An outdoor food hall is in our future, as are airside brews.
On the one hand, a group of eager independents are rolling into a new outdoor food hall; on the other, local entrepreneurs plan to open in a spot visited by tens of millions of travelers.
As I’ve previously reported, April and Dustin Williams, owners of the upcoming À La Cart Street Food and Craft Beer, are gathering food truck vendors for a stationary, open-air food hall. Situated on Irvington Avenue just east of Colonial Plaza, the off-road location will host a branch of Miami-based PokeKai, with bowls, burgers and bao; Vinny & Kory, melding Vietnamese and Korean flavors; and Brazillian charcoal grill Steak it Easy. Two other local truckie faves will share a fourth spot—the long-standing SwedeDish Scandanavian cuisine truck; and Brazilian empanada specialist Romulo Ferreira Costa and his Adao Pastel Gourmet truck. A fifth spot will harbor one of a rotating selection of mobile chefs. The location will include a pavilion with covered seating, a beer tappery featuring local brews, and a casual courtyard.
Opening a new audience for local eateries, the still-under-construction South Terminal of Orlando International Airport will welcome (along with another Shake Shack stand) a taproom and restaurant run by Orange County Brewers, offering beer flights and pub fare for the thirsty traveler. And the rapidly expanding Foxtail Coffee Co. (which is soon to open a drive-through location on Lee Road), will serve up locally brewed coffee along with snacks and sandwiches to folks schlepping through the airport’s Rental Car Center. We’ll have to wait until the terminal is completed in 2021, however, to savor those treats.
* Authentic Mexican food advocate Rick Bayless (read my interview with Chef Bayless here) will be in residence for a meal inspired by Riviera Maya Yucatán cuisine at his Frontera Cocina restaurant at Disney Springs. Tuesday, July 17 is the date, from 6pm to 8pm. Reservations available soon.
* Dawn Viola, former Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts nutrition and culinary instructor, is opening her long-awaited holistic teaching kitchen and store, This Honest Food, on June 28 in Clermont. Inspired by the need she saw for healthy cooking instruction for a populace burdened by allergies and medical problems, Certified Executive Chef Viola will be offering cooking classes, a hands-on summer camp for kids and teens, and a retail store with professional tools and cookware.
* In yet another permutation of Orlando’s porcine identity, Julie Petrakis of the Ravenous and Polite Pigs dynasty tells me that a collaboration with Vermont distillery WhistlePig has resulted in an exclusive bottling of single barrel, limited reserve rye whiskey, one labeled for The Ravenous Pig and one for The Polite Pig. The 10-year-old rye comes from a barrel hand-selected by James Beard Award-nominated James and Julie, and will be a welcome addition to their already fascinating bars.