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GhostKitchen ext

Ghosts tend to set their own schedules. It’s difficult pinning them to show up on a whim, unless, perhaps, you happen to be a spiritual medium. But even then, imagine trying to contact ghosts and getting a message through your Ouija board that they can fit you in tomorrow.

That’s sort of how I felt when I set out to order food from Ghost Kitchen Orlando, a new virtual restaurant operation working out of an industrial park in south Orlando offering pickup and delivery service only. I had already discovered from a previous attempt that the hours of operation were limited – Monday through Friday with pickup between 1 and 5 p.m. But it wasn’t until a few weeks later on my second try after making all my selections on the online ordering site and proceeding to checkout that I learned I would not be clicking to confirm purchase and hopping in my car to fetch the food. That’s because the soonest one can schedule pickup or delivery of food from GKO is for the next day. So much for immediate gratification. (There's an exception, which I'll explain below.)

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WP Distillery still with andrew

If Orlando Meats can move to Winter Park there’s no reason Winter Park Distilling Company can’t move to Orlando.

That’s about to happen. WPDC and its companion business, Bear and Peacock Brewery, will vacate the Orange Avenue premises they moved into just four years ago and will become part of a business venture that will feature a food truck park at the corner of Parramore Avenue and Robinson Street. The business is currently working under the name 639 Robinson. Sources said it will have a building with the brewery and distillery plus a cocktail lounge with an outdoors area that will feature "several dozen food trucks on a semi-permanent basis."

Winter Park Distilling’s co-owner Andrew Asher, pictured above in 2017, said Monday that the move will allow the boutique liquor producer to increase its production facilities for both the distillery and the brewery, which operated in Winter Park under the portmanteau Brewstillery. Asher said the Orange Avenue facility’s lease was due to end at the end of this month; the new operation is expected to be open sometime this fall.

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East End Exterior

East End Market is planning to convert the large upstairs space that has hitherto been used as an event space into a place for aspiring restaurateurs. EEM’s developer, John Rife, described the concept as being for chefs who are ready to move beyond popups but who aren’t quite ready for a brick-and-mortar restaurant. I hope they’ll consider calling it Purgatory. No timeline has been announced.

  • Congratulations to Orlando Brewing, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week. OB was one of the area’s first microbrewers, and its only certified organic beer maker, and was well established before the floodgate of small breweries we’ve been seeing for the past several years. Orlando Brewing should be commemorating its 17th year in business. However, just a few months after it opened, in October 2004, the owners were notified that its original location would be taken through eminent domain by the Florida Department of Transportation. You’re driving over where the first brewing facility was if you use the South Street exit off Interstate-4. To show that founder John Cheek has a sense of humor, Orlando Brewing includes I-4 IPA in its portfolio of beers. Specials at the brewery this week.

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The Perfect Negroni still

A while back the actor Stanley Tucci caused a sensation when he posted a video of himself making his wife a negroni.

I’m a fan of the Tooch, but he got some things wrong about my beloved negroni, so I decided to set things straight with this video.

In it, I tell you which gin and which sweet vermouth is best – Campari is a constant.

Take a look, then get out your cocktail glass – not a shaker – and mix yourself or your loved one the Perfect Negroni.

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Vinzos Vinny

Right about this time a year ago, I had plans to host a reception and plaque presentation ceremony for the winners of the 2019 Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants.

That, of course, never happened. And with closings, openings, readjusting of schedules and everything else that occurred with local restaurants, the plaques sat waiting for an opportunity to be delivered to the recipients.

So I’ve been making the delivery rounds lately. And last week I dropped off the platinum award for Best Pizza to Vinzo’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria in Casselberry. And since I hadn’t been before, I decided to stop in for a quick lunch to see why the readers voted it their favorite.