Orlando's Eola General to host Lily Ann pop-up Friday and Saturday, with roasted octopus you can take to-go

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Lily Ann's chicken teriyaki - PHOTO VIA LILY ANN/@LILYANN.CFL
  • Photo via Lily Ann/@lilyann.cfl
  • Lily Ann's chicken teriyaki

Eola General, located in downtown Orlando's Eola Heights neighborhood, is hosting another weekend pop-up special, the tiny café-restaurant-bar announced on Tuesday.

This time, the two-evening event will showcase Lily Ann, a fine-dining pop-up concept by tip-top pop-up purveyor Mockingbird, which specializes in "progressive Florida cuisine." Lily-Ann usually appears at Kaizen Izakaya downtown, and Mockingbird has appeared at the Heavy in Winter Park.

Diners will get to taste that very progress on Friday and Saturday night from 5:30 to 9 p.m., along with natural wine pairings by the Curate wine pop-up. That's a lot of popping.

The menu includes both meaty and vegan items. On the lighter side are the olive oil waffles with whipped cream cheese ($7), corn muffins ($5), cheese toast ($6 or $8 with ham), a seasonal fruit bowl ($7), baked potato wedges ($5), and seasonal vegetables with tofu ($12). But things really get interesting with the roasted octopus ($13), pan-seared bass ($13) and steak and onion ($20), a seared ribeye with caramelized scallions, onion emulsion and au jus.

"Hey neighbors!" read the post, "The last pop-up at Eola General went really well, so we're making it a thing!"

That last Eola pop-up was run by the chefs from Orlando Meats, who cooked up an all-vegan menu for their kitchen takeover on June 26 and 27.

The little shop had a rough start to the summer, when co-tenant Swan City bagels had to pack up and leave after old, "hateful" tweets resurfaced by their owner. Practically hours later, Eola General welcomed in a brand-new baker Belanger Bagels to fill the missing hole. That's a fast recovery for a place that only opened a year and a half ago, when they took over the former Handy Pantry space.

Whether you're an Eolian or not, the pop-ups have given face-masked neighbors a place to mumble "hello" to each another while nibbling on new dishes, all outside at socially distanced picnic tables with umbrellas.

The real treat is that these dine-in date nights can also just be a fancy meal to go. Certainly no one will hold it against you for ghosting.

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