If the quick service establishments at Walt Disney World have been working to undo their lengthy reputation as chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers only, then the food courts at various resorts have had even further to travel to get back in the good graces of Disney foodies. While the perception of quick service eateries has been shifting over the past several years, food courts have remained the bottom of the barrel in terms of being a must eat. There has been an incredible effort to revitalize the food courts, which can be seen in this single plate from Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors.
The tandoori station of Landscape of Flavors offers up four options four main meal components, Boneless Chicken Thighs, Shell-On Shrimp, Portuguese Sausages, and Acorn Squash. Basmati rice accompanies the entree, although multigrain rice is available upon request, along with naan bread and two sides. Side dishes include Roasted Cauliflower with Tomatoes, Spinach and Paneer Cheese, Pickled Vegetables, Slow-Cooked Lentils, and Acorn Squash.
Did you catch that? Yep, Acorn Squash is the main dish for a vegetarian option, but it also happens to be a side for the other three tandoori options. I’ll grant you that the portion sizes are not the same, but with these options, you are able to sample two main courses for the price of one! This is precisely what I did when I ordered the chicken thighs, along with the acorn squash and pickled vegetables.
The chicken thighs had a wonderful smoke-filled flavor and just enough of charred bits to make my mouth happy. Although, I would have prefer for a few more pieces given the chance. The acorn squash was firm, yet tender, and had a real subtle flavor to the flesh that was pleasant, but not overwhelming. The pickled vegetables where not limp, obviously having been only recently pickled, and included carrots, onions, squash and zucchini. The vegetables were astringent and play well off of the strong flavors of the chicken. The rice and naan were good, the best I’ve seen in a quick service setting, but were utilized more as vehicles to get the other items on my plate into my mouth.
Long story short, there are a lot of great things happening at Landscape of Flavors, and there is no corner turning out better meals in the food court than the tandoori station. This is not the food courts we grew up with, this is now something special. Quick food that you actually want to eat! Oh, and did I mention it comes on real plates with real silverware? There is a food revolution going on at Art of Animation!