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Swamp sistas

  • On Sunday, March 24, two of our favorite chefs, Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon and Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catering, are teaming up for Swamp Sistas La La Charity Brunch at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. The $75 fee benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and includes the multi-course brunch as well as music by the Swamp Sistas Ensemble. Starts at 10 a.m. Tickets here.
  • Speaking of Second Harvest, its orange blossom Honey For Good from its retail food line, A Spoon Full of Hope, is now featured at Cask & Larder and other concession stands at Orlando International Airport.
  • Saturday, March 23, is another edition of United We Brunch, sponsored by the Orlando Weekly. It’s from noon until 3 p.m. at the Orchid Garden at Church Street Station. It sort of takes the concept of a walkabout food and drink event and applies it to brunch. At least 14 participating restaurants are expected. Tickets range from $45 to $80. The latter is for VIP status, which gets you in an hour earlier plus separate seating, bar and restrooms. So United but Separate We Brunch. Benefits the Second Chance of Florida foundation. Tickets here.
  • You can also see a video at that link of the United We Brunch held in October. Pay no mind to the voice that keeps repeating “Audio Jungle” as the music plays. That’s a that’s an audible watermark to prevent people from using music in videos without paying a licensing fee to Audio Jungle.

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Italy

Curious about the Food Secrets of Tuscany tour that Kevin Fonzo and I are cohosting in June?

Come to a special edition of Fonzo’s La Tavola dinner event on Wed., March 27, and we’ll answer all of your questions. Joining us will be Art in Voyage’s Mikael Audebert, the tour’s curator. Audebert can tell you about this and other AIV tours. Plus, he is offering to reimburse the cost of the La Tavola dinner to anyone who signs up for the trip that night. Tim Varan of Tim’s Wine Market (who also hosts tours through AIV) is serving some welcome sparkling wine to start the evening.

Cost of the dinner is $95 per person plus gratuity. Reservations are a must; the dinner is already nearly sold out. To reserve a space, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Menagerie interior

I’m not exactly sure what Menagerie Eatery & Bar wants to be, and I’m not sure the people running it know either.

The Menagerie is the latest occupant of the corner spot on South Eola Drive and East Pine Street. It replaced Muddy Waters, which replaced Mucho. Perhaps there’s something in the deed that stipulates any business occupying the space must begin with the letter M.

The owners of Menagerie are Jonathan Canonaco and Brian Buttner, who also own Teak Neighborhood Grill, RusTeak College Park and, more pertinently, the Stubborn Mule, directly across the street.

The menu is a mishmash of cuisines, styles and food genres, which I suppose befits a place called Menagerie. The restaurant’s Facebook page says it is “chef driven,” but nowhere could I find the name of a chef. Or a driver, for that matter.

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Baja Burrito closed

Baja Burrito Kitchen, one of the first of the super-sized burrito shops to move into Central Florida, has closed its location in Colonial Plaza. A sign, above, was posted on the door thanking customers for 20 years of business. 

I first reviewed BBK in April of 2000 when the shopping center was known as Colonial Marketcenter. 

No explanation was given for the closing, and the Baja Burrito Kitchen website is gone.

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SOW dinosauer

Here’s an event I look forward to each year: the Science of Wine. It’s a night of sipping wines, eating delicious nibbles, and learning a little bit, too, all to benefit the Orlando Science Center. The ninth annual edition of SOW will be Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Loch Haven Park facility.

Don’t let the learning part scare you, this is a fun evening that takes all the elements of a typical wine and food walkabout event and adds presentations and displays that teach the intricacies of winemaking. You didn’t think those grapes became wine by magic, did you? Well, some of it is magic but a lot of it is science.

And you can indulge in as much education as you’d like.