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Maritas Tacos

Tuesday seems to be an appropriate day to announce that Marita’s Latin Bites is the winner of the 2022 Best Tacos Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. Black Rooster Taqueria was voted second with Hunger Street Tacos only a few votes behind.

Marita’s, reviewed here in 2017, is a tiny slip of a place on Colonial Drive in East Orlando serving some pretty tasty, um, bites.

Black Rooster opened a second location recently in the Curry Ford West District and was re-reviewed here.

Hunger Street on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park also recently opened a second outlet, inside Plant St. Market in Winter Garden. So, yes, that’s Hunger Street Plant Street.

By the way, all of these tacos are just as delicious on any other day of the week.

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F2F pavliion

Edible Orlando’s Field to Feast returns for its eighth annual event on Nov. 5 at Long & Scott Farms, Mt. Dora. The outdoor walkabout begins with a reception from 2:30 to 3 p.m. with culinary stations and wine-pairing tables from 3 to 5:30.

The November date, a change from years past when the popular event took place in February, should lend a nice Thanksgiving harvesty atmosphere.

As always, the food stations will be staffed by Walt Disney World chefs from some of the resort’s top restaurants, including Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom Park), Tiffins, (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park), Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) Cítricos (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), The Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Flying Fish (Disney’s BoardWalk), Amorette’s Patisserie (Disney Springs), Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera (Disney’s Riviera Resort), Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Bakery, EPCOT Festivals and Global Catered Events.

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Tornatore dining

Tornatore’s, the popular College Park restaurant and pizzeria, will suspend inside dining on Sunday, Oct. 2, to allow an extensive renovation of the dining room. It will reopen on Oct. 12.

“You will not recognize the place,” owner Denny Tornatore said in a text message Monday morning. “We are very excited.”

The kitchen, he said, will continue operating for outdoor dining, delivery and carry out during the remodel.

"We're doing everything, floors, walls, ceiling, furniture," said Tornatore. He said the renovations are meant to elevate the dining experience from its current pizzeria decor. "We have to bring the experience up to the level of the food."

Tornatore’s is an award-winning Italian restaurant with an attached market at 3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando.

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worldorlando dinner

WorldOrlando, which is not to be confused with Orlando World, is teaming up with Z Asian Vietnamese Kitchen and our friends at TastyChomps to host a fundraising dinner for Afghan refugees Monday, Oct. 17. The dinner will be at Z Asian, 1830 E. Colonial Drive, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

All proceeds from the dinner will go to WorldOrlando’s Afghan International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Alumni Emergency Relief Fund. IVLP is a United States Department of State program that sponsors short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. The emergency relief fund was set up to help IVLP alumni in Afghanistan and other countries who are at risk because of their involvement in U.S.-funded activities cover food, shelter and other basic needs as well as relocation expenses.

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VA22 entry

Victoria & Albert’s, the crown jewel of Walt Disney Resort restaurants, named for someone who wore the actual Crown Jewels, has finally returned to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa after its pandemic-forced closure and a renovation that has refreshed and revitalized the 34-year-old dining room.

Other changes have occurred, too.

Now in charge of the kitchen as chef de cuisine in the role that was defined by Scott Hunnel is Matthew Sowers, who was recruited by Hunnel more than a decade ago. (Aimee Rivera was chef de cuisine when the restaurant closed in 2020; she has left the company. Hunnel was promoted to an executive chef position that oversees culinary operations at several resorts, including the Grand Floridian.) The other major personnel change is Kristine Farmer as pasty chef, replacing Erich Herbitschek, who retired.

But we have a long way to go before we talk about pastries because some things about Victoria & Albert’s remain the same, including that dinner here is an evening-long affair.