To commemorate its 10th anniversary this year, Downtown Disney's Raglan Road is hosting a cooking contest for the title of Raglan Road Master Chef. In this case, Road is a key word because the finalists will take a little road trip to Ireland for the finals.

Kevin Dundon announced the competition at a luncheon Wednesday at the Irish themed restaurant. Amateur cooks are invited to submit a video featuring a three-course menu they think would best commemorate the anniversary. Five finalists will be chosen to fly to Ireland to stay at Dundon's Dunbrody Country House and Hotel in Southwestern Ireland.

The full details of the contest won't be announced until Monday on the restaurant's website, but keep this in mind: Finalists must have a valid passport and be able to travel to Ireland on May 21 from Orlando International Airport, returning on May 26. While at Dunbrody, the finalists will cook with Dundon and visit local fisheries and farms where he sources his ingredients. The winner, however, will not be announced until October at a private 10th anniversary dinner back in Florida at Raglan Road.

Watch for more details soon.



310 patio

Whenever I visit 310 Lakeside, I always go in with the hope that it will suddenly have been transformed into a restaurant befitting its location. My hopes are always dashed. A recent brunch visit didn't change that.

310 Lakeside is the restaurant in an office building on Central Boulevard across the street from lovely Lake Eola. The glass and steel structure wants a power-lunch mien; the lake-view patio wants tasteful elegance. Neither is fully met.


pho curry ford pho

There's a new pho restaurant on Curry Ford Road. It's called Pho Curry Ford. I'm wondering if the name might be a bit confusing to people not from these parts. They might think the restaurant is part Vietnamese and part Indian, so you can have the beef noodle soup or maybe a curry dish.

Maybe not.


Shishco exterior

Here's a cute little restaurant that makes me think of a food truck without wheels. It's a pop-up restaurant in the sense that it looks like it just popped up in the middle of the parking lot at the corner of Orlando Avenue and Lake Avenue in Maitland.

It's called Shish.Co Mezze & Grill, a Mediterranean eatery with a compact but comprehensive menu of such favorites as gyros, shish kebobs, falafels, and even lamb chops.


 Tamarind UCF interior

Tamarind, the very good Indian restaurant in Winter Park, has opened a location in the culinarily starved eastern part of town. It apparently is not a secret — when I arrived one afternoon for lunch it was packed with happy diners.

Unfortunately, lunchtime has come to be synonymous with all-you-can-eat buffets in Central Florida Indian restaurants. Of course, the buffets are wildly popular because they offer what appears on the surface to be a good value. You get a tremendous amount of food for a reasonably small price. However, there's an uncounted cost of ingesting too many calories, but my complaint falls if not on deaf ears then ears that are filled with their owners' chewing noises.