Next up is the Coral Reef restaurant, in Epcot. It’s a restaurant beside a massive aquarium and has a beautiful view because of that!
Disney has gone to the EnerG brand of gluten free rolls, which is unfortunate as there are so many better brands out there available! These are edible and even good tasting with butter when they’re warmed perfectly, but if they’re warmed wrong or if they get cool, forget it–they are hard as rocks and literally inedible! Fortunately, they were served just right here! I got to eat 1 and a half before they were too cold and therefore too hard. The black salt on the butter was odd and made things a little messy (it streaked the butter & the plates), but it was yummy!
It was, however, a far cry from how yummy the last visit was–they toasted Udi’s bread in a frying pan with butter and it inspired me to this day to make my toast like that at home! (Chef Larry was cautious and brought me the binder of allergens, as he seemed less familiar than most chefs with the ingredients–but better safe than sorry is okay by me!)
The only safe appetizer unfortunately was grilled octopus. Not my first choice and after it looked like it had pieces of ham (I did inform them of the pork allergy, but the chef was a bit unsteady in his choices), I did not eat any of it.
There are many seafood dishes served here, but I’m not too keen on seafood and there was no gluten free lobster option, so I chose the steak with mashed potatoes and broccolini. The steak was cooked well, as I asked and the mashed potatoes were delicious! The broccolini is not something I cared for. (I could also have had salmon.)
I had Chef Rob for dessert, as Chef Larry had left. I remember him from a few visits ago, he is awesome! One thing I noticed throughout Disney is that so many of the chefs are used to those who are gluten free also being dairy free that many would forget to offer me ice cream or regular butter! I asked for ice cream and they had Haagen Daas vanilla (made on shared equipment, but I took a chance and seemed okay) with Enjoy Life soft Chocolate Chip Brownie cookies! YUM! If I were not soy free, they had a gluten free chocolate torte that is popular there.
The first place I’d like to review from our Disney World trip is Coral Reef. This restaurant is inside Epcot, set beside an aquarium with a view of sharks, turtles, and fish and serves primarily seafood. As is typical at Disney restaurants, the chef came to speak with me when notified there was an allergy at the table. I told him I needed gluten free, pork free (an allergy), and peanut free (not a diagnosed allergy, but I don’t respond well to them). Here is a view of the aquarium the tables are next to:
Upon reviewing the dinner menu and consulting with the chef, I decided on the Orange Ginger-glazed Scottish Salmon. It’s usually served with a vegetable Stir-fry but because that has soy sauce that was not gluten free, it would be plain vegetables, so I changed the side to something more exciting: Chive&Cheddar mashed potatoes (forgot the picture, my apologies, I was still so excited by the toast I’ll tell you about in a minute!) The chef also said he would send out gluten free bread. I presumed it would be the dinner rolls, but did not know if it would be the older Udi’s or the newer ones–much to my suprise and pleasure, it was neither! It was Udi’s gluten free bread, toasted in a safe pan with butter and it had the most amazing texture and flavor! It appears at first glance to have a burnt spot, but those were just carmelized butter, it tasted great! See the picture?
The server was so kind and knowledgeable, when he brought my toast and separate butter dish, he told the others at my table in a nice but stern way “Now don’t touch her bread or butter!” In this case, my husband and nephew knew better, but this could be so helpful as a reminder if we were dining with others who were unfamiliar with strict gluten needs!
The salmon had very good flavor and was cooked perfectly and a nice sized portion. The mashed potatoes were two large scoops and had flavor that was out of this world good! I highly recommend these choices for gluten free and hope they stick to the pan-cooked toast as well!
(As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review unfortunately! I would love to be compensated to check out all the lovely Disney gluten free restaurants! But, these are just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s also not medical advice.)