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  1. For me, the trifecta is interesting food, good service and fair pricing. Add in some scenery for bonus points. The Orchard in the middle of downtown Frederick hit the trifecta and then some. The Orchard is Vegetarian and Vegan friendly while offering a pretty wide selection of fish, shrip and chicken dishes. What's neat is that they aren't really tied to a particular food genre like Italian, rather they build their menu generally around fresh vegetables, then around the preparation type. So for instance, you have a few main groups, including Entrees, Salads, Stir-Fries, Sandwiches and Pita Melts. Within the Stir-Fry group you have Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, etc. The onion ring appetizer was nicely done with thin rings and light batter. It suffered from being not enough for my hungry group of 5. The Monkfish over quinoa special had some spiciness to it and was excellent. We tried 2 Stir-Frys: The Polynesian was blessedly NOT that jarringly sweet; it allowed the vegies to shine through. The Indonesian was very good, maybe I could have added some more of the lime to my taste. My daughter got a chicken dish over brown rice that was also excellent. In all the dishes, the veggies were cooked but not to death. There are times when I understand that lightly cooked vegetables are the ideal; ones with snap. Other times, like here, I like a balance - our brains evolved in part so (and because) we can cook things - and The Orchard does. Service was spot-on, as good as I would expect at the very best restaurants. Nothing missed and an enhancement to the experience. The prices were very nice. We had an 1 app, 2 wines, 3 sodas, 4 meals, 1 soup, 1 salad, 1 kids meal - all for $20 a head pre-tip. Given the level of service and overall food quality, this was a very nice surprise. As for scenery, the inside of the place is just sort of average. The entrance is right in the middle of downdown, across from the tasting room and near Volt. On a late afternoon like we had Saturday, it makes for a really nice walk and downtown experience. The Orchard has been around for 25 years (how did I miss this place until now?!?!) and it shows. They really know their stuff and I look forward to returning.
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