Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2014

Non-Stop Review | Preposterous Action-Thriller Delivers Just Enough To Savor

Orlando Lens
By Nicholas Ware Twitter | E-mail

Liam Neeson is 61 years old. Let me repeat that: Liam Neeson is 61 years old. This is remarkable for a few reasons. First, he's still a very handsome man. Second, he became a full-fledged action star thanks to the film Taken, which was released when he was in his late 50s. That's remarkable and a testament to his considerable charisma and his believable badassness. Neeson is legitimately large for an actor at six-foot-four, and tends to command the frame on size alone. His barely-disguised Irish accent is unique, and make his voice intimidating enough on its own, as witness by his vocal turn as Bad Cop in The Lego Movie (which is tremendous, by the way). I bring all this up because Neeson has become a franchise unto himself, opening off-season (usually February and October) action films for several years now, and while not all of them have been major hits, even the least-watchable among them (I'm looking at you, Unknown) have bee…

The Wind Rises Review | Hayao Miyazaki's Final Film Is Beautiful But Problematic

Orlando Lens
By Nicholas Ware Twitter | E-mail

Hayao Miyazaki has left a legacy of quality filmmaking that is nearly beyond reproach. As a director-for-hire in the seventies and certainly since he began making his own films in the 80s and into the founding of Studio Ghibli with Isao Takahata, Miyazaki has positioned himself as a signature talent with a sumptuous visual style and a willingness to paint shades of grey into the kind of fantasy stories that Disney makes cut-and-dry good-and-evil affairs. I defy you watch Miyazaki's previous film, Ponyo, and tell me who the villain is. All the characters, even those who are at odds with each other, have specific real motivations that make their decisions and the troubles they face reasonable and engrossing. Miyazaki's previous mastering of the subtleties of character motivation are what make his most recent--and supposedly final--film, The Wind Rises, so maddening. The main character of the film, Jiro Hirokoshi, is a real person, thou…

The Food Truck Bazaar Schedule for March 2014

The Food Truck Bazaar (Email ListSchedule | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram) has twelve events in March 2014. Bring chairs and tables, all trucks take credit cards, you can get your orders to-go.

Saturday March 1st SANFORD 5-8pm, 265 North Palmetto Ave, Cafe Rouge, Fork in the Road, The Crepe Company, Saigon Sizzle, SwedeDish, Korean BBQ Taco Box, La Empanada, Wako Taco, Mayan Grill, Carobama BBQ, Pastrami Project, Curbside Chef, Over Rice Food Truck, Ice Cream Social, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck

Sunday March 2nd ORANGE CITY 5-8pm, 810 Saxon Blvd, Wako Taco, Cafe Rouge, The Crepe Company, Saigon Sizzle, SwedeDish, Local Yolk'l, Mayan Grill, Tamale Co., C&S Brisket Bus, Up In Smoke BBQ, Monsta Lobsta, The Big Cheese, Sweet City Gelato, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck

Friday March 7th KISSIMMEE 6-9pm, Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 E. Dakin Ave, 5Gastronomy, Bem Bom, Cafe Rouge, Fork in the Road, The Crepe Company, Melissa's Chicken and Waffles, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Mayan Grill, Wako Taco, Tast…

CFLAS Immersed opens to rave reviews!

By: Denna Beena Contributing Writer

The Central Florida Aquarium Society opened Orlando's first ever aquaculture art show at CityArts Factory in the heart of downtown Orlando. The gallery was packed as people were delighted by aquatic animals and beautiful art from local artist. The show was produced by me aka Pink Hair Productions and I am super proud of how it came together. There are many "firsts" in this show and some truly amazing work both by artist and aquascapers. 

Check out this time lapsed one hour clip from the Thursday night.

As part of the exhibit CFLAS has installed a DropCam that allows 24 hour viewing if the gallery. A first for any exhibit at CityArts Factory. In addition, CFLAS is holding a silent auction that will end March 1st of one of the aquarium's on display. A 110 gallon tank along with all of the equipment and contents will go to the top bidder. The aquarium up for bid contains a beautiful assortment of South American cichlids. Bids are accepted…

27 Things to Do This Saturday March 1st

By Mark Baratelli
[4am-3pm] Central Florida Farmers Market Saturdays 4am-3pm and Sundays 4am-3pm. A farmers market open at 4am? Sure why not? Free and open to the public. Over 200 vendors at the Central Florida Fairgrounds with food, books, local art, antiques, and old music. Central Florida Farmers Market, 4603 West Colonial Drive , Orlando , FL , 32808. 407-760-4181. Note: the Market will be closed during the Central Florida Fair, but opens back up on May 2nd.

[9am-11pm] Deland Dog Parade and 40-piece dog art show. $10. Museum of Art – DeLand, 600 N. Woodland Blvd., (386) 734-4371. READ MORE
[9:30am-4pm] "Lifelines: Forms and Themes of Art Nouveau." This will probably take 20 minutes to skip through, but afterwards you can meander around Park Ave which is always a fun time. Exhibition of nearly 100 objects from the Morse collection exploring nature, sensuality, and metamorphosis with the lively line and organic form of the international art phenomena of 1900. Free with …

The Orlando Food Truck Bazaar Takes the Orlando Food Truck Scene to SIX Towns This Week!

The Food Truck Bazaar (Schedule | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram) is taking the Orlando food truck scene to SIX towns this week: Debary, Lake Nona, Melbourne, Windermere, Sanford, Orange City. In March, this traveling food truck event created by Mark Baratell, is celebrating its third birthday. Did you know it'd been around for three years?

Thursday February 27th 5-8pm
Cafe Rouge, SwedeDish, Wako Taco, Saigon Sizzle, Twisted Cuban, Up In Smoke BBQ, SWAT Truck. Gateway Center for the Arts, 880 N Charles Richard Beall Blvd, Debary.

Thursday February 27th 5-8pm] The Crepe Company, Melissa's Chicken and Waffles, Curbside Chef, The Treehouse Truck, Pastrami Project, Monsta Lobsta, Ice Cream Social, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, Bem Bom, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Mayan Grill, Carobama BBQ, Over Rice Food Truck, The Big Cheese, Charlie's Bakery, Cafe Cocoa Mo. Behind Valencia College near Lake Nona at 12350 Narcoosee Road. It's *really* hard to see from the road FYI.

Friday February 28th 5-8…

Orlando Roller Derby Opener March 23

An all-womens roller derby group called Orlando Area Derby Revolution is hosting their opener against Thunder City Derby Sirens of Deland Sunday March 23 at 4:30pm at Universal Skate (866 S Goldenrod Road Orlando, FL 32822). Tickets are available online for $10 or $12 at the door. Children's Admission - $5

Downtown Food & Wine Festival: Orlando 2014

The 2014 Downtown Food & Wine Festival runs February 22-23rd down Robinson Street at Lake eola Park. Thirty five restaurants are represented, the food (DUCK BACON!!!) is really good, the portions are not skimpy and the mood/atmosphere is lively. It continues today (Feb 23) til 8pm. Guests must pay admission and purchase food tickets in $2 denominations. Each food sample costs between one and three tickets. Below is a photo sampling of what we liked best on Day one of the festival. DUCK BACON!!!

Siro Urban Italian Kitchen burger 
Siro Urban Italian Kitchen golden beets
 Peach Valley Cafe Chicken & Waffles with cajun syrup and blueberry butter
Peach Valley Cafe Fresh Apple Fritters with Strawberry Yogurt
Ruth's Chris Steak House Lamb Lollipops
Kasa Modern Tapas & Raw Bar Shrimp a la Placha
Kasa Modern Tapas & Raw Bar White Fish Ceviche
Taverna Opa Falafel with Dip
Taverna Opa Gyro Slider
Marlow's Tavern Roasted Chicken Gumbo
Primo Grilled Lemon Pound Cake with Lo…

Duck Bacon

Duck bacon is a thing, it's delicious and you can get it at the final day of the Downtown Food & Wine Festival today, Sunday February 23rd 12pm-8pm on Robinson along Lake Eola Park. Visitors must pay an admission and buy food tickets.

13 Things to Do Today: Sunday February 23

What better way to spend a Sunday than to let us pick your itinerary for you? We scoured the local event listing sites to bring you this tightly curated list so you don't have to. Let us know if you go to any of the events and send us pics/reviews to Maybe we'll use your pics in an upcoming blog post! How exciting!

[8am-4pm] Mount Dora Classic Car & Cycle Swap Meet and Cruise-In. Vendors, car corral and live entertainment. This takes place every last Sunday of the month. Renninger’s Antique Center 20651 U.S. Highway 441 , Mount Dora 32757. If it sucks, you can always scoot over to the Mount Dora Community Center at 2pm to hear the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park's Chamber Choir and Orchestra.

[9am-3pm] Celebration Sunday Farmers Market. Veggies, food, crafter and baked goods. Never been and not heard anything about it. Lakeside Park 631 Sycamore Street

[10am-4pm] Downtown farmers market. Not a shopping adventure whatsoever, but it's in Lake…

The Food Truck Bazaar comes to St Cloud on 3rd Fridays

The Food Truck Bazaar (Schedule | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram) is paying its monthly 3rd Friday visit to St Cloud February 21, 5-8pm, at 1221 12th Street in the downtown area with twelve trucks. The trucks that are scheduled to appear February 21 are
Cafe RougeThe Crepe CompanyWako TacoPastrami ProjectMonsta LobstaYum Yum Cupcake TruckFork in the RoadUp In Smoke BBQTastebudsDixieland DinerMayan GrillSweet City Gelato

Eat Dinner in a Cemetery For Real

On Saturday, March 8, Rose Hill Cemetery (1615 Old Boggy Creek Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744) will host Dine with the Departed, The Osceola County Historical Society’s 4th Annual fundraiser. 

The evening includes a gourmet BBQ dinner, spirits, live entertainment and a lantern led tour through this historic cemetery. Along the way, you will encounter some of Kissimmee and Osceola County’s most memorable past residents. You will learn about their lives and the various contributions they made to the County. 
The festivities start at 6pm. Rose Corporate tables for 10 are $500.00 and individual tickets may be purchased for $50.00. Call 407-396-8644 ext. 3. Photo Credit

Noodles & Company Opening First Florida Store in Orlando March 3rd

Noodles & Company (Website | Facebook | Twitter) will open its first location in Florida at 12531 State Road 535 in Orlando on Monday, March 3 at 11am. The 2,800 square-foot store will seat 84 guests in the dining room and 20 on the outdoor patio. 
It's got a broad menu of noodles, salads, soups and sandwiches. Check out itsmenu of 25 customizable dishes. 
Regular restaurant hours will be Monday through Sunday 11:00AM – 9:00PM. For holiday hours, call the restaurant directly at (407) 560-8325.
About: Noodles & Company is a fast-casual restaurant chain where its globally inspired dishes come together to create Your World Kitchen. It is a restaurant where Japanese Pan Noodles rest comfortably next to Penne Rosa and Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, but where world flavors don’t end at just noodles. Inspired by some of the world’s most celebrated flavor combinations, Noodle & Company’s menu offers appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches, too. Everything is made fresh to order, ju…

Fantastic Food Truck: Mobile Cocktail Bar is Beautiful!

File this under our #BringToOrlando hashtag. We want this mobile cocktail bar for our next swanky event. It's located in England, but hey: they have wheels. Wouldn't this be fantastic for a wedding, company party (inside or out) or whatever? The company is called Bar De Cru and we're in love. Bring to Orlando!

East End Market March Classes and Events

We told you East End Market was killing it with great events and unique classes in February. Here's their line-up for March 2014. Hope to see some of you take the "foodpreneur" classes so the local farmers markets get some fresh blood. I'm talking to you, Winter Park Farmers Market. 

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Join us for this FREE talk with Carol Hewitt, a Slow Money inspired author of Financing Our Foodshed, and Lyle Estill, author of similar books, such as Small is Possible. The discussion will focus on all things local: from food to fuel to finance to friendship. No RSVP necessary. READ MORE

10:30 am - 6:30 pm. TEDx Manhattan may be sold out (and over 1000 miles away), but we have 100 spots for you to watch live online at East End’s viewing party. READ MORE

11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Charming, delectable, and simple vinaigrettes are as quick to make as a cup of coffee. Create well…

Orlando International Airport (OIA) Connector Refresh Alternatives Analysis Final Public Meeting Thursday

This Thursday, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Five, is holding its final public meeting for the Orlando International Airport (OIA) Connector Refresh Alternatives Analysis. This study is evaluating options for providing transit service between major activity centers in the study area, including connectivity to the SunRail project. The study area is bordered by Interstate 4 on the west; Oak Ridge Road and Hoffner Avenue on the north; Narcoossee Road on the east; and Osceola Parkway on the south, in Orange and Osceola Counties, Florida.

The purpose of the meeting is to present the Viable Alternatives, which is one of the final steps of the project that comes before selecting a recommended alternative, and is necessary to aid the FDOT in obtaining public input on the viable project alternatives. The study, which is anticipated to be complete in April 2014, is considering and assessing community support, financial options, and policy support of the alternative d…

Krispy Kreme Coffee Flavored Doughnuts Are Plugged Up With Chocolate Goo and Topped with Chocolate Nipples

Krispy Kreme (Website | App | Foursquare | YouTube) has two coffee doughnut flavors available  til March 30th: Mocha Kreme™ and Caramel Coffee Kreme™. 
Mocha Kreme Doughnut- A moist yeast doughnut filled with a tasty blend of chocolate and coffee flavors, topped with mocha icing, a milk chocolate swirl and a chocolate coffee bean accent.Caramel Coffee Kreme Doughnut- A decadent glazed treat topped with smooth caramel and coffee flavored icing, a mocha drizzle and dollop of coffee Kreme. We tried one of each at the Winter Park location, but they have two other locations in Central Florida:
Winter Park 1031 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92), Winter Park, FL 32789. Open 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday – Thursday) and 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)Millenia 4080 Millenia Blvd., Orlando, FL 32939. Open 24 hoursKissimmee 5310 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. (192 / Mile Marker 11.5), Kissimmee, FL 34746. Open 24 hours Overall the two doughnuts were ungodly sweet with a faint coffee flavor. …

Orlando's Chef Norman Van Aken's Book is a Finalist in the International Association of Culinary Professionals 2014 Awards Program

Chef Norman Van Aken, of the Ritz-Carlton's Norman's in Orlando, has had a good week so far. On Tuesday his book No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken by Norman Van Aken (Rowman & Littlefield) was named as a 2014 award finalist by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). This awards program, which has been in place for 28 years, honors the innovative work of food and culinary thought leaders throughout the world. The winners will be announced on March 15. The very next day he himself was announcing semifinalists in another awards program, the 2014 James Beard Awards held at East End Market. Congratulations to Chef Norman! Photo Credit

Rob Schneider Tweets Photo of Scripts from TV Show That Starts Filming in Orlando in March

Rob Schneider tweeted a photo on February 18h of a couple scripts for his new self-produced 8-episode tv show being made in Orlando starting in March at Full Sail University called "Real Rob." Tech and Startup Community Directory

Orlando now has a tech and startup community directory: Created by Orrett Davis, the directory lets users add their own names, a brief bio, photo and list of skills. As of this writing there were 39 members, but with the February 18th screening of the documentary Orlando Rising and the coming of the SXSW-like Orlando Interactive Digital Conference in 2015, one can only assume this list will grow.

Health Care Enrollment Fair on Saturday

City of Orlando District 6 Commissioner Samuel B. Ings has joined with State Representative Bruce Antone, Planned Parenthood, Doctors for America and the National Congress of Black Women to sponsor a Health Care Enrollment Fair to help local residents get the information they need about new healthcare law and to apply for health care coverage. The event will take place Saturday, February 22, 2014 2pm-5pm at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center (1723 Bruton Boulevard). To schedule an appointment, call 1.877.564.5031. Important documents needed to enroll: Social Security # for all family members who need coverage. Income information including pay stubs or W-2 for family members who need coverage.

Rob Schneider Producing TV Show in Orlando Starting in March

Rob Schneider, best known for his roles on SNL, Deuce Bigalow, The Waterboy, and Big Daddy, is producing a new eight-episode independently-produced comedy series, Real Rob, in Orlando at Full Sail University beginning March 2014.

Real Rob, which is loosely based on the actor’s life, will feature Schneider and his real-life spouse, writer-producer Patricia Azarcoya Schneider, as themselves in the half-hour-long, single camera situation comedy.

Downtown Food & Wine Festival: 35 Restaurants, Wine, Live Music This Weekend

By Mark Baratelli
Food Eater :)

The Downtown Food & Wine Festival is this Saturday and Sunday, February 22-23, 2014, in downtown Orlando. Thirty five restaurants line one side of Lake Eola Park and guests go from tent to tent eating their face off and finishing it with glasses of wine, live music and a full day of relaxation and fun. I love this event. I went last year and did all of the above. This year they asked me to be a judge (haaaay!) so I am definitely hitting up again. Above are the restaurants participating. See you there!

Jeb Bush, Ken Burns and Laurie David to Speak (For Free!) at Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute

Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute, a center for intellectual engagement that has brought many world-renowned speakers to Central Florida, has some great events coming up. All events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Parking is available in the SunTrust parking garage at 166 East Lyman Avenue. 
Jeb Bush: America's Promise in Uncertain TimesThursday, March 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Warden Arena, Alfond Sports Center. Former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush will share his insight on the current challenges facing America.Ken Burns: The National ParksMonday, April 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m., Warden Arena, Alfond Sports Center. For the last three decades, Ken Burns has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries. He will speak about the value and beauty of America’s national parks.Laurie David: Fed Up! A Talk About What, Where and How We EatTuesday, April 22, 2013 at 7 p.m., Tiedtke Concert Hall, Keene Music Building. Producer and environme…

James Beard Awards Semifinalists From Florida

The 2014 James Beard Awards Semifinalist Announcement took place Wednesday February 19th at East End Market (3201 Corrine Drive). 

The James Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America. The awards are presented each spring at Lincoln Center and Gotham Hall in New York City. Nominees and winners are fêted at a weekend of events in New York City that has become the social and gastronomic highlight of the year.

Below are the Florida semifinalists. 

Best Chef South
James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter ParkHenry Salgado, Spanish River Grill, New Smyrna BeachHari Pulapaka, Cress, DelandGreg Baker, The Refinery,  TampaChad Johnson, Sideburns, TampaJose Mendon, Pub Belly, MiamiSteve Phelps, Indigenous, Sarasota
Outstanding Wine, Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional
Joey Redner, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa
Outstanding Restaurant Award
Bern's Steakhouse, Tampa
Outstanding Chef
Michael Schwartz, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami