Seafood Buffet generic

I’m not sure who was in charge of this year’s calendar, but having Mother’s Day come so fast after Easter was just bad planning. I want names.

But there’s nothing we can do about it now, and in case you haven’t noticed, Mother’s Day is just over a week away, May 8.

But luckily we have several good Mother’s Day dining options for you on our Holiday Dining pages.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A buffet with bottomless mimosas at the beautiful Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.
  • Tap Room at Dubsdread’s always popular spread featuring carving stations of prime rib and roasted leg of lamb.
  • A special a la carte menu at the the Ritz’s ritzy Knife & Spoon.
  • Brunch at Highball & Harvest, also at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Brunch favorites and spritz cocktails at Primo at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.
  • And a lavish brunch at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek.

Lots of other options to consider, too, but be sure to make your reservations right away. You don’t want to just show up with Mom on the eighth and not have a table. She’s just going to look at you with a look of disappointment, just like that time you told her you were going to finally get a job and make something of yourself and then took off to Aruba with a bunch of your friends and then had to call and ask her to send you money to get back home. You don’t want to see that look she had when you came through the door and slunk off to your room.

Here’s that link to the Mother’s Day dining listings again.


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This isn’t my first time visiting Sushi Pop in Winter Park, an off-Park offshoot of the original Oviedo restaurant that opened in 2019. For myriad reasons – please check events from the past two years – that review was never published. But I remember thinking at the time that the Winter Park restaurant was a mere shadow of its Oviedo self, both in terms of the quality of the food and the overall experience.

I still feel that way.

When it opened, in 2011, Sushi Pop really did pop. It was fun, not only for the diners who were enjoying having good quality sushi in a part of town that was still inundated with bland American chain restaurants, but also for the staff, who seemed to delight in wearing costumes and sporting wildly colored hair, all while still offering good service.

There is none of that at the Winter Park SP, and maybe it’s no longer the case in Oviedo, either, but I missed it.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This month’s Local Flavor, the column I do in partnership with The Community Paper, features a recipe from a downtown favorite, Soco Thornton Park.

Soco has become a fixture of downtown dining, thanks to the cuisine of chef/partner Greg Richie. Here he shares the recipe for his Sweet Potato Gnocchi, which is a perfect example of the restaurant’s style of southern contemporary, from which the name Soco is derived.

Follow this link to see the full recipe at The Community Paper’s website.



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Fish On Fire has been operating on the lonely corner of Daetwyler Drive and McCoy Road since 2004, though not consistently, and not just because of pandemically forced shutdowns.

In April of 2010, a fire all but destroyed the structure, proving that the gods have a taste for irony. But owners Jay Herrington and John Mitchell rebuilt the restaurant, which sits in front of a motel across from the elevated Beachline Highway, and reopened it in 2011.

Except for the lack of a nearby body of water – Lake Conway Chain of Lakes is about a tenth of a mile away but that doesn’t count – FOF has all the trappings of a classic fish camp, especially in its overt rusticity. I did notice on my recent trip that the floors that were once bare concrete are now tiled, and galvanized buckets have been fashioned into overhead light fixtures, a bit of whimsy that might be considered too precious for an actual fish camp.



After just less than a year, Venoy Rogers III is leaving his post as executive chef at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando to join the Certified Angus Beef brand organization in Wooster, Ohio, near Akron. He will be executive chef for the company, which maintains a culinary center for recipe development and education experiences for chefs and restaurateurs interested in expanding their meat knowledge.

Rogers moved to the downtown hotel and its signature restaurant, the Boheme, last year from the B Resort at Walt Disney World where he oversaw the American Kitchen Bar & Grill. He had been at the B Resort since 2016 and had previously cooked at the Palm Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach and W in San Diego. He is a 2008 graduate of the Culinary Institute of Platt College in North Oklahoma City.