Hello from the frozen tundra! Yesterday I went to the grocery store like everyone else in the state and was met with Thanksgiving-levels of crowds. I heard that lines in some grocery stores reached the back of the store, and workers were even handing out bottles of water to people waiting. David and I have spent the day shoveling piles and piles of snow and stopping to take a break for lasagna. And it just keeps falling…
So while I watch the snow blow in the air, let’s think back on warmer days when I was recently in Orlando…
We visited Dandelion Communitea Café several times while we were on vacation. Dandelion is a vegetarian restaurant in a bright green house. It’s a very casual, order-at-the-counter kind of place with seating both indoors and outdoors.
We ate outside both times, because when you get the opportunity to get some sun on your skin, you take it.
Some other locals had the same idea, and we admired them while we waited for our lunch.
I ordered the tempeh BLT. I tend to be more of a seitan bacon fan, but this was a step above standard tempeh bacon with the perfect amount of smokiness and crispness. You get a choice of sides, and I had it with chips and whirled peas guacamole. Curiously, their guacamole is made without avocadoes and solely has a pea-base. It didn’t match the heights of your typical avocado-based guac, and so I’d go with a different side in the future.
David had the black bean burrito in a whole-wheat wrap with tomato, corn, red onions, quinoa, salsa, and the whirled peas guacamole. They pressed it until nice and toasted. On the side, he had chips and vegan queso, which was terrific.
We went back later one evening, after we’d already gotten dinner elsewhere, for drinks and to take in some live music. They offer a variety of teas, wine, and beer.
On their website they highlight the different events that they feature in the evenings, including outdoor drum circles, art openings, and a variety of musicians. That night Patty Pierzchala and Benji Beach were playing. They don’t typically play together, but they shared the slot and did a few duets. Both singers had really nice voices and a good rapport with the crowd.
Finally, on our last day in Orlando, before catching a flight back to the land of snow and ice… (What were we thinking???) We stopped for lunch.
I repeated the same dish I’d tried and loved when we were in Orlando in 2013 – the Giddyup. It’s made with tempeh chili, vegan queso, and a choice of greens or quinoa. I had enjoyed the burrito so much that I made a burrito inspired by it called the Southwestern Chili Cheese Burrito. The Giddyup was every bit as good as I’d remembered with Green Goddess dressing on the side plus chips and salsa. David went with the BLT that I’d ordered on a previous visit.
For a casual lunch or relaxed evening out, Dandelion Communitea Café is a fun place to grab a bite or beverage or take in some live music. I’ll look forward to going again on a future visit to the area.