Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Contempo Cafe Guest Review - Disney's Contemporary Resort

Dave Barber and his family have been going to Disney World for more than 25 years. About eight years ago, his wife found out that she had a gluten intolerance. They looked for an iPhone app to help them find out what gluten free offerings were available in their favorite restaurants, and when they didn't find anything helpful, Dave created the Gluten Free Disney Dining App, which is now available in the Apple App Store for iPhones, and in the Google Play store for Android phones. Here is his review of Contempo Cafe at Disney's Contemporary Resort:  

On a recent (July 2014) trip to Disney World, we stayed at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort. During our stay, we had more than a few meals at the Contempo CafĂ©, which is a quick service restaurant. Located between the gift shops and Chef Mickey’s in the original Contemporary Resort building, the dining area is wide open so you can watch the Monorails go by, which is always a kid favorite.

Ordering your meal here is done through touch screen kiosks. Those with allergies have to bypass the kiosks and go directly to the food pickup area. Let the attendant there know that you have a food allergy, and the manager will come out with “The Book” or a menu specific to your allergy. A cast member will take your order, and give you a pager and a ticket to take to the cash register. At Contempo Cafe, you need to pay for your meal first, then show your receipt at the food window when your pager goes off. 

Our first gluten free meal here was just a burger and fries for lunch. At first look, we weren't that impressed. The burger looked dry, and we didn't see it being cooked on a griddle or open flame grill like at most other quick service restaurants. The patty looked and tasted like it was pre-cooked, and sitting in a pan just waiting to be served. We didn’t order any other burgers here that week. We were disappointed, because the same meal at most other quick-service restaurants is awesome. I didn’t take note of the brand of gluten free bun, but it was just ok, and the fries were good. 

At breakfast, they have all of the usual offerings - eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, gluten free Mickey waffles, potatoes, gluten free toast, bagels and muffins. You can even get a breakfast sandwich on gluten free bread. The hot foods were all nice and fresh, and made for a decent breakfast. The breads are kept frozen until needed, so it takes a few minutes to get a bagel or muffin. 

Midweek, we had salads for lunch. They were fresh, colorful and tasted great.  The Contempo Cafe Steakhouse Salad includes marinated beef, mixed greens, red onion, goat cheese, tomatoes, and a mustard dressing. For those that are gluten free, no tortilla.

The Contempo Cafe Chicken Chop Salad includes grilled chicken, mixed greens, black beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a cilantro vinaigrette.

For lunch, you can also get a variety of flatbreads, chicken Caesar salad, roasted curry vegetable salad, and hot or cold sandwiches served on Udis sandwich bread. 

Dinner choices include all of the lunch options, as well as grilled salmon, grilled Mahi filet (no sauce) or beef pot roast (minus the gravy), all served with sides. We didn’t get the chance to have dinner at Contempo Cafe, and Im not really sure that I would. It’s more of a place to grab a quick meal, and we like to have sit down table service dinners while were visiting Disney World. 

When it comes time to say goodbye to Disney World, my wife likes to get lunch to go from wherever it is we are staying. When you ask for something gluten free at the airport, you generally get a blank stare in return. On this trip, she got a modified version of the Italian sub sandwich with a bag of chips. She said that the sandwich was great. Her version was made with ham, turkey, lettuce and tomato on toasted gluten free bread. She chose to leave the cheeses and onion off. 

Dessert and snack choices at Contempo Cafe include OMG...It's Gluten Free fudge brownies, Enjoy Life cookies, soft serve Ice cream, gluten free muffins, and several varieties of chips. Sometimes, you can even find sushi in the coolers.

For the most part, Contempo Cafe is a great place to go for a quick meal.  It can get a bit crowded during peak times, so plan accordingly. If you’re planning on picking up a sandwich early in the morning for your trip home, order it the night before, and they will prepare it in the morning and have it ready for you. Enjoy!



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