Orlando Dining News Round-Up May 21, 2017: Portobello, The Halal Guys, Tijuana Flats

In this week’s Orlando dining news round-up: new menus, new openings, and several closings. Are you hungry? Let’s dive in…

Portobello Italian Trattoria has closed at Disney Springs, and is currently undergoing renovations

After seven years, Portobello Italian Trattoria has closed at Disney Springs, and is currently undergoing renovations. James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master, Tony Mantuano, is leading the development of the restaurant, which will still offer Italian cuisine. The revamped eatery, still operated by Levy Restaurants, is set to reopen Fall 2017.

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Tijuana Flats is debuting a new “Flat Outrageous” menu section starting Monday, May 22. It will include five new dishes:

Street TacosCrispy Baja Fish (crispy fish, chipotle crema, shaved cilantro cabbage & pineapple salsa); Lime Steak (grilled garlic-lime steak, avocado crema, shaved cilantro cabbage, pico de gallo & cotija cheese), and Jerk Chicken (crispy jerk chicken, MoreFire! hot sauce, shaved cilantro cabbage, pineapple salsa & cotija cheese)
Philly Cheesesteak Flautas (shaved sirloin steak, mozzarella cheese, grilled onions & peppers, served with queso)
Bangin’ Chicken® Tostadas (crispy corn tortillas with Smack My Ass Bangin’ Chicken®, refried beans, cheddar-jack cheese, grilled onions & peppers, tomatoes & ranch dressing).

I’ll be checking out the new menu next week, but if you try it before I do, let me know what you think!

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Reyes Mezcaleria, a new regional Mexican restaurant by restaurateurs Jason and Sue Chin (Osprey Tavern, Seito Sushi Baldwin Park), is now open at 821 N. Orange Ave, in the space that formerly housed Citrus. The menu was crafted by Executive Chef Austin Boyd, and you can enjoy it nightly starting at 5pm, as well as during lunch hours of 11:30am ro 2:30pm.

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New York’s The Halal Guys will bring their Middle Eastern cuisine menu to Orlando, setting up shop at the Waterford Lakes Town Center (688 N. Alafaya Trail), next to Keke’s Breakfast Cafe. They plan to soft open on August 8, with a Grand Opening celebration scheduled for August 11.

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The Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop will open a second location in downtown Orlando at 131 N. Orange Ave Suite 103, sometime next month. The Mediterranean restaurant is currently located at 3405 Edgewater Dr in College Park.

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Restaurant ASH, helmed by Hell’s Kitchen contestant Ashley Nickell, has closed in the Mills 50 district. She and her father, restaurateur Eddie Nickell, plan to open a similar concept casual eatery elsewhere soon.

In the meantime, Nickell has rented the Mills Ave space to Brooklyn Coffee Shop, which is an offshoot of the Brazilian company of the same name. It will be an American-style coffee shop with food and Brazilian pastries.

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Square 1 Burgers in Winter Park is also closed, due to being evicted from their space, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Apparently the Tampa-based company was behind on rent and other bills. Locations in Lakeland and The Villages still seem to be operating.

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Mucho Tequila and Tacos in Thornton Park closed earlier this month. Replacing it will be a NOLA-inspired eatery helmed by Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar owners Bernard Caramouche and Larry Sinibaldi called Muddy Waters. No word on when that will open.

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That’s it for this week. If you have any Central Florida dining news to share, drop it in comments or send it to us via our contact form. We’ll credit you if we use it.

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