Newsy Nuggets

on on .

97 of the Top 100 Restaurants are somewhere other than Central Florida, new New York-based franchise moves it, beleaguered Thai restaurant reopens, and viva la French dressing.

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Three local restaurants made it on to OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2021: Bites & Bubbles, the Mills 50 contemporary American that recently relocated to Mills Park; Eddie V’s, the upscale Restaurant Row seafooder from Darden; and The Boathouse at Disney Springs. The restaurant reservationist compiles its list by analyzing more than 10.5 million reviews submitted by diners who booked tables through the website – I assume this is done algorithmically and not the job of some poor intern. the Peruvian cuisine Llama Restaurant in St. Augustine also made the list. Congratulations on the recognition.

Fresh&co (and yes, that is how the business prefers its name be written) a New York-based franchise that describes itself as “healthy fast casual,” is this week opening its first Florida restaurant – indeed its first outside the Tri-state area – on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row. It’s taking over the space previously occupied by Simply Gyros. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The fourth time was a charm for , the Thornton Parker that had been closed following a Jan. 5 inspection. Two subsequent inspections kept the doors locked, but the next inspection, on Jan. 14, was passed with only one basic (read: minor) violation still not corrected. It had to do with shelves in the walk-in refrigeration that had pitted surfaces. It had zero intermediate or high priority violations that had not been corrected, allowing the restaurant to reopen.

I recently told you that as far as the United States is concerned gruyère cheese no longer has to come from the Gruyères region of Switzerland. It can come from Bithlo, if any cheese-making Bithlovians (Bithlovites?) wanted to so label their cheeses. Now comes word that the Food and Drug Administration is dropping its 72 year old standard for what may be labeled French dressing. Previously, the Federal Register has insisted that French dressing should be comprised of at least 35 percent vegetable oil, plus an acidifer such as vinegar or citric acid. Tomato paste and ketchup may be used but aren’t required. (I think they put the ketchup part in there just to annoy the French.)

The Association of Dressings and Sauces, which is a real organization (just imagine its annual dinner), first petitioned the government to drop its standards in 1998, arguing that French dressing was no longer the benchmark dressing that it used to be. The FDA, which apparently doesn’t have any other pressing issues, such as APPROVING DRUGS TO TREAT COVID-19, finally said, “Yeah, sure, fine.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

Next, the ADS will presumable petition for thousand island dressing to include peninsulas in the total.

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