Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Garden Grill - Epcot

Last May, on my final day of work, we celebrated my retirement from teaching at The Garden Grill in Epcot.  As we walked by the restaurant this weekend, I realized that I had never written a review of our dinner, so I went to my Shutterfly account and found some pictures of our meal.

The Chip 'N' Dale Harvest Feast at The Garden Grill is an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal served family style, and features produce grown in the Living with the Land Greenhouses.   

I had high hopes going into this meal, but our first disappointment was that the restaurant was not rotating the night we went, because of technical difficulties.  We did ask for a table overlooking the Living with the Land attraction, so we would have a little bit of a view.

This was the only picture I could find of my "Living with the Land" harvest inspired farmer's salad.  I was shocked when it came out with a ranch dressing, which I don't eat, so they brought me another salad with vinegar & oil.

The char-grilled filet of beef with demi-glace steak butter, roasted all-natural turkey breast with house-made gravy, sustainable fish of the day with tomato jam, garden-fresh vegetables, and buttermilk mashed potatoes were all good, but nothing special.

I was disappointed that for dessert, my only options were gluten free pre-packaged cookies with whipped cream on the side.  Again, everything was good, but nothing special.

At The Garden Grill, we met Chip 'n Dale, Pluto, and Mickey, who was dressed up like a farmer.

My whole family has decided that our dinner at The Garden Grill will probably be a one time experience.  The food was decent, but not good enough to justify the price, which is how we felt about Chef Mickey's as well.  There are so many wonderful restaurants at Disney World that we would rather go to.  If you are looking for a really good character meal, I recommend Tusker House Restaurant at the Animal Kingdom.  They have great food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We have also loved dining at Cinderella's Royal Table and the Crystal Palace for dinner in the Magic Kingdom.

February 15, 2016 Update

The Garden Grill now offers an all-you-care-to-enjoy Chip 'N' Dale Harvest Feast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Their allergy-friendly breakfast menu lists the following options as being safe for people with gluten/wheat, milk, and peanut/tree nut allergies: seasonal fresh fruits, allergy-friendly muffins, fluffy scrambled eggs, thick sliced bacon, ham steaks, allergy-friendly waffles, and hash brown-style potato barrels.  The next time I stop at The Garden Grill, I will ask if the waffles are frozen waffles or Mickey waffles.

The Garden Grill's allergy-friendly dinner menu lists the following options as safe for people with gluten/wheat, fish/shellfish, milk, peanut/tree nut and soy allergies:
  • Starters - allergy-friendly rolls, farmer's salad featuring lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes from The Land Greenhouses with bacon, egg, cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes with oil and vinegar
  • Main courses - char-grilled beef filet, all-natural sliced turkey breast, Italian sausage with sauteed peppers and onions, jasmine rice, fresh steamed broccoli, sweet potato french fries
  • Dessert - house-made berry shortcake 
I forgot to ask to see the allergy-friendly lunch menu, but it should have all the same dishes as the dinner menu except bread, which is not on the regular lunch menu.  The Garden Grill still serves sustainable fish of the day for dinner, and buttermilk mashed potatoes for lunch and dinner.  Based on my past dining experience, these dishes are probably still gluten free, but they are not listed on the allergy-friendly menu, because they contain fish and milk.  If you are interested in the fish and mashed potatoes, ask to speak to a chef, which is always an option at Disney.

You can read more about The Garden Grill, view their hours and menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free options at The Garden Grill?


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