Biergarten Review


Biergarten is a buffet restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase Germany at Walt Disney World that is set in the middle of a Bavarian Village celebrating Oktoberfest year round. Biergarten serves authentic German cuisine for lunch and dinner (menu). At the center of the village is a stage where costumed musicians perform traditional Oktoberfest entertainment and where guests can get up and fun fun on the dance floor. Biergarten is a 1-credit restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan, and also accepts Tables in Wonderland. As a buffet, it’s priced slightly below average for a table service restaurant, making it a good option if you’re paying out of pocket, but a poor option for maximizing your value on the Disney Dining Plan.

Biergarten is an interesting restaurant. The exterior is somewhat understated, with only the painted name of the restaurant above a small archway at the back of Epcot’s Germany pavilion. However, once you step inside, you’re inundated by the sounds of the traditional oompah music, other entertainment, and a Bavarian Village setting (outside, no less!). The seating is communal, which may not appeal to all patrons, but was fine by us. The other guests at our table chatted with us throughout the meal and we had a good time. If you’re looking for a romantic meal or are shy, this may not be the best dining option for you.

This review covers two visits to Biergarten, the most recent of which occurred in Fall 2014, after which this review was updated/basically re-written… (more…)

The Disney Jumbo Turkey Leg Review

jumbo-turkey-leg-bokeh

I have a confession: until recently, I had never consumed a jumbo turkey leg at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or any other Disney park. Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid carnivore and a huge fan of eating large chunks of meat off the bone, but something about the turkey leg just looked…unappetizing. However, since I always want to do what the cool kids are doing, and since I wanted a somewhat fitting post for Thanksgiving, I decided to give one a try. This post covers my review of the ubiquitous Disney turkey jumbo leg, plus about 900 words of filler since the review itself only needs to be like 2 sentences.

First, let’s start with a bit of unnecessary background. According to a recent New York Times article, the turkey leg made its Walt Disney World debut in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom near the Big Al stand in the 1980s. As a Country Bear Jamboree fan, I could not be any prouder that the prolific history of this snack involves the Magic Kingdom’s most storied attraction. I’m also not surprised that Big Al is mentioned in the same sentence as the jumbo turkey legs. He seems like a jumbo turkey leg kind of bear. Since every red-blooded American enjoys a good piece of bone-in meat from time to time, the turkey legs were an immediate sensation, and eventually became somewhat of a culinary symbol of the Disney Parks, much like the churro.

As an “eating things that are awful for you” craze swept America in the 2000s, sales of the turkey leg exploded, with an estimated two million plus turkey legs sold per year in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. With this has come coverage in mainstream media, as well as controversy from animal welfare groups that have wondered just what kind of mutant turkey is producing legs that large. I remain fearful of the day one of these artificially bred turkeys is fed after midnight and transforms into something truly terrifying. (more…)

Yak & Yeti Restaurant Review

animal-kingdom-disney-152

Yak and Yeti Restaurant is a table service dining spot in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World serving Pan-Asian cuisine. This review covers the lunch and dinner menu at Yak & Yeti, and includes photos from our meal at the restaurant. Here’s some standard background info about Yak & Yeti: it participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal, but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. Yak & Yeti does, however, offer a 10% Annual Passholder discount. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it is a moderate pick in terms of value if you’re looking to maximize your bang for buck on the Dining Plan. It also participates in Landry’s Select Club. If you don’t know what that is, good for you.

When is “I didn’t hate it” praise rather than a thinly-veiled insult? Well, here it is praise. I fully expected to dislike Yak & Yeti, or at least expect it to not live up to my low expectations for it. This is because Yak & Yeti is part of the dreaded Landry’s restaurant group. Not that every restaurant in the Landry’s portfolio is awful (far from it), but it seems Landry’s has a habit of buying out successful independent restaurants, and…to keep this succinct…let’s just describe it as reducing their quality. Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of Landry’s.

“That restaurant got a lot better after Landry’s took over” is one of those ‘said no one ever’ type of quotes. Some Landry’s restaurants, like Rainforest Cafe, succeed with their interesting premise, but often fail when it comes to cuisine. Other Landry’s restaurants are former fine dining locales that still offer good food, but have dumbed down their menus to offer something less sophisticated or of lower quality than it was previously.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Yak & Yeti, but I wasn’t expecting much. My expectations were exceeded as soon as a I walked inside to find an incredibly detailed restaurant… (more…)

Top 5 Bakeries at Disney World

les-halles-bakery-france-083

Fans of baked goods and desserts rejoice, as here’s our top 5 best bakeries at Walt Disney World! All participate in the Disney Dining Plan with both snacks and counter service meals offered. Notable about this list is that every single location here is located in the Crescent Lake Resort Area (or Epcot Resort Area), with no locations being in the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or any of the resort hotels in the area.

While the Magic Kingdom used to have one of the best bakeries in the Main Street Bakery, since it converted to a Starbucks location, its menu has been a subpar and generic mix of Starbucks desserts, and options like Gaston’s Tavern and Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery simply have too thin of menus to really compete with the other entries on this list. In fact, outside of the locations on this list, there are few spots at Walt Disney World with enough menu options to really qualify as standout bakeries. There are many spots with a couple of standout items, but few locations with heavy-hitting bakery menus.

As big fans of desserts and sweets, this is a bit disappointing, although probably a good thing for both our wallets and our waistlines, as it’s probably for the best that we can’t do a daily “Walt Disney World Bakery Hop” on our trips. As much as we might lobby for cupcakes being made their own food group at the top of the food pyramid, you’re still only “supposed” to have 4 servings of cupcake per day, and we would definitely exceed that amount if more bakeries would around Walt Disney World. ;)

With that said, here is our list of the top bakeries at Walt Disney World. Below each pick is a brief synopsis as to why it makes the list… (more…)

Chefs de France Review

chefs-de-france-night

Les Chefs de France is a table service restaurant in Epcot’s France pavilion at Walt Disney World. This review covers the dinner menu at Les Chefs de France, and includes photos from one of our meals at the restaurant. Chefs de France participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal, and accepts the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount for lunch only. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it is an exceptional pick for dinner because of several pricey entrees, making it one of the top restaurants for maximizing your bang for buck on the Dining Plan.

How do you say “meh” in French? Well, my French is a bit rusty, but I’m thinking it’s something along the lines of les chefs de france. We’ve been to Chefs de France a couple of times in recent years, and both times the experience was roughly the same. Overpriced, so-so food and alright ambiance together culminating in a restaurant that is sort of French. It’s not that Chefs de France is a bad restaurant. It’s really not.

Like about half of the World Showcase, it’s just an ‘okay’ experience. You might walk away having had a pretty decent meal, but it’s probably nothing that will knock your socks off, and it’s not the kind of highly authentic experience that will make you ‘lose yourself’ in the theming of the World Showcase. I think Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles and certainly the former Bistro de Paris really succeeded in these regards and are/were two of the gems of not just Epcot, but the entirety of Walt Disney World. Given that, I’m not sure if with Les Chefs de France it’s just my bad luck, or if it just is an okay restaurant.

So what’s the deal with Les Chefs de France? Let’s take a look… (more…)