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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Thinking Outside the Berm

22 April 2012

First time visitors to the Magic Kingdom quickly learn what park veterans know so well, the park's quick service restaurants' food selection is nothing special. True there are some unique menus at the Magic Kingdom that stand out among others like the seafood menu at Columbia Harbour House and the 'Italian' fast food at Pinocchio's, but in general, Magic Kingdom dining is known for theme park burgers and fries.

As frequent visitors to the Magic Kingdom, my friends and I discovered we don't have to settle for the park's mediocre fast food at Disney prices, nor should any guest for that matter. Set sail across the Seven Seas Lagoon or hop onboard the trusty monorail and dine at one of the Magic Kingdom area Deluxe Resorts! On the monorail line, you could get some hip and modern eats at the Contempo Cafe, where flatbreads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes are sure to please. Travel to the turn of the century no matter what time it is and dine at the Gasparilla Grill, Grand Floridian Resort's 24-hour quick service restaurant. Another option is the Roaring Fork, though to get there, guests must journey by boat into the deep forests where the Wilderness Lodge is nestled among the great woods. Finally, our last option is climbing onboard by monorail or boat to the serene, lagoon side settings of the Polynesian Resort.

One day, I was in Adventureland hanging out with my friend Amanda and a fellow cast member, and new friend, Kevin. Though we were in Tortuga Tavern trading Sorcerer Cards, we got hungry and just weren't feeling up for fast food tacos. We decided to continue our Adventureland experience by trying out lunch at the other adventurous land in the area, the Polynesian. Once there, we discovered that Captain Cook offers unique and delicious tropical treats.

Pork Nachos

Roasting pigs is quite popular in the Pacific Islands, so naturally, a pork themed entre was needed for Captain Cook's. This was done with the Polynesian Pork Nachos. Kevin found it to be a 'savory delight!' It was basically a deconstructed pulled-pork sandwich over a bed of nachos. Chunks of pulled pork with tomato, red onions, and two types of cheeses lay randomly over a bed of freshly crisped Polynesian chips. A spicy mayonnaise was drizzled over for an extra kick. Kevin's only request was for more red onions!

Grown-up Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese sandwich lives up to its title! An American classic from nearly everyone's childhood was made grown-up by substituting white bread for multigrain sunflower bread and shrink wrapped American cheese for 3 types of very classy cheeses: Swiss, Cheddar, and Boursin. There was also a tomato on each side and the sandwich came with Polynesian chips, though you can also choose Asian Slaw, Steamed Vegetables, or French Fries. For Foodies with a taste for comfort, the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese is the perfect choice.

Hawaiian Flatbread

With pineapple, diced ham, and mozzarella and parmesan cheese, this flatbread was essentially a large slice of Hawaiian Pizza, which happens to be my favorite kind! It's hard to go wrong with your favorite, but I am very much a soft and fluffy pizza crust person, so I was a bit irked by the crunchy flatbread. Still, that's what I should expect for ordering something called flatbread. This entr'e was a very good portion size, loaded with the promised toppings. Pinocchio may offer that fluffy crust pizza, but Captain Cook serves an overall better bread.

Dessert: Mango Passion Cupcake

The flavors of the cupcake were so enticing; it was hard not to pass up despite how full we were! The cupcake was a vanilla cupcake with a passion fruit cream filling topped with a light buttercream and a blend of mango and kiwi. The natural colors really helped make the cupcake visually pop and the flavors made us feel like we were in a South Seas bakery. Amanda described it best: 'someone made a tropical drink and turned it into a cupcake!' We all agreed that it was delectably sinful.

Our one disappointment with dining at Captain Cook's was that we were too full for self-serve Dole Whips! The quick-service restaurant has always been a favorite for its famous Tonga Toast breakfasts, though I was surprised and pleased to see Captain Cook also serves an equally delicious and unique lunch and dinner. With such proximity to the Magic Kingdom, this restaurant and others in the neighboring resort are an excellent choice if you want to escape the monotony of theme park food. For first time and short time visitors, precious park time may need to be sacrificed to travel here, but for park regulars, this is definitely a good way of making your day at the Magic Kingdom more interesting.


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