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BOO 2012

Food & Drink - Staff Picks

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Beet & green apple juice from Café 118º


Best bacon

C&S Brisket Bus, brisketbus.com, Twitter: @CSBrisketBus

Bacon may have jumped the shark for many gastronomes, but at C&S Brisket Bus, it's still revered and respected alongside their other smoked, cured and corned meats. We're talking more than just maple-sugared here. How about pastrami-style? Or sweet tea-cured? More than just a gimmick, C&S's sweet tea-cured bacon has both sugary sweetness and serious black-tea notes going on.

Best non-bacon bacon

Turkey bacon at Keke's Breakfast Café
345 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
407-629-1400, kekesbreakfastcafe.com

Yeah, some of you may think that writing about the virtues of turkey bacon amounts to a complete waste of ink, but we gave the turkey bacon at Keke's Breakfast Café in Winter Park a go, and this imposter deserves special mention. Lower in fat, calories and guilt, Keke's turkey bacon – crisp, meaty and smoky – is not just a godsend for those with a muffin top or a bay-windowed frame, it's go-to meat candy for anyone catching flak from their rabbi or cardiologist.


Best croissant

Les Petits Pleasures
2120 Edgewater Drive
407-422-4702, lespetitspleasures.com

Pretty much everything in Les Petits Pleasures screams Paris – from the gray damask covering the walls to the French-language satellite radio playing softly in the background. But nothing recalls l'Île de France more than their perfect croissants. That's not an overstatement, either: They're beautifully browned, fantastically crisp and flaky on the outside, and ultra-buttery inside. Digging into one first thing in the morning is about as idyllic as it gets on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.


Best cookie

Chocolate chunk cookie at the Flour Shop
1480 Lee Road, Winter Park
321-557-8427, flourshop.net

Some like their cookies chewy, some crispy – but the best chocolate chip cookie in Orlando is neither. This thick, gargantuan cookie is more biscuit-like: all at once sweet, salty, crumbly and buttery. Generous hunks of chocolate render this cookie more than a mere indulgence; it's a cookie-cravings annihilator.


Best panini

Dylan's Deli
1198 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park
407-622-7578, dylansdeli.net

Their combined years spent in France and Spain grant owners Arnaud and Noemi Dupont unusual sandwich expertise. Yes, panini are Italian, not French or Spanish, but the French know bread and cheese better than anyone, and the Spanish genius for tapas, those tasty little preserved bites (oil-packed tuna, marinated baby octopi, roasted peppers and tomatoes), makes for brilliant sandwich filling combos. Highly recommended.

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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