You might be asking yourself, what in the world is “off menu dining?” And you are not wrong to do so, reason being…I made it up!
With so many dining options in Walt Disney World one would assume that there was more than enough to keep a person happy, gastronomically speaking. Myself, personally, will never likely be satisfied. Not in a bad way mind you, but I will always be looking for something new, something different. That’s how off menu dining came to be.
It began during a trip to Walt Disney World in 1998 or so. My cousin, James, and I were looking for a bite to eat, but with SpectroMagic about to begin, we didn’t want to sit down and miss the parade, so we figured we would grab a quick bite. Figuring it would be easier to not have a plate to hold I ordered a large order of fries, as back in those days a side of fries came in a large cup, similar to one which popcorn comes in at your local movie theater. Cup o’ fries in hand, I proceeded across the restaurant to get some condiments. As I was just about to add a squirt of ketchup to my fries I was overcome with the delicious aromas of sautéed mushrooms and onions from the fixin’s bar… this is when it struck me.
A cup o’ fries sounded nice, but I was really hungry. “What if I was to add some of them fixin’s to my fries,” I thought. I mentioned this to my cousin, who was about 18 at the time and prone to eating anything that wasn’t nailed down, and he thought that it was a great idea. Never one to do anything half way, I told him that if we are going to do this, let’s do it right and add all of the condiments to our fries.
That’s just what we did, and thus Widowmaker Fries were born!
I chose to name them this for two reasons. One, as many people may know, Widowmaker is the name of Pecos Bill’s horse. Secondly, the name just fit. Since that fateful trip twelve years ago, each and every trip to Walt Disney World has been blessed with the presence of Widowmaker Fries.
While they might not be for everyone, it is important to note that they are a Walt Disney World tradition in our family. You are more than welcome to partake of the Widowmaker Fries and even add them to your own list of traditions, but first and foremost the important thing here is to have traditions.
I have included my official-unofficial recipe below, so that those brave souls who wish to give them a try may do so. But, please, do not call them Widowmakers if you do not follow the recipe to the letter... that would just be wrong!
First thing you will need is the fries. Since Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn Café no longer offers their fries in a cup, you will need to get them on a plate. If you plan to use the fries which accompany your burger, ask for an additional plate… you’re gonna need it.
Once your fries are on a plate of their very own, you should proceed to the Fixin’s Bar. While I will not list ingredients here, the important thing to know about Widowmaker Fries is this, in order for them to qualify you must add each and every item offered on the fixin’s bar. On the particular day these fries were photographed, they happened to have a fine offering of fixin’s available. These Widowmakers include: shredded lettuce, tomato, salsa, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed onions, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, olives, peppers, pickles and nacho cheese sauce.