Saturday, July 2, 2011

Orlando Restaurants

This was a side not from the Counter Culture post but too long so now it gets it's own post: we have grown a greater appreciation for Orlando because while their options were scant, they were delicious.  They have a coffee shop called the Drunken Monkey where they make an amazing philly cheesesteak with firm, chopped seitan,  loads of peppers and onions and nayonaise is mixed with the cheese to more accurately mock the real thing.  We had one vegan brunch place, Ethos, but it had everything, think snack bar from before, then subtract the meat.  Vegan biscuits and gravy, rotating flavored pancakes, sausage, canadian bacon, tofu scramble, unlimited coffee refills with all the organic fixins, etc.  It was packed every Sunday but it was always worth the wait.  Then we had the vegan hot dog dude (probably homeless) in a broken down hot dog cart in downtown, Neveah, they were the freaking best hot dogs even the meat eaters had ever had.  We would travel to the city especially to eat these puppies, he would keep the ingredients hot so the cheese was already melted and he just poured it on, generously.  He wasn't official so he had no hours or a specific location (or twitter) but just showed up downtown around 10pm most nights and you hoped he would be there after your long drive.  The chinese was insanely better and you could get great tofu at any chinese restaurant in any strip mall on every corner.  We had this one chinese restaurant, Garden Cafe, where the vegan chef had traveled all over the world and studied under different chefs and learned how to make everything vegan.  They warn you when you sit down that's it's all vegetarian because apparently some people didn't even know it wasn't meat and they don't have a special name for each meat they are immitating.  They have many types of vegan fish, vegan lamb, vegan chickens, vegan oysters.  He would use a different type of homemade "meat" depending on the dish, so the almond chicken would have wheat meat and the sweet and sour chicken would have a tofu blend, the oysters were made of mushrooms, whatever suited the flavors.  Then there was the "vegan lady" as we called her, although her trailer was called Food For Smile.  It was an Indian food trailer that was only open for lunch.  Trailers don't work the same way in Florida though because you have to have a home base or main restaurant for sanitary purposes.  So each day she would make a different meal and that was what you had, no choices.  She would come up with a menu for the week and post it on facebook so that you at least got some advance notice, plus she would add whether it was gluten or nut free.  For $6 you got a main dish, a side item, a halwa for dessert and a homemade chutney.  Oh how we took it all for granted.
As a side note, since this is off topic anyway.  We are at 60 posts since this blog was started!  That represents more than 60 restaurants because while there is this post and some repeats, we don't even remember to post some, and some include more than one restaurant and the first post has more than 20, hey zues.  We really are making our way through Austin, perhaps underestimating how many restaurants this place actually holds.  Imagine how many thousands that represents in eating out, nevermind, bad thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment