23 June 2010

Open-air eatery

I am not one to frequent Walt Disney World during peak times of the year, those periods that include Christmas, New Years, Spring Break, and Fourth of July. While crowds and wait times are at their pinnacle, ADRs for the marquee restaurants are impossible to book, and room rates are higher, there are a couple of perks to playing during peak times. For instance, restaurants like El Pirata Y El Perico and Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station are serving up their seasonal status fare.Since I was touring and dining solo during my spring research trip, I was lucky enough to round up a couple of other Walt Disney World enthusiasts to eat with me (and who allowed me to take pictures of their food…). After our tour of Tom Sawyer Island, Zanna DiMarzio and I continued our day with lunch at El Pirata Y El Perico. Meanwhile, in Tomorrowland, Scott Otis and I found a couple of dinner take-out boxes with our names on them at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station.At El Pirata Y El Perico, the menu consists of typical quick Mexican dishes two types of tacos and burritos, with a taco salad thrown in for good measure. Zanna went with the taco salad, while I opted for a chicken burrito. Since all items come with the Topping Bar option, I have always found the value of the shell and meat portion of the taco salad, the most expensive item on the menu, somewhat wanting. However, Zanna seemed to enjoy her’s just fine. As for my burrito, the cilantro rice is what sets this item apart from other dishes, adding just the right amount of zest to the well seasoned beans and chicken.The Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station offers a different sort of quagmire. As the name implies, it does offer noodles and other Asian-influenced dishes, but only at dinner time. The lunch menu provides standard quick service offerings, such as burgers, wraps, and chicken items. At dinner time, the bill of fare switches over to two types of noodle bowls, chicken, beef, or tofu with steamed rice, as well as a Caesar salad with chicken, chicken breast nuggets, and vegetable egg rolls. Scott sided with the Orange Chicken with steamed rice and I mixed it up with the Beef and Broccoli with steamed rice. Oh, and we both decided an egg roll was a must. While not the most inspired of dishes, they were both on par with other take-out venues I have sampled at home, and a welcome break from the regular offerings of the quick service circuit.While guests may not be writing home about their meals at either El Pirata Y El Perico or Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, consider the other quick service options available throughout the Magic Kingdom. If you happen to be at Walt Disney World during those crowd crazy times, I highly recommending giving you taste buds a break and sitting down in one of these veranda-wrapped dining establishments.


Anonymous said...

Great post! I have always wanted to try the Asian fare at Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, but it is never open when I'm there (seriously, not once). But we do always make it a point to stop by El Pirata, because it's so nice to have a break from nuggets and burgers. I'm even willing to overlook the fact that El Pirata's tacos are made using the same Ortega mix you can buy in supermarkets.

Melissa said...

Also one of my favorite things about going during peak times! I love the Noodle Station, and it's so rare to actually get to eat there.