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BOO 2012

Food & Drink - Staff Picks

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Beet & green apple juice from Café 118º

Best attention-grabber beverage

Beet & green apple juice from Café 118º
153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park
407-389-2233, cafe118.com

Nope, it's not Tru Blood – "cow's blood mixed with goat milk" is our usual deadpan response when startled Park Avenue pedestrians stop to ask what we're drinking. In truth, the not-so-petrifying potable is a blend of beets, carrots and green apples courtesy of Café 118º's juice mixologists, but the synthesis of ingredients takes on the look of a different deep-red, clotted fluid – the kind appetizing to vampires – when seen through a plastic go-cup or in a glass. The juice will set you back $5, but the look on people's faces? Priceless.


Best food-related law

Cottage food operation
Florida statute 500.80(5)

Last year, entrepreneurs who dreamed of launching a small food operation saw a huge cost barrier removed. In July 2011 the state of Florida made it legal, with certain restrictions, for small business owners to make some food products in home kitchens rather than requiring them to rent time in a licensed commercial facility. Passage of House Bill 7209 brought Orlando one step closer to artisanal Brooklyn; now we're just waiting for the explosion of small-batch bitters, shrub vinegars, pickled ramps and pretzel rolls.

Best restaurant in which to relive a recent Roman repast

Peperoncino Cucina
7988 Via Dellagio Way

Those who've sojourned in Italy know full well that sinking feeling upon returning home, occasioned by the prospect of dining at Italian restaurants nowhere near the caliber of those found in the Old World. But there is a cure for the post-Roman Holiday withdrawal: a meal at Barbara Alfano's Peperoncino. Her daily changing menu spotlights dishes evocative of the rustic and contemporary meals we've enjoyed in il bel paese, while the intimate environs (elbow-to-elbow seating isn't out of the question here) can quickly make amici out of strangers.


Best restaurant for Jews cheating on their spouses

Flame Kabob
7536 Dr. Phillips Blvd.

We confess: This category is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but no offense is meant. After seeing the hilariously inappropriate "Palestinian Chicken" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the thought occurred to us that Palestinian-run Flame Kabob (like "Al Abbas Original Best Chicken," the eatery in said episode) would be, to paraphrase Larry David, "a fantastic place for Jews who are cheating on their spouses to come to. You'd never get caught, because no self-respecting Jew would come here!" In addition to being an ideal hideaway for philandering MOTs, the place serves up some of the finest kebabs this side of the West Bank. Hey, if treaties, accords and saber-rattling won't solve the Middle East crisis, maybe good sex and delicious kafta will.

Best of Orlando 2012
  • Local Color - Reader' Picks This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara... | 7/18/2012
  • Local Color - Staff Picks Gracing the cover of Orlando Weekly's 2012 Best of Orlando issue is no sweat, when you're Jose Melendez. Better known as Orlando's Mr. Gold, Melendez is the... | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Reader' Picks Best adult entertainment store 1st Fairvilla Megastore, 1740 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-6005; 7631 | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Staff Picks Nameplates! Doorknockers! Gucci bamboo hoops! Cuban links, herringbones, dookie ropes! Medallions! Dog tags! Caps and grills! On strictly utilitarian... | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Reader' Picks Best Caribbean 1st Bahama Breeze, multiple locations, bahamabreeze.com 2nd Mama Millie's, 12273 University Blvd., 407-382-3570, mamamillies.com | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Staff Picks Best attention-grabber beverage Beet & green apple juice from Café 118 | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's... | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Reader' Picks Best Club DJ 1ST Baby Lac, @djbabylac 2ND Lemy Currey, facebook.com/lemycurrey 3rd Jimmy Joslin, facebook.com/JimmyJoslin | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Reader' Picks Best Arts Event/Festival 1st The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, orlandofringe.org 2nd Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org 3rd Nude Nite Art Exposé, nudenite.com | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Staff Picks Best public art that doubles as a weapon "Symphony," 1989, by Paul Marco Mennello Museum of American Art 900 East Princeton Street 407-246-4278 mennellomuseum.com If you've ever thought of an "ice knife" as the perfect murder weapon (it melts! No finger | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Reader' Picks Best billiards hall 1st Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com 2nd Cue-Phoria Billiards and Café, 2050 Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 321-972-1867, cuephoria.com 3rd Trick Shots Billiards, multiple locations | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. | 7/18/2012
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