I was sure I had happened upon a new restaurant when I walked into Cedar Halal Food and Deli in East Orlando. It was a real find, and something that was needed on the east side of town: a good, non-chain place with ethnic food. But when I was paying my bill for my lunch I asked the fellow who took the money how long the restaurant had been open.
So much for cutting edge. It has a Myspace page, for crying out loud.
But I’m happy I found it now, and to share the not-so-new news with those of you who were just as uninformed as I.
Cedar Halal is Middle Eastern/Lebanese with such goodies as falafel, kafta, hummus, grape leaves, shawarma and shish kabob. I was all set to get the falafel, but then I noticed the gyro grills behind the counter and I was suddenly hungry for a good gyro sandwich.
And I wasn't disappointed, it was delicious. The seasoned meat was folded into soft, warm bread with onions and tangy tzatziki, and it was accompanied by batons of pickled vegetables.
I was less thrilled with the lentil soup, which was overly thickened for my taste. Still, the flavors were good with just a bit of tumeric spice.
The small space includes a row of shelves with imported food stuffs, including tahini paste, jars of sour cherries and pistachio candies. I could easily have taken a trunkload of groceries back home.
Instead I plan to go back for more. That is if the place makes it.
Cedar Halal Food and Deli is at 12100 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. There is no website; my soup and gyro came to $9.56, a bargain. The Phone number is 407-381-8004.