Where to eat: Lunch at Walt Disney World's Be Our Guest
Published: November 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM
The Magic Kingdom's new Be Our Guest restaurant
promises French bistro fare, and, having spent a week in France this summer, the menu sure did look familiar: a Croque Monsieur, a salad Nicoise, a quiche, a carved poultry sandwich (the MK's is turkey - not chicken - but we'll call that close enough).
I'd intended on ordering the Croque Monsieur, but after looking at its photo on the restaurant video-board menu, I changed to the Tuna Nicoise Salad instead. Disney's Croque Monsieur looked simply like a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, instead of the luscious ham sandwich bathed in Grueyere and Bechamel that I'd seen so often in Paris. To complete a three-course menu, I selected the potato-leek soup and triple-chocolate cupcake, as well.
(To read more about Be Our Guest's unique lunchtime ordering system, and to see a screenshot of the video menu, please see my blog post from the weekend: At Be Our Guest, Disney solves the problems with counter service ordering)
The potato-leek soup ($4.49) might have been the best bowl of soup I've enjoyed since the scallop chowder in Tokyo Disneyland last December. This is a rustic version of the French classic, laced with bits of potato instead of offering the silky consistency found in the Julia Child recipe. But every bite offered hearty potato flavor, touched with the mild, green-onion-like flavor of leeks. On a chilly November day, the soup hit the spot - making crave the chance to get it without having to wait in the 20-minute queue that greeted me at the restaurant's door.
Disney's Tuna Nicoise Salad ($13.49) is served with four slices of seared tuna steak, along with a hard-poached egg, potatoes, olives, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, on a bed of vinaigrette-dressed mixed greens. Disney's nailed the tuna here - rich slices of sushi-grade fish, served warm on the edges with a lightly-peppered crust. The hard poached egg threw me off a bit (I'm used to a runny yolk in poached eggs), but I suppose hard-boiled eggs are a more traditional salad accompaniment, so I went with it. The salad was supposed to have green beans, but if there were any in mine, I missed them. I barely noticed the diminutive olives, too. But the tuna and spicy greens were so good that I didn't mind.
My daughter has a theory: "If it doesn't have chocolate - it's not dessert." So I went with the triple-chocolate cupcake [$2.99], a decadent creation with a pillow-soft crumb of chocolate cupcake surrounding a chocolate buttercream filling. The whole thing's topped with a rich chocolate ganache. Disney gilds the lilly with an inscribed "Be Our Guest" flake of chocolate and a raspberry. Bring on the choco-gasm!
Yeah, I finished it all.
Clearly, Be Our Guest is not only the highlight of this phase of the park's Fantasyland expansion, it's the best meal I've ever had in the Magic Kingdom. I'd love to hear from readers who have tried some of the other selection's on Be Our Guest's menu. But if you want an outstanding three-course menu of affordable French bistro classics, you'd need a magical enchantment of your own to find a better combination of soup, salad and dessert than this.
Published: November 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM
Wow! The food looks amazing. Clearly Disney hit the mark with this venue. I hope the company's renewed and reinvigorated commitment to food excellence will bleed over into the rest of the Magic Kingdom restaurants as well!
Published: November 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM
The dinner menu looks more impressive; it has items not found at lunch like ratatouille.
Published: November 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM
I ate lunch there yesterday and it was great! I had the grilled steak sandwich which was delicious! I toured the whole restaurant and might look into eating dinner, though it isn't cheap..
Published: November 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM
MK is in need of a good resturant. I always thought MK was the weakest food wise of any of the WDW parks.
Published: November 20, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Great article Robert! We have dinner reservations in January and cannot wait! The ambiance in Be Our Guest is quite stunning from the Passholder preview tour we took. Looking forward to the food!
Published: November 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Nice reviews of the new restaurant's ordering system and food. But you left something out. From the song in the "Beauty and the Beast" film, we're invited to "try the gray stuff." So, did you?
Published: November 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM
The prices seem reasonable for a theme park, but it adds up so the final check will be much higher. The food looks terrific. It is definitely quality food.
Published: November 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM
Brian, there doesn't appear to be any "grey stuff" at lunch. Maybe the grey stuff has booze in it? ;^)
Published: November 20, 2012 at 6:46 PM
I've heard you have to ask for the grey stuff; it's not on the menu, it's sort of an inside secret. It's not pate, like in the movie- it's some kind of marscapone dessert dish here...
Published: November 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM
KJ is correct: "The Grey Stuff" is not on the menu. But if you ask for it, you'll get it for free. Other web sites (http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/11/01/guest-review-be-our-guest-restaurant-dinner-at-the-magic-kingdom/, for example) have described it as a cookies-and-cream flavored mousse and, like the song says, it really is delicious.
Published: November 21, 2012 at 9:09 PM
Actually, really the grey stuff is only brought out for guest celebrating something. As a Castmember speaking on behalf of other Castmembers, don't pester, bug or demand the grey stuff, and don't argue that you read online somewhere that you get it if you ask for it.
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