Salads and Snacks at Caribbean Beach

This review reflects our experience in November of 2014.

On a recent trip, we took advantage of a package deal that included the Disney Dining Plan for free. We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort, and found a wonderful quick service salad option and plenty of grab-and-go snack there.

Old Port Royal Food Court
Old Port Royal Food Court – Image from AllEars.net

Caribbean Beach’s dining options are all located in one main building, Old Port Royale. There is a full-service restaurant, called Shutters, here as well. The menu for Shutters didn’t look very promising for vegans, so we skipped it.

Towards the end of our trip, we had lots of extra snack credits left to use up, so we headed to the quick service area. The quick-service section is set up like a market, with a beautiful blue sky and various shops to choose from. There is a large grab-and go section in the front, and we found lots of options there. There were hummus platters with vegetables and falafel chips (smaller cups with pretzel chips and hummus were available, too), pickles, sliced tropical fruit, whole fruit (bananas and apples), chocolate and vanilla soy milk, and various beverages (bottled water, wine, beer). We didn’t find any vegan cookies, but have heard of other folks finding Enjoy Life cookies at this location.

Snacks and salads to go at Caribbean Beach!
Snacks and salads to go at Caribbean Beach!

In the “Deli” section of the food court, there is a fantastic entrée option for vegans, the Caribbean salad with tofu. This salad consists of Mixed Greens, Red Onion, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Carrots, Chickpeas, Dried Papaya, Almonds, Tofu, and Tropical Dressing and is available at lunch and dinner. We spoke to a server at the Deli station who brought over a chef. The chef took the time to speak with us and assured us that the entire salad, even the dressing, was vegan. Our salad was made in fresh mixing bowls and with new tongs and spoons. They mixed it in front of us, made sure that there was no cross contamination. We opted for ours without dressing (and mine without almonds!), and got them to go. They even packaged the tofu in separate cups so that it wouldn’t get squished in the to-go container.

The greens were fresh and crisp, and the salad was large and very filling. We have purchased this salad on several occasions, and it has always been delicious and of high-quality.

Tip: We often drive to Disney from Virginia, and have twice purchased this salad the evening before we leave to have on the car ride home for lunch. The to-go containers fit inside the mini resort refrigerators, and without dressing the salads keep well in a small cooler in the car the next day.

Would we go again?
Yes, lots of options at fair prices!

Price?
$

Tara and Paul

An Anniversary Dinner at Jiko – The Cooking Place

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

When seeking out a special dining opportunity in Disney World, Jiko – The Cooking Place may come up. Jiko is found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and is a Signature Dining experience for those with the Disney Dining Plan. With this being a Signature Dining restaurant it also has a dress code, basically no shorts, swimsuits, tank tops or hats. This eloquent restaurant features African-inspired dishes and houses the largest South African Wine selection in the United States.

Jiko is a beautiful restaurant and is a great option for those wanting something a bit more romantic during their visit to Walt Disney World. We decided to go to Jiko for our anniversary in May.

Jiko Vegan Menu May 2015
Jiko Vegan Menu May 2015

Jiko features a separate menu that is completely vegan, you must ask your server or hostess for this when checking in. This menu changes seasonally, so if you go more than once you may see different items on the menu.

Complimentary Bread
Complimentary Bread

There is complimentary bread offered at Jiko and it is vegan. The rolls we were given was a multi grain bread with caraway and flaxseeds. Unfortunately they do not carry Earth Balance vegan butter so we just had plain rolls.

Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread
Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread

We decided to try a flatbread as we have heard nothing but great reviews about them. We ended up choosing the Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread and we were not let down. This item was one of the best things I have had from a Disney restaurant. The sauce used on the flatbread, the Bhuna Masala, was a nice spicy flavor. The cauliflower was the perfect amount of cooked crunchy and the onions added a nice sweetness to the dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread
Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread

For our main dishes we went with the Maize-Crusted Tofu and the Grilled Seitan.

Maize-Crusted Tofu
Maize-Crusted Tofu

The Maize-Crusted Seitan was very bland. The tofu had no flavor, the crust on it wasn’t crispy at all. Under the tofu there was brussels sprouts, parsnips and broccoli. The sauce didn’t add much flavor to this dish. As a whole I was very unimpressed and would not get this item again.

Grilled Seitan
Grilled Seitan

The Grilled Seitan was also a disappointment. We were lucky the flatbread was so good otherwise this would have been an expensive disappointment. The seitan was very doughy, not much texture to it. The potatoes were pretty unseasoned and there was a lot of oil on them. The collards were good in the dish.

Erin McKenna Cake
Erin McKenna Cake

Since it was our one year wedding anniversary we decided to preorder an Erin McKenna cake. We were married in Disney World, (read about it here) so we weren’t able to save our cake. We decided to order the same flavor as our wedding cake had been, Cinnamon Toastie!

Cinnamon Toastie Cake
Cinnamon Toastie Cake

We preordered our cake over the phone with the Downtown Disney Erin McKenna store. They are able to deliver their sweets to most Disney resorts and restaurants. I gave a credit card number over the phone to confirm it and when we paid for our dinner the cake was on the bill. When we first spoke to our waiter I mentioned the cake and he informed me already knew and it was sitting in the kitchen waiting for us. He seemed to be very ‘hush hush’ about it, maybe thinking the cake was a secret. This is a great way to celebrate a birthday or any other special occasion.

Would we go back?
Yes, we really enjoy Jiko’s atmosphere. The flatbread was great, I just think we’ll steer away from the tofu and seitan next time.

Price?
$$$$

Corey & Melissa

On the Sassagoula, Riverside Mill Food Court

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

Some days in Disney World are a bit more relaxed and spent at your resort. We typically don’t eat at the resort when visiting Disney, but during this last trip we decided to give it a try. Riverside Mill Food Court is located near the lobby and Boatwright’s Dining Hall in Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. This quick service option features multiple food stations with different types of cuisine like pasta, burgers, pizza and desserts. Riverside Mill Food Court is open all day and features breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Riverside Mill Food Court - Photo from Disney
Riverside Mill Food Court – Photo from Disney

Both lunch and dinner are pretty much the same food items so we went in for a late lunch. The food court wasn’t too busy but the typical lines, burgers and pizza, were pretty long. We decided to wait in the shortest line, and what seemed to be the most promising, Salads and Sandwiches. We spoke to a cast member and requested to speak with a chef. We waited entirely too long for a chef to come out considering how not very busy they were, but when he did he was very helpful about what we could eat. He informed us that the Vegetable Burger from the burger station is made in house and is vegan and they even use a vegan bun. The Vegetable Wrap from the sandwich station is vegan as is. He left to double check the bread ingredients for the sandwich and came back and told us it was vegan. There is also a create your own pasta station that we did not ask about it, but it should be vegan if you ask. There was sun-dried tomatoes, olives, zucchini and a bunch of other fresh vegetables to put in your pasta.

Vegetable Wrap
Vegetable Wrap

We decided to go with the Vegetable Wrap with chips as our side. The chef informed us the chips are cooked in a shared fryer, you can substitute for bag carrots or apple slices. The Vegetable Wrap was on a soft pita-like bread and filled with zucchini, yellow squash, onions, mushrooms and arugula.

Vegetable Wrap
Vegetable Wrap

The bread was pretty good, it had a lightness to it but was thick enough to hold all the fillings without falling apart. The vegetables in the wrap were very watery. They lacked flavor and really just created a soggy mess. It seemed like they had been cooked way earlier and sat waiting.

Vegetable Wrap
Vegetable Wrap

The sandwich had a ton of arugula on it and a small amount of balsamic. Had there been more balsamic and the vegetables were less watery it would have been much better. The chips were really bland and ended up very soggy from our dripping sandwich. As a whole this was an okay option if you’re crunched for time or just want to eat at the resort. It was nice to have something with a bunch of vegetables and not just have a veggie burger option. You can also find Sabra hummus with pretzel crackers and Silk chocolate soy milk in the coolers if you’re in a hurry.

Would we go again?
Probably not. I would be willing to try the pasta for dinner, but it was pretty expensive for the amount of food you’re given. If anything I would go for breakfast in hopes of some vegan Mickey waffles.

Price?
$

Corey & Melissa

Dining in World Showcase, Spice Road Table

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

Have you wanted to experience Moroccan cuisine in the comfort of Disney World? Lucky for you there is a Morocco pavilion in Disney’s Epcot! Morocco features three places to eat that include two table services and one quick service. Spice Road Table in a table service restaurant found along World Showcase Lagoon and offers a perfect viewing area for Epcot’s evening fireworks show IllumiNations.

When Spice Road Table opened in early 2014 it was considered a quick service sit down. Recently they switched Spice Road Table to a restaurant that accepts ADR’s, advance dining reservations, with this change they have expanded their menu. The menu previously only featured small plates, appetizers and drinks. The new menu now contains small plates, entrees, desserts and drinks.

View of Spaceship Earth from our table
View of Spaceship Earth from our table

When we arrived to Spice Road Table we didn’t have a reservation, the restaurant was not busy at the time and we were able to be seated. Spice Road Table features two main dining areas, one inside, where we were seated, and one outside on a patio. Had it been later in the evening for an IllumiNations viewing we would have requested the patio seating.

Previously we have tried the Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves and the Hummus and Imported Olives plates. Since they now have full entrees we requested to speak with a chef about what our other options would be. Chef Alex came out and told us we could get the Mediterranean Vegetable Platter with some changes. This dish features hummus fries, grape leaves, babaganoush, olives and pita bread. He told us the hummus fries contained egg so he would see if he could get us some couscous from Tangierine Cafe to replace them. We agreed to this and ordered the Vegetable Platter.

Mediterranean Vegetable Platter
Mediterranean Vegetable Platter

A few minutes later our plates came out and looked delicious! Chef Alex was able to get us couscous which we were very happy about.

Babaganoush and Hummus
Babaganoush and Hummus

The babaganoush was the shining star of this plate. It was the best babaganoush we had ever had. The perfect amount of smoky eggplant taste with a perfect consistency. If we could have just bought a tub of babaganoush for dinner, we would have.

Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves
Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves

The couscous was delicious as it always is from Tangierine Cafe. In the couscous you will find sliced olives, chickpeas and citrus. The grape leaves were nice and tangy with a bit of sweetness from raisins.

Spiced Pita
Spiced Pita

When you get the Vegetable Platter you get a few small pieces of pita bread. We knew this wasn’t enough bread for the amount of hummus and babaganoush we had so luckily they offer more pita when you run out. Make sure to ask for more so you can thoroughly enjoy the babaganoush and hummus.

Hummus and Olives
Hummus and Olives

We really enjoy Spice Road Table, most people over look it because of the price of the food. It is pretty pricey to eat a whole meal here. Small plates are roughly $10 and the vegetable platter is $22. But if you’re planning to share before dinner or just enjoy some Moroccan wine with a great view this is a great spot to eat and hangout.

Would we go again?
Yes, we are aware that it is expensive but the food is delicious!

Price?
$$$

Corey & Melissa

Sunset on the Savanna, Dining at Sanaa

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts views of a Savannah and African inspired lodging. Animal Kingdom Lodge is split up into two main buildings, Jambo House and Kidani Village. Each building offers a unique view of the savannah as well as different dining experiences. Sanaa is an African inspired restaurant found in Kidani Village. This small restaurant makes you feel like you are dining under tree canopies while you sit level with the savannah.

Sanaa Vegan Menu May 2015
Sanaa Vegan Menu May 2015

Sanaa offers a full vegan menu, you just need to ask your host or server when you are seated. The menu features multiple appetizers, the bread service (although it is slightly modified), multiple entrees and desserts. This is a great option for vegans traveling with non-vegans or who are just looking to eat a whole lot of delicious food!

Chana Tikki
Chana Tikki

We decided to indulge and get an appetizer with our meal. We opted for the Chana Tikki over Samosas. The dish came with three small patties with a sauce. The chickpea patties were pretty good, they weren’t overly flavorful, but we really enjoyed the coriander chutney that came with it.

Indian Style Bread Service - Vegan
Indian Style Bread Service

Next we opted for the bread service. We had been told from many people that one of the best parts of Sanaa was the bread service. The bread service for vegans is a little different.For starters Sanaa’s bread isn’t vegan, to replace the bread we get falafel chips. Additionally the standard plate comes with 9 sauces, the vegan version is only 8 as the 9th is a yogurt based dip. The dips included hummus, chutneys, pickled garlic and more. We were given a 9th dip that was just super spicy, which is typically cooled down the yogurt based dip.

Vegetables and chickpeas in goan curry sauce and Vegetable Wat
Vegetables and Chickpeas in Goan Curry Sauce and Vegetable Wat

When we picked our entrees for dinner I asked the server what the seasonal greens were. She told us that they were the same as the vegetable wat. That being said we opted to both try a different chickpea dish. Corey went with the Goan Curry and I went with the Chickpea Wat. The Goan Curry was our favorite, with a mild coconut curry flavor.

Chickpea Wat
Chickpea Wat

The Chickpea Wat was really good. It was full of vegetables, tomato sauce and had a nice spicy kick to it. Not anything like some of the dips during bread service, but enough heat to warm you up.

Vegetable Wat
Vegetable Wat

The Vegetable Wat was the same as the chickpea but, surprise, without chickpeas. The vegetables in it included onions, zucchini and leafy greens. The basmati rice had a lot of lemon zest on it, a little too much for my liking.

Our Sanaa Feast
Our Sanaa Feast

We really enjoyed Sanaa. We also ate way too much. Everything we had was delicious and it was reasonably priced for the amount of food we got. We highly recommend this restaurant to vegans and pretty much anyone, it’s that good.

Would we go back?
Yes! Lots of vegan options, great atmosphere, delicious food!

Price
$$

Melissa & Corey