Best of ORL 2021 – Food & Drink

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DANIELLE HANUSEK OF LIVE WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHY

Downtown Restaurant

Maxine’s on Shine

Sexy, Comfortable and Delicious

As the 10th anniversary approaches for neighborhood restaurant Maxine’s on Shine, owners Maxine and Kirt Earhart are delighted to have “solidified our love affair with the community,” Kirt says. “We’re looking forward to building on that.”

Popular with locals for its warm hospitality, tasty dishes, expansive drinks menu and live entertainment, Maxine’s on Shine returns to a charming new normal as the November celebration looms. Where once there was a parking lot, there now are raised-platform “islands of safety and comfort” for alfresco dining. Just added: a covered dog run with swamp coolers and a new doggie menu for pooch pals (Maxine’s on Shine also won the top spot for Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant). Eclectic music returns with favorite musicians such as Justin Kangrga performing blues, folk and rock. Resident artist Panther Brunotte paints on site. And 80-year-old Chef George Vogelbacher whips up menu favorites like lobster ravioli, cioppino and chicken Parmesan.

Maxine, who lobbied fervently to help pass Florida’s 2018 liquor license law for smaller downtown restaurants, attributes the couple’s success to “perseverance and passion.” Her flair for design gives the dining room its homey ambiance. “We invite you to Maxine’s like you would invite someone to the parlor of your home,” she says. “We wanted to build the kind of restaurant that we’d like to hang out at: sexy, comfortable and delicious.” —Jennie Hess

Community Coffee Spot

1 Achilles Art Café

MetroWest

achillesartcafe.com

 

2 Foxtail Coffee Co.

Multiple Orlando-area locations

foxtailcoffee.com

 

3 Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar

Orlando

drunkenmonkeycoffee.wordpress.com

 

Twistee Treat. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Place for a Frozen Treat

1 Twistee Treat

Multiple Orlando-area locations

twisteetreat.com

 

2 Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Multiple Orlando-area locations

jeremiahsice.com

 

3 Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream

Audubon Park, Orlando

kellyshomemadeicecream.com

 

Wine Store

1 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Multiple Orlando-area locations

abcfws.com

 

2 Total Wine & More

Multiple Orlando-area locations

totalwine.com

 

3 BevFly Wine Outlet

International Drive

bevfly.com

 

Caterer

1 Pearson’s Catering

Orlando

pearsonscatering.com

 

2 Puff ‘n Stuff Events & Catering

Orlando

puffnstuff.com

 

3 Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering

Altamonte Springs

arthurscatering.com

 

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Downtown Restaurant

1 Maxine’s on Shine

Colonialtown

maxinesonshine.com

 

2 Kres Chophouse

Church Street

kresrestaurant.com

 

3 Anthony’s Thornton Park

Thornton Park

anthonyspizza.com

 

College Park Restaurant

1 Armando’s

Edgewater Drive

armandosorlando.com

 

2 Shakers American Café

Edgewater Drive

shakerscafe.com

 

3 The Tap Room at Dubsdread

Par Street

taproomatdubsdread.com

 

Chef’s Table at the Edgewater. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Theme Park Restaurant

1 Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

Disney Springs

disneysprings.com

 

2 Be Our Guest Restaurant

Magic Kingdom Park

disneyworld.disney.go.com

 

3 BaseLine Tap House

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

disneyworld.disney.go.com

 

Lake County Restaurant

1 Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill

Tavares

tikiwestrawbarandgrill.netwaiter.com

 

2 Haystax Restaurant

Eustis

haystaxrestaurant.com

 

3 1921 Mount Dora

Downtown Mount Dora

1921mountdora.com

 

Seminole County Restaurant

1 Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café

Sanford

hollerbachs.com

 

2 Enzo’s on the Lake

Longwood

enzos.com

 

3 Samurai Sushi

Lake Mary

lakemarysushi.com

 

Winter Garden Restaurant

1 Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

West Plant Street

chefstableattheedgewater.com

 

2 Thai Blossom Restaurant

West Plant Street

mythaiblossom.com

 

3 The Whole Enchilada

West Plant Street

twefreshmex.com

 

Osceola County Restaurant

1 Columbia Restaurant

Celebration

columbiarestaurant.com

 

2 El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant

Kissimmee

eltapatiokissimmee.com

 

3 Drive Shack

Corner Drive

driveshack.com

 

AC Sky Bar. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Restaurant Row Restaurant

1 Eddie V’s

West Sand Lake Road

eddiev.com

 

2 Seasons 52

Sand Lake Road

seasons52.com

 

3 Chatham’s Place

Dr. Phillips Boulevard

chathamsplace.com

 

Winter Park Restaurant

1 Hillstone

South Orlando Avenue

hillstonerestaurant.com

 

2 Prato

North Park Avenue

prato-wp.com

 

3 Sixty Vines

Orlando Avenue

sixtyvines.com

 

I-Drive Restaurant

1 Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

International Drive

delfriscos.com

 

2 Café Tu Tu Tango

International Drive

cafetututango.com

 

3 Uncle Julio’s

ICON Park

unclejulios.com

 

 

ROBERTO GONZALEZ

Chocolate Shop

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park

Sweet Success

An admitted chocoholic, Kevin Wray appears to have found his true calling as co-owner of Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park. He and his wife, Jami, opened their Park Avenue shop in 2001 and have continued to push the envelope creatively ever since. “Jami has added more things to the Peterbrooke menu as a whole than the company has in the last 12 years,” Wray says. “She’s always on trend, but not trendy.” One of their enduring fan favorites is chocolate-covered bacon. “Jami insisted I come up with the recipe for one reason only: So we could call it ‘Kevin’s Bacon,’ ” he laughs. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the shop is offering crew members’ favorites, such as Frito bark, chocolate-dipped peach rings, a chocolate-dipped Mexican coconut cookie, and chocolate-covered peanut butter Ritz-style crackers. Behind all the unusual combinations is an ethically sourced, high-quality Swiss-style chocolate that tastes less bitter than typical dark chocolate. “We have our own proprietary blend. Swiss chocolate is a little heavier on cocoa butter content and a little bit lighter on the solids, so it’s creamier and smoother. We’ll put our chocolate up against anybody’s. It’s just hard to beat.” —Cheri Henderson

 

Brewery

1 Crooked Can Brewing Company

Downtown Winter Garden

crookedcan.com

 

2 Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co.

Ivanhoe Village

ivanhoeparkbrewing.com

 

3 Hourglass Brewing

Orlando, Longwood

hourglassbrewing.com

 

Place for Something Sweet

1 Insomnia Cookies

Multiple Orlando-area locations

insomniacookies.com

 

2 The Glass Knife

South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park

theglassknife.com

 

3 Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery

Multiple Orlando-area locations

smallcakescupcakery.com

 

Insomnia Cookies. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Watering Hole or Lounge

1 The Imperial

Orlando, Sanford, Winter Park

imperialwinebar.com

 

2 Hanson’s Shoe Repair

East Pine Street, Orlando

thehansonbuilding.com

 

3 Mathers Social Gathering

South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando

mathersorlando.com

 

Hotel Lounge

1 AC Sky Bar

AC Hotel Orlando Downtown

acskybar.com

 

2 The Bösendorfer Lounge

Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando

kesslercollection.com

 

3 The Alfond Inn

Downtown Winter Park

thealfondinn.com

 

Chocolate Shop

1 Peterbrooke Chocolatier

Winter Park

peterbrookechocolatier.com

 

2 Farris & Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory

Baldwin Park

farrisandfosters.com

 

3 Chocolate Museum & Café

International Drive

wocorlando.com

 

Tacos

1 Rocco’s Tacos

Restaurant Row

roccostacos.com

 

2 Gringos Locos

Multiple Orlando-area locations

gringoslocos.com

 

3 El Zocalo

Downtown Sanford

elzocalosanford.com

 

Crooked Can Brewing Company. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Specialty Foods Store

1 Trader Joe’s

Winter Park, Restaurant Row

traderjoes.com

 

2 Whole Foods Market

Three Orlando-area locations

wholefoodsmarket.com

 

3 Petty’s Meats

Longwood

pettysmeats.com

 

Food Delivery

1 Uber Eats

ubereats.com

 

2 DoorDash

doordash.com

 

3 Instacart

instacart.com