Our first table service reservation at DisneyWorld was at the Biergarten Restaurant in Germany (World Showcase at Epcot). This would be the first of many table service meals in which I would actually be able to eat with my husband, and we were eagerly anticipating the experience. We’d been to the German restaurant back home, and the chef was always able to bring out a couple menu items that were gluten-free. I’m not the biggest fan of German food, but I knew there were going to be items on the menu that I would enjoy.
The Biergarten Restaurant is a buffet-style restaurant. Inside, it’s decorated as if you’re in a German village. We had made reservations 90 days in advance and I somehow expected a table for two. Instead, we were seated at a table with 6 other guests. I was surprised and hoped that it wouldn’t be that way at the other table service restaurants that we had reservations for during our vacation (it wasn’t). Rick & I aren’t the type that look to meet new friends when we’re on vacation; we’re on vacation to enjoy one another’s company. Still, it was entertaining to sit with them – they provided some very funny and interesting stories about their lives in New Jersey.
Chef Charles walked me through the gluten-free choices in the vast buffet. I had many choices! Most of the meats and sausages are gluten-free, and even though I am not much of a fan of German sausages (gasp!), I did want to try the gluten-free German sausage meatloaf. Typically, meat loaf is made with bread crumbs and off-limits for a celiac, so the idea of any kind of meatloaf, even a sausage one, was very intriguing to me. They had bone-in rotisserie chicken, and it was the best chicken I’ve ever tasted in my life!
Chef Charles prepared the salmon for me as the version on the buffet had a lemon dill cream sauce (Bremerhaven style). The sauce sounded awfully good to me, but the way Charles prepared the salmon was excellent and very tasty! He also prepared the cauliflower and carrots without the glaze. They were plain, but okay.
I am a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal, and the roasted potatoes and carved meats were right up my alley! But that rotisserie chicken remained as my favorite. Expertly seasoned and prepared.
There are three levels of seating in the restaurant, in a semi-circle around the stage where performers dressed in traditional German-style clothing play music for the diners. The tables were placed very close together, though, which made it difficult for those sitting on the inside of the table to get in and out to go up to the buffet. Fortunately, we were sitting at the end of the table, so we had room for the camera equipment and tripod.
The entertainment really added to the atmosphere of the restaurant! While we ate, the entertainers started a new set that lasted for about 20-30 minutes.
All in all, the meal at Biergarten was satisfactory. For a celiac, there were many choices, but nothing out of the ordinary that I would receive in any other restaurant. There were no gluten-free bread or rolls offered as was done at the restaurants that we would visit later in the week. The quality of food was excellent, though. I can’t stop thinking about that rotisserie chicken! Perhaps if I were more of a German sausage fan, I would have enjoyed the meal even more. Plus, we had both eaten a rather large late lunch, so we weren’t as hungry as we could have been by the time we arrived at the restaurant for our 7:00 p.m. reservation.