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BarniesSe7Bitesimage

  • Trina Gregory-Propst has certainly been busy lately. In addition to her popular Se7enbites, a bakery that could also qualify as a password because it has at least 8 characters, one capital letter and one numeral, she and her wife, Va, recently opened Sette in Ivanhoe Village. And now, in collaboration with Barnie’s Coffee & Tea, she’s created the Se7en Bites Special Blend coffee. Gregory-Propst, shown at top with Barnie’s chief sales & marketing officer, Scott Uguccioni, said in a statement announcing the release, ““I knew if the original Orlando coffee company was willing to make a special blend just for us, then we’ve made it.” The Se7en Bites Special Blend was created by Dustin Finch, Barnie’s director of coffee programing, a position that really exists. It will be available freshly brewed and by the pound at the bakery.
  • You know what goes with coffee? Pie. And Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, the 25th National Pie Championships are taking place at the Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld. Last year’s competition had 714 pies baked by 71 piesters. The event is sponsored by the American Pie Council, an organization that really exists.
  • Orlando Business Journal is reporting that Publix is considering putting in a pleasurable grocery store in the Church Street train depot, which was most recently occupied, poorly, by Ferg’s Depot. If this happens, you can expect a Lucky’s Market to open across the way in the space held briefly, and just as poorly, by California Tortilla.

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Coco cucina wall

Is there any other restaurant space in Orlando whose short life has been so fraught with failure as the one mid-block in the Sanctuary condominium building?

It started out, in 2007, as Fifi’s Patisserie, then changed to Sanctuary Diner. Nick’s Italian Kitchen came next, in 2011 and closed in 2013. For three years after Nick’s closed, three concepts were proposed, including a champagne lounge to be called Pagne. None ever opened. Then Gaviota, a fine dining Peruvian restaurant, decided to give it a go in late 2016, and it lasted more than a year.

So we’ve had French, American, Italian and Peruvian in just 12 years.

Now comes Mexican in the form of Coco Cucina, a project from the owners of Oudom Thai, the restaurant next door. (That space has had its own multiple tenants.)

Coco Cucina is apparently striving for authenticity, and it certainly has an ambitious menu. You have to give them props for putting such things as braised beef tongue, huitlacoche (corn smut)quesadilla and cactus worms tacos on the menu. Those are tough sells even to people who live in Mexico, tasty as they may be.

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Tasting Table is a collaboration between Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide and WFTV-Channel 9/icFlorida. In this episode, chef and owner Ryan Manning of MX Taco presents his menu for Scott's review.

 

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Pizza slice out

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Best Pizza Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. 

Listed below are the inital nominees. During the nomination phase, you may select up to five restaurants. The top vote getters will advance to the finals. To place a vote, check the box next to the pizzeria's name then click the VOTE button below the poll.

If you would like to nominate a pizzeria that is not already on the list, you may write in the name. Please note: The Foodster Awards are open to independent restaurants only, defined as those having three or fewer locations. Write in candidates from chains with more than three locations will be deleted. Also, before submitting a write-in candidate, verify that the restaurant is not already listed above. Duplicate nominations will be deleted along with any accumulated votes.

Finally, after you place your vote, leave a comment below telling us who you voted for and why you think it makes the best pizza in Central Florida. (We can't see who you vote for, so be sure to mention the name of the restaurant in your comment.)

Nominations will be accepted through April 17. The finalists will be published on April 18.