We dropped my brother Ray off at the airport in Orlando so he could fly back to Louisiana and go back to work and we decided to visit a quaint little vegetarian tea house called Dandelion Communitea Cafe in the heart of Orlando's Asian neighborhood.
The adorable cafe is slightly off the beaten path, but not too far from the main drag in a very bright green house located in front of a Holistic school and across the street from a yoga center. It's a great location and you have the option to sit outside at picnic tables or to sit in the cozy little tea house.
This place is all about organic, sustainable and local goods. But mostly it is about tea and there is a wall of teas you can purchase to take home and an extensive tea menu to get you drinking a cuppa. The best tea deal they have is two daily specials for $2.50 plus free refills.
That's how we began, a tall glass of tangy Hibiscus herbal iced tea and then we checked out their mostly light lunches and snacks menu.
We both opted for the soup of the day which was a stunning sweet onion soup served with Dr. Kracker! I was so excited. I felt instantly at home. I could have taken a gallon home, it was that good. It was loaded with local organic Vidalia onions, green onions and shallots in a super rich veggie broth.
We split the SXSW appetizer which was three different dips for blue corn chips. There was an terrific pea guacamole (so bright tasting - I will be making this at home), a black bean dip and a vegan nacho cheese dip (everything homemade). We devoured this and it was the perfect dip to chip ratio for two people.
Mom got the Fakin' BLT on whole wheat toast which had tempeh bacon (also homemade and local) with tomatoes, basil pesto and baby greens. Mom didn't warm up to the tempeh - she likes my Light Life Smart Bacon BLT's too much.
I on the otherhand LOOOOOOVED it! Turns out I could easily be a tempeh freak!
We decided to split our sandwiches so I shared my Eve's Revenge wrap (huge) with her. This motherlode of a wrap was baby greens, apple, raisins, walnuts, red onion and feta (vegan or dairy, your choice) with a delicious fresh raspberry puree balsamic dressing on the side.
The only gripe was they failed to supply an adequate side dish with the sandwiches and they were pricey ($7.50 and $9.00) to just be sitting on a plate with a few slices of apple as the "side dish" (more like a garnish). They should offer some vegan potato salad or whole wheat pasta salad as a side. It would round out the meal and add value.
Mom wasn't too thrilled with the value regarding the price even though I explained that such a small place (six tables inside and three or four outside) would have to struggle to survive. You have to pay more for beautiful, healthy, fresh, local organic food. Truly the best deal going there is to drink their amazing tea of the day.
We also tried the Morrocan Mint Green tea which was fantastic too.
A cool thing about the place was all the silverware, plates, tables and chairs are recycled. Nothing matches except they have painted all the chairs and they are decorated beautifully. This place had really great energy and the people were just lovely. I could definitely see hanging out there or stopping in after yoga class for a cup of tea. It's too bad I live so far away.
I really enjoyed the experience and will definitely go there again. My poor mother. What she has to endure!