Orlando Meats is in the most unlikely of places. It’s a tiny hole in the wall in a bland strip mall just above Narcoosee Road on Goldenrod. It doesn’t have a huge selection, and most of what’s on sale is frozen, but (and this is a big but) it’s dedicated to selling grass-fed, locally raised beef, as well as pastured pork, chicken, goat and more, from the Florida Fresh Meat Company in Ocala. You can purchase by the piece, or order a whole butchered animal, priced by the pound. It’ll cost you more than what you pay at Publix, but if your conscience is telling you that factory-farmed meats are not just environmentally, but also ethically, unsustainable, you’ll soon find yourself forking over a few more bucks a pound for peace of mind.
Whether you’re a studied music head or you’re in need of schooling, Uncle Tony will not lead you astray. The vinyl pickers at this boutique record store finally got a permanent shop for their groovy collection of rare and hard-to-find discs that basically define what tasteful music is. Flip through their racks, which range from psych to jazz to funk to soul, and you’ll see immediately that these aren’t the same old bins that’ve been kicking up dust in the area for ages.
2. Premier Couples Superstore, 5009 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-857-2050, premiercouples.net
3. Pipe Dreams Fifth Dimension, 8385 S. U.S. 17-92, Fern Park, 407-331-7887, pipedreamsmecca.com
2. Coliseum of Comics, multiple locations, coliseumofcomics.com
3. Acme Superstore, 905 E. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-331-0433, acme-superstore.com
2. Plato’s Closet, multiple locations, platoscloset.com
3. The Bargain Box – Junior League of Greater Orlando, 2010 N. Orange Ave., 407-898-1700, jlgo.com/bargain-box
2. Acme Cleaners, 600 N. Westmoreland Drive, 407-841-2301; also 204 E. Ridgewood St., 407-872-1040
3. Parisian Cleaners, 701 Virginia Drive, 407-894-2655
Wander into the Lovely in Audubon Park and you will see where it gets its name. It’s set up in booths where different collectors present their rustic, vintage or kitschy wares. Find unique treasures to bring your environment into that delicate balance that everyone’s internal decorator seeks: reconciling the past with the present in a way that’s stylishly familiar.
2. The Vape Shoppe, 51 E. Church St., 407-455-5500, thevapeshoppe.net
3. The Vaporatory, 790 N. State Road 434, Altamonte Springs, 407-504-7368, thevaporatory.com
2. Renninger’s Antique Center, 20651 U.S. 441, Mount Dora, 352-383-8393, renningers.net
3. Washburn Imports, 1800 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-4403; also 116 E. First St., Sanford, 407-322-1449, washburnimports.com
Artegon’s new top-tier comic and toy store, Gods & Monsters, is the second-largest of its kind in the country and offers pretty much whatever you’re looking for in terms of action figures, statues and collected editions of your favorite comics. But tucked along the back wall in the Offworld Lounge are themed tabletop gaming booths – some sci-fi themed and decked out in faux metal branded with Weyland-Yutani logos, others looking like the VIP booth at a Westerosi tavern – that invite you to step in, sit down and start a session of your favorite game or try out a new one for free. Keep an eye on their calendar for upcoming special guests, themed nights and competitions.