Bullet Point Buffet: Florence Relief; Hunger Relief; Hampton Overload

on on .

Vietnomz sign

Bits and Tids from Culinary World.

  • If you know people fleeing the Carolina Coasts, tell them to head to one of the Rosen hotels for a special Florence distress rate -- $59 per night at most; $79 and the three posher places. No pet fees, kids eat free, and they should know that many of the Rosen restaurants are participating in Magical Dining Month, so there's that. Details here.
  • Viet-Nomz, the very good fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant that opened on University Boulevard in Winter Park in 2016, has opened a second location at the corner of Alafaya Trail and Colonial Drive in Orlando. I like to see restaurants with good food succeed.
  • Which is why I'm disappointed to learn that Mai Bistro, which opened less than a year ago in Mills 50 district has closed. Also fast casual, also good -- why didn't it make it?
  • Through the rest of September, all Columbia Restaurants, including the one in Celebration, are raising funds for the Community Hope Center, which assists families living in poverty and in motels along Osceola County's 192 corridor. Diners at Columbia can put a check mark next to CHC on a ballot that comes with their check. Columbia will donate five percent to the charity out if its own pocket.
  • September is Hunger Action Month, and Second Harvest Food Bank is challenging the community to Share a Meal then donate the amount you spent to help feed the one in six Central Floridian struggling with hunger. It's a social media thing: Take a picture of your lunch (you do that already, right?); make it social with the hashtag #shareameal; challenge three friends to do the same; donate what you spent on the meal. Here's an example. Before you move on, however, go back and contemplate that figure of one in six Central Floridians facing hunger.
  • shareexample3 copy
  • Tijuana Flats restaurants are also making contributions to a charity through September, Florida Hospital for Children and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in this case. You can either purchase a bottle of Jason's Mom's Sauce and the proceeds will be donated (it is not necessary to know Jason or his mom), or you can donate $2 at the restaurant and get a $5 certificate to use the next time you visit a Flats.
  • The indefatigable Jon Busdeker of Orlando 60 is hosting a field trip to Nikki's Place, the wonderful Southern and soul food restaurant in the Parramore neighborhood on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. It will be a multi-course dinner with many of the delicacies that keep the restaurant packed most days at lunch. Black Cauldron Brewery and Digress Wine will be pouring their respective beverages. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at this link.
  • If you'd rather spend more money for your meal, Del Frisco's Double Eagle is hosting a Whistle Pig Whiskey Dinner tonight, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $195. The menu will feature chef Greg Thompson's menu items paired with whiskey cocktails. I assume you may have as many as you like until you can no longer say Whistle Pig Whiskey Dinner three times. Here's the Whistle Pig Whiskey Dinner Whistle Pig Whiskey Dinner Whistle Pig Whiskey Dinner menu and reservations information.
  • East Hampton Bait & Tackle is scheduled to open in November in the former TR Fire Grill space in Winter Park. The owner, Greg Pranzo, recently opened Cinco Tacos + Tequila in the former Carmel Kitchen space farther down Orlando Avenue. This is the second Hamptons themed restaurant announced for the area -- Hampton Social is going into the former Tommy Bahama Cafe at Pointe Orlando next year. I didn't realize there was such a need for Hamptonlike restaurants in Central Florida.
  • We've apparently also been missing restaurants constructed out of old shipping containers. Tavistock is taking care of that with Boxi Park at Lake Nona, meant to open in December. Mostly an outdoor entertainment center with restaurants, a beer garden, beach volleyball courts, live entertainment, dog park, and playground. "You kids go on and play in that old shipping container that may or may not have smuggled contraband for years before it was seized by customs officials." I've heard of takeout containers, but dine-in containers is new to me.