Meson flag

El Meson, the Puerto Rico based sandwich company that opened its first mainland restaurants in Central Florida last year, is sending help from the Orlando area to the Americans still being affected by Hurricane Maria.

On Wednesday, staff from the local sandwich shops in conjunction with iHeart Radio’s Activados por Puerto Rico and CASA of Central Florida sent off two shipping containers full of food and supplies. They will be sent to El Meson locations on the island for distribution to the residents, many of whom are still without power, drinking water, access to money and food.

Orchid exterior

I've always enjoyed Orchid Thai on Park Avenue in Winter Park, so I was glad to learn of a new location in Lake Mary. Unfortunately, it's just not the same.

Of course it was bound to be different. The Winter Park restaurant has the ambience of Park Avenue and the lovely outdoor dining. In fact, I couldn't imagine going to the original Orchid Thai and choosing to dine in the small, a bit-too-cramped dining room.

There is no outside dining at the Lake Mary OT. Even if there were it probably wouldn't be very pleasant looking at the parking lot of the strip mall it's located in.

The local delegation of state representatives on Monday unanimously approved support for a bill that would create a liquor license exemption for restaurants in a specifically designated downtown area.

The bill, which will be sponsored by state representative Mike Miller, will be placed on the agenda for a vote by the full Florida House of Representatives.

If enacted, the bill would allow restaurants in the downtown district with 80 seats and at least 1,800 square feet to serve full liquor. Currently, restaurants must have the capacity to serve at least 150 customers at one time and occupy a space of at least 2,500 square feet to be able to serve full liquor, or purchase a license for approximately $300,000.

The city of Orlando sought the exemption to encourage independent restaurateurs and boutique eateries to open in downtown Orlando.

More details on the bill and a map of the proposed downtown dining district at this link.

Sunday Supper

This sounds like fun -- a massive, live, online cooking class.

Gary Appelsies, chef and director of healthy eating at the YMCA of Central Florida, is hosting "Sunday Supper Live with Chef Gary" on Oct. 22, but please don't show up at his house.

Instead, log on to Facebook and join his live broadcast as he demonstrates how to make a more healthful version of spaghetti and meatballs. In fact, go log in now and sign up, then go to the Family Dinner Project website where you can find the recipes.

Mrs Potato rosti

I wonder what Mrs. Potato's maiden name was. And is she related the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Do they call their kids tots?

I'm also wondering if Mrs. Potato is Brazilian or Swiss?