I’ve been telling you about some of the new food concepts that will be located at the Marketplace at Avalon Park, which has softly opened and will do so grandly on Saturday. But there is at least one veteran in the food hall, if you consider a 15-year-old restaurant a veteran (and I do).
It’s Brazas Chicken, which I first reviewed in late 2006 when it opened in the Fort Gatlin Shopping Center. Brazas specializes in polleria, a Peruvian style rotisserie chicken, and even though it’s been 15 years since I’ve eaten there, I still remember the wonderful flavors of the marinade and the crispiness of the chicken skin. And I remember the warm hospitality of the staff.
Now, as then, Brazas is owned by Franco Delsolar, and he’ll be overseeing the new post at the Marketplace at Avalon Park, which will be knowns as Brazas Chicken Express.
The Express distinguishes the food hall concept from the original, which is a full-service restaurant.
And, Delsolar said, the menu at Avalon Park is more compact, too, with chicken, of course, but also a selection of ceviches, plus the traditional Peruvian accouterments of sweet potatoes. maduras, yucca and rice and beans. “We make everything fresh, every day,” he said. “Whatever the customer wants we make it for them.”
The original Brazas will continue to operate as a full service restaurant, in the same location but now surrounded by several new businesses, including Buttercrust Pizza, the Porch on South Orange and the recently opened Gatlin Hall Brewing.
Delsolar said that while the shopping center was going through renovations, his was the only restaurant that remained open. “I was the only one in the whole place,” he said. “It was like a ghost town.”
At the Marketplace, Brazas’s kitchen will be open to the common area. You’ll want to be nearby in case Delsolar’s friend, cook and talented tenor Ralph Cavero breaks into song. (I saw a video of him singing O Sole Mio – Italian, not Peruvian, but what the heck – and he’s really good.
But even if Cavero is too busy cooking to sing, you’ll still be treated to some delicious chicken.
The Marketplace at Avalon Park is at 3801 Avalon Park E. Blvd., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily.