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A Foodie’s Guide to Curry Ford West Main Street District for 2024

Have you been to Orlando’s Curry Ford West District yet? It runs along Curry Ford Road from west of Bumby Avenue east to Gaston Foster Rd. It’s home to not only Michelin Guide award winning restaurants, but also some of the best tamales, tacos, and pizza in all of Orlando. We chatted with Executive Director Stephanie Ziglar via e-mail about what makes Curry Ford West District special and also what’s all happening in the district this year.

What is the history behind Curry Ford West neighborhood? Some classic establishments in the past?

Curry Ford West is just a name recently given to the area that roughly starts at Gaston Foster and goes west to almost Fern Creek. The name was established in 2018 by the group of business owners and residents who organized the then Market Street District. The “drag” or Curry Ford is bordered by multiple established neighborhoods, including Dover Shores, Agnes Heights, Lake Como, and Bel Aire. I recently asked in multiple social media groups and pages what people called the area prior to CFW. There was no consensus. The area was sometimes lumped into the Conway area. What is consistent in their answers was that this area played an important role as a location for stores, gas stations, restaurants, and retail shops. Fun fact, most of the section Of Curry Ford Rd that is included in our district was once Conway Rd until Conway was extended north towards Lake Underhill Rd. This was the main thoroughfare to get downtown. When you ask longtime residents about some classic establishments in the past the list is long, but some of the most mentioned include: Dinos Pizza, Polar Cup, The Conway Twin movie theater, The DMV, Gabriels Subs, Players Bar, South Seas, and A&P. I’ll add Looney Birds (Now Graffiti Junction) and SnoBiz (Now Twistee Treat) to the mix.

Where did the name Curry Ford come from?

So, the claim is the Curry Family came to east Orlando and settled as ranchers there. The Econlockhatchee River crossed their land, and for travelers to get across they would have to “ford” the river. Curry Ford. As I mentioned above the portion of Curry Ford in this area was once Conway Rd, until the late 60’s.

What makes Curry Ford West special in your opinion?

There are a million answers I could give. But if I had to pick one it would be the strong sense of community that we have. So many of our business owners are also residents and, in many instances, lifelong residents. At our recent Future of the Ford Event, almost a quarter of our attendees both live and work here in the district. It’s not out of the norm to walk into Roque Pub and run into the owners of Revive Health and Fitness. Or to have the owner of The Commission show up in full costume with his whole family to our Trunk or Treat event. Our community consistently supports each other and the surrounding organizations, like the schools and youth sports organizations. It gives us a tight-knit feel that I am extremely proud of.

What are some popular things to do and eat in the district?

So many people don’t know but we have a very popular set of pickleball courts located at Dover Shores Community Center. The parking lot is often packed with pickleball participants, say that 3 times fast. But people love to visit our restaurants and bars. The Commission and Claddagh Cottage have some outstanding live music and artists performing weekly. Hourglass Brewing’s patio is the go-to during this wonderful weather. If food is your thing, we have some greats. You want Italian, F&D or Pizza Bruno’s. Taco’s, Tamale’s, or Guac are what you’re craving? Tamale Co, La Fiesta, Cilantros Taqueria, and Black Rooster, all have you covered. High-end amazing dishes? Papa Llama is your place. We have the new Thai Spoon, Smokemade Meats, Crispy Cones, and Mecatos opening soon as well. The list is endless, and we have something for everyone.

What are some new things happening this year in the Curry Ford West District?

It’s a big year for us. Our design committee just finished the light pole banner project and is rolling right into a large mural project for one of our plazas, all while sitting on the committee for the mural for the new station 11 Firehouse. They also just recently released our Curry Ford West sticker pack.

Our org and promo committees are working hard on great events for the entire community. May 4th is the return of our Little Entrepreneur Fair with a new indoor location at Dover Shores Community Center. We will be sporting jorts and dad shoes in June (6/22) at our Dress Like a Dad Pub Crawl and No Halloween is complete without the CFW Trunk or Treat. We, unfortunately, had to retire many of our Picture-Perfect Sets last year as they were at the end of their life. So, we introduced our Sleigh the Ford event where Santa spent the day at Curry Ford West businesses. This year we are expanding on that event (12/7) and adding a community and business-involved holiday art installation, we are currently calling it Curry Ford West Tree Fest, but we are open to suggestions!

Our economic vitality committee has an entire Business Knowledge Exchange Series starting in April. Let’s Blossom Safely-Topics: Safety, Code Enforcement, Permits-Monday, April 22. Sunshine Propaganda-Topics: Marketing, Branding and Communications-Monday, July 22. Fall Back into Smart Operations-Topics: Taxes, Accounting Business Plan-Monday, October 21. This series will be held at Dover Shores Community Center. They are also hosting several unplugged networking socials, open to residents and businesses, dates TBA.

Featured Eats in Curry Ford West Main Street

Papa Llama (Modern Peruvian)
Brad’s Underground Pizzeria (Ghost Kitchen)
Grocery Los Hermanos (Mexican)
Pizza Bruno (Pizza)
F & D Woodfired Italian Kitchen (Italian)
Los Generales (Mexican)
JJ’s Fresh from Scratch (Mediterranean)
Tamale Co. Mexican Street Food (Mexican)
Cilantro’s Taqueria (Mexican)
Zaza Cuban Comfort Food (Cuban)
Theo’s Kitchen (Fried Chicken and Mediterranean)
La Fiesta Mexican Grill and Catering (Mexican)
Leguminati (Vegan)
Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub (Irish)
Bad Ass Burgers (Burgers)
Black Rooster Taqueria (Tacos)
Hourglass Brewing (Brewery)
Smokemade Meats (BBQ)

 

Tabla Indian Cuisine on Park Avenue in Winter Park

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Thank you and congratulations William Henao (@historicdowntownsanford) for donating to the Tasty Chomps x World Central Kitchen fundraiser and winning my silent auction experience: Lunch with me on Park Avenue!

Together, we raised over $11.5k for Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that goes to the frontlines and provides emergency food relief during natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Tabla Cuisine – Winter Park generously donated our lunch which William and I got to break bread over as we discussed some ideas on how we can continue to do more to help World Central Kitchen as well as local non-profit organizations in our community.

Chaat Platter – Pani Poori, Samosa Chaat, Dahi Bhalla Chaat and Aloo Tikki Chaat

Mixed Pakora – Spiced Cauliflower, Potato, Paneer and Onion Fritters

Cream Cheese Naan

Butter Chicken – A North Indian Delicacy. Chicken cooked in flavorful Tomato Cream Sauce.

Thank you Tabla Cuisine – Winter Park for partnering with us for a great cause!  Be sure to check them out the next time you’re at Park Avenue for delicious Indian food and amazing service!

For more information, visit: tablacuisine.com

— Tabla Locations — 

Tabla – Winter Park
216 N Park Ave, Unit H
Winter Park, FL 32789
(321) 422-0321

Tabla – Orlando
5847 Grand National Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 248-9400

Tabla – Oviedo 
945 City Plaza Way, Unit 1001
Oviedo, FL 32765
(321) 966-8069

Tabla – Lake Nona
9971 Tagore Place, Unit 9
Orlando, Fl 32827
(407) 743-2847

Bite 30 Orlando returns June 1 through July 7 2024

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BITE30 HIGHLIGHTS THE BEST LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS DRIVING CENTRAL FLORIDA’S CULINARY SCENE.

During Bite30, participating restaurants offer special prix fixe menus that offer multi-course dinners at a set price of $35. Diners get the opportunity to try multiple dishes on the restaurant’s menu for about the cost of a single entree, and restaurants get to showcase their specialty dishes to the new customers attracted by their Bite30 menu! Restaurant-hop through the City Beautiful, experience delicious food, service and ambiance of the restaurants you really should know about.

HOW IT WORKS

IT’S SIMPLE!

1) CHECK OUT THE LISTED RESTAURANT MENUS.
2) CHOOSE YOUR RESTAURANT.
3) GO EAT!

There’s no need for special cards or coupons, just ask for the Bite30 menu.

RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED.

These restaurants are offering you a great deal, delicious food and fantastic service so you can experience the best they have to offer. It’s a great way to try diverse dishes, multiple courses and many unique restaurants … all at a discount!

Please remember, tax and gratuity is not included in the price.

WIN PRIZES

SNAP PICS OF YOUR BITE30 MEALS AND COCKTAILS!

Hashtag #Bite30 for your chance to win restaurant gift certificates!

 

2024 PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

310 PARK SOUTH

310 South Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL, USA

AMERICAN SOCIAL

7335 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

ANTICA PIZZERIA

249 FL-436, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, USA

AURORA AT THE CELESTE

4105 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32826, USA

BAR KADA

957 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA

BITES & BUBBLES

1618 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL, USA

BLU ON THE AVENUE

326 South Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL, USA

BULLA GASTROBAR

110 Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL, USA

CAFÉ-BOUTIQUE PIANO

558 West New England Ave, Winter Park 32789. Ste 135

CRESS RESTAURANT

103 West Indiana Avenue, DeLand, Florida 32720, USA

CRU QUARTERS AT THE MAYFLOWER

1776 Mayflower Court, Winter Park, FL 32792, USA

DEBONAIR

183 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

DELANEY’S TAVERN

1315 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL, USA

EOLA LOUNGE

100 South Eola Drive suite 104, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

FIXTION

15 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

FRONTERA COCINA

1604 Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA

JACK & HONEY’S

808 East Washington Street, Orlando, Florida, United States

JACK’S PLACE

9700 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

KING CAJUN CRAWFISH

7637 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL, USA

MARLOW’S TAVERN

6889 Eagle Watch Drive, Orlando, FL 32822, USA

352 Mike Roberto Way, Oviedo, FL 32765, USA

547 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828, USA

MAXINE’S ON SHINE

337 Shine Ave, Orlando, FL, USA

MIA’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Mia’s Italian Kitchen, International Drive, Orlando, FL, USA

NEVEYAH THAI & SUSHI

100 S Eola Dr #105, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

OSPHERE GRILL & BAR

407 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

PEPES CANTINA

794 W Minneola Ave, Clermont, FL 34711, USA

3100 Alafaya Trail, Oviedo, FL 32765, USA

54 S Charles Richard Beall Blvd #3331, DeBary, FL 32713, USA

433 W New England Ave Unit A

PINE & OAK TAVERN

8600 El Prado Ave, Orlando, FL, USA

RUSTEAK RESTAURANT & WINE BAR

101 S Eola Dr suite 103, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

1681 Amazing Way, Ocoee, Florida, USA

SHIN JUNG KOREAN RESTAURANT

1638 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL, USA

SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE

6327 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

STADIUM CLUB

8101 World Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, USA

SUSHI SAINT

400 Pittman St suite a, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

THE DISTRICT GASTROBAR

534 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805, USA

THE DRAKE KITCHEN + BAR

361 N Rosalind Ave #1, Orlando, FL, USA

THE GARDEN GRILLE & BAR

580 E Main St, Apopka, FL 32703, USA

THE NAUTI LOBSTAH

The Nauti Lobstah – New England Seafood Apopka, South Forest Avenue, Apopka, FL, USA

THE PINERY

295 NE Ivanhoe Blvd suite a, Orlando, FL 32804, USA

THE STUBBORN MULE

100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

THE WHARF

3274 Margaritaville Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA

VINES GRILLE & WINE BAR

7533 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

VINIA WINE & KITCHEN

444 West New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL, USA

WINE 4 OYSTERS DR. PHILLIPS

1957 South Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828, USA

7645 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

Secret Menu – A Taste of…The Tap Room at Dubsdread x Tasty Chomps – June 20-30th, 2024

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“A Taste of… presented by Tasty Chomps x The Tap Room at Dubsdread” is a new secret menu for foodies to get a “Taste Of…” a local Orlando restaurant with a special pre-fixe menu (similar to Magical Dining) for dine in for a limited time.

Starting June 20 thru June 30th, 2024 guests can get a 3-course dinner at The Tap Room at Dubsdread for just $60 per person, plus tax and tip.

The Tap Room at Dubsdread may have one of the longest histories in Orlando.  Dating back to when the golf course first opened in 1924, it eventually became a hangout spot for officers during World War II and continued to be popular ever since. Politicians, celebrities, friends and families dine in for lunch, dinner and happy hour on the Verandah overlooking the historic 100-year-old Dubsdread golf course.  The connected ballroom has also served as the perfect venue for meetings, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, debutantes and many more special events throughout the years.

The Taproom at Dubsdread x Tasty Chomps

SECRET MENU

June 20-30th 2024

$60 ++

CHOOSE ONE FROM EACH COURSE

FIRST

– AHI TUNA POKE’ STACK –
Ahi grade tuna, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, arugula, wasabi crema, ponzu

– BEEF CARPACCIO –
Thinly sliced filet, fried capers, truffle oil, asiago, toast points

SECOND

– GROUPER FLORENTINE –
Fresh grouper topped with creamy Florentine sauce
over lemon-spinach risotto

– BEEF SHORTRIB RAGU –
Braised shortrib. house made ragu with rigatoni pasta

– COWBOY PORKCHOP –
Blackened lollipop porkchop, bleu cheese crumbles,
onion straws, balsamic glaze, Yukon mashed potatoes

THIRD

GLASS OF WINE
(your choice with a value up to $14)

BREAD PUDDING

SLICE OF KEY LIME PIE

Tap Room at Dubsdread
549 Par St.
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 650-0100
taproomatdubsdread.com

– AHI TUNA POKE’ STACK –
Ahi grade tuna, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, arugula, wasabi crema, ponzu

– BEEF CARPACCIO –
Thinly sliced filet, fried capers, truffle oil, asiago, toast points

– GROUPER FLORENTINE –
Fresh grouper topped with creamy Florentine sauce
over lemon-spinach risotto

– COWBOY PORKCHOP –
Blackened lollipop porkchop, bleu cheese crumbles,
onion straws, balsamic glaze, Yukon mashed potatoes

– BEEF SHORTRIB RAGU –
Braised shortrib. house made ragu with rigatoni pasta

Visiting the Rose Garden at the White House for the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024 Celebration

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I was honored this month to be invited to represent our Central Florida community at the White House to celebrate May as Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.

It was surreal – staring at the vibrant pink roses of the White House Rose Garden while actress Lucy Liu, Vice President Kamala Harris (who is also our nation’s first Vice President of AANHPI descent), and President Joe Biden spoke on the contributions of the AANHPI community to the fabric and story of America while also sharing their visions for America in the months and years to come.

Some special guests I met included:
* Cristeta Pasia Comerford the first Asian American and Filipina American to serve as White House Executive Chef including for both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations since 2005.
* Christine Ha, my idol, of Master Chef (@theblindcook)
* Hudson Yang of Fresh off the Boat (which was set in 1990s Orlando)
* Willi Xu, US Navy JAG and White House Social Aide

My parents left Vietnam as boat refugees in the 1980s to seek a better life for their future children, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and hearts full of dreams. Never in their wildest dreams did they ever imagine that one day their son would be invited to the White House.

Life wasn’t perfect growing up – what is? – but I am reminded that our journey would not have been possible without so many who helped us along the way – the Lutheran Church and other families in America who sponsored them, the teachers who helped our family adjust to life in America and taught me in public school as my parents worked third shift at the assembly lines at the local factory, and later on starting a local Asian market in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Whether it is a little boy or girl here in Orlando or Kissimmee or Gaza or Sudan, every child deserves to dream and play and live in safety.

Hopefully, we can lend our voices and strength to them all again and lead with love and compassion instead of fear and hate. This too is the story of the American dream and real strength of America. We know that when we come together, anything is possible.

Upcoming Event: World of Whiskey Event at Orlando World Center Marriott on June 15, 2024

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Upcoming event at Orlando World Center Marriott!

Travel around of the World of Whiskey with us at the upcoming World of Whiskey – a beverage festival with a twist.

World Center’s Chefs pair up with vendors to create a unique tasting experience. Showcasing the top 30 selling whiskies, scotch and bourbon on the market today.

The event will be June 15, 2024 with tickets ranging from $100 – $150 .

General Admission begins at 6:00pm and the event runs until 9:00pm.

VIP Admission begins at 5:00pm and the event runs until 9:00pm. VIP Admission also includes tastings of allocated bourbons, special access to their private Speakeasy and a customized tasting glass.

Located in the North Tower – Harbor Beach

RSVP by scanning the QR code

Saigon Night Market – Endless Summer Festival – Debuts in Orlando – June 8-9th, 2024

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Saigon Night Market – Endless Summer Festival 
2911 E Robinson St, Orlando, FL 32803
June 8th & 9th 2024
3pm-10pm
The popular Saigon Night Market from Tampa is taking the show on the road and visiting Orlando this June 8th at Festival Park in Orlando.
The event will feature:
  • 80+ Multicultural Food Vendors & Trucks
  • Various Music Artists
  • Dance Performances
  • Live DJ & Band
  • Food Competition and Contests
  • Kids Activities including Waterslide and Inflatables
  • Raffles for chance to win BIG prizes
We spoke with the organizers about the event!

What is the Saigon Night Market like for those who have never been before?

The Saigon Night Market can be described in three words. Culture, Community, and Diversity. Through music, multicultural food, and entertainment, we highlight various Asian cultures, and provide a space in which anybody of any culture can enjoy.

How much does everything cost for attendees?

The festivals are very affordable. Entry is $10 per day, or $15 for both Saturday/Sunday. We provide convenient parking spaces at $20 per car if you are unable to find nearby parking. And vendors price their food very fair! For the experience we deliver, including Live Band, Lion Dance, Dance Performers, and Musical Acts, you can bet that it’ll be an experience worthwhile.

What kind of food will be available? What is unique?

The food options are endless. To name a few, we have Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, Korean, Filipino, and even Latino food vendors. You can spend the whole day and not eat the same food twice! A few unique bites that people may not have had the opportunity to taste would be grilled chicken feet, Balut, Lao sausage, and the savory Filipino desserts.

Tell us about the organizers?

The organizers consist of two Vietnamese friends. One being an entrepreneur, and the other being a music artist. We came together to do a fun project for the community without thinking much of it, but it eventually grew and became known as the Saigon Night Market. Along the way, we’ve met many people that we’ve been blessed to be able to share this journey with as one big family.

What type of vendors are you looking for?

The more diverse the better. Anybody and everybody is welcome to vend. At times, when we see we have too many vendors of a specific culture, we tend to focus on picking up different types of vendors to make sure everyone gets a chance to showcase their foods.

How can vendors / sponsors sign up? 

Vendors and sponsors can reach out via email (saigonnightmarketfl@gmail.com). 

How to buy a ticket?

Tickets are sold at the gate, or available on Eventbrite for pre-purchase. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/endless-summer-music-food-festival-tickets-907987895237

NEW Next Generation ABC Fine Wine & Spirits with Whiskey Tastings opens in Winter Garden, Florida

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ABC Fine Wine & Spirits recently opened a brand new “next generation” 15,000-square-foot building at 4110 Winter Garden-Vineland Road. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits first started in 1936 in downtown Orlando.

Winter Garden Grand Opening Celebration + Free Tasting Event

 June 1st, 2024 from 3pm to 7pm

To celebrate this milestone, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will host a Grand Opening Celebration on June 1 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample a variety of wines and spirits and enter for a chance to win a $250 shopping spree at ABC. This event is the perfect chance to experience firsthand the unique offerings and atmosphere of the new store.

New Whiskey Section

The new ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in Winter Garden has one-of-a-kind whiskey section with exclusive, private barrel selections and a whiskey-tasting center to sample bourbon, Scotch, and whiskey from all over the world.

The Winter Garden store is designed to redefine the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits experience, that has evolved over 88 years, with a variety of immersive features.

Wines of Distinction

The wine section is expansive, with options ranging from everyday value brands to hard-to-find luxury bottles.

Cigar Humidor

Additionally, the walk-in humidor in this location is the largest built by ABC to date.

The wine and spirits tasting center will offer a try-before-you-buy experience with wine and spirit sampling taps, complemented by digital displays to inspire your next cocktail creation.

“You’ll recognize the same superior service you expect from ABC but with the largest selection of wine and spirits to date,” said Dave Larue, Executive VP of Sales & Purchasing at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. “Our goal is to create a destination where guests can enjoy a memorable experience beyond shopping.”

About ABC Fine Wine & Spirits:

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is a leading retailer of wine, spirits, and beer, offering an extensive selection of products and exceptional customer service. With locations throughout Florida, ABC is dedicated to providing a superior shopping experience and helping customers find the perfect beverage for any occasion. Learn more about ABC Fine Wine & Spirits by visiting abcfws.com. Keep up with ABC on InstagramFacebookTikTok, and YouTube.

ABC FINE WINE & SPIRITS

LOCATION: 4110 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Winter Garden

PHONE: (407) 554-7634

Secret Menu – A Taste of…At Siam Thai Cuisine x Tasty Chomps – June 6-16th, 2024

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“A Taste of… presented by Tasty Chomps x At Siam” is a new secret menu for foodies to get a “Taste Of…” a local Orlando restaurant with a special pre-fixe menu (similar to Magical Dining) for dine in for a limited time.

Starting June 6 thru June 16th, 2024 guests can get a 3-course dinner at At Siam Thai Cuisine for just $38.99 per person, plus tax and tip.

At Siam is a locally owned, authentic Thai restaurant run by a Bangkok-trained chef on Orlando’s International Drive, with some of the best Thai yellow curry and wings I have had in Orlando!

At Siam Thai Cuisine was born in 2021 from Chef Maneerat’s vision of owning her own restaurant. Formerly a fitness and yoga instructor in Thailand at Fitness First at Mall Bangkapi in Bangkok, Maneerat’s dream has come true here in Orlando through At Siam Thai Cuisine restaurant.

Chef Maneerat, also known as Chef Amy, grew up in a small town Northeast of Bangkok, Thailand. She moved to Bangkok to attend her university and graduated with a bachelor’s of science in Physical Education with a major in Sport Sciences. Starting in 2014, Chef Maneerat began taking cooking classes in Bangkok getting training and perfecting the art of cooking Thai food.

At Siam Thai Cuisine x Tasty Chomps

SECRET MENU

June 6-16, 2024

$38.99 ++

CHOOSE ONE DRINK, ONE APPETIZER, ONE ENTREE, AND ONE DESSERT

DRINK

THAI ICE TEA OR THAI COFFEE

APPETIZER

SIAM CHICKEN WINGS

@ SIAM DUMPLINGS

CURRY PUFF PASTRY

ENTREE

Your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or tofu

with shrimp, calamari, shrimp & calamari, or scallops for an additional price.

CURRIES

Choice of Yellow, Green, Panang, Red, or Massaman Curry

NOODLES

Choice of Phad Thai, Lad Na,

Phad Se-Ew, Drunken Noodles, or Tom Yum Noodle Soup

STIR FRIED ENTREES

Choice of Siam Basil, Phad Ginger, Mixed Vegetables, Phad Broccoli, Param, Cashew Nuts, Garlic and Black Pepper,Sweet and Sour, or Volcano

JASMINE FRIED RICE

Choice of House Fried Rice, Combination Fried Rice,

Yellow Curry Fried Rice, Green Curry Fried Rice, Basil Fried Rice

SALADS

Choice of Laab, Beef Salad, or @ Siam Salad

HOUSE SPECIALS

Choice of Tom Yum Goong Fried Rice,

or Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

DESSERT

BANANAS A LA MODE

MANGO COCONUT STICKY RICE

THAI DONUTS

ICE CREAM WITH COCONUT STICKY RICE RICE

THAI CUSTARD WITH COCONUT STICKY RICE

At Siam Thai Cuisine
8957 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 412-5260

New Omakase at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek’s illume Rooftop Bar & Lounge

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Orlando’s hottest new rooftop lounge, illume at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa near Walt Disney World is excited to offer a brand new 13-course Omakase dinner happening every Sunday for guests and locals to enjoy.

Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means “I leave it up to you.”

Chef de Cuisine Czarina Bautista, Chef Vinh Trinh and illume’s culinary team will design a customized menu featuring the finest ingredients and freshest flavors, carefully selected to delight your senses. Prices are $150 per person, reservations required.  Book here on OpenTable.

Here is an inside look of the new Omakase Experience at illume:

Welcome Mocktail

Santenmori

Tsukuri – Oyster, Wasabi Aioli

Shiizakana – Uni Butter

Chawanmushi – Alaskan King Crab, Jidori Egg
    

Nigiri – Madai, Shimaaji, Scallop, Maguro, Chutoro, Otoro, Uni

Yakimono – Wagyu, Yuzu Truffle

Mizukashi

Halo Halo

I would highly recommend this specially curated dinner for your next date night in the Disney area. Beautiful restaurant, delicious food, hospitable service, breathtaking 360-degree views of Orlando, viewing Walt Disney World fireworks from the rooftop and complimentary self-parking… what more can you ask for?

About JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

  • The full-service, five-star JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa opened in July 2020 and has everything guests need for a luxurious Orlando getaway, from 516 plush guestrooms to fun-filled amenities. Situated conveniently right outside the gates of Disney World, the resort boasts a 10,000 square foot spa with treatments unique to the resort; an outdoor pool with swanky cabanas; seven onsite restaurants and bars, including the chic steak and seafood restaurant Sear + Sea and the new illume rooftop bar; a rooftop miniature golf course and rock-climbing wall; and a complimentary shuttle service to the theme parks.

illume
14900 Chelonia Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 919-6376

Visit Orlando’s Signature Luncheon : Travel and Tourism 2024 with Phil Rosenthal

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This week, Visit Orlando hosted their Signature Luncheon on Travel and Tourism with stories on food, culture and comedy from keynote speaker, Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everyone Loves Raymond” and host of Netflix’s hit show, “Somebody Feed Phil”.

It was an honor to host a Q&A discussion with Phil Rosenthal as he shared stories from his recent episode filmed in Orlando and his journey from creating a hit comedy series to an internationally renowned culinary series. 

Phil Rosenthal is the award-winning creator, executive producer, writer, and host of “Somebody Feed Phil,” Netflix’s most popular food and travel show. This Emmy-nominated unscripted documentary series, which combines his love of food and travel with his unique brand of humor, has enjoyed over 24 million viewers in 190 countries, and has become must-see TV for foodies, restaurateurs, travelers, and armchair enthusiasts all over the world. Rosenthal recently won a 2022 Critics Choice Real TV Award for “Best Travel/Adventure Show,” and he also garnered a 2022 James Beard Award nomination for “Visual Media—Long Form.”

This week, Visit Orlando also announced that the destination welcomed 6.13 million international visitors in 2023, an increase of 25% over 2022 numbers. The news was shared during a media event attended by over 300 domestic and international media at U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, the country’s largest travel trade show promoting international travel to the U.S.

Canada remains Orlando’s top international market, with more than 1.2 million visitors traveling to Orlando in 2023, the highest number from this market in Orlando’s history. The 2023 international visitation numbers represent 94% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels, with Canada, U.K. and Brazil remaining the top three international origin markets for Orlando.

Orlando’s international growth is a testament to the uniqueness of our unbelievably real destination, the support from our travel trade partners and our emphasis on strategic marketing initiatives to help drive visitation from our key international markets. Read more here: Visit Orlando Announces 25% Year-Over-Year International Visitation Growth in 2023.

 

Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) Collections for the March 2024 TDT collection month were $40,550,000. March 2024 collections were higher than March 2023 collections by $1.6 million or 4%. This is also the highest monthly collection ever.

 

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Visit Orlando also recently highlighted Sampaguita Ice Cream & Desserts on Instagram. In the video, co-founder Marie Mercado discusses popular Filipino ice cream options, including the ube brownie sundae and halo halo. She also mentions that Orlando has amazing chefs propelling the city’s culinary scene forward. Throughout May, we will feature more AAPI-owned businesses and eateries.

At Siam Thai Cuisine in Orlando

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Did you know there is a locally owned, authentic Thai restaurant run by a Bangkok-trained chef on Orlando’s International Drive? We are partnering with them for a giveaway on Instagram!

Located in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive, At Siam Thai Cuisine offers an authentic taste of Thailand, rooted in passion and flavor.

It’s also got some of the best Thai yellow curry and wings I have had in Orlando!

At Siam Thai Cuisine was born in 2021 from Chef Maneerat’s vision of owning her own restaurant. Formerly a fitness and yoga instructor in Thailand at Fitness First at Mall Bangkapi in Bangkok, Maneerat’s dream has come true here in Orlando through At Siam Thai Cuisine restaurant.

Chef Maneerat

Chef Maneerat, also known as Chef Amy, grew up in a small town Northeast of Bangkok, Thailand. She moved to Bangkok to attend her university and graduated with a bachelor’s of science in Physical Education with a major in Sport Sciences. Starting in 2014, Chef Maneerat began taking cooking classes in Bangkok getting training and perfecting the art of cooking Thai food.

At Siam’s menu features beloved Thai classics like Phad Thai, Papaya Salad, and Pad Se-Ew, each dish showcasing the vibrant flavors of Thailand, characterized by a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors, with key ingredients like lemongrass and chili peppers.

Featured Dishes

CURRY PUFF PASTRY – Golden fried puff pastry stuffed with minced, chicken, potatoes, onions, and yellow curry powder

YELLOW CURRY – with potatoes, onions, and carrots in a mild yellow curry coconut milk stew

SIAM CHICKEN WINGS – sweet, sticky, spicy

TOM YUM GOONG FRIED RICE – Jasmine fried rice seasoned with a spicy tom yum paste, black tiger shrimps, onions, carrots, egg, bell peppers, and a touch of garlic

@ SIAM DUMPLINGS – Steamed minced pork and vegetables wrapped in wonton skin

SWEET AND SOUR PORK – Sautéed choice of your meat with pineapples, cucumbers, carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, and onions in a thai style sweet, and sour sauce

MANGO- COCONUT STICKY RICE

They also cater to vegans, and vegetarians and serve halal chicken and beef.

Monday- Sunday
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Daily lunch special offered on Tuesday-Friday. Lunch is served with soup or spring roll for $12.95

At Siam Thai Cuisine
8957 International Dr,
Orlando, FL 32819v
(407) 412-5260

Save the Date – TASTE! Central Florida Returns August 10, 2024 – Plus New Venue! Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

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We’ve got some exciting updates to share Taste! Central Florida has a new venue and date bringing you an exceptional culinary experience for 2024. Join us Saturday, August 10th at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for a night of gourmet delights from over 40 local restaurants in a brand-new setting, all for the same great community cause.

Benefiting Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Taste! Central Florida brings some of Orlando’s top vendors and community together to address the critical issues of childhood hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida.

SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, August 10, 2024
Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Tickets on sale at http://tastecfl.org
#TasteCFL

Exclusive Hotel Booking Discount for Taste! Central Florida

Are you ready to elevate your Taste! Central Florida experience to the next level? We’re excited to announce an exclusive hotel promotion just for attendees like you!

Make Taste! a weekend experience by booking your stay at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek anytime between August 7th – August 14th through our exclusive booking link the get:

  • $100 Off Per Night
  • $10 Off Parking
  • 50% Off Resort Fee

Don’t miss out on this limited-time offer to enhance your Taste! Central Florida experience.

Last day to purchase:  July 26, 2024

Book Now

SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, August 10, 2024
Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Join us at Taste! Central Florida, where top local chefs, restaurants, and beverage vendors come together for a culinary extravaganza like no other. This remarkable event supports the Coalition for the Homeless and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in their crucial mission to fight childhood hunger.

The funds raised by Taste! Central Florida? help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provide more than 244,000 nutritious meals each year to those in need.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida directs the funds raised from Taste! Central Florida to childhood hunger relief programs at their agency to assist the 1 in 5 kids who are facing hunger.

BENEFICIARIES

“For years Taste! Central Florida has been an incredible way to raise awareness and funds for one of the most critical issues in our community—childhood hunger.  Thanks to the amazing support of our community, these funds have been able to make a huge impact on young shelter guests at the Coalition, who with their parents rely on us to provide them with healthy meals during their journey toward stable housing. On any given day, there are about 100 children staying in our Center for Women and Families. Your generous support of Taste! Central Florida ensures that these children wake up to a nutritious breakfast and end the day eating dinner with their families, never worrying when their next meal will be. Thank you for making this possible.”

ALLISON KRALL, PRESIDENT & CEO OF COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

“Funds from Taste! Central Florida make it possible for Second Harvest to distribute 300,000 meals daily to individuals facing the challenges of hunger. It’s the heartwarming compassion and support from our amazing community that keeps us going – tirelessly working to close the troubling hunger gap right here in Central Florida.

Your kindness and support mean the world to us, and we can’t thank you enough for joining us to be a part of this meaningful journey.”

DERRICK CHUBBS, PRESIDENT & CEO OF SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

We’ve got an exciting lineup showcasing Central Florida’s culinary excellence. Check out who’s coming to Taste! 2024 so far and stay tuned for more updates.

Featuring the area’s most accomplished chefs, brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors, Taste! Central Florida invites the community to enjoy an evening of tasting portions of signature dishes accompanied by fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails.

This annual celebration of the community’s culinary excellence is a volunteer-driven event with local chefs, brewers and distilleries donating their time, talent and creations to make this event one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

An all-volunteer steering committee, more than 300 day-of event volunteers, and tremendous in-kind support from a variety of local business partners allow us to direct every dollar raised to our beneficiaries while generating profound awareness and relief for the children of Central Florida who face hunger on a daily basis.

Now in its 33rd year and having raised more than $4 million dollars for childhood hunger, the region’s premier food and beverage tasting event brings a supremely delicious experience to our community, for our community, with a positively local flavor.

We’re back with our same distinguished local chefs, committed local volunteers, and important local beneficiaries.

The best part? All event proceeds will remain in our community to help connect struggling Central Florida families to the meals they need.

See Participating Partners

thejohncheng’s Eat of the Week: Chuan Fu

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Restaurant: Chuan Fu

Location: 1035 N Orlando Ave #105, Winter Park, FL 32789

If you are looking to add some spice to your life, from a food perspective, then check out Chuan Fu up in Winter Park.  The dishes are HOT, both figuratively and literally.  My wife and I went on a little lunch date and we ordered 3 things, the ShuiZhu Fish Fillet, the ChuanFu Short Ribs, and the Spicy Beef Brisket Noodle Soup.  Warning, we asked for everything to be on the milder side, and it was still pretty spicy.

The Spicy Beef Brisket Soup was really good. It’s the type of thing I would like to have on a rainy day at home.  It’s comforting and warm.  The Short Ribs were hot.  The flavor was solid, and the portion was enough for two people. BUT the star of the show was this fish.

The way to eat this is to have a bowl of rice, grab a piece, and douse it with some of the sauce.  It was absolutely great.  The fish was fresh and cooked perfectly.  The lightness of the fish paired with the spicy chilis made a mouthwatering combination.  The rice then cools down your palette so you aren’t overwhelmed by how hot everything is. This is something I think everyone should try.

So, if you are in the mood for something a little spicy and different, go check them out!

ShuiZhu Fish Fillet with Hot Chili Sauce
ChuanFu Short Ribs
Spicy Beef Brisket Noodle Soup
This is the same Beef Noodle Soup with the Fish in the background. I just like this picture.

To follow me:

Instagram: thejohncheng_eats

Facebook: John Cheng photography

2024 GLO Summer Fireworks Weekends – Memorial Day through Labor Day at Grande Lakes Orlando Resort

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Grande Lakes Orlando is a premier luxury resort nestled in a sprawling 500-acre sanctuary in the heart of Orlando, a perfect getaway for families and couples.

On Saturdays, and holiday weekends from May 25 through September 2,  the resort undergoes a magical transformation with a unique event called GLO Summer at Grande Lakes full of family friendly games, live music, fire dancers, and breathtaking fireworks.
There are also Cabana Experiences, Poolside Tastings, Escape Room, Fire & Ice performance and more!

MEMORIAL DAY FEAST at Highball & Harvest – honoring the U.S. Military with a holiday-inspired menu and cocktails. 5/24, 5/25 & 5/26 from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. For reservations call  (407) 393- 4034

They have an exciting line-up of special events including the return of GLO Summer Fireworks Memorial Day through Labor Day!

GLO Summer kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with a special appearance from the Red Bull Air Force who will thrill our guests with their aerial acrobatics, soaring high in the sky, culminating in a grand landing at the resort, May 25th at 3pm.

Packages & Offers

Grande Escape at MCORZ:

10% savings, $100 daily resort credit, comp valet parking (cluster code ES2)

Grande Escape at MCOJW:

10% savings, $50 daily resort credit, comp self-parking (cluster code ES2)

Advanced Purchase (MCORZ & MCOJW):

20% savings, non-refundable, no changes, no minimum length of stay (cluster code ADP)

Grande Lakes Orlando Summer Newsletter: https://view.publitas.com/grande-lakes-orlando/2024-grande-lakes-summer-newsletter/

 

Mother’s Day Brunch at Four Flamingos – A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando

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Four Flamingos Mother’s Day Brunch

WHEN: Sunday May 12, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

11am-2pm: Complimentary Rosé tastings from Santa Margherita under the Four Flamingos gazebo

12-3pm: Miss Florida USA meet-and-greets with Miss Florida USA State Director and Executive Producer Jaclyn Stapp, current Miss Florida USA Caroline Dixon and current Miss Florida Teen USA Sharlysse Nelson

HIGHLIGHTS:
Noshing Table & Raw Bar:

Charcuteries & Crudités
Fresh-Shucked Oysters
Snow Crab Claws
Salmon Ceviche

Carving Stations:

Swordfish Tenderloin (with Shallot Brown Butter, Seafood Beurre Blanc, Cha Ca Sauce, Roasted Asparagus)
Picanha Steak (with Jalapeno Chimi, Guava BBQ, Flamingo 57 Steak Sauce, Mashed Boniato)

Ricotta Pancake Station with selection of sides and
toppings

Small Plates:

Oxtail & Mushroom Dutch Baby – Souffléd Pancake, Whiskey Braised Mushroom, Gruyere, Wilted Arugula
Candied Bacon & Brussels – Brown Sugar Bacon Lardon, Crispy Charred Brussels, Whipped Béarnaise, Marcona Almond
Coconut Panna Cotta – Yellow Passionfruit, Kiwi, Mango, Ginger Granola

Dessert Bar with selection of Cakes, Pastries, and Sweets
including:

Pavlovas
Coconut Cream Cake
Key Lime Tart

Bottomless Mimosas available for $30 add-on

RESERVATIONS:

FourFlamingosOrlando.com

WHERE:

Four Flamingos at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (complimentary parking w/ validation)

PRICING:

$120++ per adult, $50++ per child

NOTE:

The restaurant will be open for brunch service only this day and will not offer dinner service.

Afternoon Tea Experience at Salt & the Cellar by Akira Back inside Michelin Key ette hotel

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Did you know there is a Afternoon Tea Experience every Sunday from 12pm-4pm at Salt & the Cellar by Akira Back located inside the award-winning Michelin Key hotel ette hotel in Orlando?

For $75 per person, guests can enjoy delightful sandwiches, delicate pastries and the most sought-after flavorful teas in the world by Mariage Frères while creating cherished moments that will linger in your hearts forever.

Every detail is crafted with love and care to ensure an unforgettable experience.  To make a reservation, click here.

There is also a Special Mother’s Day Afternoon tea that will be happening on Sunday, May 12 for $85 per person. To make a reservation, click here.

MENU
Sandwiches
Roasted Chicken, Cranberries, Dijon
Smoked Salmon, Dill Cream, Cucumber
Egg Salad, Paprika, Watercress
Cucumber, Dill Cream

Scones
Clotted Cream, Jam

Pastries
Macaron du Moment
Lemon Meringue Tart
Chocolate Cigar
Cassis White Chocolate Eclair
Saint Honore

Mocktails (sold separately)

Into The Woods

Fresh green herbs // Ginger // Cucumber // Lime // Cookie Crumble // Forest Aromatic Mist

Moon Child – Watermelon Shrub // Lime // Agave // Lavender Saline // Lavender Aromatic Mist

Want to win an Afternoon Tea Experience for two at Salt & the Cellar by Akira Back ($150 value)?

Click here to enter the Afternoon Tea experience giveaway

Be sure to check out Afternoon Tea at ette hotel near Orlando for a luxurious experience that is well worth a visit.

We are also having a giveaway for their tea experience for two on our instagram page – check it out at instagram.com/tastychomps !

Salt & The Cellar by Chef Akira Back – ette hotel
3001 Sherberth Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407) 288-1900
ettehotels.com

Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet at Unreserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Spa

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Did you know Mother’s Day is coming up Sunday, May 12th?

Make your reservations asap and join Unreserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Spa in Orlando this Mother’s Day for a memorable culinary celebration!

We partnered with JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek resort for a wonderful giveaway for up to 5 people for Mother’s Day Brunch on Instagram. Read on for details!

The dishes are inspired by the chef’s memories and mother’s recipes growing up.

Unreserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek
14900 Chelonia Parkway, Orlando, FL

Mother’s Day Brunch
Sunday, May 12th • 12:30pm – 3:00pm
$115 per adult | $55 per child (ages 4-12 years)
Children 3 years old or younger complimentary

Add-ons available
Endless Bubbles
$35.00

Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet Cocktail Cart | “Guava Rose” Cocktail & Chef’ s Childhood Dishes

INCLUDES

Live Entertainment | 1 Glass of Sparkling Red or White House Wine | Kids Activity “Make Your Mom A Bracelet ”

HIGHLIGHTS:

Florida Estuary Oyster | cape canaveral shrimp cocktail (SF)
Red King Crab Legs | chilled maine lobster tail (SF)
Sushi Rolls
Curated Cheese Board
Chef Melissa’s Pannekoeken Two Ways | cherries & almonds, herbed ricotta & house cured salmon
Chef Kameron’s Crab Cake Benedict Station
Chef Jose’s Rosemary Roasted Prime Rib
Josper Roasted Cobia
Chef Tina’s Lumina Farms “Lambchetta”
Chef Justin’s Biscuits and Gravy
Chef Peter’s Beer Braised meatballs | baby cakes oatmeal stout,caramelized onions, Smokehouse bacon
House made Chicken Apple Sausage
Chef Jobin’s Fish Molee | verallso salmon, green chili coconut sauce
Chef Czarina’s Filipino Adobo | seared chicken thigh, garlic adobo sauce
Chef Omar’s Spiced Rabbit Tagine | apricots, sliced almond

ABOUT:

Unreserved Food Bazaar is a casual, European-style marketplace offers abundant options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unique, international-inspired fare includes Italian and Mediterranean classics, along with playful beverages. JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa brings modern luxury to Orlando, Florida. Located near International Drive within the gates of Walt Disney World, the Bonnet Creek Orlando resort offers warm, inviting social spaces and amenities. Hotel features include the Spa by JW®, two sparkling resort pools, specialty restaurants and a rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of the nearby Disney fireworks.

Giveaway: The Tap Room at Dubsdread Celebrates Historic 100 Years in College Park

Happy 100 Years, The Tap Room at Dubsdread!

The Tap Room at Dubsdread may have one of the longest histories in Orlando.  Dating back to when the golf course first opened in 1924, it eventually became a hangout spot for officers during World War II and continued to be popular ever since. Politicians, celebrities, friends and families dine in for lunch, dinner and happy hour on the Verandah overlooking the historic 100-year-old Dubsdread golf course.  The connected ballroom has also served as the perfect venue for meetings, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, debutantes and many more special events throughout the years.

The Tap Room at Dubsdread notably boasts a heritage of culinary excellence. Today, under the guidance of owner Steve Gunter and Chef Stewart Barney, The Tap Room at Dubsdread is an award-winning restaurant that has gained recognition for some of the best burgers, steaks and seafood in Central Florida in an award-winning setting.

They offer live music every Thursday from 6pm-9pm.  Bring your lawn chair or blanket to post up and they will bring the service to you.

Spring is in the air and that means it’s time to get those beach bodies ready!  The Tap Room at Dubsdread has recently launched a healthy lite menu that offers a variety of nutritious salads, perfect for that 2024 New Year resolution check in!

Here are popular dishes from the new lite menu:

Wedge Burger no bun, no carbs, iceberg, heirloom tomato, bermuda onion, bleu cheese, balsamic glaze

Fresh Seared Ahi Tuna

Chicken Caprese Salad – beefsteak tomato, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, balsamic glaze

Superman Salad – edamame, craisins, blistered heirloom tomatoes, house corn salsa, feta, avocado, cilantro

Tart Cherry Mocktail

To celebrate 100 years, we are partnering with The Tap Room at Dubsdread to give away a $100 gift card!

Click here to enter the $100 Giveaway to Tap Room at Dubsdread

Be sure to check out Tap Room at Dubsdread for one of the best dining experiences in Central Florida!

Tap Room at Dubsdread
549 Par St.
Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 650-0100
taproomatdubsdread.com

Orlando adds 4 New MICHELIN Starred Restaurants in 2024 MICHELIN Guide Florida Awards

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Orlando represented well this year at the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Florida Awards. Notably, Victoria & Albert’s finally received recognition with a MICHELIN Star award and Papa Llama, which was previously Bib Gourmand, has been elevated to MICHELIN Star after their recent menu changes at the restaurant. Camille in Baldwin Park is now the first Vietnamese-influenced restaurant with a MICHELIN star in America.

Nine restaurants joined the sought-after group of MICHELIN-Starred restaurants in Florida, as the 2024 selection of the MICHELIN Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa was announced Thursday night at the Tampa EDITION hotel.

“Since the arrival of the MICHELIN Guide to Florida in 2022, there has been significant growth in the state’s local culinary scene, proving Florida is a leading gastronomic destination for travelers near and far,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “In addition to the nine new restaurants awarded one MICHELIN Star, we are thrilled to announce Green Star restaurants in the selection for the first time, showcasing these restaurants’ commitment to a more sustainable gastronomy.”

“With 7 starred, 11 Bib Gourmand and 30 Recommended Restaurants in the 2024 MICHELIN Guide, Orlando continues to drive culinary innovation forward,” said Casandra Matej, president & CEO of Visit Orlando. “This is a true testament to the growth and vibrancy of Orlando’s culinary scene, fueled by the dedication of our talented chefs, restaurateurs and committed service staff. Together, we’ve made Orlando a vibrant hub for international cuisine, attracting food enthusiasts and enhancing the local dining experience.”
Four Michelin Starred restaurants join the growing list of Orlando’s one-starred venues, including
  • Camille in Baldwin Park
  • Natsu in the North Quarter District in Downtown Orlando
  • Papa Llama in Curry Ford West and
  • Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Soseki Modern Omakase in Winter Park; Capa Steakhouse & Bar at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort; and Kadence in the Audubon Park Garden District retained their one-star recognition.

Additional 2024 honors for Orlando include:

  • Michelin Exceptional Cocktails Award for Justin Levaughn of Otto’s High Dive, a Bib Gourmand,
  • Michelin Service Award to Israel Perez, maître d’hôtel and sommelier of Victoria & Albert’s
  • Michelin Green Star, which recognizes exceptional sustainable dining that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, to the Michelin Recommended Kaya, led by Chef Lordfer Lalicon
MICHELIN Guide inspectors added two new Orlando restaurants of the Bib Gourmand designation for “great food at great value” bringing the total to 11. The list includes:
  • NEW FOR ‘24: Sushi Saint – City District
  • NEW FOR ‘24: Zaru — Mills 50
  • Bombay Street Kitchen — South Orlando
  • Domu — Audubon Park Garden District
  • Isan Zaap — Millenia
  • Norigami — Winter Garden
  • Otto’s High Dive — Milk District
  • Taste of Chengdu — Baldwin Park
  • The Ravenous Pig — Winter Park
  • The Strand Food & Drink — Mills 50
  • Z Asian — Mills 50
Orlando now has 30 MICHELIN Recommended Orlando restaurants.
The list includes:
  • AVA MediterrAegean — Winter Park
  • BACÁN — Lake Nona Wave Hotel
  • Black Rooster Taqueria — Mills 50
  • Citricos — Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Chuan Fu – Winter Park
  • EDOBOY — Mills 50
  • Four Flamingos, A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen — Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
  • Juju — Milk District
  • Kabooki Sushi — Milk District (Second Location on Restaurant Row)
  • Kai Asian Street Fare — Winter Park
  • Kaya — Mills 50
  • Knife & Spoon – Grande Lakes Orlando
  • Maxine’s on Shine — Colonialtown
  • Morimoto Asia — Disney Springs  
  • Pizza Bruno — Curry Ford West
  • Prato — Winter Park
  • Primo by Melissa Kelly — The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
  • Ravello — Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Sear + Sea — JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa
  • Se7en Bites — Milk District
  • Selam Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine — SeaWorld Orlando Area
  • Shin Jung — Mills 50
  • Sticky Rice — Mills 50
  • Swine & Sons — Winter Park
  • The Pinery — Ivanhoe Village Main Street in Downtown Orlando
  • The Polite Pig — Disney Springs
  • Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood — Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Tori Tori — Mills 50
  • Twenty Pho Hour — International Drive Area
  • YH Seafood Clubhouse — International Drive Area
Visit Orlando will soon launch a new culinary marketing campaign in partnership with Tripadvisor to continue to elevate the destination’s growing dining scene, following the MICHELIN announcement. The initiative includes three different Epicurean Trips for Orlando, which will be promoted on Tripadvisor’s digital and social channels, targeting foodie travelers in the U.S. and Canada to incorporate Orlando’s diverse culinary offerings into their summer travel planning.
These guides will take users through a flavorful journey including the “Somebody Feed Phil” Guide to Orlando’s must-try eats based on the Orlando episode of Netflix’s popular series, “Somebody Feed Phil”, as well as MICHELIN Guide to Orlando from premium dining to casual eateries, and where to take on Orlando’s best Food Challenges for the culinary adventurer.
These efforts are part of a broader strategy to leverage high-profile media partnerships on global platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ITV, and NBC, in multiple languages, tapping into the ‘Set-Jetting’ trend, where shows and movies inspire consumer travel decisions.

 

Here are the new MICHELIN-Starred restaurants, with inspector notes from each (inspectors’ comments in full on the MICHELIN Guide website and mobile app):

Orlando

Christopher Abeleda/CamilleCamille (Vietnamese cuisine)

Chef Tung Phan has taken the pop-up and given it permanence at this space just off Lake Baldwin. Seats at the counter feature the ten-course Vietnamese-French tasting menu, while booths offer an abbreviated version. Rooted in French techniques, Vietnamese flavors are given a refined twist here. The Dungeness crab curry arrives with a tartlet shell, filled with crab meat and mixed with lime, served atop the lid, which when removed, reveals a deliciously hearty curry. Salmon over king trumpet noodles in a tamarind and pineapple sauce is creative, but the best may be saved for last. The sweet potato brioche topped with a “gold” chocolate ice cream and Vietnamese coffee sauce is an elegant finale.

Titan Wang/NatsuNatsu (Japanese cuisine)

At Natsu, there are just two seatings a night at this intimate omakase where a 10-seat counter dominates a spartan-styled room. Meals begin with four dishes from Chefs Stone and Sky, including chawanmushi and truffle kampachi, served with crispy potato straws and a yuzu truffle vinaigrette for an unexpected flavor combination that is especially memorable. The sushi is impressive and doesn’t gild the lily, as in skin-on barracuda with a dynamic char or soy-marinated salmon that finishes ever-so-sweetly. Supremely buttery toro needs no flourish and is melt-in-your-mouth tender. It all rounds out with a hand roll and ice cream.

Maria Belen Ruiz/PAPA LLAMAPapa Llama (Peruvian cuisine)

Husband-and-wife duo Kevin and Maria Ruiz prepare modern Peruvian cuisine full of bright ingredients with a bit of polish, and the multicourse tasting menu is an approachable (and affordable) way to sample their sincere cooking. Nigiri kicks off the meal with a smart nod to the Peruvian tradition of Japanese fusion, delivering dialed-in flavors with confidence. Bok choy is elevated with bold, contrasting textures, while chicken thigh roulade with aji amarillo aioli is simply spectacular. For dessert, sweet potato donuts over a blueberry compote seal the deal.

Kent Phillips/Victoria & Albert'sVictoria & Albert’s (Contemporary cuisine)

Nestled within Disney’s crown jewel, the Grand Floridian Resort, this restaurant is by no means an easy reservation. The setting is intimate, and the pacing is that of a leisurely, three-hour waltz orchestrated by a gracious brigade of veteran servers. Chef Matthew Sowers cooks with contemporary verve and draws on influences spanning from Asia to the Nordics. Think delicate tarts set with New Zealand langoustine, striking “sandwiches” made with venison carpaccio and red cabbage, and bold sauces like cherry-cola bordelaise. Other details like water lists, an ornate coffee and tea service, and a serious wine program further impress.

MICHELIN Green Star

Kaya (Orlando; Filipino cuisine)

Initiatives: more than 90% of produce comes from Florida farms; sourcing produce and seafood from local suppliers with the intention of improving the local restaurant-farmer-community ecosystem; minimizing waste through intentional and creative utilization of byproducts.

Bib Gourmand

The MICHELIN Guide inspectors found 33 restaurants worthy of the Bib Gourmand distinction, which recognizes great food at a great value. These are restaurants where one can have two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for about $50. There were 18 in the Miami area, 11 in the Orlando area and four in the Tampa area.

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Special Awards

In addition to the Bib Gourmand and Stars awards, the Guide announced four MICHELIN Special Awards, highlighting particularly skillful professionals from the industry:

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The MICHELIN Guide Ceremony is presented with the support of Capital One.

Hotels

The full restaurant selection for Miami, Orlando and Tampa will join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in Florida and throughout the world.

Every hotel in the Guide is chosen for its extraordinary style, service, and personality — with options for all budgets — and each hotel can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The selection for Florida features the state’s most spectacular hotels, including sustainability pioneers like the Hotel Greystone, standouts from our “Plus” collection like the Esmé and Standard hotels in Miami, restored mid-century motels like the Vagabond Hotel, cutting-edge designs like the Tampa EDITION and Lake Nona Wave Hotel, and even hotels with MICHELIN Guide restaurants, like Faena Miami Beach.

The MICHELIN Guide is a benchmark in gastronomy. Now it’s setting a new standard for hotels. Visit the MICHELIN Guide website, or download the free app for iOS and Android, to discover every restaurant in the selection and book an unforgettable hotel.

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About Visit Orlando 
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World® and No. 1 meeting destination in the country. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, we represent more than 1,500 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.
Visit Orlando connects consumers and business groups with all facets of Orlando’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, activities to connect with nature, vibrant neighborhoods, a dynamic dining scene with Michelin recognized restaurants, and a robust calendar of entertainment and sports events — Orlando is a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community for all travelers. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com or OrlandoMeeting.com.
 
About Michelin North America, Inc.
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich travel and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries—from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 23,000 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com)

Quantum Leap Winery to Move Out of Current Location in Orlando’s Mills 50 at the end of April 2024

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News from Quantum Leap Winery:

Dear Friends of Quantum Leap Winery,

We have some good news and some bad news to share.
First, the bad news: Quantum Leap’s home for the past 12 years on Wilfred Drive was sold last fall; the new owners will operate in the space, so we are moving out at the end of April. We have loved the sense of community in the Mills 50 district and have appreciated the support we have received, and the friendships and partnerships we have made. We are grateful to our team members who have helped to build the winery through the years, and our wine club members who have been with us every step of the way. During our 12 years, we have been honored to host over one thousand events and we will cherish all the wonderful memories of the weddings, celebrations, fundraisers, classes, art openings, and the many other fun events that we have done.
Please follow our social media for updates and upcoming event information and check our website calendar for updates on what is happening at Quantum Leap between now and end of April. We hope to see you at the winery before we make our big move.
Now, the good news: this is not goodbye. While we finalize our plans for a long-term home, we are moving to a nearby interim location which we will announce within next two weeks. We hope to see you there.
We truly love being Orlando’s winery and being a meaningful part of this special community. We are happy to say that will continue to bring you award-winning wines and ciders; and we look forward to hosting many more private events, community gatherings and winery events soon. Stay tuned and again, sincere gratitude for your support over the years and in the future.
Thank you,
David Forrester & Jill Ramsier
Upcoming Winery Events (info on Website Calendar and Social Media):
4/17 Wine and Foot Massage
4/18 Raid the Wine Cellar -Enjoy a Tasting of Library Wines
4/21 Pup-Pawty Crawl
4/24 Wine and Yoga

4/17 Wine and Foot Massage with the Barefoot Spa – guests call the Barefoot Spa to book their appointments

4/18 Raid the Wine Cellar -Enjoy a Tasting of Library Wines – This is a really fun one and celebrates the wines we have made over the years. Here is some info on it.

Join us for one of our largest library events ever on Thursday, April 18th from 6:30-8:30pm

Our Raid the Wine Library Event will include samplings of a variety of our “locked away” wines from our personal Owners Reserve. Prepare to travel back in time and all over the world to see what our Owners have been “aging” (hiding) from us!

We will be pouring some of our older discontinued and unavailable vintages and will feature 15-25 of our older wines ranging from the most popular to the most esoteric.

For this event we have paired with Let’s Dough It Pizza. Your ticket is good for a one personal pizza of your choice!

As you travel through our stations you will receive a ticket from each table, collect them all and you will be entered into a raffle to wine one of our prizes!

Tickets are $35 and here is the link

https://quantumleapwinery.com/events/raid-the-wine-cellar-public/

4/21 Pup-Pawty Crawl – benefitting the pet alliance 

4/24  Wine and Yoga – info and ticket link https://quantumleapwinery.com/events/pinot-and-poses-042424/

 

ABOUT:

It is all about the love of wine and friendship for us at Quantum Leap. Founders Jill Ramsier and David Forrester combined their fondness for wine and conservation to establish Quantum Leap Winery in 2012.

Jill is a former food and beverage industry executive, while David is an environmental industry pioneer. Their mutual experience in business paired with their knowledge and passion for wine is the blend that propels Quantum Leap.

We strive to develop relationships with sustainable and organic growers in notable wine growing regions around the world to produce high quality wines with a reduced carbon footprint at a great value.


THE QUANTUM LEAP PROCESS


Equal to our appreciation for wine is a mutual concern and respect for the environment. Our core mission is to provide an environmentally friendly solution to bring wine to the market while maintaining a high standard of quality.


Our process starts with sourcing grapes from the world’s best grape growing regions. We work with small organic and sustainable vineyards to select grapes that will truly express their terroir.


We crush close to the vineyard site and transport the bulk “juice” to our Orlando winery in large, reusable vessels. This allows us to triple the amount of wine per container compared to traditional shipping.


At the winery we will do any final fermentation, stabilization, filtration, barrel-aging, and blending. When the wine is ready, we choose sustainable packaging like lightweight bottles and kegs.

QUANTUM LEAP WINERY


HOURS OF OPERATION
TUES – THURS: 12PM to 7PM
FRI – SAT: 12PM to 8PM

Upcoming Food and Wine Event: Orlando Science Center presents Science of Wine – Saturday April 27 2024

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Orlando Science Center’s most sensational event of the year is coming Saturday, April 27! The Science of Wine is no ordinary wine tasting – it’s an odyssey of the senses.

Uncork your inner sommelier as you wine, dine, and learn at Orlando Science Center! Taste wines from sought-after regions and enjoy hors d’oeuvres from our supporting culinary partners.

Proceeds from this event help supports Orlando Science Center’s mission to inspire science learning for life. The event is Saturday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. More info at www.osc.org/wine.

During the event, our guests will enjoy:

  • OSC’s four floors of interactive exhibit halls, including our newest exhibit Life! Don’t miss your chance to tour the largest and most complex exhibit we’ve ever built, featuring animals and immersive galleries.
  • Wine tasting provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Gourmet hors d’oeuvres provided by participating culinary partners
  • Participation in OSC’s stellar silent auction, guests have the opportunity to win prizes such as a WestJet round trip flight for two, a Badfish Monarch Inflatable SUP provided by Travel Country, a private martini experience at Maxine’s on Shine, and so much more!

Activities new this year include:

  • Two 20-minute presentations hosted by Dr. Robin Back from UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management. He will discuss wine making in South Africa and guests will get to sample the Fleur Du Cap 2018 South African Pinotage. The presentations will occur at 8pm and 9pm.
  • Italian wine and cheese pairings in the Food Heroes exhibit, hosted by Advanced Sommelier Melissa McAvoy and Diahann Smith with Florida Dairy Farmers. Taste three boutique Italian wines from the Abruzzo and Piedmont regions and explore the art of pairing cheese with different varietals.
  • Personalize your wine glass with wine charm making in The Hive: A Makerspace and learn about the process of making a wine caddy using a computer numerical control (CNC) machine! Assemble parts made with OSC’s CNC machine to build a wine caddy, and learn about CNC production from the makers on the Orlando Science Center team.
  • Participate in our stellar silent auction

Food Partners:

  • 4Rivers Smokehouse
  • Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Gertrude’s Kitchen
  • Grill’s Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar
  • Parlor
  • Plate Above Catering
  • Sonny’s BBQ
  • Yak & Yeti
  • Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream
  • The Naked Cupcake
  • Lobo’s Coffee Roasters

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the presenting partner and exclusive wine provider for the event, which is a fundraiser for Orlando Science Center.

Join us for this important fundraiser as we sip and savor fine wines from around the world in support of our mission to inspire science learning for life!

Tickets cost $135 for general admission, $110 for OSC Members. Groups of 10 can purchase tickets in bulk for $1,000.

Enjoy live music as you sip and savor wines, cocktails, and gourmet hors d’oeuvres throughout the Science Center’s four floors of interactive exhibit halls – all included in the price of your ticket to Science of Wine. More info at www.osc.org/wine.

 

Check out our Instagram account for a chance to win two tickets (a $270 value) to The Science of Wine fundraiser from the Orlando Science Center.

thejohncheng’s Eat of the Week: Sno Tea Caffè

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Restaurant: Sno Tea Caffè

Location: 4498 N Alafaya Trail #270, Orlando

Have you ever felt like you were missing something just to discover that it was in your pocket the whole time?  Well, I recently had that experience.  Let me explain, my wife and I have been taking the kids to Sno Tea for years, and you may have seen my posts about their popcorn chicken and different boba teas from time to time. The popcorn chicken, desserts, and teas are great, they are relatively close to my house, and the kids love it there.  BUT I was very naive in thinking that was all they really had, and they, very politely, invited me to dine in and try anything I wanted and to give them an honest review of their food.  My suggestion, you guys should stop by here if you want a delicious meal at a good price!

We ordered soooooooo much food, you can just scroll down now if you want an idea of everything we got.  We started with the Fried Calamari, Popcorn Chicken, and Fried Chicken Thigh from their appetizers.  We then moved on to try their Braised Pork Rice, Pork Katsu, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, and their Fried Chicken Breast (not on the menu) as our main entrees. We were just two people! Lastly, we came back at night after we picked the kids up from school and had their Shaved Snow and Taiwanese dessert with grass jelly, egg pudding, taro and boba because the kids were SUPER jealous that we went without them.

Everything was great! The Beef Noodle Soup reminded me of Taiwan so much with the huge chunks of tender meat in a warm and delicious broth.  The Braised Pork Rice with the marinated egg was absolutely fantastic and just put a big smile on my face.  The popcorn chicken and calamari were both yummy delicious treats.  However, there were two dishes that really surprised me.  The first was the Fried Chicken Thigh.  This was not fried like the other dishes I mentioned.  The thigh is actually dipped in a liquid batter and fried so the skin is super crispy while the meat remained very juicy.  The way this was fried made the crust the star and I couldn’t get enough of it.

The other dish was the Pork Katsu for me.  The rice with the scrambled eggs and sweet onions was the perfect combination to go with the crispy and juicy Katsu.  it reminded me of a lunch I had with my dad at a Japanese restaurant in Miami years ago when I would work summers at our furniture shop, and he ordered me a simple rice dish with a scrambled egg mixture on top.  I’ve been looking for this dish for years, and it was right by my house the whole time.  I felt like Anton Ego from Ratatouille when he took that first bite of ratatouille and was brought back to his childhood.  Just awesome!

So apologies for the super long post this week, but there was just so much food to talk about.  Without further ado, here are the pictures and I hope you get to stop by and try for yourself.

Popcorn Chicken, Fried Calamari, and Fried Chicken Thigh
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (the beef was so tender)
Braised Pork Rice (this is one of my favorite dishes ever and they make it right. The egg was so good!)
Fried Chicken Thigh (I will be getting this every time I come back here)
Fried Chicken Breast (not on the menu)
Popcorn chicken
Fried Calamari
Shaved Ice (yes that is chocolate ice, and it’s great)
Taiwanese dessert with boba, grass jelly, taro and sweet potato balls, egg pudding, and crushed ice.
The tall building is Taipei 101 where I proposed to my wife 15 years ago.

 

 

 

2024 Michelin Guide Announces 4 New Florida Bib Gourmand Awardees – including 2 in Orlando

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The anonymous MICHELIN Guide inspectors today announced four restaurants will make their Bib Gourmand debut as part of the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa selection.

Bib Gourmand restaurants offer a meal of good quality at a good value.

The anonymous inspectors noted two restaurants in Orlando, one in Miami and one in Tampa. These new Bib Gourmand recipients will be honored on stage at the MICHELIN Guide Ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at the Tampa EDITION hotel. Attendance is by invitation only. Tune in to the Ceremony at the livestream link here at 7:30 pm ET.

“We are delighted to announce the addition of Streetlight Taco, Sushi Saint, Tam Tam and Zaru to the selection of Bib Gourmand restaurants in Florida,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “These restaurant selections prepare bold specialties with precision and intentionality, all at an excellent value. Our inspectors delighted in the impressive flavors and are confident that foodies – both local and from afar – will too.”

Here’s the list of new Bib Gourmand restaurants, with excerpts of the inspector notes from each restaurant:

Orlando

Sushi Saint (Japanese Cuisine) – ORLANDO

Mike Collantes, Chef/owner of Soseki, has another hit on his hands with Sushi Saint. Attached to a brewery but with a separate entrance, this downtown temaki spot lures guests with its lounge-y vibe and contemporary design. The team take great care in sourcing high-quality rice and nori for their cone-shaped temaki, and while the hand rolls take center stage, their small plates, like Sichuan cucumbers with chili crunch, are worth trying. From the avocado with serrano lime miso to aburi-style scallop with brown butter to shredded snow crab with truffle, cucumber, and finger lime, the temaki offerings are impressive.

Zaru (Japanese Cuisine)       – ORLANDO

This sleek Mills 50 eatery is located in the same strip as the Tien Hung Market. With an upbeat playlist and an attractive dining room, Chef William Shen specializes in chewy noodles made from wheat sourced from Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture. Ikura, tempura and top-notch ingredients like Hokkaido uni and A5 Kagoshima wagyu pair with broths of wonderful smokiness and depth. Starters like tatsuta-age (fried chicken) and yaki gyoza (pork dumplings) are familiar and reliable, but consider opting for the ikura onsen, which features a softly poached egg crowned with crispy garlic. Either way, expect precision and intentionality across the board by the team that’s happy to guide you.

Miami

Tam Tam (Vietnamese Cuisine) – MIAMI

Husband-and-husband team Tam Pham and Harrison Ramhofer are throwing a party on their own terms. On the edge of downtown by the county courthouse, you won’t find a glamorous room, a DJ booth, or anybody in stilettos or designer sneakers. There is no bouncer by the door. Instead, come as you are for this celebration of Vietnamese cooking that started out as a supper club. Much of the food doesn’t require silverware: think wings glossed in fish sauce caramel, smoky lamb with lettuce wraps and banh hoi noodles, and tamarind-glazed pork ribs. Finish with a slice of cheesecake made with cultured cashew cream and topped with passionfruit gelee. Bold, funky and fun, the restaurant is a good time all around, down to the hidden karaoke machine.

Tampa

Streetlight Taco (Mexican Cuisine) – TAMPA

This South Tampa taqueria certainly ups the style quotient on the typical taqueria. From the black-painted, exposed ductwork to the tables lacquered with Mexican comics to the open kitchen, this fast casual spot delivers on contemporary flair, and Chef Michael Brannock’s food isn’t pulling any punches, either. Heirloom corn is nixtamalized in house for a menu featuring tacos, tostadas, salsas, sides and more. Don’t skip the Sunday snack tostada, an equal parts sweet-and-savory delight with two blue corn tostadas layered with cream cheese with lump crab, diced sweet mango and a mango habanero sauce. The Japanese eggplant taco with an heirloom bean puree and a chile onza salsa has just the right amount of kick. There’s a full bar, but a strawberry horchata goes down perfectly, too.

Absolutely Avalon Festival – Celebrating Diversity in Orlando’s Avalon Park – This Saturday April 13, 2024

Avalon Park is inviting the community to celebrate art, culture and diversity at the 20th Annual Absolutely Avalon community festival on Saturday, April 13th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Celebrate everything that makes Avalon Park Absolutely Amazing at the Annual Absolutely Avalon Celebration.

This event celebrating arts and culture is free and open to the public.

There will be international food, music, vendors, activities for kids, and community performances!

Downtown Avalon Park will transform into a kaleidoscope of culture, creativity, and camaraderie, inviting residents and visitors alike to revel in the essence of what makes our town truly extraordinary.

The day will kick-off at 8 am with the Spring Fun Run 5K hosted by the Avalon Park Foundation.   This race will be introducing a unique fundraising opportunity for local schools and organizations by registering as a team! So, gather your group, pick a team name and get registered. The team with the most participants will receive a contribution back to their organization! Registration is live here and if you sign up on April 1st, you can receive $5 Off by using Code APRILFOOLS.

The festival activities begin at 5 p.m.

And at the heart of the festivities lies a feast for the senses, with tantalizing aromas wafting from an eclectic array of international food vendors. From savory street tacos to sweet delicacies from around the globe, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

As you stroll through the event, be sure to explore the 150+ arts, crafts, and business booths, each showcasing the unique talent and entrepreneurial spirit that defines Avalon Park.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, RE/MAX Innovation will be offering tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting) at the flag pole lot, providing a bird’s-eye view of the festivities below.

Throughout the evening, event attendees will be able to witness entertainment, with music filling the air and community performances showcasing the rich tapestry of Avalon Park’s cultural heritage. From traditional dances to contemporary music, there’s no shortage of talent to admire.

As the sun sets, prepare to be dazzled by a breathtaking laser light show at 9 p.m., painting the night sky with a symphony of colors and patterns. It’s a show not to be missed and a fitting finale to an evening of celebration and community spirit.

Absolutely Avalon is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: AdventHealth, Avalon Park POA, Leland Management, Avalon Park Group, IABA, Asia Trend, and Renewal by Andersen. Their commitment to our community ensures that events like this continue to thrive year after year.

So, mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and join us as we come together to celebrate everything that makes Avalon Park absolutely amazing. Admission is free for all, so do not miss out on this unforgettable evening of fun, food, and festivities.

For more information on this and other events, business happenings and community news, visit avalonparkorlando.com.

To celebrate, we are partnering with Avalon Park for a $100 gift card giveaway to the new Satori sushi and snow ice now open at Marketplace at Avalon Park.

Satori‘s mission is to invite everyone to experience an awakening of the senses with delicious, fresh sushi and delectable, fluffy snow ice desserts. The establishment aims to deliver a memorable experience of Japanese comfort food and flavor combinations. At Satori you can grab your favorite sushi roll or try something new with their Onigri Rice Balls and Inari Stuffed Tofu. Their Asian-style “snow ice” starts with a smooth, creamy base topped with a variety of exciting textures and flavors that are perfect for the hot, sunny Florida weather.

Visit instagram.com/tastychomps for details about the contest which runs till 4/16/2024.

thejohncheng’s Eat of the Week: Bombay Street Kitchen

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Hi everyone!

I hope you all have been having a good week. If not, I suggest you get something good to eat because that’ll always brighten your day.  If you are having a good week, then you should get something good to eat so that you can end your week right. Either way, I got another suggestion for you to try out, Bombay Street Kitchen.

Last week was my wife’s b-day and so the family went out for dinner that night.  Her brother (my brother-in-law) and his wife (sister-in-law) suggested Bombay Street Kitchen, and I am glad they did!  Everything we got this night was worth trying.  They did most of the ordering, and it was all delicious.  You can tell this place cared about the food.

We ordered so much…. We got the Onion Bhaji (Crispy onion fritters), Vegetable Samosa, Chole Bhature (Fried bread, chana masala, and onions, which you should order because it’s such a statement piece), Dilli Ke Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori vegetable momo, some mango lassi, Ajwaini Shrimp, a bunch of curries, and the Samosa Chat.

Let me tell you about that Tandoori Chicken and the Samosa Chat.  I know I normally just write about one particular dish, but I really couldn’t decide which I liked better.  The Samosa Chat was just great.  You have this beautifully crispy samosa underneath this chana masala sauce and chutney on top.  The spices of the samosa are so perfect with the sweetness of the chutney, and the textures just mix so well.  It was like this sweet and savory marriage that was crispy and smooth at the same time.  I love dishes like this.

The Dilli Ke Tandoori Chicken is just good!  It was perfectly cooked chicken with a delicious tandoori, served hot.  Simple and absolutely great!  The meat was tender, and the spice was just right in my opinion (but a little too much for my 11 year old).  I am a big fan of this one.

So if you are having a tough week or a great week, go treat yourself, you deserve it!

Samosa Chat
Dilli Ke Tandoori Chicken
Onion Bhaji (this was my favorite pic of the night)
Chole Bhature
Vegetable Samosa
Mango Lassi (look at that lighting!!!!)
Tandoori Vegetable Momo
Ajwaini Shrimp
Onion Bhaji from a different angle to show the green sauce

To follow me or if you need food photos please see my IG or FB group:

IG: thejohncheng_eats

FB Group: John Cheng photography