I was really happy with this place.
I was really happy with this place.
Had the opportunity to stop at Fire and Spice yesterday for lunch. As has been stated already here, it's a low-key place off a main drag in Hartford. Food is pre-made and not to order, but is a solid option for the area, and has the advantage of being all-vegan, so those of our tribe may order without fear of surprise ingredients. The jerked tofu was excellent, and I really loved the 'Papaya Don't Preach' smoothie. Staff was accommodating.
A bit out of the way in somewhat residential neighborhood, they serve take out food from steam table. Vegan but not necessarily healthy food had been sitting there all day. The Jamaican patty was tough, dried out with a tiny amount of filling. The BBQ and other dishes were very tasty, comfort food (sugared, white rice). Server was slow, but friendly and accommodating when she got around to it.
Ate here for the first time and loved it. Returned the following day for dinner & ordered catering portions to serve at Easter dinner. Jerk Tofu, Red Lentil Dahl & Kale were especially yummy.
I always get 5 choices to go -- I love their greens, stewed cabbage, jerk tempeh, tofu scramble, and pumpkin rice, but everything is fresh, full of flavor, and delicious. They also have their own kombucha, vegan cupcakes, and hibiscus drink. Great food, great place!
Even if you're a fast food fanatic, you'll be shocked at how delicious this vegetarian Jamaican food is! The food is always prepared, so it's just as quick as fast food, only 100 times healthier. The people on here who complain about long waits are probably ordering extra meals that aren't on the daily menu. The owners, Chris and Jamelia, and chef, Andrew, are the friendliest people in town!
I've had lunch here a few times. It's kind of a low-key, carry-your-food-away-on-a-tray-and-pick-a-table kind of place. You get to choose from a variety of already prepared vegan foods: vegetables, side dishes, tofu preparations, etc. Overall, the food all tastes good and, in my opinion, is an excellent value. My parting remark to them after my first time there was that they should charge more... I got a ton of good, vegan food for very little money. My only real complaint is that the selections don't change up very often (at all?) so it doesn't satisfy my desire to eat new foods and try new things.
My husband and I stopped in for lunch during a weekday. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and they explained what each dish was. Everything was scrumptious-especially the pumpkin rice and jerk tofu. For dessert we had the best cupcakes...all for a very reasonable price. We will be back for sure!
What can I say, perfect restaurant experience. Everything we ordered was delicious, cheap and the service was friendly and inviting.
ALSO... I left my wallet on the counter and thank goodness the patrons are just as nice as the staff and they turned it in so I could reclaim it over an hour later. Thanks so much y'all!!!
Being a vegetarian in VA is difficult. There are not any veggie spots to dine out and enjoy a good meal. The majority are veggie friendly. So traveling up to CT for a family reunion I had no idea there would be such a beautiful place to enjoy a good veggie meal.
Fire and Spice is THE essential place to go for a delightful veggie meal. Whether vegan or vegetarian, you will enjoy the food. Because it is a mom and pops establishment, the service is a bit slow, but it is counterbalanced with the beautiful energy and love from the staff and food. Fire and Spice is family-oriented with a deep rooted cultural foundation.
My family enjoyed the food so well we had take out orders twice during our 1 1/2 day visit. If you are on the west side of Hartford, CT, I highly recommend Fire and Spice as the prime place to eat. Peace!
We looked this up on Happy Cow, got off of the highway, went through traffic only to find they don't really open for breakfast.
The food at Fire and Spice was good, but the dining experience was uncomfortable. When my husband and I walked in, the restaurant was completely empty with no one in front. We weren't sure if this was a seat-yourself restaurant or not so we stood there by the empty counter for several minutes. The door chimed when we entered, but maybe the people in back couldn't hear it or something.
Anyway, it felt akward, and we were about to leave when a guy came out of the back. He was somewhat friendly and asked us if it was our first time there, which was the case, and then he showed us the cafeteria-style selections.
We ordered and sat down with the food. He did not ask if we wanted anything to drink, or say if the other selections on the menu were available or not. We kind of got the impression that we were wasting his time somehow. By then there was already someone else waiting. We sat down to eat at the tables. The guy seemed too busy with other customers for us to try to get water, or anything else to drink. That was odd, since most people in restaurants ask you what you would like to drink.
The food was good, but not terribly exciting. I had jerk tofu, greens, and potatoes. My husband had bbq tofu, okra, and stew. It was well-spiced, but kinda like something I would make at home, but I couldn't taste much love in it, if that makes any sense. I couldn't help but compare this restaurant, probably unfairly, to another vegan restaurant that also served vegan soul food like this, but theirs always tasted heavenly, and their attitude towards their customers was welcoming.
I am certain that the people who run Fire and Spice are really nice people, but I wish, for the restaurant's sake, that they would show it more. If they just had a couple of signs telling you to "ring bell for service" and "please order here" and "available today" it might feel a little more comfortable to people who come in for the first time.
Also, FYI: the sign on the door says they accept American Express, but they no longer do. (They still accept other credit cards.) All in all, I wished we had gotten our food to go. I felt uncomfortable there, and it had nothing to do with chairs or decor. I support their mission of veganism, but I wish someone from that restaurant would look at these reviews and make some small improvements about interfacing with people and possibly food selections that would make their restaurant a truly pleasant place to visit.
The food was fine-nothing outstanding but it was tasteful and had promise. However, the service was awful! 20 minutes to make a panini and then it sat on the counter because friends of the staff came in and they just chatted. So now all four meals are cold but the friends who came in got served right away. Hmmmm. If you have mediocre food you better have exceptional service. I won't be back nor can I recommend it to veg friends without warning them about bad service and cold food. It's a shame because with limited vegan restaurants they could've cornered the market and really made a name for themselves. Not with the current staff that's for sure!
Had just finished a Mercy For Animals demo in Hartford, so my friend and I decided to stop in for lunch. Nicest, friendliest, most fun staff ever! Great Pomagranate/ginger juice, made by Jamelia. Tasty curried veggies and bbq tofu, too! Great prices, buffet style. Lots of good food at a great price!
I just love this place! The cajun tempeh and tofu jerk is so delicious, it's what my dreams from now on will be made of. The other choices are great too. And the desserts! Both regular and gluten-free cupcakes are so fresh and tasty and very satisfying. I stayed in Windsor for work for a week and it was 20 minutes away (14 miles) and worth the trip every night.
My boyfriend and I stopped here on our way west to NY. The place is conveniently located and easy to find. Likely due to the time of day, they were running counter service only. The woman at the counter showed all the combo-plate options available - I had an Ackee pattie, cajun tempeh, jerk tofu, and beans and rice. My boyfriend had a samosa, the tempeh, bbq tofu, and sweet potatoes. I also had a glass of their house hibiscus bev, which was lovely and refreshing. Food had good flavor and portions were generous enough for us to end up with leftovers. I'd go back, but I do agree with other reviewers: the impression given by the website was a bit contrary to what we experienced.
I went for lunch one day on a Hartford trip. It's only a block or so down from the mark Twain House and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Friendly Chef and staff. Good, unique comfort food. They tell you what is spicy (if that's your concern) Also, had a refreshing hibiscus/ginger drink that was homemade. Plenty of tables and space to just relax and enjoy your food and no pressure to pay. Garlic greens (kale) was delicious. I especially liked the fact that it wasn't just "mock chicken" "mock beef", etc, but real food and vegetable dishes. Worth a trip if you are in Hartford. Parking available on street
Ate at Fire and Spice for the first time this weekend. The woman working the counter was very friendly and explained all the many items available as it was ' buffet' style to be served. I chose a heaping plate of food: lentil soup, unchick'n patti, sauted kale, pumpkin yellow rice, jerk tofu, curried tempeh, chickpea stew, cabbage, beans and rice (this was my one meal for the day; don't judge!). There was a lot of other items that I could not possibly fit on my plate. Everything was very flavorful and delicious. I know other reviewers have complained about lack of variety and options but I thought they had a lot of choices, although it didn't necessarily follow the printed menu. The place was cheerful, clean and inviting; service very good. I liked it a lot and will certainly go again when I am back in the area.
The service was quite slow, our food took quite a while, servers were chatting with each other.
Our food was OK, but overpriced for the quality.
At least it was vegan right?!
Dining at a restaurant only once provides an incomplete conception of its virtues and shortfalls, so with my admonition that I ate here only once, you should read this review "with a grain of salt." My friend and I arrived 7pm on a Saturday night, restaurant primetime, yet we were the only diners there, not an encouraging indicator of the restaurant's popularity, nor a favorable portent of its fate. During our 90 minutes there only one other couple came to eat, one person came for takeout, and four of the chef's or waitress's friends came by only to chat with them, not to eat. By her own admission, this was the waitress's first day there, and judging from her service I would venture to say this was her first day ever working as a waitress anywhere. Still, her enthusiasm compensated for her inexperience. So now on to the food. A slick website (via a template for more conventional restaurants) boasts an extensive menu, yet this Saturday night only four of the entrees were available. Zero appetizers, zero soups, zero pizzas, zero from the raw menu, and only one flavor of smoothie, which was better not to have been served, as it consisted almost entirely of unripe banana. Zero, zero, zero ... "because it was busy today and we ran out of everything." So the menu is merely a façade of wishes and figments of the chef's imagination. In reality, what is actually offered is similar to that of a homey restaurant in Kingston, Jamaica. I speak from experience. When I ate in Kingston where the Rastas of Kingston eat, there were only three dishes from which to choose. Such authentic cuisine of Kingston I suspect will gain scant acceptance in Hartford. But anyhow back in Hartford, we ordered all four dishes, all which were fine examples of Jamaican cooking, in generous portions, and inexpensive at that. So the food is good, but just don't expect to have any variety from which to choose. While I may eat here again, I will be sure to call ahead to verify what's available. All in all a lamentable state of affairs in Connecticut for restaurants espousing veganism and inserting the word VEGAN right into their name. (PS - As of 2011, its online menu better reflects reality, as it has reduced its listings by half.)
I had dinner at Fire & Spice in Feb. 2011. It was my first time visiting, and I'll definitely return. The food was great, the chef was friendly, and the menu was multi-ethnic and eclectic. It's a bit un-traditional in the sense that there are only so many options per night and you pick from those, but trust me: there are plenty to choose from. I had dahl, Cajun tempeh, quinoa, and some sort of potato-with-cumin creation. For dessert I downed a cup of freshly-brewed Jamaican coffee. This place is friendly and not wasteful which I think is great. Two thumbs up on this visit.
I've been eating at Fire and Spice regularly since they opened, most recently this past Friday, June 18, 2010. My experience there has always been fantastic. Christopher is a great dude, always friendly and eager to talk, as are the rest of the F and S crew.
As far as the menu goes, I suppose it's not all available yet(more, and more each time I go though) and I can see how that would bother some...but worry not, a myriad of delicacies is hiding in the steam table. A combo plate will certainly satisfy even the pickiest palates and while you're at it be sure to try a smoothie...all have been delicious but my favorite is the Sea Moss. Christopher blends it up just right!
To those concerned about wait time, I've never experienced an excessively long wait...service may be slower than what you're used to be but rest assured, your meal is being prepared with love and care.
So when you go to Fire and Spice, go to soak in the good vibes, friendly faces, delicious food and satisfy your soul as well as your belly!
Agreed Chris is the man. To Chris - Are you there? What happened??!! I was the biggest Fire & Spice fan......amazing food, great people!! But my last 3 visits were so utterly disappointing I don't think I will be going back. The food has declined considerably. Is someone else cooking? Have you made changes? DON'T! What was incredibly delicious food has been replaced with bland, sometimes overcooked, over salted mediocre food. This is not what we want people to experience when they try vegan food! My last few visits: the chole was tasteless, the greens were mushy, salty and blah (oh how I miss the perfectly cooked bright green kale seasoned to perfection), the lentils were awful (F&S french lentils used to be a fav), and the curry potatoes that I was told were spicy were not spicy at all and barely even seasoned......even the quinoa was so-so. I sure hope things return back to normal. If this is a new change you're trying out - UNDO asap. I will have to ask around to see if things improve. Just can't see myself spending money on the current standards.
Knowing the vicissitudes of the restaurant business, we forgave everything and there was a lot to forgive. But after 45 minutes without a crust of bread (ordered), cup of coffee (ordered), glass of water (presumably part of basic service,) we left. So what was there to forgive? Totally non-responsive help, almost none of the advertised items available; what little service there was, was to a few friends who came in after we did; no help or information on handicap access; and ultimately a lot of rude bellowing by the "guy" in charge as we exited. Thanks! We'll be back in a couple months. Let's see if your little clique can keep you going or if you decide you're actually a restaurant and can accept the responibilities of living up to your advertising (a rather neat web-site).
This is the best restaurant in Hartford. There is a good vibe in the dining area because there is always good reggae music playing, the walls are painted yellow/gold, with nice artwork. Christopher is the main man, and he is very friendly and enthusiastic. There is a good variety of delicious homecooked foods to choose from. So far i've had french spiced lentils, chole (spiced chickpeas), kale salad, seitan (magically flavored), sweet and sour tofu, ital stew, and several other varieties that i can't recall the names of, but the point is, everything was delicious! My ordering technique is to ask for a large combination plate, and let them put whatever they'd like on there, because i fully trust that whatever they choose will be great. They've had varied desserts as cupcakes, mixed fruit shortcake (or something similar) and carrot cake, i had the fruit one which was very good! I especially loved the french spiced lentils, and the seitan. They offer organic juices, and also smoothies. I've had the purple rain juice and the gin and tonic (no gin or tonic involved), both very good, and reasonably priced for organics. I can't imagine why I would choose a different restaurant if i'm looking to eat in hartford county. There is also a sports lounge and bar in the back if you want to hang for a bit and mingle or dance, or a more quite dining area in the front where conversation would be easier. Go check it out, and tell your friends, and support a perfect vegetarian, (all vegan!) restaurant! Also, you need not be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy the food here, it's universally delicious.
Check these guys out - run by the nicest people. Everything is vegan, reasonably priced, and totally awesome.
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