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I’m not sure how to present the name of this restaurant. It might be The Pass Progressive Cuisine or it might be The Pass, with a descriptive subtitle of Progressive Cuisine. The pass being the surface where the cook passes the plated food to be picked up.

It might be a play on the grammatical term past progressive, at least that’s what I was thinking.

I’m going to go with the name being The Pass and give them a pass on the progressive cuisine part because it really isn’t too.

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Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill is the wonderful new(ish) steak and seafood restaurant at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek resort. Melissa Sallman is the hotel’s new executive chef and oversees the restaurant. There may be some small changes coming with the menu but you can probably count on this polenta side dish staying on.

Of course, another word for polenta is grits, so when I made the recipe following Sallman’s instructions in the Scott’s Kitchen video below, I grilled up some shrimp to go along with it for my own version of shrimp and grits. Cheesy grits/polenta, too, thanks to both parmesan and goat cheese.

Watch the video then give the recipe a try. And be sure to visit Sear + Sea to sample the polenta with one of their steaks – or maybe some shrimp.

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First buffet reopens at Disney, local dive bar chickens out on its smoking policy, plus other stuff.

reimagined citricos at disneys grand floridian resort spaWDW photo by Matt Stroshane

Boma – Flavors of Africa, the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, reopened Friday. Yes, a buffet. In a pandemic. Those things are sketchy in the best of times; not sure I’d feel safe wandering around the heat tables (Boma doesn’t use steam tables, it’s very state of the artsy) with a lot of other people and dishing up food from a communal spread. Maybe communal spread isn’t the right phrase. I’ve reached out to a WDW spokeswoman to see what, if any, protocols have been put in place but I haven’t heard back. Jiko – The Cooking Place remains closed, according to the WDW website.

Speaking of Walt Disney World restaurants and pandemics... as you know, most of the restaurants in the country pavilions are traditionally staffed by young people from those countries who come here on special work visas. But last year, as lockdowns loomed, most of the foreign workers were whisked back to their home countries to await a callback. They’re still waiting, and one restaurant official told me that they don’t expect to be able to bring staff back until at least April. And that was before the current surge. In the meantime, instead of a server whose name tag might read Chen from Chengdu, you might have Brian from Bithlo.

Also at Disney, Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, shown at top, has reopened with a new Mary Poppins theme. Cue “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

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Git-N-Messy BBQ has certainly had a head-spinning trajectory in its relatively young life.

Started in 2019 by Chuck Cobb in a Sanford gas station, it moved to another gas station on Hall Road in Orlando last year before partnering with Red-Eye Sports Tavern in late 2020 and moving to that Winter Springs location.

Cobb and his barbecue gained a loyal fanbase that willingly followed, and he earned national attention, appearing on the ABC talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” preparing his outrageous concoction of Southern poutine.

Then, in April, Cobb was killed while riding his motorcycle. The tavern’s management announced that even before his death, Cobb was looking into pursuing other projects and had been grooming William O’Neal to take over as pitmaster at the renamed Red Eye’s Git N Messy Smokehouse & Tavern.

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NOLA Logo 3A copy

The Marketplace at Avalon Park, a much-anticipated food hall on Orlando’s east side, is gearing up to open soon. When it does, NOLA Avalon Park will be part of it.

NOLA, of course, stands for New Orleans, Louisiana, and so you can expect a full array of Crescent City standards. (The Avalon Park restaurant is not affiliated with Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant of the same name.)

Described as a micro restaurant, NOLA Avalon Park will have at its helm Kevin Brune, a third generation Louisianan who introduced many Central Floridians to New Orleans cuisine through his Voodoo Kitchen food truck.