Give the gift of a fine meal

Written by Scott Joseph on .

gift certificate copy

So gifting season has finally arrived. For those hard-to-please people on your list, the ones who annoyingly buy things for themselves instead of giving you hints, consider a gift certificate to a restaurant – everyone appreciates a nice meal out.

And it’s also a way to support local businesses.

If you need a recommendation, just take a look at the banners at the top and down the sides of this page. Only restaurants that meet our quality requirements may advertise on SJO, so you know they’re already highly recommended. Any of them would be happy to sell you a gift certificate.

FusionFest is Nov. 26 and 27

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Fusionfest togo

If Thanksgiving is this week and [checks calendar] yep, there it is, on Thursday (weird, pretty sure it was on Thursday last year, too), that means that FusionFest is this weekend.

FusionFest, the multicultural celebration, is in its fifth year and will once again take over Orlando’s Front Yard, the plaza between city hall and the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. It will feature musical performances, dancing, cultural heritage displays and, most notable for our purposes here, an international food court of restaurants and food trucks representing a variety of cuisines.

The event is on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 27, from noon to 6 p.m. It’s free to attend, with food and beverages available for purchase.

FusionFest is a project of the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs office, which also sponsors the monthly Diversitastic! Dining Experiences throughout the year.

Find out more at the FusionFest website.

Newsy Nuggets: C is for closing, long-awaited Filipino project opening

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Pie exterior

P is for Pie, the alphabetically correct bakery in Audubon Park, will close after the last Thanksgiving pie is picked up sometime Wednesday. A post on its Facebook page from owners Stacey and Ed Tomljenovich stated: “Unfortunately, we are facing insurmountable staffing challenges, continued supply chain difficulties, increased cost of goods, and persistent inconsistent product quality; we simply cannot go on. Please trust that we have made every effort to avoid this outcome and this decision was not made without many sleepless nights and lots of tears.” The news comes shortly after another neighboring business, Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux, announced that it, too, would close.

Kaya, the Filipino restaurant from Lordfer Lalicon, one of the founders of Kadence, is finally poised to open in the Thornton Avenue space that was formerly home to Dandelion Community Cafe in the Mills 50 District. Kaya would have been open much sooner but it is within the Orlando city limits, which means it was subject to its perplexing permitting process. The restaurant is currently serving to friends and family and its official opening has not yet been declared. Lalicon first announced the new project almost exactly two years ago and left Kadence in July shortly after it was awarded a Michelin star.

If you haven’t yet made plans for your Thanksgiving feast – tick tock, people – head over to our Holiday Listings page and scan our list of restaurants serving on Thursday.

Newsy Nuggets: New Credo, drinking in public at Publix and other stuff

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Credo Logo

Downtown Credo, the name-your-price coffee shop with locations in Health Village and North Quarter, will take over the cafe space in the Downtown YMCA that was long held by Tropical Smoothie.

Tropical Smoothie always seemed to do a good business with Y members – and even people who would stop in just to visit – selling not only smoothies but sandwiches and other foods. A lot of members would stop in after a workout to get something to eat.

Downtown Credo isn’t known for its food. It serves pastries, which isn’t exactly a post-workout meal. Perhaps this will be the first one to venture into more prepared foods? No one at DC or Y could be reached, but a whiteboard on an easel in front of the cafe space announced the new tenant would be offering Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, tea, pastries “and more.” We’ll just have to wait to see what the and more entails.

Publix is adding a feature called Publix Pours to select supermarkets. Essentially bars, the Pours will feature coffee, kombucha on tap, açai bowls, smoothies and beer and wine. Limited locations currently, including Ecco Plaza in SoDo; Clermont Town Center; and Publix at Halifax in Ormond Beach. And yes, you can stroll through the grocery aisles with your beer or wine if you like.

Publix, Where Getting Sloshed is a Pleasure.