Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World has become one of the most vegan friendly parks. Not only do many of the quick service locations here offer vegan meals, but so do almost all of their table service restaurants. One of the restaurants we had never eaten at was Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano because they never really appealed to us. That was until, they added a vegan option on the menu!
Mama Melrose is located neat Muppet Vision 3D, which keeps being a renamed area as the park transitions with the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. It is a cute Italian restaurant with strung lights, photos on the walls of celebrities who have dined there and more.
As usual we were seated with both the standard and allergy menus. Our server came by to take our drink orders, I asked if the rolls they offer are vegan and then requested speaking with a chef. She came back quick with the rolls having been confirmed vegan and an oil and herb dip. Soon after Chef Chappy came out to speak with us about some vegan options. While knowing there is the vegan option on the menu, I wanted to know if there was anything else we could get and what we could get for the kids to enjoy.
He told us that we could obviously get the Polenta dish, I asked about a flatbread because I had heard they had vegan cheese. First he said we could not have it because the flatbread dough isn’t vegan, but then he corrected himself and said we could have it with their pizza dough. He asked what we wanted to put on it, unaware of what the toppings are I just said “vegetables” which made him laugh. He asked about doing the toppings for the mushroom flatbread on it. We agreed as it sounded great, he then asked if we were okay with honey as they have a balsamic drizzle with it in it they usually top it with. We told him no, but were happy that he actually knew to ask. As for the kids he said that he could do a plain pasta marinara for them.
We demolished the rolls while waiting for our meals. They reminded me of the old rolls from Coral Reef and were warmed and super soft. The herb dip was awesome, full of flavor and the right amount of salt.
Bridget and I decided we would just split both entrees so we could try them both. I am very glad we did because both were amazing. First lets talk about the Polenta Cake dish.
The Polenta Cake comes with Cauliflower, sautéed mushroom, and a cashew cheese. CASHEW. CHEESE. In a Disney Park! The cashew cheese wasn’t overly flavorful, but it was incredibly creamy and was really a nice addition to the dish.
The polenta cake was nice and crispy on the outside. The Cauliflower was a little raw in some places, but as a whole was cooked well. The mushrooms were super flavorful on the dish too. This was an incredibly unique and delicious entree and I would highly recommend it.
The Mushroom Pizza was incredible. The pizza was topped with Roasted Cremini and Button Mushrooms with a Roasted Vidalia Onion Spread and Daiya Mozzarella cheese. The cheese was so well melted on this that I don’t think the average vegan cheese connoisseur wouldn’t know it was Daiya.
The mushrooms were very flavorful and there were a ton on the pizza. The pizza itself was a good size, about 10 inches. Technically this option is an appetizer, but the pizza is large enough as a entree.
The kids pasta was just basic penne with marinara sauce. Chef Chappy said they use Barilla pasta so all of their pasta can be vegan.
One thing to note about this dining experience is that Chef Chappy came out while we were eating to make sure everything was good (it was great!). We have rarely had chefs do this, and that simple gesture is huge.
Mama Melrose is now in the top running for one of my favorite restaurants in Disney. When I say this food was good, I’m not saying it is “Disney Good” but actually good. I would absolutely recommend you dining here if you’ve been on the fence. We’re not big Italian restaurant people, but this food was great. The whole restaurant smelled excellent the whole time we were there too. I’d honestly just go back for rolls too, who am I kidding!
Review from November 2018.