The Plaza Restaurant: Home-style cooking on Main Streetby Roan Poulter, contributing writer
I thought I had scoured the Magic Kingdom for affordable dining options. Those who frequent my reviews will note that I have struggled (exception: Skipper’s Canteen) to find my favorite niche. I like sit down restaurants with a wait staff, not a buffet or character dining, with pricing that is 10 percent - 25 percent more than counter-service restaurants in the area. I really love an Annual Passholder discount. I had nearly given up stumbling upon one, but as luck would have it I was missing an absolute gem.
The Plaza Restaurant was set just far enough behind the Starbucks and its twitching line of caffeine junkies that I had missed it. Amazing, considering the Plaza in Disneyland is my pick for "World’s Greatest Fried Chicken."
We approached the host kiosk to inquire about a table. Considering it was a weekend, I thought they would laugh, but our streak of luck with no planning whatsoever held and we only waited 10 minutes for a table.
Inside was smaller than I would have thought. It would have been nice to sit in the solarium with a slightly better view, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The menu focuses on comfort food, and glad I was for that. Southern staples like Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches, Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese, and the Plaza Club ground the cuisine into a Main Street fare that Walt himself might have enjoyed. What was conspicuously missing was the fried chicken. I cannot say whether I was relieved or disappointed not being able to compare the two Plaza fried chickens. The epic showdown is just one menu change away, for my taste buds recall closely the legendary deliciousness of the Plaza chicken. Moving on.
However, my favorite part of our meal was the surprise discount for being valued Annual Passholders. Honestly, I thought I had looked over my passholder guide thoroughly, but I missed one.
What we had:
Home-Style Meatloaf : Hearty slices of meatloaf served with red skinned garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and seasonal vegetables. A hearty delight, the beef seasoned to perfection and covered in gravy. The potatoes were excellent, smacking of homemade. As we were splitting the meal, they brought the half portions on separate plates, each of which felt sufficient for one.
Cheese Steak Sandwich: Shaved beef grilled with onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and white american cheese served on a hoagie roll with choice of seasonal vegetables, homemade chips, or french fries. Flavorful steak with the correct density of French bread roll to correspondingly hold up against the beef juices and plausible chewability.
Signature Chocolate Cake: Four-layer chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache. A succulent dessert so rich my heart nearly stopped. This is truly a chocolate- lovers delight, the heavy cake and frosting somehow outdone by an impossibly dense ganache. Best split among many, lest my teeth begin to ache a little.
Our ratings are as follows:
- Dad (42): 4.7 of 5–Best value in the Magic Kingdom. Comfort food at its finest. But it was odd that they don’t have a bathroom, you must walk out into the park.
- Mom (42): 4.5 of 5 – –Delicious if a bit on the heavy side. Next time will try something lighter.
- Daughter (19): Not present.
- Son (17): 4.7 of 5–Since my sister wasn’t there, didn’t have to split. Sounds like a winner to me, the Philly was just icing on top; and, of course, the icing on top of the chocolate cake that I ate most of.
Reviewer’s Request: If you have a restaurant you’ve always wanted reviewed, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise I’m wandering the parks, forced to stumble upon some worthy establishment by dumb luck. Please realize that I won’t be able to eat at Victoria and Albert’s every week, I live on a budget, too, ya know.