Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grand Floridian Cafe: Lunch Review

 Walk ups can be easy to get here.
I'll admit that when I hear the words cafe, I don't think of a small coffee shop in Paris, where lovers sit outside drinking espresso out of small cups and ogling one another. Maybe it's from what I was exposed to living in New Jersey, but “cafe” was usually code for “run down diner with perpetually sticky floor and wobbly tables that owner is trying to make sound upscale in an effort to attract business.” Luckily, the Grand Floridian Cafe is not code for anything but a delicious lunch (or breakfast or dinner). Read on for my review.

Atmosphere

Located towards the back of the first floor of the main building of the Grand Floridian, the Cafe is easily overlooked by many guests. This, coupled with its surprisingly large size meant that my wife and I were easily able to get a walk-up table for lunch, even though it was both the Princess Marathon weekend and the NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando, and crowds were noticeably heavier.

I'm not in love with the decor -the flowery wallpaper and curtains remind me of a grandmother's home. But it does fit the overall Victorian theme of the hotel and certainly isn't out of place in that sense. And I do love the high trey ceilings, as well as the fresh flowers throughout the restaurant, including a fresh rose at each table. My wife and I had a table near the window with a beautiful view of the grounds and the pool. 

I love the trey ceiling and how bright and airy the Cafe feels!

The dress code is theme park casual.

Service

Our server, Robert, was excellent. He was friendly and personable not only with us, but with all the tables he was helping. He was prompt with our drink and food orders and was always there checking in and making sure we had enough to drink and didn't need anything else. I wouldn't hesitate to ask for him again or recommend him to others.


Ask for a table by the window and get a great view of the grounds.

Food

For lunch, the Cafe offers a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. My wife had the Grand Sandwich, an open-faced hot ham, turkey, bacon, and tomato with a rich Boursin cheese sauce and fried onion straws, served on Focaccia bread ($12.49), while I had the Reuben Sandwich, which includes corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut on rye bread ($10.99), though I substituted the rye for Focaccia as well. It comes with a side of chips, fresh fruit, or a cucumber salad, I chose the salad.

The Grand Sandwich.


We both liked the Focaccia bread, finding it crispy, yet still soft. Our only complaint was that it seemed a bit too salty, especially when combined with the ham on the Grand Sandwich. The sandwiches themselves were extremely tasty though, and the meats fresh and flavorful. We both ate up every bite. The cucumber salad was a nice compliment, the oil and vinegar mixture proving the right balance of sweet and tart, while refreshing on the palate.

The Reuben comes on rye but I substituted Focaccia bread.

While we didn't save room for dessert, there were a number of smaller offerings to satisfy any sweet tooth, ranging from a Key Lime tart to a Boston Creme pie. 

Who's up for some dessert?

Prices for lunch range from $15.99-$35.99, and there is a kid's menu. The Grand Floridian Cafe is one table service credit on the Disney Dining plan, and they also accept the Tables in Wonderland card.

1 comment:

Glenn Drury said...

Funny story...on our 1st Disney trip, my daughter was 3. We were at the Magic Kingdom when she said she wanted fish sticks for lunch. Do you think anyplace in the MK has fish sticks? NO. So we headed back to our resort (the Contemporary) to look for fish stick and then to take a nap. We stopped at the concierge to help us in our quest, and then went to our room to freshen up. Five minutes later the concierge said, "The Cafe at the Grand Floridian has fish sticks in their freezer (although not on the menu), and they are waiting for you." So a short monorail ride later, and we were dining on fish sticks. Also, Alice and the Mad Hatter stopped by during lunch. Now that is SERVICE!!! Many thanks to the concierge and the cafe staff for helping us avoid a 3 year old's meltdown. Instances like this are why we don't vacation anywhere else.