Bourdain Tribute

It's the Bullet Point Buffet. One from column A, one from column B. With three you get eggroll.

  • On Saturday, June 16, four groups are coming together to pay tribute to Anthony Bourdain, the chef, author and television personality who committed suicide this month. Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen, Swine & Sons and Papa Llama will convene at Redlight Redlight, 2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando, from 6 to 9 p.m. $1 from each dish will go to Heart of Florida United Way's 2-1-1 Crisis Line. Details at the event's Facebook Page.
  • Also Saturday, Festival of the Sea, a family-friendly event at Orlando's Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinsons St., will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Arts & crafts, face painting, clown balloon making, a bounce house, a gaming truck. And, one presumes, seafood. Details.
  • If you miss the Saturday Bourdain tribute you'll have a second chance on Tuesday, June 19, when Pizza Bruno and Cask & Larder collaborate on a tap takeover event. It's from 5 to 10 p.m. at 3990 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. Ten percent of all sales will go to the National Suicide Prevention Line.
  • Friday, June 15, it's Harry's Brewmaster Series at Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Centre (pronounced chen-tray, I'm pretty sure) Hotel (silent H). Tickets are $55 and you get a six-course dinner with beers from Georgia's Sweetwater Brewing Company. Tickets and other info here.
  • Travel Channel named Line's Pride on Church Street to its list of America's 10 Best Soccer Bars. I'm guessing they don't take the quality of food or service into account. Or whether the bar serves cold beer. But really great tvs!

Soco Brunch cocktail

Brunch isn't new. The concept of something in between breakfast and lunch has been around a long time. The craze of making the meal an all-day affair is newer, but even that has been going on for years now. It almost seems inconceivable that a restaurant could open today and not offer a Sunday brunch. They've become so popular, especially among the younger set, that it's becoming common to see brunch offered on Saturdays and Sundays. In New York, I've seen some restaurants with weekday brunch menus.

Soco, the Thornton Park Southern contemporary restaurant, did not offer a Sunday brunch when it first opened more than three and a half years ago. But it soon joined the list of restaurants offering Saturday and Sunday brunch menus, and both days have become wildly popular.

And why not, with so many inventive things on the menu? I finally stopped in to try brunch (on a Sunday; I'm old school) and enjoyed my food very much.

Enjoyed my drink even more. There seem to be a lot of special brunch drinks and even pitchers of cocktails and bottomless mimosa options that... Ohhhhhhhh, now I get why brunches are so popular.

Oceanaire cocktail 2.0

In this episode of On the House, bartender Karla Mendoza demonstrates how to make the Oceanaire 2.0, the signature cocktail of the upscale seafood restaurant. It's as refreshing as an ocean breeze -- it even has a seaweed garnish.

Might make a good cocktail to make for Father's Day -- think Old Man and the Sea.

Watch the video then give the recipe a try.

By the way, Oceanaire Seafood Room at Pointe Orlando has undergone a remodel and it's gorgeous. Stop in and check it out.

Willies exterior

You would expect the pinchos at a place called Willie's Pinchos to be good. And they are. The barbecue skewers are impressively large, even before you consider the ridiculously reasonable three dollar charge. And the pork version that I had had a nice smoky flavor and a bit of sweetness from the barbecue sauce coating.

Willies pincho

It was rather plainly presented -- just the skewer of meat and some toasted Cuban bread. Apparently one is meant to either gnaw the meat off the skewer or pull it off using a slice of bread as a sort of potholder.

The pincho was good, but the Jibarito I also had was so much better, at least once I was able to find a way to eat it.

Pointe Tommy

Pointe Orlando, the entertainment and shopping complex on International Drive, is certainly going through a transitional phase. As I reported in April, Tommy Bahama, both the retail store and the restaurant, has closed. Word on the street, or the Drive, as it were, is that Parker Restaurant Group of Chicago is looking at the space, possibly for a Hampton Social, one of its three restaurant brands.

Rachel Morgan, marketing manager for the Parker, would only verify that the company is opening a Hampton Social in Naples. Pointe Orlando's marketing manager, Joanne Helbourg, said in a phone interview Friday that no deal had been signed as yet. She also could not confirm that it was Hampton Social that was under consideration. Parker Restaurant Group also has the Bassment (presumably pronounced basement) and Mahalo, each with one location.