Saturday, April 2, 2016

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop - Disney's Beach Club Resort

Earlier today, my daughters and I had lunch at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, a table service restaurant at Disney's Beach Club Resort.

The theming of Beaches & Cream is that of an old-fashioned boardwalk-style ice cream shop along the Atlantic seashore.  Beaches & Cream is a popular dining destination and is very small, so be sure to make advance dining reservations.  People walking up to the restaurant today were being told that the wait would be about two hours.

Beaches & Cream's allergy-friendly menu lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Gluten free entrees include the Angus beef burger, Beaches seafood salad sandwich, chicken sandwich, Beaches veggie burger, Beaches chef salad, Beaches hot dog, and chili.  If you are interested in any of the other entrees, ask if they can be made gluten free.  I had the roasted turkey sandwich with smoked gouda and Craisin jalapeno jam when I had lunch at Beaches & Cream last year.  Only two gluten free Sweet Endings are listed for adults on the allergy-friendly menu, but there are several other gluten free dessert options, like the No Way Jose Sundae and a gluten free version of the Kitchen Sink.

Gluten free options for kids include a grilled chicken sandwich, turkey sandwich, hot dog, hamburger, non-milk frozen dessert, and strawberry yogurt topped with fresh berries.

When we dined at Beaches & Cream in January, which you can read about here, I had a hamburger and french fries, and a No Way Jose sundae.  Today, I decided that I wanted to try something different, so I ordered the house-made Beaches veggie burger, which is a quinoa, black bean, and portabella mushroom veggie burger served with lettuce, tomato, and a garlic-peppercorn cream on an allergy-friendly bun with fruit.  French fries can usually be substituted for the fruit, but neighboring Hurricane Hanna's was closed because of rain, and Beaches & Cream does not have a dedicated fryer.  I enjoyed my watermelon, so it was not a big deal, and I was trying to eat light, because I wanted to save room for dessert.  My veggie burger arrived with garlic-peppercorn cream spread on the bun under my burger, so I sent it back, because I requested my burger without the spread.  I did eat a couple of bites before realizing the garlic-peppercorn cream was there, and did not enjoy the veggie burger, which was very mushy, so I asked for a hamburger instead, since they had to remake my meal.

My hamburger arrived about 10 to 15 minutes later when my daughters were almost done eating.  I did not enjoy the gluten free bun, so I ate it on its own, minus the cheese, which I wasn't crazy about either.  I like bunless burgers, and this one was seasoned well, so I thought it was pretty good, though a tad overcooked compared to the burger my daughters shared.

For dessert, I usually never pass up a chance to have the No Way Jose sundae, but I decided to order the sundae on the allergy-friendly menu with one scoop of vanilla ice cream, one scoop of chocolate, marshmallow and peanut butter toppings, peanut butter chips, whipped cream, toasted almonds, and a cherry.  I asked for regular ice cream instead of the non-milk frozen dessert listed on the menu, because I can eat dairy.  Beaches & Cream has an open kitchen, and I just happened to look up and notice that my ice cream sundae was prepared in the front of the house instead of in the back, and my ice cream was scooped from the same containers as ice cream that is put on top of ice cream cones, so there is a huge potential for cross contamination.  I was shocked to see this, because my desserts have always been prepared in the back on past visits, so I said something to my server as soon as he brought my sundae to the table.  He took it away, and I was brought a new sundae from the back about 10 to 15 minutes later.  It was very good, but hard to eat because of the small bowl.

I was disappointed that I had to wait for my entree and my dessert while my family ate because of mistakes made in the kitchen, but my biggest disappointments beyond the unsafe sundae they served me were that a manager never came to speak to me about what happened, there was no real apology, and I paid for both my entree and my dessert.  I expected that my dessert would be comped and someone would apologize after two mistakes, especially when one involved a special diets error, because that would be typical good customer service, and this is Disney World, which usually exceeds normal customer service standards.  After I paid for our meal, I very nicely told our server how disappointed I was in how my meal was handled and the lack of response.  He was unapologetic, but did offer to get a manager.  I did not feel like waiting at that point, so we left.  After this experience, I doubt we will be returning to Beaches & Cream any time soon.

My gluten-eating daughters did love their Angus beef burger and their desserts.  Katie had the brownie a la mode, and Emma had a cookie ice cream sandwich with cookies & cream ice cream.

You can read more about Beaches & Cream Soda shop, view their menu and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free options at Beaches & Cream?


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