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Spotlight

Spotlight: Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar


I’ve lost track of all the businesses that have occupied the space at 4315 N. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. I’m pretty sure my first encounter with the massive property on the shore of Lake Fairview was with Shooters Waterfront, an Orlando version of the Intracoastal Waterway hot spot from Ft. Lauderdale that opened here in 1990. Didn’t last long. The new tenant is Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar, which is similar to Shooters in that it is an inland location of an open water eatery, namely Port Canaveral. But Grills differs from the old Shooters in one major aspect: It offers good food to go with the view. Because of its proximity to water, Grills has always …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Tacos El Rancho


The tacofication of Central Florida continues. No food trend has held quite as strongly as tacos. Not that tacos are new. The taco as it’s known from its roots predates the arrival to Mexico of Spaniards, who apparently were able to just walk in because there was no wall to keep them out. And some of those early tacos were just as creative in their fillings as some of our tonier craft tacomongers, with such things as whole, small fish in a tortilla wrapper. There are few rules involving tacos. As long as you have a tortilla as your base, what you put inside is up to you. Corn tortillas are a bit more traditional, but you’re more likely to …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Tandoori Bowl


Next up in the assemblage line of restaurants: Indian cuisine. Tandoori Bowl is a new restaurant on Alafaya Trail in Oviedo that employs the “one from column A, one from column B…” style of meal construction. Indian cuisine being what it is, however, you can expect more columns. Here you start with your carb, either white rice or brown, which is simple enough. (You also have to begin by choosing regular or large size bowls; regular is plenty big.) Next you choose your protein, which might be chicken, lamb, paneer, chickpeas, pork or steak. Pork or steak? Holy cow, what kind of Indian restaurant is this? Then you add a vegetable, a less contemplative decision in that only carrots or …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: A Look Back At The Restaurants That Opened, Closed And Made News


Before we jump into a new year of eating, here’s a re-accounting of the restaurant reviews and news from 2017. Notable Openings included: Muddy Waters, which brought the food and ambience of New Orleans to Thornton Park. Hunger Street Tacos — continued the gourmet taco trend. Reyes Mezcalaria — took over the Citrus restaurant space. Mai Bistro — brought the fast-casual concept to Vietnamese cuisine. Nonno’s Italian Restaurant — The LaCommare family is back with their comfort cuisine from the Old Country. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar — A third restaurant from the folks who brought you Luma on Park and Prato. Ace Cafe Orlando — The first North American franchise of a motorcycle and music themed restaurant in North London. …
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