It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was hungry! I was both hungry and, because I have been partaking in a little retail therapy over the past few weeks, a bit economically challenged. Before checking my bank account earlier that morning, I had great plans of visiting this upscale Mexican restaurant and then sharing my great meat-free findings. However, upscale anything just did not fit into my budget. So, I had to downgrade my lunch plans. Not wanting to use up too much gas and with my new $15 or under budget, I decided to finally try a restaurant that was probably no more than 10 minutes away. I was a bit skeptical until the amazing smells floating from Ocoee’s That One Spot Burgers hit my nose.
I really like grilled cheese sandwiches. Who doesn’t? It has to be one of the simplest dishes ever. It’s just bread and cheese. I especially like a great grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fries. Although my jury duty ended a day early, which meant that my meat-free food journey through downtown Orlando also had an early end, I decided to treat myself to one last day of eating out for lunch. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted, but I knew that I just wanted something quick and simple. After going through my saved list of “places to try later” on Foursquare, I decided to go ahead and give Toasted a try. It had been sitting on that list untampered with for far too long.
This past week, I participated in what many tried very hard to convince me was an honor. I was a “willing” participant in jury duty. Although I was quite happy to be doing something out of the ordinary on a random Monday, that happiness quickly turned into disappointment once my juror number was called to participate on what would become a 3-day trial. But with my ability and knack for thinking quick on my feet, I immediately had an idea that would turn my bag of lemons into a perfectly-made pitcher of lemonade. I would document my time in downtown Orlando the best way I knew how: through food! With little thought, I quickly chose Orange Avenue’s Whitewood Modern Mediterranean Grill to begin my meat-free journey through downtown Orlando, and what a great decision it was!
I lucked up on Winter Park’s Sleeping Moon Cafe through a series of unfortunate events. If things had gone as I had planned the day before I took my most recent meat-free food adventure, it would have probably been months before I even heard about the cafe. But thankfully, two locally-owned vegetarian friendly restaurants that I had visited before and was excited about sharing with you, just did not display the type of customer service that made me comfortable to dine there. So, I left. Both places. Without hesitation. After my second “walk out,” I did a quick Foursquare search and Sleeping Moon Cafe popped up in the search results, and the rest was history.
For the past 5 months, I have unknowingly been driving right by what would become a place that I would come to rave about to my friends and family. So you don’t make the same mistake as I did, allow me to introduce you to Mamak Asian Street Food. If you live in Central Florida, it is quite easy to 1. miss it on your drive down the always-busy Colonial Drive and 2. not think much of it as its street appearance is quite unassuming. Being the adventure eater that I am, after the 1,000th time of passing by wondering what on earth was going on inside, I did a bit of research, liked what I saw, and decided to call up a friend to try the place out with me. One bite in, and I knew that Mamak would be a place that I would come to again and again.
A few weeks ago, a follower of my Facebook page reached out to me and asked if we could meet up and have a chat at one of my favorite restaurants. Sure! I responded. That was the easy part. Selecting the restaurant was the hard part, because whatever place I chose would either confirm my prowess as a foodie or completely invalidate this idea that I have of myself (and that I hope others have of me). There were so many unanswered questions: would I take her to a vegan restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant, or to a regular restaurant with vegan and/or vegetarian dishes? Would we go for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner? Whatever place I chose, it had to be a great representative of me. It took some time for me to come to my senses, but when I did, Ethos Vegan Kitchen was waiting right there for me, right under my nose.
To say that I had been dying to go to Prato would be an understatement. It was probably about two years ago that I was walking with my family down Winter Park’s trendy and upscale Park Ave, when either my nephew offered or I suggested that he get me a gift card to one of the many restaurants that lined the street. Either way, he obliged and for the last few years, I have had my Prato gift card packed safely away waiting for the perfect moment to use it. This past Friday, I decided that it was time, so I took the day off from work and tried the vegan and vegetarian side of Prato, and loved every bite!
Every meat lover in Central Florida is probably well-aquainted with Yellow Dog Eats. With a menu stuffed with pulled pork created into pretty much any type of arrangement imaginable, why wouldn’t they be? By the time I got wind of the amazingness that happens at YDE, I had already kicked meat from my diet, so I have only dined on their famous bbq’d meats through my nose. On the occasions that I found myself at the very quaint and homey restaurant, I would just order the smoked salmon wrap. Wanting to try something a little different this go ’round, on my recent visit I decided to see if their vegan dishes were as good as I’ve read their meat dishes were. Based on the reviews that I’ve read about their pulled pork, I can say with certainty that they give the same amount of attention to their meats as they do in preparing their vegan dishes.
Before I had even finished what would presumably be the first of many meals at Se7en Bites, I was already contemplating my next visit. It was that good. If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile, this is very telling. When it comes to eating out, I have about 2-3 places that I have on my go-to list. But for the most part, I am a stick and move kind of girl. I am happy to admit that Se7en Bites and its vegetarian friendly menu has made it onto my “go-back” list.
The moment that I received an email alerting me to Infusion Tea’s new seasonal menu, I knew that I had to go and try it, and ASAP. So, this past weekend I headed to what has become one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan eateries and ordered 2 items that I had yet to try: one from the new seasonal menu and one of the menu mainstays that I just never seemed to order.
From the first moment that I tried pad thai, I loved it. In the early days, my pad thai dish would always come topped with chicken. These days, I still love pad thai, just sans the meat. So, after hearing about how awesome Winter Park’s Thai Place was, I was really excited to try their pad thai… with tofu just for me!
I know this is going to sound a bit dramatic and somewhat overboard, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my recent and, most importantly, first visit to Tako Cheena. Here goes: It was a mind blowing experience. Sure, anyone can put together a meatless, even vegan, burrito. But, the question is, can they infuse as much flavor into it as Tako Cheena does?
I love falafel sandwiches. So a few weeks ago, after remembering that I had scored a coupon for a free one from Hubbly Bubbly while attending Yelp’s Night at The Museum, I decided to treat myself to a weekday dinner out.
When the craving for a burger hits, the last thing I want is a thin, card-board like veggie burger. Nope, although I’m not a fan of beef, I still like my veggie-packed burgers to be big and meaty. Thankfully, B&B Junction’s #18 gave me just what I was looking for.
Black Bean Deli promised great Cuban food, and it delivered really good, flavorful food. Meat free AND vegan!
After passing by the shop day after day on my way home from work over the past few weeks, I decided to stop by Orlando’s newest vegan eatery to try a few items. I’m happy to say, that I am very glad that I did.