Padrino's Hosting Beer Pairing Dinner with Cigar City Brewing

Written by Scott Joseph on .

This sounds like a fun event. Padrino’s Cuban Bistro, my favorite Cuban restaurant in Central Florida,Cigar_City is hosting a beer pairing dinner Thursday featuring the beers of Cigar City Brewing.

The dinner will feature five traditional Cuban dishes -- tostones with chorizo, roast pork, ropa vieja, paella and tres leches -- each served with a Cigar City craft beer specifically chosen to enhance the flavors.

The event is Thursday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. Cost is a ridiculously low $35 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-251-5107 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Padrino’s is at 13586 Village Park Drive, Orlando.


Orlando Weekly Restaurant Week Kicks Off Thursday

Written by Scott Joseph on .

OW_Restaurant_WeekThursday is the beginning of Orlando Weekly Restaurant Week. No, I don’t know why it starts on a Thursday, but it probably has something to do with it running for 10 days instead of the usual seven days associated with a week. A better question is why do they call it Restaurant Week and not Restaurant 10 Days?

OW’s Deca Dining Days has four price structures: $10, $15, $25 and $35. In the first two you’ll find restaurants offering both lunch and dinner menus for those prices. The two higher prices are dinner only. Each restaurant offers a multi-course menu, special for the run of the event, and most with at least two choices per course, sometimes several.

What's in a Name? Increasingly, If It's a Restaurant It's a Number

Written by Scott Joseph on .

So what’s up with the numbers?

Have you noticed how many restaurants are using numbers in their names? It’s a practice that was once common with Asian restaurants -- Pho 88, 1-6-8, 4-5-6. In most Asian cultures numbers, or number combinations, are thought to be lucky. And in the restaurant business you need all the luck you can get.

But with the newest wave of number-named restaurants it’s less about luck than it is about location. Most, but not all, of the restaurants with numbers in their names are trying to pinpoint their address. And so we’ve got Pine 22, Terrace 390, 903 Mills Market, Norman’s 180, 4 Rivers, Press 101, Seasons 52, Three Broomsticks, Five Guys, 50‘s Prime Time Cafe, Nine18, Circa 1926, 310 Park South, 310 Lakeside.

Orlando's Food Truck Scene Revs Up

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Click the image above to see a video of the first truck bazaar.

To anyone who hasn’t been following it or who hasn’t experienced it first hand, it’s difficult to explain the food truck fad. I have to admit I didn’t quite get it at first, and there are still aspects about it that I find puzzling. But it’s hard to ignore the near maniacal obsession with which some people seek and follow these eateries on wheels. Take, for example, Orlando Food Truck Bazaar that was held at the end of March in the parking lot of a church south of downtown Orlando. Billed as the first food truck round-up for the area, the event’s Facebook page had almost 500 people indicate they would attend. But nearly 2500 people showed up, inundating the nine food trucks that had registered to participate and standing in line for up to an hour to purchase food from a window in the side of each vehicle.

The food truck trend is not brand spanking new, not even to Orlando. But in larger metro areas such as Los Angeles and New York, food trucks are a passion. That’s partly due the way the food trucks operate in those other communities. On the west coast, for instance, the trucks are peripatetic, moving around the city, stopping for short pauses to sell their wares, then moving along to the next stop. As long as they limit the time they’re stopped they can avoid having to obtain a permit for one location. These trucks owe their popularity and their success in no small part to Twitter. The truck owners found that if they tweeted where they would be and when, hungry hordes would follow them around town in a sort of culinary car chase.