I don’t enjoy giving bad reviews. I wish I left every restaurant with a good, or at least decent, experience. But that’s not the case, and you can’t ignore the fact that not every restaurant is good for your taste pallet (or good in general). When I stumble upon a restaurant I don’t enjoy, I feel the need to tell you about it instead of ignoring the fact and only writing positive reviews. Maybe this will help you to have a better experience at the establishment than I did (or don’t go at all).
The funny thing about my experience at Sanctum is that I was recommended to go there by a friend because she said the food was amazing. Sanctum is a vegan restaurant, and my friend who recommended the restaurant to me is the go-to person on finding these kind of places. Now let me preface: I love vegan food and one of my former favorite restaurants is a vegan tea cafe, so the fact that Sanctum is vegan wasn’t my problem with my experience.
My problem was the food, the prices and the service.
I ventured to Sanctum on a Sunday afternoon with my mom. We weren’t aware that on Sundays they only offer brunch, so their full menu isn’t available. The salad I knew I already wanted was available, though, so I was happy I could still get the salad I read online about that looked so good.
I ordered the savage salad. This salad was composed of greens tossed with roasted cauliflower, corn, brussels sprouts and eggplant. It was then topped with bell pepper, sweet onion, carrot shreds, celery, jicama, zucchini, peas, and pepitas, and finished with spicy rosemary dressing. I ordered the full salad, which was $12, instead of the half salad because it was $8 and from what I saw the half salads are very small.
For $12, I expected a lot more and a much tastier salad. It was mostly greens, hardly comprised of any other vegetables and didn’t even contain any protein. In addition to my problem spending $12 for a bowl of greens, it wasn’t even good. When I originally tasted my salad, it had no flavor because there was hardly any dressing on it. I requested some more, and poured a little bit on. When I took my first bite after adding more dressing, I was disgusted by the amount of overwhelming citrus in the dressing. I attempted to add some Sriracha, and it helped to combat it a little.
I was picking at my salad when one of the waitressing came over to ask how our meals were. I didn’t respond, so my mom said I wasn’t overly happy with mine. I explained it was my fault because I ordered it, but the waitress had the manager come over to talk to me. Now, this is what really ticked me off. The first thing out of the manager’s mouth when she came over was, “Is it too spicy?” No, the problem wasn’t that I added Sriracha and made it too spicy (in fact, the salad was hardly spicy so the spice level wasn’t the problem in any way). The problem was that the salad isn’t good. I explained to her my predicament, again reiterating it’s my fault because I ordered it but I really don’t enjoy it (I wasn’t expecting them to comp it or give me something else, I was hoping maybe they could give me something to make it better). Luckily, the manager offered to bring me some avocado and seeds to add to it, which helped to combat the taste of the dressing (I know I added more, but without it the salad tasted like straight greens).
To make matters even worse, my drink was even bad. I ordered the matcha maca latte, which is their house blend of green tea matcha and maca blended with cinnamon, vanilla and coconut sugar served over iced or steamed up with your choice of milk. I requested it be made with almond milk as my milk of choice. Maybe the problem was that I ordered almond milk instead of hemp milk or regular milk, but this drink tasted like nothing but almond milk and powder. And if you’ve had plain almond milk before, you know it’s not overly tasty. It wasn’t bad enough that my salad was overpriced and not good, but even my drink was bad. Nothing about my meal was good and I was terribly disappointed.
My mom ordered the egg salad sandwich for her meal (not pictured), and she was decently happy with it. The sandwich was good, but there was hardly any egg on it – she paid $8 for a sandwich that was mostly bread. At least she enjoyed her meal, unlike me.
My overall take away from Sanctum is that the food is overpriced and my food choices aren’t delectable. In addition, I had a problem with the service. Nobody offered to help my mom and I when we first walked in – we were completely ignored. I also didn’t like the way the manager handled the beginning of our conversation. In addition, there are way too many people working there (maybe that’s why their food is so overpriced for what you get). Most of the employees didn’t appear to be doing anything but standing around. I think they could cut half of their employees and be fine. The employees also shouldn’t be wearing shorts – I found that to be quite unsanitary/unsafe/not what you see in any restaurant. Maybe it was just I had a bad experience compared to my friend who recommenced the restaurant, but I won’t be going back to Sanctum.
715 N Fern Creek Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Mon-Thur 8 AM-9 PM; Fri-Sat 8 AM-10 PM; Sun (brunch) 9 AM-3:30 PM