Chef Will the Palate [3.5/5]
3.5 (70%) 2 votes

Chef Will The Palete
Chef Will the Palate is located in the same food cart outside Lowe Mill which Happy Tummy used to occupy before moving indoors. An entirely vegetarian restaurant, it also focuses on sustainable, local ingredients. The hours are a bit difficult to pin down but generally seem to be lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, sometimes later when there is a show at Lowe Mill.

I had been wanting to get over there for some time, so when a friend invited me for lunch, I was happy to accept. We decided to meet at noon, thinking that was the opening time. Chef Will finally appeared around 12:15 to pass out paper menus and take our orders. The menu included a selection of sandwiches, stir fries and smoothies, however when another patron wanted to order a smoothie, he wasn’t sure he had all the ingredients on hand.

He accepts credit and debit, but had to wait until Denise appeared with a credit card swipe (which was also rather disorganized as she appeared about 10 minutes after him, took my payment, and then almost immediately left again). Cash payments he took when the food was ready.

Not surprisingly for a one man operation, cooking was a slow process. My friend’s sandwich was ready first, about 15 minutes after we ordered. My stir-fry was cooked along with several other patrons and was served 30 minutes after we ordered.

My stir-fry was a heaping pile of rice, veggies, and sprouts, with a side of Chef Will’s “Bee Sting” sauce. The rice had a vibrant orange hue and tasted of saffron. The spinach was fresh and the onions deliciously caramelized. Fresh cilantro topped the dish, adding some color and a burst of flavor. The carrots were crisp and the peppers sweet and fresh. The sprouts were a delightful addition, but seemed a bit out of place in a stir-fry. The tomatoes were a bit mealy and their flavor completely overwhelmed by the cilantro. The avocados suffered the fate of most avocados in north Alabama and were more effective for color than their weak flavor.

Served along side the stir fry was Chef Will’s “Bee Sting” sauce which was a sweet soy based sauce containing cilantro and small seeds. The sauce provided enough heat to kick it well past my medium threshold, so I enjoyed my stir-fry without the sauce.

Chef Will The Palete
My friend ordered the portobello steak and cheese sandwich which filled a standard sized take out box, a monument to all things crispy and gooey. In addition to the portobello mushrooms and ample cheese, the sandwich was loaded down with beautifully sweet caramelized onions and served with a side of a chipotle dipping sauce. My friend greatly enjoyed her meal.

Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to have a spot where everything on the menu is an available choice. I enjoyed the flavor combinations and the local, sustainable ethic. However, a locally sourced restaurant should know to steer clear of tomatoes in early November and avocados period as neither is going to be very good. The erratic schedule and molasses in winter pace make dining here a frustrating choice if you have any sort of schedule to adhere to. However, if you have time to kill, the food is generally well done and generously sized enough to encourage splitting plates.

Total for the meal: $8 (includes one veggie stir-fry)

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