30 November 2011

Veggie veggie fruit fruit - Tangierine Cafe

It’s been a bit longer than we had planned, but my wife, Aileen, has returned with a new vegetarian review. She promises to be better about reporting in the new year, but comes to us today with one of her favorite meals on property! Let’s see what she has for us to taste today!
Hello Main Street Gazette readers! I am back to talk about another tasty vegetarian item from Epcot’s World Showcase. Today we will sink our teeth into the unique vegetable platter from the Tangierine Café in the Morocco Pavilion. It is a sampler platter that is big on flavor but not on cost, coming in at $10.99 for the meal.

The platter itself consists of a number cold salads, hummus, falafel, Moroccan bread and marinated olives. For those not familiar with Moroccan and/or Mediterranean food, having a myriad of flavors and textures is typical for a meal and this platter is no exception. The variety provided on this plate makes it wholly satisfying and in all honesty, I didn’t even notice I was eating a meal without meat.So, let’s begin with a description of each part of this platter. First, you receive 2 falafels, which are deep fried balls of mashed chick peas along with a number of spices served on top of a green salad. Personally, I love falafels and if you have never tried them before, I think this is fairly good example of what they should taste like. There is a good amount of crunch from the frying and a moist center with just the right amount of spice. The best comparison to another food item would be that falafels are the Mediterranean version of hush puppies.

Next, let’s move on to the couscous salad. Couscous is another item that many of you may have never tried, but I think you should take the opportunity to give it a whirl. It is basically a cross between rice and pasta and absorbs whatever spices and flavors you add to it. This specific salad has spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, parsley, red and green peppers, red onion, zucchini, raisins and chick peas mixed into it. I know that seems like a lot of ingredients but it has a light and fresh flavor that does not disappoint.

3rd on our list is the lentil salad. Lentils are also a staple of Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine and this salad is a different way to enjoy this type of bean. It is mixed with red and green peppers and mayonnaise. The salad itself has a great texture and is extremely filling, which makes it a great addition to this platter.

Tabouleh is next on our tour. This may also be a traditional item you have never tried. Tabouleh is made up of tons of parsley, onion, mint, tomato and bulgur (a dried cracked wheat) and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. I personally enjoy tabouleh and think it is a great addition to this dish but if you are not a fan of parsley, you may want to skip this particular item as it plays a very large role in the flavor and texture of the salad.

The last items on the plate are hummus, marinated olives and Moroccan bread. In my opinion, the best of these is the marinated olives. There is a mixture of black and green olives along with spices, oil and vinegar. I think the salty, briny flavor of the olives is a great accompaniment to the rest of the items on this plate. As for the hummus, the only word I have to describe it is average. It is traditional hummus with a hint of lemon and while there is slight flavor to it, it definitely left me feeling as if it was missing something it its execution. In comparison to the other items, which are bursting at the seams with flavor, the hummus left me wanting so much more. Finally, we come to the bread. This is the only item on the plate that I could have done without. While I love bread and I feel it is integral to this type of sampler platter, the Moroccan bread was slightly dry and definitely less flavorful than I would have liked. My suggestion is to use the bread to eat the hummus or the other salads, but definitely do not eat it on its own.

So, the final verdict? This is by far one of my favorite quick service meals on Walt Disney World property (with or without meat). In fact, I love it so much make sure I have it at least once during a trip. It is a great menu option if you are looking for something with a wide variety of flavors and textures and I think it is an amazing way to experience the food of Morocco and the Mediterranean without breaking the bank. Please give it a try the next time you are looking for a new and interesting quick service option in World Showcase.

1 comment:

Idahobungaloo said...

Another restaurant we plan on trying for their vegan/vegetarian fares. Tell your wife thanks for the reviews for the non-meat eaters! :)