Ethos Vegan Kitchen: Nice Values, Mediocre Food

I’ve been meaning to try this place since I moved here last year. I had heard several good remarks about the food, and I always look forward to tasting new and unique dishes at these types of restaurants. As you already know, however, I really wasn’t too impressed with the menu or my meal. It’s your typical soup, salad, sandwich, pasta and pizza fare; granted it’s vegan, but it’s been done before. And in much more unique ways. However, one of the main goals of Ethos is to increase the availability of vegan restaurants in central Florida and I cannot complain about that. I myself am not vegan, but I completely understand why people choose to be. Don’t get me wrong, my Ethos experience wasn’t a total bust, as there were a couple things I did enjoy…

Like, my tea. Stash brand Acai Berry Herbal tea. I love how the flowers in these teas produce a sweet scent and flavor – a natural, sugarless sweetener. 

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And the tomato mango salsa with blue corn tortilla chips. Very nice balance of sweet and spicy with this salsa.

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And this cool artwork.

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I got the Fiesta Salad with a cup of potato leek soup. 

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The soup had a great flavor but a very odd texture. It was very gelatinous, almost as if too much cornstarch was added.

The salad overall was pretty good – bell peppers, onions, black beans, cheddar cheese and “chickun” placed on a bed of baby spinach and mixed greens, and topped off with a spicy ranch dressing. The chickun was made of both soy protein and seitan (or wheat protein otherwise known as gluten). It had an interesting flavor. From a nutritional standpoint, I can’t help but think of all the processing that goes into these faux meat products which, in the end, are no more healthy than other heavily processed foods – vegan or not. But veganism isn’t always done for nutritional gain; it may be practiced in support of animal and environmental welfare, which, to their credit, should not be ignored. 

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My little nephew chose this Cream Soda (which was excellent by the way) and a vegan pepperoni pizza. 

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However, his 9 year old palate has acquired the taste for real cheese and pepperoni. I tried a piece – other than the pepperoni tasting nothing like food, the rest of it was pretty good. The sauce had some kind of spice you wouldn’t expect a sauce to have. It was different; good, but different. I think it was marjoram…? 

And lastly, Maryanne got the Hippy Wrap – a whole wheat tortilla filled with hummus, sprouts, tomato and cucumber. This was nice. You got what you expected – no funny business here. 

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Overall, I think this place is great for vegans who are in need of more dining options. However, if you’re looking for a place with a more experimental and locally sourced menu, Dandelion Cafe still tops my list. And they also have plenty of vegan options. 

But don’t let my perceptions alter yours. I urge you to try it for yourself and let your inner foodie speak. To each his own…  

Still curious? Check out Ethos online to see their menu options.


Author:Ashley Galloway

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