20 November 2013

Turn-of-the-Century Boat Shop

When we start thinking about table service restaurants the main thrust of our interest goes straight to the parks, followed closely thereafter by the incredible restaurants at the deluxe resorts all around property. The moderates also have their own sit down dining options that often get overlooked, but is that with good reason? Today we’ll examine a meal at Boatwright’s Dining Hall found in Port Orleans – Riverside.

While we wait for the main course to show up, let’s chow down on some cornbread and talk about the atmosphere of Boatwright’s. The cornbread is of the sweet variety, almost more cake-like than what I would call a bread, which is fine by me. The sweeter the better with my cornbread, provided that it’s hot and I can melt some butter on it, which the Boatwright’s variety is.

As for the atmosphere, Boatwright’s has several dining halls off of the main internal walkway of the Sassagoula Steamboat Co. lobby. For the most part, guests are buffered from the hustle and bustle of the walkway, and quite a few quiet corners exist in the dining areas. That said, one dining room is right off of the River Roost Lounge, which means that on nights when Yehaa Bob is performing quiet family conversations are going to be a bit difficult to have. Of course, when you have the giant hull of a ship hanging over your head, what more is there really to talk about?

Oh, look our main meal has arrived! The Voodoo Chicken that comes atop red beans, rice, and collard greens. The chicken is tender, with a few crispy corners that I always love on my grilled meats, and has a heat that is slow-building but definitely bites you on the backside of your taste buds. The collard greens are not overcooked and mushy, and they are especially top-notch if you can get a little red wine vinegar to sprinkle on them. The red beans and rice are prepared separately, the traditional way to prepare them, but hard to find in restaurants these days. The rice is buttery and the beans have a terrific flavor. All in all, the Voodoo Chicken is a complete entrée that I would happily order again.

Boatwright’s Dining Hall may not be the first, second, or third place you think of making a reservation for when you’re planning your next trip to Walt Disney World, but that doesn’t mean it should totally slip your mind. After that long day in the parks, when all you want to do is sit down, relax, and have a good meal come to you, remember Boatwright’s, particularly if you are a guest staying in the Port Orleans complex. It’s well worth the walk down the Sassagoula River.

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