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Ponte sandwiches

It’s fun to have a place like Disney Springs to take visitors to, just to walk around and gawk.

There’s the majestic expansiveness of Morimoto Asia and Maria & Enzo’s, the jaw-dropping emersiveness of Planet Hollywood’s observatory-like projections, and the amusement of watching cars drive into the lagoon next to the Boathouse. The Edison has all sorts of distractions, Raglan Road is always a foot-stomping good time and Wine Bar George is great for a sip and a nosh.

And all are good places to dine, too.

But following a quiet cocktail in the underground lair of Enzo’s Hideaway (plus a nosh of some delicious Meatball Sliders), my visitors and I thought we’d just get a quick bite for dinner at Pizza Ponte just upstairs. I had never eaten at the little quick-serve next to the entrance to Maria & Enzo’s, and a slice of pizza sounded just right.

I was surprised to find that while one can indeed get a slice of pie — and delicious pie at that — one may also find some really good sandwiches.

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Pigs

  • Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, officially begins Tuesday, Feb. 5. So today is New Year’s Eve. I’m sure you’ll want to tune into CNN tonight to watch Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen in New York’s Chinatown making small talk and giggling for four hours. Each year is associated with an animal, and 2019 (on the western calendar) is the Year of the Pig, arguably the tastiest of all the Lunar calendar animals. Next year is the Year of the Rat, which you could have guessed because it’s an election year. To celebrate, go to your favorite Asian restaurant and order your favorite foods. (Japanese don’t observe it, but if that’s your favorite Asian food, go for it.) If you order long noodles, you must slurp them without cutting them or you’ll have bad luck. And, just so you know, on the first day of the New Year it’s considered bad luck to sweep or clean, lest you sweep away good luck. I like that one.
  • Yum Brands plans to open one of its Taco Bell Cantina restaurants, notably different from other TB’s because it serves alcohol. That should help cut out the middle man for many of Taco Bell’s regulars because I assume most of them only go there after a night out of drinking.

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Her's a video review of the Chef's Table at Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

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Naroodle noodle top

Central Florida certainly has a lot of dingy strip malls, but I can’t imagine there are too many that are dingier than the one on the southeastern corner of Dean Road and University Boulevard in East Orlando. It always has the look and

feel of a place that is run down and neglected. Ironic then that it seems to attract independent restaurateurs.

Luckily, the interior of one of the newest tenants, Naroodle Noodle shop, a Japanese restaurant specializing in ramen and other noodle-centric dishes, doesn’t reflect the exterior.

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Appetite Post1 TW

This has really turned in to a big event.

It’s Appetite for the Arches, a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, and it will be Saturday, March 2, at Rosen Shingle Creek, from 7 to 10 p.m.

This is a walkabout food and beverage event like many others, with food stations featuring some of the area’s top chef talent set up around a ballroom, each paired with a wine or cocktail vendor.

But this one has a big twist: All of the chefs have been challenged to create dishes using one or more ingredients found on the menu at McDonald’s. But remember, we’re talking about some really creative culinary talent, so expect something more than McNuggets a la king.

For example, past creations have included Charmoula Chicken, an appetizer fashioned out of chicken breasts, hash browns and pickled red onions from Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon. Or Chipotle BBQ Beef Enchiladas using steak, tortillas, iceberg lettuce, onions, cheese and barbecue sauce, a past entry from chef Kevin Fonzo.

This year’s participating restaurants include: