Where to eat: Lunch at Gaston's Tavern, in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland
Written by Robert Niles
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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].
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.
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.
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