Here are some quick tips for fun food events around Orlando this week, including Wine Wars, Oktoberfest, and Hispanic Heritage.
We hope everyone is dry and safe as Hurricane Ian moves across Florida. If your freezer starts thawing but you still have gas or a grill, remember that you can make an omelet out of almost anything. Of course, there’s also no shame in tearing through your kit of Pop-Tarts, canned soup and those cheese and peanut butter crackers. Stay safe and take care of yourself.
Like all hurricanes, we wait for it to pass and, depending on the situation, try to find a little bit of normal. Every week, writer John Graham looks for food fun in the week ahead around Orlando. As we post this, here are five best bets that are still planned for Saturday through next Friday.
Wine Wars, Oktoberfest
Saturday is a chardonnay showdown at The Veranda in Thornton Park. Wine Wars is back, 5 – 9 p.m. Teams of 1-3 people bring three bottles of the same wine. You can sample the wines, chat with the teams, listen to music and grab a bite at food vendors. You vote on your phone for favorite and least favorite. The winner gets one bottle from every team to take home … except the least favorite, who just gets their bottle back. Tickets are $35 – or $25 with the promo code ICONS. Part of the money collected at Wine Wars goes to Zebra Coalition, providing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13 – 24.
Oktoberfest continues around Central Florida all week. The most traditional Orlando Oktoberfest each year is at the German American Society of Central Florida. This year, the Bavarian blowout is Saturday, noon – 10 p.m., and again on Oct. 22. We’re talking schnitzel and kartoffelpuffer, multiple German breweries, live music and schunkeling (Google it!) Admission is $5 at the gate or in advance. Police, firefighters, and military (active, reserve, guard or retired) get in free with valid ID.
Other Oktoberfests include The Ravenous Pig’s kid- and pet- friendly Saturday Swinetoberfest, the Saturday and Sunday Suntoberfest street party from Suncreek Brewery in Clermont, and Saturday’s WOBtoberfest! at World of Beer in downtown Orlando.
Taco Day, Hispanic Heritage, MICHELIN Weekend
National Taco Day is always Oct. 4, which this year, just happens to also be a Taco Tuesday. Odds are good the neighborhood taco shop near you will be running some kids of special, but here’s a few to get you started. Both Black Rooster Taqueria locations will have a “buy three, get one free” special. Tijuana Flats will do the regular Tijuana Tuesdaze deal (two tacos, chips, and drink for $7.99), but you can also dress like a taco for one free chicken, beef, or bean taco with $2 minimum purchase. Chuy’s will also reward you for a taco costume. Post a photo of your get-up with #ChuysTacoDay for a free, dine-in entrée of your choice. Non-taco wearers can add a ground beef taco to any Chey’s entrée for a dollar and tequila floaters for your margarita are also a dollar. Bartaco’s new seasonal “secret taco” also launches Tuesday – a roasted brussels sprouts taco with honey chipotle glaze on a bed of spicy curry carrot puree. A dollar from every #bartacosecret taco sold through Dec. 5 goes to No Kid Hungry with a minimum donation of $50,000.
Now through Oct. 15 is Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month. (It actually started Sept. 15.) Walt Disney World is celebrating by adding limited-time menu items to parks and resorts as well as Disney Springs. Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Magic Kingdom now has a Un Poco Loco Tostones appetizer (pictured up top: green plantains, duck confit, roasted pepper purée, avocado mousse, charred corn, and cotija cheese foam). Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs has an Encanto petite cake (pictured at right) with mango and raspberry mousse as well as a take on Puerto Rico’s flancocho – flan and chocolate cake garnished with chocolate, dried strawberry, meringue, and macaron.
Hot on the heels of Orlando restaurants being recognized for the first time by the MICHELIN Guide, Grande Lakes Orlando is hosting a weekend starring MICHELIN award-winning chefs next Friday through Sunday. The Curated Experience weekend kicks off Friday with Mingle with MICHELIN including Chef John Tesar (Knife & Spoon, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando). Saturday’s brunch is hosted by two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly (Primo, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando). Saturday night, guest Chef Mitch Lienhard (Suited Hospitality) leads a gala plated dinner. Other weekend events include Grande Lakes coffee curator Lineage and a tour of Grande Lakes on-site Whisper Creek Farm. Four different Curated Experiences packages are available.
NOTICE: FALL ON THE FARM IS CANCELLED THE WEEKEND OF OCT 8 DUE TO HURRICANE IAN.
Fall on the Farm at Grande Lakes, Saturdays and Sundays starting Oct. 15. The family-friendly autumn celebration is at Whisper Creek Farm on resort property. Activities include hayrides, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving with the resort’s award-winning culinary artist, fly fishing and falconry. Admission is $60 per person but goes down to $40 for overnight resort guests. Kids two and under are free.
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