Savor Orlando: Beefs and Bouquets

Joseph Hayes is NOT happy about a few of these latest trends. Odd-colored food, dishing out CBD, Tap Room’s feat, Magical Dining extended, and more. How do you feel, Central Florida?

Upcoming things that do not give me joy:


The season of Pumpkin Spice (the Spice Girl who was forced to use her own bus).
Photo courtesy of
Weirdly colored food. I’m looking at you, every “Arendelle Aqua”-shaded item at Disney. Cake pops, churros, cookies, popcorn, ice cream, lemonade (alcoholic blue lemonade?), cheesecake … all directly out of the Frozen movies. And I was just getting used to rose gold. Rooooooose gooooold.
The just-begun festival and charity food event season. Because I can only eat so much. Above is a photo from Taste! Central Florida earlier this month!
Photo courtesy of The Spokesman-Review
CBD in everything—EVERYTHING—including fortune cookies, sparkling water, the Carl’s Jr “Rocky Mountain High Cheeseburger”, beer and raw cookie dough. The cause and cure of munchies at the same time.



OpenTable, the online reservation site, has come up with a "Will Fly For Food" list for Kayak, the online travel booking site. Culling from their "top 25 hidden-gem restaurants in KAYAK’s most popular destinations," the under-the-radar list includes pocket destinations in Barcelona, Chicago, Berlin and London, along with one Orlando hidden hotspot: The Tap Room at Dubsdread. They do make a damn fine burger, good enough to have been inducted into our Dining Hall of Fame. As owner Steve Gunter said on his Facebook page, "Just … wow."
Own a piece of Tony: Items from the estate of the late Anthony Bourdain will be up for online and live auction in October. Included for offer are signed manuscripts, art that Bourdain collected over the years and kitchen tools, including the much-discussed Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef’s knife made specially for the chef, which is expected to sell for $4,000 to $6,000.


Chef Tony once touted Filipino food as the “food of the world”, and we’ll get a taste of that when chef Mike Collantes and the owners of the Bento Group open Taglish inside the massive Lotte Plaza Market this fall.
Because of a certain rascally storm, the ever-popular Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month has been extended through Oct. 7. With 125 local restaurants offering a $35, three-course meal, this is a great time to discover new haunts or revisit old faves. This year there’s a printable checklist so you can keep score while dining at Cala Bela at Rosen Shingle Creek (lobster manicotti); Jaleo at Disney Springs (five courses, including a pound of Josper-roasted mussels!); Ravello at the Four Seasons (pollo saltimbocca, worth every penny); The Strand (roasted lamb); Loren Falsone’s beautiful Pharmacy (local fish bouillabaisse); Market to Table in Winter Garden (braised beef short ribs); and so much more. One dollar of each meal goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando and Lighthouse Central Florida.
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bugs
Slightly out of town but still noteworthy is the Bugsgiving tasting event at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, serving up 10 plated dishes of insect-inclusive food from “ento-cuisine” chef Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn Bugs. Insert Bugs Bunny in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform here.
Pick up the September issue of Orlando magazine for a grand survey of new fast-casual offerings, including Korean, Brazilian, Greek, Chinese, Mexican, Asian and down-home American street food. And coming in October, the attention-shifting rewards of FOOD ADVENTURES 3: RAIDERS OF THE LOST FORK!  More food than you can shake a robot-controlled stick at! Stay in touch at,  and access a comprehensive list of my print and online reviews here!
Categories: Home Page Features, Savor Orlando