In a couple of my past posts I have sort of alluded to the fact that I am a Disney World fanatic but this Tasty Tuesday I am going to let you know just how crazy I am. Chances are, if you’re someone who already knows me you have a good idea just from the fact that every 8-12 months my Instagram is flooded with Disney vacation pictures. In the past 15 years I have gone on 15 different Disney trips, 3 of which happened within the span of one year. I have even spent a brief half-day at Euro Disney in Paris, and a small 3 days voyage on a Disney cruise. For some people this is ridiculous but for my family it’s a no brainer: it’s the most magical place on earth.
Unfortunately, due to some crappy circumstances in our lives and work issues, my family won’t be making out planned trip down to Florida at the end of the month. It’s a bit of a sore spot in our household but I kind of want to use this post to turn things around a little bit and talk about some of the great experiences we have had (and will have again), and since it’s Tasty Tuesday I figured I’d take the chance to talk about some of Disney’s food!
Some of the best food I have had in my life has come from Disney restaurants. I did a quick count up off the Disney website and in terms of Full Service restaurants I’ve tried over 30 different ones (and this wasn’t double counting for different lunch and dinner menus).
So this time around I’m going to showcase some of my favourite table service restaurants at WDW. I honestly don’t know if I could pick a true top five or top ten so instead I just picked some of my favourite places that I happen to have good pictures of. I’m sure there will be more of these posts in the future so if you don’t see anything you like here (how!?) so stay tuned for more!
Teppan Edo is the hibachi Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the Japan pavilion in Epcot. My first experience at Teppan Edo was during my brief stint at Disney Cast Member. My roommate Mary and I had a little roomie date in Epcot and made a lunch reservation for just the two of us. It’s group style seating so we were placed with a random family. This is something some Disney restaurants do that I find can go one way or the other depending on who you get but this time it went well.
What I love about Teppan Edo is that it’s dinner and a show. The chefs cook everything right in front of you and they really take the opportunity to entertain you. Whether it’s flipping shrimp in the air, creating an onion ring volcano, or just making a Mickey Mouse head out of the oil, it’s engaging and a lot of fun. It also makes it feel like you’re not actually waiting on your food at all.
There’s also something really peculiar for me that makes me love Teppan Edo and that’s the sticky rice! I’m not a big rice fan generally but the flavour of this rice is to die for. I even ended up getting seconds when I went for round two with my parents a few vacations later. I generally only eat rice out of necessity but this place would make me go back for more.
As for your actual dinner options, how Teppan Edo works is you generally pick a type of meat (steak, chicken, shrimp, swordfish, etc.) to be served up from the grill. The meat is served on a bed of noodles and vegetables after your master chef gets it ready before your eyes. Both times I went I ended up with the steak and shrimp but one of the other guests we were seated with had the swordfish steak and said it was quite delectable. You can also order sushi or other side dishes depending on what you’re in the mood for but like most Disney restaurants the entree is more than enough.
When I first walked down the new section of what would be the initial instalment of Disney Springs, I was overwhelmed to find this beautiful dockside restaurant called The Boathouse. I am big fan of all things nautical, I’m not sure if it comes from my East Coast Roots or just the fact that I like anchors, but regardless I was instantly drawn to this beauty of a new dining experience. To begin with we just took a stroll around the property, down the docks where they have unique boats on display and around the shop which sells bags make out of sail material for a ridiculous price. I wasn’t actually expecting to get to eat there.
A little later on in the trip, my mom decided she was going to treat us to one last fancy meal so we headed down to Disney Springs and got ourselves a table. My dad ordered steak and truffle fries aka the most amazing fries ever, and mom and I shared the Original Lobster Bake for Two.
I have had dreams about this seafood bake years following that first fateful dining experience. The corn on the cob was so juicy and even the seafood was excellent quality but it is the broth that makes my belly sing. The best part was dipping my dad’s leftover french fries in the broth at the end. My fantasies about this beautiful bake were relived this past fall when Matt and I had our final lunch in Orlando at The Boathouse before flying back to Canada.
The Boathouse is definitely a splurge, and it’s not a place I would dare go to every single trip but it’s one of those special places that I really enjoy. Plus, if you’re not in the mood to pay crazy money for seafood you can always just head down to the Dockside Bar for a drink, a cool breeze, and a bit of relaxation before jumping back into your big Disney adventure.
Be Out Guest
This one is all about the ambiance. Our house consists of some pretty big Beauty and the Beast fans so a Beauty and the Beast restaurant is really a no brainer. Be Our Guest
opened as part of the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland expansion. It features a dining experience inside the Beast’s castle where you sit in the main ballroom, the forbidden west wing or the castle gallery. I’ve never actually dined in the castle gallery but I have had tables in both the west wing and the ballroom. More often then not you’ll end up in the ballroom because it’s the largest of the three dining areas.
The restaurant serves up a mix of American and French dishes including delicious sandwiches and wonderfully cheesy french onion soup. Breakfast at Be Our Guest is definitely pricey, even my Disney standards, but my mom and I both really enjoyed the cronut. I only wish we hadn’t made an 8am dining reservation the morning after we stayed in Animal Kingdom until after 11.
While Be Our Guest doesn’t have any of my favourite dishes, I’ve not been disappointed with any of the meals I’ve had there and it’s always worth it to go at least once. For dinner they bring desserts around on little trolleys so you can see what you’re ordering and yes, indeed you can get the grey stuff. It used to be just for special occasions but due to popular demand it is now on the menu. And just in case you’re wondering, it’s a really lovely cookies and cream mousse.
The only thing I hate about this place is the lighting: I find it so hard to get great pictures in here, especially of the food! Thankfully, my dad has a bit more luck with the lighting so you get to see a little bit of the inside but honestly it’s nothing compared to the real view. You have to be dining within the restaurant to check it out so if you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan this is really a must-do.
This is the latest addition to my favourite table service restaurants at Disney. Unlike the others in this list I have only been to Skipper Canteen
once but the experience was so memorable that I had to include it. I love the Jungle Cruise, if I could go back and be a cast member again I’d want to be a skipper (but I’d settle for anything but popcorn). The endless puns on the Disney classic always make me chuckle, even if I can recite much of the script from memory at this point. Besides, it’s a classic and it’s a ride I hate to miss, and Skipper’s Canteen has pleasantly become an extension of this.
The restaurant utilizes the same theming as the ride and carries on the tradition of puns and bad jokes through the wait staff who are considered skippers themselves. I listened in as much as I could and couldn’t help but laugh as the one skipper left a table stunned as he exclaimed “Take your time with the menus, I’ll be back in three weeks.”
Skipper’s features some non-alcoholic speciality beverages that are really tasty. I had the Punch Line Punch which is a refreshing mix of tropical juices and mango puree, while my parents both ordered the Schweitzer Slush which is a slushy based drink made with apple and passion fruit juices that is topped with green apple boba balls. The boba balls were actually my favourite part and since my mom didn’t care for them I got to taste my share.
As you can see from the picture above, I ordered the fish. More specifically the Whole Friend Fish. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you’ve actually seen this sucker before… or at least, what remained of him in my Learning to Love the Woman I Was. I loved this dish. The fish was some of the best fish I’ve ever tasted, especially the crispy deep fried bits. I couldn’t stop picking at it. It came on rice which was boring but the fish was enough on its own. I would order it again in a heartbeat.
Another thing we did was order an appetizer and aside from the fish it was my favourite part of the meal. The Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas was a tasty little plate of corn pancakes, braised pork, and the best tasting black bean salad I have ever had. If you like salty foods this is the dish for you!
I will say, I wasn’t a huge fan of the desserts we tried at Skipper’s Canteen (Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream and the Kungaloosh) but the presentaition of them was really nice. The coconut bar wasn’t the texture I wanted it to be and I’m not a big fan of banana desserts so the Kungaloosh wasn’t a showstopper either. Still, it wasn’t like the taste was horrible… the plates were definitely cleaned off at the end.
Finally, we have a restaurant that’s name really suits the fact that it is one of our family signature restaurants. We haven’t gone to Ohana every
trip but it is one we talk about all the time. It can be pretty difficult to score a reservation at a decent time but whenever we manage it we always end up going.
Ohana is a family-style all-you-can-eat (or all-you-can-stuff-into-your-body) restaurant that features Polynesian style dishes and endless amounts of freshly grilled meat on long skewers. Your meal starts off with a warm pineapple bread and continues as a variety of side dishes and appetizers are brought to your table. My personal favourites are the honey-coriander wings and the noodles but as you can see by my plate below, I don’t tend to shy away from any of the offerings.
I don’t actually have any images of ‘main course’ part of the meal where they bring around different means (chicken, steak, and shrimp) but I can assure you they are just as delicious as al the starter. My mom and I usually end up having a full skewer of shrimp between us and to be honest that is more than enough to make me happy. The steak isn’t too bad either.
Last but definitely not least is what is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had at WDW. It may come as a surprise considering I just said I don’t care for banana flavoured desserts but there’s just something special about the Bread Pudding served at Ohana. I’m absolutely positive it had everything to do with the hot Bananas-Caramel sauce that they pour over top. This dessert is massive and is easily shared between 3 or 4 people and because it’s a family style buffet it is included in the price of your meal.
When I originally started drafting this post I was actually still going at the end of the month so the tone I’m leaving here has definitely changed. I’m disappointed, of course, but I know we’ll be back. It’s never goodbye with Mickey Mouse, it’s always see ya real soon