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Friday, February 18, 2011

Ethos Vegan Kitchen- Orlando, Florida

I Just got back from a vacation in Orlando, Florida with plenty to report. On this vacation I wanted to explore some places that may be a little different and off the beaten path. Upon landing in the sunshine state the first place I decided to explore was Ethos Vegan Kitchen. For a meat eater like me, it doesn't get much different then vegan food. Vegan food is no meat, no eggs, no cheese, not even honey from a Bees behind. Vegetarian to the extreme.

Ethos is located on 1235 North Orange Ave, in Orlando and parking is hard to find, but if you packed your GPS and want to practice your parking skills then you should have no worries. When you walk in you will instantly notice the laid back coffee house eccentric like vibe ( was that guy smoking weed ?). First you place your order at the counter and the cashier will give you a number and then you are off to find your seat. Even though you are not technically being waited on, they do have a tip jar at the counter so give them a couple bucks and help support the legalization of Marijuana ( kidding).

After looking over then menu, Simone and I decided to start with the Bruschetta. Four slices of toasted Potato & Chive Bread arrived topped with nice sweet ripe diced tomatoes, fresh Basil, Minced Garlic and vegan Mozzarella. The fake cheese was some kinda strange soy concoction, but tasted like real cheese. Very weird and yet very good. Overall this appetizer was excellent and I would go back just to have this dish again.

For my entree I ordered the Sheep's pie- because when you are vegan you don't eat Shepard's. Then again, you also don't eat sheep- I'm confused. Anyways, the casserole was made with Broccoli, Carrots,Onions , and Peas mixed with rich vegan gravy and topped with Mashed Potatoes. All this was baked to a Golden perfection and was very good. The gravy was flavorful and dare I say beefy. The vegetables were still tender and not mushy, although cooked in the gravy. It was served piping hot and with two slices of real nice nutty bread.

Simone ordered a Pesto Pasta with assorted vegetables, Seitan and roasted pumpkin seeds. Seitan is cooked wheat gluten, and although it sounds nasty it is actually pretty good. It has a meat like texture and takes on the flavors of the items its cooked with. The Seitan in this dish had a flavor and look that was close to Italian Sausage and Simone enjoyed it along with the creamy pesto and the crunchiness of the pumpkin seeds. She could not finish the whole dish but gladly took it to go and finished the rest later at the hotel along with a vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie that was also very good .

The Ethos Vegan Kitchen was strange and mysterious, yet a perfect surprise.  I scratched my head for most of the meal just wondering what I was eating and how it could be so good. Oddly enough, it was probably the most healthy meal I had all week, and by far one of the best of my vacation.  I would definitely recommend you try this out. Go with an open mind and an empty stomach and you will not be disappointed. 4.5 stars for Ethos Vegan Kitchen.

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