FrutaMix Mexican Kitchen

Drink bar

**** (4 stars)

This is the third and best iteration of Mexican restaurant in this space. The concept is a bit odd in that it is both a restaurant and a juice and ice cream bar, but it works.

Complimentary chips and salsa were good, and the margarita was excellent. Nacho are to be avoided, as they involve liquid cheese.

Street tacos on soft corn tortillas with pastor were authentic and excellent. The cheese and mushroom quesadilla was very savory.

Service was odd, probably the result of a language barrier, but it will presumably improve with experience.

FrutaMix Mexican Kitchen
15493 Stoneybrook W PkwySte 120
Winter Garden, FL
(407) 614-1438



Cantina bowl


Frijol torta

*** (3 stars)

If Currito were a Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood I probably wouldn’t be a regular visitor. But on the other hand, I’m not a regular visitor to places like Chipotle or Tijuana Flats, and frankly the food is better at Currito.

The atmosphere isn’t bad–considering the time-worn condition of this terminal at La Guardia, they’ve carved out a cozy niche.

We tried a quesadilla, some chips and salsa, a bowl and a wrap. All of them were just fine. The salsa was better than at half the Mexican restaurants I go to, and the chips were nice and crisp.

The house margarita is excellent, and a decent value and size serving for an airport drink.

Service was polite and reasonably attentive.

Newark International Airport
Terminal A
Newark, NJ 07114
(973) 547-7938

Vitality Bowls

Immunity Bowl

Dragon bowl

**** (4 stars)

This new, healthy restaurant is a nice improvement over the yogurt sop that was here. It’s a bright, corner space with inside and outside tables. It’s a counter service franchise concept, although they do bring the food to your table.

Ordering is the biggest challenge. The menu, presented on multiple digital signage screens, has about a million items and descriptions. There are pre-made bowls, paninis, and smoothies, plus at least a dozen ingredients you can add in.

As with most healthy eating places, there are some ingredients the casual consumer may find–there’s no other way to say it–unappetizing. You need to order carefully. We tried two bowls. The Dragon Bowl was sweet and fruity, more like a dessert on berry sherbert than a main course. The Immunity bowl was less appetizing, with a green substance in the bottom influenced by the kale and other vegetable ingredients. It tasted okay.

Smoothies are more of a challenge. I honestly couldn’t drink my Immunity smoothie, but maybe it was just a poor choice.

If you’re dubious about healthy items, it’s probably best to stick with the paninis, as they seem more conventional.

Service was very friendly, a big improvement on the former tenant. If you’re looking for something healthy in the Dr. Philips area it’s worth checking out.

Vitality Bowls
8014 Conroy Windermere Rd
Ste 101
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 730-6358

Vida 365 Bistro Juice Bar

Vegan tacos

Cup of chili




Breakfast menu

Lunch menu

***** (5 stars)

This place is much more than a juice bar, with a complete menu of delicious food, some vegetarian, some vegan, but also lots of items that aren’t.

My favorite was the chili, a delicious concoction of ground turkey and beans with many interesting spices and just the right kick to it.

The Vegan tacos were also good, with crisp shells and a flavorful slaw to add some interest to the quinoa filling.

The servers and chefs were all very friendly.

Vida 365 Bistro Juice Bar
16129 State Road 50
Unit 104
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 474-8432

Fruit ?n Smoothie Sensations



**** (4 stars)

I can’t comment on the fruit or smoothie quality, but the gelato is excellent, and the service was friendly. The mall’s food court is one of the nicest anywhere, with lots of nice furniture and landscaping for you to relax in while you eat.

Fruit ?n Smoothie Sensations
4200 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 363-0304

Amazing Kale Burger Lunch Counter

**** (4 stars)

It’s always a pleasure to eat where the employees are really passionate about what they do, and that epitomizes The Amazing Kale Burger. From the moment I walked in I felt right at home, and my server’s enthusiasm for the food was very clear.

I tried the Vaden, which is served with a beet-based BBQ sauce. The kale burger patty is quite delicious, with all the ingredient in balance, and a nice crust from cooking. The accompanying lettuce and tomato were quite fresh, and the BBQ sauce was delicious. The bun was a bit small, sturdy and dry for my taste, but I can see where others might like it.

For a side dish I had pickled asparagus, which was tossed with yellow peppers and extremely fresh oregano bits. It was delicious.

House made mint tea was pleasantly unsweetened.

The kale burger was one of the better vegetarian patties I’ve had, and I’d often choose it over a meat patty if it were available elsewhere. Coincidentally, I ate here on national burger day!

Amazing Kale Burger Lunch Counter
741 Howard St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 660-4330

Fresh Made Kitchen

**** (4 stars)

What a makeover this place has had since its origins as a Perkins and then short stints as two sports bars. This latest remodeling has opened the place up and lightened it so that it’s hard to believe it’s the same spot. Now it’s light, airy and energetic.

The food has improved, too. You order a broad selection of salads, sandwiches, or entrees at the counter and they bring it to your table. There is a focus on fresh ingredients, and everything is prepared to order.

There is also a large beverage bar in the center of the room, with homemade infused teas and waters. Beer and wine is also available.

Our group had three salads and a chicken noodle bowl, and everyone liked their selections.

Service was very friendly, and management seems to really be on top of things.

This is definitely the best concept for this place so far, and should be quite successful.

Fresh Made Kitchen
8965 Conroy Windermere Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 720-8329

Green Kitchen

**** (4 stars)

This is a welcome addition to the vegetarian dining scene in southwest Orange County, which has been pretty sparse. But despite the name this isn’t a vegetarian restaurant. The majority of offerings actually include a protein.

The menu is divided between salads, panini sandwiches, and melts made on a naan-like bread. I wasn’t too happy with my special of the day, a flank steak that was done with too little seasoning, although the accompanying broccoli was good. But my companions enjoyed their sandwiches.

The space is all hard surfaces, so it can be pretty loud, even when only a third filled. But the service is quick and friendly, making it a good lunch choice.

Green Kitchen
7055 S Kirkman Rd
Ste 126
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 413-5005

Meli Cafe & Juice Bar

***** (5 stars)

Wow, the breakfast menu here is incredible. Whether you want a scramble, hash, eggs, or something sweet, this is the place, as evidenced by the line to get in. Great ambiance and service. Note that you can swap the toast for a really nice serving of fruit.

Meli Cafe & Juice Bar
301 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 454-0748