13 November 2013

Low Country Carolina Cookin'

Let’s get down to what you really want to hear about from Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, the food.

Being a standalone Disney destination, you would expect a variety of dining options, and you would be right, in a manner of speaking. The resort itself has a quick service window, Tide Me Over, which runs daily for breakfast and lunch, typically from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Meanwhile, over at the Beach House, the quick service restaurant Signals operates through the peak of day for lunch. Hilton Head Island, the actual island not Disney’s resort, has a ton of dining options for all budgets and when coupled with the fact that there are only a little more than 100 rooms at the resort, you can start to see why Disney opted to not have a full service, sit down restaurant added to the complex.

Tide Me Over offers traditional Disney breakfast items, such as Mickey Waffles, yogurt parfaits, has browns, and even Bounty Platters. While given the localized name of Hilton Head Biscuit Sandwich, what you’re really looking at is the basic, but tasty, biscuit with sausage or bacon, cheese, and egg. Just as Disney has been doing with all of their properties, however, there is a menu item here that offers up something I’ve not seen elsewhere, the Salted Caramel Banana Bread French Toast. I got a hint of caramel, but not enough to perhaps include it in the name of the dish, but it is most certainly a thick slice of banana bread that has been battered and fried up on the griddle! This French toast will stick with you, especially on the blustery days when there is a stiff breeze coming off of the intercoastal marsh.

Late in the morning, Tide Me Over switches over to a lunch menu. Yes, chicken fingers can be found here, along with some basic sandwiches, but they also offer up their version of some local favorites. You can grab a pulled pork barbeque sandwich, a burger topped with fried green tomato, or even a fish sandwich that has been grilled. The two latter offerings, the Hilton Head Burger and Grilled Fish Sandwich are unique enough that you should definitely consider stopping by Tide Me Over at least once during your stay for lunch.

Next, let’s head on over to Signals and grab some grub while we dine with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Again the assorted chicken fingers and cheeseburgers are available to quell your appetite after a long morning of swimming in the ocean or sunning yourself on the Beach House’s pool deck. There are some unique sandwich offerings here as well, the Grilled Fish Sandwich has made its way across the island to join the Captain Steak and Cheese Melt, and Vegetable Burger. You can also pick up an ale or amber from a local brewery here if you were so inclined. Oh, and for those of you that are missing your vacation staple, the Dole Whip, they also serve up Pineapple Soft Serve at Signals!

Remember how I told you that Disney’s Hilton Head Island doesn’t have a sit down dining option? While that is entirely true, at special times during the year they offer up some unique dining events. In the high summer season it is a pirate party, but in the spring and autumn the once a week event is the Edmund’s  Family Low Country Boil. Served up between the campfire and the recreation area, the buffet includes just about everything you would want in a boil! The corn-on-the-cob, shrimp, sausage, and red potatoes have all been cooked up together, and are served alongside pork tenderloin, green beans, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, gumbo, sweet cornbread, hushpuppies, salad, and individual pieces of corn on the cob. For dessert there are lemon squares, brownies, and turtle bars.

While everything at the Edmund's Family Low Country Boil is served up buffet style, they staff at Disney’s Hilton Head Island go above and beyond with guests’ dietary concerns. I can’t do shellfish, or seafood of any kind for that matter, and they brought me my own serving of corn, potatoes, and sausage prepared in the same way, but just without the shrimp. When paired with all of the great side dishes, it was actually far too much for me to even conquer. Oh, and did I mention the entire evening is presided over by B’Lou Crabbe playing some of the best plantation standards from the days gone by?

Disney’s Hilton Head Island has a ton of great dining options for the guest on the go, and even the occasional opportunity to just sit down and relax with some good, old-fashioned home cooking! While not every item on the menu is a unique treasure, there are plenty of those to be found tucked away on the menus. Also, if you’re in a hurry in the mornings, take advantage of the fact that you can call down to Tide Me Over and place a take-out order, so it is ready to go when you are. It doesn’t matter if your view overlooks the seashore, the fishing pier, or is on the go to some other point on the island, Disney’s Hilton Head does its earnest best to give you something that will enhance your trip’s memories!

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