Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Another day and another magical park: with GLUTEN FREE eatings! In this review, we cover my experience with Disney Playhouse characters at a Hollywood & Vine Buffet Lunch and then a giant baked potato for my GLUTEN FREE dinner from Fairfax Fare eatery. which
GLUTEN FREE BUFFET LUNCH: HOLLYWOOD & VINE:
Upon arrival, I was so excited after checking in that I was presented with a “Allergy-friendly Guide” which was a complete guide to all the key allergens on the buffet. This was not requested but i had included the details in the reservation. Strangely, as this was our first Walt Disney World restaurant meal, it did set my expectations that all restaurants would do the same and was disappointed that Hollywood & Vine appear to be the only one at this stage.
This seems such a straight-forward thing to do that I was surprised that I only received one of them in our time at the World. It clearly covers the buffet contents and whilst there were no surprises as to what allergens were present, it was reassuring that this was taken so seriously.
Good to see that they are also clear in stating ” we do not have a separate kitchen and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens…” which is realistic and largely what all food retailers seem to state, especially in restaurants. Having this information at hand was most useful when visiting the buffet and picking up food.
Now at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant, like other dining experiences, four characters move through the venue whilst you’re eating. It’s a great one if you’re fan of the kid’s Disney Channel as you’ll know who these characters are whereas, I only recognised two of them: Princess Sofia The First (who is Disney’s entry-point Princess for babies) and Handy Manny (who my Nephew and Niece have seen at Butlins!) but in addition we met Jake the Pirate, DocMcStuffing and Handy Manny which to two middle-aged men, meant very little!
So back to the food: The buffet is duplicated so there are two lines for each half of the restaurant with the kitchen staff behind the counter offering help and assistance (and with some specific dishes such as the ham: carving it up). It starts with Bread, then salads and cold /hot appetizers (and soup) before heading into Entrees with supporting side dishes. And a separate counter is the desserts and sweets including a couple of ice-cream machines (which are self-served) so lots of food. And in typical Disney fashion, it is eat-as-much-as-you-like with plates cleared and drinks refilled as many times are you can.
After a plate of salad which was a delight in terms of textures and freshness before selecting the first of a couple plates of entrees. The turkey pieces were succulent as was the freshly sliced gammon /ham alongside garlic mashed potatoes and the corn. One disappointment was the peach-glazed barbecued pork which sounded better than it tasted. The peach had not penetrated the meat and whilst it was sweet it just didn’t work.
And then I went wandering for GLUTEN FREE desserts. I was advised that I should order mine from the waiter, who would bring them out from the kitchen.
From the kitchen, I had two really sticky and delicious Chocolate Brownies alongside two Chocolate Chip Cookies. These were great as the cookies were taken for a later snack (when watching Fantasmic Firework show) and the brownie was soft, chewy and warmed. The fruit was a side-line to the chocolate but nice sweet strawberries and blueberries.
In addition, from the buffet, I tried the GLUTEN FREE Cheesecakes. These had a light base but without the biscuit they were GF! The topping (the cheesy bit) was great, creamy and sweet like a dream topping and I rather enjoyed these small bite-sized cakes although not sure they would be recognised as cheesecakes.
So a grand lunch with lots of choices and great information to know what I could eat and should avoid.
GLUTEN FREE DINNER (QUICK SERVICE): FAIRFAX FARE EATERY:
After such a big lunch, when it came to dinner time, it was a requirement to find something to eat but not dishes that were plentiful and too big! A good option, I had found on my blog review of disney, was Baked Potatoes which is solid, tasty and “healthy” as a dinner choice.
The full dish includes Sour Cream as well but I opted just for the cheese and bacon and added some mayonnaise on mine. It was the biggest potato that I’ve ever seen and the fact that they had a box to fit it in was amazing! It was huge and could have been eaten by a small family rather than just one person! Recognising that there is little you can do badly to a baked potato, this was a great quick-service meal which was filling as well as tasty. The cheese melted into the potato and the saltiness of the bacon pieces add crunch as well as flavour to each mouthful.
And to assure me of it being GLUTEN FREE, at the counter, the server had called over her manager who asked what I wanted and they could see if they could make it GLUTEN FREE. Of course, baked potatoes are naturally gluten free but it was prepared separately from other dishes and brought over on it’s own tray by the Manager. Again, even in the Quick-Service eatery, Disney staff take food allergies seriously.
So a great GLUTEN FREE Buffet lunch with superb information and knowledge-sharing which reassured me about the Gluten Free ingredients. And the characters add to the whole Disney experience at Disney’s’ Hollywood Studios!
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This information was correct as at publishing in January 2017.