Orlando Weekly presents Florida Salsa Fest

Sunday, May 1, 2016
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Thorton Park • Mucho Tequila & Taco Bar
Contact:  [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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.

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.”

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.”

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.