Ethos Vegan Kitchen

Burr!!!! It’s really chilly here in O-Town today. A high of only about 48 today and tonight a record low is expected: 32! Oh, our son will be really excited if the bucket of water we put out last night will actually freeze tonight!! ­čśŤ

With a mid-day wind chill of 38 (!) when I was trying to figure out where to eat lunch earlier today, my husband suggested Ethos Vegan Kitchen. Yes! That’s it! Yummy hot gluten-free soup and a GF veggie wrap. Perfect! So away to the Ivanhoe Row (the strip of businesses on Lake Ivanhoe across from I-4) I went for an early lunch by myself (I have to eat at 11 today ’cause I volunteer at our son’s school for a couple of hours every Tuesday). I was the first through the door when they opened at 11.

Since Ethos Cafe’s menu changes somewhat seasonally, you never know what yummy creation may be on the menu. There is always one or two fresh, homemade soups available, often times gluten-free. Today they had a wonderful tomato basil gluten-free soup. Freshly made, this creamy soup has big chunks of tomato and plenty of whole basil leaves. Made with soy milk, the creamy base give the allusion of being a “regular” milk soup while still allowing me, a dairy-allergic Celiac, to enjoy.

Ethos makes several other great gluten-free soups: Hearty Vegetable, Black Bean, Fire Chili. Since the ingredients are fresh in these homemade soups, they change daily, with no set calendar (although I was told by the pleasant waitress that they usually try to do the black bean and chili soups on Friday and Saturday). Just remember to tell them you’re gluten-free and that you don’t want any bread with the soup. They have an actual “Gluten Allergy” button that they can press on the register to alert the kitchen to your gluten-free needs. And they’re very contentious about the prep of their GF fare: I have never gotten cross-contaminated at Ethos. Yeay!

There are plenty of other Gluten Free Menu options at Ethos. Another appetizer is the The Healthy Trio. It’s a three dip “Light Bite” meal with black and green olive tapenade (which was a little too… “olivey” for me…. But I’m not a big fan of the super salty, strong taste of olives in general), a homemade hummus (which was thick and creamy and absolutely delicious!) and a tomato mango salsa (chunky, sweet and spicy – very tasty). It usually comes with three sides that include toasted bread, but you can order without the bread and make it Gluten Free. The very friendly, helpful server suggested substituting a double order of either of the other two “dippers” that come with it: blue corn tortilla chips or raw veggies (which are carrots and celery). But after inquiring what else you could possibly get, we came up with cucumber slices as a third option, which were cold, fresh and yummy dipped in the thick hummus.

Three of their four sandwiches can be made gluten-free by substituting a GF rice wrap for bread. And when ordering, tell them you have a Wheat Allergy. They have a special button on the register that’ll let the kitchen know to take extra precautions with your meal’s preparation.

My favorite is the The Hippie Wrap (the remains of which are sitting in front of me as I type this in the back room of Ethos using their free wifi!). It’s a brown rice wrap (which is large and supple, soft enough to enjoy and eat without falling apart) piled high with the super yummy homemade hummus, beautifully red tomatoes, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce and banana peppers (I’m not a big fan of peppers, so I skipped those!). It’s a very hearty, delicious sandwich. And since I got a cup of the Tomato Basil soup today, I could only finish half of the wrap (the other half will come with me to eat in the office after I finish volunteering). The Hippie Wrap also comes with a choice of Tortilla Chips & Salsa, Fresh Fruit, or Cole Slaw.

Another sandwich that can be made into a gluten-free wrap is A Fungus Among Us: grilled marinated portabella mushroom with lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, and veganaise.

And the third gluten-free wrap option is the Coconut Curry Wrap. I’m going to try this one the next time I go… Grilled tofu coated in curried veganaise, tossed with celery, raisins, walnuts, coconut, and mixed greens, and wrapped in a spinach tortilla.

—– SALADS —–
The Spinach Salad has orchard fresh apples, crunchy walnuts, plump raisins, and sliced red onions all mixed with fresh spinach and finished with orange-ginger dressing.

The Ethos Garden Salad is mixed greens tossed with artichoke hearts, vine ripe tomatoes, black olives, sprouts, red onions, carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli.

The Crispy Chickun Salad is the only salad that’s not gluten-free.
All of the four salad dressings are happily gluten-free: Agave Mustard, Italian, Orange Ginger, Ranch

—–┬áSIDES —–
Etho’s has five sides to choose from and ALL sides are gluten-free!!! All five! They have fresh fruit of the day (watermelon today), blue corn chips and the tomato-mango salsa, cole slaw, Saut├ęed Spinach or Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy.

They have a different special every day. This month (or menu cycle… I don’t know how often it changes), there’s only one, which happens to be today. Tuesday for lunch they offered a Chickpea Salad Sandwich. I wish I’d looked at the specials instead of just going for my hippie wrap. I would’ve tried it.

There are so many good-looking gluten-free dishes at Ethos! I should really branch out more. Hum… [twisting own arm] I guess I’ll just HAVE to go back and try some more Ethos gluten-free fare.

So the next time your in the Downtown Orlando area and looking for a great place to eat, check out Ethos Vegan Kitchen for a yummy, healthy gluten-free meal.

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One Response to “Ethos Vegan Kitchen”

  1. Daniel 12/17/2010 at 6:02 PM #

    great post, thanks for sharing

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