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Cafe 118 – Winter Park, Fl

Published March 12, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Next on the list of our surprisingly fabulous long weekend of vegan eats in Orlando is our dinner at Cafe 118. Once I found out that this restaurant was started up by Matthew Kenney (of Pure Food & Wine in NYC, and author several raw books) I was beyond excited. It’s located in the picturesque downtown Winter Park area right along with all the other fine dining.

We drove past a Shipyard Brew Pub on the way here, so knowing we were going to be doing some serious beer tasting after this, we kept our meals fairly light. Thomas is pretty sure he’s allergic to cashews now too, so the waitress was great about going over the menu with him.

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I ordered the Mexican Chopped Salad, that came with sweet corn, avocado, chili chips, and “queso blanco” which was absolutely fantastic. A little on the small side for a meal, but listed under salads with the smaller price tag of $13.

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Thomas had the entrée Taco Salad, only without the cashew based sour cream. This was outstanding, and was even better than my salad. The portion size here was also much better at $17. Although some of the ingredients were similar to mine, it had more veggies, raw “refried beans” and a couple of sauces drizzled over it, including a delicious mole sauce.

Impression:

This place is fantastic! Most raw organic places tend to be slow and pricey, but their service was comparatively fast, about that of a regular restaurant. For the quality of the food and location, I thought the price point was pretty fair, though clearly not in my budget for an all the time eatery. Regardless, if they weren’t closed on Sunday, I would have made it a point to come back and try more. I will definitely be back.

Cafe 118 is located at 153 E Morse Blvd, Winter Park, Fl 32789. 407-389-2233. Open Mon 11.30am-5pm (no dinner), Tue-Thur 11.30am-9pm, Fri & Sat 11.30am-10pm, closed Sun.

cpv goes to orlando: ethos vegan kitchen review!

Published July 18, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

something wonderful has happened to orlando… it has become vegan friendly in the last few years!  i’m even finishing up some very delicious vietnamese vegetarian pork leftovers as i type this to you now. the vietnamese part, that’s not new. if you are driving down 50/colonial, just east of orange, there is a vietnamese strip of restaurants and shops that’s been there forever. but just east of that, there’s now a loving hut. i wasn’t in a huge rush to go to loving hut, since i’d already tried the one in NYC, and thought it was just okay. however, there’s also a new hot spot over by O-town’s antique district: ethos vegan kitchen.

ethos vegan kitchen is a really cute little place in a hip part of downtown. it’s a few blocks before white wolf cafe. and as ash put it, is full of what seems to be all the hipsters, hipster families, hippies and lesbians in town.  it’s a casual, walk-up and order type place that then gives you a number and brings the food to your table. there is both indoor and outdoor seating.

the staff is really friendly and happy. the menu is limited, and has both hits and misses. if you ask for a glass of water, you get to have bottled water from their cooler. best of all, i found out today that the owner runs a vegan hot dog cart downtown for all the hungry people coming out of clubs and bars! super awesome. jeremy (omnivore) says he’s had them too, and that they are not only good, they’re cheaper than the meat dogs, and give you an array of topping choices.

we went not once, but twice (1 dinner, 1 brunch) in order to give you the most thorough review possible!  (though the first time i forgot to take pictures until the end!)

Hits:

Dinner: chili, and philly cheese steak. 3 of us ordered the seitan based philly. (on both the win & fail list.)

jeremy really liked his chili, and bobby & mary were super impressed with their phillies.

Brunch: biscuits and jam, biscuits with sausage gravy, tofu scramble and homefries, fruit cup

the biscuits were AMAZING, albeit greasy, but hey, this is breakfast food. they came with a totally delicious jam, but i’m not sure what the flavor was.

jeremy liked how smoky the sausage gravy was, and the tofu scramblers thought that theirs was yummy & well seasoned. the homefries were nicely seasoned and cooked. overall delish. jeremy also had a pretty fruit cup & mimosa too.

Misses:

Dinner: philly cheese steak, pizza,  mushroom wrap, fresh fruit, coleslaw

for me, although the cheese steak was tasty, the seitan was so greasy it sort of killed it. i could literally squeeze butter out of my soaked ciabatta roll by pressing with a fork. bobby & mary felt this was allowed, because it was after all supposed to be a cheesesteak.

laura also had an entirely greasy, and thus soggy pizza. she did get seitan as a topping though, and i think this was the root of all the problems. the preparation is just WAY to oily!

ash was equally unimpressed with her mushroom wrap because the mushroom was completely waterlogged and dripping through the wrapper. she was also dissapointed that her fresh fruit side was just a slice of watermelon. she was expecting variety here. well, more like jeremy’s brunch fruit cup.

my coleslaw was uncontested as the WORST! i was so excited too when i saw it on the menu. but it literally tasted like slaw mix DROWNED in veganaise. no seasoning at all. just some slaw and a ton of vegan mayo. bleh. mary actually referred to it as abysmal. bobby thought it was awful, but put hot sauce on it and made it disappear.

Brunch: french toast and ginger snap. the french toast was okay, just soggy. it still tasted good though. the ginger snap lacked flavor.

Bottom Line:

i think it’s a really great place, they just need to work on a few of the dishes. since it’s a pretty small menu, they should really make sure that everything they do offer is really the best they can make it. the service was excellent, and it was a very cool, clean place to visit. it’s also very reasonably priced, especially for brunch. despite the first night’s dinner being sort of hit or miss, i thought we should go back to try brunch, and i’m glad we did. have a biscuit. really! i could have had several! : )

out of 5 possible stars:

Bobby:   3-3.5
Ty:           3.5        <— cpv
Jeremy: 4
Mary:     4-4.5

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