As far as theming and ambiance go, there isn’t much to discuss here. This is not because the theming of the restaurant is bad, but because the seating area is basically the Morocco pavilion, as a whole (there are some tables inside and right outside the restaurant, but you can eat anywhere you want). As I find Morocco one of the most architecturally-stunning pavilions in the World Showcase, Tangierine Cafe scores well for theming. I highly recommend grabbing a table outside in the shade. Much better than inside.
Tangierine Cafe is pretty much universally adored. People who hate it are few and far between, and are wrong. They’re probably the same people who love Pizza Planet and think that Nescafe is delicious. I kid, I kid. In actuality, up until our February 2012, we’ve avoided Tangierine Cafe since the Year of a Million Dreams (part I). This is because a friend of ours and I got sick after eating there on that trip. I viewed that as an anomaly (I guarantee at least one person out there has gotten sick after eating at every Walt Disney World restaurant), but Sarah was reluctant to return after that. I finally convinced her that we should go back, and I’m glad we did.
Although the menu might seem intimidating if you’re just reading it online, it’s actually pretty simple. Basically, there are several variations on the wrap (chicken, lamb, and “Falafel”), a Kefta sandwich, and sliders. Our favorites are the lamb and chicken wraps, but the Kefta sandwich and sliders also look good. As for the Falafel wrap, I’m betting the people who hate Tangierine Cafe ordered that thing. It looks fairly unappetizing, to say the least. If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Perhaps I’m close-minded.
Speaking of close-minded (how was that for a segue?), don’t avoid Tangierine Cafe because you think it might be too adventurous. It is technically Moroccan cuisine, but if you’re adventurous-enough to try a gyro, you’re adventurous-enough for Tangierine Cafe. Like most restaurants in Epcot’s World Showcase, it’s fairly Americanized. Still, it is a nice departure from the standard cuisine found at a lot of Walt Disney World restaurants.
The chicken and lamb wraps at Tangierine Cafe are excellent. They have great flavor, and the self-assembly ensures that you can top them with items you like. They are all served with a side of Hummus, Tabouleh and a Tangerine Couscous Salad and Moroccan bread. I’ve seen some people complain about the prices of Tangierine Cafe, but I think those complaints are a little baseless. Items start at $9.99 here, which is pretty well in line with other counter service restaurants. The Chicken and Lamb Combo Shawarma Platter is $14.99, but to be fair, it can feed two people. It likely won’t fully satisfy two people, but with the bakeries in France and Norway nearby, this should be of little issue.
Given that there’s also a bakery in Morocco, and that you can add Baklava to your meal for only a couple dollars, you may be wondering why I explicitly mentioned France and Norway above. It’s because those countries have delicious pastries, whereas Morocco has Baklava. What we ordered is pictured below. To describe this as a dessert is being generous. It was one of the driest, most bland tasting piece of pastries I’ve ever had. In fairness to it, it was large and reasonably priced, but it was one of the worst things I’ve ever had the misfortune of eating at Walt Disney World. We felt obligated to eat it all, but doing so was a chore. I suppose there is a chance that the dessert we had wasn’t the norm, but with so many amazing desserts in World Showcase, I don’t plan on giving the bakery counter at Tangierine Cafe another shot anytime soon. Folks on Twitter are suggesting that the Baklava is good, so perhaps I’m wrong on this, too.
Overall, Tangierine Cafe is one of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World. It offers a very unique menu, but not so unique that it will alienate less-adventurous guests–so long as they give it a try in the first place. There are a few items that might have “avoid” status, but overall, the menu is arguably the best and most authentic of the counter service locations in World Showcase. The desserts, generally, don’t look all that appealing, but it’s hard to penalize Tangierine Cafe too much for that, especially if you’re paying out of pocket.
Are you a fan of Tangierine Cafe, or is it too “out there” for you? Or, have you never tried it because you assumed it wouldn’t appeal to you, but are willing to give it a try after reading this review? Share your thoughts in the comments!