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Showing posts from July, 2014

Lyft Car Service Starts in Orlando Tonight at 7pm

Lyft, the app for friendly, affordable rides, launches in Orlando Thursday July 31st at 7pm. 

All new Orlando passengers will be able to become "Lyft Pioneers" and receive two weeks of free rides when they download the app. 

Lyft's Orlando coverage zone extends from Kissimmee north to Sanford, East to UCF and West to Walt Disney World. 

Food truck note: if readers wanted a ride on Lyft to one of the three Food Truck Bazaarsthis weekend, Lyft could get you there and nooo driving for you!

With Lyft, passengers are connected via smartphone to background-checked community drivers.

According to Lyft's Katie Dally, "Some of the friendly drivers in Orlando include a marine animal caretaker, prescription glasses-maker and pre-med student.." 

Users of the car service will easily recognize the Lyft cars by the furry pink mustaches on the front. 

"These safe, reliable rides are 20-30% less than a cab, and and offer another way to get around Orlando for business or leisu…

Deli Sammich Workshop Taught By Food Truck Owner

Do you miss Ronnies, the 39 year old deli landmark? Local food truck owner George Markward of the Pastrami Project food truck is bringing its spirit back August 3rd 4pm-5pm in the Cypress Room at the downtown Orlando Public Library (101 E Central Blvd) in a deli sammich cooking class. He will share recipes, techniques and samples on how to recreate your favorite traditional old world delicatessen sandwiches of the past. Free. REGISTER ONLINE or call 407.835.7323.

New Beefy King Signage Maintains Original's Yellow Charm

Beefy King (Twitter | Website) located at 424 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803 replaced the top half of its sign this week. The bottom half is still the original pole. The original panels are now being restored and saved by a family friend. 

Shake Shack Opens in Winter Park

The Shake Shack burger chain celebrated its opening day on July 30, 2014. It brings the expected fresh, modern interior and tasty burgers fans familiar with the chain expect. Also included, and quite unexpected, is a lovely outdoor lakeside seating area and a ping pong table! 
Think about parking before you go (aka don't park in the parking lot) and enjoy a simple, basic fast food meal in a lovely modern interior. 
Fun note: the concrete named "Key Lime Pie Oh My" is made with real key lime pies from P is For Pie bake shop (Facebook | Instagram) which is located in the Audubon Park Garden District. 

Shake Shack MenuFacebook | Twitter | Instagram 119 N Orlando Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 Sunday – Thursday, 11 AM – 10 PM
Friday & Saturday, 11 AM – 11 PM

Beefy King Begins Beefing Up Its Signage

Work began yesterday on Beefy King's sign refurbishment. Here are photos sent in by a reader.

IKEA Swedish Crayfish Party August 15

IKEA is hosting a Swedish Crayfish Party – a late summer smorgasbord – in the restaurants of participating IKEA U.S. stores* on Friday, August 15**. The Crayfish Party is a Swedish tradition that dates back to the 1800s, when the lakes in Sweden were full of crayfish and fishing season was limited to August and September. That’s why Swedish crayfish parties are traditionally held in August, with friends and families congregating in paper hats and colorful crayfish-themed bibs! It’s a time to gather loved ones and dine from paper plates, to the sound of music and clinking glasses.
This season, IKEA is inviting everyone to join in the fun at a local IKEA store. Tickets are available for only $12.99 per person or $4.99 for kids 12 and under (IKEA FAMILY members eat for $9.99 per person or $2.49 for kids 12 and under), for a smorgasbord featuring a meal of crayfish, cheese pie, cucumber salad and more. 
“We are proud of our Swedish heritage – it drives what we do every day,” said Donna Fitz…

Cask & Larder Clambake Saturday

So good it needs no introduction—Cask and Larder's ONCE-PER-YEAR clambake is here! Join us Saturday, Aug. 2 when we kick all things from the land off the plate and celebrate all things seafood (well, except potatoes and corn... you can't have a clambake without those). We're partnering with Central Seafood for our August roast — clams, mussels, shrimp and oysters done in a saffron broth with potatoes and corn. It's enough to convert even the biggest meat lover to pescetarianism.  DETAILS WHEN: Saturday, August 2 TIME: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. PRICE: $20 per person, $5 punch, $5 drafts MENU: clams, mussels, shrimp and oysters done in a saffron broth with potatoes and corn, and seasonal dessert BOOK IT: Click HERE to make reservations. ***WALK-INS ALWAYS WELCOME***

Orlando’s Culinary Community Unites To Champion Florida’s Bounty at thegoFLA Manifesto Signing July 28 at East End Market

Putting the freshest, most sustainable local food on the plates of diners in Greater Orlando is the goal of goFLA, the Greater Orlando Food Leaders Alliance, Central Florida’s first coalition of chefs and food advocates formed to promote farm-to-table cuisine and boost the region’s culinary reputation. Noted Chef Norman Van Aken, known as the founding father of New World Cuisine and featured chef at award-winning Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, will kick off the group’s first public event – a signing of “The goFLA Manifesto” to create awareness of the group and its goals.  To read thegoFLAManifesto in its entirety,click here. Local farmers and chefs who are committed to sourcing locally will gather at 6:30 p.m. July 28 at the Apex at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. Among the organization’s founding chefs are seven James Beard Foundation “Best Chef” semi-finalists: Kathleen Blake, Rusty Spoon; Kevin Fonzo, K Restaurant; Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albe…

Second Florida Judge Strikes Down Marriage Ban

Today Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for committed same-sex couples in what is now the 28th consecutive ruling by a federal or state court in favor of the freedom to marry in the past year. This decision affirms what another court found recently in a case out of Key West -- Florida’s denial of the freedom to marry violates the U.S. Constitution.
"Today Judge Zabel joins a chorus of judges from all across the nation, including another judge in Florida, who have found that bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional," said Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry’s national campaign director. "The plaintiffs in this case want what all couples want: the freedom to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and protect their families – a protection that only marriage can provide. Majorities of Americans in Florida and across the country support the freedom to marry. Today's decision further highlights how out of st…

Plant Street Market and Crooked Can Brewery Begins Construction inWinter Garden

Plant Street Market and Crooked Can Brewery Company LLC will begin demolishing the buildings at 426 W. Plant Street on Monday, July 28, 2014 at 9:00 am.C. W. Hayes Construction Company has been hired as the General Contractor.  Hyzens Marc of Chase Bankis handling the financing for the project.   The new market and brewery is expected to be completed by St. Patrick’s Day 2015 or March 17, 2015.

Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa Logo is Up in Mills50 District

The logo for Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa (Facebook) went up this week at their first location at in the Mills50 District at 1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando. We've been told doors will open August 21st.

National Tequila Day at Cocina 214!

Today is National Tequila Day. Thank God. We tasted three margaritas earlier this week at the classy-classy restaurant Cocina 214 in Winter Park (151 E Welbourne Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789).

Orange Blossom Rita
Orange Blossom:
1.5 oz Pavan Liqueur1.5 oz Tierras Organic Tequila.25 oz Grand Marnier2.5 oz Lime Juice.5 oz AgaveSplash of Club Soda Prep: Pour ingredients together, shake and enjoy!

Blue Agave Rita

Blue Agave:
1 oz Herradura Blanco 100% Blue Agave Tequila.75 oz Grand Marnier2 oz Diluted Lime Juice Mix ingredients together with ice, shake and pour. Garnish with a lime.

Pop Rocks Rita

Pop Rocks Rita:
1.5 oz Tierras Organic Tequila.75 oz Sweet and Sour mix2 oz Cranberry Juice1 oz Diluted Lime Juice1 oz Grand Marnier1 packet Pop Rocks Prep: Crush packet of pop rocks and pour onto plate or flat surface. Roll 16 oz glass through pop rocks to get a thickly coated rim. Mix all ingredients, shake and pour.

Outback Steakhouse Opening Day: 50% Sales to Give Kids The World

To celebrate Outback Steakhouse’s grand opening of their newest Orlando location (I-Drive Live, 8351 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819) on Monday, August 4th 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., the restaurant is giving 50% of the sales for the day (up to $5,000) to Give Kids The World. 

If you want to attend the 11am ribbon cutting ceremony (the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce will be there!!!) show up early. 
Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and over 75 countries. For the latest news, visit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…

Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven (not an ad)

Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef and Culinary Hall of Fame member, now has something called The Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven.

It's described at the world’s first ‘pressure oven,’ combining the best aspects of an oven and a pressure cooker. Interior pressure speeds up cooking – up to 70% faster than regular ovens – and, like pressure cookers, forces liquid and moisture into foods quickly and evenly, tenderizing meat and adding flavor.

The Puck Oven also toasts, re-heats, rotisseries, bakes and acts as a convection oven. It can now be purchased online at and through HSN and will be available at brick and mortar retail outlets, nationwide, beginning in the fall.

It retails for $249.95 without rotisserie and $299 with rotisserie.

Red Bull is sending two local artists to Art Basel in Miami

Red Bull has a couple murals up around the Mills50 area. Pretty soon they'll have twenty custom painted coolers designed by twenty local artists in shops around town thanks to their "Red Bull Curates" program. ( The coolers will be judged and the two winners will have placement in Art Basel in Miami inside the Scope Art Show. 
There's a free party (21+ )for guests to view the completed pieces on Thursday July 24, 8:00pm - 11:00pm at The Orchid Garden (122 W Church St, Orlando, Florida 32801). 
RSVP here:

Highball & Harvest Opening September at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (Web | Twitter | Facebook) is opening up a new restaurant called Highball & Harvest (“H&H”) in September 2014. 
Featuring seasonal Low Country and Cajun-inspired cuisine from young, Southern-raised Chef de Cuisine Mark Jeffers, H&H will offer hyper-local dishes infused with Floridian citrus and ingredients from nearby purveyors as well as the resort’s own 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm, which opened in October 2012. 
Ingredients from local farms and Whisper Creek Farm will be specifically noted on the restaurant’s seasonal, playful menu. 
H&H’s railroad-inspired design will feature communal seating, a large bar/lounge area, a raw oyster bar (with chefs shucking oysters by hand), and custom hand painted dishware.

Signature dishes H&H Pig-n-Potatoes: a decadent all-day breakfast dishHouse-made beef jerkyDips with pickled veggies presented in a rustic tackle box
The central Florida resort’s thirty-strong pastry team, that works …

Downtown Orlando Full Road Closure of Orange Ave July 19 through August 10

South Orange Avenue will be closed between Anderson Street and South Street to accommodate reconstruction of the roadway. Additionally, the right turn lane on eastbound South Street on to southbound Orange Avenue from Boone will be unavailable as a result of the closure. 

The full closure of Orange Avenue will allow for roadway and pedestrian enhancements including improved crosswalks and increased audible pedestrian signals. Additionally, the roadway will be realigned to add a dedicated right turn lane that will tie into the upcoming Ultimate I-4 expansion project.

The full closure will begin on the morning of Saturday, July 19 and remain closed until Sunday, August, 10, 2014.

Message boards will go up in advance to notify regular travelers of the upcoming closure. Detour signs will be clearly posted before and along detour routes.

Travelers are encouraged to consider alternative modes of transportation including SunRail, carpooling and adjusting schedules when possible to avoid traffi…

Tenth Annual “Arnold Day” Will Unite Schwarzenegger Fans and Raise Money For Charity

Arnold Schwarzenegger fans from around the U.S. will gather for the 10th Annual “Arnold Day,” (Website | Twitter | Facebook) a birthday party in his honor, to be held in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
What started out as two University of Central Florida students enjoying an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie marathon has turned into an annual event where over a thousand fans flock to Lazy Moon bar in Orlando near the UCF campus to meet fellow Arnold fans, share quotes, stories, characters, watch his movies, and celebrate all things Arnold.

“This is truly the ultimate of fan gatherings,” said event co-founder and organizer, Ryan Boylston. “We have had so much doing this for the last decade and this year, we promise it will be the biggest Arnold birthday bash ever, all while raising money for a very worthwhile cause.”

Lazy Moon donates its food and beverage to a charity through specials and giveaways. Last year it was Make-A-Wish and this year it will be After-School All-Stars, a…

$5,000 Offered for Creative Flash Mob

A cash prize of $5,000 is offered to the best video of a musically staged performance, without being previously publicly announced, in a public space where people wandering by will be surprised by the performance. The performance must be of a song from a musical inspired by the one of the works of Charles Dickens. Any performance organization or group of individuals anywhere in the world may create and submit a video in any language. Videos must be posted on YouTube and the link sent to the What the Dickens Orlando celebration by December 5, 2014. A panel of judges from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Ballet, the Mad Cow Theatre and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater will be looking for performance quality, audience surprise, visual impact and use of space.

What the Dickens Orlando is a celebration of the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens - his life, work, times and issues - by three dozen arts and cultural organizations in Orlando, Florida that are presen…

Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission (CFCRC) Meeting

The Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission (CFCRC) will meet on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Metroplan Orlando, 315 East Robinson Street, Suite #355, Orlando, FL 32801

Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Location: Metroplan Orlando
315 East Robinson Street, Suite 355 Orlando, Florida

· Call to Order – Chairman Teresa Jacobs
· Pledge of Allegiance
· Confirmation of Quorum

o Introductions
· Agenda Review – FDOT District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs, P.E.

1. Remarks – Chairman Jacobs
2. Technical Advisory Committee Update – Jim Harrison, Chairman
a. Update from June 4, 2014 meeting

1. Adoption of meeting minutes from April 11, 2014

1. Phase 1 Project Update – Tawny Olore, P.E.
a. Grand Opening Celebration
b. Operations Update
i. Ridershipii. Technologyiii. Safetyiv. Service Enhancementsv. Feeder Bus Servicec. Marketing/Business Development/Public Involvement

2. Phase 2 Activities – Ms. Olore
a. FTA Coordination
b. Station Development
c. Right-o…

Rifle Paper Co Sidewalk Sale

Rifle Paper Co. (Website | Facebook) is a Winter PArk-based business that sells stationary items across the world. We were lucky enough to have them as a featured vendor at our pop up shop last December. 

They're hosting a Sidewalk Sale on Friday, July 18, 10am – 7pm and Saturday, July 19, 10am – 5pm at their shop at 558 W New England Ave #150, Winter Park,. Mama's Sauce will be on-site to letterpress complimentary limited edition Rifle Paper Co. prints, and The Pop Parlour will be serving complimentary popsicles. Up to 75% off samples and 15% off all Rifle Paper Co. goods in the shop.

Transportation Expert, Robert Poole, Finds All Aboard Florida "AWorthwhile Effort"

Robert Poole, Jr., a trusted and well-respected, transportation analyst, released an independent assessment of the All Aboard Florida project, presenting a fair and balanced review of the planned service, while addressing recent claims. Poole, a Searle Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy for the Reason Foundation, reported his analysis of the All Aboard Florida project in the most recent issue of the organization’s newsletter, Surface Transportation Innovations. (For the complete article, please visit:
“I have been generally supportive of the effort by a division of the company that owns and operates the Florida East Coast Railway to develop the first private-enterprise higher speed passenger rail service,” said Poole. “My assessment at this point is that this still looks like a worthwhile effort to re-introduce passenger rail service on a commercial basis.”  (Note of clarification: Poole is ref…

East End Market Events: Summer 2014

Building off the synergy created by the launch of its community seminar series this past spring, East End Market has announced its summer schedule of interactive classes, educational workshops and social soirees.

Tuesday July 15th 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Audubon Park Exchange (APEX)
We’re getting a head start on our fall gardens. Join us for a seed planting, so you have some good-sized seedlings to transplant come September. In addition to taking home your ownplantings, we will have East End Market Director’s hen, “Chicky,” for your little one to meet and greet… Stay tuned for more from our “summer in the City” series!

Saturday, July 19th 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Audubon Park Exchange (APEX)
Farmer John gives you the tips, tricks and best practices for harvesting your bumper crop and getting it to market looking and tasting its best.

Saturday, July 19th 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Audubon Park Exchange (APEX)
Wine, cheese …

Iska Dhaaf at Backbooth July 14

The Seattle-based two man band Iska Dhaaf (Facebook | Website) is playing Back Booth July 14th. Listen to the latest album here or watch them performing live here.

3rd Thursdays Taste of Church Street

The Church Street District is putting on a new monthly event called "3rd Thursdays Taste of Church Street." It's a free event with complimentary drinks, special food discounts at participating venues, local art, music and entertainment.

The event runs 3rd Thursdays 5-10pm.

Orlando Food Truck Tour: Food Truck Bazaar August Schedule

CONTACT:  Mark Baratelli 646-714-2376

ABOUT A visit to Orlando is not complete without a trip to The Food Truck Bazaar, the nation's original traveling food truck event! Imagine a parking lot full of food trucks filled with delicious gourmet, ethnic, BBQ and desserts. (Bring your chairs so you have a place to sit!) Now, imagine the entire parking lot picking up and moving to a different city night after night: that is The Food Truck Bazaar! 

Chances are good we have a stop on our itinerary that lines up with your vacation dates. Created in 2011 by Owner Mark Baratelli, the event gives tourists a huge truck selection (10-15 per event) and a fun "event" atmosphere full of locals sampling, meeting people in line and enjoying the night with friends and family. It's THE way to experience the Orlando food truck scene in one evening! 

August 2014
Friday, August 01 KISSIMMEE 6–9pm, Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 E. Dakin Ave, 900 Degreez Pizza, Bar Harbor Seafood,…