Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Disney Dining -- Lunch at the Prime Time Cafe

We were at Disney Hollywood Studios on a Star Wars Weekend and it was super crowded, but fortunately we had made our dining reservations in advance (as we always do for Disney World trips) and were eating lunch at the Prime Time Cafe.

The rope drop was at 8 am that morning, so we had no time for breakfast.  I had a hard boiled egg and some juice I bought at the Beach Club Marketplace (a combination gift shop/ quick service/ convenience store) and away we went.  Knowing that we wouldn't be eating much breakfast, we scheduled an early lunch at 11 am.

We have been to Disney World many times (somewhere around 10 times, I think), but we had never eaten at the Prime Time Cafe.  The primary reason for that is the 50's theme is carried over to the waiter/ waitresses who play mom and dad and scold you if you don't eat your vegetables.  We aren't the type who thinks that is funny (we also don't like restaurants that are rude as part of their shtick), so we stayed clear.  What drew me in this time, though, was the rumor of gluten free chicken pot pie.  Mmmmmm.

Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie

The restaurant is supposed to remind you of a family living room in the 1950's, with televisions, couches, and tacky macrame wall hangings.  Our waiter soft peddled the dad-routine, probably sensing that we weren't really into it, and Chef Eddie was a total professional when he came out to go over the menu with me.  Sure enough, the pot pie filling is gluten free.  They normally put a piece of puff pastry on top, but for the gluten free version, they serve it with a slice of Udi's toast.  It was very yummy, though it did have more onions and mushrooms than I would prefer.  I had a moment of panic when I got a bite of bread from the bottom of the bowl, but it was just a second piece of Udi's that they had ladled the filling over.

I was able to eat a dessert off the menu (the dessert menu is presented on a View Master toy, by the way); it was a crustless (and sugarless) cheesecake with a strawberry sauce.  An excellent dessert, and I could not tell that it was sugar free.  It did not have that artificial taste that you get with sweeteners.  A very enjoyable meal from a restaurant we thought we would not like.
Sugarless Cheesecake


Disney Dining -- Dinner at the Cape May Cafe

We were staying at the Yacht and Beach Club, a Disney resort walking distance to Epcot, so we planned dinner at the hotel.  Actually, we planned for the grandparents and kids to eat dinner at the hotel, and my husband and I would go have dinner at Chefs de France.  However, a incident with one of the kids, a busted nose, and a paramedic, convinced us we would rather stay closer to home.  Fortunately, the Cape May Cafe was able to extend our reservation to 6 without much difficulty.  
Buffet dinner at the Cape May Cafe
The dinner at Cape May is a Clam Bake.  Actually, it's an all-you-can-eat buffet with seafood, but the clam bake theme is a lot of fun, and there are plenty of clams plus all the fixin's you would expect at a real clam bake, such as corn on the cob and boiled potatoes.  My son, the seafood fiend, was in heaven.  Unfortunately, I am not a seafood fan, but there was still plenty on the buffet for me to eat.

Chef Robert came out and took me through the buffet, pointing out what was and wasn't safe for me.  I had roast beef, chicken, mashed potatoes, and lots of veggies.  There was even something for me on the dessert buffet!  They had small flourless chocolate cake bites and a flan/custard dish in little ramekins.  Both were yummy, and I went back for a second helping of dessert.


Disney Dining -- Lunch at the San Angel Inn

On our Epcot day, we had lunch at the San Angel Inn.  We had a 12:20 reservation, and we were seated promptly.  The ambiance of this restaurant is spectacular.  You walk inside a Mesoamerican pyramid, where you find yourself in a Mexican marketplace at twilight.  You can see the stars overhead and in the distance you see a smoking volcano overlooking a river, winding its way through the jungle.  The restaurant is right by the water, with just enough light to enjoy your meal, while still maintaining the illusion of night time.

The last time we visited this restaurant (three years ago), I was disappointed; but they have improved greatly.    I was skeptical at first, when the server told me that I didn't need to talk to the chef because almost everything on the menu was gluten free (except for the flour tortillas), but I took a chance and ordered a tortilla soup (Sopa Azteca on the menu).  They brought out a bowl filled with tortilla strips, avocado, and cheese, then poured the broth over it in front of you.  It was one of the best tortilla soups I've ever had, with just enough spice to make it flavorful, but not hot. (I did not get glutened, but I still would have preferred to hear it directly from the chef instead of the server.)

For an entree, I shared an order of  Loma de Pue en Pipián, a pork tenderloin served over roasted vegetables and pipián - pumpkin, chiles and almond sauce.  As I expected, there was more than enough to feed myself and my son, who always orders the most expensive thing on the menu, but is too tiny to be able to eat it all himself.  He has great taste buds, but small capacity.  It was very good, but the soup was the real winner.


Disney Dining -- Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club

For our first morning in Disney World, we planned a breakfast at the Captain's Grille in the Yacht Club portion of the Yacht and Beach Club hotel.  We don't often eat breakfast in the park, because we prefer to get into the park the minute it opens, but we were heading to Epcot, which didn't open until 9 am that day.  So we had plenty of time to eat breakfast.

I picked the Captain's Grille for two reasons.  1) We were staying at the Beach Club, so it was very convenient. 2) They had a very interesting menu.

I knew my son Colin would go for the lobster omelette, which he did.  I thought my teenage daughter would choose the dark chocolate waffles, but she decided to go with the buffet instead.  In fact, everyone except me and Colin chose the buffet!  (We had Grammie, Grandpa, and my husband with us too.)  Colin and I were incredulous.  Colin said that he could eat in this restaurant every day of the trip and order something new off the menu, there were that many things he wanted to try.

Gluten Free Pancakes with Blueberry Compote and Citrus Pudding

While the rest of the group went off to the rather pedestrian buffet (scrambled eggs, grits, and mickey waffles... yawn), Colin and I ordered off the menu.  Chef Ron came out to talk with me and I quizzed him about the pancakes.  Frankly, I've eaten great GF pancakes, and I've eaten lousy ones; so I asked him what he thought of the GF pancakes -- were they any good?  He said they were and that they use Bob's Red Mill mix.  So I ordered a modified version of the Lemon-Ricotta hotcakes by substituting the ricotta pancake for a GF one, but giving me the accompanying blueberry compote and citrus pudding.   It was fantastic.  Absolutely to die for.  The pancakes themselves were decent, but the compote and pudding made it really special.  They were just the right combination of tangy and sweet. The accompanying potatoes were also good.  The orange juice was so-so, watered down like most of the juices in Disney World, so if I had it to do all over again, I would order the exact same thing, except I'd go with tea or water instead of juice.  

By the way, Colin reports that his lobster omelette was incredible.  There were huge pieces of lobster in it.  I never asked if it was GF, as I don't like seafood, but it certainly looked good.