Friday, October 3, 2014

Carmel Cafe in Altamonte Springs, FL

I had lunch at Carmel Cafe in Altamonte. Carmel is a chain with several restaurants throughout Florida. They have had locations in the Orlando area for a while now, but this was my first experience with them. This location took over a space formerly occupied by a Friendly's. Carmel put much effort into leaving no trace of which restaurant this building once housed. When you are seated in the restaurant, they bring an iPad to your table which stays there during the duration of your meal. You can use the iPad to see photos of all the menu items. If you're afraid of social interactions with real life humans, you can also order your food on the iPad to avoid talking to your server if you wish. I can't say I'm a big fan of restaurants that push electronics at your table. Much like Chili's and certain Outback Steakhouses, these get annoying. They flash advertisements at you while you're eating and minimize the need for actual servers.

I ordered one of Carmel's Lunch Combos which came with a flatbread and a salad. I tried the Black Olive Caesar as the salad. This was a typical caesar salad, topped with olives and tomatoes.
I picked the Grilled Lemon Chicken and Artichoke Flatbread. Parmesan and arugula also topped the pizza. The chicken had a nice, strong lemon flavor. The artichokes were few and far between. I did enjoy the warm arugula over the flatbread. It gave the pizza a bit more character. I was also getting hints of cinnamon with certain bites. I was not expecting this, but I did enjoy the random bursts of flavor.
Carmel Cafe was an okay eating experience. Not the best, not the worst. I'd be willing to give them another try eventually.

Carmel Café & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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