Review: Grand Floridian Cafe

Credit: Disney

Review: Grand Floridian Cafe

We have stopped by the Grand Floridian a couple of times in the past, but never to eat, and I have always been awed by the simple elegance of the place. We decided to have lunch there on a Saturday afternoon. We arrived exactly on time for our 1:00 reservation and were seated almost immediately. Melissa led us to our table. She was very friendly, we chatted about the fact that my family has lived in Florida for awhile and she asked if we had found any hidden gems. I told her that she needs to check out Disney’s Boardwalk at night and see the street performers, it’s a fun (and free) way to spend an evening. She seemed to appreciate the suggestion.

Arlene, our server, was at our table a couple of minutes later. She is one of those people who can handle multiple tasks at once, that was evident right away. She was able to keep everything straight and even hold conversations at two different tables at the same time. She explained a couple of items and asked if we needed time. We were ready to order so she took it down right away.

The restaurant was busy but not packed. We did not wait long for our food. Since my daughter and I were splitting an entrĂ©e we were glad to see that they divided the food into two dishes for us, that is always appreciated. My husband ordered the Tuna Nicoise Salad, which is a chef’s recommendation. He ordered the tuna cooked medium well. He said that it might be the best entrĂ©e that he has had at Disney. It was a large salad with greens, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and olives. The tuna portion was large. It was served with black olive bread, which he also enjoyed.

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The entrée that my daughter and I split was the Orecchiette Pasta of the Day. We picked the vegetarian version. (It can also come with shrimp or chicken.) It was a meatless option done right. The dish was simple and delicious. The pasta was cooked just right. The vegetables on top (green beans, carrots, sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms) did not overwhelm the dish. The sauce was perfection in its simplicity. It was a white sauce that was thick and had clumps of melted cheese in it. My only complaint was that it was too filling, even splitting the dish we had more than enough. There was no thought of dessert, we were all full and satisfied.

F.A.S.T. Review

F-Food- Excellent. My husband loved his tuna and the vegetarian option was incredible.

A-Atmosphere- Relaxed elegance. The dining room is beautiful without being overdone.

S-Service- Excellent. I felt like Melissa was almost a friend by the time we reached our table and Arlene could handle just about anything.

T-Tips- If you are planning on self parking instead of valet give yourself a couple of extra minutes. The self parking lot is across the street and is a bit of a walk. That lot also gets crowded.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.