Newsy Nuggets: Hideaway Bar, Winter Park farming and chicken tikka masala

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Hideaway accidebtPhoto: Orlando Police via Twitter

Hideaway, the delightfully divey bar and grill on the Virginia Drive causeway that links Mills 50 to Ivanhoe Village, is back open after a Dodge Ram rammed into the business Sunday evening injuring four patrons. Gee, you don’t suppose alcohol had anything to do with it, do you?

Yes, a tremendous amount, apparently. Orlando police said that the man charged with the crash, Jackson Click, 45, had a blood alcohol level nearly four times over the legal limit. When Click bonded out of jail, he told Channel 6 News – quoted on its ironically named Click Orlando website – that he did not drive into the building intentionally. As if someone with that amount of alcohol in his bloodstream could do anything intentionally.

Two of the four people who were injured required hospitalization.

Five days of giveaways

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Gift certs

In celebration of the holidays – Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, your choice – Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will have a drawing for a restaurant gift certificate EVERY DAY THIS WEEK.

Up for grabs are $50 to Tap Room at Dubsdread, Big Fin Seafood and Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. Winter Park.

As with our regular drawings, winners will be selected from among the recipients of my surprisingly unannoying weekly newsletter. If you already receive the newsletter, which comes out on Thursdays, you’re already eligible for all drawings. If not, click this link and sign up. Real simple.

Drawings this week will be held at 5 p.m. and winners will be notified by email. (Be sure you sign up using a valid email address and that is whitelisted in your email client; you’d be surprised how many winners never claim their prize.) Prizes are physical gift cards and so winners will be asked to supply a postal address.

Scott Joseph Company does not sell or share its mailing list with anyone else – they can get their own subscribers.

Winners are chosen by random number using and a numbered list of all newsletter recipients. An updated list will be downloaded each day immediately before the drawing.

Newsy Nuggets: Magical Dining dollars, Norman's update and other stuff

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Magdin money

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining promotion raised $186,805 for the designated charities this year.

The majority of the funds were distributed to The Able Trust, an organization that assists people with disabilities in obtaining employment. This year Visit Orlando also donated $2000 to one local nonprofit supporting workforce development in each of Orange County’s six commission districts. They included: BIG SIS, Inc.; Central Florida Urban League; HOPE CommUnity Center; PACE Center for Girls; Rebuild Self Care; and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

This was the 17th year for Magical Dining, which ran from late August to early October. Each year, participating restaurants offer special three-course, prix fixe menus and pledge $1 from each dinner sold. So, 186,805 people took advantage of the Magical Dining promotion at 108 restaurants this year.

Though it did not supply specific figures, Visit Orlando said that Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House was the overall top-performing restaurant this year and the Ravenous Pig had the largest increase from the previous year. Churrascaria steakhouse BoiBrazil was the top newcomer earner.

Magical Dining has raised more than $2 million for local charities since 2009.

Restaurants open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve

Written by Scott Joseph on .

christmas table

The lists have been made and I’ve checked them twice (because I don’t have a copy editor on staff).

Our Holiday Dining pages have listings for restaurants with special offerings on the Eves – Christmas and New Year’s – as well as all restaurants that have indicated they will be serving on Christmas Day.

Take a look and make your selections, then reservations, for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve dining.