Newsy Nuggets

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Knife Burger, Sloppy fifths, Mexican as the new standard, and a changing of Darden guards

Knife burger

Celebrity chef John Tesar, whose Knife & Spoon currently resides at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, will open a location of his Plano, Tex., Knife Burger at the neighboring JW Marriott. It’s more of a fast-food concept with an emphasis on high-quality (but affordable) burgers.

If you prefer that your burgers look like they’ve melted, you’ll be glad to know that Sloppy Joe’s has opened at Icon Park. The original Sloppy Joe’s, of course, opened in Key West in 1933 and was known as a hangout for Ernest Hemingway, which is why the restaurant and saloon’s logo boasts a likeness of Papa. Orlando’s SJ is the fifth, including one in Havana.

Orlando's Virtual Kitchen Concepts partners with popular video app to create TikTok Kitchen

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Orlando based Virtual Dining Concepts has announced a partnership with the video-sharing platform TikTok to create TikTok Kitchen, a delivery-only “restaurant” that will feature food items from recipes that have gone viral on the TikTok app, such as TikTok Baked Feta Pasta. According to TikTok, 1 billion people use the app worldwide, so there should be lots of recipes available.

VDC co-founder Robert Earl said that TikTok Kitchen will launch in March with approximately 300 locations. As with other Virtual Dining Concepts brands, which include Buddy V’s Cake Slice, Steve Harvey’s Family Food, and Pauly D’s Italian Subs, the recipes will be cooked in the kitchens of existing restaurants for pickup by third-party delivery services only.

Want to dine in a restaurant or drink in a bar in NYC? You'll need 2 shots and an ID

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vaccine check

NEW YORK – Restaurants and bars, at least the ones that have reopened, are packed here. If there ever was a policy to keep tables and patrons six feet apart it has been dispensed with. In bistros and brasseries like Balthazar and deli cafes like Katz’s, people are seated elbow to elbow.

One new policy put into place by governor decree has made this possible: To enter a restaurant, bar or even a Broadway theater, customers must present proof of vaccination along with a photo I.D. to match the name on the health card. It’s seamless and it adds a layer of protection to the customers and the staff (who for the most part keep masks on at all times) and gives a sense of safety and security.

This doesn’t mean that unvaccinated people can’t dine out, but they must do it in the literal sense – at a sidewalk table or in one of the dining huts that have been set up by the restaurants.

Visit Orlando distributes Magical Dining funds

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Magic Dining check

Visit Orlando presented a check to two local charities with the proceeds raised through this year’s Magical Dining promotion. The organizations, Pathlight Home and iDignity, two local charities that deal with homelessness and providing essential services, will share $289,291, representing one dollar for every Magical Dining meal sold by participating restaurants. (Apparently, one person dined solo.)

Pictured in the photo above, from left, are Brian Comes, Visit Orlando board chair; IDignity representatives Michael Dippy, Anne Taylor and Phillip Henry; Pathlight HOME representatives Gabriella Trevino and Babette Allen; Casandra Matej, Visit Orlando president and CEO.

The presentation was made during Visit Orlando’s annual meeting Friday.