Orlando's Italian Restaurant

The Philosophy of Orlando's
The Early Vegetarian Years (1978-1981)

NOTE: The following was on the front menu page of the Orlando's menus during the time period 1978-1982, under a giant black and white yin-yang symbol. When Loyd Turner took time off in 1981 to start the Alternative Food Company at 2611 Boston Avenue in Lubbock, Texas with his wife Karen and his friends Morris and Sherry Fitch, no one was left at Orlando's to lovingly oversee the vegetarian cooking, so the quality of the vegetarian items suffered and sales decreased. In 1982, the delicate balancing act between pepperoni pizza and fresh produce was dropped in favor of focusing on "just" being a great Italian restaurant. The Alternative Food Company was sold in 1984, and after that went through four owners, but sadly closed its doors for good in 2015, 34 years after its founding.

The Philosophy of Orlando’s

So many restaurants today offer the consumer only sensual food— food that tickles the palate but tends to destroy the physical mind and body if eaten as a major part of one’s diet. Fast food restaurants across the nation are selling billions of nutritionally inadequate meals to people who wonder why they do not feel as good at 35 as they did at 22. The fact is food is much more than pleasure—food is life, and, though the saying is trite, we are what we eat.

We believe at Orlando’s that sensual food has a place, just as movies, discos, football games, and rock concerts have a place. The delicious aroma and taste of a properly prepared lasagne or the spicy sensuality of homemade Italian sausage tells one that they have a right to exist, for they provide flavor and excitement in the world of man just as flowers provide color and scent in the world of nature. Still, one cannot or should not eat such rich and heavy food everyday or else lethargy and inertia will set in. We cannot spend all our lives inside a movie theater or yelling at a football game. Life is a delicate act of balance—at times we must choose that which nourishes our life and soul over that which is simply sensual and appeals to our mind.

Thus one can understand and appreciate the logic in the Italian custom of eating a raw salad during meals when heavy pasta is consumed—the freshness and lightness of the salad balances the spiciness and richness of good pasta. Balance is the reason we make our own whole wheat bread and add wheat germ and miller’s bran to the dough—the additional roughage and B-vitamins help the body to digest and assimilate the pasta with less energy.

Our goal here at Orlando’s is to offer you true Italian food, prepared naturally with the finest and freshest ingredients we can purchase, balanced by delicious and creative vegetarian food with an emphasis on raw foods, fresh fruit and vegetable juices. We want to be able to serve you whether your interest be food as entertainment or food as nourishment. Actually, we think all of our food has elements of both, because we prepare it with love—love for the textures and colors of the raw materials themselves, and love for you, as a brother or a sister. We hope your stay at Orlando’s is a pleasant and relaxing one. Let us know if we can be of service. May all beings be happy.

Loyd L. Turner 1978

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