Spanish River Grille set to return to New Smyrna Beach with original owners

Written by Scott Joseph on .


SRG extLocation of new Spanish River Grille, via Google Maps.Spanish River Grille, the once-popular New Smyrna Beach restaurant that closed in 2017, is set to return, with a projected opening day of Dec. 19.

That date is significant because it was Dec. 19, 1999, that Michele and Henry Salgado opened the original iteration. The restaurant was a critical hit and Henry Salgado, as its executive chef, became a James Beard Award nominee in the Best Chef South region for his cuisine.

In 2014, the Salgados also opened Txokos Basque Kitchen at the then-new East End Market but sold it a year and a half later, in September of 2015, partly due to the logistics of operating two restaurants so far apart. (That space is now occupied by Domu.) They continued to focus on the New Smyrna Beach restaurant but sold it in early 2017. The buyer, Henry Rodriguez, found that without the Salgados the restaurant’s regular customers stopped coming, and a few months later, he closed the business.

The new Spanish River Grille will once again be owned and operated by the Salgados.

Newsy Nuggets: Untrucking

Written by Scott Joseph on .

SmokeDonuts sign

Smoke & Donuts, the barbecue and fried dough business that started as a food truck, then entered into a partnership in a restaurant space at Mills Park, then moved back out to be a food truck again will once again transition to brick-and-mortardom when it moves into its new space in the Milk District this week. It has been renovating a former popcorn store next door to Se7en Bites Bakery, close to A La Carte where it has had its truck parked lately.

OverRice, a Filipino and Hawaiian specialty that has also been operating as a food truck business, will take over the Mediterranean Gourmet space at 1084 Lee Road, Orlando. No time frame has been announced.

Capital Tacos, a Tampa-based taqueria that has been operating out of the ghost kitchen on Dollins Avenue in Orlando, will go live at 7484 University Blvd., Winter Park, in the near future. Another site is planned for Clermont.

Hope to see you at Edible Orlando’s Field to Feast this Saturday, Nov. 5, at Long & Scott Farms, Mt. Dora, with food from Disney chefs and wine pairings orchestrated by George Miliotes. Tickets are $195 per person and available at All proceeds go to benefit Kids Café Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Newsy Nuggets: Pancakes griddling again at DeLeon Springs

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Sugar Mill

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, which announced in August that it would close for renovations after a new vendor took it over, has reopened, though the name now is Old Sugar Mill Pancake House. The previous name must have sounded too ethnic. The popular DeLeon Springs breakfast stop had been operated for 61 years by members of the Schwarze family. Guest Services, Inc., a Fairfax, Va., company that operates concessions in state and national parks throughout the country, won the bid to operate the restaurant for the next 10 years. The concept remains the same, with guests sitting at tables outfitted with griddles onto which pancake batter is poured. Many, many people consider this to be fun.

Bruno’s Oysters has opened at Plant Street Market in Winter Garden in the facility’s Barrel Room. Culinarily speaking, whenever something with Bruno in its name opens, it’s usually either Bruno Fonseca or Bruno Zacchini of Pizza Bruno. In this case it’s Fonseca, who also operates The Foreigner, a non-Asian omakase dinner experience that pops up in different places but will eventually have a permanent home in Audubon Park. If the Winter Garden seafood joint was owned by Zacchini, it would be called Oysters Bruno.

Newsy Nuggets: Sweet Buns, Chai Thai, Aussie Grill and a pub crawl

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Lac Viet ext

I keep a list of places to visit, review or write about, and for some time now I’ve had en entry that read, “Lac Viet Bistro is now King Crab Shack.” I guess I didn’t move fast enough on that one because the new note reads, “Lac Viet is now King Crab Shack is now Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe.” SBB&C is from John Zhao, who also owns the very good YH Seafood Clubhouse, and although the name suggests it’s mostly pastries, Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe will also feature savory Hong Kong-style dishes when it opens in December.

Longtimers will recall that the building on Colonial Drive was a French restaurant called La Normandie for many years and then was Lemon Grass Bistro before Lac Viet moved in. (It pays to keep notes.)

Sorry to see that Chai Thai, the charming restaurant on Orange Avenue in the SoDo District, has closed. It had opened in late 2009 and was a second location for a restaurant on Curry Ford Road. The original location eventually closed and is now where Pho & Roll rolls.