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Downtown Disney - Your Favorite Foods

Walt Disney World: List your favorite food stuffs at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney area.

From James Rao
Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:06 PM
We recently had some discussions about people’s favorite foods to eat while visiting Walt Disney World. Continuing that discussion, what are some of YOUR favorite Downtown Disney food items? These items can be snacks, sandwiches, dinner platters, candy, ice cream, beverages...whatever. Just make sure you stick to a specific food item and mention where you bought it so others can benefit from your experience.

Please, try to keep your posts focused solely on Downtown Disney and the remaining resorts (Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans Riverside/French Quarter, Fort Wilderness, and the Wilderness Lodge/Villas).


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From James Rao
Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:41 PM
The WDW's Magic Kingdom - Your Favorite Foods discussion thread.

The EPCOT - Your Favorite Foods discussion thread.

The Disney's Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach - Your Favorite Foods discussion thread.

The Disney's Hollywood Studios & Typhoon Lagoon - Your Favorite Foods discussion thread.

While I have visited Downtown Disney several times, I have predominately focused my dining experiences on two sites: Raglan Road and Earl of Sandwich. One is a fantastic, full service adventure, and the other is a reasonably priced, yet wonderfully fulfilling counter service venue. I highly recommend both establishments.

I have also eaten at Planet Hollywood which I enjoyed but can’t for the life of me remember what I ate!

I’ve visited the Rainforest Café several times and find it to be over-priced but serviceable. There is nothing on the menu I would recommend, but the atmosphere and theming create an environment that can be fun for families.

While I have not been to the T-Rex in DTD, I have visited the original location at the Legends shopping area in Kansas several times. Sadly, I have never found anything good on the menu (except for one or two desserts). T-Rex is an expertly themed, yet overly expensive, and hugely disappointing restaurant. If someone has found anything worthwhile on the menu, feel free to let me know.

Specific recommendations:

Downtown Disney
Raglan Road
Dalkey Duo - battered cocktail sausages with a mustard sauce.
Scallop Forest - forks of sea scallops with a lime sauce.
Fish and Chips - the best FnC at WDW.
Ger's Bread & Butter Pudding - an amazing dessert.
Dunbrody Kiss - for chocolate lovers.

Earl of Sandwich
Original 1762 - roasted beef, cheddar, and horseradish.
Italian - salami, capicola, ham, Italian dressing, etc.
BLT - I am a sucker for a good BLT.

That's all I've got for now, except for a question: anyone been to Wetzel's Pretzels at DTD? There are some interesting items on the menu. Any reviews, Tim? You're our resident pretzel connoisseur!

=)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:26 PM
Raligan Road, Earl of Sandwich,and T Rex are probably my favorites on the Marketplace side.

I LOVE Bongos! Best food in all of Downtown Disney.

Wolfgang Puck and the House of Blues are pretty good too!

From Rob P
Posted January 11, 2010 at 12:59 AM
The Earl of Sandwich is our favourite for that quick bite. (The Full Monty is great.)
Of all the table service restaurants in the area we love the House of Blues the most. Hearty food, good bar and excellent blues.

From James Rao
Posted January 11, 2010 at 3:45 AM
All right, you two... I need some specifics. What dishes, appetizers, desserts, etc? I get the Full Monty, but what else?

Anthony, I wonder if the T-Rex at DTD has a different menu, a better chef, and/or different recipes than the original in Kansas? I want so much to like that place, but the food I have had is just God-awful. What dishes do you like?

From Rob P
Posted January 11, 2010 at 5:34 AM
At HOB it has to be the Seafood Jambalaya for me.

From Bob Miller
Posted January 11, 2010 at 7:20 AM
Gosh James, with all of your questions lately, I can see what you have on the brain. Is the winter getting that bad out there that your compiling a list of take-outs to have shipped to you by UPS?

I really don't have any favorite foods, I eat about anything placed in front of me. A habit I got into as a hungry child, coming from a poor family without a father.

From Tim W
Posted January 11, 2010 at 7:26 AM
Caribbean Jerk Chicken at Earl of Sandwich. Spicy!

Pretty much any sundae at Ghiradelli Soda Fountain. My faorites include the Gold Rush, Very Beryy Sundae, and the Warm Browine Sundae. Also they have a great Cafe Mocha.

Baked Four Cheese Macaroni at Wolfgang Puck Express

The create your own desserts at Goofy's Candy Co. are great. I love making my own Mickey Rice Crispy Treat!

From Rob P
Posted January 11, 2010 at 7:35 AM
I have this vision of Bob hunched over a steaming boiled boot with knife and fork in hand.

I'm also presuming that Bob was only teasing. ( I hope ! )

From Bob Miller
Posted January 11, 2010 at 7:55 AM
Sad to say Rob, it's the truth, my father was killed in a coal mine accident when I was 7 years old and things were tough. Mom was only 30, with 3 children and no welfare back then, so we went to bed hungry many times. But that's the way life is, and I'm all grown up now, with a unique look on life and food. And to this day, no food is ever thrown in the garbage.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:21 AM
Well, I understand your love/hate thing with the T Rex, but I am thinking that I have just been lucky with my meal choices.

I enjoy the Sampler Starter, Country Fried Steak, and the Meateor Bytes (doughnut holes). Personally, I think its better than Rainforest.

As for Bongos, for starters, nothing can beat its soups! The Black Bean Soup is just great, but pretty expected, but the Chicken Noodle Soup is suprisingly out of this world! The main courses are excellent as well with my favorites being Bistec de Pamilla which is grilled steak with limes and onions.

As for the rest mentioned, "Earl" gives you the best prices and HOB and WP remind me of home sweet home Chicago.

I also can't say enough about the Butternut Squash Soup and the Pizza. Sorry Floridians, Pizza is not your strong point and Wolfgang Puck (and Giodano's in the crossroads) are the only places I feel confortable about ordering a sausage pizza

As for resorts, I never thought the Wilderness was a DD resort (MK I thought), but here are some of my favorite places:

Gotta go with Olivia's at my home resort, but I know it can be hit or miss. Lunch is usually much better than dinner. Conch Chowder is good there if you like that kind of thing.

Whispering Canyon Cafe at WL is the best family style meal outside of Hoop De Doo. Its also loads of fun and a must do for anybody!

From Rob P
Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Truly sorry to hear that Bob and glad that you've managed to come through those hard times.

I do , wholeheartedly, agree with you about never wasting food.
I should also add that I don't feel at all guilty for eating some of the nice food on offer either . Also if some of the portions were reduced a tad there'd be a lot less wastage too.

This has actually been an interesting thread that James has started and an good insight into what we like to feed on whilst we're roaming around at Disney.


From Tim W
Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM
I'm sorry Anthony, but i also hate T Rex Cafe. The food is sub par and the atomsphere is noisy enough to give u a headache. Out of every restaurant in Disney, this was my least favroite ever!

And yea Olivias is spectacular. Much better than the food at Saratoga. Its Delicious there! Breakfast and Lunch are amazing there and feature perhaps the best food at Disney i've ever had. The Banana Bread French Toast is spectacular for Breakfast, and my favorite lunch includes their Chipotle BBW Chicken Sanddwich with their house chips. Their key lime tart is also very very good.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 11, 2010 at 9:17 AM
What food did you have at T Rex? I am suprised at the hate for it, but thats what is so great about the site.

Another disagreement I have with TPI, at least in the past, has been DCA which I thought did need work, but wasn't as horrible as many TPIers made it out to be.

Personally, Olivia's being spectacular is a strong word for me. While I love my Olivia's, I really feel that its hit or miss. The thing that sticks out to me is a really horrible dinner I once had. Because of that, I only go for lunch.

I also think, and it probably is not just me, but Olivia's is a memory lane place at OKW for DVC members. We always make our first meal at Disney World in Olivias. I wish I got my picture up on the wall!

From James Rao
Posted January 11, 2010 at 5:38 PM
First:
Anthony, you are right about the Wilderness Lodge. I just lumped the remainder of the resorts in this last thread as I didn't want to start another just for a resort or two!

Second:
I love the atmosphere at T-Rex, noise included. It is the food I do not like. I have tried the dishes you mentioned Anthony and several others to boot (hee hee, Rob). Even had a burger. I really want to like the place because I feel like I am at a theme park whenever I visit. However, all the food is just a twinge off, just enough to make me really dislike it. Usually I go to another restaurant for dinner, then hit T-Rex for dessert and animatronics. All the fun, none of the bad food.

Third:
Bob, I have a selfish reason for these threads. I am planning my May trip to WDW (9 days in May), and I love hidden treasures, especially when food is involved. I figured who better than the TPI faithful to direct me to the best of the best!

Fourth:
Rob, your comment about the boot was hilarious, even though it hit a little close to home for our friend Bob. It is a good thing he has a great sense of humor! ;)

Fifth:
It looks like I will be eating at Earl of Sandwich everyday just to try all the sandwiches everyone recommends!

Last:
No Wetzel's Pretzels? Tim, I thought you were the Pretzel fiend! You failed me! ;)

From Tim W
Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:39 PM
Thanks for reminding me James. Wetzels features a number of pretty good pretzels, however they can't compare to my favorite Auntie Anne's Pretzels. At Wetzels, Cheese Meltdown and Almond Crunch are both pretty good. And i always need that lemonade with my pretzel!

From James Rao
Posted January 11, 2010 at 9:04 PM
I knew you wouldn't let me down, Tim! =)

From Rob P
Posted January 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM
I do sincerely hope that I didn't cause Bob any offence with my comment.

Sooo...back to the foodie topic ( which I'm loving by the way ).

I saw some positive comments about Bongos. When we went the food was okay ( not bad just not that great ) but the atmsosphere was really good. I think I may have enjoyed Bongos more if we hadn't been shelved up on the balcony rather than down on the main floor where it all seemed to be happening.
I'd definitely go again though. They say you should give a restaurant 3 visits to really get a feel for the place.

From Bob Miller
Posted January 12, 2010 at 8:02 AM
Rob, no problem with your comment. My childhood helped me be more realistic about food, since I didn't have a lot of choices to choose from back then. It was mostly the basic stuff, nothing fancy, that's probably why I don't pick lobster, shrimp and expense foods today, since I never got to taste any of it growing up. And when I could afford to but it, I didn't like the taste of most seafood anyway.

James, when Zachary and I were down this year, we did go to Planet Hollywood. Had a hamburger naturally( could have gone to McD for that huh), but the place is fantastic if you like rock and roll stuff. We sat on the upper floor, next to the railing, great view.

Also ate at House of Blues a while back, but I'm not sure where, could be DD. You have to like that style of food, which I did not( hamburger again I believe).

I do like steak, but have not eaten at any places in Disney World, only outside the park in Lake Buena Vista or Rt.192 down by Kissimmee.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM
Yachtsman is great place for steaks!

From James Rao
Posted January 12, 2010 at 7:52 PM
At Planet Hollywood it is all about the terrific atmosphere. The food was fine, but did not stand out, or else I would remember what I ate! =)

As for steak, it is so hard to get one better than what we grill at home, that I almost hate eating them when I am out. And while this restaurant is off a little topic, I have heard that the steaks at Shula's are perhaps the best in the greater Orlando area.... care to comment?

Over the next week or so I will start putting all the recommendations from all these "Favorite Food" threads and post the results in one summarized listing. So please wrack your brains for any other food favorites you have at Disney. Remember, be honest and be specific!

Lastly, if you have not been to Raglan Road, I cannot recommend it enough. The scallop forest appetizer is a wonderful meal unto itself, the fish 'n' chips are amazing, and the bread pudding is quite simply one of the best desserts I have ever devoured. If you never trust me about anything else (and really you shouldn't, as I am a complete deviant), eat at Raglan Road! ;)

From Rob P
Posted January 13, 2010 at 4:51 AM
Be honest James. You were staring so hard at the girl dancing on the table at Raglan Road that you didn't really notice the food did you ?
Me neither !!

From James Rao
Posted January 13, 2010 at 4:58 AM
Girl, what girl? =)

From Bob Miller
Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:22 AM
Sorry James, I've never had the pleasure of eating there. But I do envy you going to Disney World this year. If I could only talk my daughter into moving down, I'd leave this coal hole of a town in a heartbeat.

From James Rao
Posted January 25, 2010 at 5:20 AM
I wrote: "Over the next week or so I will start putting all the recommendations from all these Favorite Food threads and post the results in one summarized listing."

I started to do as I said I would, but the list was amazingly long. Best to just bookmark the threads for future reference.

For the record, the list of Favorite Foods at my local theme park, Cedar Fair's Worlds of Fun, is three items long (kettle corn, nachos, funnel cake). Comparatively speaking, Disney sure knows how to make food a key feature at their theme parks!

From Nick Markham
Posted January 25, 2010 at 6:35 AM
My favorites would be the chicken fingers, fries and shake at Planet Hollywood. That shake especially is one of the best I've ever had!

From Brady Allen
Posted January 26, 2010 at 4:14 AM
Caramel apples at the candy cauldron.....with m&M's

From Tim Odom
Posted January 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM
Back last May, we went to T-Rex and had Fish and Chips (though, of course, they named it something dinosaur-like, I can't remember what it was for the life of me.) While I cannot find it on online menus, it was new then and was absolutely fantastic. I think they took it off the menu, which is a damn shame.

Still, if that is still on the menu, I recommend trying it.

From James Rao
Posted January 29, 2010 at 7:12 PM
Thanks for the info. They still have fish & chips on the menu of the T-Rex in Kansas, but you're right, nothing on the Orlando version.

However, it is tough to beat the fish & chips at Raglan Road...maybe the folks at T-Rex just gave up? =)

From S Smith
Posted January 31, 2010 at 5:47 AM
Visted downtown Disney a few years ago. Really liked the kettle caramel corn and was wondering if anyone had contact information for the vendor.
Thanks in advance

From James Rao
Posted February 1, 2010 at 4:10 AM
Where did you get this caramel corn? If you can name the location in DTD, we might be able to help....

From Joshua Counsil
Posted February 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM
Pumpkin beer at Old Key West (can't recall the brand).

Dalkey Duo at Raglan Road (though the best dish is the dancer).

Any dish at Ghirardelli's.

Scallops at Fulton's (be careful with the wine list - no prices are listed).

From steve lee
Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:09 PM
Didn't see it mentioned earlier, but apparently the highpoint of the culinary experience at Downtown Disney is about to go away.

That's right, the DTD McDonalds is apparently going buh-bye at the end of April, to be replaced by Pollo Campero, which is apparently the world’s largest Latin chicken restaurant chain (yeah, I've never heard of it either).

From Anthony Murphy
Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:46 PM
Thats your high point at DTD? Thats too bad!

There is still a Giant McDonalds near AK. Its not too much of a shock since Disney and McDonalds seem to have had some strain for the last few years.

From Whitney Knight
Posted February 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM
Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate

From Anthony Murphy
Posted February 26, 2010 at 7:22 PM
Yum!

I also like the Fourty-Thirst Street right by the water on the Marketplace side. Great Drinks and a great view! Not too far from Gharedeli's

From Pyra Dong
Posted February 27, 2010 at 12:44 PM
McDonalds at DTD is leaving?

I'm a bit excited at that. Come on people, if you're visiting some far off place, don't eat at some place that you can easily eat at back home.

I had a "cotton-tini" at T-Rex and I found it absolutely delicious. Very feminine and sweet. I could barely taste the alcohol yet I felt it. Plus you get to keep the shaker. So yes, it's also VERY overpriced.

And Wolfgang Puck-- I had some red pasta there. Although the sauce wasn't very different, they tossed all sorts of veggies in there (spinach, tomato slices, and PEAS) that the texture and flavor of each veggie made the pasta so much better.

There James, am I the first to truly answer this thread?

From Tim W
Posted February 27, 2010 at 1:39 PM
Im extatic about Mcdonalds leaving. I hated seeing it there. Im somewhat excited about pollo campero, i just hope the food is decent.

From Erin B
Posted February 27, 2010 at 4:21 PM
While I've got nothing on Downtown Disney, my family & I stayed at Port Orleans while at Disney. The breakfast at the restaurant was AMAZING, especially the strawberries & cream, which we ordered every day. So, so incredible & simple & delicious.

From James Rao
Posted February 27, 2010 at 4:22 PM
Way to keep this thread going, gang! I am in the final planning stages for my May WDW trip, so all the comments are very helpful. I have reservations at a few full service joints, but I fully intend to sample many of your "hidden favorites" as I eat my way into oblivion! After I am done for the week, people who see me may think they have freed Tilly after all! =)

From Tim Odom
Posted March 1, 2010 at 8:54 PM
Allow me to say thank you for suggesting The Earl of Sandwich. Had The Original 1762 today, was fantastical. Will definatly try again.

From James Rao
Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:59 AM
Hey, that's what TPI is all about! Try the BLT next time, man, it is excellent.

From Don Neal
Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM
I'm a little late to the party but Earl of Sandwich is hands down our favorite at DTD. It's a must on every visit. I've had hit and miss success with Rainforest and Planet Hollywood but that's the case at every one of their locations. I wanted to try Raglan Road and T-Rex last year but we never got around to it.

From James Rao
Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:48 PM
Long time no hear, Stranger. Next time you go to the Big O, you have to try Raglan Road. Or you can come to Kansas City and visit the one we have here. Otherwise, you have to go overseas....

From Don Neal
Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM
Yeah, been swamped with work and school (started this past fall). So not much time to scour the boards of TPI looking for threads ripe for a bonfire. :)

We planned to head back to ORL in 2011 but our plans fell through this year for Siesta Key so turns out we are going to make it there this year after all. Looking at May 29-June 7. We'll see how many times we get to go to DTD this trip. Wife always has to get her Earl fix first. :)

From Tim Odom
Posted March 4, 2010 at 6:42 PM
Went back to the Earl of Sandwich twice today. Yes, the BLT is good, as is the Full Montagu. Yeah, I like that place.

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted March 7, 2010 at 1:11 PM
My favorite foods @ Downtown Disney are the Original 1762 @ Earl of Sandwich and the Espresso Escape Sundae at Ghirardelli.

From luis gonzalez
Posted March 9, 2010 at 8:24 PM
its all about fulton's crab house. its very pricey but if your looking for the best food in downtown disney, look no further. wolfgang's is good to, i had a california roll there and i liked it, hope my boyfriend dont mind it, it felt so wrong, it felt so right, dont mean im in love tonight!!!!!

word!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From James Rao
Posted March 9, 2010 at 8:44 PM
Luis, can you share your favorite dishes at those establishments?

From Pyra Dong
Posted March 11, 2010 at 2:43 PM
what's with all the EARL OF SANDWICH lovers out there? Eh... I mean it's pretty good... but I wouldn't shower too much love on it.

Or maybe it's because we have an Earl of Sandwich in Tampa so the novelty has worn out.

From James Rao
Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM
Earl of Sandwich actually reminds me of a local Kansas City (Missouri) sandwich joint called Planet Sub (Yellow Sub in Kansas). So, you're right, a good sandwich shop is not that hard to find in most cities. However, I think Earl gets so much love because it tastes good AND is inexpensive - a combination that is somewhat difficult to find in Walt Disney World....

From Tim W
Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:24 PM
Its something different from the classic disney food and is really good. I don't know about all you guys, but i get sick of disney fast food by about the 5th day. But with restaurants like this...yum yum. Gives me some difference in eating while in orlando.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:54 PM
It just a good choice of food from the Marketplace with few options. Its also the cheapest.

Then again, my Disney Store discount does NOT work there, but still cheap.

Its also up to opinions of people. I love T Rex and think Raligan Road is ok. Quite the opposite of our KC TPIer out there!

From James Rao
Posted March 11, 2010 at 10:53 PM
Okay, Anthony, the kid gloves are off... I challenge you to go to Raglan Road and try the following:

The Raglan Road Holy Trinity of Food

Appetizer
Scallop Forest - Forks of battered scallops served with lime dipping sauce

Main Course
Fish 'n' Chips - Fresh beer battered Fish'n'Chips served with a tartar sauce (and vinegar, if you're worth your... uh... salt!)

Dessert
Ger's Bread & Butter Pudding - Like no other bread pudding you have ever tried.

It is impossible to be disappointed at RR if you follow the three step plan for dietary success I have listed above. I promise. =)

And here's the funny thing: the Raglan Road in Kansas City, less than a mile from where I work, is even better than the one in Orlando! Who woulda thunk it!!!

From Tim W
Posted March 12, 2010 at 5:32 AM
I've never eaten at RR, is it really that good. Im not a fish person though. And well i hated T-rex of course from the food to the atmosphere.

From Don Neal
Posted March 12, 2010 at 6:43 AM
Speaking of good sandwich places. This is off-site but Firehouse Subs, based out of Jacksonville, have sprung up all over Florida in the last 10 years and are now in many other states. My wife absolutely loves this place. We always have to go to one when we are in town. Its usually the one on the corner of Sand Lake Rd and Orange Blossom Trail near the Florida Mall.

It would appear to be just another Subway/Quizno's competitor but they seem to have found a better way to do it. Their sandwiches are really that good.

From James Rao
Posted June 5, 2010 at 3:14 PM
Just a quick update from my May 2010 trip to The World: when we went to Earl of Sandwich we sampled six different subs. Here they are ranked in order from favorite to least favorite:

1. Caprese
2. All American
3. Italian
4. Hawaiian BBQ
5. Best BLT
6. Original 1762.

The Caprese might be a bit of an acquired taste, but I loved it. Honestly, though, I am convinced my local sub shop chain, Planet Sub, is far superior to the Earl's fine establishment. When you come to the Midwest, stop in for a bite!

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