A return to Disney had me wanting to try new places. I’ve dined many times at the casual dining restaurants or kiosks within the parks and I was ready to continue my ventures outside of the parks. After all, hubs and I were having a great casual vacation so some great food would make it even better. We were able to dine a few different areas over the course of the couple of days we were there prior and post cruise. Here is a recap:
Trail’s End (Fort Wilderness Campground)
Over at Disney Food Blog’s new(ish) podcast, episode one discusses ‘jaunts’. Quick trips that you can access from the parks, thus getting a break from the crowds and the heat, plus getting something other than chicken tenders and hamburgers. A quick boat ride to the Fort Wilderness Campground had us at Trail’s End. The restaurant wasn’t busy at all and we were quickly seated. Hubs ordered a pulled pork sandwich, which has a surprisingly tangy barbecue sauce which I really enjoyed (yup, I steal bites on vacation too). There was a corn bacon slaw on top, but really, the taste of bacon was lacking though the sandwich overall was great. I had ordered an ‘open faced Johnny Cake BLT’ with a side of sweet potato fries despite looking forward to the fried chicken. But, I didn’t regret it at all once I took a bite. A corn based pancake topped with bacon, arugula and tomatoes. There was a peppery mayonnaise on top too – and when all those flavors combined, all I can say is wow. It was something I would have never imagined eating at The World and was beyond tasty. Beats a burger at a stand anytime surrounded by a crowd. Highly recommend – though I do hear their chicken is great, as is their breakfast buffet.
Kona Cafe (Polynesian Resort)
The Polynesian Resort is beautiful, full of lush florals and vegetation in the lobby. Honestly, I haven’t been to Hawaii but it is everything that I imagine it to be. So when we sat down at Kona Cafe for lunch, I wasn’t surprised to see all of the great Polynesian food, and I wanted to get my hands on all of it. Hubs settled on barbecue pork tacos. Visually, I was surprised to see the homemade tortillas be so thick. But, it was still a great taco and hubs gobbled them up. I ordered the Ahi tuna sandwich. I absolutely loved the sweetness of the pineapple bread the sandwich was served on. The tuna was thick and seasoned well, but cooked a little bit more than I would have liked. But the pickled vegetable slaw and bread made that sandwich very good. The sweetness of the bread played really well with the vinegar of the slaw, though it did kill the overall flavoring of the fish. And of course, sweet potato fries were great as always.
Whispering Canyon Cafe (The Wilderness Lodge)
Before heading home, we ducked into The Wilderness Lodge for a bite to eat. We decided to eat a few appetizers between each other, though there is an all you can eat type of barbecue lunch that looked appetizing (and what they are known for). We started off with queso and chips, which was nothing too fancy. Though small and minor, I did like the fact the chips were sprinkled with tomatoes and green onions. No idea why, I normally don’t go for that flair, but alas, I liked the extra nudge that pushed it towards nacho type. I had a salad, which was dressed in a really light apple vinaigrette. I mainly ordered it because of the candied walnuts. It was much bigger than I anticipated, but there wasn’t anything too special about it. Hubs ordered the smoked salmon, which he thought was a little dry and anticlimactic. Though all of this was okay and standard, I couldn’t get enough of the cheddar cheese soup. It was creamy, decadent and so tasty. I absolutely loved the sharpness of the cheddar. And to make it even better, popcorn and bacon. Candied bacon gave it a slightly sweet bite through the sharpness, while the popcorn was just fun. I loved it. I ate it so fast, maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy the other bites because I was so focused on that soup. Next time, soup and barbecue.
All of these were great choices for us to try while enjoying the parks. We did eat in the park at one point, but it was in Epcot where I have a little bit more love for due to the country and ethnic drive of the food. Though all of it isn’t spectacular, I still appreciate it a little bit more as there are more options than the other parks (though if you recall, the Animal Kingdom does have a great restaurant). Eating new (and great) food is always an important piece of our vacations – what about you? Anything you look forward to when on vacation?