Animal Kingdom Kiosk diningby Roan Poulter, contributing writer
Sometimes the best meal is one you have to work for. Well, in this review, I had to work for my supper. No longer content to simply sit in a chair and order my meal, we decided it would be fun to make a meal from the newly sprung quick service kiosks around Disney's Animal Kingdom.
There are some who might credit food trucks with this boon, though I suspect it has something to do with the overwhelming popularity of the Epcot Food and Wine festival as well. Regardless of the reasoning, there have been great strides in the past few years in creating high quality one hit wonder kiosks and I couldn't be happier about it.
Now that isn't to say that it doesn't come with its fair share of downsides. Seating and utensils being first and foremost. There are few things more annoying than trying to cut through a steak served on a piece of cardboard balanced precariously on a garbage can with a plastic knife. Nobody really wins in that scenario and while Disney has been quick to add menu items, seating and tables seem to have been too often forgotten.
This review will focus on three Kiosks, Caravan Road, Mr. Kamal's and the Eight Spoon Café. Each Kiosk focuses on one entrée, with a couple of side dishes or alternatives. This configuration does have a downside if you're wanting to make a meal out of multiple locations. Unless you send runners to wait in lines simultaneously, you might find yourself waiting in line for quite a while.
What we had:
Eight spoon Café - Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork – A masterpiece of savory goodness. The Mac and Cheese has the correct oven baked texture and authentic cheese flavor, no Velveeta here. The pork is good if not overly flavorful, but balances out the starch nicely.
Eight Spoon Café - Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Shrimp and Sweet Chili sauce – I wanted to like this. The Mac and Cheese are the same bit of delicious as the Pulled Pork version, but the shrimp lack the savory punch of the pork. The Sweet Chili sauce is excellent and in fact I wished they would have added that sauce to the pork, that would be in my opinion that best possible mating of all ingredients.
Caravan Road - Teriyaki Beef Slider with Pickled Cucumber – A highly flavorful bit of decadence. Ample teriyaki beef, falling apart and set off with the acidic cucumber. The only problem with this slider is that there's not enough, my gluttony wanted at least a second.
Mr. Kamal's Seasoned Fries – First things first, make sure you've washed your hands recently before you get these fries. You're not going to want to try and eat them with a fork, that's cowardly, instead get in there on every bite, soaking in the tzatziki salad and sriracha ketchup until your taste buds threaten to explode. Not as hot as one might fear, the organic healthiness of the cucumber in the tzatziki sauce really helps ground and balance what might otherwise become a standard fried food dish.
Our ratings are as follows:
Dad (42): 4.2 of 5 Each dish was well prepared. Not totally sold on waiting in multiple lines or fighting for tables.
Mom (42): 4.1 of 5 – The fries were wonderful. Why can't there be more tables?
Daughter (19): 4.0 of 5 – Not much here for the gluten avoiding crowd. Did enjoy the fries though.
Son (17): 4.3 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.