Orlando Weekly presents Florida Salsa Fest

Sunday, May 1, 2016
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Thorton Park • Mucho Tequila & Taco Bar
Contact:  rhoyle@orlandoweekly.com

Calling All Salsa Chefs:

Florida Salsa Fest is looking for Amateur and Pro salsa chefs to compete for the title of Florida’s Best Salsa and win over $2,000 in cash prizes. Entries will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Participants are responsible for paying a registration fee, supplying all ingredients and equipment (i.e. cooking utensils, blenders, can openers, serving bowl, etc.) needed to prepare their salsa. Amateurs must prepare a minimum of six (6) gallons of salsa for the event and a minimum of ten (10) gallons of salsa must be prepared by Pros. One (1) pint for judging (a container will be provided) must be prepared. Please email Zackary@orlandoweekly.com or visit www.floridasalsafest.com to register.

Get Your “Salsa On” At Florida Salsa Fest:

Tickets to the Florida Salsa Fest include all you can eat salsa tastings, as well as Corona, tequila, salsa music and salsa dancing to “get your salsa on!” The Festival will be located between Pine and Mariposa Street in the Thornton Park district downtown Orlando, surrounding Mucho Tequila and Taco Bar. Guests must be 21 or up to attend. Tickets can be purchased at www.floridasalsafest.com. General admission tickets start at $15, and VIP tickets start at $45. VIP tickets include unlimited salsa sampling, a private VIP area, private restrooms, private bar, three complimentary drinks and access to the Mucho cocktail and table service. An amateur and pro competition will be taking place that will be judged by esteemed local chefs and salsa connoisseurs.

Florida Salsa Fest is presented by Corona, Publix, Mango’s Tropical Café, Sprint, Mucho Tequila & Taco Bar, Orlando Food & Ankle Clinic and Orlando Weekly.

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Bojangles Introduces First Frozen Beverage in Orlando, Invites Fans to Try a Complimentary Bo Freeze

Customers Can Reserve a Free 16 oz. Bo Freeze at BoFreeze.com

Orlando, Fla. – Bojangles’ Restaurants, famous for serving made-from-scratch biscuits, hand-breaded chicken and mouthwatering breakfast all day, is now serving Bo Freeze, its first ever frozen beverage, in all central Florida Bojangles’.  To celebrate the delicious addition to the menu, Bojangles’ is inviting customers to try a free 16 oz. Bo Freeze by visiting Bo Freeze.com on Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 14.

Bojangles’ will give away thousands of Bo Freezes from Monday, March 10 through Sunday, March 16 as customers select a time during this week to pick up their Bo Freeze from any of the eight Bojangles’ locations in the central Florida area.
Bo Freeze is available in in lemonade, lemon-lime, raspberry and peach flavors. Online reservations for a free Bo Freeze will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and one reservation will be available per person.

“At Bojangles’, we are always listening to our customers and looking for the right opportunities to introduce new options to our menu – that includes our beverage selection,” said Bojangles’ Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development Mike Bearss. “Bo Freeze means a whole new kind of drink option and a variety of new flavors for our customers to choose from.”

Central Florida Bojangles’ locations are owned and operated by Bojangles’ franchise partner 7 Bo of Central Florida, who has been part of the community since 2009.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate this exciting addition to our menu with opportunities for our loyal customers and those visiting us for the first time to try Bo Freeze for free,” said Gregg Hill, a principal of 7 Bo of Central Florida. “If you have never experienced Bojangles’ unique flavors before, now is a great time to reserve your free Bo Freeze and come see what ‘Bo Time’ is all about.”

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Lotus, A Innovative New Restaurant Concept, Opening in Downtown Orlando on Aug. 1

Aura Florida Lounges to Open Several New Venues in Eola Square

Aura Florida Lounges, in collaboration with Alena Hospitality, has announced the grand opening date for “Lotus,” a new restaurant concept which promises to elevate the city’s social and dining scenes. Slated to open on August 1st in The Sanctuary building in Downtown’s trendy Eola Square neighborhood, Lotus is described as a Farm-to-Table Fusion concept.

“If you are a fan of Thornton Park’s ‘see-and-be-seen’ boutique shopping and dining destinations, or just a fan of fabulous food, you will love Lotus,” said Julie Morris, Director of Marketing for AURA Florida Lounges. “Lotus is designed to appeal to the 30-plus crowd who are seeking fine dining in a big-city atmosphere reminiscent of South Beach or Las Vegas.”

In addition to Lotus, the AURA group also plans to announce the debut of Lotus’ sister restaurant, “Honey,” which will open shortly after Lotus in mid-August. “We expect both restaurants to take Orlando’s culinary, entertainment and nightlife to a much-needed new level, creating the city’s most anticipated hot spots,” continued Morris.

Lotus & Honey are located on the ground floor of the city’s posh residential condominium, The Sanctuary (100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801) in Downtown Orlando’s Eola Square (South Eola Drive between Pine & Church). Lotus’ Farm-to-Table Fusion menus, created by Chef Luis J. Negrón, are a combination of local ingredients fused with techniques gleaned from around the world. “We have developed an innovative menu of items that are delicious, visually stimulating and healthy, “ said Chef Negrón. “Most entrée selections are between 500-600 calories, which we know will appeal to our clientele.”

Guests will find cuisine that is representative of cultures from Italy, the Middle East, France and beyond. Menu items include Jerusalem artichokes with artisan prosciutto, burrata and yellow tomato for $13; Korean spiced spare ribs with green papaya slaw for $9; rock shrimp & scallop croissant with smoked pear tomatoes, bibb lettuce and blueberry-black pepper compote for $12, plus an exciting array of other options.

Lotus will also feature a stylish full bar with the freshest of cocktails, comprehensive wine list and happy hour daily from 4-8 p.m. “Lotus will be THE place to be for weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas and innovative menu items,” said Erica Fallon CEO of AURA Florida Lounges. “Plus, we have the largest patio in Thornton Park where guests can dine alfresco in Orlando’s fine weather.”

The Lotus interior encompassed a stylish and energetic renovation (accented in bright fuchsia and lime green) on par with dining destinations one would find in major U.S. cities.

“The team at AURA Florida Lounges are hospitality industry veterans and business professionals who understand Orlando’s 30+ market,” said Fallon. “We know what young professionals in Central Florida are looking for – a hip destination to enjoy dining, entertainment and nightlife. Our goal is to shape the Eola Square neighborhood into a dining & dating destination.”

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Tangy new dishes zip and zing at Pollo Tropical

Spring is fresh in the air and Pollo Tropical has been in the kitchen feeling inspired by the season. Two, new dishes are being unveiled in stores featuring Tangy Pineapple, that will surely make your taste buds zip and sing!

Tangy Pineapple Chicken Wrap; Pineapple grilled with olive oil, cumin, and a hint of black pepper, marinated chicken breast, Monterey jack cheese, chipotle mayo, thin flatbread finished on a grill press.


Tangy Pineapple Chicken Salad; Grilled pineapple atop a bed of California Romaine lettuce, sweet corn, red peppers, marinated grilled chicken breast, with a mango poppy vinaigrette dressing.


Pollo Tropical is always rolling out unique eats, keeping their menu fresh and full of the authentic flavors of the brand’s signature, Caribbean style food. Getting hungry? Let me know if you are interested in including this in a future piece or feature, I’d love to work with you on it. I have attached the release and an image.

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Kings Bowl Orlando Now Open on International Drive

30,000-Square-Foot Dining, Bowling and Entertainment Venue Features 22 Ten-Pin Bowling Lanes, Full-Service Upscale Restaurant, 60 Big Screen TVs andState-of-the-Art Sound System

ORLANDO, FL – KINGS Bowl Orlando opens its doors to the public tonight at 6 p.m. in the “I-Drive Live” project on Orlando’s world-famous corridor, International Drive. It’s the first Florida location for KINGS Bowl, the Boston-based, dining, bowling and entertainment venue that pioneered the upscale bowling revolution in 2003.

The 30,000-square-foot venue offers a first-class dining, bowling and entertainment experience unlike any other in Central Florida. In addition to 22 ten-pin bowling lanes, KINGS Orlando offers a full-service upscale restaurant, four full-sized billiards tables, a regulation-sized shuffleboard table, a full outdoor bocce ball court (one of only a few in the area), massive sports bar boasting 60 HDTVs and a real-time sports ticker, pour-you-own beer taps, dancing and more. KINGS Orlando is further differentiated by transforming into an adults-only experience after dark. By day, families with children can bowl and savor homemade ice cream and other treats. At 6 p.m., general public admission moves to adults only, age 21 and above.

Kings Bowl Orlando debuted on Tuesday with “Bowl-Erina,” a fundraising event to benefit the Orlando Ballet, followed by a grand opening party on Wednesday. Both private celebrations drew a variety of celebrities, VIPs, television personalities and top business and hospitality industry professionals from Central Florida. Robert and Tricia Earl, Visit Orlando CEO George Aguel, International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Maria Triscari and Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Robert Hill joined with KINGS Owner Patrick Lyons to cut the opening ribbon and roll out the ceremonial first ball during “Bowl-Erina.” (See attached images and captions below).

“Bowling has always been a great social sport and Kings has reinvented the experience for a new generation,” says Patrick Lyons, president and founder of the Lyons Group and KINGS Bowl America. “Serious ten-pin athletes will relish our ultramodern lanes and roomy player accommodations, while even the most ‘gutter-prone’ will appreciate our chef’s delicious fare and our thoughtful menu of craft beers and signature cocktails.”

From the moment they set foot inside KINGS, guests know that they are in for an experience unlike any other. A hip, retro-inspired vibe and grooving soundtrack greets them as they navigate between a friendly evening at the lanes, great food in the restaurant and socializing in KINGS’ lounge bar that translates to an open, climate controlled outdoor café experience on the stylish, full-service patio. Committed sports fans can catch all of the action at KINGS’ massive sports bar boasting 60 HDTVs and projectors and a real-time sports ticker. Guests can also take in the scene on the energetic concourse catching all the action happening throughout the expansive facility.

The idea of bowling alley food as an afterthought is tossed in the gutter at KINGS; everything is carefully crafted, made fresh and delivered daily. The full-service KINGS restaurant serves an impressive, executive chef-designed menu of American favorites and delicious comfort food. Appetizers include unique, modern plays on classic bar fare, such as cheeseburger spring rolls, perfectly fried mac & cheese bites and homemade buffalo chicken wontons. Entrees are highlighted by house-smoked baby back ribs, juicy and creative burgers and KINGS’ signature, tender, award-winning steak tips. Diners can finish their meal with a taste of sweet nostalgia from the built-in Ice Cream Shoppe featuring creative sundaes and delicious homemade desserts. The impressive menu is served throughout the entire facility until close seven days a week.

In addition to the food and entertainment, KINGS is well-known for its special events and parties. The venue boasts multiple jaw-dropping private bowling and meeting spaces complimented by state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities. Two meeting rooms can be made completely private and can accommodate up to 50 and 100 people, respectively. Party goers can bowl while enjoying an assortment of upscale culinary delights served right to the lanes, as well as best-in-industry service that has already made KINGS a repeat destination for so many in Boston and Chicago. Birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, kids’ parties, and corporate and team building parties are all made memorable with the unique combination of entertainment, great food and unforgettable service.

Following in the toe-steps of “Bowl-Erina,” KINGS will continue to be a committed and actively engaged member of the Orlando community through “fun-raisers” and in-kind donations. KINGS has already made a philanthropic name in its markets, having hosted and raised millions for local charities attended by the likes of popular celebrities and athletes including former and current NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Patriots Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Jerod Mayo, Bears captain Charles Tillman, and BC and NFL legend Doug Flutie. KINGS will immediately look to make a similar impact in the Orlando area. Other famous guests at KINGS include Lady Gaga, Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg and many more of music and Hollywood’s finest.

KINGS also assures that local residents and members of the Orlando hospitality industry are treated like royalty. They can register to receive a free loyalty card that will provide the benefits of seasonally rotated, exclusive specials and discounts. Locals will also appreciate free surface parking in 600 adjacent available spaces and easy access via Universal Boulevard.

For operating hours and more information, visit www.kingsorlando.com, and follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates on events and specials.

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