Newsy Nuggets: Let's get virtual

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Virtual Wine Quest

  • Wine Quest, the annual tasting event that supports the work of Quest in assisting people with developmental disabilities, is going to be virtual this year. It will feature a live show from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, with a raffle, a live auction and a silent auction, the latter, I suppose, for those who don’t know how to unmute themselves. There will be a wine tasting, too, of course, led by Tim Varan of Tim’s Wine Market. But if you want to taste, you’ll have to buy the wines ahead of time. For information on how to do that and to reserve your free ticket, visit the Virtual Wine Quest site.
  • Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster is hosting a virtual Maker’s Mark tasting on Sept. 21 or 24 hosted by the bourbon maker’s distillery diplomat, DeNiro Fisher. The Zoom session begins at 7 p.m. on both dates, but you have drop by the Lee Road steakhouse beforehand to buy a bottle (or two) of Christner’s Private Select ($70 for one or $130 for two). I guess if you buy two bottles you can Zoom in on both evenings. Details here.
  • Will 2020 be remembered as the Year of Virtuality?

Fall on the Farm at Grande Lakes Orlando in October and November

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Whisper Creek Farm

Fall on the Farm sounds like it might be a case for a personal injury attorney, but no, it’s a brand new celebration at Grande Lakes Orlando’s Whisper Creek Farm every Saturday and Sunday in October and November.

The event, a way to say welcome to autumn and what the heck took you so long, is open to the general public – you don’t have to be a guest at the Ritz-Carlton or JW Marriott (but if you want to be, I have details on how to do that below).

Throughout each day, our friends at the resort will offer family-friendly activities, such as hayrides, arts and crafts and pumpkin carving. And because this is Grande Lakes Orlando, the resort’s Olympic medalist and two-time world champion culinary artist and carver Victor Dagatan will be on hand to help you get past the classic triangle-eyed gourd.

Need more? How about learning about falconry and beekeeping and getting tips on fly fishing?

And of course there will be food and drink from some of our favorite restaurants there.

And all of this is just $35 per person, but keep in mind that reservations are required and space will be limited to assure social distancing.

Fall on the Farm will take place every Saturday and Sunday in October and November from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, call the resort at 407-206-2400 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

And for information on booking overnight guestrooms, go to and use promotional code MAJ. Use that link to get more information about the Fall on the Farm event. And be sure to watch your step.

Be part of "Best of" Challenge: Burger Edition at Promenade at Sunset Walk

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Marquee 640x264 Best of Burger SW

Want a chance to taste a lot of burgers? You’ll want to be at the Promenade at Sunset Walk for its “Best of” Challenge: Burger Edition, Saturday, Oct. 3 beginning at high noon.

It’s an outdoor event, and if you’ve seen the sizable Promenade, you know it’s amenable to social distancing.

The event will pit the burgers of 12 restaurants from the Promenade and adjoining properties of Margaritaville Resort Orlando and H2O Live! Water Park. VIP limited tasting admission is $15 including tax and fees. And you will get a chance to vote for your favorite via text. There are a limited number of tickets, so click here to reserve yours now.

The emcee for the event is the eponymous host of the Jim Colbert Show on RealRadio 104.1. (They’d never hire a host from FakeRadio.) The day will also include a live band and a car cruise.

Jack's Barbeque, a.k.a. Jack Benny's, has closed after nearly 70 years

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Jacks bbq

Jack’s Barbeque in Minneola has permanently closed after 68 years. The popular restaurant, also known as Jack Benny’s, closed Aug. 28. It had announced it would close on Saturday, Aug. 29, but it ran out of food a day early.

A note on the barbecue joint’s website reads: “It has been our greatest pleasure to serve you-- family, friends, and the community at large-- over the past 22 years. We know that in its more than 70 years of operation, Jack’s has touched the lives of countless people in South Lake County and beyond, and we will hold all the good memories close for the rest of our days. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the support that you have given us.”

(Although it notes 70 years, the restaurant first opened in 1952.)

The original owner of the restaurant was named Jack. He sold it to his niece whose husband’s name was Benny. So it became known as Jack Benny’s, sort of the same way Chris Steak House became Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

I reviewed Jack’s in my Chow Hound column in the Orlando Sentinel in November 1999.