by Aimee Vitek
Ricky Ly, founder and writer for local food blog TastyChomps.com, steps out of the infinite spaces of the Internet this week, landing on the paperback pages of his first book, Food Lovers’ Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Globe Pequot Press, 336 pages).
Each chapter of Ly’s book encapsulates an Orlando-area neighborhood, including highlights like “Best of the Neighborhood,” “Foodie Faves” and “Specialty Stores, Markets & Producers.”
The spread of restaurants mentioned in the guide run the gamut of everything from gastropubs in downtown Orlando (The Rusty Spoon), to Winter Park’s Park Avenue sidewalk setting (Prato), to the pick-up-and-go variety (903 Mills Market) to dinner-and-a-show-style places (Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café).
Ly’s foodie guide also features sections detailing area farmers’ markets, date night suggestions and food truck fare, while finishing with a collection of recipes from local restaurant chefs.
Being as it’s Friday, we immediately gravitated toward the Cetriolo Cocktail by Prato’s David Arnold (page 252), winner of “Best Summer Cocktail” in our 2012 Best of Orlando issue. But you might head for other creations by big-name chefs like Hari Pulapaka of DeLand’s Cress Restaurant or John Rivers of 4Rivers Smokehouse.
Turn to page five, and you’ll even find a shout-out to Orlando Weekly dining editor Jessica Bryce Young and food writers Faiyaz Kara and Holly Kapherr.
Ly tells us the book was originally expected to be released in February, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s available now for pre-order through Amazon.com ($11.21) and BarnsandNoble.com ($10.98).