Cleaneatz counter

Clean Eatz is the rather clinical sounding name for a new “health restaurant” franchise in SoDo. I almost expected to see a blueberry enema on the menu board behind the ordering counter.

That is if I had been able to read the menu board behind the ordering counter. Teeny tiny print. Maybe they’re just trying to sell more carrots.

Despite its healthful theme, Clean Eatz is not a meat-free restaurant. There’s even a burger category on the menu (which I was finally able to read on one of the paper brochures at the ordering station). There are also wraps, flatbreads, salads, of course, and a build-a-bowl, thankfully the only assemblage option.


1 cantina

There is a lot going on in and around the Marketplace at Avalon Park, the food hall the opened last fall in the east Orlando community.

The big news is that the Marketplace now has a full service restaurant called The 1 Cantina, which is softly opening now with a grander opening planned for early May. Billed as an urban cantina, it features traditional as well as contemporary Mexican dishes.


Maracaibo ext

If you’ve been out to eat recently, you know that cost for restaurant food, much like anything else with a price tag, is skyrocketing. Twenty dollars for a chicken kebab, $28 for a chicken breast. Don’t even ask about the wings.

So even more now than in other times, people want to get a sufficient bang for their buck. Or eight and a half bucks with inflation.

So places like Maracaibo Mia, a Venezuelan restaurant in the Gateway District, offer a good value – a box full of food, more than enough to fill you up, maybe enough for two meals, for about half what a kebab would cost. You just have to adjust your mindset to know that the quality is likely to be commensurate with the cost. Here we're talking about a meat with rice and beans and two sides for under 10 bucks.


EIFWF ClinkPhoto: Walt Disney World

The 2022 edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run 129 days, from July 14 through Nov. 19, though some of the global marketplaces will open a few weeks later. So that’s a good reason to wait before rushing right out – that and the fact that the temperatures will be about 125 degrees until mid October. Unfortunately, this year’s festival will not be bringing back cooking demonstrations, seminars and wine tastings.

The Colonial Lanes bowling alley in the Milk District, which has been closed for four years, will be reset late summer as Primrose Lanes Restaurant and Bowling Club. This is great news for anyone who has longed to go out to dinner in rented shoes. Only 8 of the original 32 lanes remain, and the building is a lot smaller, too, having been halved and then quartered to make way for a storage rental facility and a fitness club. Team Market Group (Mathers Social Gathering, The Wellbourne) will be running things.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House will move its Winter Park Village restaurant into the former Pier 1 space. Can’t wait to see if the new steakhouse will be decorated with rattan and futons.


Easter Eggs

I hope your bonnet is ready because Easter is just a week away – Sunday, April 17.

As always, we’ve comprised a list of restaurants that will be offering special Easter dining opportunities, including flog favorites Knife & Spoon at the Ritz-Carlton, the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek (speaking of bonnets), Citron at JW Marriott Grande Lakes, and the always popular Tap Room at Dubsdread.

Find the details for those and others on our Holidays Listings page.