Bullet Point Buffet: Calories, Anniversaries, Commemorations

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Quarter Ponder calories

It's the Bullet Point Buffet, a bulletin of bon mot bonbons.

  • Oh, cheeseburger, how do I love thee? Let me count the calories. No need if it's a chain restaurant with more than 20 locations nationally. Last week a long-planned law went into effect requiring said qualifying chains to publish calories on their menus. So now there's no escaping the fact that your Quarter Pounder with cheese has a quarter of your daily calories. Informed choices, a good thing. By the way, remember when Houston's in Winter Park changed over to Hillstone? That was to bring the number of Houston's restaurants nationwide below 20, thus escaping the need to put calorie counts on the menu.
  • Tako Cheena has a way to go to hit the 20-location mark, but it made some progress with the opening of two locations, one in the Stonewall Bar on Church Street across from the soccer stadium, and the other just a couple of doors up from the original on Mills Avenue. The latter was the former Forbidden City, which TC acquired in 2015. Long time turning that one around. There is also a Tako Cheena on John Young Parkway. It and the Stonewall location are open only for lunch.

 

  • Fresh Kitchen, a chain out of Tampa with few enough locations to keep its menu calorieless, opened one in SoDo on Orange Avenue south of Michigan Street SoMich?). It's an assemblage restaurant with things in bowls. There's one in Waterford Lakes, too.

 

  • There is much susurrating that Whispering Canyon Cafe, the boisterous restaurant at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, where if you were to speak in a whisper you'd never be heard, has told the serving staff to tone down the hijinks. Those include silly jokes, yelling "ketchup" across the dining room when someone asks for some, then dropping multiple bottles onto the table. Also gone, apparently, is the race around the dining room with kids on stick horses. Really sorry to see that one go.

  • The Orlando Sentinel is hosting a party for this year's Foodie Award winners. The first annual Foodie Awards Celebration will be Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Celine Orlando, 22 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. Live entertainment and food from winning chefs and restaurants. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here. I think this is a great idea -- I thought so when I first recommended it 20 years ago.

 

  • Speaking of the Orlando Sentinel and years gone by...I started my job there as restaurant critic this very week 30 years ago. I remember thinking at the time that I'd last there two years, tops. Walked out after 20.

 

  • Speaking of anniversaries...today, May 14, is the ninth anniversary of this very website in its current form. There was a blog called "Food, Drink, Other Stuff" that preceded it, but the full-service content heavy flog you're reading now went live on this date.

 

  • Speaking of other anniversaries...Ace Cafe Orlando is one year old this week. Infant! Celebrations and specials Monday through Saturday.

 

  • Speaking of calories (well, we were, above), the American Pie Council's National Pie Championships held last month at Rosen Centre Hotel netted a win for chef Kathy Hanson of Ritz Carlton Orlando. She won with an entry in the Royal Wedding category, a special one this year to commemorate that wedding that's taking place Saturday in Britain (which is where the original Ace Cafe is -- see how this all comes together?). There were 714 pies at the championships. I used to have a colleague at the Sentinel who was known for his pie butt. Imagine what Commander Coconut would say about that!
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