**EDITED: THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED AS OF JUNE 2013**
We recently visited The Spork: A Happy Food Cafe where nothing on the menu is fried, processed or from a can. Therefore, you end leaving satisfied, not weighed down and bloated. We simply liked the idea of a fresh, vegan and vegetarian option to add to our list of healthy options in the Orlando area.
We actually visited twice in two days- the first day was mid-afternoon on a Friday afternoon. The space is located in the Thornton Park neighborhood in downtown area and is dubbed as a “community workspace”- an environment where someone can come and work, have a meeting or grab a bite. Friday afternoon was not very crowded, only a few people hung around the couches, chairs and tables that fill the space. It reminded me of a coffee shop- only a little more urban and industrial-like. The cafe itself is tucked into a corner of the space, a very small corner.
We first ordered the Potato Curry Soup. The unique blend of the curry and potatoes with coconut milk made this thick and savory. I especially enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t weighed down with heavy cream like many other cream based soups. This soup would be perfect on a freezing cold day in Orlando (and yes- we have them.)
Next we ordered the Grilled Portobello and Guacamole Tacos. These were my most favorite thing I ate here. The Portobello mushrooms were smoky from the grill and the guacamole was balanced nicely with sprouts and a drizzle of some type of a green Verde spicy sauce. On the side was a fresh bed of spinach leaves and a side of a balsamic dressing that was very pungent and tasty.
Chad ordered the California Sunset- a veggie burger served with avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts and a cilantro sauce on a whole wheat bun. What was nice about this sandwich is that this was made with a true veggie patty that didn’t taste frozen like most other places. I know this was not a Boca burger they thawed in the microwave- I would bet this patty is made fresh on the premises- at least it looked and tasted like it was.
Our next visit was early afternoon on Saturday. This time there was a group of about 25 people crammed into the meeting space, thus taking up most of the table and chair space from the main area. Still it was an eclectic crowd. Someone was giving guitar lessons in the corner, a few people were sitting back in the comfy chairs having coffee.
This time we ordered the Spork Tacos ($8) – curried cauliflower with onions, peppers, tomatoes and sprouts in a white flour tortilla. These were good and the curried cauliflower was tasty- but the tacos were mostly all sprouts and not enough of the vegetable filling.
We also tried The Finish Line- a sandwich wrap with zucchini, yellow squash, brown rice, peppers, onions, tomatoes and sprouts. The wrap was finished off with some cilantro pesto and served with a spinach salad. While we liked it, it was small for the price ($8.25) and frankly, the food took awhile to be made.
We actually thought all the portions were small for the price and both days we had a seemingly long wait for the food to arrive. I felt that everything was “fluffed” with sprouts and had very little other ingredients especially for the price. However, in their defense, this space is less of a restaurant and more of a gathering place, a place to network, meet up with friends for coffee or have a business meeting. The actual “restaurant” is more like a concession stand to support the community workspace. As far as an actual destination restaurant I give it three out of five sprouts.