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Bubbalous wp

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-b-que has closed its original location on Lee Road in Winter Park. In an unsigned post on Facebook, the restaurant faulted the pandemic and an inability to find workers as the reason. The post noted that the restaurant closed Saturday with just four employees on staff. They will relocate to the Apopka location.

Sam Meiner opened the first Bubbalou’s 35 years ago and it was once the hands-down favorite among locals. It was awarded numerous Foodie awards by the Orlando Sentinel including several Critic’s Choices from me. Bubbalou’s was an offshoot of Meiner’s Pit Bar-b-que, renamed when Sam Meiner’s grandfather bought Old South Bar-b-que in Fairvilla.

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Makers Boulevardier

It’s National Bourbon Heritage Month; what did you get me? Here’s a nice gift idea. Our friends at The Whiskey are hosting another of their Maker’s Mark Dipping Events. These are different from Arthur Murray dipping events. The Whiskey’s involve bottles of their Private Select Single Barrel bourbon and glassware dipped in the thick red wax that is a signature of Maker’s Mark. You might say it’s the Maker’s Mark mark. Anyway, the event is Thursday, Sept. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the restaurant, 7563 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando. You don’t need to register but keep in mind that the last time The Whiskey held this event the bottles sold out, so do your dipping early.

The Whiskey will also host a Heaven’s Door whiskey tasting on Wed., Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. This one is limited to 25 guests. Tickets are $60 and include four bourbons to taste, food and your own bottle of Heaven's Door Cask Strength Barrel. So, yeah, you need to hit this link and get your tickets now.

Fall on farm 21

Our friends at Grande Lakes Orlando will once again offer their series Fall on the Farm. This is different from Fall Down on the Farm and much more fun. Held on the resort’s own Whisper Creek Farm, it includes hayrides, a maze, arts and crafts, a farmer’s market and food from the resort’s culinary team. There will also be demonstrations on falconry and fly fishing, which is different from fishing for flies. It’s every weekend during October and ticketing information is at this link.

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Pammies int

I’m always surprised at what a quick trip it is from downtown Orlando to downtown Winter Garden via the 408, turnpike and 429. The raison de trip was to visit Pammie’s Sammies, a rockin’ little sandwich shop a half block off of Plant Street.

The rockin’ part (more classic than hard) comes from the musical theme of the decor and overall ambience. The walls are decorated with guitars and band posters mixed among such eclectic miscellanea as wooden chairs nailed upside-down to the ceiling, a bank of unconnected beer taps (also upside down), and sundry works of local art.

All of this is curated by Pam Thomas, the Pammie in question, and her husband, Thorp, both of them die-hard and tie-dyed musicians. (Notice the vintage photos over one of the windows of Pam singing while Thorp plays the drums.)

Even the menus are printed on the backs of old album covers. Mine was from the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men,” which was appropriate because it was drizzling outside (standard non-humanoid precipitation).

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picodegallomexicangrill copy

Pico de Gallo Mexican Grill, one of the restaurants set to open at the Marketplace at Avalon Park on Sept. 18, is definitely a family business. Not so much a mom-and-pop affair as it is a sister-sister-husband-and-niece operation.

The sisters are Heidsell Alarcon and Heidi Lopez, and they’ve been planning to open a restaurant for the past 12 years. Alarcon is the chef, a graduate of culinary school in their native Nicaragua, and Lopez is the businesswoman. Joining them is Alarcon’s husband, Jorge Cardona, and their niece Nazareth Orozco.

“It’s such a unique family business,” Alarcon said. She added that the food will be distinguished by its quality and freshness. “No preservatives, everything is chopped fresh and cooked every single day,” she said. “Basically, everything is made with love.”

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Creperie ext

Walt Disney World has opened an expanded section of the France pavilion that isn’t but really should officially be called Ratatouilleland.

You access the new area by going around the, um, derriere of the pavilion. There you’ll find a meticulously recreated Parisian streetscape with typical storefronts, ironworks and a not so typical fountain with gushing champagne bottles.

At the end of the rue is the new attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, an immersive ride that combines 3-d animation and sensation-enhancing vehicles that take you on a rat’s-eye-view of a kitchen in a French restaurant.

After the ride you’ll want to visit Epcot’s newest French restaurant, the presumably rat-free La Crêperie de Paris. It’s a full service but tres casual restaurant featuring the crepes of Brittany, which are made with buckwheat and are a bit different from the usual rolled pancakes you might be familar with. But I’ll let Jérôme Bocuse explain in the video below.