Orlando is home to so many new restaurants it can make an Orlandoan’s head spin. Every where you look there is a new concept, a new Chef in town, a new this or that. What about these places that have become an established mainstay in town? Do people still flock to the old school restaurants?
The answer is yes. Orlando is a town of many personalities and there is a place here for everybody. A little restaurant has been operating for many years now in an old house from the 1920’s close to downtown. Dandelion Communitea Cafe – a place where local hippies, artistic types and health nuts can find a meal that is both organic and Vegetarian.
I always start with the side sampler appetizer where I can get a taste of all the best Dandelion has to offer. A plate of organic blue corn chips served with a sampling of black bean salsa, vegan queso, red salsa and whirled pea guacamole. A small but perfect sampling of the creative vegan and vegetarian fare offered here.
My dining companion Chad’s favorite dish is the black bean burrito. There is no skimping on this tortilla stuffed with an abundance of black beans, tomatoes, corn, quinoa, red onions, peppers and cilantro, red salsa and the whirled peas guacamole.
He also always chooses hummus as his side dish. The Dandelion happy hempy hummus is consistently voted “Best in Orlando” by the readers of Orlando Weekly newspaper.
I often order a quinoa bowl or a wrap, but lately I have been loving the Buffalo 66 bowl. Cashew encrusted tempeh tenders layered over a bed of spring mix with carrots, celery and red onion.
Served with a side of buffalo sauce and the Vegan blue cheese dressing has me craving this bowl all the time. Even the biggest fan of chicken wings would enjoy this meal.
I also love the variety of soups that are offered on a daily basis, one of my favorites being the creamy tomato.
And lastly, perhaps you noticed the CommuniTEA in the restaurant’s name? Dandelion is a teahouse offering both a hot and a cold tea of the day. There is a very large selection of black, white, green, herbal and oolong teas. One of my favorites is the Sunshine Daydream Tea– a super blend of cranberries, chamomile, rooibos, rose hips, hibiscus and orange peel. So good!
One last thing- be prepared for a line at the counter, though it does move fast. There are three dining rooms inside and one with umbrellas out front but the tables fill up very quickly during prime dining hours. Also, check out the Vegan baked goods and the Monday special – $5 giddyup wraps made with tempeh chili and vegan queso.
There is a reason why Dandelion Communitea Cafe is also consistently voted “Best Vegetarian” in Orlando, also by the readers of Orlando Weekly. An easy 5 out of 5 sprouts.