This is a long post. If you are not interested at all in where we ate, I highly recommend you just skip this one altogether!
One of the delights of WDW is the food.
This will come as a surprise to some, who might imagine that Disney fare would favour chicken fingers and French fries, and of course, those are there, but there are many fine restaurants on site, especially at Epcot, where countries vie to serve fine culinary representations of their homeland.
Having said that, some research is in order before you go, and even more important, it is critical that dinner reservations are made at least a couple of months in advance. Every evening we were out we saw families turned away because the restaurant was full.
However, I was organized and we had reservations well in hand before we arrived. I am not including our dinners over at Universal's Portofino Resort, as one in particular merits its own story for a different reason.
We ate at the Mexican Pavilion, Bongo's Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney, Tony's Town Square at Magic Kingdom, The Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios and on our last night at Disney, Chefs de France. Also worthy of mention was our lunch at Be Our Guest.
La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico)
Wonderful food and atmosphere. Authentic, fresh food. I had the short ribs, which were amazing.
Bongos (Downtown Disney)
I had a pretty good meal, but this place was LOUD (as are all the restaurants at Downtown Disney) and nothing amazing. It is owned by Gloria Estefan and I wish they'd played more of her music...
The highlight for us was seeing a man who was the SPITTING IMAGE of Bruce Jenner at the bar. Not the Bruce Jenner circa 2014, but Bruce Jenner circa 1976, decathlon Bruce. We all stared at him, as we are wont to do. I had some really spicy chicken, which I quite enjoyed.
Tony's Town Square
This is the restaurant from Lady and the Tramp, but Barry would describe this as a Greek tragedy, not a love story. It was a DRY restaurant, and the food was only middling in all of our opinions.
Lots of couples were having their pictures taken in front of the statue below, but we passed. I think this is a fine place for lunch, but when mama needs a glass of vino, mama needs a glass of vino!
When the server told Barry there was no alcohol, it was as if she had slapped him across the face. He had his best soap opera look of shock and fury!
There is only one restaurant at the Magic Kingdom which has liquor and it is the fabulous Be Our Guest from Beauty in the Beast.
The restaurant is a faithful recreation of the Beast's castle in the movie and no expense has been spared.
Inside they have recreated the grand ballroom and the forbidden wing where his rose is kept. Even the ceilings are faithful to the movie.
|snow is even falling outside the window...|
Barry and Sydney were thrilled to wait:
The next night we had reservations at The Brown Derby. I was excited about this. It was Oscar night after all and there we were, in a restaurant that is designed to recreate Hollywood in its heyday.
I've been obsessed with the Brown Derby since I was a kid and would read about Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard dining there:
The restaurant is a faithful recreation:
|I'd love that sconce...|
And since it was Oscar night, I ordered a fancy cocktail, which wasn't a red carpet, but close:
On an interesting aside, one of the servers working that night looked like a young Ronald Reagan. I imagine that his tables were happy tables, where we could discuss his old movies, lament Jane Wyman, gossip about Frank Sinatra and drink one for the gipper... If only.
By the way, we arrived home in time to see Lupita win. I was happy. But what made me happiest was when Liza Minnelli jumped up and hugged Lupita before she could get to the stage. Folks, those are golden, glorious moments for me, moments that I cling to in the banality of my suburban life...
And since I am digressing, well let's see the whole Liza look shall we?
Now I'm not expert, but do you think she might have had some work (I said, tongue firmly planted in cheek!). I love how she is still rocking it at 67!
On our last night, we went to France and ate at the Chefs de France. Actually we had lunch in France too, at the little food court area in the back.
The French pavilion is lovely in Epcot - entirely, antiseptically, reminiscent of the real thing, sans dog sh&*t, but with some definite French snootiness!
Before the dinner, Barry and I sat outside at a little bistro table and drank some wine.
The décor inside is faithful:
I had an exquisite meal, duck, with crème brulee for dessert. The evening there began with a St. Germain cocktail, so you know I had fun! It was divine and the service was top-knotch. I spoke French to the server, which they all thought was amusing
One thing that I found jarring each evening, was that even at the fanciest of restaurants people were dressed so casually. Barry wore his casual suit at both the French and Brown Derby restaurants and myself and the two girls dressed up as well. Son is another matter..
It was just odd to see people in old tshirt and shorts, lugging stuffed animals, sitting down in a lovely restaurant. But as they say, when in Disney...
|The girlfriend, our pretty travelling companion|
Sorry this is so long-winded, but hope you all found this somewhat interesting.. If not, c'est la vie!
Have a happy Tuesday and stay safe out there!