Madras Cafe

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Madras Cafe ext

Orlando has a new Indian restaurant with an all-vegetarian menu that includes some vegan selections and even some that follow Jain dietary restrictions that exclude vegetables grown underground (potatoes, garlic, carrots) as well.

The Madras Cafe is part of the family of restaurants from Sunny Corda that include Mynt in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square and Saffron, which is just a couple of doors down from Madras on Restaurant Row.

The menu, which focuses on the cuisine of southern India, is extensive and may be intimidating to some, but Corda’s crew is knowledgeable (and patient) and happy to make recommendations.

I left the ordering to one of Madras’s managers and brought home a veritable feast of tastes and textures and myriad spices.

It included my first thali to go.

Takeout Review: Hunger St. Tacos

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Hungerst togo tacos

Being a fan of alliterative literature, I can think of only one thing better than Taco Tuesday: Taco Tuesday Takeout.

Surprisingly, the first two taquerias I looked up online had no information about takeout, let alone their safety protocols. But when I got to the website for Hunger St. Tacos, it clearly listed curbside pickup as an option on its front page.

What’s more, it’s initiated an online menu system that makes it easy to place a contactless order – you don’t even have to speak to anyone. I chose to call in my order anyway.

My quarantine companion and I each ordered a taco and a quesadilla. Together we shared the Fried Avocado and El Mañanero tacos and the Rajas con Crema and Campechana quesadillas.


Written by Scott Joseph on .

Phoresh pho

Just before all corona hell broke loose,back in March, I visited Phoresh, a “noodles and street fare” cafe in East Orlando. Ironically, I ordered my food for takeout. Had I known what was about to happen, I might have stayed to savor a final dine-in experience. But since we’re focusing these days on the takeout experience, I thought I might as well tell you about Phoresh now.

Takeout Review: Maxine's On Shine

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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While walking my dog through my neighborhood recently, I saw a delivery van with the logo of Maxine’s On Shine on the side and the words Maxine’s On Demand.

I was intrigued.

I liked the idea of having Maxine’s food delivered for an evening meal. But as I looked into it, I found that the process wasn’t intuitive or self explanatory. I ended up ordering my dinner for curbside pickup, which worked out fine. Later, I found out more about the delivery option and I’ll share those details in a moment.

But first the review of takeout from Maxine’s On Shine, not on demand.

Takeout Review: Tabla Winter Park

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Tablawp plate

You can tell that an Indian restaurant is serious about its food if you order something like junglee lal mass, a Rajasthani dish known for its spiciness, and are informed that it is not available mild.

That’s the case at Tabla, the Indian restaurant with touches of Thai and Chinese cuisine that recently opened a second location in the former Paris Bistro space off Park Avenue. The original Tabla, near Universal Orlando, opened in 2008 and is still in operation. When I reviewed it in August of that year, I noted that I really liked the food and service but the location not so much.

So I was really excited to learn that the owners were bringing their wonderful food to Winter Park and to a space I’ve always found attractive.

However, I opted to avail of Tabla’s curbside pickup for takeout, so a report on ambience will have to wait. But do not wait to try the food if you love Indian cuisine because it’s every bit as good as before if not better. I dare say we may have a new contender for Best Indian the next time that Foodster Category rolls around.

Takeout Review: Hungry Pants

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Hungrypants togo burger

Hungry Pants, the curiously named restaurant with a flexitarian menu, had barely been open five months when it closed due to the social distancing guidelines in late March. It reopened on the first of May, but even though Phase 1 allowed for in-house dining, the owners, Joey Conicella and Alex Marin, decided to offer takeout only for the time being.

Perhaps they spent those several weeks closed working on their takeout game, because my experience was seamless.

Hungry Pants’ gimmick is that it has a menu designed to attract diners who wish to maintain a plant-based diet but does not exclude those who want seafood or meat as a protein.

Takeout Review: Curry House Indian Cuisine

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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I’ve been reviewing the takeout cuisine from a lot of our favorite, more established restaurants. So I relished the chance to try a new place, even if I am sticking to curbside .

Curry House Indian Cuisine managed to open its doors a few weeks before restaurants were ordered to close for on-premises dining. It reopened for takeout dining on May 1.

The window of the storefront space in a large strip mall on South Orange Blossom Trail still has a sign touting its lunchtime buffet. That’ll have to come down – we won’t see buffets again for a very, very long time.

And besides, I’ve always thought the food was better when prepared to order.

curryhouse lamb

And Curry House’s food was good. I especially liked the Lamb Vindaloo, which might have had a little more heat but nonetheless had a deliciously rich gravy and plenty of big hunks of meat.

Takeout Review: Pizza Bruno

Written by Scott Joseph on .

PizzaBruno cu

I had ordered one pie from Pizza Bruno, the popular restaurant on Curry Ford Road, but when the staff member came out to place the order in my trunk, she was carrying two boxes. She had gone back inside before I could ask about the double containers.

Concerned that I may have gotten someone else’s order – and worried I didn’t have mine – I pulled over and popped the trunk. The toppings I had requested were scribbled on one of the boxes: sausage, ‘roni, anchovies.

On the other was written, “Sorry! Has hole.”

Takeout Review: Prato

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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They’re four of the saddest words one can hear when ordering takeout from Prato: We’re out of meatballs.

Those delicious orbs are my go-to item to order when dining in and I really wanted some to go. But the young woman who answered the phone blurted them out before I could say anything, leaving me slightly crestfallen.

So I had to adjust on the fly. Luckily, my other must-have item, the Widowmaker pizza (perhaps we can come up with a new name for this one) was available. I also got an order of the Mustard Spaghettini Cacio e Pepe.

And because it was a Friday evening, and I was distraught about the meatball shortage, I thought I would splurge on an Old Fashioned cocktail. I thought $22 for a cocktail was a bit much but, like I said, it was a Friday.