Any out-of-towners wandering into Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub in the last few weeks might be surprised to learn that it has been away for close to a year and a half. It thrums with the laughter and chatter of a full house, background to the lilt of traditional music, sometimes recorded, sometimes live. Despite its relative newness, it feels comfortably worn, familiar.
I find the name California Tortilla unmemorable. It's generic. Non descriptive. And the logo for the chain restaurant that opened recently in downtown Orlando isn't very helpful: it's an avocado. Also, the specialty is burritos. Oh, and despite the California designation there don't appear to be any locations in that state.
Then again, there isn't much else about the place that's all that memorable, either. Certainly not the staff, most of whom barely acknowledge a customer's existence.
It's hard to believe that Wine Quest is 22 this year. Even harder to believe that I still remember attending the very first Wine Quest. I got carded. (I heard that; be nice.)
Wine Quest -- full title: Wine Quest Premier Dining and Auction series -- is the annual two-day event to raise awareness and funds for Quest, Inc., an organization of good people who provide services to help others with developmental disabilities to live and work.
Bullet Point Buffet: Tapas-sized nuggets suitable for sharing.
A full-time food-truck park to be called À La Cart Street Food and Craft Beer is planned for the Milk District. According to a press release, it will be located at 615 Irvington Ave., Orlando, which is one block east of Primrose Drive (and essentially behind Se7en Bites and Pho Hoa Noodle Soup). It will feature five full-time food trucks in an open-air pavilion with seating for 61 people. So, basically an outdoor food court? Mid summer is the target to open, so I'm guessing sometime after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving.
Nina Compton (above) of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, won the Best Chef: South title at the James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony in Chicago Monday night. JuneBaby, Seattle, was named Best New Restaurant (we'll see how it is when it's a JuneTeenager). Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named Outstanding Restaurant of the year and its pastry chef, Dolester Miles, was also cited.