I arrived in Winter Garden 45 minutes ahead of my appointment, so I thought I would stop by Three Birds Cafe for a quick bite. I was almost late for my meeting.
Three Birds is an attractive eatery in the heart of Winter Garden’s downtown district. Its corner location allows for lots of window light and the interior is rustic exposed brick, hardwood floors and touches of foliage, including vines that hang from the walls behind the counter and the video monitors that display the menu. (Interesting side note: Despite its name, Three Birds does not seem to have a Twitter account.)
I wonder if the landlord of the building at 486 N. Orange Ave. in downtown Orlando has a stipulation in the lease that the corner unit must be occupied by a ramen shop. Previously, it was the home of not just a ramen restaurant but The Ramen.
And now is it Takumi Ramen, which opened only a few weeks ago but is already serving delicious food even while finishing touches to the decor continue. Even more impressive than the food was the warm and gracious greeting the staff gave me when I walked in to place an order. Granted, there were no other customers in sight so they may have just been delighted to see anyone.
I’ve often marveled at the generosity of the Central Florida culinary community and its willingness to donate, volunteer and participate in good causes. But here’s a new level of compassion.
Beginning this month, restaurants are participating in an ongoing Dementia-friendly Dining program, wherein family members and caregivers can bring people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to dine in a safe and welcoming environment. The program was founded by Dennis Dulniak, who was caregiver for his wife, Nancy. Dulniak started Dementia-friendly Dining a few years ago but had to suspend it when the pandemic hit.
Musical Chefs...Alberto Taboada was named executive chef for the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes in March. He oversees the newly reopened Primo by Chef Melissa Kelly, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, and Knife Burger by John Tesar, which is now officially open, as well as other culinary operations. Taboada replaced Michael Dunton, who has been named executive chef at Rosen Shingle Creek.
Pammie’s Sammies in Winter Garden is known for its sandwiches, of course, but owner Pam Thomas has come up with a breakfast creation that’s perfect for kids who might want to serve mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day – French Toast Casserole.
It’s a very forgiving recipe – the measurements don’t have to be exact, in fact Thomas uses a coffee cup to measure some of the ingredients. You can assume the coffee cup is about 10 ounces.
Watch Thomas demonstrate the recipe in the video below, then gather your ingredients together for a Mother’s Day (or any day) treat.
A buffet with bottomless mimosas at the beautiful Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.
Tap Room at Dubsdread’s always popular spread featuring carving stations of prime rib and roasted leg of lamb.
A special a la carte menu at the the Ritz’s ritzy Knife & Spoon.
Brunch at Highball & Harvest, also at the Ritz-Carlton.
Brunch favorites and spritz cocktails at Primo at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.
And a lavish brunch at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek.
Lots of other options to consider, too, but be sure to make your reservations right away. You don’t want to just show up with Mom on the eighth and not have a table. She’s just going to look at you with a look of disappointment, just like that time you told her you were going to finally get a job and make something of yourself and then took off to Aruba with a bunch of your friends and then had to call and ask her to send you money to get back home. You don’t want to see that look she had when you came through the door and slunk off to your room.