It’s Good Friday so let’s talk about some good stuff.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida officially opened its new warehouse and kitchen space this week. Called Mercy Kitchen, the facility will support the organization’s efforts to fight food insecurity by putting out more than 115,000 meals a week. For the past year, Second Harvest has been distributing enough food to produce 300,000 meals DAILY. That’s twice as much as it did prior to the pandemic. The new facility is two miles from the main warehouse at 702 Mercy Star Ct., Orlando.
You don’t have to be a big organization to do something good and to fight hunger. Hinckley’s Fancy Meats, the sandwich maker and charcuterie-er at East End Market, has for the past year been offering free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to anyone who wants one, “no questions asked.” In a recent post on its Facebook page, Hinckley’s noted that with the vaccines now widely available, “some of us can begin to see brighter days ahead. Others are still struggling. We’re going to continue serving up free PB&J sandwiches indefinitely. It’s part of who we are now. If you’re hungry please come and order one the same way you’d order any other sandwich.” If you’re not hungry, please consider ordering one of Hinckley’s really delicious meat sandwiches and help support a truly fine initiative.
I happen to think that a PB&J sandwich is one of the most perfect meals ever devised.
Hinckley’s also contributes to a community fridge set up at the East End Market called Everybdy.eats. The initiative was led by Sashauna McKain, a student at UCF, who, along with other students, installed the refrigerator under the steps outside the market, decorated it, and helped fill it with food, mainly prepared meals. John Rife, the market’s founder, said of the fridge, “You put in what you can, you take out what you need.” If you’d like to drop something off, you should know that homemade items are not accepted and everything must be packaged and sealed and have an expiration date. And on Saturday, April 10, the group will host Everybody Meets, for donations and entertainment. More information on the group’s Instagram page. East End Market is at 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando.
Over at Orlando Science Center a new permanent exhibit called Food Heroes has been installed at 4Roots Cafe, an eatery inside the center developed by 4Rivers BBQ. Visitors can see videos, watch cooking tutorials and operate interactive displays, such as a robotic arm that picks strawberries. Admission to the Science Center is required to visit the exhibit (and to eat at the cafe).
Information on the Food Heroes exhibit doesn’t mention the names of any actual heroes. I’d like to nominate the people mentioned above.
Ryan Manning of MX Taco is participating in a popup at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Friday through Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. on the hotel’s DaVinci Lawn. Manning was previously chef at Ritz-Carlton Cancun, so he’ll be mixing some of the tastes from there with the menu from his popular Orlando restaurants, including Cochinita pibil pork and carne asada tacos. All food items will be available for purchase a la carte.
Nick Sierputowski has departed Outpost Kitchen, Bar & Provisions in Maitland just a couple of months after the restaurant opened in its new, um, outpost. “It wasn’t a good fit,” Sierputowski said in a message.
Bites & Bubbles, the Mills 50 restaurant owned by Eddie Nickell and Nicholas Olivieri, is moving but will be staying in the district. B&B will take over the two-story space in Mills Park that previously was occupied by Belicoso Cigar & Cafe, Four Rebels American Kitchen & Bar, and Segafredo coffee.
Nickell and Olivieri will be vacating the building at 912 N. Mills Ave. that they have occupied for many years, including as the original location of their Funky Monkey concept. It was also home to Restaurant Ash and Brooklyn Coffee Shop for a brief New York minute. The new location will have more space, including outdoor dining both downstairs and on the rooftop, and something the former location lacked – parking spaces. The move is scheduled for May.
And Swine & Sons owners Rhys and Alexia Gawlak have announced that they will open a second location at Tuffy’s Bottle Shop and Lounge in downtown Sanford. S&S will set up shop in the outdoor beer garden with plans to eventually add a live-fire smokehouse where whole hogs will be barbecued. The initial phase should be operational by the end of the month.