I’ve been to Maoz Vegetarian in New York City so I was excited when I heard they were coming to Orlando. In a world with a McDonalds and a Taco Bell on every street corner, the concept of a fast food Vegetarian restaurant is highly appealing. Gone are the days where the term “fast food” automatically means greasy burgers and fries.
The Orlando Maoz is located in the food court at The Mall of Millenia. Not terribly convenient if you just want to grab a quick bite but hopefully the concept will expand into some free standing outlets. However, it is refreshing to have a quick and healthy option if you do happen to be shopping at the mall.
The menu is mostly based around falafels– those fried crunchy balls of chickpeas and spices. They really are delicious and can satisfy even a carnivore. At Maoz they offer the falafel in either a sandwich or a salad. Some of the locations up north also offer Vegan Shawarma but it is not on the menu here in Orlando. In addition to sandwiches and salads, they also offer soups and freshly squeezed juices.
It is important to pay attention to what you are ordering. I ordered the “just salad” option under the sandwich menu for $5.50 and I ended up with the $7.95 falafel salad. I didn’t ask for the falafel but they gave it to me and charged me for it anyway. There is a “just salad” option under the salad and the sandwich menu. I assume the sandwich version is less falafel so it is just a smaller salad but listed under the sandwiches. Confused? Apparently I was too.
I got a handful of spinach with 5 falafel balls, then I was led to the vast array of unlimited toppings. I piled on red cabbage, olives, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, tabouli, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and coleslaw. It’s a great toppings bar (though they call it a salad bar) with plenty of healthy options- there is no ketchup and mustard here.
There are plenty of sauces as well including a spicy green chili sauce, yogurt sauce and Vegan tahini dressing.
It was a great salad and very filling. I personally could have gone with a smaller version but this would be a perfect size for anyone who wanted a big hearty and healthy meal.
Chad ordered the falafel sandwich and had his choice of the same toppings as I had. (Sorry no pictures though it was the same as my salad- just stuffed into a pita.) We had also ordered a side of the mixed fries– a combo of their Belgian style fries and the sweet potato fries. Nothing special. They didn’t have much flavor or seasoning. I never thought that I’d ever say this but some salt would have helped.
We also tried the rice pudding. Neither Chad nor I are big fans of rice pudding but we both actually liked the Maoz version. It was very creamy and lightly sprinkled with cinnamon. Quite tasty.
I had ordered a combo meal with the salad, a side and a freshly squeezed juice. Another way I was bamboozled was with the juice. As I ordered my meal I was given a paper copy of the juice menu. There were eight varieties with celery, kale and beets among other combinations. I chose the “Up Beet” with apples, beets, carrots, celery, ginger and orange. My choices with the combo meal should have been apple, carrot or orange juice only. If I was paying more attention to the menu I would have known the juice menu I was given would be a $3 upcharge. Chad ordered the plain carrot juice. The juices were very good- I love that I can now ordered fresh juice at the mall.
There is a choice of other beverages including soda and water, plus their homemade Lemonade and Mint-Ginger Tea.
I still love the concept and the food was great. The prices won’t deter us from returning but I will be extra careful and question what they are pushing at me. My meal I thought I had ordered was $10- the meal I got was $15. That is quite steep for one person at a fast food joint. It’s my own fault and I should have said something when it came time to pay. I am just warning YOU to pay extra careful attention so you too don’t get hornswoggled.
Maoz Vegetarian opened its first restaurant in Amsterdam in 1991 and moved into the United States with a Philadelphia location in 2004. Since then they have expanded to 8 other cities in the U.S. and other countries such as France, Spain and Brazil.