Review: Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments Review

When you visit Animal Kingdom, there is a certain amount of expectation that the food you will find at restaurants and quick service counters will have some sort of Asian or African theme. Well, Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa offered more than just a theme. It offered flavor.

Crossing the bridge from Discovery Island into Africa, we were bombarded with the booming of bongo drums. The various market-style carts, vine-covered buildings, and decorated huts and overhangs immediately brought us into the vibrations of the Mombasa Marketplace. It’s the perfect place to gather your group before deciding whether to take Kilimanjaro Safaris into the African savannah or start the trek over to Everest Expedition. This reviewer’s group needed refreshments before making any journeys, and Tamu Tamu was more than happy to deliver.

While Africa is not well-known for its cheesecake (a dessert option that didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the eccentric fare), Tamu Tamu Refreshments had some tantalizing entrees that are both healthy and delicious, making exotic foods a bit more accessible to the bustling Disney-goer.

Having never encountered a Slow Roasted Pulled Beef Sandwich at a Disney park, this reviewer made it a priority to ensure it was on his plate. In spite of the fact that this was a quick service dish, the presentation was no less glorious than that of a full service restaurant. It consisted of a mound of spicy beef, accompanied by the accentuation of a mint yogurt cucumber sauce, all cradled together in a soft pita that folded expertly into a half moon-shaped slice of African heaven. This was something we had to sit down for, so we grabbed a bench beside the show stage and dove in.

As far as flavor, it was hard to believe this sandwich had been prepared at a quick service counter. It was the perfect combination of meat, sweet, and spice, with the yogurt skillfully taming the spice of the beef and the cucumber and mint coming together to send it all into a realm of African eccentricity. Along with a side of apple slices, we had a lunch that both satisfied us and made us feel better than we would have with a greasy burger. When you’re on the go, sometimes it’s nice to have a meal that gets your taste buds moving as quick as your feet. Tamu Tamu certainly got us there.

The price was not surprising for a Disney quick service entrée with a side and a bottle of water, and our bill came out to around $12. Other entrees sat around similar prices, but seemed to offer equal quality to that of the pulled beef sandwich. A Tandori Chicken Salad keeps the menu theme, while a Turkey and Swiss on Focaccia offers a more American approach to ethnic fare.

In the end, the thought that quick service meant a low quality meal was sorely mistaken. The service was certainly quick, but the food was the real star of Tamu Tamu Refreshments, taking the sights and sounds of Africa just a step further with taste.

Food: Surprisingly healthy and delicious, the food at Tamu Tamu offered unique flavors rarely enjoyed at a quick service station. Not only was it eccentric, but it felt good picking up some quick grub that wasn’t going to cause spikes in blood sugar and cholesterol.

Atmosphere: It’s easy to imagine you are in an African marketplace. There are bongo drums around for kids of all ages to play on, tents with benches and tables, souvenir carts, and even a stage, where, if you’re lucky, you might catch a show.

Service: Quick and helpful. It only took about 2 minutes to order and receive our food. The quick service staff was even able to tell us a little bit about the dishes before we ordered.

Tips: Grab a snack and get in line for Kilimanjaro Safaris, or take a walk along Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. It’s nice to sit and eat when the street show is going on, but there is so much to see at Animal Kingdom, why not feed two birds with one apple slice?

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About Ryan

Ryan Negrini has worked tirelessly to write stories worth sharing. Apart from his writing exploits, he is a creative writing consultant at Valencia College in Orlando, Fl. His inspiration often comes from the earth and its quirky nature, but sometimes shifts to current events.