The other night we snagged a last minute dining reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This restaurant is one we’ve been to a few times, years back we had their Quinoa Cakes, which at the time require modification, and then more recently to eat their Plant Based All You Care to Enjoy Skillet. This time we were hoping to try their new appetizer.
Whispering Canyon Cafe is located in the lobby at the resort. It features a lot of rowdy servers, people yelling for ketchup, and just a lot more. Previously they had the option to “play along” or “watch from the fence” however they removed those from the tables. We have learned that if you mention to the server that you don’t want to play along they’re pretty cool with it. Luckily though, this time we were seated in the back on the restaurant which only holds 4 or 5 tables anyway.
We let our server know of our sons allergy and that we’re vegan. She noted the options on the menu with the plant based logo and said they could accommodate for our sons meal. We ordered the Maple-Chipotle BBQ Braised Jackfruit Dip and decided to share an order of the Pan-Fried Red Quinoa Cakes (neither of us were in the mood for all you care to enjoy skillet).
The dip came out pretty quick and our hopes dropped just as fast when we saw it. We were both picturing a creamy, cheesy, gooey, pepper jack dip with jackfruit in it. However this was just jackfruit with some jalapeños and two slices of pepper jack cheese melted on top. We pushed aside our initial judgment on how it looked and dug in.
I am not usually a big jackfruit fan (it’s just so mushy most places), but this jackfruit was great. It was well flavored and not too mushy. The cheese was a little hard to get through, but it was melted which was a plus. I would have liked it more if the cheese had been shredded, I think it would be easier to eat. There was plenty of jackfruit for the chips too. I would absolutely get this again.
For the entree we got the Pan-Fried Red Quinoa Cakes, which is only offered at dinner. We had this a few years ago and didn’t love it, but they updated it with the menu changes in October 2019. We were pleasantly surprised with this change. The quinoa cakes were very flavorful, a strong cumin flavor, and super crispy. They crumbled easily, but since you ate them with a fork it wasn’t a big deal.
It came with an avocado smear, which replaced the old non vegan yogurt. It didn’t really add much. Our plates were pretty warm, so my salad became a hot salad which I wasn’t into. The dressing for the salad was kind of chunky, I wonder if it was the relish that I never saw on the plate. The fried chickpeas were good. They were a good crunch and not dry like others we’ve had.
For Finn we were able to get the kids Chicken Breast made vegan by swapping with the vegan chicken they do in the skillet. He also had a side of fries and fruit.
For dessert we actually were told we had three options. THREE vegan desserts?! We were told we could get a vegan chocolate cake, panna cotta, or a cobbler. Since we were both full, we just went with the Panna Cotta.
We made the wrong choice. I had thought going with the lighter option made sense but this thing was just not good. It was super gelatinous, like bad jello. It was also incredibly sweet and just too much. We both took one bite each and that was it. After the fact, I am now seeing it was a no sugar added dessert, which blows my mind because of how sweet it was. We should have just gotten cake.
If you go for lunch they don’t have the Quinoa Cakes but instead a vegan burger (Skillet-seared ‘Burger’). Just a heads up if you want the cakes, which I highly recommend. I know a lot of people love the plant based skillet, but for me it’s just too much food and too oily which makes me feel terrible. I love the option of the quinoa cakes here and am glad they have improved since our last try. We’ll be back for this appetizer and entree.
Review from December 2019.