Cookes' self-proclaimed speciality is fish & chips, which it declares the "Finest" on its menu and signage. But that's not what I ordered when I visited Orlando last month.
I have a confession: I love pies. Not American-style sweet pies (though I do enjoy a slice of blueberry or apple now and then). It's English-style savory pies that I adore. My favorite pies are from a UK company called Pieminister, which makes the single greatest pie I've ever enjoyed: the "Pietanic," a seafood pie with haddock, salmon and prawns. It kills me that I can't get these pies in America, so I never pass up a chance to try a good savory pie when I see one on a menu.
When I walked past Cookes and saw "Dublin Style Pies" offered on its menu board, I knew where I'd be having lunch. I opted for the Chicken and Field Mushroom Pie, with chicken breast, mushrooms, leeks and potatoes, served with chips, which Americans will recognize as French fries. ($11.95)
This isn't your typical American-diner chicken pot pie, drowning in pasty gravy and salt. Packed with shredded chicken breast and leeks, Cookes' pie offered a clean balance of meat and vegetables, under a delightful flaky crust. I finished every bite, and would be happy to return for a second helping upon a future visit to Downtown Disney.
At nearly $12, it's not a cheap counter-service meal, but Cookes' chicken pie delivered enough white meat chicken in its serving to provide good value for the price. I only wish that more counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World would follow the lead of their siblings at the Disneyland Resort and serve with real plates and cutlery, instead of the ubiquitous plastic, paper and foil found at WDW. A real fork would have allowed me to enjoy this pie even more than I did.
Cookes also offers a ground beef and lamb pie, in addition to a selection of fried fish, shrimp, scallops and sausages, as well as wraps, salads and burgers (including a battered and fried burger!) Alas, there's no seafood pie on the menu.
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