How would one describe the East End Market in Orlando? It’s a collection of merchants offering specialty and hand-crafted goods from local artisans and farmers. It’s like a mini version of the famous Chelsea Market in New York City.
An old church has been converted into a marketplace with vendors offering local handcrafted beer, bread, cheese and coffee.
We stopped in and first visited the Olde Hearth Bread Company and picked up a Vegan Black Olive baguette. All the bread is baked fresh daily and offered at very low prices.
For lunch I chose the Mediterranean Panini from the Houndstooth Sauce Company. A portabella mushroom topped with sundried tomatoes, artichokes and kalamata olives grilled in bread. It was delicious. They didn’t skimp on the fillings and the bread was fresh and tasty.
Just across the way, La Femme du Frommage is a gourmet cheese shop that offers a menu based around their specialty- Chad wanted to try the Margarita Flatbread and the Mac and Cheese for his lunch. He waited a long time for the food. A very long time. Almost an hour. I had already eaten my sandwich by then. Yes, it was a weekend and the market was busy- but an hour? And neither the flatbread nor the mac and cheese were very good. The flatbread was ordinary at best and the mac and cheese was dry and flavorless. I just don’t think La Femme du Frommage has the facilities to make lunches- they should just stick to the cheese plates they also offer.
Skyebird is my favorite merchant at East End Market. Freshly squeezed juices served in mason jars. We tried the Spicy Lemonade with lemon, lime, pineapple, agave and habanero peppers. It was delicious but very spicy. I also had the Local Greens juice with dandelion, celery, kale and lemon juices. What I liked was that it was truly juice, not a chunky smoothie that you find in some other juice bars.
The only other major issue we had was finding a table to eat at. A very small courtyard offered about 6 tables- all of which were filled with people just enjoying the sunshine. I found a spot on a concrete wall to enjoy my sandwich at while Chad was waiting for his food. Not very comfortable. There is certainly space for more tables. Maybe their goal is for people to grab food and leave?
Something else we thought was cool was the herb garden out in front with plants yielding things like spinach and arugula.
We like the whole concept of a marketplace for local merchants and farmers- just don’t visit on a weekend as it was so packed it was hard to navigate through it. And we had to wait a very very long time for some of the food. However, to pick up a fresh loaf of bread and enjoy a freshly squeezed juice this place is an absolute hit. Next time we are trying the Raw Falafel Salad at Skyebird, but we are taking it to go so we don’t have to fight for a place to sit.