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pops ext

I've heard of ghost kitchens but in this case I'm the one who got ghosted.

Pop’s Pizzeria, which moved into the former Tako Cheena space when that restaurant moved to the former Forbidden City spot down the block, has a very nice online ordering system. I used it the other night to order a pizza for pickup, chose my pie and the size I wanted, then checked out, gave my credit card details and even added a tip even though I had had no human contact to that point.

I still haven’t. When I arrived at the time I requested to have the order ready, the Mills 50 restaurant was closed. Another couple who had also placed an order online were standing at the gated and locked back door, too, trying to call the restaurant. But no one answered and the voicemail was not accepting messages.

I’ve disputed my charge with American Express and I’m sure it will be resolved. I still don't know what's going on with Pop's but in the meantime, caveat orderer.

The most annoying thing about it all was that I was planning on pizza for dinner. Driving home I passed Eola Lounge and decided to stop in. I’ll have my review soon.

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Unreserved door

I was invited recently to dine at Unreserved Food Bazaar at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek and I have to say it wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be.

I knew that it featured multiple food stations in a marketplace atmosphere, so I was thinking it was going to be like a typical food court where diners go up to a food counter, order and pay and then have a seat to wait for the food to be delivers.

Nope, not that at all.

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Cowscabs21 Rivers2Organizer John Rivers served alongside Norman Van Aken at the 2021 Cows 'N Cabs.

Cows ’N Cabs, the largest food and wine event not held in a theme park or hotel resort, will celebrate its 10th year edition on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. in Winter Park’s West Meadow adjacent to Central Park.

The event was founded by John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse as a fundraiser. This year’s CNC will benefit After-School All-Stars, Winter Park Day Nursery, and 4 Roots, the foundation that grew, if you will, out of the 4 Rivers chain’s success.

This year’s version is expected to showcase more than 30 restaurants and 75 drink vendors. Despite the name, there is much more to consume than cow and a lot more to imbibe than cabernet. More than 3000 people are expected to attend, which historically sells out well before the date. Among the things that make the fundraiser so popular is its outdoor under-a-tent venue (that spills out into the open), the casual cowboy/cowgirl dress code, the boot-stompin’ entertainment, and the fact that you don’t have to drive to the attractions area to attend.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, Sept. 1. How much, you ask? For some reason the cost is being kept secret until the reservation link opens up on Thursday. So click this link then and the ticket price will be magically revealed.

Among the restaurants expected to participate are: Soco Thornton Park, Luke’s, Capa at the Four Seasons, Pizza Bruno, Ravenous Pig, Black Rooster, 1921, and 4 Rivers Barbecue.

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Bovine ext

BoVine is just the sort of restaurant I look for when Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining comes around. It’s an upscale, fine dining restaurant where many of the a la carte menu items are already in the $40 range, so you know you’re going to get a terrific deal with three courses for that price. For many people, this is a great opportunity to try a really good restaurant.

In my original review of BoVine, I mentioned how much I liked the Applewood Smoked Bacon Slab, similar to a popular appetizer at famed Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn. It’s one of the starter choices on the Park Avenue restaurant’s Magical Dining menu and I recommend it heartily. Bovine’s Caesar Salad is another good choice.

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Second Harvest Warehouse

September, which is just moments away, is Hunger Action Month and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is hosting two tours of its facility to show the public just how it manages to provide enough food for 250,000 meals every day. That’s right, a quarter of a millions meals every single day in our community.

There will be two tours in September at the facility at 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando – Sept. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Sept. 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. Food will be served (lunch on the 14th and a snack box on the 21st) and cost is free, but reservations are mandatory. Reservation deadline is one week before each date. Click here to nab your spot.

If you haven’t been, you should go. It’s an impressive facility, and the organization does tremendous work. A quarter of a million meals each day is mind boggling, and in today’s economy, the need won’t let up anytime soon.