I finally stopped in to try Farm & Haus, the little to-go food producer at East End Market.
I stress that I stopped in because a major component of F&H's business model is offering delivery of its prepared meals. I'm sure that helps with overhead, and also allows them to serve more people than could sit at the few available tables there at the market. Otherwise they'd have to charge huge amounts of money for the food.
I can't imagine what those prices would be, because they're pretty steep now.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that food with integrity comes with a premium price. Honest, unprocessed ingredients cost more than mass-produced canned and frozen foods. And I have no doubt about the exceptional quality of the food at Farm & Haus.
But lordy, 10 bucks for a small salad bowl -- $12.25 with tax and tip -- gives one pause.
Good salad? Yes. It had a bit of quinoa with some fresh, leafy greens beneath a scoop of house-made (or hausmade, as they say here) hummus, with crispy chickpeas scattered about and cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and pink pickled onions. Some tahini sauce was provided in a separate container for me to drizzle at will. It was all fresh, cool and delicious.
But $12.25 good? Perhaps with some added protein or even at an entree-sized portion. Maybe. It seemed even less cost-worthy as I ate it out of a clear plastic clamshell with an inadequate plastic fork. But I was especially glad that I had chosen to visit the market myself, otherwise the delivery fee to my zip code would have added another three bucks.
More people should be eating the kind of food that Farm & Haus offers. And frankly, more restaurants should be serving it.
But until the demand can ameliorate the cost for the supplies, food with integrity will remain a premium only certain people can appreciate and afford. It's really a chicken-and-egg situation.
And just imagine what the egg would cost.
Farm & Haus is at the East End Market, whose address they don't feel the need to list on the website -- it is 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. They also don't list their hours. They are open for Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, though they close in early evening, 7 o'clock most nights. Note that food items are available on a limited basis each day, so even if you plan to eat your meal at the market or take it home and use proper plates and utensils, it's best to go online and lock in your order. You may also call at 321-430-6627.