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Where to eat: Lunch at Gaston's Tavern, in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland

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Published: November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

So, let's review:

Gaston's Tavern

Make sense? If not, allow me to suggest a different approach to Disney's new offerings - Hit Be Our Guest for the hootch at dinner (the only place alcohol's served in the park), then crawl into Gaston's Tavern to treat the hangover the next morning.

That's because Gaston's offers what might be the greatest hangover cure ever offered by a Disney theme park: the delightfully greasy, salty and altogether meat-tastic pork shank [$7.99].

The Cinnamon Roll and the Pork Shank, from Gaston's Tavern

Small, dark, and rustic-looking, Gaston's Tavern doesn't offer a full menu - the food highlights are the pork shank and the warm cinnamon roll [$3.99], also pictured above. The cinnamon roll might impress with its large size, but good luck finding much taste in this big slab of white bread, despite its swirl of cinnamon swimming within. If you want the big taste, go with Disney's hot hunk of pig leg.

Pork shank

The obvious comparison is with Frontierland's turkey leg, but that indulgence tastes like a dieter's cut compared with the fatty pork shank. There's no way I'm ever finishing this thing and keeping a body mass index less than "corpulent." Not unless I finish one of those Disney marathons in under four hours flat, too.

But just imagine that flavorful, salty grease, soaking up the remains of last night's wine and other assorted "adult" beverages. Tear apart the bones to find the moistest meat within. No hangover could survive this culinary onslaught.

If you choose instead to chase the "tail of the dog," you won't find any help in this tavern. The signature drink here is LeFou's Brew [$4.49], the same drink known as Red's Apple Freeze at Disney California Adventure. Priced at $1.20 more than Universal's iconic Butterbeer, LeFou's Brew is frozen apple juice, topped with a thin mango foam - nothing like Butterbeer's rich, frothy head of butterscotch.

I can't imagine choosing Gaston's Tavern for lunch, even it it meant waiting in a long queue for the far superior Be Our Guest next door. But if you're simply in the mood for meat - rich, fatty meat without an ounce of pretension dressing it down - head for Gaston's, and tear in.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on November 20, 2012 at 6:04 PM
I don't know, I really liked LeFou's Brew and it tasted more Apple Cinnamon than just frozen apple juice. I think Disney really upped its game with this expansion.
From Joseph Catlett on November 21, 2012 at 6:59 AM
Robert, I don't eat pig...pig's a filthy animal. I'm not Jewish, I just don't dig on swine is all.
From Mark Fairleigh on November 21, 2012 at 7:22 AM
I know what I'm having for lunch next time I'm at MK!! Total carnivore here!
From Brian Bauer on November 21, 2012 at 7:55 AM
Thin mango foam?

I had 2 cups last month and the foam was just as thick as I've had on a Butterbeer.

From Mike Gallagher on November 21, 2012 at 7:58 AM
Joseph, if it wasn't for pigs, I'd barely eat at all...
From TROY DAVIDSON on November 21, 2012 at 8:16 AM
I tried Le Fou's Brew. (AKA frozen apple juice) A word of caution...you might be running to the bathroom after consuming it. It made me sick as a dog about 30 minutes after drinking it. I also thought it was way over priced. I really think Disney could have come up with something more original then this. I'll take my Pineapple Dole Whip anyday over this.
From on November 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM
There are wayyy too many wanna be cinnamin rolls out there thats just filler bread. Sort of sad actually.
From on November 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM
From Skipper Adam on November 21, 2012 at 9:06 PM
The only thing I don't like about La Fou's Brew is the thousands of guest I have to tell to finish their drink before getting on the rides and watching them suffer deadly brain freezes. I've only heard good things from the guest. I personally like the drink, and more than Butterbeer...but that's because I find apple juice more refreshing than cream soda.

And the pork shanks...well no more burgers for me at MK.

From Mark Kausch on November 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM
C'mon, Joseph, I thought everyone knew that pig's is one of the cleanest animals around.

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