Where to Eat Vegan Central Florida; Downtown Orlando: Earthy Picks

Credit: Igot_theshot

So much of the world comes to Orlando, FL; home of Disney, Universal, Sea World, and many more attractions. Food here is abundant and from all over the world. While many visit for the attractions, many visit for a journey with food. Coming here is visiting the world by way of plate.

You see, a lot of Florida’s magic rests in being able to eat from all over the world and especially the Caribbean (Florida is known as the front door to the Caribbean). Most places in America don’t have a Colombian, Mongolian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Haitian, Puerto Rican, or Cuban restaurant within hundreds of miles. Here in Florida, especially Orlando, this is generally all around the corner. This peninsula is amazing!

On a Florida winter day (which means the high was a chilly 65), I visited downtown Orlando to check out a Colombian woman owned restaurant. Located in between the 408 and Lake Eola on Church Street is: Earthy Picks; a vegan restaurant serving up plant based plates with a latin twist.

I caught vibrant vibes in this beautifully decorated restaurant, and enjoyed bites loaded with flavor:

  • Earthy Salad Bowl
  • Locos Tacos
  • Colombian Limonada

Credit: Igot_theshot

Salads can be so bland, but generally not when a vegan makes them, and definitely not if Earthy Picks made it. That was a FLAVORFUL salad bowl! The tacos were delicious with a nice texture, in shells that didn’t crack and break all around the plate. Limonada! Like nothing you’ll find outside of Earthy Picks- perfectly sweetened and delicious. 

The 12th < Where to Eat Vegan with the Traveling Cannabis Writer>  features Earthy Picks! Get to know them through founder, owner, and chef: Tatiana Henao.

Credit: Earthy Picks

Get to Know Earthy Picks and its Founder: Tatiana Henao, in this Q&A

Where are you and your family from; where were you raised?

“I was born and raised in Colombia.”

What did you do for work or other businesses owned and worked prior to Earthy Picks?

“I studied Fashion Marketing while working as a waitress in different restaurants and hotels in NYC, Miami, and Orlando. I have 10+ years of experience in the hospitality industry. I also worked in sales and customer service in between.”

Give readers a little insight into the 10 year old Tatiana, what were your hopes and dreams?

“I love this question! I always dreamed of living near Disney, I wanted to be surrounded by cool people, lots of friends, and adventure.” 

When did cooking and meal creation start for you? 

“The cooking started when I moved to the USA in 2007, everyone here is very independent and life forced me to learn how to cook, and I fell in love with the art of mixing spices and flavoring proteins with different types of herbs. Cooking is a way of meditation, a way to love your body, and a way to gather people around food.”

When did you know you wanted to feed others?

“When I first started cooking, I loved seeing my family’s reaction to my cooking, that was a motivation.”

Credit: Igot_theshot

What’s your favorite thing to create and feed others?

“I love to make sauces. That’s the secret!”

When was the concept of Earthy Picks born and what was the reason(s)?

“The concept grew organically. I started with my tofu pericos recipe which is the vegan version of our Colombian Huevos pericos. I started the pop-up in 2020 during the pandemic, everything was closed, except my sister had co-founded the first-ever vegan market in Orlando, and my mom motivated me to bring my recipes to the Vegan Market. In the beginning, it was just a way to make money during the pandemic, but very quickly it became my purpose in life.”  

What was the official birthdate of Earthy Picks?

“July 12th, 2020 as a pop-up.”

What is the mission and core values of Earthy Picks?

“Our mission is to build a community around plant-based delicious foods to nourish the body, mind, and spirit. We cook & serve Vegan delicacies inspired by Latin American Culture with Love and Mindfulness.”

What are 3 things people should know about Earthy Picks?

“We cook with Love, we cook with premium ingredients, and we use eco-friendly 

products.”

Credit: Igot_theshot

What inspired the menu and offerings?

“My mom is my biggest inspiration and the Latin American Culture.”

What kinds of plant proteins do you all use?

“Mushrooms, tofu, seeds, beyond meat, beans, garbanzos, quinoa, and hemp protein.”

Are any of your products locally sourced?

“We do collaborate with local small businesses, Drip Juice and Living Vitalitea Kombucha.”

How do you all feel about cannabis for wellness? 

“I believe in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and hemp.”

Any hemp offerings on your menu/as an ingredient (hemp seeds/milk/protein)? 

“Yes, we have our house-made raw meat made from sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and carrots, and we also offer organic hemp protein for the smoothies.”

Have you learned anything about cannabis recently that surprised you? 

“Not recently.”

Final Words

Visit Earthy Picks website and/or social media to stay up to date on what’s happening and what’s new.

Credit: Igot_theshot

Veronica Castillo is an over 100 times, in 14+ publications, published writer known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. She was born and raised in Miami, and recently retired from road life after 5 years of traveling the United States and the Caribbean on a mission to learn and educate on all things plant medicine. Though her body of published work is mainly in cannabis, Veronica is passionate about plant based lifestyles. She lost 95 pounds, began her healing journey, and treated her migraines with a plant based lifestyle. 

Her Where to Eat Vegan Series explores vegan menus and plates, helping travelers navigate their plant based lifestyles on the road.  Follow her on IG at @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vee-traveling-veg-canna-writer/ 

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