Hangar Bar interior

After attending the star-studded and decidedly flashy opening of Morimoto Asia in beautiful downtown Disney Springs, I decided to pop in to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, just across the way, which opened with much less fanfare than MA.

Maybe that’s because the Disney folks want you to believe the Hangar Bar has been there a long time. Sixty years, to be precise. That’s what it says on the coasters, anyway: Est.d 1955 (how’d I miss this before?). Must have been after Lindsey retired as a pilot for hire, a favorite of Indiana Jones, who hired him to plane him to adventure and to add comic relief when Jones encountered Jock’s pet snake. As we all know, Disney can’t open a restaurant or bar just to have a restaurant or bar; it has to have some sort of story attached. (Even the licensed Morimoto Asia is supposed to be housed in a former bottling plant; more on that another time.)

Let me just say that as a place to drink, Hangar Bar is way cool. It is, ironically, not large enough to be an actual hangar, and I like that about it. (Turning the World Showplace event space at Epcot into a Hangar Bar with a couple of 747s in it would be pretty neat, too.) It looks like the people who did the decor — let’s call them set designers — had a blast loading the place up with artifacts, posters, maps and gewgaws. The lighting and sound both add to the moodiness. Seriously, this is one beautifully curated venue.

I wish the food had been given as much attention.


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in south Orlando will offer its first Bleu Harvest Farmer’s Market on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the school’s Cafe Technique, 8511 Commodity Circle. The market will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

More than 20 local purveyors of farm-to-table produce will be on hand to showcase their products. The event was originally conceived as an educational project to teach students about ingredients available in Florida. Organizers decided to open it up to the general public. Vendors will have products available for sale. Hari Pulapaka, chef and co-owner of Cress in DeLand, will be a featured speaker and will offer a cooking demonstraion and book signing.



Slate interior bar

Now that it’s been several months since Slate first opened on Restaurant Row, I thought I’d stop in to give it another try, so I headed down on a recent Sunday to experience the brunch service.

I enjoyed my meal more this time. Maybe it’s that the place is getting comfortable in its surroundings, which still don’t include a lick of slate (the roof doesn’t count).


Updated at 11:53

Word has come from a former colleague of Paul Prdhomme that the New Orleans chef has died. He was 75. Details are still coming in  and this article will be updated. 

Prudhomme had been hospitalized and on life support for several weeks, according to one source. He was taken off life support Wednesday evening and died Thursday morning. He died in New Orleans.

Prudhomme is credited with making creole cuisine popular and nearly caused the depletion of a species when his Blackened Red Fish became a sensation. His K-Paul restaurant became a destination for visitors to the Big Easy. Although he still owned the restaurant, his niece and her husband, Paul Miller, have been operating it for several years. Prudhomme had been spending more time with his packaged spice business.

 Prudhomme was famously a large man and frequently got around via a mobility scooter. 


Cask Logo copy

James and Julie Petrakis, the husband and wife chef team behind the Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder and Swine & Sons Provisions, will open a version of Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport next year. The full-service restaurant will be airside in Terminal 2, which houses the gates for Southwest Airlines and is one of the busiest terminals at the airport.

The Petrakises were approached to be part of bidding process to propose a new restaurant for the airport by Johnny Rivers, a well-known and respected former executive chef at Walt Disney World who now operates INGLUR, an international food manufacturing conglomerate in South Orlando. Rivers — often confused with John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse — currently operates Johnny Rivers’ Grill & Market in the same terminal. Peter Amaro, Jr., president and coo of Master ConcessionAir (MCA) in Miami, is also part of the partnership. MCA operates restaurant and retail concepts in Florida airports, including two retail shops at Orlando International.

Although the partnership, known as MCA-MCO, was first told that its proposal had been selected by the airport in July, an official announcement was delayed when the decision was contested by other bidders, including Orlando’s Robert Earl, who wanted to install one of his Earl of Sandwich restaurants.