Sunday, September 15, 2019

Jaleo by Jose Andres - Disney Springs

In July, my daughters and I had lunch at Jaleo, a relatively new restaurant in Disney Springs featuring Spanish cuisine.

We did not make advance dining reservations like we usually do for table service restaurants, because it was a spur of the moment decision to leave Hollywood Studios, and head to Disney Springs for lunch. We were the first table seated, and the restaurant did not get too crowded while we dined, so you probably don't need a reservation if you want to dine at Jaleo for lunch.

Inside, the restaurant is beautiful, and we were seated at a table with a great view. 

Jaleo is not Disney-owned and operated, but the menu they gave me was clearly labeled with all of the top 8 allergens in their food, except for soy.

Vegetarian and vegan options were noted as well.

If there is a "G" next to the name of a dish, it does not contain gluten.

If a menu item is not marked gluten free, ask if it can be modified. Sometimes it is just a matter of leaving bread off a dish.

Our server recommended that each guest order three tapas, but that would have been way too much food for my daughters and I for lunch.

There were so many dishes without gluten to choose from, it was a bit overwhelming.

I was most excited to try the shrimp sauteed with garlic, which is gluten free without the bread, but the shrimp did not taste right. I am not sure if it was old, or something else was wrong with it. When I spoke to our server, she had the shrimp removed from our bill. She did offer for the chefs to remake it, but we had already finished the rest of our food, and I did not want anything else to eat except for dessert. My gluten-eating daughters liked the bread that came with the shrimp, which we had served on the side.

We also shared an an order of chorizo with olive oil potato puree and cider sauce. The potatoes were good, but the chorizo was just ok. I had hoped it would be crumbled on top of the potatoes instead of being served in large pieces.

Our Spanish omelet with potatoes and onions was a very large portion for tapas. My daughters enjoyed it, but I did not like the omelet enough to order it again on future visits.

For our selection of three quesos, we chose two of the queso Manchego with moscatel compressed apples, and the sheep's milk cheese with quince paste. We all loved the sheep cheese with quince paste, and the Manchego was good too, but my daughters and I thought that the apples were tasteless. Katie asked me how they took all the flavor out of the apples, and I found myself wondering the same thing.

I am glad I chose the warm Brussels sprouts salad with apricots, apple, and Serrano ham. I really enjoyed the combination of the Brussels with the sweet fruit and the salty ham, but the dish was a little vinegary.

For dessert, our server told me that I could order flan, or olive oil ice cream with grapefruit, and Jaleo also has sorbet and ice cream. The olive oil ice cream with grapefruit ice and grapefruit was my favorite dish at Jaleo. It was the perfect dessert for a hot day in Orlando. I know olive oil ice cream sounds a little strange, but the taste of olive oil was subtle, and I ate each bite with the fruit or grapefruit ice, so they balanced each other out well.

We did not like Jaleo enough to go back again in November with my extended family, so we canceled our reservation for Thanksgiving Break. That being said, I might be willing to dine there again some time in the future, but probably not for a few years. because there are so many restaurants we like better in Disney Springs. I am glad we tried it, but our meal was pretty hit or miss. Jaleo is pricey, but we did save 20% with our Tables in Wonderland card. 

You can read more about Jaleo, view their menu and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Jaleo by Jose Andres?


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