Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen is the latest brand to join Virtual Dining Concepts, the don’t-call-it-a-ghost-kitchen project from Robert Earl. The shock-haired celebrity chef’s menu features such things as jalapeño pig poppers, s-m-cheesesteak egg rolls (the s-m apparently means super melty), and a variety of burgers and sandwiches, including the Chicken Guy! classic. Chicken Guy!, of course, is the Chick-fil-A-like fast-fooder that Fieri and Earl opened at Disney Springs.
Unlike ghost kitchen operations, Virtual Dining Concepts utilizes the kitchens of existing restaurants, and its foods are available only for delivery. Even so, Flavortown Kitchen’s website lists locations at Florida Mall, Millenia Mall, and in Maitland, all of which happen to be locations for Buca di Beppos (Bucas di Beppo? Bucas di Beppi?). Buca di Beppo is one of Earl Enterprises’ brands, so that makes sense. But the Virtual Dining Concept isn’t exclusive to EE kitchens – any restaurant may apply to cook the food of one of its brands.
- The Orlando Sentinel’s Amy Drew Thompson reports that Something Fishy in Apopka is spreading. That doesn’t sound right. Something Fishy, the seafood restaurant owned by Terence and Patrice Phillips, will be opening a second location in Altamonte Springs soon.
- Still on seafood, Wa Sushi, the Casselberry restaurant that closed a year ago because, as it stated at the time, “this plaza’s drain system cannot support a restaurant,” has reopened at 908 State Road 436, also in Casselberry. And, one presumes, better drained.
- Today is the beginning of Lunar New Year and Hawkers, which co-opts the street foods of several Asian countries, is offering a special that includes the traditional red envelope offered during the celebration. The red envelopes usually contain money, but Hawkers’ will have prizes, which, according to a press release, might include anything from a complimentary Roti Canai (which I originally read as a root canal; not the same thing) to free takeout for a year.
- Will’s Pub has teamed up with Swine & Sons to offer food in its Mills 50 bars. Good move. When bars were ordered closed during the pandemic but restaurants were allowed to keep operating, bars scrambled to put in kitchens so they could effectively scribble “cafe” after their names and qualify to reopen. Even though most businesses are now allowed to operate at full capacity – whether that’s smart or not – Will’s is wise to move ahead. One doesn’t know what’s going to happen with the pandemic and it could all fall apart again. It’s encouraging, however, that more people are getting access to the vaccines.
- Speaking of vaccines, the Eola location of World of Beer is offering a free burger Friday, Feb. 12, to anyone with proof of having received two doses. I assume that means presenting the vaccination card you got with the shots and not showing a Band-Aid on each arm to your server. The burger being offered is a black and blue, which somehow makes perfect sense. I haven’t tasted that burger, but it’s got to be better than a root canal, right?