Tavern:

Dishes to try: Spicy Egg Pizza

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814 407-960-7700

7. The Donut King in Winter Park

Dishes to try: The Cronut or the Traditional Glazed Donut

Donut King
3716 Howell Branch Rd Winter Park, FL 32792
(321) 316-4817

8. Viet-Nomz

Dishes to try: Vietnamese pork tacos and Vietnamese coffee

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Phone: +1 407-636-6069

9. Shishco Mezze and Grill

Dishes to try: The Gyro bowl, a generous bowl with a large lavash flat bread base overflowing with bulgur wheat grain, sliced pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes, and slices of beef and lamb doner / gyro.

Shishco Mezze and Grill
118 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Phone:(407) 661-1336

10. Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park

Dishes to Try: Huevos Bulla, made with eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. The dish is mixed at the table.

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 214-6120

Where would you send Alton Brown? Use the hashtag #ABRoadEatsORL on facebook, twitter and instagram to send him your recs.

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The Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform at the Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Spring in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

This year, the 2017 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs is running March 16-19, featuring the most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida and a round-the-clock lineup of talented musicians, award-winning Irish dancers and authentic cuisine by Irish celebrity chef and PBS/Create TV personality Kevin Dundon.

The Irish craft beers served at the Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like the Irish, here’s some tips from Raglan Road (ha!):
1. Please don’t call the holiday “St. Patty’s.” It’s either “St. Patrick’s Day” or “St. Paddy’s.”
2. A shamrock has three leaves (not four – that would be a clover).
3. Americans invented the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737 in Boston.
4. Most Irish pubs do a full month’s business on St. Patrick’s Day.
5. Guinness sell 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day versus the usual 5 million daily.
6. Raglan Road is America’s #1 Irish Pub.
7. Green beer is an American invention. Raglan Road does not serve green beer.

We were able to chat with Raglan Road Master Chef Kevin Dundon in a Q & A recently:

Master Chef Kevin Dundon at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs on December 13, 2017. Photo by Tom Burton

Tasty Chomps: Where did you get your inspiration to cook?

Chef Kevin Dundon: As a child, I remember watching my mother and my grandmother, busy in the kitchen. Mum instilled in me a sense of passion for the food we ate, and this is where my passion for food began. Mum always ensured we got involved in the preparation of family meals, and this trend now continues with my own children.

Favorite first memories of food?

My first memory is years back when I was a child. We were in Kilkee, County Clare for a weekend holiday. I went with my grandfather fishing. We caught mackerel, and that night my mum cooked some. Next morning, I decided I wanted to impress my grandparents with breakfast in bed. I prepared toast, tea and some lovely mackerel! The mackerel were undercooked, the tea was cold and so was the toast. They didn’t say anything, ate it all and said it was delicious. I found out years later of their kindness, the lengths they went to keep me happy!

Appetizer D’Lirrah, served at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vist, FL.

Best Dishes to Try at the Restaurant this year?

I love the Heaven on Earth Baby Back Ribs, glazed in a Guinness reduction – they are fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-the-mouth tender, and made to share!

What is one dish you would make for yourself to eat after a long day in the kitchen?

I love a bacon buttie, made on freshly buttered toasted sourdough bread, with crisp, hot bacon straight from the grill, freshly shredded lettuce, a slice or two of beef tomato.

Favorite local Orlando places to dine?

Obviously Raglan Road is my favourite place to dine; however, The Pharmacy in Orlando is a good spot too!

Smokie city, a baked haddock and cheese dip appetizer served at Ragna Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL
Ger’s bread and butter pudding, a dessert served at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
Cashel king salad, served at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL
Fish and chips as served at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

PRESS RELEASE: 2017 Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Runs March 16-19
at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs
Award-winning new acts include Young Dubliners and The Byrne Brothers

Running March 16-19, the most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida will feature a round-the-clock lineup of talented musicians, award-winning Irish dancers and authentic cuisine by Irish celebrity chef and PBS/Create TV personality Kevin Dundon.

Guests can enjoy a mighty selection of beers, spirits and craft cocktails with Dundon’s exceptional Irish fare while musicians and dancers perform on multiple stages, indoors and out, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily. Guests can accent their Irish holiday attire with complimentary face painting available for the occasion from noon to 8 p.m. throughout the festival. The stellar music lineup includes:

Young Dubliners – Quite possibly Celtic rock’s hardest working band, playing hundreds of shows to thousands of fans across the United States and Europe every year. Known for their exciting live performances, the Young Dubliners bring their hearty rock and Irish-infused tunes to the Raglan Road stage.

The Byrne Brothers – An exceptionally talented traditional Irish music family from Donegal. They are Luca, 12, on button accordion; Finn, 10, on banjo, mandolin and whistle; and Dempsey, 7, on whistle and bodhran (percussion). Their show combines exciting traditional Irish tunes with modern dance beats, and they’re known for their fun interaction with their audience.

HanaLena Band – A sister duo based out of Nashville, Tenn. Hannah and Caroline grew up in the heart of Mississippi and were surrounded by bluegrass, country and the Delta blues. Their unique blend of acoustic instrumentation, moving lyrics and tight vocal harmonies make for an entertaining show.

The Raglan Roots Coalition – More than 10 years down the road, Raglan Road felt it was time to shake its boogie – Roots style, with this popular Irish house band. Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some hip-swingin’, knee-shakin’ funky roots beats.

Swingin’ On the Gate – This four-piece band of multi-instrumentalists with roots in legendary Lisdoonvarna in County Clare have serious crossover credentials and musical pedigree including traditional and classical training. They are multiple medal winners at Fleadhs music competitions and have toured in Italy, Switzerland and the United States.

Rollickin’ Rua – A fresh and exciting four-piece traditional Irish music ensemble from Ireland and Scotland. Each of the accomplished musicians brings a wealth of musical talent and experience to their vibrant live show of music and song.

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform at the Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Spring in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers – Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the Mighty Festival. You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!

The entertainment schedule will be posted at Festivities at Raglan Road will run from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily throughout the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival.

It’s not bleedin’chowder!, a seafood and potatoes dish at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Spring in Lake Buena Vista, FL

Guests can order from Raglan Road’s popular brunch, lunch, dinner and bar menus that include new dishes recently introduced by Master Chef Dundon. The dinner menu features loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day, plus other Irish classics created with Dundon’s modern twists. Throughout the event, the restaurant’s Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites, as well, including fish and chips.

Keen eye for the shepherd’s pie, as served at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling 407/938-0300.


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My first experience with Yummy House was during college when my friends and I would travel to Tampa to visit friends at USF. The main draw: a 3 dishes for $20 menu at the time for very decent Cantonese style Chinese cuisine – a great deal for some delicious food for a bunch of starving, poor college students.

They have since expanded to many other cities outside Tampa, including right here in the Orlando area in Altamonte Springs. There is a special 3 for $22.99 menu still, which is great for family style dinners, but do mind you have to ask for it.

The regular menu is still a good bargain for what you get. I would count Yummy House in the top 3 Chinese restaurants in the Orlando area. Some may argue that their sauces are a bit on the sweet side, but their Hong Kong style roast duck and their perfectly cooked sweet and sour Mandarin Pork Chop (known as Peking pork chops in other restaurants) push Yummy House to the top for my list, especially in a city which surprisingly lacks many good Chinese establishments for the time being.

Here is the 3 for $22.99 menu!

Below are some of my choices for a dinner at Yummy House, enjoy:

Crab Meat Fish Maw Soup $14.00
Fresh crab meat and fish maw in broth.
Salt and Pepper Calamari $7.99
Beef Chow Fun $9.50
Cantonese style rice noodles stir-fried with beef, bean sprouts and green onion.
Salted Fish with Chicken Tofu Clay Pot $12.00 (try any of the hot clay pots)
Stir-fried white meat chicken, salted fish and tofu in brown sauce.
Hong Kong Style Roasted Duck $12.00 half / 22.00 whole
Traditional HK style roasted duck marinated with our house special five spice sauce.
Mandarin Pork Chop $9.50
Stir-fried pork chops and onions in sweet and sour Mandarin sauce.
Snow Pea Tips with Roasted Garlic $12.00
stir-fried snow pea tips with roasted garlic

For the full menu, visit:
Yummy House Orlando
(407) 339-8877
478 E. Altamonte Dr. #102
Altamonte Springs, FL

Hours: Sunday & Monday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm-9pm
Tuesday – closed
Wednesday & Thursday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm-9pm
Friday and Saturday lunch: 11am – 2:45pm, dinner: 4:30pm – 9:30pm

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Once known as “Downtown Disney”, the new Disney Springs has undergone a major renovation, with a strong array of new and diverse dining options.

Among new dining choices awaiting Town Center guests are restaurants developed by James Beard award-winning chefs. Frontera Cocina serves up gourmet Mexican cuisine and creative cocktails from the menu envisioned by celebrity chef Rick Bayless, a six-time James Beard Foundation winner. Chef Art Smith, two-time winner of the James Beard Award brings a unique taste of gourmet southern cuisine and Florida agriculture to the heart of Disney Springs with Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine.

Guests can dine off a shipshape menu at The BOATHOUSE or enjoy, at Morimoto Asia, Pan-Asian cuisine from celebrity chef Matsaharu Morimoto, of Iron Chef fame. STK Orlando offers guests a fine dining experience set in chic, contemporary surroundings. Finish off the evening with a relaxing stroll to grab a signature gelato at Vivoli Gelateria or a crafted cocktail at Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar.

Some of the new specialty-dining locations are now open at Disney Springs:

Amorette’s Patisserie
B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
D-Luxe Burger
Morimoto Asia Street Food
The Daily Poutine
STK Orlando
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
Coca-Cola Store and Rooftop Beverage Bar
Frontera Cocina
Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

When completed, Disney Springs will have doubled the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments.



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Eat, Sip, Meet James Beard Award-Winning Cookbook Authors/Chefs
Art Smith and Norman Van Aken at
10th Annual ‘Reading between the Wines’ Event April 12
Adult Literacy League Fundraiser at Orlando Science Center Serves Community

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 13, 2017) – James Beard Foundation award-winning cookbook authors and celebrity chefs Art Smith and Norman Van Aken headline the 10th annual “Reading between the Wines” Adult Literacy League of Central Florida fundraiser April 12, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. The event at Orlando Science Center is presented by Bank of America.

Two of the country’s most renowned culinary artists and celebrity cookbook authors, Smith and Van Aken will engage in a lively discussion moderated by local author Bob Morris. Central Florida News 13 feature reporter and anchor Allison Walker-Torres will emcee the evening.

Smith and Van Aken will share their take on Florida’s distinctive larder and harvests. Covering topics ranging from pecans and mangoes to beef to seafood, these masters of Florida fare will dish with the audience and sign books at the event celebrated for its generous food and wine offerings by some of Orlando’s top restaurants.

During the festive three-hour event, guests can mix and mingle while enjoying savory and sweet tapas-sized noshes by Swine & Sons, 4Rivers Smokehouse and The Coop, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant of Disney Springs, Carmel Café, Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse at Hyatt Regency Orlando, The Palm and Olde Hearth Bread Co. Art Smith’s new Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen at Disney Springs and the new 1921 by Norman Van Aken in Mount Dora, also will feature signature bites. Darden Restaurants and its suppliers and PRP Wine International will provide wines to pair with the food. Guest also can bid on silent auction items that include everything from theme park tickets to resort spa and restaurant packages.

All event proceeds will support Adult Literacy League (ALL) programs and services designed to build a literate community. ALL provides one-to-one tutoring and classes to more than 1,000 adults on a weekly basis, plus books and learning materials to 600 preschoolers in low-income families each year.
Tickets for the event are on sale now. Individual tickets are $90; a $600 Connoisseur’s Table includes four event tickets, a reserved cocktail table, two gift bottles of wine and recognition as a sponsor in the event program.

When the sipping, noshing and bidding wind down, guests can grab a seat to hear from event headliners Smith and Van Aken.

Norman Van Aken is “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He also is known internationally for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world. He is on the James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage,” and his Orlando restaurant “NORMAN’S” was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America.” He was even named a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America.”

Van Aken has published five cookbooks and one memoir: Feast of Sunlight 1988, The Exotic Fruit Book 1995, Norman’s New World Cuisine 1997, New World Kitchen 2003 and My Key West Kitchen 2012 (with Justin Van Aken), No Experience Necessary, The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken, 2013 and My Florida Kitchen (with Janet Van Aken) 2016. His radio show, “A Word on Food,” appears twice a week on NPR station WLRN 91.3 FM. He has appeared on television, including on CNN, Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He is the Chef-Owner of “NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando.” His new venture is a Cooking School, “In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken,” in partnership with Candace Walsh, being built on Biscayne in Miami. 1921 by Norman Van Aken is located in Mount Dora, Fla.

Art Smith has received the culinary profession’s highest awards and has cooked for some of the world’s most famous celebrities. In 1997, Smith became the personal, day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, a position he kept for 10 years. Now, he coordinates and cooks for events all around the world. Smith was honored by Chicago magazine as a Chicagoan of the Year in 2007 and is a two-time James Beard Foundation award winner. In 2008 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary MBA Degree, awarded by the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University and was inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2010. He has made numerous television appearances including on Iron Chef America, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Fox News, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, BBQ Pitmasters, The Dr. Oz Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
He is also the author of award-winning cookbooks: Back to the Table, Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families, Back to the Family, and Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort, which focuses on healthy cooking and healthy living.

Chefs Art and Norman will sign books following their question-and-answer period.
Visit for more information. To purchase tickets to Reading between the Wines call 407/422-1540, ext. 111 or click on .

The Adult Literacy League (ALL) was created by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1968 and, since then, has helped thousands of adults 18 and older gain employment and economic self-sufficiency through one-on-one tutoring and classes in reading, writing, math, computer skills and other key studies. ALL holds classes in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and its Family Literacy program teaches parents to become the first and most effective teacher in their children’s lives. When an adult cannot read, it is a detriment not only to the individual, but also to our community. ALL’s Reading between the Wines event was designed to raise awareness, funds and friends so we can continue to change people’s lives through literacy. For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, please call Gina Solomon at 407-422-1540 ext. 111.

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Photos by Negin Alimohammadi

Chef Hari Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant in Deland recently hosted an outdoor family style meal for 300 featuring the cuisines of the 7 countries who are part of the Trump administration’s immigration ban – Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Here are a few scenes from the dinner captured by our good friend, Negin, who herself is an Iranian national who has lived here for the past 6 years as an engineer and who was personally effected by the immigration ban on her way back to Orlando from a family visit to Iran.

Chef Hari

Guests who attended could taste “deeply flavoured stews, herbaceous sauces, rustic breads, aromatic rice dishes, and complementing side dishes.”

“My goal is to present the meal with dishes from many countries during the same course to illustrate that there are few rules and most dishes complement each other and that the power of food as a great equalizer, at a communal table, is a lesson for the ages,” said Chef Hari Pulapaka in a recent interview.

The benefit dinner raised over $10,000 for International Rescue Committee (, a global humanitarian aid, relief and development nongovernmental organization. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster.

Couscous with carrots, beets, broccoli and cauliflower (Syria)
Lamb maraq (Somalia)
Saffron rice pudding, rose water, dates (Iran)
Polow with saffron, raisins and cashews (Iran)
Roasted corvina with spices and olive oil (Iraq)
Wagyu beef and potato kubba (Iraq)

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Celebrating 24 years when it kicks off March 1, 2017, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will jump-start spring with blooms aplenty and gardens of edibles including toothsome morsels from the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens.

A new, next-generation Belle topiary from “Beauty and the Beast” will debut in France, and a redesigned “Cars” play garden will introduce a colorful new character topiary sure to capture children’s imaginations.

The 90-day festival, open March 1-May 29, will feature an irresistible array of new gardens and character topiaries, popular entertainers and tasty food and drink offerings:

Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors will debut at the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens. Delectable chef-inspired bites from Northern Bloom include Seared Scallops with French Green Beans and Butter Potatoes with brown-butter vinaigrette and Applewood smoked bacon. A Maple Popcorn Shake for sipping can become an adult libation with the addition of some Crown Royal Maple Whiskey. At The Berry Basket, the Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique can pair with the new Founders Raubeaus Pure Raspberry Ale.

Chef Gregg Hannon

One of the popular Outdoor Kitchen gardens, Urban Farm Eats, will return with savory bites, sweet treats and ideas for planting produce that can inspire growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow their own edibles.

“A lot of people, including young children, are serious foodies now, and they have lots of questions about gardening,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “We’re getting more and more people in their 20s and 30s asking, ‘How can I grow this?’ I think we’ll be creating more gardeners because people can see what’s possible.”

The festival, including all gardening programs, exhibits, concerts, complimentary English Tea Garden tours and special appearances, is included in regular Epcot admission.

For more information about the 24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
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Dim sum

There’s no English signs to let you know you’re at Mr Wong’s Family Taste Chinese Cuisine until you’re inside. It just says “Chinese Cuisine” outside.

This place is in the so called “Chinatown” plaza here in Orlando – on Colonial Drive just west of Pine Hills Road where 1st Oriental Supermarket is located. It’s right next to Sapporo Ramen.

With that said, good dim sum is hard to find in Orlando. I think Ming Bistro and Golden Lotus are a few of the better ones in Orlando, but it’s not saying much. Mr. Wong’s would be up there in the top 5, but their service knocks it down a few notches. The decor is a bit Spartan and the waitresses here are a bit more rude than usual. But the har gow shrimp dumpling and beef chow fun are quite good.

Good dim sum is hard to find in Orlando.
Dim Sum menu
Dim Sum menu
Fried shrimp ball
Fried stuffed taro dumpling
Turnip Pudding
The push cart – dim sum served daily 10am – 3pm
some fried stuffed tofu
Shrimp Rice paste
Stuffed eggplant

Fox 35’s Valerie Boey and the members of AAJA Florida
Dim sum
Siu Mai and Ha gow

Mr Wong’s Family Taste Chinese Cuisine
5076 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32808

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Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola Set for February 25 and 26, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 20, 2017) – The Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set for Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, 2017 for more than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe.

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 ofOrlando’s premier restaurants, 50 domestic and international wines and live entertainment.  A portion of the proceeds benefit UCF Foundation, Inc. and Valencia Foundation.

Headline entertainers include Gavin DeGraw and KC and The Sunshine Band. Additional live music artists to be announced

Date / Time: Saturday, February 25 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 26, 2017 (noon to 7 p.m.)

Location: Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street


Fest Admission: 

 One-Day General Admission

Admission is $20 per person, per day with advance online purchase. Admission at the door is $25 per person, per day.

Two-Day General Admission

For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $35 per person with advance online purchase.

Wine Tasters Club

A limited number of Wine Tasters Club passes will be available for purchase for $20 per person at the Fest.  Club members will enjoy up to five 2 oz. pours of their choice throughout the Fest and a souvenir lanyard.

Ultimate Fest Experience

A limited number of Ultimate Fest Experience packages are available for $115 per person, per day and includes a VIP parking pass, general admission, Wine Tasters Club, $20 value in food and beverage tickets, access to the private stage-side VIP tent, private wine/beer bar with premium wines (food and beverage tickets required) and access to private bathrooms reserved for VIP guests.

Food & Beverage Tickets:

Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.

“One of my favorite things about Downtown Orlando is the variety of restaurants and event options,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The Downtown Food & Wine Fest combines both by adding to the array of event options residents and visitors can attend, as well as, helping to enhance the vibrancy of the area all the while increasing awareness of our local businesses and strengthening economic growth in the area.”

Steve Carver, senior vice president and market manager, CBS RADIO Orlando commented, “Through the power of radio and the strength of our partnerships with the Orlando Downtown Development Board (DDB), restaurateurs, foodies and fans will come together to celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of Orlando.”

Top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings to complete in the Golden Fork Awards as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters and celebrity chefs.

2016 Foodie Award:Baoery’s Asian Tacos

2016 Sweet Treat Award:Siro Urban Kitchen’s Black Cherry Liquid Nitro Gelato with Balsamic Drizzle

2016 Best of Show:Primo by Chef Melissa Kelly


Stay Connected

For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:

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Holler & Dash Biscuit House opened its third restaurant, and first location in Florida, at 6268 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Serving a menu of Southern comfort food with a modern twist and an emphasis on signature biscuits, the Tennessee-based eatery was established by parent company Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Culinary director Brandon Frohne brings Southern-inspired fare as well as a beverage selection featuring craft beer and wine, coffee from Orlando’s Lineage Roasting and innovative flavors of handcrafted sodas such as pineapple basil and mango-jalapeño mash.

To support Florida’s local farms, Holler & Dash is serving fresh juices from the local groves of Lambeth Grove and Seminole Pride Noble to your glass. The Celebration restaurant also created a seasonal strawberry lemongrass soda as a nod to Plant City’s strawberry harvest.

We spoke with Chef Brandon Frohne recently about his background and his work at Holler and Dash.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m somewhat of a Nomad. I was born in St. Pete, Florida and grew up between Florida and Tennessee. I was raised in a family that loves to cook, and owned restaurants in Switzerland, Germany, and US. I grew up watching my mom, grandmother, and aunt cook. I was so inspired by them. I found myself in the kitchen asking them questions and being intrigued by what they were cooking whether it was Mom’s famous cheeseburger pie, Oma’s chocolate mousse, or my aunt’s schnitzel holstein. At 17, I found my way into the kitchen as an apprentice and never left. Soon after I discovered that cooking was my passion. It helped me transition from being a mischievous adolescent to really feeling like as though I had a purpose.

From there I continued to apprentice, self study, and take culinary coursework while working in fine dining restaurants in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. I tried to absorb everything I could. By the time I was in my mid-20’s I had developed a good palate and was able to creatively and skillfully express myself through food. I was able to draw on the technique I had acquired, and pair it with European influence from my family and American-Southern influence from being raised here and coming up in the industry here. The Southeast is where I gained an appreciation for working with local farms, artisans and seasonal ingredients.

I began entering culinary competitions and, to my surprise, found a lot of success. I won the 2011 & 2012 People’s Choice Award at the Savor Nashville Chef Challenge, 2nd place at the International Biscuit Festival for my sweet biscuits, and I was a semi-finalist in the World Food Championships’ World Chef Challenge in Las Vegas.

Guac, fried green tomato – and bacon, bacon, bacon – the Holler Back Club biscuit.

Riding on the coat tails of these competitions, I launched Forage South, a pop-up restaurant that later developed into the Forage South food brand that makes artisanal pantry essentials for the everyday home cook and includes all natural mixes that really capture my long-time-love for biscuits.

At age 27 I opened Mason’s Southern Provisions in Nashville and that’s really where my career took off. While working there I had the opportunity to be featured on national TV shows like Food Network’s Chopped, Chopped Redemption, Travel Channel’s Secret Eats and Chow Masters. I was awarded Chef of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association in 2015. My team and I also received the prestigious invitation to cook at the James Beard House in 2013 and 2015. The opportunity with Holler & Dash presented itself toward the end of 2015 and, hungry for my next project, I jumped right on board. Biscuits are a Southern staple and the most nostalgic food item for me because they remind me of family, friends and my childhood. Joining the team at Holler & Dash is my proudest accomplishment so far because it represents everything that came before it. I feel incredibly grateful.

 Favorite first memories of food?

I have several from my childhood: my father teaching me how to make a béchamel sauce, watching my mom make her famous cheeseburger pie (and inviting all the kids in the neighborhood to try it), my sweet grandmother butchering veal into paillards for veiner schnitzel, the oh-so-delicious richness of my aunt’s demi glace, my childhood neighbor Edna Parrot’s biscuits and gravy, and working with my brothers in my grandmother’s restaurant when we were kids. They’re all favorites and I draw inspiration from all of them everyday.

– Best Dishes to Try at the Restaurant?

The Kickback Chicken Biscuit: this one is standout for me. Free range chicken, creamy goat cheese, sweet and spicy pepper jelly, and scallions. So good!

My brunch go-to, the Grit Bowl: creamy cheddar grits, fried eggs, smoky bacon, hot sauce, and scallions.

The Strawberry & Dash: a fun play on a classic strawberry shortcake with creole cream cheese, house made whipped cream, and tasty marinated strawberries – all piled on a buttery, flaky biscuit!

– What is one dish you would make for yourself to eat after a long day in the kitchen?

I love cooking one-pot meals after a long day mainly because I don’t have the energy to clean my kitchen after I wreck it! I love anything vegetable driven, so Shakshuka is always a go-to. It’s this spicy Tunisian tomato stew with kale, spices, feta cheese, and whatever vegetables are in season. I normally coddle eggs right in the broth, so it’s sort of my spin on a classic tomato gravy. Typically I eat that with a crusty baguette and it makes my soul happy!

– Favorite local Orlando places to dine?

I’ve been incredibly busy with the launch of Holler & Dash, but my friend Emily Ellen is a local, rad, kitchen star who made me a bucket list of restaurants and bars to visit. I’m slowly working my way through the list. It’s really important that Chefs and restaurants support each other and their communities. I’ve been to Cask & Larder, Bauhaus and the Rusty Spoon recently. They all have super tasty menus. Go check ‘em out!

For more information, visit

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Maraq (Somalia)

The Trump administration recently issued an immigration ban from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). This ban – the way it currently exists – was overturned by the federal judicial courts as unconstitutional. It not only banned refugees, but there were also cases of authorities detaining and deporting legal VISA holders and others, including here at the Orlando International Airport.

This story is personal to me as I am the child of refugees, my parents having escaped by fishing boat from Vietnam before finally being sponsored into the United States. The America I know and love has always been a welcoming and gracious nation, one full of opportunity and a place of safe harbor for those most persecuted and oppressed. If not for America’s open hearts, who knows if my parents would not have been one of the many thousands who died at sea or captured by pirates.

Chef Hari Pulapaka, a native of Mumbai, India, came to the U.S. for graduate studies in 1987. An Associate Professor of Mathematics, he has been at Stetson University since the fall of 2000. When not teaching or working on mathematics and related areas, he is at Cress, a restaurant in downtown DeLand that he owns with his wife, working as an active professional chef. He is also a four-time semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award-Best Chef South and has been invited to cook on multiple occasions at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Hari Pulapaka is soon hosting a family style meal at Cress featuring the cuisines of the 7 countries who are part of the administration’s immigration ban – the 300 tickets are practically sold out at publication time of this article.

I was honored to speak to him briefly about the upcoming project.


Tell us about how this dinner came about, what inspired you to create “7 Courses, 7 Countries”?
I was sitting in a plane on the tarmac in Atlanta, GA having just landed, coming off a Taste of Mathematics event hosted by the Mind Research Institute, when we heard that Delta Airlines was experiencing computer glitches nationwide and that it would be several hours before we could deplane.

At least I had a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. I logged into Facebook to find a number of posts related to the chaos and stress emanating from the Executive Order essentially banning US entry by citizens of the 7 countries. As a first generation immigrant, for some reason, I was struck by the callous and inhumane manner in which the Executive Order was enacted and impulsively felt the urge to resist with a message. So I posted that I was inspired to create such a dinner.

The reaction that ensued was mostly positive and encouraging. I usually do what I say, so, here we are.

What are your responses to criticisms about mixing politics and food?
That is a bunch of crap. First of all, business owners are human beings first. To expect them to not be vocal about political issues when they feel the natural urge to do so is almost an expectation of servitude.

“Shut up and cook” or “Shut up and get me my whatever”.

Secondly, the reality of the matter is that the United States Food System is as tightly woven with the political system as one can possibly imagine. Every decision made by consumers and producers have political implications and are influenced by politics.

The food industry lobby in Washington DC is quite impressive and I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment. For example, they managed to make the health of future generations a political issue. I understand that the devil is often in the details, but the political will is both lacking and powerful, often to the detriment of progress.

So, if I’m guilty of mixing politics and food it is because I care about improving the state of food in this country and beyond. I’m ready to live with the consequences. I’ve done it my way since the inception and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Polow (Iran)
Polow (Iran) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

Tell me about the ingredients and dishes that are going to be served, what kind of research or assistance will you be getting in crafting these dishes? What prior experiences have you had with these 7 cuisines?
It is still premature for me to give anyone a full menu, but I’ve always prided myself on supporting American farmers and farms. On some occasions, I’ve gotten ingredients produced in another country, but by and large, our ingredients are produced in the United States. So, the menu will be a series of dishes representing culinary influences from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Libya, and Yemen (SISSILY).

Guests can expect deeply flavoured stews, herbaceous sauces, rustic breads, aromatic rice dishes, and complementing side dishes. My goal is to present the meal with dishes from many countries during the same course to illustrate that there are few rules and most dishes complement each other and that the power of food as a great equalizer, at a communal table, is a lesson for the ages. Many of the cuisines have significant intersection with flavours I am used to creating whether they are from the Indian subcontinent or the Middle-East. So, I would like to think that I am not out of my proverbial league.

But, I guess time will tell and our guests will ultimately decide. It’s $40 a person for a lot of food with all the proceeds going towards charity. Need I say more? My research has and will include a lot of reading and imagining. But in the end, my own (global) sensibility will have to lead the way.

As an immigrant, what are your thoughts about what is going on right now, what can we hope for?
On the one hand, I am hopeful that the growing resistance by both immigrants and multi-generational citizens against this climate of hate and prejudice is a sign that the America we love (as immigrants) is alive and well. On the other hand, it is disheartening to have to justify our presence to natives after having already sacrificed so much and more importantly having given so much towards the growth and betterment of this place we now call home. My hope is that ultimately, decency will prevail. But my greater hope is that bigotry and discrimination will end once and for all in my lifetime (I’m not holding my breath).

Maraq (Somalia)
Maraq (Somalia) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

What do you hope that people will come away with from this dinner?
First and foremost, I hope people will come away with believing (even more) in the healing power of food amidst differences of opinion and ideology. Secondly, I am hopeful that guests will feel empowered to be messengers in favour of inclusivity across the spectrum. I hope that our generation, the next one, and beyond will forge ahead with demanding and finding better solutions to the complex problems of the world. And lastly, I hope that people begin experiencing before judging.

“7 Courses – 7 Countries”

“7 Courses – 7 Countries” is a family-style meal presented by Cress Restaurant with guest collaborators featuring the amazing cuisines of IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, and YEMEN. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a soon to be determined non-profit organization dealing with immigrant and refugee issues. The cost to attend is $40, all-inclusive. BYOB. Sunday, February 26, 2017, 4-6 pm. For Tickets, Visit Here.


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Known for their seafood dishes, Bonefish Grill in Longwood recently underwent a new renovation with an industrial, sleek look that harkens back to an estuary or mangrove idea – a place where fish love to hang out at. There’s even a large decorative art piece of a shiny metallic fish on one of the walls.

In a way Bonefish Grill is a higher end version of Red Lobster. We were recently invited to check out the new digs and were impressed with the improvement in design as well as in the dish executions.

Bonefish Grill
Bonefish’s new interior decor
Bonefish Grill – Inside Look
Bonefish’s new light fixtures
Crab and Corn Chowder at Bonefish – very delicious.
Crab-Crusted Alaskan Cod garlic and crab crumb dusted, topped with lump crab, white wine lemon butter sauce
Bonefish special miso glazed chilean seabass with greens
Bonefish’s signature Macadamia
Nut Brownie- flourless brownie, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with macadamia nuts

Bonefish Grill
1761 W State Rd 434, Longwood, FL 32750

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Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is known for their excellent steaks and wine selection.  Guests can now celebrate Valentine’s Day at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar from Feb. 10-19 with a special three course prix fixe menu.

Guests can enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu, starting at $79.95

Menu includes:

o   Amuse-Bouche: Shrimp and Sea Scallop

o   Salad: choice of Fleming’s Salad or Modern Caesar

o   Entrée Duo: 8-ounce Filet Mignon with choice of New Zealand Ora King Salmon or Australian Lobster Tail

Menu enhancements include:

o   Dessert: Raspberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

o   Wines from JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset

For reservations, visit Follow Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Facebook and Instagram at @FlemingsSteakhouse.

There are two locations in Orlando:
8030 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
933 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

CONTEST: $100 Giveaway to Fleming’s!

E-mail us at by 5pm on February 25th with your answer to these two questions:

  1. What one dish would you try at Fleming’s?
  2. Where is your favorite place for Steak in Orlando? (Can be any)

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Event Features Over 60 Unique Eats and More Than 55 Local and International Craft Brews

For 14 consecutive Saturdays, the Seven Seas Food Festival is coming to SeaWorld Orlando Feb. 11 – May 13, 2017.

Each week guests can sip and sample their way around the world of international coastal cuisine while enjoying craft beers, paired wines and specialty entertainment.

The fun extends beyond the food with live performances each Saturday from top country, rock and Latin music artists.


Seven Seas Food Festival Headline Entertainment:

While new flavors will tempt guests’ taste buds throughout the park, live entertainment will have everyone dancing, singing and laughing along to some of their favorite artists. The Seven Seas Food Festival brings 14 live acts to SeaWorld Orlando’s Bayside Stadium.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd (February 11)            
  • Lee Brice (February 18
  • Bill Engvall (Feb 25)       
  • Styx (March 4)     
  • Justin Moore (March 11)
  • ZZ Top (March 18)         
  • Phillip Phillips (March 25)     
  • Coming Soon (April 1)   
  • Village People (April 8)      
  • Commodores (April 15)      
  • Oscar D’León (April 22)    
  • Olga Tanon (April 29)        
  • Grupo Mania (May 6)
  • Coming Soon (May 13)     

 Seven Seas Food Festival Coastal Cuisine:

Complete with 11 new global markets, guests will set sail on a taste adventure as they discover more than 60 unique Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and North Atlantic dishes throughout the park. A wide of array of wine, specialty cocktails and over 55 local and international craft brews will be featured exclusively during the Festival as well. A selection of menu highlights include:

  • Asian Market- Peking Duck Lo Mein with Fresh Oriental Vegetables
  • Korean Market- Bingsu Salted Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Caramel Popcorn
  • Mexican Market- Braised Chicken Adobo with Mole Sauce
  • Caribbean Market- Cinnamon Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Sweet Plantain Mash
  • Florida Market- Fried Kataifi Orange drizzled with Local Honey
  • Mediterranean Market- Smoked Cured Salmon topped with Sweet Dill Mustard
  • North Atlantic Market- Banana & Caramel Cheesecake topped with Whipped Cream & Caramelized Bananas
  • Brazilian Market- Brazilian Churrasco with Chimichurri & Garbanzo Frito
  • Pacific Coast Market- Braised Pork Cheeks with Savory Apple Polenta
  • Polynesian Island Market- “Loco Moco” Grilled Spam, White Rice, Scrambled Egg & Brown Gravy
  • Gulf Coast Market- Southern Creamy Cheese Grits with a Blackened Shrimp


In addition to the market stops, the event will feature a wide array of BBQ and comfort cuisine including Slow Smoked Ribs, caramelized in a SeaWorld original BBQ sauce, Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese and a Grilled Kielbasa Sausage Sandwich. A complete menu of the Seven Seas Food Festival delights can be found online at

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival begins at 11 a.m. every Saturday, Feb.  11 – May 13 and continues through park close. Like all special events at SeaWorld, the Seven Seas Food Festival is included with park admission.

Best Way to Play:

The best way for guests to experience the Seven Seas Food Festival is with an annual pass. SeaWorld Pass Members can purchase reserved concert seating during an exclusive presale beginning January 19.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit  Follow SeaWorld on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest Seven Seas Food Festival details and information.


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You may have heard of Paramount Fine Foods with their opening at I-Drive 360 and their butcher shop on Alafaya Trail. They are actually based out of Canada but recently moved into the Florida market with a full sit down restaurant at the I-Drive 360 location. Recently, the owners opened up a fast-casual concept near UCF on University Blvd in the former location of Pie Five Pizza, which was Greens and Grille before that for many years.

We were recently invited to check out the new restaurant. It’s a very simple concept – very much similar to a Mediterranean version of Chipotle where guests go up to the counter and order.

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

You start with a base, choosing from:

Rice Bowl
Tabbouleh Salad
Hummus Bowl
Fattoush Salad
Saj Wrap
Greek Salad
Pita Wrap

and then pick a meat or main:

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Chicken Shawarma
Beef Shawarma
Chicken Kebab

and sides:

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Diced Tomato
Onion Mix
Pickled Turnips
Pickled Cucumbers

My favorite cuts are the beef and chicken shawarma with the pickled turnips and Lebanese rice. Very filling and delicious. The desserts are freshly made in house as well with a baker (except for the baklava).

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Pita wrap at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Pita wrap at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Fried Falafel – for the vegetarian lovers – at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Surprisingly very good french fries at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Beef stuffed Kibbeh – kind of like Lebanese empanadas – very delicious – at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Overall, I would definitely come back to try their very affordable and delicious Mediterranean style bowls and wraps again.  The meat was tender and flavorful, and the rice and pickled veggies complimented every thing quite well. Although the staff seemed to still be training at the time, this is understandable as things are still just coming together at the store.


Paramount Lebanese Kitchen UCF
11325 University Blvd, Suite 206, Orlando, 32817

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Sonny’s BBQ to Host National BBQ Competition and Festival in Central Florida
Winter Park-based BBQ chain to host second annual Sonny’ s Smokin’ Showdown

The third largest BBQ chain in the country is back with its highly anticipated Smokin’ Showdown Invitational BBQ competition and festival, inviting visitors from across the country to for a full day of BBQ amongst the nation’s top Pitmasters.

On January 14, Sonny’s BBQ is hosting its second annual Smokin’ Showdown Invitational at the Central Florida Zoo (3755 US-17, SANFORD, FL 32771).

The Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown BBQ competition and large-scale festival is designed to make Florida a BBQ destination by bringing BBQ enthusiasts from across the country to Central Florida for a full day of live music, family fun and delicious BBQ. While attendees watch more than 50 professional BBQ competition teams and taste their award-winning recipes, Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown attendees may also participate in rib and donut eating contests and enjoy live music, featuring Frankie Ballard at the family friendly festival.

The invitation-only competition brings together the nation’s top Pitmasters in one arena for an epic BBQ battle.

Teams are judged on five different meat categories: chicken, ribs, pork, brisket and a mystery meat, which will be announced at the event.

The grand champion team will receive $20,000. The total prize pool totals $68,000.

“The Smokin’ Showdown celebrates what we’re all about; good BBQ and great company,” said Montana Coleman, Co-Organizer of Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown. “We look forward to seeing these talented Pitmasters showcase their skills in our home state of Florida.”

Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown will host local vendors, family-fun activities and musical performances by top country artists, including Hayfire, Rockit Fly and Jill’s Cashbox. The headliner will be Frankie Ballard. The event is $5, kids 10 and under are free.

For more information about Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown, please visit For more information about Sonny’s BBQ, visit

Event Schedule
7:30 AM
Judges Check-In
8:30 AM
Judges Meeting (Mandatory)
12:00 PM
Kid’s Donut Eating Contest
12:30 PM
Cooking Demo
1:00 PM
Rib Eating Contest
1:30 PM
Cooking Demo
2:30 PM
Meet the Masters
3:00 PM
Live Music: Hayfire
5:00 PM
Live Music: Rockit Fly
6:00 PM
Awards Ceremony
7:15 PM
Live Music: Jill’s Cashbox
8:30 PM
Live Music: Frankie Ballard

“In 1968, we were just a local BBQ joint in Gainesville, Florida. Today, we’re still a local BBQ joint. We just happen to be in a few more locations. But we still do things the same way Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille, did back then. We still slow-smoke over oak for up to 12 hours at a time. We still serve generous portions. And we still believe people should be able to go out to eat and feel right at home.” – Sonny’s BBQ Team

About Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown
Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational is a national BBQ competition hosted by Sonny’s BBQ and sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association. Taking place at the Central Florida Zoo on January 14, this competition and large-scale festival is designed to bring BBQ enthusiasts from all over the country to the heart of Florida for a full day of live music, family fun and delicious BBQ.

First of its kind in the area, Sonny’s BBQ created the Smokin’ Showdown to share its passion and expertise with the BBQ community, as well as provide a platform for Pitmasters to showcase their talents alongside some of the best in the business. Last year, Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown had about 10,000 attendees and close to 50 competing teams.

About Sonny’s BBQ®
With 113 locations throughout the southeast, Sonny’s BBQ® is one of the largest and most popular barbecue restaurant companies in the country. The Daily Meal has named Sonny’s BBQ the Best Barbecue Chain in America for the last two years. Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille founded Sonny’s BBQ in 1968 in Gainesville, Fla. in hopes of creating a local BBQ joint for their community to enjoy. Forty-eight years later, Sonny’s BBQ continues to be just that – a passionate BBQ brand constantly perfecting the craft of BBQ. For more information and to find the Sonny’s BBQ location closest to you, please visit:


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SNOWBEAN Cafe at Colonial And Semoran

Korean Dessert Cafe “SNOWBEAN” is now open at 5310 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, sharing the same address as Izziban Sushi and Korean BBQ.

Snowbean is a “Dessert & Coffee Cafe, serving coffee beans locally sourced from Roasters located in Orlando Florida. Serving a modern twist on a traditional Pat-bing-soo”

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5310 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32807
(407) 270-8811

Halal Guys at Waterford

The Halal Guys began in 1990, when the three founding partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City. The Halal Guys became famous for their chicken and rice with special white sauce on late nights in the city – and has made a huge push for expansion in recent years.

They will now be coming to the Orlando Waterford area in early 2017 (March/April) and are looking to expand to more than 15 locations. Look out for more updates from us here

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Halal Guys Orlando at Waterford
626 North Alafaya Trail suite 103
Orlando, Florida
(347) 527-1505
Help Achilles Art Cafe in Winter Garden get back on its feet after a destructive fire

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The first Capital Grille was founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1990 and quickly became a staple in the city’s up and coming downtown section. Businessmen were the driving force behind the restaurant’s original popularity, but it has since grown into a celebratory destination for all occasions – from holidays and birthdays to anniversaries and more.

That is true here too in Orlando, with the first Capital Grille opening in the Orange County Convention Area on International Drive and now with a second more modern and updated location at the Mall at Millenia. I’ve always been a big fan – from their great service to excellent quality steaks and ambiance – it’s great for any special occasion, and with the new bar menu, good even for those just stopping by on the way home from work or while shopping at the mall.

The Stoli Doli is the Capital Grille’s signature cocktail, and it is so popular that they pour enough each year to serve the country of Iceland for an entire evening. It’s made with made with Stolichnaya Vodka infused with fresh pineapple, chilled and served straight up.

This holiday season, the Capital Grille is offering several special items to go along with purchases of gift cards. In celebration of this announcement, we have partnered up with The Capital Grille to do a gift card giveaway worth $150. To enter read below:

For the holidays this year, The Capital Grille is helping guests give the gift of a true fine dining experience with a limited edition, stainless steel $1,000 gift card.

In addition, customers purchasing gift cards at The Capital Grille valued at $500 or above will receive an additional 10% added to the gift card’s value, as well as custom steak knives. The gift cards can be personalized with a voice memo or photo.

Other interesting facts:

· They hand make their mozzarella every 90 minutes.
· Their Sam’s Mashed Potatoes are named after The Capital Grille’s founder’s son.
· Skilled Pastry Chefs arrive when the sun rises to make fresh desserts daily.

The Capital Grille at Pointe Orlando
Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr · (407) 370-4392
The Capital Grille at The Mall at Millenia
The Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Rd · (407) 351-2210


One entry per person, winner will be chosen randomly on Friday December 23,2016 at 5pm!

1. Subscribe to our E-mail Newsletter -TastyChomps Newsletter here
2. E-mail us the answers to the questions below to
a. Did you subscribe to the e-mail newsletter? Yes/No
b. What dishes would you like to try the most?
c. How often do they make their mozzarella at The Capital Grille?
d. Where was The Capital Grille founded?

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Montreal was once the home of a large Native American settlement about 4000 years ago, with the French settlers arriving in the mid 1500s, and Montreal finally being founded by the French in 1642. Today, it is the most populous city in Quebec and the second most populous municipality in Canada. The French language and culture still runs strong here as is the love of great food. There is a very European vibe to the city and many great eats from poutine slathered in gravy and cheese curds to bakeries and Montreal’s famous smoked meats.

Here is a quick guide to a Taste of Montreal:

Montreal-style smoked meat

Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Montreal (French: smoked meat; sometimes viande fumée, is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. Along with bagels, smoked meat has been popular in Montreal since the 19th century and it has taken such strong root in the city that both Montrealers and non-Montrealers alike identify it as emblematic of the city’s cuisine.

Schwartz’s Deli – 3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada

World famous Schwartz’s, serving the best smoked meat from the original recipe of spices since 1928. Over 80 years of tradition – A Montreal classic and the oldest deli in Canada. The staff of Schwartz’s credits the unique flavour of their smoked meat to their mandatory 10-day meat curing time, the high turnover of their meat, and their brick smoke-house covered with over 80 years worth of buildup. Schwartz’s is also credited with creating Montreal steak seasoning or Montreal steak spice.

Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's smoked meat
Schwartz’s smoked meat
Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich
Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz's
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz’s
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's poutine - perfection
Schwartz’s poutine – perfection


Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Québec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy and sold almost at almost every other block in Montreal.

Address: 1655 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K4, Canada, Phone: +1 514-439-5535
Near the university, this small, casual shop has a whole great collection of Montreal Quebecois comfort eats from poutine to pates chinois.


BBP 9.75$
ground beef, braised bacon, green peas, cheese, house gravy

photo-oct-30-7-44-31-pmau “Smoked meat” maison 9.95$
house roasted corned beef, caramelized onions, cheese, house gravy


le Hamburger steak 12.50$
8 oz seasoned canadian beef, caramelized onions, green peas,
mashed potato, house gravy

le Trio 13$
ground beef, veal and pork, onions, celery, corn, mashed potato

Pates Chinois – literally Chinese pate – is the French Canadian version of shepherd’s pie. One possible explanation for the Chinese reference is that it was introduced to Canadian railway workers by Chinese cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century.

Joe Beef is a very popular restaurant so I recommend you try to get reservations before you travel out there.

Bouillon Bilk
Address: 1595 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S9, Canada
Modern eclectic cuisine with a French influence served in a bright, minimalist-chic space.


beets, persimmon, labneh, cashews, pomegrenate, castelfranco 16


agnolotti, corn, duck, chanterelles, burrata, walnuts 18


cod, brussels sprouts, lardons, apple, quinoa, pistachios 32

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photo-nov-01-8-16-48-pmmille-feuille, apple, sunchoke, caramel, mascarpone 11

Juliette & Chocolat
Chocolate shakes, milk chocolates, hot chocolates, crepes, waffles, brownies, fondue, pastries.

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Near the Notre Dame basilica in Old Montreal, visit Maison Christian Faure, a French bakery shop as well as the first international French pastry school founded by acclaimed Chef Christian Faure M.O.F.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

Maison Christian Faure
355 Place Royale, Montréal, QC H2X 2V3, Canada
Phone: +1 514-508-6453

Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure


Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Pastel Nata
Pastel Nata

Chinatown Montreal

Chinatown in Montreal is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets, and convenience stores as well being home to many of Montreal’s East Asian community centres, such as the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Community and Cultural Center.


Mai Xiang Yuan
1082 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J5, Canada
Excellent house made pork/shrimp/leek/egg dumplings


1055 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J6, Canada
Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles and braised beef.

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Marché Jean-Talon
Address: 7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
Established open-air market with many vendors selling produce, meats, cheeses, fish & baked good since 1933

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McDonald’s in Montreal

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For more on where to eat in Montreal, check out this guide to Montreal’s best eats by Foodie Hub

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Known for its epic sunrise to sunset views of the airport runway, the new Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport features a $3 million re-design of the 3,000 square-foot restaurant.






The stylish new environment is a huge upgrade from the 1990s era setting it once had.

Led by Executive Chef Jeffery Powell, Hemisphere’s culinary team has designed a menu that infuses robust international flavors and seasonal local ingredients.


Dinner highlights include Moroccan-inspired, dukka-crusted Lamb Chops, Grilled Gulf Prawns and a Wagyu Grass-Fed Beef Burger. The Hemisphere beverage menu complements the world kitchen concept with a carefully curated collection of wines and cocktails from each hemisphere. The wine cuvees are filled with 16 wine varietals from different regions around the globe.


“My culinary philosophy is to work with local farmers to acquire the freshest ingredients available. Using complementary ingredients and showcasing each component through simple preparation and proper technique creates integrity and depth of flavor,” said Powell.

Powell’s culinary point of view mirrors Hyatt’s global philosophy –Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. –and is reflected in the global offerings at McCoy’s Bar and Grill and the re-imagined Hemisphere restaurant, slated to make its debut in November2016.

At home, Powell enjoys cooking braised meats, practices slow cooking methods and explores new ingredients such as Moringa, an African green very high in vitamin C with other added health benefits.

tomato jam, tangy queso fresco, radish,pea tendrils

blood orange, pickled mustard seeds, micro greens, fire roasted bread

whipped mascarpone, shaved fennel, pistachios, citrus zest, organic olive oil

nduja, red onions,organic sunny side up cage free egg

fried green tomato, boursin, grits, arugula salad, smoked tomato vinaigrette, trinity relish

slow pickled blueberries, candied jalapenos, sun choke puree

heirloom tomatoes, red onions, frisee, arugula,chimichurri

with torched meringue

cardamom fudge, pistachio mousse, pistachio tuile

fresh strawberries, lychee, orchid petals, toasted ground almonds

licorice gelato, ginger snap sable

amarina cherry, chocolate cake, whipped cream quenelle



Complimentary valet parking is available for all Hemisphere guests.Monthly wine dinners and seasonal brunches will be announced soon.

Hemisphere at Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32827
OpenTable Reservations:

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This year if you are in Orlando looking for a good Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day, check out The Capital Grille for their offerings. The turkey is very tender and succulent, not sure what black magic they used to make it so moist and tasty – but it was very good.


In addition to serving its signature dishes, The Capital Grille will also offer a Slow-Roasted Turkey with Brioche Stuffing, French Green Beans with Marcona Almonds and Cranberry Pear Chutney for $38 per adult and $15 per child.

These dishes will also be accompanied by Mashed Potatoes to share. However, no meal is complete without dessert. Therefore, The Capital Grille will also offer the Pumpkin Cheesecake for an additional $10.


Slow-Roasted Turkey
with Brioche Stuffing
French Green Beans
with Marcona Almonds
and Cranberry Pear Chutney
Accompanied by
Sam’s Mashed Potatoes to share



Pumpkin Cheesecake


The Capital Grille at The Mall at Millenia
4200 Conroy Rd.
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 351-2210

The Capital Grille at Pointe Orlando
9101 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-4392

Available Thanksgiving Day from 11am – 9pm
Full A La Carte Dinner Menu Available

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Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a celebration of fine wine and the culinary arts on weekends Sept. 16 through Nov. 13, 2016, complementing the Epcot® Food & Wine Festival.


At Zeta Bar, the Asian cuisine restaurant at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, there is an “Art of Sushi Pairing” menu on Friday & Saturday nights, 5pm – 10pm.


Here is a quick look at the dishes served during the meal:

Zeta Bar + Sushi Lounge: The Art of Sushi Pairing

Course 1

Zeta Greens
Field Greens Salad with Ginger Dressing


Wakame Salad
Classic Japanese Seaweed Salad

Course 2

Spicy Tuna Nachos*
Seared Ahi Tuna Sashimi, Avocado, Spicy Mayo, Masago, Cilantro, Wasabi Scented Nori Chips


Chicken Katsu
Panko Breaded Chicken Breast, Lemon Plum Sauce, Wasabi Mayo

Course 3

Coconut Chicken Green Curry
Coconut Curry Chicken, Lemongrass, Ginger, Thai Chili, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Toasted Pine Nuts,
Steamed White Rice


Tsunami Roll*
Crab Salad, Tempura Crunch, Hirame, Sliced Limes, Micro Cilantro, Shiso Pesto, Masago


Alaskan Roll*
Salmon, Avocado, Sliced Lemon, Crab Salad, Wasabi Caviar

Course 4

Red Bean Mochi or Green Tea Mochi or Mango Mochi

$45/person plus tax and gratuity
Price Includes Sake or Beer Pairing

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C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

It’s a tiny little old, one room shack in downtown Oviedo, blink and you might miss it. But C & W BBQ serves up some very good que despite its small size – with huge portions – enough for dinner and lunch the next day. There’s a little wood burning oven in the kitchen – and you can see everything is home cooked.

Order inside the house – barbecue pulled pork, chicken, or ribs with sides of collard greens and mac and cheese and more. Save room for their amazing home made sweet potato pie – it’s one of the best slices of pie I’ve had in Central Florida. Sit outside and enjoy the outdoor Florida fall weather.  The C in C & W is for Ms. Cora Mae who runs the restaurant.

C & W Barbecue
298 Geneva Dr, Oviedo, FL 32765
Phone: (407) 285-5097
Open Mon – Saturday

C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Collard greens, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and chicken at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Sweet Potatoe Pie at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

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With all the divisiveness and the downright craziness of this year’s election, the world’s most famous feline friend, Hello Kitty, has thrown her hat into the ring – kicking off her Hello Kitty for President campaign.

Hello Kitty is bringing her cafe food truck pop up shop to Orlando as part of the “Friendship Party” with a message celebrating friendship, fun and happiness.

Now, that’s a party I am happy to endorse and support any day.


The hugely popular Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be making its first-ever appearance in Orlando THIS Saturday, October 29th at Florida Mall, serving yummy goodies & treats to Hello Kitty fans & foodies of all ages, including a limited edition Hello Kitty for President cookie. This special edition cookie will be limited to only 50 cookies per stop & guest who purchase the special treat will also receive a free bumper sticker, too.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Rolls Into Orlando!

Who: Sanrio & Hello Kitty

What: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Appearance

When: Saturday, October 29 10am-8pm

Florida Mall
8001S Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 34746
** Parked outside by the Crayola Experience


The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers a delicious array of Hello Kitty sweets and special goodies to fans of all ages; it has been rolling up to festivals & events across the U.S. since its official debut at Hello Kitty Con in October 2014.

The yummy treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water.


In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.

The specially designed Hello Kitty for President cookie will be limited to only 50 cookies per stop & guests who purchase the special treat will also receive a free bumper sticker.

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Photos Courtesy of Sanrio, Inc.

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Central Florida’s annual Cows ‘n Cabs is set to return for its sixth year on this Saturday, October 22 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Hosted by ABC Fine Wine & Sprits’ David Larue and 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers, the event will be benefitting the Community Food and Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando.

It will be returning to 150 North New York Avenue in Winter Park’s West Meadow and will feature more than 20 of Central Florida’s top restaurants.

Prices include general admission tickets at $110 with VIP packages starting at $140 for early admission.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit Guests must be 21 and older to attend.

Confirmed participants include 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Black Rooster Taqueria, K Restaurant, Hunger Street Tacos, Morimoto Asia, Orchid Thai, Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park, Pop Parlour, Puff ’n Stuff, Tapa Toro, Taverna Opa Orlando, The COOP, The Osprey Tavern, The Sweet Shop, and more!



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PRESS RELEASE: Luma on Park and Prato’s Chef Brandon McGlamery to Open Classic American
Eatery in Maitland

Maitland, Fl. – (October 13, 2016) The partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke, are opening their third restaurant concept, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar later this year. While Luma on Park encompasses progressive American cuisine and Prato has established itself as an authentic Italian eatery, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer classic American cuisine and cocktails. The new concept will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL.


Executive Chef Derek Perez and McGlamery worked in tandem to curate a menu that highlights classic American fare, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins.

Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, an extensive raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie.


Starters will include Pork Belly and Deviled Eggs, Chicken Wings and house-made Parker Rolls. Guests can enjoy dishes from the sea or land with offerings that include Raw Oysters, Ceviche, Prime Rib and Roast Chicken, with a selection of vegetables and sides.

Inspired by timeless American libations, the bar program will feature signature classic cocktails using house-made ingredients that complement the menu. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer a wide-ranging, hand selected array of fine wines and craft beer available on draft, in bottles and in cans.

Designed by The Johnson Studio, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will welcome guests to a contemporary designed two-story building with an interactive open kitchen and oyster bar. The 6700 square-foot restaurant will seat 220 guests and will also offer patio seating and private dining options.

The name Luke’s is a play on the Italian word “to shine” and at Luke’s their goal is to shine light on American classics.

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Luke’s Kitchen and Bar is the third concept by the partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group, of Luma on Park and Prato – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke. Opening in late 2016, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will focus on classic American cuisine, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins. Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, a high-quality raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie. The beverage program will feature classically-inspired libations prepared with fresh and house-made ingredients, as well as an extensive selection of craft beer and wine. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL. For more information, please call 407.674.2400 or visit Follow Luke’s Kitchen and Bar on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

Photo credit goes to Michael Pisarri.

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