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Disney Dining Review Biergarten: Mahlzeit!

By Sarah Chapman

 

Honestly, Biergarten has never been on my list of restaurants to try in the World Showcase.  Sausages aren’t that appealing to me, and sharing a table with strangers was way too much for my shy demeanor to handle.  Even at Walt Disney World. I am happy to say that I was wrong on almost every count and my recent lunch experience at Biergarten in Epcot’s Germany pavilion was a pleasant surprise.

I had all of my plans set for this vacation and then the Epcot International Festival of the Arts was announced, followed by the announcement of the dinner packages with preferred seating for the Disney on Broadway performances.  Because I have a tendency to like convenience, I decided this was a good idea.  Also looking to be frugal, I chose one of the least expensive options available, Biergarten for lunch.  I figured with the buffet set up we would be able to find some things we liked and we would at least have plenty to eat.  Besides, I do like to try new places so that I can recommend them to travel clients.

We had the first seating at 12:00 which happened in shifts.  The long line to check in was a little daunting, but once they gathered our group of 8 for our table it wasn’t long before we were seated and placing drink orders.

One thing I was really looking forward to was the inside of this restaurant—it has the feeling of an Oktoberfest celebration set outside in an actual biergarten.  This theme and feeling is the reason for the shared tables, authentic right?  We had 4 groups of 2 at our table, so at first it was a little awkward, but by the end of the meal we had all struck a nice rapport with each other and had a good time.  I loved all of the interior details, there was plenty to look at even without the entertainment going on (which happens only a certain times through the day).

As a German restaurant there were plenty of choices of beers to accompany your meal (at an additional charge), but I did not choose any during this meal.

There are two identical buffets at the back of the restaurant and you do have to navigate some steps depending on where you are seated.  We were asked at check-in if we had any issues with going up and down the steps to get to the buffet, so if you do have concerns you can let them know.  There was a cold buffet with green salad and toppings along with several cold salad selections and cold meats in the German tradition.  Next up were the breads—go for the Pretzel rolls, yum!  Followed by a hot buffet of German Specialties and then a carving station.  The final stop was the dessert buffet filled with small serving sizes of multiple desserts so that you could try several.

On the cold buffet my favorites were the German potato salad (actually warm) and the macaroni salad.  I really enjoyed the hot buffet items with my favorites being the Breaded Pork Schnitzel Vienna Style and the Homemade Spaetzle.  The roasted potatoes, green beans and the rotisserie chicken were also quite good, and the roasted pork on the carving station was juicy and well-seasoned.  I had no complaints about the main dishes and commented that I was surprised at how many options I had (since I’m not a big fan of sausages, bratwurst, etc.) and I think my whole family could find plenty to fill themselves up.  The buffet items can vary, so you may not get the same thing each time you visit.

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And I did leave room for dessert!  I think I sampled almost everything offered but several of us at the table decided the Bavarian Cheesecake was the winner of the day.

As a buffet we honestly didn’t see our server very often.  She did take drink orders and kept our drinks filled.  And she did a good job of clearing dirty/empty plates so that we could go back for more.  It was fine service for a buffet situation.

Our reservation was for noon and the first performance on the stage began at 1:15, so our timing wasn’t perfect.  We were pretty much completely finished eating before they were even preparing to come on stage.  I did wait for them to perform and never felt like we were being pressured to leave so they could clean the table and turn it over.  There is a fun and interactive element to the band—many people came down to dance as they play.  Although my 17 year old was done after a song or two I can definitely see where this entertainment would keep younger children occupied and happy while eating their meals (& letting their parents enjoy their food).  It was a fun show!

All in all I was so happy we experimented and tried Biergarten. That is one thing I love about Walt Disney World and Epcot’s World Showcase in particular . . . the opportunity to try different foods and ethnic cuisine that is not available to us close to home.  And on vacation I feel like I give myself more freedom to sample while at home I may be more practical about being sure to choose a guaranteed “like” on my family’s restaurant list.  I hope that we can all return to Biergarten soon for more German food and fun!

 

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).