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Old Jailhouse extrior

Today we’re visiting the Old Jailhouse in Sanford, the area’s current hotbed of new and innovative restaurants and craft bars. But before we get started with the review, I want to make this pledge: I will not be making any puns about incarceration, and the only references to sentences will be the ones written here. Besides, most of the puns have already been made by the restaurant itself (see staff t-shirts that read “I serve more than thyme”).

Although I must say I’m surprised that, given the current craze for the Hawaiian dish of raw chopped fish, there isn’t an item on the menu called Pokey. And how could the bar not have a drink called the Hoosegow Hooch?

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David Ramirez chocolates david

When David Ramirez started his business making chocolates and other confections, he kept his day job as master pastry chef at Rosen Shingle Creek, where he was on the opening staff. It was 2011 when he and his then wife, Nicole, opened Cocoa Latte Chocolate Shop & Coffee Bar, and he did it with the blessing of his boss Harris Rosen. “As an entrepreneur himself,” Ramirez said of Rosen, “he totally understood what I wanted to do.”

His business, which changed its name to David Ramirez Chocolates in early 2012, has grown with each year. In 2017, they took on more space in the industrial complex in south Orlando, essentially tripling in size. What started as a two-person operation now employs between 25 and 30 people, and the volume the kitchen puts out has increased. Ramirez decided his staff required more of his attention. “They need to have the chef around,” he said.

So after 13 years as the pastry chef at Shingle Creek, Ramirez recently left.

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Slapfish interior 1

The stated goal of Slapfish, a seafood franchise with a location in Waterford Lakes, is an admirable one: to get people to eat more seafood. I suppose if you owned a pizza franchise you’d likely set a goal to get people to eat more pizza.

Shortly after stating Slapfish’s goal in a statement on the website, the founder, whose name cannot be easily read in his signature (it’s Andrew Gruel), also says that people are disinclined to eat more fish because of “sensationalism in the media about contaminated seafood” with “mercury and this and that.” So, marketing apparently isn’t one of Andy’s fortes.

Further evidence: A logo that looks like a bloodied hand that has just done some serious spanking.