What’s your foodie holiday tradition? Are you more Feast of the Seven Fishes or more Chinese food and a movie? Glazed ham, prime rib, coquito, mince pie, haupia… Even fruitcake has its place, although maybe that place is a doorstop.
Each week, Edible Orlando writer John Graham picks five “best bets” for Orlando food for the next seven days, Saturday through Friday. Events are definitely taking a Christmas-y turn as December 25 approaches. Get out there and enjoy what Central Florida has to offer.
Bright Lights and Bourbon Barrels
Saturday night, the Mount Dora Boating Center is allowing visitors inside the gates to check out the massive marina Christmas light display – in exchange for canned goods or a donation to Lake Cares Food Pantry. From 6-9 p.m., charitable folks can visit the Night of Lights up close, walk around, and take photos. In 2020, Lake Cares Food Pantry served more than 60,000 people in Lake County, distributing more than 12 tons of food a week.
Broken Strings Brewery has a new release on Saturday, but it’s not beer. It’s bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup! The brewery bought a bunch of Blanton’s Bourbon barrels a year ago and while a beer aged in them will be ready soon, the Vermont syrup is dropping now. Saturday, you can pay and reserve your bottle online at 11 a.m. or head to the brewery on W. Church St. after noon. A 12-ounce bottle of premium dark bourbon maple syrup is $25 – or $30 if you want a limited-edition bottle with a Madagascar vanilla bean inside too. Broken Strings has a few hundred bottles, but they expect them to go fast.
While we’re talking about breweries, another new brewpub is now open in Orlando. Deadwords Brewing is on 23 N. Orange Blossom Trail, walking distance from Camping World Stadium, in the old Al’s Army Store building. On top of beers such as Placeholder Pre-Prohibition Lager and Sangriale (a sangria-inspired sour ale), Deadwords also has a food menu of pizzas, pretzels, charcuterie, and “pale ale pimento cheese.” One distinctive brewing method that Deadwords will use are amphorae, clay fermentation vessels that give beer a unique flavor and mouthfeel.
Hassle-Free Holiday Fare
If you don’t feel like cooking on Christmas Eve, Primo at JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando is planning a special farm-to-table dinner menu, 5-9 p.m., inspired by the onsite organic garden. You can learn more about Chef Melissa Kelly (pictured right) in the latest print edition of Edible Orlando. Citron, also at JW Marriot, will be celebrating with a Christmas Eve prime rib feast, 5:30-9 p.m. Reservations are required at both restaurants. Best to call 407-393-4488.
If you don’t feel like cooking on Christmas Morning either, you can prep our Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch (pictured below) before you head out for dinner on Christmas Eve. Pro tip: put the makings for the Winter Mimosas at the front of the fridge so that you can sip while you set the table. Better yet, let someone else set the table.
For more inspiration, visit our Archives.