It’s been quite a few years since we ventured out to 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Mostly because they used to have a pretty good vegan option, but then got rid of it and only offered a super basic pasta. After October of last year they added options for all three courses here, but we were still hesitant to go back.
50’s Prime Time Cafe is most known for the lively cousins (servers) that are allowing you to dine in Mom’s kitchen. You travel back in time in this restaurant from the decor down to the tables. The servers still have their fun banter, but aren’t spoon feeding you your vegetables anymore. But, be sure to keep those elbows off the table and remove your hats!
The QR code menu links you direct to the Disney site here. On this menu it doesn’t have the label for the plant-based options, or note them in text. But the menu outside the restaurant has the plant-based logo. So if you don’t see this, your best bet (anywhere) is to directly ask your server which options are plant-based.
The appetizer here is Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge. This wedge comes with vegan ranch, rice paper bacon and chives. If you’re not familiar with a wedge salad, they gained popularity around the 1950’s/60’s and are most commonly found at steakhouses to this day.
The salad is incredibly simple, as it’s just a giant wedge of iceberg lettuce, a generous amount of vegan ranch, crispy rice paper bacon, and chives. The rice paper bacon was really good, but hard to taste with all the ranch dressing. When you ate it alone it was crunchy, smoky, and flavored very well.
They did not go lightly on the ranch dressing. Our salads were absolutely swimming in it, specifically Corey’s. We both agreed we’d rather it be too much than too little, but it was just a lot. And while iceberg lettuce is the least nutritional and most meh of the salad leaves available, it has a nice light crunch and I can see why this salad still holds up through the decades.
For a vegan entree here look no further than Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Garden. This option has literally no description or price on the menu. “A Seasonal Alternative with all the Fixings” at Market Price. Pre-pandemic, this option was a lentil and veggie dish with a tofu ricotta. Now it is a pasta marinara packed with veggies and vegan chick’n. Since there is no description and it has already changed since it was added, I am worried it will change again with no real notice.
Since we didn’t go in with high hopes for the entree here, it hit our mediocre mark. The dish reminded me of when you’re just trying to eat up any vegetables that are about to go bad at your house and you’re like “throw it in a pasta!” With that being said, this dish was full of vegetables. There was eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, arugula, and capers.
The pasta was cooked well, perfectly al dente. The rigatoni noodles were a good choice with the dish too. The vegan chick’n added nothing to the dish. It was mostly mushy and there were very few strips of it. The sauce had a very very mild heat to it, one that you can feel mostly in your throat and grows as you eat it, but I wouldn’t label it as a spicy sauce.
As a whole the dish was fine, it wasn’t amazing. It was a basic pasta and about what we expected it to be.
For dessert they have a vegan Traditional Warm Apple Crisp that you can also get À la Mode with vegan ice cream. We opted for the À la Mode version, obviously.
The apple crisp was warm and very flavorful. The apple crisp on it’s own would be too sweet, but the vegan ice cream with it helps to tame it. We didn’t ask what the brand of ice cream was, but we think it was So Delicious. The serving of this was quite large as well, which makes it a great one to share.
I asked our server if they could still do vegan milkshakes, and she told me they can not. But it doesn’t hurt to ask anyway if you plan on eating here.
As a whole the meal was very good, it exceeded my expectations for it. I wouldn’t go back for the entree personally, but I would happily go back for the wedge salad and apple crisp! This is a great meal for vegans traveling with non-vegans too as you will leave satisfied and full.
Review from October 2020.
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50’s Prime Time Cafe, 50s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios