Restaurant Reviews

I’m not one to go out and eat away from home a lot for either business or pleasure. There have been times that I’ve been obliged to and once or twice that I did it from choice and not from need. The following are reviews of restaurants I’ve eaten at over the past few years. I will rate them according to the quality of the food and the accommodation of me as a raw foodist. The way I’m treated as a person means a lot. I won’t include the occasional breakfast bar. The ratings will be one to five smileys for the acceptable ones and frowning face(s) for the others.

The Orlando, FL, area

Arabian Nights
Arabian Nights

Not exactly a restaurant in the usual sense, but a dinner theater. I’d called ahead and the person I talked to said that they could fix me a large salad. It wasn’t very large but I’d preceded it with the small salad that was served to everyone. It could have been better but it filled the empty spot. My only addition was salt from a salt packet. There was ranch dressing along with it but I gave that to my DIL. The salad was the usual kind served with steak and fries. Mostly iceberg with a few slices of tomato and some grated carrot. I was glad I ate before I went. That’s the raw foodist’s insurance policy.

Food: :)
Accommodation: :)

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe

My waitress was very accommodating and brought me a salad of leaf lettuce, purple onion (I scraped most of it off), tomato, and avocado. I asked if they had limes and she said not in the kitchen but she could get me some from the bar. She brought me a saucer with lime and lemon wedges arranged beautifully. She said that when she fixed my salad the chef stopped her and said she’d forgotten a lot of the ingredients. It was supposed to have roasted chicken, cheese, croutons, and eggs. She informed him that I’m a vegetarian and that’s the way I’d ordered it. I had water without ice plus a lemon wedge. After I’d paid my bill, she sat down and we had a nice chat about the way I eat. She said that she loves salad but not the dressing and she’d never seen anyone put lime juice on it instead.

Food: :) :) :) :)
Accommodation: :) :) :) :) :)

The Spice Mill
The Spice Mill

The Spice Mill is more or less a fast food buffet type restaurant at Sea World. The chef offered to fix me a salad to order so I asked for two. The lettuce was sort of fresh, the baby greens were good, the cucumber was excellent, but I had to pick through the cherry tomatoes. He’d given me lemon wedges for dressing. Even with two salads, it was a small serving.

Food: :) :)
Accommodation: :) :) :) :)

Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck Cafe

In Downtown Disney, the first place to catch my eye was Wolfgang Puck. The dining room wouldn’t open until 6 but the cafe was open for business. I was seated and the waiter came to take my order. We talked it over and he suggested their largest salad sans (without) bleu cheese, eggs, and bacon. He said he would get fresh squeezed lime juice for me. Someone else brought the salad out and I was disappointed to find bleu cheese sprinkled down the middle on top. I felt like I could live with picking it off and eating the salad anyway when the waiter came up and saw what I was doing. He was distressed and took it back and had a fresh one made. It was very good and possibly the prettiest one I’ve had in the Orlando area. It was a bed of mixed greens (romaine, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and spinach), cherry tomatoes, finely diced green beans (I thought they were green onions at first), and avocado slices. The lime juice was in two little dressing containers. The waiter told me that they have some very good focaccia but it contains egg. I told him I don’t eat baked goods, anyway, but I was glad that he was looking out for me. I had water without ice to drink.

Food: :) :) :) :)
Accommodation: :) :) :) :) :)

Cinderella
Cinderella’s Royal Table

My experience with food at the Magic Kingdom might be a little biased since we ate lunch in Cinderella’s Castle. It’s reservation only and the tickets are hard to come by. I got the royal treatment, though, and it was really nice.

I’d called ahead and was told to let the server know that I am a raw vegan. The hostess had me go on up while my daughter-in-law dressed my granddaughter in her princess outfit. I told the woman who escorted me to the table that I had a special diet. She sent the chef to the table and we conferred about what I might eat. He asked about fruit but I told him that I would prefer a green salad–a large one. Since it was a three course meal, he sent out a beautiful plate of celery and carrot sticks and grapes. Next came a large bowl of salad. It was, by far, the nicest presentation. There was a nice mix of baby greens with grated carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, all topped with jicama sticks. There were wedges of lemon to dress it. It was decorated with pansies and some little yellow flowers. Beautiful! Dessert was brought out and I had a large plate of pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, blueberries, strawberries, and red raspberries. The price was pretty reasonable considering the quality and quantity.

If you are at Disney World, do this just for the experience if nothing else. It’s fun to watch the kids (mostly little girls) with the characters–Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Belle, Snow White.

Food: :) :) :) :)
Accommodation: :) :) :) :) :)

Chefs de France
Les Chefs de France (Epcot)

The only place I had found on the guide that had salad was the Les Chefs de France. The diningroom opens at 5 and it’s a good idea to make a reservation.

The staff is French and some speak English better than others. I lucked up and got a waiter who speaks almost perfect English. I did have a hard time getting it to across to him that I don’t eat anything cooked and no meat, chicken, fish, eggs, or dairy. He finally caught on and was off to get me a salad. Then the manager came out and talked to me twice about what they might fix for me.

Michael, the waiter, brought me my salad and Evian and the salad was a work of art. I took a picture of it (and Carrie (the nice lady who shared my table), Michael, and the manager). You can see all the pictures here. The salad was a little small for a raw foodist but I survived.

Food: :) :) :) :)
Accommodation: :) :) :) :) :)

New York City

Caravan of Dreams
Caravan of Dreams

If you’re ever in New York City, the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps, go to the Caravan of Dreams. You won’t be sorry you did. The lady I met in the organic market at home recommended it. My daughter and merm had gone online to search for restaurants and figured it was the best bet, too. Click here for the menu. The food is delicious and there’s a huge (considering) selection for the raw foodist. To begin with, I had a young coconut. The meat was a little on the mature side so I couldn’t spoon it all but the water was fresh and luscious. My DD ordered Live Bruschetta and my SIL (merm) ordered the Live Nachos. I had the sampler platter with the special of the day, Spinach Quiche. For dessert, we shared the Live Berry Cheesecake. The others had a quesadilla and a burrito. Everything is vegan. It was so nice to sit down and actually order from a menu and not have to consult with anyone about anything. I’ve made disastrous crackers and chips since I’ve been eating raw but the ones there are delicious. I wanted to ask for recipes but I guess I was too timid. I’d love to have the one for the quiche, too. It was yummy, lip-smackin’ good. I shared in the bruschetta and nachos, too. I was about waddling when I left.

Food: :) :) :) :) :) +
Accommodation: :) :) :) :) :) +

Franchise Restaurants

Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel

There is precious little to be had in any of the Cracker Barrel restaurants, as far as a raw foodist is concerned. Since I was with my son, DIL, and granddaughter, I tried not to embarrass them and go into detail about my needs with the waitress. As a result, I ended up with a tiny tiny salad of iceberg and tomato with lemon to dress it. If anyone goes and has a different experience, please leave a comment.

Food: :(
Accommodation: :(

Kanpai of Tokyo
Kanpai of Tokyo

I used to love to go to Kanpai of Tokyo and then I had a couple of bad experiences. Once was when I was still eating cooked. I had let the waiter know I was vegan and didn’t eat any animal products. He was very nice but when the cook got out there and started doing his thing, he would jeer at me about not eating butter and eggs. He put the little dishes of soy sauce and some other brown liquid by my plate. I put dipped my veggies in them and put some on my rice. After I’d eaten about half, he laughed and told me one had beef broth in it. Talk about steamed! I was livid. I complained to the management and should have refused to pay for my meal. I got an apology. I definitely did not leave a tip.

The second time I had a bad experience, I had been eating raw for a few weeks. I had called ahead about what might be available and was told, flat out, that they couldn’t help me. I was going with a group from work or I would have chosen a different place. When we got to Kanpai, there was a sign on the menu board that said, “No Outside Food Allowed”. I marched in with my lunch bag and nothing was said. My manager explained, “She’s on a special diet.” When the waiter took our orders, all I asked for was water and a large bowl. They didn’t have large bowls so I plunked my plastic one on the plate and dug in. If you want to read the whole story, click here. Needless to say, I don’t go to Kanpai of Tokyo. Nothing there for me.

Food: :( :( :( :( :(
Accommodation: :( :( :( :( :(