Bad As's Sandwich, the Milk District sandwicherie, is the winner of the Best Sandwich Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants. Beefy King, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, took second place and Yellow Dog Eats came in third.
I sometimes feel that navigating all the restaurants with Antonio in their names is like playing a pizza version of Where's Waldo. By my count, there's a pizzaiolo's dozen of eateries named Antonio, and that doesn't count the one's named Anthony's.
Add now to the list Antonio's House of Pizza, the new, though not original name for the business that was Maestro Cucina Napoletana. Maestro, you may recall, was a project of longtime area restaurateur Rosario Spagnolo (Terramia) and business parther Antonio Martino. (Maybe there's a law that all pizzeria must have an Antonio involved.) Maestro opened in late 2016; Spagnolo sold it a year and a half later because he did not see a way to scale the business and open others, which was his original plan.
And yes, the new owner is named Antonio. Well, he goes by Anthony. Zeka is his last name, and he owns the Park Avenue restaurant with his wife, Sandra Valencia. (The two of them are responsible for two other pizzerias Antonio's.)
Paid a return visit to the Glass Knife recently to see how it is settling in. When I first reviewed the cake restaurant, back in February, the place was still quite manic, the new kid in town that everyone wanted to try. The procedure was confusing, seemingly to both the customers and the staff, and there was a wild positioning for open seating, then a struggle to hold a conversation with your companion. The food was good, but the experience was lacking.
On my recent visit, in the evening, things were much calmer. The ordering procedure is still a bit confusing, but this time there were plenty of open seats — even one of the small booths so that my friend and I wouldn’t have to sit across from each other at the large communal table — and everything was more relaxed.
Here’s a little twist: Our next Supper Club will meet for brunch. We’ll convene at Ravenous Pig this Sunday, Aug. 5, at 11:30 a.m. for a multi-course day-starter experience with optional pairings. Please clear any other meal meetings you may have scheduled for that day.
August 5 also happens to be National Oyster Day (as if I’m telling you something you didn’t already know), so chef-owners James and Julie Petrakis and their crew plan to start us off with a bivalve salute. From there we’ll enjoy a Southernized version of Eggs Benedict, Chicken & Waffles, and finish off with the Pig’s well-known Cinnamon Rolls.
Tickets for the event are $50 and include a welcome cocktail. A cocktail pairing option is available for $30. Tax and gratuity are included either way. Tickets can be purchased at this link. Reservations are required. Seating is limited and walk-ins may find themselves oysterless on the big day.
A smorgasbord of bits and tids from the restaurant world.
If you missed last week's Dining in the Dark you have another opportunity in September. The dinner series, sponsored by Lighthouse Central Florida, features a meal served in total darkness -- by members of the Orlando Police Department's SWAT squad wearing night vision goggles -- to highlight the obstacles faced by people with vision impairment. The next one will be held at the Mezz in Thornton Park, and many of the featured chefs, inlcuding Muddy Waters' Bernard Carmouche and Greg Richie of Soco, only have to walk a block or two to get there. Tickets for the dinner on Sept. 13 are $200 and can be purchased by contacting LCFevents@lighthousecfl.com. Don't wait; these dinners sell out quickly. I hope to attend, and I'm telling you right now I will have no negative comments about the serving staff.
The seventh annual Winter Park Wine and Dine is Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmers Market. General admission tickets are $39; VIP tix are $69. Those prices go up to $60 and $100 respectively on the day of the event. Info here.
Chicken Guy!, the exclamation pointed collaboration between Robert Earl and Guy Fieri, is set to open any minute now at Disney Springs. I stopped in Wednesday for a sneak peek with Earl and a taste of some of the Chicken (but not the Guy). Click the image below to get a sneak peek at the new restaurant.