Bullet Point Buffet: Watch Me Pull a Hot Dog Out of My Hat

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Lake Buena Vista Rendering1 copy

  • Portillo’s, a Chicago-based hot dogger, is coming to Lake Buena Vista. The company made the announcement in a press released that proclaimed, “The most magical place on Earth is coming to the Orlando area...” Because what’s more magical than wieners?
  • Central Florida Veg Fest will be Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Orlando Festival Park. The vegan-centric event is free and will have vendors and demonstrations (friendly demonstrations, not the protest kind). I wonder if they’ll have a vegan hot dog, because that would be really magical.
  • Crepe Delicious, which describes itself as “Canada’s largest mall-based creperie,” has opened at 55 W. Church St., which is not a mall. But it’s also not Canada. And does Canada have a larger creperie that is not mall based?
  • Damning the torpedos sinking other microbreweries, Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company of DeLand is moving full speed ahead with plans to take over the former Panera Bread in the EO Inn across from Lake Eola. It will brew beers available only in that location, and it will partner with an as yet unnamed food vendor to use the kitchen space. I hope they have better luck with that than Orange County Brewers did in downtown Orlando.

Mamak Plans UCF Location

Written by Scott Joseph on .

University Shoppes

Mamak, the popular Asian Street Food restaurant in the Mills 50 district, will open a location near UCF in either December or early January. The restaurant will take over a space in the University Shoppes that had been a Pei Wei Asian Diner.

The new Mamak will operate mainly as a quick serve restaurant, with customers ordering at the counter and food delivered to tables when ready, according to someone at the downtown Mamak who described the experience as similar to Domu Chibi in Waterford Lakes.

Mamak, which opened almost five years ago, is often compared to Hawkers in that both offer dishes typically sold on the streets throughout Asia. When Mamak first opened, it became a hit, with locals immediately choosing sides between the two brands.

The locally owned Hawkers, of course, has grown into a multi-state chain. Perhaps this second location is an early sign of bigger things for Mamak.

Felipe Rodriguez Closed; Sale of Dexter's Thornton Park Rumored

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Felipe door

Felipe Rodriguez Tequila House, the Tex-Mex restaurant in Thornton Park, closed Sunday after just over five months in operation. In addition, Dexter’s of Thornton Park is expected to be sold to new buyers this week, according to someone with that restaurant.

Both businesses are owned by the same group of investors and both are advertisers on SJO.

A deal is said to have been reached with a buyer for the Felipe space. No details have been released, but it will almost certainly not continue as Felipe Rodriguez, which was named for a fictitious Mexican tequila maker.

Shari is Closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Shari overlook

Shari, the Thornton Park sushi lounge that opened in 2002, is currently closed.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the owner, Chris Mistretta, no longer wishes to operate the sushi bar and is seeking a buyer. The closing is being classified as "temprorary." The source said that the lounge’s sushi chef may be interested in taking it over. Mistretta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to Shari’s Facebook page, it was voted one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the U.S. by OpenTable and has won numerous accolades from local publications over the years. Last year, the restaurant dropped Sushi Lounge from its name. It was remodeled and the menu was changed to feature Asian and Latin fusion dishes alongside the sushi selections.

This story is developing.