Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Biergarten Restaurant - Epcot

Yesterday, my daughters and I had lunch at Biergarten Restaurant at the Germany Pavilion in Epcot.  I was a little leery to dine there after reading my friend Sarah's latest review of Biergarten on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW, but I wanted to try German food again, because ethnically, I am half German, and I wanted my girls to experience a new type of cuisine.  

Biergarten Restaurant offers a lunch and dinner buffet, which might scare some diners with special diets away.  I do eat at Disney buffets, but take the following precautions to avoid cross contamination:
  • For lunch and dinner, I made advance dining reservations for when the restaurant first opens
  • I take a little bit of all the foods I want right away, before too many people hit the buffet
  • I knock all food off of serving utensils, and take food from the back of dishes
  • I ask for food from the kitchen when I feel the risk of cross contamination is too great

We checked in at 12:00 when the restaurant opened, and were seated right away at a biergarten-style table with a brother and sister visiting from Ohio.  My daughters were not too happy about the fact that we were sitting with strangers, but thankfully, they were fun to talk to, and there were only five of us at our table that seated eight, so my shy girls weren't completely surrounded.

I loved the theming of the restaurant, which is made to look like a traditional Bavarian village.  Chef Richard came out to give me a tour of the buffet.  He didn't offer to bring me anything from the kitchen, and I did not ask, because the buffet was pretty much untouched at this point.  

My first plate of food consisted of rice with peas, roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, sauteed green beans, warm German potato salad, two types of German sausage, and pork roast and German meatloaf from the carving station.  There were plenty of other options for me to choose from, like beet salad, tomato salad, sausage salad, potato salad, cod in a mustard cream sauce, sauerkraut, vegetable medley, red cabbage, and an assorted cheese platter with condiments.

Even though I had two grandfathers of German decent, I did not grow up eating German food, and I have never been too impressed with it at restaurants, so I was not expecting to love my meal at Biergarten.  The warm German potato salad, sausage, rice, green beans and roasted potatoes were all good, but nothing special.  The bratwurst at 1900 Park Fare was much better than the sausage at Biergarten, which was disappointing, because I was really looking forward to having some amazing sausage.  My least favorite dishes were the German meatloaf and the asparagus soup, which I wish I had skipped.

My favorites were the roasted chicken, and the pork roast from the carving station.  I liked the pork so much, I went back for seconds.  It was so delicious with some apricot chutney or applesauce on top of it.  

For dessert, I had two choices from the buffet, watermelon or red berry compote.  From Sarah's dinner review, I know Biergarten has pre-packaged gluten free desserts like OMG...It's Gluten Free Fudge Brownies, which I love, and gluten free cookies, but they were not offered, and I didn't ask, because I was content to enjoy the red berry compote, which was delicious.  I loved the mix of the berries with the custard-like cream on top.  

 Every day is Oktoberfest at Biergarten Restaurant, which has a lively band that performs at set times throughout the day.

The oompah band does a great job getting the audience involved, and plays a variety of instruments, like the alpenhorn in the picture.

My gluten-eating daughters enjoyed their food, especially the spaetzle, which I knew would be right up their alley, because they both love pasta.   

After lunch, we went shopping for a new pickle ornament at the Germany Pavilion to replace the one that ended up in our washer...long story.  After learning about the German tradition of the pickle ornament from one of my students, I thought it would be a great tradition to adopt for our family, especially considering our German heritage.  The pickle ornament is traditionally the last ornament hung on the tree in German families on Christmas Eve.  The parents hide it, and the child that finds it receives a small gift left by St. Nicholas.  I usually buy an extra book, that I wrap and give to my daughter that finds the ornament hidden in one of our three trees. 

If you like German food, you should definitely check out Biergarten.  I thought their lunch prices were pretty reasonable for an all-you-care-to-enjoy dining experience with entertainment at Disney World.  You can read more about Biergarten Restaurant, view their menu, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Biergarten?  


  1. Thank you!!! All this time I thought I had to avoid the German pavilion since they're known for their spaetzle, sausages, pretzels and beer. I'll have to check this out next time I'm there!