Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant/Dining Help Thread

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Plasticletters, May 24, 2010.

  1. RNMom1969

    RNMom1969 Earning My Ears

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    Has anyone eaten at BOG recently? DH doesn't seem thrilled with ratatouille :( Also, I'm SO looking forward to Trails End, but again DH giving me trouble about "wasting" 3 hours at a meal, saying the kids won't sit that long. Does it really take that long? I need to experience chef TJ!!!!!
     
  2. Brttnys

    Brttnys Earning My Ears

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    Does Chef TJ make anything special for vegetarians? I was thinking about changing one of our dinners to Trail's End, but it would only be for a meal with him. I know he makes that amazing meal for vegans, but I din't know if he would do anything for ovo-lacto-vegetarians.
     
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  4. Hannahinwonderland

    Hannahinwonderland DIS Veteran

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    Hey! So my vegan friend is taking me on a trip to WDW in a few months. I really appreciate it and am doing the research on what the best vegan meals are! I have read about Chef TJ at Trail's End and will definitely be trying to do that with my friend. Can anyone suggest to me their other favorite TS dinners with vegan options, and QS lunches with vegan options???

    Also, it's a family trip and I think my friend's family has booked a meal at California Grill- what do the vegan options look like there?

    Thanks!

    ( I know there is a wealth of info in this thread- just looking for people's most recent recommendations as this is 96 pages long).
     
  5. eccobleu

    eccobleu Mouseketeer

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    We were in WDW in October. We ate at California Grill, and it was our most disappointing TS. I know a lot of people rave about it, but we thought the food wasn't good and the restaurant is very loud. They do have a vegan menu, though. It has about 10 small plate items on it, and you can pick 4 as your entree.

    Our favorite meal was at Monsieur Paul's. The food was amazing, and the experience is what I would expect from a signature restaurant. They also have a vegetarian/vegan menu; it had 2-3 items per course. I also had an off-menu chocolate raspberry dessert - it is one of the best vegan desserts I've ever had. My husband isn't vegan, but we both had the same opinions for both restaurants.

    During this trip, we also had good experiences at Rose & Crown, Crystal Palace (L), 'Ohana (B), CRT (D), and Satu'li Canteen.

    We tried Trail's End in May, but unfortunately Chef TJ was off that day. So if you decide to go there, you may want to call ahead to confirm he'll be there. It's just not the same experience...

    Hope that helps!
     
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  6. Sleepy425

    Sleepy425 DIS Veteran

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    I was just at the Festival of the Arts, and a couple booths had things that seemed like they should be vegetarian, but weren't marked as such. I questioned the CMs at Mosaic Canteen why the flatbread isn't vegetarian, and they all looked at each other and just said, "well I think it is." I thought they would be able to show me an ingredient list or something, but they just started to insist it is so I gave up.
    The only thing I ended up having was the wild mushroom risotto. If I wasn't trying to save room for the Galactic Dessert Party, I would have had two or three!
     
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  7. MisplacedUnderwear

    MisplacedUnderwear Earning My Ears

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    Good morning everyone! Just got back on Saturday night from a short trip to the World. This trip was for my Princess' birthday so all of our plans were built around having a rental car and spending most of a day visiting the manatees at Crystal River, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Disney property. That enabled visiting a vegan restaurant in Orlando that just became our new favorite! Without further ado, here's our rundown of places we visited:

    Morimoto Aisa (Disney Springs): Morimoto had been our favorite up through our last visit a couple of months ago. Previously, they've had a vegan pad thai and a vegan veggies & tofu dish that were both very good. This time, those dishes were no longer available. We had steamed veggies, a veggie sushi roll, and a miso soup. It's weird to find a veggie roll without avocado in it. Less weird to find that steamed veggies are flavorless and bland. I asked our waiter to check with the kitchen for off-menu possibilities (something we'd experienced in the past here), but the answer was a hard "no" this time. Everything was pretty aggressively mediocre and, in the words of my Princess, "Morimoto is cancelled!" meaning this will be our last visit to this restaurant for quite a while. We can no longer recommend Morimoto Asia as an option for vegans. With all the other options nearby, Morimoto simply needs to do better. This is a 180 from our previous reviews but sometimes that's how it goes. I hope they can find their mojo again just as quickly as they lost it. Time will tell.

    Taco Truck (Disney Springs): We were super excited to find out that the Taco Truck has a veggie taco that becomes vegan with the omission of the queso fresco. I'm even more excited to report that it's really good! It's good all on it's own, without having to douse it in salsa or anything! That's especially important as I think EVERY ONE of the hot sauces at the taco truck lists Honey on the ingredients. The tacos include lots of veggies and rice and beans in what tastes like a pretty fresh, high quality tortilla. You get two of them per order so it's easy to share if you just need a snack instead of a meal. The real highlight of this visit was that we were there in the evening and, just after we got our food, Evan Taylor Jones setup and started playing his guitar in that plaza area in front of the Characters in Flight balloon. That man is incredibly talented and selected some great, recognizable tunes to cover. He also does original music and you can hear one of his songs on the TV channel in disney hotels where that super upbeat lady show you all the fun things to do around disney world. We're definitely fans of this guy now and we highly recommend that you grab a taco, get a drink from somewhere nearby, and catch one of Evan Taylor Jones' performances if you get a chance! It's a very pleasant, romantic, and fairly inexpensive way to spend an evening on the waterfront!

    California Grill (Contemporary Resort): It's been upwards of 10 years since the last time I visited California Grill. This would be my Princess' first visit, and we were marking the occasion of her Birthday. I'm very happy to report that we loved it. One note of caution: one needs appropriate expectations when visiting California Grill. My position is that this restaurant is amazing at doing the things it's trying to do. It's trying to serve very good food and drinks in an atmosphere that is very nearly a dinner show. The large open kitchen with chefs and cooks calling orders to each other with nearly military precision, and the giant dining room which welcomes children and has high echo-ey ceilings, and the large windows encouraging one to view the myriad lights from the parking lot to the monorail to the Magic Kingdom...it's basically sensory overload. This place is fun for people watching and for foodies who want to nerd-out about a good kitchen doing good work in a neat place. It's not trying to be Victoria & Albert's. In fact, I'd argue that California Grill is as good as Victoria & Albert's, but in a way that is very nearly the opposite of V&A.

    Food: We started with a vegan sushi that is found on the Wine menu. This sushi comes with a creamy looking white sauce (somewhat terrifying to a vegan!) that is actually a silken tofu and truffle emulsion. I can't say enough good things about this sushi. It's basically an explosion of flavor. I felt like Remy in Ratatouille seeing the "colors" of the flavors. It's served with a bit of a salad-looking garnish that is a very fun take on the pickled ginger that you'd normally be served with your sushi. It felt like a chef showing off: "I know what flavors you're expecting, so here's a totally different way to get there!" The only down side of this sushi is that it's actually quite heavy. My princess and I split one order (one roll = 8 pieces) and that left us too full to even come close to finishing our dinners! As the sushi is $23 and the Vegan Unplugged is $36, I'd highly recommend the sushi as a meal if you're looking for a less expensive and less filling way to visit CA grill. As I'm sure most vegans are aware at this point, there's a vegan/vegetarian menu that has six vegan selections of which one dinner includes any four. Both my princess and I selected the Tofu "Steak", the Pho, and the Truffle Pasta. My Princess had the Fried Rice with Crispy Mushrooms (Edit: Ha! The forum censored the variety of Mushrooms! I swear it was the name of a mushroom and not a cuss word!) :P and I tried the Fig & Pear Flatbread. I found the Pho and the Rice underwhelming. I didn't think they were bad, just not amazing like the other choices. That said, my Princess loved the mushrooms in both dishes. I really enjoyed the light flavors of the tofu "steak" and, when paired with the beans and veggies included in the small plate, it came together as a very flavorful and light sort of salad-like-dish (not the lettuce kind of salad, though). I really enjoyed the flavors of the fig & pear flatbread. It's a bit sweet, as you might expect, and was an excellent counterpoint to many of the other plates. Our favorite dish was the truffle pasta. It's a macaroni pasta that looks unassuming, but the truffle flavor really shines. Dishes like this are why you pay a premium to eat at a restaurant like this. We were so stuffed that we ended up asking for our leftovers to be boxed so we could take them back to the hotel. The next day we had a laugh because the truffle pasta, having spent the night in our room's mini fridge, had turned into the most luxurious cold macaroni salad imaginable!

    Sunshine Seasons (The Land Pavillion, Epcot): Vegan Korma made with Gardein Vegan (fake) Chicken! It's tasty and served by sweet people with a smile!

    Spice Road Table (Morocco, Epcot): This place is totally underrated. I recently saw a youtube video outlining the best restaurants from which to view fireworks and I was disappointed that Spice Road Table didn't make the list. I think it's one of the best bets for vegans in all of Epcot. Our reservation was about an hour before Illuminations and our Host and a Manager were both super helpful in finding a table for us right up against the railing in the outdoor seating area so that we'd have an optimal fireworks view. There is an island partially obstructing the view, but the Globe used as the centerpiece of illuminations is big enough that it's visible over and around the island, and the vast majority of the fireworks are visible. Maybe this isn't the spot to watch from if you've never seen Illuminations before, but it's a great alternative for those who enjoy the show but don't want to spend hours finding and guarding a viewing location. The food was very good. We split a veggie sampler (we were assured by a chef this is entirely vegan currently though I've heard that the pita bread recipe changes sometimes so you should verify with a chef when you visit!) and we really enjoyed all of the elements of the plate. The couscous was light and flavorful, the dolmas were perfect and paired nicely with some raisins and other garnishes, and the hummus fries (fried chickpea bars) and pita and hummus were both tasty and fun. We followed up with some more hummus & pita served with olives. Again, the flavors of everything were on point. We especially liked that the tiny pickles with the olives were not sweet like gherkins, but instead were on the more sour and savory side. We were still enjoying our hummus with a couple of glasses of sangria when Illuminations started. Also worth mentioning that, while we didn't have bad waitstaff at any restaurant, our waiter here was especially wonderful. She was very personable, provided good recommendations for beverages, checked back with us several times (which is very important at a small-plate restaurant!) and got our bill tabulated and checked out promptly when we requested it. In many ways, we felt this was actually our favorite meal on Disney property of this trip.

    50's Prime Time Cafe (Disney Hollywood Studios): We needed a place to get out of the cold on Saturday for a few minutes and my Princess really wanted some fries. We didn't have reservations but we found seats in the lounge pretty quickly despite it being prime lunchtime. Honestly, the "get your elbows off the table" service in the restaurant doesn't sound fun to us, but the lounge was great. The bartenders helped us with a large plate of perfectly crispy fries from a dedicated fryer, and they served up some tasty glowing drinks, and all the staff we encountered were very pleasant. I'm only sorry that we didn't try more food to review, but the lounge atmosphere is great and we'd recommend it on that basis alone!

    Market on South (Downtown Orlando): I knew in advance that we'd have a rental car on this trip, which is very unusual for us, so I researched vegan restaurants that might be on the way to places we were going to be. Market on South is an entirely vegan restaurant that isn't very far out of the way between the airport (MCO) and Disney World property, and it's also not far out of the way given the highways we needed to travel to visit Crystal River, FL from Disney property. We probably made a mistake by visiting Market on South for our very first lunch upon arrival as we immediately fell in love with the place. We ended up visiting a total of three times in four days! Market on South comprises two businesses in one location -- Dixie Dharma mostly does southern barbecue and soul food, and sweets are displayed in a very tempting cold case filled by Valhalla Bakery. Our favorite meal was the Orange Bird, a fake meat (tempeh, I think?) in a Florida Orange Barbecue sauce topped with vegan cole slaw and served on a roll with your choice of side. For sides, our favorites were the Garlic Baked Macaroni & Cheese as well as the Cheesey Homies (potatoes topped with a delicious vegan cheese sauce). We also tried the tacos which were very good, and the "hillbilly" chili dogs which were tasty, but almost too "meaty" for me. I think they frequently change the style of the hotdogs, in terms of toppings and accompaniments, so maybe I'll give them another go the next time I'm there. For desserts, our overall assessment is that you can't go wrong. We visited so many times that we feel like we tried a lot of things. The "Death Bar" (fudge brownie topped with peanut butter and oreo cookie crumbles) was wonderful. My Princess described the peanut butter as feeling and tasting a bit like cookie dough in a very good way. The key lime bar and Nanaimo bars were both flavorful and light. The cupcakes that we tried were very nice -- they have a lot of frosting in that style that's become very popular in the last few years, but they have light flavors that blend well and don't overwhelm. I found the lightness of many of the desserts especially enjoyable after the heaviness of the barbeque oriented dishes I was devouring here. On the whole, I just can't say enough good things about this place. If you've got a way to get here like a rental car, then I think you should do it! It's not hard to find by GPS and, if I can't sell you on it with this review, then a few minutes looking at pictures of this place on a review site like Yelp should do it! Please go and enjoy amazing vegan food!

    I hope some of that helps some of y'all, and I hope everyone has a magical time on your vacations! :)
     
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  8. AllThingsMickey4

    AllThingsMickey4 Mouseketeer

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    Do you happen to remember any of the vegetarian options at Monsieur Paul? I read past guest reviews that said they were only offered a Vegetable plate. I'm not a full vegetarian, but the only meat I eat is chicken. Don't want to waste 2 credits on vegetables. Thanks!
     
  9. eccobleu

    eccobleu Mouseketeer

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    I remember there was a Vegetable plate and a Ratatouille for vegan options. There may have been more options for vegetarians but unfortunately I can't recall. There is chicken on the kid's menu, though. Not at this restaurant, but at the Brown Derby, my husband was craving a chicken breast and was able to order an adult portion off their kid's menu.
     
  10. AllThingsMickey4

    AllThingsMickey4 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the info! I think we are going to give MP a try. If worst comes to worse I can order the Beef.. I just try to limit the amount of red meat I eat as much as possible
     
  11. gardengirl628

    gardengirl628 Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump!

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    Thank you for the excellent reviews, MisplacedUnderwear!
     
  12. Brttnys

    Brttnys Earning My Ears

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    We are going in a couple of weeks and I wondered the same thing. Particularly some of the desserts (like the panda rice ball) would seem vegetarian. I understand that some things use gelatin, but I doubt the rice ball would.
     
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