When Paul's folks were getting to Orlando last night, it was near dinner time. I asked Paul if he wanted to meet them somewhere and eat faster. I wasn't surprised with his choice of Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe. We have done a lot of eating there recently, including last month when Paul took a group of fellow attendees at an internet conference there for dinner on a Saturday night. The restaurant is a great choice for individuals who are vegan or who are allergic to dairy or wheat. Since I have pretty much been perfectly happy with salad, grapes and an occasional pizza during this pregnancy, I was more than happy to visit the restaurant for a salad I didn't have to make or clean up myself.
In case we haven't shared a photograph of it before, the Giddyup can be a salad or a wrap in "haystack" style--chili, blue corn chips, mixed greens, tomatoes, scallions, and vegan or organic cheese. We always choose the side of hummus, and Paul adds a ranch-style salad dressing called "green goddess" for an extra $0.50. My salad included a nice variety of vegetables, and I always like the sunflower seed topping.
Paul's dad had a copy of Paul's dish, which I can totally understand. I was asking Paul for bites of his until I started to feel guilty eating his meal and mine, too. Paul's mom had the most disappointing meal. The last time I ordered Guinoa at Dandelion, it came with a side salad and there was one quinoa special a day. This time, you could make your own with two bean choices, two veggies, or one of each; and vegan or organic cheese or salad dressing of choice. I liked the thought of thinking up "fixings," but was stunned to learn that for what I'm pretty sure is the same price, the quinoa now comes in a small soup bowl without salad. It's certainly not a large enough amount to fill the Average Joe. Fortunately, Paul's dad was nice and shared his Giddyup. I highly recommend if getting the quinoa, which is still pretty yummy, go ahead and add the side salad like I had.
Another change that has taken place since we started visiting Dandelion is that you order at the entrance. (You are still allowed to sit down at your table to review your menu.) Then, you only see a server when your food is being delivered to your table. It comes out feeling more like a fast-food joint than a relaxed environment because you fend for yourself more. Fortunately, I feel the down-sides are overshadowed by consistently good food.
It's hard to believe how completely underwhelmed I was the first time we ate at Dandelion. Looking back, I am so grateful Paul encouraged me to try again. We don't do that with every restaurant we visit, but I know I would be so sorry if I had not given Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe a second chance.