This week, I’m sharing a series of dining reviews from my recent trip to Disney World. You can check out my first review here, and stay tuned throughout the week for more food allergy “magic!”
Day 2: First day at the parks! If you know my family, or have ever talked to me about our Disney trips, you’ll know that we pretty much have our trips down to a science. That’s what happens when you throw a bunch of Italian Type-A personalities in a family – planning, food, and planning around food. Over the years, we’ve figured out the most efficient means of navigating each of the parks. Nerdy? Yes. But also awesome.
We started out at the Magic Kingdom, which I think may be my favorite park of the four. Space Mountain was closed when the park opened, so we couldn’t start the day off with our usual triple mountain whammy. Just a ⅔ mountain whammy. We also fit in Pirates of the Caribbean (classic), Peter Pan (we had a fast pass – the line for that one is always nuts) and some photos with the Gaston fountain before our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. We went to this restaurant (Beauty and the Beast themed!) a few years ago, so I was excited to go back.
Whenever we make reservations, my mom always makes sure to indicate that there’s an allergy in the party. But JUST IN CASE I always make sure to tell them when we check in too. Better safe than sorry. At this restaurant, guests order on a computer, which allowed me to indicate my allergies and filtered the menu items to show me what I could have. I was pleasantly surprised to see corn listed on the screen, and the hostess told me it’s one of the “Top 10” for them, so they indicate it. Interesting, since it’s not in the Priority 12 in Canada or the Top 14 in Europe! Since I have allergies outside of the top 8, the chef came out to speak with me as well. I ended up ordering the quinoa salad (mostly because it came with roasted red peppers ha). It wasn’t on the corn-free menu, but the chef double checked for me and it turns out that the dressing was the only thing that contained corn (corn starch), so I was able to get oil and vinegar instead. We sat at a table in the West Wing (even though it was strictly forbidden – we’re such rebels), which was complete with dreary decor, a shredded photo of the Prince and the iconic rose. Awesome. The salad itself was actually super good. I don’t normally like quinoa, actually, but since all of the other ingredients sounded SO good and I didn’t feel like having Tuna Nicoise salad, I decided to give this dish a shot. And whaddya know, but I really liked it! I think because it was a cold salad. Whenever I ate warm quinoa in the past, I think I expected it to be like oatmeal, which it is not. In any case, I’m glad I tried this because it was really good.
Skipping ahead a few hours, we ate dinner in Epcot. We’ve eaten in almost every country in the World Showcase, and this year we added France to that list. Out of the 2 table service restaurants in Epcot’s France, Chefs de France is more casual. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. I knew there’d be something for me, but I didn’t really look over the menu too closely before my mom booked the reservation. Disney is, in general, pretty accommodating, and if nothing else, all of their restaurants are equipped to give me something extra simple, like baked chicken and steamed veggies. As much as I love finding interesting menu items that I can eat, my set of allergies does tend to make certain cuisines tricky, so I’m pretty flexible.
As it turned out, there weren’t too many options that I could have without any modifications. For me, the side dishes make or break a meal decision. Example: if sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts come with a particular entree, then more likely than not, I’ll choose that dish. In this case, it was the sides that were mostly the issue. Lots of cream and butter in French dishes! And tomatoes. And gluten. Our waiter was super knowledgeable, though, and brought the chef out to answer some questions. I ended up with the Fruit de mer á la Provençale – a medley of clams, seared scallops (love), shrimp, mahi (only the one mahi because I wasn’t that hungry), and veggies in white wine. Yum! I actually didn’t have to make any modifications to that one, which was nice! The They even brought me out an Ener-G roll since I couldn’t have the fancy baguette. Loved it. The seared scallops and shrimp were my favorite “critters” in the dish – I’m not sure what kind of spice they used, but whatever it is was great. For dessert, I had a giant bowl of berries. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t have the creme brulee (still have to make it with coconut milk at home), but those berries were delish.
Stay tuned for Day 3, coming up tomorrow!