Dinner at The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort is laid out a bit differently than we expected, and the bus does not stop at the Turf Club Bar and Grill, although we passed it.  It took us 10 minutes to locate the restaurant.  I think that it must be more conveniently placed for the benefit of guests staying at Saratoga Springs rather than outside visitors.

Tapioca Rolls & Butter
Tapioca Rolls & Butter

They have a rather large menu at the Turf Club.  Chef Glenn said that all the appetizers could be modified to be gluten-free with the exception of the Tomato Bisque and the Onion Rings.  We were on the Disney Dining Plan that did not include appetizers, otherwise I would have given one a try…especially the Crab Cake.  Those are difficult to find gluten-free at the restaurants that I dine at back home.  Available gluten-free (or modified to be gluten-free) appetizers include:

  • Crab Cake with Sweet mango Salsa and Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • Fried Calamari with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise and spicy Marinara Sauces
  • Mixed Greens Sald with Citrus Viniagrette
  • Caesar Salad
  • Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing and Celery Sticks (usually Blue Cheese Dressing is not gluten-free)
Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken
Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Chef Glenn said that any of the Entrees could be modified to be gluten-free.  The steaks would be prepared without the glazes.  Available entrees from the menu include:

  • Grilled Tuna with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Frisee and Roasted Garlic Nage
  • Grilled New York Strip topped with Blue Cheese, Portobello Mushrooms, served with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
  • Angus Chuck Cheeseburger topped with cheddar and Applewood Smoked Bacon served with Vegetable Slaw or French Fries
  • Penne Pasta with Shrimp with Artichokes, Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Olives and Garlic (you can also substitute the shrimp for grilled chicken (my choice) or as a vegetarian entree.
  • Spiced Salmon Salad on tossed Arugula with Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Applewood Smoked Bacon, and Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Prime Rib with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
  • Mint-crusted Lamb Chops with Honey-Dijon Glaze and Smoked Gouda Polenta
  • Roasted Free-Range Chicken Breast served with Shiitake Mushroom Risotto and Sweet-and-Sour Cherry Glaze
  • Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Jam, Balsamic Glaze, with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Frisee, and Roasted Garlic Nage

Prior to the entree, I was served tapioca rolls and a salted butter.  Having bread served at a meal is a double-edged sword for me.  While it was fabulous to be served bread just like any other dining patron, I didn’t want to eat all of the bread so as to save room for the upcoming excellent entrees!

I had the Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken and it was delicious!  At home, I never cook with rice pasta because I don’t feel that it cooks as evenly, and it’s a bit tougher in texture.  The rice pasta with this meal, though, was well prepared.  The artichokes and garlic, and the chicken, of course,  really added to this excellent meal.  Again I say, there is no way I could be a vegetarian.

Gluten-Free Brownies & Ice Cream
Gluten-Free Brownies & Ice Cream

For dessert, the only option was the gluten-free brownie, which was fine, but I was looking for just a bit more, especially after the flourless chocolate cake that I had had at Mama Melrose’s.  So, I asked if I could have Edy’s vanilla ice cream with the brownie and when it came out, it was artistically displayed and very tasty!

The Turf Club is a fairly large restaurant and themed with dark woods.  We were seated near the windows overlooking a patio area that was overlooking a body of water.  There were many families seated around us, which is what you’d expect of a resort restaurant.  There weren’t any bathrooms in the restaurant, though.  To get to one, we had to go back out to Artist Pointe and near the resort lobby.  I don’t think they expect many outsiders to come to their restaurant.

Running All Over DisneyWorld

You really should be in good physical shape before you go to Disney, especially if you expect to visit all four of the parks and one of the two waterparks.  I was 3 months into my weight loss program when we visited, and although I was more fit than before I started my diet, I wasn’t in the shape that I should have been.  This resulted in my not being able to run and keep up with my husband as we tried to make it to the bus stop before it pulled away from the curb.

We calculated that it was 1/2 a mile walk from our room to the bus stop at the front of the resort.  There’s no particular rhyme or reason to when a bus will arrive for any one of the parks, so sometimes it’s just luck that you’ll arrive at the bus stop just before the bus you want pulls up.

One day, we were heading to the bus stop to head into Downtown Disney.  We were still 1/8 of a mile from the stop when we saw the Downtown Disney bus making its approach.  Rick ran on ahead to the bus stop (he’s a runner and in great shape, so he had no problem making it to the stop).  He asked the driver to wait for me, and I’m sure the driver turned in his seat to see me straggling behind.  Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of people waiting for that particular bus, so the driver agreed to wait. I practically fell into the bus, gasping for breath, managing to thank the dear man for waiting.

At Blizzard Beach, one of the attractions had no waiting time….we just had to climb 127 steps to get to the top.  We went on this ride 3 times in a row.  Winded on the 1st go, a woman at the top asked how many steps there were – 127, I wheezily reported.  The guy she was with, though, had a different number – he said there were 160+ steps.  I figured that I must have blacked out and missed the other 40+ steps.  But, on the 2nd and 3rd go, I recounted the steps and still counted 127.

So, ladies and gentlemen, do yourselves a favor and get into shape before you get to DisneyWorld.  You’ll be glad that you are are when you can run 1/8th of a mile to the bus stop or climb 127 steps three times in a row without blacking out.

Dinner at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s is a beautifully decorated Italian restaurant in Hollywood Studios.  I had heard that they accommodate the gluten-free diner, and that is certainly true!  Chef Josh told me that all of their menu items can be modified!  They would use rice pasta or substitute for the roux.  Their menu is quite extensive, so this was the first time since being diagnosed as a celiac that I could choose ANYTHING on the menu – and it was an Italian restaurant!!  It boggled the mind.

Gluten-Free Tapioca Rolls & Olive Oil
Gluten-Free Tapioca Rolls & Olive Oil

Entrees to choose from include:

  1. Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto, fresh Vegetables, and topped with marsala Sauce
  2. Spaghetti Fra Diavolo with clams, Mussels, Calamari, and Shrimp tossed in a spicy Marinara Sauce
  3. Charred Sirloin Steak topped with Gorgonzola Butter on Roasted Red Pepper Polenta and Grilled Vegetables with a Red Wine Reduction
  4. Penne alla Vodka with pancetta and Sweet Onion finished with Tomato Basil Sauce, Cream, Vodka, and Pecorino Romano
  5. Spicy Italian Sausage with Rigatoni Pasta, Peppers, Onions, and  Tomato-Basil Sauce topped with Caprino Cheese
  6. Wood-grilled Tuna basted with a Sun-dried Tomato Pesto served on Grilled Vegetables
  7. Chicken Pipette – Wood-grilled Chicken over Pipette Pasta tossed with Artichokes, Peas, Roasted Peppers, and Sweet Onions in a Basil Four-Cheese Cream Sauce
  8. Oven-baked Chicken alla Parmigiana over Spaghetti
  9. Eggplant napoleon
  10. There are also 4 different flatbread menu items, but  I wonder how they could have been adapted to be gluten-free?

    Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
    Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan

I chose to have the Oven-Baked Chicken alla Parmigiana over Spaghetti.  It had been many years since I’d had chicken parm, so I had forgotten that the chicken is breaded.  Chef Josh made that gluten-free, too, rather than just not breading it.  It was an excellent meal!  They brought out gluten-free tapioca rolls.  That’s something I’d never get tired of….being served gluten-free bread with a meal in a restaurant.

Gluten-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake
Gluten-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

Saving the best for last….for dessert I was offered either ice cream or a flourless chocolate cake.  Naturally, I chose the flourless chocolate cake, and wow!  It was excellent and beautifully presented.

Without a doubt, we will definitely revisit Mama Melrose’s on our return trip to DisneyWorld.  No question about it!

On the Way to Mama Melrose’s….

Disney's Hollywood Studios Entrance DSC03623

We took the bus from our resort to Hollywood Studios for dinner at Mama Melrose’s.  We were sitting on the bus near a woman and her 4 children and they were having a conversation that we couldn’t help but overhear.

It was 6:00 p.m. and they were apparently running late for a show at Hollywood Studios that started at 6:45 p.m.  Mom was yelling at one of the children, blaming them for how late they were running.  “You just had to go into the pool one more time!” she berated him.  Rick & I exchanged glances and I remember thinking, just who is the parent here?

Then, she told the kids that in order to make it to the 6:45 p.m. show, they would be expected to keep up with her as she would be running as soon as they got off the bus.  Too bad for the 4-year-old, I guess, who probably couldn’t run as fast as the others.

This reminded me of something that happened on the Lazy River at Blizzard Beach that day.  Rick & I were floating along in a double tube and a little boy of 3 or 4 years old was temporarily separated from his mother on the river.  He was in one of those kiddie tubes with the center filled in.

He got a wild-eyed look as if he thought if he lost sight of his mother, he’d never see her again.  Rick pushed his tube around ours and toward his mother’s tube.  The wild-eyed look in his eyes dimmed a bit, but it was still there.

A little later, Rick started laughing and saying to me that the mother might have said to the kid “see you back at the car!” as she paddled away and out of sight.  Better yet, he said, perhaps she would say “See you back at the resort – hope you remember which resort, must less the room number”.

My husband, ladies & gentlemen.  Still, it got a laugh from me.  He’s really not a mean person…just dramatizing what might give the child reason to have such a wild look in his young eyes.

During the time that we were at DisneyWorld, we saw an awful lot of children struggling to keep up with their parents.  There were plenty of children in strollers but there were quite a few children running as fast as their short little legs would carry them, struggling to keep up.  Rick & I discussed the fact that when we were kids, we weren’t pushed around in strollers….we were expected to keep up, too.  I don’t recall my parents shouting at us, though, if we couldn’t keep up.  Nor do I recall being blamed if we were running late because they had let us go into the pool one more time before we left.

Times have changed.

Lunch at the Electric Umbrella Restaurant – Epcot

Electric Umbrella Restaurant  DSC03922

We spent a rainy morning at Epcot, going on Soarin’ twice!  Soarin’ is, by far, the most exciting ride that we’d ever been on.  Before taking the Monorail over to the Magic Kingdom, we stopped for lunch at the Electric Umbrella.  It’s a rather large restaurant with plenty of seating.

Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders & Baked Fries
Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders & Baked Fries

We spoke to Eduardo, the manager, and he told me that he would prepare gluten-free Chicken Tenders and Baked French Fries for me.  He said that he’d oversee the preparation personally to make sure it was done correctly.  Because the fries were baked, it took a bit longer for them to come out with my meal.  My husband got his order quickly, and I asked him to go find a place to sit and to start his meal.  Unfortunately, my meal took so long, my husband was already finished eating, so I ended up eating alone.

Kozy Shack Jello
Kozy Shack Jello

The meal, though, was pretty good!  Plenty of chicken tenders and a lot of fries.  I found out that their ketchup and mustard were gluten-free, so I got a small tub of each and used them to dip my french fries.  Dessert was a Kozy Shack Jello cup which was a welcome change from the standard gluten-free brownie.  I like the brownies, of course, but it seems to be the standard dessert offering at DisneyWorld.  I wanted to try something different.

Lunch at the Electric Umbrella compared equally to the lunch that I had the the day before at the Liberty Inn in the World Showcase.  I think that the chicken brands were different at each place, but they both tasted very good.  The serving at both restaurants were hearty and provided more than I could eat in one sitting.

I’d recommend both restaurants for a nice lunch while at Epcot!

Dinner on a Rainy Night at Boatwrights Dining Hall

Boatwrights Dining Hall DSC06873After our lunch at Liberty Inn, we roamed around Epcot’s World Showcase, taking photographs and collecting more pressed pennies.  We were back in Morocco when it started to sprinkle, so we decided to duck into one of the shops to wait it out.  It rained fairly hard for a while, and when it tapered back to light rain, we went over to the (covered) boat landing in Morocco.  At first, we didn’t think the boats were running – they shut down during thunderstorms, but then we spotted one on the return trip from Canada.

Boatwrights Dining Hall DSC06874

On the way to the bus stop to get back to our resort and dinner reservations at Boatwrights Dining Hall, we tried to stop off at Soarin’, but everyone else had the same idea and the wait on stand-by was 35 minutes (Fast Passes were gone).  We just didn’t have the time to spare, so we headed over to the bus stop.  By the time we arrived at Port Orleans Riverside at 6:40 p.m., it was raining VERY hard.  We waited for 20 minutes at the bus stop for it to let up, but it never really did, so at 7:00 p.m., we made a dash for it, soaking ourselves pretty good in the process.

We were promptly seated when we arrived at Boatwrights.  It was cheery and warm inside the restaurant, just the thing that we needed after spending the majority of our day dodging in and out of the rain.  The temperatures had dropped from the mid-90s to the low 70s and in Florida in September, that is a drastic change!

Gluten-Free Roll & Butter
Gluten-Free Roll & Butter

Chef Carlos gave me several gluten-free choices from their extensive menu.  He said that I could choose the Jambalaya, the Grilled Pork Chops without the Maque Choux, Grilled Tenderloin Medallions or the Blackened Fish Filet but without the Grilled Grit Cake.  He did not recommend the Pasta Shrimp, even though they could substitute the pasta with rice pasta.  They also could not accommodate me if I wanted the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, but since I had had fried chicken the night before (at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe), I didn’t mind.

Slow Roasted Prime Rib & Three Cheese Hash Browns
Slow Roasted Prime Rib & Three Cheese Hash Browns

I chose to have the Slow Roasted Prime Rib with the excellent Three-Cheese Hash-Brown Potatoes.  Instead of being served with Cabernet Sauce, Chef Carlos served it with au jus (which was just fine!).  They started my meal off with a gluten-free roll and butter….something that would never get old for me….to be served bread before a meal in a restaurant!

The Prime Rib was delicious!  I don’t believe I’ve ever had it before, so it was quite a treat.  It’s probably not something that I’ll ever have again as I prefer my meat to be cooked just a bit more, but I’m glad that I tried it.  Now the Three-Cheese Hash-Brown Potatoes were another matter.  I’d never had them before, either, but I just knew that I was going to love them!  What’s not to love about three cheeses and hash browns?  Multiple taste sensations in every bite – yummy!

Gluten-Free Brownie & Ice Cream
Gluten-Free Brownie & Ice Cream

I didn’t really have room for dessert, but I ordered some anyway.  Chef Carlos sent out a gluten-free brownie with vanilla ice cream and a garnish of blackberries & raspberries.  By this time, I’d eaten half a dozen of the pre-packaged gluten-free brownies, but it still tasted very good and when ice cream was added, it was even better!

We’d recommend dinner at Boatwrights if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dinner atmosphere.  It was just perfect for us on that rainy night in September….very warm and welcoming and the food was delicious!

Dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe

50's Prime Time Cafe DSC03875

Hands down, the most fun we had at dinner was at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We had heard that it was a fun experience to dine here, and those stories weren’t exaggerated.  When we arrived, we were asked to have a seat in Dad’s Den; the place was packed!  At first, it was SRO, but eventually, as people were seated, we were able to take a seat.  Shortly thereafter, we were shown to our table.

The entire restaurant is decorated as if you’re in someone’s home….in the 1950s.  There are TVs everywhere you look, airing sitcoms that were popular in the 1950s… Dennis the Menace, I Married Joan, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Real McCoys.  The tables are formica with matching pattern chairs.  We were seated in an area where the tables were close together, so it was as if we were dining together.  Not quite as close quarters as what we found at the Biergarten, so it was much more enjoyable. The server introduced us to the couple next to us as being from Champaign, IL.  They were there to celebrate their 37th anniversary….said that their secret was “not going to be mad and keeping up with communication”.

50's Prime Time Cafe Waiting Area DSC03866

TV at 50's Prime Time Cafe DSC03877The servers are dressed just like Grandma used to dress in the 1950s, and were often heard to exclaim, “No dessert for you if you don’t clean your plate!” or “Get your elbows off the table!”.  In fact, our server, Melissa, said that she’ll never be able to waitress anywhere else because people just wouldn’t t like it if she were to bark out these orders.

Chef John was just marvelous!  He said that he could make about anything on the menu gluten-free, including Dad’s Traditional Meat Loaf, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast or Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken.  I chose the fried chicken – something that I’d not had in a restaurant in 14 years.  He told me that there’d be a 20-minute wait for the chicken, but we told him we didn’t mind as the atmosphere was more than entertaining.  I received a wing, thigh, breast and drumstick – I ate it all except the wing.  They also served mashed potatoes and Southern Greens.  The mashed potatoes were seasoned with something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on (pan drippings of some sort, perhaps?); it just wasn’t my preference.  The Southern Greens appeared to be a mix of kale and either spinach or collard greens.  They were seasoned, too, possibly with bacon drippings…again, not my preference, but both expertly prepared.

Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken (GF) DSC03885As you can see, the servings were ample, so there was no way that I could clear my plate.  True to form, I was told that I would receive no dessert if I didn’t finish my dinner!  I pleaded and cajoled, though, and Melissa took pity on me and let me have dessert.  Gluten-free choices for dessert was a sugarless cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate or caramel ice cream sundaes, or a gluten-free brownie.  I chose a chocolate sundae, complete with whipped cream and a cherry on top.  It came in a glass that reminded you of what was served in the 1950s diners.  It looked so tantalizing that I completely forgot about taking photos of it for this review!

And again I say, this was the most entertaining dinner of our vacation.  We would definitely go back again, but next time, we’d be sure to keep our elbows off the table.

Breakfast at Riverside Mill Food Court – Port Orleans

The Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Riverside is one busy place, but especially in the morning!  Everyone comes in to eat breakfast before heading out for a day at the parks.  On our 2nd day, I got there too late to find a single seat by myself, so I took my breakfast and sat at a table next to one of the quiet pools.  The weather was humid and warm, even at the early hour of 9:30 a.m., though, and I wanted to stay in the shade for as long as possible on our 3rd day.  So, I got up a bit earlier and got to the Food Court by 8:00 a.m.

Scrambled Eggs, Bacon & Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Scrambled Eggs, Bacon & Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

I ordered Chef David’s scrambled eggs, bacon and 2 blueberry muffins.  He brought it out on a take-away plate and the dome was already steamed up from the heat of this wonderful meal!  I grabbed an orange juice and went through the check out register and found my way to a small table over by the windows with a view of the water wheel.

In the beginning, I didn’t realize that I could have ordered gluten-free waffles or pancakes.  When I had spoken to Chef Ernesto on our first day, I misunderstood him and thought that they needed advance notice to prepare waffles or pancakes.  I found out a day or two later that it’s the pasta that they need advance notice to prepare.

Gluten-Free Mickey Waffles & Bacon
Gluten-Free Mickey Waffles & Bacon

Later in the week, I arrived for breakfast and ordered the gluten-free waffles & bacon, prepared by Chef Ernesto.  The waffles were in the shape of Mickey’s head – very cute!  And tasty – they were soft and relatively light, which isn’t easy to do with gluten-free flours.  He gave me a small jar of Dickinson’s Pure Maple Syrup to go with it – delicious!

Gluten-Free Pancakes & Sausage
Gluten-Free Pancakes & Sausage

The last breakfast that I at at the Riverside Mill Food Court was also prepared by Chef Ernesto, pancakes & sausage.  The pancakes were good, but of the weight and texture that I would expect with gluten-free flours.  Still, it came with more of the Dickinson’s Pure Maple syrup, and they were the first pancakes that I’d ever eaten in a restaurant.  The sausages were links, but I didn’t care for them.  They seemed to be undercooked, but I’m sure they were not.  I just happen to prefer sausage that is so well cooked that it’s nearly burned.

It might sound mundane, but my favorite breakfast at the Riverside Mill Food Court was the scrambled eggs and bacon.  I had that several times.  I’m not sure what they put into the eggs, but they were so light and fluffy and tasty!  And to have blueberry muffins in a restaurant setting….well, that was a real treat!

Thank you Chef Ernesto and Chef David for the wonderful breakfasts that you prepared for me during our visit!

Liberty Tree Tavern at the Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom
Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom

Our Sunday evening dinner was at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom.  We were careful about when we ate lunch so that we would bring our appetites to our 7:35 p.m. reservation.  We arrived 15 minutes early and ended up being seated at 7:20 p.m.

Wait staff are dressed in the clothing from the 1700’s.  It reminded me of the John Adams series on HBO.  The decor was also of the same time period.  It was a rather large restaurant with seating on two half levels.  The bathrooms were up a full flight of stairs and there were only 2 stalls in the ladies room!  I had to wait a few minutes to get into the bathroom and the ladies waiting with me and those coming out of the bathroom all commented on how small the bathrooms were for a restaurant of that size.  It would turn out to be the only downfall of our visit.

Chef Rob came over to our table to talk to me about gluten-free meal options.  The “Bill of Fare” shows what foods will be served.  First, they have the “Declaration Salad” – tossed mixed greens with strawberry viniagrette dressing.  The main course is the “Patriot’s Platter” which consists of roasted turkey breast, carved beef, and smoked pork loin with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and macaroni & cheese.  Everything comes to the table “family style”, so plates of food come out and everyone serves themselves.  Since I had a dietary restriction and couldn’t eat all of the menu items but my husband could, they served us individual plates of food.  My husband’s plate contained all of the above-mentioned items.

Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Chef Rob told me that he’d bring out some tapioca rolls for me – this was the first time in my life that I’ve had gluten-free rolls given to me in a restaurant, and what a treat that was!  Of the items on the “Patriot’s Platter”, I was able to have the roasted turkey breast, carved beef, mashed potatoes, GLUTEN-FREE GRAVY,

Gluten-Free Gravy
Gluten-Free Gravy

and green beans.  I was also able to have the salad with strawberry viniagrette dressing.

Gluten-Free Tapioca Rolls
Gluten-Free Tapioca Rolls

I thought I was going to pass out from the excitement of dining in a restaurant where I could actually have dinner rolls and gravy!  Unheard of in any other restaurant that I’ve been to in the 13 years since my celiac sprue diagnosis.  The gravy was just excellent over the turkey & mashed potatoes!  The carved beef was prepared without fault, expertly seasoned and very tender.  I honestly don’t know what part of this meal that I enjoyed more.  I was so glad that I had saved my appetite for this fabulous dinner.

Liberty Tree Tavern Gluten-Free Dinner
Liberty Tree Tavern Gluten-Free Dinner

And then they came out to ask what we wanted for dessert!  My husband had a tasty-looking apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  I would have preferred that, but they did not have a gluten-free version available.  Instead, Chef Rob prepared a raspberry sorbet with fresh blueberries and strawberries – delicious!  I had stuffed myself at dinner, though, and didn’t have as much room for dessert as I would have liked.  What I did eat, however, was thoroughly enjoyed!

Raspberry Sorbet w/ Strawberries & Blueberries
Raspberry Sorbet w/ Strawberries & Blueberries

The Liberty Tree Tavern is a restaurant that we both enjoyed and would visit again in the future.

p.s.  It was an Extra Magic Hours night at the Magic Kingdom that night and we spent time wandering around the park after dinner.  We especially enjoyed the Monsters Inc Laugh Factory.  We visited that attraction a couple more times, but it was never as enjoyable as it was on that first night we visited.  I’d heartily recommend this attraction to anyone, young or old!

Boma

Boma DSC06164-1We eagerly anticipated our reservations for the African restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma.  Neither of us had ever been to an African restaurant, but we were willing to give it a go.  And are we glad that we did!

On the back of their menu:  Boma is an open and natural space surrounded by a kraal-style fence made of sticks.  This Boma provides a safe and sheltered area in the bush.  In the evening, its golden light pours out as the fire used for cooking lights the dinner table.  Boma – Flavors of Africa, will take you on a journey from the North to the South, and from the East to the West.  Anticipate the best in African hospitality.  “Where the Spirit of Africa Comes Alive.”

Boma Gluten-Free Meal
Boma Gluten-Free Meal

Our reservation was at 7:30 p.m., but we arrived 45 minutes early, so we had to wait a bit for our table.  It was VERY busy!  From our vantage point, we saw many people go up to the podium to try and get a table without a reservation, only to be told that the wait was 1-1/2 hours; most did not want to wait.

Boma Gluten-Free Meal
Boma Gluten-Free Meal

Our server sent Chef Allison over to our table to talk to me about gluten-free menu choices.  Boma has a rather extensive buffet.  She took me from one buffet to the next, pointing out the foods that were gluten-free.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember the African food names, so I’ll have to let the photo of my plate speak for itself.

The spit-fired Prime Rib and Durban Spiced Roasted Chicken was EXCELLENT, as was the roast pork!   The coconut rice was also very good.  The one thing that I didn’t particularly care for was the radish/carrot salad; merely a matter of preference.

Gluten-Free Zebra Domes
Gluten-Free Zebra Domes

Although I was not given any gluten-free breads, Allison did make me three gluten-free Zebra Domes.  The original ones on the dessert buffet have a sponge cake foundation.  Even though I had stuffed myself with the wonderful meats at the buffet, I made sure I saved enough room for dessert!

Peanut Butter & Passion Fruit Tart
Peanut Butter & Passion Fruit Tart

Two other gluten-free desserts that were available directly from the dessert buffet.  One was a peanut butter tart and the other was a passion fruit tart.  I preferred the Zebra Domes, personally, although Rick enjoyed the peanut butter tart more.  The passion fruit tart was VERY sweet, and not to our liking at all.

I would return to Boma on our next trip to Disney World, and I’d recommend it for any celiac.  Even if you’ve never had African food or are not an adventurous diner, I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking at Boma!