Bullet Point Buffet: Burgers, Beers, Fests and Feasts

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Twisted Root Exterior

  • Twisted Root Burger Co., a Texas-based chain, will open its first Florida shop in Winter Park next week. The burgerie is known, apparently, for half-pounders, some of which are made with ostrich, rabbit and camel meat. The exotic meats are only available occasionally. I’m guessing the camel burgers are only served on Wednesdays, but I could be wrong. TRBC is scheduled to open on Tues., Nov. 12, in the Grove at Winter Park, 4270 Aloma Ave.
  • A couple of Steak ’n Shakes (Steaks 'n Shake?) have closed in Central Florida, probably because of their irrational refusal to offer camel burgers. Actually, the parent company is trying to get franchisees to take over the restaurants along with a hundred or so others across the country.

  • The 10th annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is finally here, tonight and tomorrow night (Nov. 8 and 9) from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Because it’s supposed to rain tonight, the event has moved indoors to the spacious Hemisphere Ballroom in the Dolphin hotel. If you’re going tomorrow, I’ll see you there rain or shine.
  • Don't forget, Wed., Nov. 13, is the Soco Five Year Anniversary Collaborative Dinner with visiting chefs from American Kitchen, Antonio's, and Glass Knife, plus cocktail pairings from the Edison. I've updated the article about the dinner with the menu. Looks pretty tasty.

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving in Orlando

Written by Scott Joseph on .


Here they come. Nothing you can do to stop it. It would be like a snowball rolling down a hill if Florida had snowballs. Or hills.

It’s the holidays, and that means it’s time for holiday dining.

Once again Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide is compiling lists of restaurants that will be serving special holiday meals. First up: Thanksgiving.

Check out the Thanksgiving listing page and look through the various offerings. Once you’ve found a restaurant you like, make your reservations right away. Because of the limited number of restaurants open on that day – Nov. 28 – they fill up pretty quickly. To ensure you get a space at a decent time, book now.

Also, if your plans change – say that invitation to a friend’s house comes through – be sure to call the restaurant and cancel so that someone else can fill your spot.

And if you do dine out on Thanksgiving, be patient. Even if you have a reservation time, be aware that you may have to wait. People who dine out on holidays tend to linger longer at their tables.

Oh, and here’s another tip: Maybe don’t linger so long after your meal because other people may be waiting for your table.

And please, above all, be extra kind to the servers who are working on the holidays to provide you with a pleasant dining experience.

Check the list often as it will be updated as new information comes in.

Soco Celebrates 5 Years with a Special Collaborative Dinner

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Soco bar

Soco, the Southern contemporary restaurant in the heart of Thornton Park, is turning five years old. And to commemorate the occasion, executive chef/partner Greg Richie has invited some other talented chefs to join him in cooking a special dinner.

Soco’s 5-year Anniversary Dinner will be Wed., Nov. 13, and will feature a welcome cocktail followed by four courses prepared by four chefs with “libation pairings” from a visiting mixologist. Wood is the fifth anniversary gift, so I’m thinking anything aged in wood barrels would be appropriate.

Joining Richie will be Venoy Rogers III of the B Resort & Spa and American Kitchen; Patrick Tramontana of Antonio’s Maitland; and Stuart Whitfield of The Glass Knife. PJ Smerechansky of The Edison at Disney Springs will head the cocktail creations.

Tickets are $120 plus tax and gratuity and can be secured by calling 407-849-1800 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Reservations are essential and can be made for any time between 6 and 9 p.m. Seating is limited and the event is expected to sell out. Soco is at 629 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.

Happy anniversary to Soco, and here’s to many more. Knock wood.

Soco Anniversary menu

Enrollment Now Open for Grande Lakes' Gingerbread School and Other Holiday Events

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Ritz Gingerbread

The folks at Grande Lakes Orlando have announced their lineup of holiday activities and as always they sound like great fun and a good way to get into the holiday spirit.

And no, it isn’t too early to be thinking about these things. November is [checks watch] HERE, so haul out the holly, already.

First things first: Highball & Harvest will host a Thanksgiving Feast, conveniently held on Thanksgiving Day, which is Nov. 28 this year (that’s a Thursday). It’ll be a festive Southern style spread featuring H&H’s terrific farm-to-fork cuisine. Feast hours are noon to 8 p.m. and cost is $120, $50 for kids 12 and under. Reservations are a must: 407-393-4648.

Beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 30, and on various days through Dec. 22, the Ritz-Carlton’s Pastry team will call Gingerbread School into session. Enrollees will build their very own gingerbread house using pre-baked panels. It’s sort of like a modular home but more useful in a hurricane because you can eat it. Cost is $195 for a family of four and includes a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network and a personalized brick on Santa’s Workshop. Check out the schedule at the Grande Lake website.

And along with Gingerbread School there’s Bubbles & Ginger on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. to celebrate National Gingerbread House Day. (You knew there was a National Gingerbread House Day, didn’t you?) At this event you’ll construct a gingerbread house then sip Champagne and nibble on savory treats while you wait for the Ritz-Carlton’s building inspector to approve it for occupancy. $255 for the family of four, but the kids can’t have the Champagne.

Also on various days throughout December, you can enjoy Santa’s Teddy Bear Tea, a holiday version of a traditional tea that includes a special gift for kids and a visit from Santa (for everybody).

You'll find more fun things to do at the Grande Lakes website.