Takeout Review: Delaney's Tavern

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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It would be quite a normal thing for a Friday evening to stop by Delaney’s Tavern, the new Cheers-like hotspot restaurant in Orlando’s SoDo district, and have a bite to eat. So in an attempt to maintain some normalcy in these abnormal times, I ordered takeout for curbside pickup and took it home, where everybody knows my name and doesn’t give a hoot.

DT has put together a special takeout menu, though I’m told that most of the regular menu is available, too. But there were plenty of delicious options on the special menu, so I stuck to that.

I phoned in my order, gave the credit card information, including authorizing the addition of a gratuity, and was sitting at the curb outside the restaurant on Orange Avenue in no time. After a quick call to the restaurant to let them know I was there, a staff member came out and placed the order in my trunk.

Takeout Review: Tasting Room and Chef's Table at the Edgewater

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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If you want to see how takeout should be done during a pandemic – or at any other time, for that matter – look to the folks at Chef’s Table at the Edgewater, Tasting Room and The Attic in Winter Garden.

Since I live in downtown Orlando, I phoned my order in while driving along State Road 408 (on speakerphone, of course), after memorizing what I wanted from the takeout menu posted online. But a couple of my choices weren’t available.

Takeout Review: Tap Room at Dubsdread

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Taptogo bag

In recognition of current social distancing and voluntary isolation, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will be focusing on restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. Check here for a continuously updated list of restaurants offering to-go options.

It’s a truism that the enjoyment of food often has to do with the atmosphere in which it is consumed. Food that might be considered just so-so often becomes a sumptuous feast because of the place it’s consumed in and the people with whom it is shared.

So the real test of the quality of a restaurant’s food is how it tastes off premises instead of enjoyed in situ. (Out situ?)

I can attest that the food from Tap Room at Dubsdread is just as good when enjoyed at home as it is in the bustling, clublike atmosphere with dozens of friends stopping by the table to say hello.

Takeout Review: Shakers American Cafe

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Shakers logo

In recognition of current social distancing and voluntary isolation, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will be focusing on restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. Check here for a continuously updated list of restaurants offering to-go options.

Among the many things we’re being denied during the coronavirus shutdown is the pleasure of a leisurely breakfast at Shakers American Cafe, a Foodster Award winner for Best Breakfast.

But while we can’t all get together in the small College Park dining room we can still enjoy the excellent food through takeout or delivery.

Takeout Review: Big Fin Seafood Kitchen

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Bigfin togo bag

In recognition of current social distancing and voluntary isolation, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide will be focusing on restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. Check here for a continuously updated list of restaurants offering to-go options.

Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, the popular Restaurant Row destination, has launched a special menu for curbside pickup.

It’s far from a limited selection and includes many of chef James Slattery’s most popular items.

Shining Spice

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Shining Spice exterior

Last week, before the implementation of social distancing guidelines and before the strictures placed on restaurants to limit occupancy to 50 percent so as to allow a proper distance between customers, I visited a restaurant in Winter Park called Shining Spice.

As you might infer from the name, it is a Chinese restaurant, and I deliberately chose it for that reason. Because the virus that is now disrupting our lives originated in a province in China, Chinese restaurants in the United States and elsewhere were experiencing unfounded bias. I wanted to show some support and to demonstrate that not everyone has a prejudice against an entire people without blame.

Plus, I was hungry for some Chinese food.

Mia's Italian Kitchen

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Mias interior

A whole Chargrilled Branzino isn’t the sort of dish I’d typically order at a place called Mia’s Italian Kitchen, a newcomer to the I-Drive collection of restaurants. But when one was placed in front of me to try, I found myself wanting to forsake everything else on the table. And just about everything else was worth eating, too.

Mia’s is owned by Alexandria Restaurant Partners of Alexandria, Va., which also owns the nearby Cafe Tu Tu Tango. (Remember when that opened in 1994 and we expected it to be a national chain one day? It’s the only remaining one.)

Shoufi Mahfi

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Shoufi view

Hey, what’s up?

Or should I say Shoufi Mahfi? Because that’s what’s up for today. And that’s the translation.

Shoufi Mahfi is a charming little Mediterranean restaurant in South Orlando near the intersection of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway. It’s a counter service operation, but the staff is so warm and welcoming you might think you’re dining in a full service restaurant.

Galeria

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Galeria exterior

What is it about the space at 4979 New Broad St. in Baldwin Park that prevents its occupants from being successful? Or should the space be blamed?

First there was Lago, an Italian restaurant whose owner seemed to be repelled by by his customers. It lasted from 2009 to 2012. Manny’s Original Chophouse moved in in 2018 and out in 2019.

Now it’s home to Galeria, with a confusing mishmash of styles, uneven food preparation and service that is spotty at best.

Smoke & Donuts

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Smoke donuts exterior

I guess the name Smoke & Donuts is now something of a double entendre. It started – and continues to operate – as a food truck, specializing in barbecued smoked meats and, as the name promises, donuts.

But now owner Ian Russell is offering his food truck menu in a non-wheeled environment in partnership with a Mills 50 business called Belicoso Cigars & Cafe. Hence the double meaning of smoke. We won’t get into any Freudian allusions that might arise from cigars and donut holes – sometimes a donut is just a donut. And sometimes it very much is not, but I’ll come back to that.