Poolski sign

Do you remember Polski's? No? How about Biscuits? Didn't think so.

How about Polonia? Sure, of course, you remember the restaurant that dished out Polish food for 10 years in Longwood (and for a time before that on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park).

Well, all three restaurants are connected, and none of them exists anymore.

Orlando Meats burger

You could expect a boutique butcher that also sells prepared foods to have a good burger, but good doughnuts?

I pretty much knew what I wanted as soon as I scanned the small menu board over the ordering counter at Orlando Meats, a small butchery on Virginia Drive. As someone who always orders his burgers medium rare, I couldn't pass up one whose entry on the menu actually reads "Medium-rare Burger."

It was either the burger or the item called the Heartbreaker, which features fried pig heart. Tough sell. Maybe if they were called something else. Perhaps Orlando Meats should take a cue from the marketers who turned assorted glands into sweetbreads or bull testicles into Rocky Mountain oysters. Maybe Pig Beaters? Just a thought.

But where was I? Oh yeah, standing at the counter and ordering my Medium Rare Burger that I did not have to specify be cooked medium rare from a patient young man, who I later learned is the owner.

ACF HariHari Pulapaka's quest has been cut short.

The chef and owner of Cress in DeLand traveled to Michigan last weekend to try for master chef certification from the American Culinary Federation. It's an eight-day practical exam that has the candidates -- only 10 from across the country -- cooking for a panel of judges in a variety of culinary categories.

On Monday Pulapaka posted on his Facebook page a note of congratulations to his fellow candidates who made it past day three but "Sadly, my journey, in this pursuit, ended today."

"It was obvious from Day 1 that I had not prepared well enough and my inexperience in the grand scheme showed," his post continued. "I couldn't have possibly passed this exam."

In an email message, Pulapaka, shown at left in a photo posted on the ACF Facebook page, attributed his demise to "Mostly a lack of experience in this format, perhaps some uncertainty about how to stay between the expected culinary lines." He said that he might have done better by training under the mentorship of other certified master chefs. "I never did that," he said. "My schedule doesn't permit it and I'm too isolated in DeLand." Besides operating Cress, Pulapaka is a professor of mathematics at Stetson University.

The exam, which is being conducted in Livonia Mich., continues through Oct. 7. The remaining candidates must achieve a daily score from the judging panel, comprised of master chefs, or between 75 and 100 points. They are not competing against each other, so it isn't a "last chef standing" contest. Eight of the original 10 candidates advanced to Tuesday's test.

The American Culinary Federation, which is based in St. Augustine, has only 65 certified master chefs currently in its ranks.

Roque logo

You've heard of a Q and A; this is a story of a Q and G.

Sometime, a little over a month ago, Rogue Pub on Curry Ford Road in Orlando quietly became Roque Pub, a tiny change that saved a whole lot of trouble.

It seems that a Jacksonville business known as Rogue Bar took umbrage with another drinking establishment in the state using a similar name. That's when the owners of the Orlando Rogue received one of those jolly "cease and desist" letters from the lawyers of the Jacksonville Rogue.