Cuppa Contract

News about BK's coffee-a-day plan, Epcot's current festival, "alternative'' supermarkets and more.



 

Burger King now has a subscription service for coffee. Considering the vast amount of exceptional local coffee I consume(d) while researching the March Coffee Culture issue (still on some newsstands), the idea of a continuing flow of BK coffee does not bring me joy and, frankly, I’ve never had a Kingly Cuppa so I’m talking out of my paper cup. But $5 a month for a small java a day (about 17¢) may be a bargain if one is close by or on your way to work anyway. The King is attempting to woo caffaholics away from other fast food purveyors—not to mention that coffee may be their highest profit center. Did you know that Dunkin’ Donuts (excuse me, just Dunkin’ now) is the largest coffee seller in the country? Maybe BK should change their name to Brgr …

Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival is in full blooming swing, running through June 3. While flowers and gardens might not immediately bring snacking and drinking to mind, unlike the Food & Wine fest in August (and September, October and November), the 18 themed food kiosks may give evidence otherwise. Fried green tomatoes with blue crab-fennel salad, lobster tail with grilled Meyer lemon, and griddled maple pound cake with peach compote and sweet corn gelato are some of the offerings, along with beverages from St. Pete’s 3 Daughters Brewing, Sarasota’s Big Top, pineapple wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and gallons of mixed cocktails. Plus a lineup of musical acts, some names of which you might recognize but whose personnel is filled with “(Blank Blank) OF (Group)” and “formerly ofs” (although salsa legend Eddie Palmieri in June should be killer).

AROUND TOWN

* The groundbreaking East End Market has launched a series of third Friday events called The Evening Exchange. Live workshops, culinary demonstrations and unique cocktail bars will spotlight the area’s makers and shakers. Segments have included a dumpling workshop from DOMU; a 10-minute date night catered by Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine; and a host of vendors. The next EvEx is April 19, featuring a how-to-make-kombucha workshop by Humble Bumble Kombucha and an introduction to beekeeping from East End’s own Bottom Stung Beekeepers.

* The influx of “alternative” supermarkets continues. Where Publix and Winn-Dixie once ruled, fresh, natural and organic upstarts are bumping into the old-timers and demanding sidewalk space. After Trader Joe’s cracked the Orlando market, our shopping attention has been distracted by the quickly growing (and partially Kroger-owned) Lucky’s; healthy eating banner-waving Sprouts and Earth Fare; and a revitalized Fresh Market and the Amazon-owned Whole Foods (I ordered a box of groceries online via Amazon Prime and it was at my door in two hours). Of course, I love the pan-Asian markets on Mills and Colonial, the subcontinental joys of Patel Brothers on Sand Lake Road, local produce at Freshfields Farm, and Latin delights of Fancy Fruit in Altamonte. Tell me your faves, and what I might have missed.

* At the 12th Annual “Reading between the Wines” event on April 17 at Orlando Science Center, local hero restaurants will supply small bites while Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King will talk about his newest book, Beneath a Ruthless Sun, a narrative of Florida crimes and injustices. Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Kitchen, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, Olde Hearth Bread Company, 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck, The Palm Restaurant, Buca di Beppo, and Swine & Sons will be on hand. Proceeds support the Adult Literacy League. Tickets are $99 and available by clicking here.

Stay in touch at  joseph.hayes@orlandomagazine.com,  and access a comprehensive list of my print and online reviews here!

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Savor Orlando

From fine dining to local hot spots, the latest restaurant news, reviews and more.

About This Blog

For the past 20 years, I've made my living as a features, food and travel writer, playwright and jazz producer. I collect odd facts about Central Florida's food scene, such as College Park once being a pineapple plantation; or where to sample local mead (hint: it's in DeLand). I'd rather eat small tastes than a big meal, and my go-to food is noodles.

Find out more at jrhayes.net

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