Food & Drink - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best attention-grabber beverage
Beet & green apple juice from Café 118º
153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park
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
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
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.