The other night a friend stopped by while I was putting some groceries away. “I see you’ve gone to the store,” he said.
“Even better,” I replied, “the store came to me.”
Just a few minutes before that, a very pleasant young woman rang my doorbell and handed me two bags from Publix. It was my first order from Shipt, a service that allows you to stroll the virtual aisles of the supermarket in the comfort of your own home via an an app on your smartphone. I have to tell you, if Publix is “Where shopping is a pleasure,” shopping in your underwear with a glass of wine is euphoric. And by the way, you can order the wine through Shipt now, too, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Shipt is part of the growing “gig economy” wherein jobs, tasks and services are completed by independent contractors. Uber, the ride-hailing service, is a good example of a gig economy service. And in fact Shipt works similarly.
Finally stopped by Pizza Bruno, a new ‘zeria in the Conway area on Curry Ford Road. Stopping by isn’t easy to do since the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, open only for dinner on weekdays and the small parking lot fills up quickly. Oh, and it doesn’t have a phone. Or website.
That hasn’t kept it from being crowded to overflowing, because advance word is that a good pie shop has finally moved into the area.
That’s true, though I’m sure it isn’t much comfort to the people who ran Soprano’s Ristorante-Pizza in the same spot before closing earlier this year.
Before we discuss the Daily Poutine, I feel I should mention that there is no one anywhere who under any circumstances whatsoever would recommend that poutine be a consumed daily.
Poutine is a mid 20th century Canadian concoction that began finding its way south a few years ago. It's now found at such places as North Quarter Tavern and the Smiling Bison. It is easier to explain what poutine is than it is to explain why it is.
In its simple and original form, poutine consists of french fries with fresh cheddar cheese curds and brown gravy. Dr. Pritikin would not approve. Still, when done right, poutine can be a guilty pleasure to enjoy occasionally, but certainly not daily. But I suppose Semi-Annual Poutine doesn’t have the same ring.
I’ve written in the past that restaurant critics, over time, developed an innate sixth sense. But instead of seeing dead people we see dead restaurants. Or at least restaurants that are about to be dead. There’s just something about the look and feel of a place that tells us without even tasting the food that this visit isn’t going to turn out well.
But the opposite can also be true — call it a seventh sense — that when we enter a new restaurant, especially one we’ve never heard of before, we immediately know this is going to be good.
That’s what I felt when I walked into Kreyol Kafe & Bakery, a Haitian eatery in East Orlando. Despite the liberties taken with the spelling of its name, I immediately knew this was going to be a find. And I wasn’t disappointed.