on

Shakers wide soup

It’s official: Shakers American Cafe is a bonafide Orlando Classic. The College Park breakfast and lunch diner will celebrate its 26th anniversary next month.

But there’s more to Shakers than just longevity; it’s become a local institution for being a go-to place for friends and business associates to meet, but with a more casual agenda in mind.

What’s the opposite of a power lunch? It certainly isn’t powerless. Look around the room during a busy lunch hour (which is to say just about daily) and you’ll spot community and business leaders at several tables.

But here the agenda is less about the deal and more about the meal.

on

Brother Jimmy logoAnother new restaurant has been announced for the soon-to-undergo-renovations Pointe Orlando.

Brother Jimmy’s, a barbecue restaurant, will take over the second level space that was previously occupied by Adobe Gila’s. It is scheduled to open in late 2019.

Brother Jimmy’s specializes in North Carolina barbecue and is based in New York City. One of its first restaurants opened in 1989 in on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It has no locations in North Carolina.

I’ll just pause a moment so the North Carolinians out there can grab some smelling salts.

The restaurant’s motto is “Put some South in Yo Mouth.”

Sure, I can wait a few minutes longer; take all the time you need to compose yourselves.

on

Editor's note: This is the first of a series of wine columns by Brittney Coutts, wine expert at Viines + Forks, the Wine Barn in Winter Park.

Brittney Coutts

As a very young person in the wine industry here in Orlando, I feel the demographics of most areas in Orlando follow the same trend. We have various subcultures that blend well together, but there is always the “pedestrian palate,” or so we call it on the sales side of things. People are attracted to what they know, and persuading them to venture out is not for the faint of heart. Being a twenty-five year old in this industry is difficult. I’m the youngest in every group and it’s just assumed by looking at me that I know absolutely nothing. I am well aware I am nowhere close to done with my learning, in this industry fads come and go like seasons and everyone is constantly learning, even your friendly neighborhood master sommelier and master of wine.

on

Portscotho table

One of the more annoying things about going out to eat is showing up at the restaurant on time for your reservation only to be told the table isn’t ready and you’ll have to wait in the bar.

And then you wait in the bar. And wait. Until finally a party decides they don’t need a third coffee refill and there are no more dessert crumbs to glean from the table and they finally leave.

Reservationology is not an exact science. It’s a guessing game at best and an exercise in futility at worst. The restaurants do their best to estimate how long a table of average diners will take to eat a meal and then turn around and allow unaverage diners to book tables.

So we wait in the bar.

But on a recent trip to the United Kingdom, I noticed a trend. Several times when went online or called a restaurant to make a reservation, I was told that I would have to surrender the table after a certain amount of time, an hour and a half sometimes, two hours later. If it was an online reservation, I had to click a box to acknowledge that I understood the policy and agreed to relinquish the table.

on

Saporito interior

For some reason the name Saporito sounds like it would be Japanese takeout place.

But, no, it’s an Italian restaurant, and a very pleasant one at that.

Or should I say a tasty one, for tasty is the translation of Saporito.

Remember the Slow Food Movement? It was buzzphrase about a dozen years ago. I wrote about it becoming a trend in Central Florida in 2007, though its origins can be traced back to 1986. In Italy, to be exact.

There is still a Slow Food organization and an Orlando convivium, or chapter, though the last entry on its Facebook page was in 2016. My guess is that people embraced the farm-to-table as their preferred buzzphrase.

But Saporito proudly embraces the Slow Food philosophy. And it’s not like we’re comparing organic apples to locally-grown oranges. A well-crafted red sauce by any other name would taste as luscious.