On Episode 17 of The Disney Exchange Podcast, Lisa, David and I discussed favorite table service restaurants in Walt Disney World.
I thought I'd share favorite dishes from the restaurants I chose in each park, starting with Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom.
My wife Barbie and I have eaten dinner here twice and lunch several times.
Our first dinner was in January of 2013, shortly after the restaurant opened, and I confess, while we were certainly taken by the absolutely wonderful themeing, we were less than impressed by the food and service.
Barbie did very much enjoy her Ratatouille, oven-baked zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes and caramelized onions sliced and layered with quinoa, served with a bell pepper sauce, but my Thyme-scented Pork Rack Chop, with au gratin macaroni, seasonal vegetables and red wine au jus, was a let down. This may have been because earlier in the trip I'd had the best pork chop ever at another of my favorite restaurants, The Hollywood Brown Derby.
Then, there was the Grey Stuff, and our other dessert choices.
I asked about the Grey Stuff, and we were told that it was only served for special occasions. As a friend pointed out, isn't the fact the we are at Walt Disney World a special enough occasion?!
Luckily, our server took note that the couple we were having dinner with, Kandi and John, were wearing Anniversary buttons, and brought us 2 dollops of the Grey Stuff...
... it was good, but not as delicious as the song would have us believe.
The desserts we ordered were a let down.
My wife had the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake, vanilla sponge cake, strawberry mousse filling, and cream cheese icing, which sounds amazing, but was described as bland, all the flavor being on top.
John and I each had the Triple Chocolate Cupcake, chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate ganache. Again, this sounds much better than it actually was.
So, this sounds like a less than glowing review. How then did Be Our Guest wind up being my favorite Table Service at the Magic Kingdom?
Because on our next trip, we had one of my favorite dishes in all of Walt Disney World, The Braised Pork, which is slow-cooked pork with vegetables and bacon served with mashed potatoes and green beans jardiniere. I've eaten this on every lunch visit since.
Also, I got the Chocolate Cream Puff filled with chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream, which I enjoyed much more than the cupcakes.
Then there was our last dinner there, where Barbie once again got the Ratatouille, and I got the Grilled Strip Steak, with garlic-herb butter and pommes frites, one of the best steaks I've had in Walt Disney World, one that competes with LeCellier, high praise indeed!
Also, Disney as greatly improved The Grey Stuff, which has been added to it's regular dessert menu, by serving it on a chocolate spongecake. It is, indeed, now delicious!
So, I would absolutely recommend Be Our Guest to anyone visiting Walt Disney World, and look forward to visiting again in the future.
I'll be sharing more favorites in the coming months.
This article originally appeared on the The Disney Exchange Blog.