Three Birds Cafe

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I arrived in Winter Garden 45 minutes ahead of my appointment, so I thought I would stop by Three Birds Cafe for a quick bite. I was almost late for my meeting.

Three Birds is an attractive eatery in the heart of Winter Garden’s downtown district. Its corner location allows for lots of window light and the interior is rustic exposed brick, hardwood floors and touches of foliage, including vines that hang from the walls behind the counter and the video monitors that display the menu. (Interesting side note: Despite its name, Three Birds does not seem to have a Twitter account.)

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My food was finally brought to where I was seated alongside one of the windows 26 minutes after the timestamp on my receipt, which ironically is the same amount of time it takes to drive from downtown Orlando to Winter Garden.

It’s not like I ordered anything complex. I requested a cup of the soup of the day, sausage and kale with parmesan, which should already be prepared and ready to serve, basically just ladled into a bowl. And a chicken Buffalo Caesar wrap sandwich, also not a difficult thing to assemble.

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And I should be quick to say that I liked my food once I had it. The soup was delightfully thick and had shaved shards of cheese over the sausage broth.

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The wrap cleverly combined two iconic tastes: the spiciness of Buffalo chicken and cool creaminess, not to mention the crispness of the lettuce, of a classic Caesar salad.

I suppose this is the place where I’m supposed to say the food was worth the wait. It was not. And before you suggest that maybe the restaurant was having an off day – it happens to even the best operations – that apparently was not the case. When I arrived at my appointment after lunch I mentioned to my associates that I had thought I might be late and told them why. They said I was lucky I got my food as quickly as I did. I also later received a text message from someone who was at Three Birds at the same time I was who told me he also waited just as long for his order.

So is this a problem the operators of Three Birds should address? I have to say, the cafe seemed to be doing good business and I would assume some were repeat customers. By the way, I arrived at 1:45 p.m., hardly the noontime rush hour). And if you’re going to be laid back, Winter Garden is the place for it. But I can also tell you that the people at my meeting told me they would like to support their neighboring business but simply don’t have the time to invest in a meal there.

I’m not telling you not to go to Three Birds Cafe; I just want you to be forewarned. And if you’re coming from downtown Orlando, maybe order ahead of time – your food could be ready by the time you get there.

Three Birds Cafe is at 2 W. Plant St., Winter Garden (map). It is open for breakfast, lunch and (early) dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 407-614-1010.

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