Dining Options: Delivery, Takeout, Curbside Pickup

Takeout sack

 

 

Central Florida restaurants are adapting to the changing strictures being imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are details that some of your favorite restaurants want you to know regarding how they're dealing with the crisis and what they're doing to keep their kitchens busy and people fed.

We'll share the information from other restaurants as it becomes available, so check back often.

Each entry has the information that was submitted by the restaurant, including, where available, hours of operation and links to menus. In most cases, menus are limited. All information – including menus posted here – is subject to change so be sure to check with the restaurant before ordering.

Key: TO=Takeout, D=Delivery, CP=Curbside Pickup

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First Watch Open

  • First Watch has reopened its Central Florida restaurants as of Monday, June 1. The popular breakfast and lunch spot closed all of its locations nationwide on April 13 after operating on a takeout and delivery basis for several weeks. New protocols include screening staff members before each shift; making face coverings and gloves available to staff; and providing single-use menus and condiments. The restaurants will continue to offer no-contact takeout and delivery. Florida restaurants are currently allowed to operate at 50 percent of capacity with a minimum of six feet between tables.
  • Delaney’s Tavern is expanding its outdoor seating, adding umbrellas and outdoor air-conditioning units. Inside, plexiglass partitions are being added between booths.

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Alfano

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, the largest restaurant trade show in the southeast, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place Sept. 22-23 at the Orange County Convention Center.

The annual show, sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, features seminars, workshops and demonstrations as well as exhibitors displaying all the things that go into owning and operating a restaurant, from menu covers and tableware to pots, pans, stoves and refrigeration units. Food and beverage samplers are also a part of the show, which generally is not open to the public.

The American Culinary Federation Central Florida Chapter (ACF/CFC) conducts its culinary arts and pastry arts competitions in conjunction with the show. Those have been cancelled, too. Scott Joseph’s Sous Chef Challenge, another cooking competition under the sponsorship of ACF/CFC, is also cancelled. The Sous Chef Challenge offered the rare opportunity for members of the general public to attend the expo.

The show, which includes the Healthy Food Expo Florida, has been rescheduled for Sept. 19-20, 2021.

A letter from ACF/CFC president Joe Alfano (picuted above judging last year's Sous Chef Challenge) and competition chairman Bryan Frick stated, “The consequences of this very real virus have impacted our industry to an extent that is almost beyond comprehension.

“We will be back next year, barring any unforeseen circumstances, with our competitions and look forward to your participation.”

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Phoresh pho

Just before all corona hell broke loose,back in March, I visited Phoresh, a “noodles and street fare” cafe in East Orlando. Ironically, I ordered my food for takeout. Had I known what was about to happen, I might have stayed to savor a final dine-in experience. But since we’re focusing these days on the takeout experience, I thought I might as well tell you about Phoresh now.

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togo sack

This is a first-time category for our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants, but it somehow seems a natural choice: Best Takeout.

During the nominating phase, you may vote for up to three candidates. Voting will continue through June 3. The restaurants receiving the most votes will advance to the finals.

When deciding whom to vote for, consider the food, of course, but also consider the takeout experience. Give special consideration to the restaurants that have had to reconfigure their business model to provide takeout during the pandemic.

Items for evaluation:

  • Takeout menu: Is there a special menu that focuses on foods that are appropriate for takeout
  • Ease of ordering: If by phone, is the person taking the order courteous and careful? If online, are the descriptions concise and thorough, and are you able to complete the transaction easily?
  • Pickup experience: Was the food ready when promised? Was curbside pickup provided?
  • Packaging of the order: Clearly marked containers and attention to items that might spill.
  • Quality of the food: Was everything properly prepared and did it taste good? No need to deduct points for food that has to be reheated – that’s sometimes the nature of takeout.

You may also nominate a favorite restaurant that isn’t already on the list – but PLEASE VERIFY THE NAME ISN’T ALREADY THERE. Duplicates and any votes they may have accumulated will be deleted.

Also, remember: The Foodster Awards are for Independent Restaurants. Only those with three or fewer locations may be nominated.

Finally, after placing your vote, leave a comment below telling us who you voted for and why. (Be sure to mention the restaurant’s name; we can’t see who you voted for.)

Finalists will be announced June 4.

Here are the nominees:

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maxine togo ext

While walking my dog through my neighborhood recently, I saw a delivery van with the logo of Maxine’s On Shine on the side and the words Maxine’s On Demand.

I was intrigued.

I liked the idea of having Maxine’s food delivered for an evening meal. But as I looked into it, I found that the process wasn’t intuitive or self explanatory. I ended up ordering my dinner for curbside pickup, which worked out fine. Later, I found out more about the delivery option and I’ll share those details in a moment.

But first the review of takeout from Maxine’s On Shine, not on demand.