Foodie Friday: Updated Disney Restaurant Guide!
Well, I’m back from Disney World (sadly)! And since we tried some new things and old favorites while we were there, I thought I’d make an updated restaurant/food guide!
1. The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
This was one of our old favorites, we hadn’t been there in quite some time so we thought to try it again. Boy, were we disappointed. First and foremost, they changed the layout, so it’s like having three restaurants in one. On the first floor you have the express cafe (which has great pizza btw) and the grand cafe, and on the second floor you have the dining room. From what we remember the dining room used to be the first floor, but I guess they changed it. Anyway, we got there and had to wait behind a bunch of people who didn’t have reservations and had no idea what they were even doing, but that’s alright, it happens. When we finally got up to the hostess stand she told us that we can go straight upstairs… which would have been nice to know from the beginning. After we got upstairs, got seated, ordered and got our food the disappointment continued. My mom and I ordered duck which came with ricotta gnocchi. The duck was okay, but not crispy enough and the gnocchi tasted good but was grainy! It was actually difficult for me to eat. My dad ordered the schnitzel, which was nothing special. When it was time for dessert, we got the strudel, which was actually very good. But we found it to be very expensive, we got much better, less expensive meals elsewhere. Overall, we decided that this is not place we would be going to again.
2. Gaston’s Tavern
Last year we went to Gaston’s and got one of the massive cinnamon buns, but this year we decided to go all out and try the pork shank and LeFou’s Brew! When you read the description of LeFou’s Brew it sounds pretty strange… “Frozen Apple Juice with a hint of Toasted Marshmallow and topped with All-Natural Passion Fruit-Mango Foam served in a Souvenir Goblet or Souvenir Stein”
We passed on the souvenir cup but fell in love with the drink! You don’t get much toasted marshmallow flavor, but the frozen apple juice is awesome, not too sweet and the fruity foam on top adds a really nice and interesting tang. Great drink, we all loved it and should’ve gotten more than one.
Now the roasted pork shank… firstly, it is massive! Three of us ate it, and we did have enough for four but my mom was too interested in LeFou’s Brew haha. Anyway, it’s delicious, fall-of-the-bone, roasty goodness! We had it instead of a turkey leg and it did not disappoint.
3. Be Our Guest Restaurant
Be Our Guest has been a huge hit since it opened, you need to book your reservations 6 months in advance (the earliest Disney will let you book) or you won’t get in. Luckily for us, they decided to test out a new breakfast menu for two months! I booked the reservations the second they opened up, and so we went. Their breakfast, like their lunch, is a quick service, so what happens is you show up, they funnel you into a line, and you wait to get in. It was like going on a ride. We had a 9:25 reservations, but we had to wait anyway, it was more like a fastpass than a reservation. Once you get through the line outside, you get to the line inside! It’s pretty cool inside though, with full suits are armor that snore and stuff haha. Once you hit the end of the line you order on these big touch pad screens, then pay right there and move on the the dining room. There are three dining rooms: the West Wing, the Ballroom and the Rose Gallery (which I think should have been the library). We were seated in the Ballroom. Once you sit down you can go grab your drinks, like coffee and fountain drinks. You also need to get all your own utensils and napkins.
Food takes a little while to come out, but that’s okay because in comes out in these cute glass cases! Both my parents ordered the open-faced bacon and egg sandwich, I got the croissant doughnut and my sister got the kids french toast. You also get pastries for the table and fruit with each meal. Sadly, we found that all the food was cold. We assume it’s because they already have everything prepared so they can get you in and out as fast as possible, still pretty unfortunate. Other than that we thought the food was good, my parents loved what they got, my dad still talked about it the next day. My doughnut was very good, but sooooo sweet! It actually hurt my stomach later on. My sister liked her french toast, even though the portion was a little small.
Our only other negative was that the prices are a bit high. For certain things it makes sense, but no doughnut is worth $20.
4. Hollywood Brown Derby
Now this was a pleasant surprise. The Hollywood Brown Derby is in Hollywood Studios and my dad was adamant from the beginning (meaning February) that we had eaten there before and hadn’t liked it. My mom and I read the menu about five times and liked it enough to take the risk. We were all glad that we did! The food was fantastic, even the bread was awesome! For appetizers we got the local green salad with champagne vinaigrette… this was delicious. It had peaches, blueberries, goat cheese and candied pecans. One of the best salads I’ve had. We also got the pan-seared scallop because it also came with pork belly! The belly was good, but I’m not one for scallops lol.
For dinner, my mom and I ordered the duck (again), and it was exactly what we were hoping for! Super crispy duck leg with purple potato hash and duck breast confit with cauliflower and romanesco.. It was excellent! That was what I was expecting at Wolfgang’s. My dad got the lamp chops, which were also fantastic. Then we got a trio of desserts: the chocolate sphere, double vanilla creme brulee and grapefruit cake, all very good. The only negative was that the cappuccino I got was more of a latte, but that’s not a deal breaker.
5. Coral Reef Restaurant
Oh Coral Reef. I remembered going there before, but remembered nothing about the food. My mom actually did some last minute research and found lots of mixed reviews so we were pretty skeptical going into it, especially since it was our last night and we had gone to the Derby the night before. We didn’t realize how popular is still was, you cannot get in without a reservation, we watched a few families try and fail.
What’s nice is that you can see the tank from anywhere in the restaurant and they give you a guide to identify fish! I got really into that haha.
Anyway, back to the food. So, the bread comes out and it look good, but tastes like it’s been sitting around for a while. That made me very nervous, but I went ahead and ordered the pork belly that I had been eying since we made the reservation. My mom got salmon, my dad got mahi mahi and my sister got the kids steak and we decided to get the Heirloom Beets appetizer. Our appetizer comes out and we are very confused. It looks like there are pieces of tuna, so we call the waitress over thinking it’s the wrong appetizer. Before we even say anything she tells us that those are candy cane beets! I guess they get asked that a lot haha. There was also frisee, goat cheese cream, toasted pecans and an orange vinaigrette. I was not a fan of the appetizer at all, it was very strange, I did have a few beets though.
After that strange appetizer I was even more nervous for dinner! Not only was I unsure of the food, I had ordered pork belly in a mostly seafood restaurant! When our dinners came out, everything looked in order. My pork belly came with carrot silk and and a spiced pork caramel. I tasted the carrot silk first and… I was hooked (hah, get it?)! I was worried for absolutely nothing! The pork was super tender and delicious, especially when you ate it with the carrot silk and pork caramel. It rivaled the duck that I had at the Derby. Everyone loved their food, a great surprise from the Coral Reef!
We obviously had to get dessert too, so we got the turtle cheesecake which was great. I can actually taste it as I write this haha. It was a little different though, because it’s a cheesecake dome! And it’s filled with a chocolate mousse, caramel and nuts! Super good.
And I have to give a massive shout out to the Rose and Crown! Not only did they save the day and my birthday dinner, they have great food and the best dessert in Disney World! Definitely try the English Meat Pie appetizer, the Bangers and Mash, Chicken Masala and Sticky Toffee Pudding! The Sticky Toffee Pudding is my absolute favorite, couldn’t have asked for a better dessert for my birthday. Oh, and you can’t forget that if you eat outside you have a perfect view of the fireworks! One of the best birthday dinners I have ever had, hands down!