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BOO 2012

Food & Drink - Staff Picks

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Beet & green apple juice from Café 118º


Best mint tea this side of Marrakech

Pasha Taverna & Lounge
4104 Millenia Blvd.
407-730-3222, pashaorlando.com

Mint tea is part of any Moroccan feast, and its preparation has been elevated to an art form in Mediterranean North Africa. Here in Central Florida, no one does it better than Pasha Taverna & Lounge. Ornately designed teapots hold the elixir fashioned from sugar, gunpowder tea and fresh mint sprigs, a beverage that's at once smooth, refreshing and very sweet. The sugary quaff has put off a few local patrons and owner Simo Soaf has capitulated by scaling back the sweetness, but if you ask for your tea to be prepared (and poured) in the traditional manner – tooth-singingly sweet and poured into tiny cups from a pot held dangerously high above the table – he will gladly oblige.


Best latte

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen
118 S. Park Ave., Winter Park
407-854-6626, barniescoffeekitchen.com

The proliferation of frou-frou coffee drinks may have gotten a little out of hand, but at Barnie's CoffeeKitchen, they've elevated the art of espresso drinks to sheer sophistication. This ain't no ordinary double shot. Barnie's lattes come with the kind of practiced, sleight-of-hand latte art one sees in Milan, topped with a foam so thick and creamy, it's practically dessert on its own.


Best morning deal

Java Girls
910 Lee Road, 407-622-0601

Get past the objectification. Those girls press a mean breakfast panini and use a real espresso maker complete with milk frother, both death-defying feats while wearing a bikini – and all for under $5.


Best way to widen your dining horizons for cheap

Orlando Restaurant Week

Each year, usually in May, Orlando Weekly releases its dining guide, BITE. And each year, to celebrate this utterly stellar collection of condensed critics' reviews, dozens of Orlando restaurants offer three-course prix fixe meals for between $10 and $35, giving locals a low-risk, high-reward impetus to try a new dish, a new restaurant, a new part of town. Go eat!

Best Asian market

Woo Sung Market
5079 Edgewater Drive

Whether you're raiding the ready-to-eat banchan (the bevy of condiments/garnishes/side dishes that accompany Korean meals), stocking up on house-made kimchi or furrowing your brow over unrecognizable vegetables, there's always something to take a chance on (and love!) at Woo Sung Market. Even if you have no idea what the packages say, it's cool. Chances are, it'll be an eye-opener.

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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