Falafel and Lentils from Tangierine Cafe

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

One of the most beautiful and unique pavilions in Epcot’s World Showcase is Morocco. Once you walk back into this pavilion you will truly feel as though you have been transported to Africa. This pavilion features a shopping bazaar and three different dining locations, two table services and one quick service. Tangierine Cafe is the quick service option in Morocco and features both indoor and outdoor seating. This is a great place to enjoy some veggie heavy meals with a beautiful atmosphere.

Image from TheTipsyVerse.com
Image from TheTipsyVerse.com

This is one of our favorite places to eat while in Epcot because you get a large array of food and at a very reasonable price. On the menu there are several items that can be made vegan. On the menu you will find a Falafel Wrap, Sliders Combo with Falafel and the Vegetable Platter.

Vegetable Platter
Vegetable Platter

We often go with the vegetable platter because it gives you the largest selection of food. We have found that they often change the pita bread they use, so be sure to ask if it is vegan. We have always spoken with a chef about it and on our last trip he gave us the Whole Wheat Pita package to check the ingredients. The whole wheat pitas at that time were vegan so he made note and they swapped them on our plate.

Falafel
Falafel

The Vegetable Platter comes with Couscous, Tabouleh, Olives, Lentil Salad, Hummus, Pita and Falafel. This is a great fresh and healthy meal in a world of french fries and veggie burgers. The falafel is fried in a shared fryer so if you avoid that you can always ask for extra of something else. The falafel is nice and crispy and not too dry on the inside.

Couscous and Olives
Couscous and Olives

The rest of the plate is full of different flavors. For the last few years the lentil salad was not vegan, we were very happy to hear they removed the mayonaise from the recipe and it is now vegan friendly! The lentil salad was very good and added something different to the plate. The tabouleh is full of flavor from fresh parsley. The couscous has a nice sweetness to it and added texture with raisins and chickpeas. A mix of olives join the plate and feature chopped green and kalamata olives.

This is a great spot to get a filling meal in Disney while trying some authentic cuisine. If it’s raining this restaurant gets very busy as 75% of the seating is outside. Now if only they would get the babaganoush from Spice Road Table then this would be our lunch everyday.

Would we go back?
Yes! We often go multiple times a trip.

Price?
$

Corey & Melissa

Relaxing and Filling Lunch at Columbia Harbour House

This review reflects our experience in April of 2015.

Tucked between The Hall of Presidents and The Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom sits an often overlooked quick service dining location – Columbia Harbour House. Paul and I first ate here while taking the Keys to the Kingdom tour on our honeymoon in 2007. We had probably walked past it dozens of times before that without stopping to dine. The Cast Member leading the tour said they often used that as their lunch stop because of the ample seating, making it a sort of hidden gem of Liberty Square.

Columbia Harbor House
Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House is a typical quick service location, you order your food at a register and then wait for your order to be prepared and served on a tray. There are multiple condiment and fountain drink stands throughout the two story space, which is deceptively large, and decorated in a nautical theme with rich, wood-covered walls. We have found it easy to grab a table on the second floor, even when the restaurant has a bit of a line and seems busy.

Image from Disney's website
Image from Disney’s website

Our favorite go-to at Columbia Harbour House used to be the Lighthouse Sandwich, with hummus and broccoli slaw. We were alarmed to hear that it may not be vegan, so while visiting in November of 2013, we asked a Cast Member. We checked the allergy binder, which is available at all locations and contains the ingredients of everything served at that specific restaurant. Sure enough, according to the binder the broccoli slaw contained dairy. We were happy to see that the Vegetarian Chili (which counts as a snack on the Disney Dining Plan) was indeed vegan, as long as you asked for it without oyster crackers.

We ordered a cup of chili and a side of steamed broccoli. The chili wasn’t much to look at, but it was filling and delicious, with beans, tomatoes, corn, and olives. It was mildly spicy and paired nicely with fresh-tasting broccoli.

Vegetarian Chili

Other vegan options include the Garden Harvest Salad (without chicken), fruit, french fries and chips.

Would we go back?
Yes. An inexpensive, filling meal with easy seating in the Magic Kingdom? Doesn’t get much better!

Price?
$

Tara & Paul

Guacamole and Margaritas – La Cava del Tequila

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

Have you been searching for an authentic Mexican experience in Epcot? You may have missed one of our favorite spots while searching. Nestled inside the Mexico Pavilion is La Cava del Tequila, a tiny tequila bar that features tons of tequilas, margaritas and snack foods.

Image from AllEars.Net
Image from EatingWDW

La Cava del Tequila is best known for their margaritas and is often very busy. If you stop in after 8pm there is typically a line out the door to just order drinks at the bar. If you are looking for some air conditioning and a fun atmosphere head on over in the afternoon. This is a nice spot to unwind and just take a break from the chaos that is Disney World.

Margarita and Chips
Margarita and Chips

During our last trip we were lucky to find the bar almost completely empty. We sat in the corner and ordered up some chips and guacamole with our drinks. The guacamole is actually fresh here, unlike the pre-made guac you find across the way at La Cantina de San Angel. The guacamole features a spicy blend of avocado with serrano chile, cilantro and lime.

Chips and Salsa
Chips and Salsa

When you order guacamole here you also receive small cups of salsa. Salsa and chips are also on the menu if you want to skip the avocado. The chips were fresh and weren’t overly salty. The margaritas are always good here, I usually go for the original lime flavor but if you want to try something fun give the jalapeno margarita a try, it’s Corey’s favorite. If you’re not into drinking there is a non-alcoholic smoothie that is apparently very good and should be vegan.

Would we go back?
Yes! The drinks are great, and strong, and the guacamole was excellent.

Price?
$$

Corey & Melissa

A Feast at Fort Wilderness – Trail’s End

This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.

If a unique resort and large vegan meal is something you’re looking for in Disney World then head on over to Fort Wilderness. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground features tent camping, cabins and three dining experiences. Here you will find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue and Trail’s End. Trail’s End is a buffet restaurant that features classic American comfort foods like baked potatoes, fried chicken and mac and cheese. I’m sure you’re wondering what a vegan would be able to eat there, you’ll see soon enough.

Image from DisneyTouristBlog.com
Image from DisneyTouristBlog.com

Fort Wilderness can be difficult to get to for some people. We often take a boat from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, as it drops you off right near the restaurants. You can take a bus but you will need to take an internal shuttle to get to the dining area. The boats are relatively quick, 20 minutes from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, but they only arrive every half hour or so. This resort has tons to explore and do, if you arrive very early for your reservation you will not be bored.

Waiting for our reservation at Crockett's Tavern
Waiting for our reservation at Crockett’s Tavern

When we recently dined at Trail’s End I informed the hostess that we were vegan. This was the first restaurant I’ve seen our ticket for our server actually say vegan instead of allergy. We had the same server we had previously, Martha, and she was happy to see us return and immediately left to inform Chef TJ that two vegans had arrived.

Vegan, Chef TJ marked ticket
Vegan Chef TJ marked ticket

Chef TJ came out and was excited to bring us some of the new menu items he had created. Some of the items had changed from our previous experience but we were happy to try something new. He asked if we wanted a tour of the buffet, but we declined. There are a few salads, baked potatoes and fruits for vegans on the buffet.

Vegan Nachos
Vegan Nachos
Nachos Close Up
Nachos Close Up

First on the menu was Nachos with house made vegan cheese! The nachos were topped with caramelized onions which we really enjoyed. The cheese had a bit of a kick to it but wasn’t an overly cheesy flavor. But for being a vegan cheese made there, it was awesome. This was a great start to the meal.

Spicy Buns
Cheesy Buns
Spicy Buns Close Up
Cheesy Buns Close Up

Next came Chef TJ’s famous Cheesy Buns. The cheesy buns are made on hamburger buns and topped with a vegan cheese and a balsamic glaze. Different from last time, the cheesy buns had a tomato sauce base which made them more like tiny pizzas. We both got a set of cheesy buns, knowing that there was still a ton of food left to come, we were hesitant to eat all of it.

Soup
Cream of Asparagus Soup

The cheesy buns came out on top of a bowl of Cream of Asparagus Soup. The soup wasn’t a heavy flavor at first but the asparagus flavor kicked in as you ate it. As a whole we enjoyed this soup.

Tempura Broccoli Tower
Tempura Broccoli Tower
Tempura Broccoli Close Up
Tempura Broccoli Close Up

Suddenly a deep-fried tower arrived at our table. Stacked up was Tempura Broccoli with a spicy mustard sauce drizzled on it. The broccoli was incredible. The tempura wasn’t super crispy but the broccoli was perfect inside.

Samosas
Samosas

Next to the tower was a pile of Samosas. The samosas were topped with a sweet and sour sauce. We are pretty sure these were the same samosas that you will find at Mr. Kamals or Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. The sweet and sour sauce on them was a little weird but it worked out pretty well.

Crispy Tofu and Noodles
Crispy Tofu and Noodles
Crispy Tofu and Noodles

We were happy to see that Chef TJ had left the Crispy Tofu and Noodles on the menu. The tofu is an excellent texture of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The tofu was topped with a sweet and sour sauce.  The Vegetables included zucchini, yellow squash, corn and a portobello mushroom. The noodles were tossed together with veggies and were very good. By this time we were completely full so we really just ate the tofu and veggies.

Dessert Tower
Dessert Tower
Ice Cream, Ice Cream Sandwich
Ice Cream, Ice Cream Sandwich
Fried Oreos
Fried Oreos

And then another tower appeared, dessert! We each got our own dessert tower which included vegan ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, strawberries, banana and deep-fried Oreos! The tower is super hard to eat, but it is always a good laugh. After knocking half of the dessert off the tower I was able to try the deep-fried Oreo, and it was pretty tasty. I enjoyed the fruit and ice cream sandwich the most, but given that my pants were about to burst it was a struggle to enjoy the dessert.

Chef TJ!
Chef TJ!

Chef TJ did an incredible job once again. This is a great restaurant for anyone with food allergies or special diets, so if you are traveling as a lone vegan suggesting a restaurant with fried chicken will actually work in your favor. Chef TJ also caters to allergy diners at Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue so sometimes the meal can take very long. If you plan on dining at Trail’s End with Chef TJ plan for a meal that will last at least 90 minutes. Chef TJ typically only works dinners and is off Fridays and Saturdays. He has done a great job inspiring the other chefs at the restaurant so if he is not there you will still eat very well.

Would we go again?
Yes! Every trip we will make a trip to see Martha and Chef TJ!

Price?
$$ (You will pay the basic buffet cost for this meal, $25)

Corey & Melissa

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