Plus, local eateries are feeling the effects of inflation and so are our wallets.
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🍅 'Cooking is just like music. The tunes may be different, but the notes are the same."

Plus, local eateries are feeling the effects of inflation and so are our wallets.

By Katie Johnston

It’s Wednesday, and you’re in for a treat today. 

That’s because I’ve got the scoop on the eight new holiday creations at Qreate down below along with other Orlando food and drink news you oughta know. But first, let’s talk about this recent interview I did with local photographer Brian Carlson

I became familiar with his work after seeing his occasional column in Bungalower, and so when he reached out to ask if I’d be interested in being interviewed for his “11 Questions With” series, the answer was a swift “no duh.”  

What I like most about Brian’s series is that the questions run the gamut from lighthearted to serious, and you really get to know a person through those 11 questions. While I had fun answering his queries from the comfort of my own home, it was the time spent afterward at a photo shoot where I had the pleasure of learning about Brian too, and in the process, a little more about myself. 

If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of one of Brian’s interview requests, I encourage you to say yes. Another thing I learned: when someone asks you to go down a kiddie slide, the answer to that too is always an enthusiastic, unreserved hell yes. 

Thanks for the fun, Brian. 10/10 would go to the zoo with you again.


I wouldn't not want to work remotely from the Central Florida Zoo a few times a week. | Wanna see your photo here? Tag either #pulptown or @pulptown on Instagram to be featured as our IG of the Day!

Chew on this, Orlando

💸 Local restaurants are feeling the effects of inflation and so are our wallets. Prices are going up at local moms-and-pops and restaurant chains alike as the global economy continues fluctuating amid the pandemic. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the cost of eating out in October at full-service restaurants was up 5.9% in October compared with a year ago, and prices at limited-service eateries like fast food spots were up 7.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. (Orlando Sentinel

  • Quotable: “There’s never been a period of time at least in the last 30 years where the restaurant industry has faced both high labor cost inflation and food cost inflation at the same time,” said San Diego-based restaurant analyst John Gordon. He added that he thinks prices are going to continue increasing.

🌮 It’s official — Black Rooster Taqueria is officially open in Curry Ford West. The popular Mills 50 mainstay expanded to the neighborhood last week (and held a media preview party that I had the misfortune of missing). But I did see pics, and while I was planning to go anyway for the delicious eats, that outdoor space is beckoning me the most. (Bungalower

☕️ It’s that time of year again when local hot spots bust out their new holiday menus, and this one got me especially excited: Qreate Coffee + Studio’s promises of “toasted marshmallow mocha with s’mores” and a “dirty spicy praline chai latte” sound like my Christmas wish list come true. Do you agree? (Qreate on Instagram)  

🦞 Lombardi’s Seafood has permanently closed the cafe portion of its Winter Park market but don’t cry just yet— the 60-year-old community staple will be fast-tracking an expansion of its retail operations asap. So you’ll still be able to grab your lobster rolls to-go. (Orlando Sentinel

🍅 "Cooking is just like music. The tunes may be different, but the notes are the same." That’s what chef Hung Huynh had to say when asked about shifting from his innovative pan-Asian fare to develop a menu of pan-Med cuisine for the new Ava MediterrAegean restaurant coming to Park Ave. From spending a month to find the perfect tomato to spending money down to the scent, foodie writer Faiyaz Kara says when this place opens early next year, we’ll be in for a real treat. (Orlando Weekly

🍔 Cafe Linger, Deli Desires, Achilles Art Cafe, Judy’s Diner— these are just four of the 20 diners, cafes, and delis on Orlando Weekly’s must-try list. Bialys, corned beef hash, greasy burgers, get in my belly, why don’t you? (Orlando Weekly)

🐟 There’s another new concept led by a celebrity chef coming to Orlando. “Top Chef All-Stars” alum Richard Blais’ is opening Four Flamingoes next month in the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It’s a Florida-themed restaurant with tropical-inspired dishes like stone crab, lots of fish, and such. (WKMG

🍝 A new upscale Italian restaurant opened on Sand Lake Road last week. North Italia, a modern Italian concept known for its handcrafted cuisine and cocktails, is getting rave reviews for both its lunch and dinner menus and the brunch menu looks mighty tasty too. (West Orlando News)

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🍷 Eat, drink, and create — learn to make a culinary herb wreath while sipping vino at Swirlery Wine Bar (SoDo)

🎶 Don't miss the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra's 2021 Virtual Young People’s Concert: "Bach To The Future" Nov. 15 thru Nov. 19 (Online)

🗣 Tune in to Goodwill and Legal Aid Society's free webinar to discuss sealing and expunging a record (Online)

🤑 Attend LEAP's Annual Pitch Competition where justice-impacted women compete to become entrepreneurs (Think "Shark Tank" without the bite!) (Online)

🎄 Get in the Christmas spirit at Orlando Museum of Art's Festival of Trees through Nov. 21 (Loch Haven Park)

💻 Encourage your teens to explore their creative side with this monthly series, featuring Mandala dot art(Online)

💻 Discuss Medicare and Medicaid with an expert from the community as part of the ongoing Smarter Senior Seminar Series (Online)

💻 Learn from Dr. Andrew Frank about the myths and fabrications of Chief Osceola, the influential leader of the Seminole people in Florida (Online)


🎲 Get your groove on and win prizes worth over $2,000 at R&Bingo in front of the Dr. Phillips Center (Downtown)

🎷 See Jacksonville saxophonist DeAndre Lettsome perform live at Timucua (SoDo)

🎶 See the band SWIMM perform live at Will's Pub with FayRoy and Gary Lazer Eyes (Mills 50)

❓ Show off your useless wizard knowledge with Harry Potter-themed trivia at Ivanhoe Park Brewing (Ivanhoe)

🎷 Buy a ticket to see saxophonist DeAndre Lettsome at Timucua Arts Foundation! (SoDo)


🦌 Get into the holiday spirit at Reindeer Romp at the Orlando Museum of Art during its annual Festival of Trees event (Loch Haven Park)

🍿Watch "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on the big screen in the parking lot of Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. (Ivanhoe)

🛶 Go out for a full moon paddle of Lake Ivanhoe and stick around for a bonfire (Ivanhoe)

🛍 Shop local makers at the monthly market in front of Oviedo Brewing Company (Oviedo)

🎶 Enjoy an evening of funk, soul, blues, rock, and jazz for your Friday night (Mills 50)

🍿Watch "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on the big screen in Ivanhoe Park Brewing's parking lot (Ivanhoe)

🎶 See local bands battle it out at Amway Center in preparation for this weekend's Florida Classic (Parramore)


🎁 Get in the holiday spirit by shopping, eating, and drinking at the annual Jingle Eve (Ivanhoe)

🛍 Get a head start on the holidays by shopping this pop-up market at Orlando Brewing (SoDo)

🖼 Peruse the work of 200 artists and handcraft exhibitors selling unique items, fine jewelry, and seasonal decor (Longwood)

🎅Visit the Festival of Trees on Nov. 20 and wear your ugliest holiday sweater (Loch Haven Park)

🏈 Pick a side at the annual FAMU versus Bethune-Cookman College meetup in the Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium (West Lakes)


🛍 Shop for plants, vintage, art, and oddities at this pop-up feminist fair (Ivanhoe)

🛍 Support local while shopping vintage at this monthly pop-up market in front of Ace Cafe (Downtown)

🦋 Come enjoy Metamorphosis! A sensorial experience and celebration of an Orlando poet's first book release (South Eola)

Oh, and one more thing...


Me almost every time I walk away from a conversation. Can you relate? (🎥: giphy)

We should know today whether or not state legislators will advance on withdrawing Florida from federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight. The Florida House is expected to pass the measure today on the third day of the special legislative session called by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The whole bill came about after OSHA issued its ruling requiring company-wide COVID-19 vaccinations for federal contractors and businesses with 100 or more employees. Employees could still opt not to get vaccinated, but they’d need to be regularly tested and required to wear masks. 

An identical bill is also currently being considered by the Senate. I’ll keep you posted on what happens next there in tomorrow’s newsletter. 

Adios amigos. 

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

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