Lions pride tvs

For a place called Lion's Pride, there's not a whole lot to be proud of here.

I suppose the developers could take some satisfaction in having created a sports bar of epic proportions. The orchestra-and-balcony style stadium seating facing a wall of giant televisions, all tuned to the same game (at least when Orlando's home team is playing), provides great viewing.

Jinya facebookJinya Facebook Page

Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps reports that Japanese chain Jinya Ramen Bar will take over the space in Thornton Park Central recently vacated by Verde Cantina. According to Ly, franchisees Eric Jakab and Taff Liao plan to open the restaurant in early 2018.

Jinya was founded by Tomonori Takahashi, who opened the first Jinya in Tokyo in 2000. It wasn't until he moved to California, in 2010, that he saw a potential for a ramen bar to be a success in the U.S. The Burbank based company currently has more than 20 locations throughout the United States and prominently promotes franchise possibilities on its website.

The Thornton Park location will be the first in Florida.

The menu features the noodle-based ramen soups that have (slowly) been gaining in popularity in Central Florida. It also features rice bowls and Japanese curries and other Asian dishes.

There's even a section labeled "mini tacos." Considering the previous tenant and the one before it -- Tijuana Flats -- that should offer a smooth transition to the new cuisine.

Se7ev award

Boy, did I choose the right time to visit Se7en Bites, the "Sweet & Savory Bake Shop" on Primrose Drive in Orlando's Milk District.

Not that there's a bad time to visit. There's always something good being baked or assembled by pastry chef and owner Trina Gregory-Propst and her team.

But I chose Sunday morning brunch time to stop by and present Gregory-Propst with her Foodster Award plaque. Se7en Bites was voted the Gold Award for Best Breakfast in the first annual program that recognizes excellence in the area's independent restaurants.

And even better than choosing Sunday brunch, I happened to be there shortly after 10:30 a.m. That's the approximate time that Cinnamon Bun Sunday occurs. Gregory-Propst explained that each Sunday she bakes some cinnamon buns -- different recipes, but clearly cinnamon buns -- and she makes only two sets of two dozen. When they're gone, they're gone.

And I got one!

Should have grabbed two. Dozen.

Pepe church platter 1

Pretty soon, I'm going to have to start writing reviews in Spanish.

Or Spanglish, perhaps.

In case you haven't noticed, we've had a lot -- A LOT -- of Mexican, Tex-Mex and tacomongers open lately. So many that it was a factor in Mucho Tacos and Tequila's decision to close and make way for Muddy Waters, a New Orleans style restaurant (which we could certainly use more of).

But el market will supply what el dining public demands.