30 May 2017

Shred That Wave

With Memorial Day comes the unofficial start of summer, and while there is always at least a single water park open at Walt Disney World throughout the year, the summer is really their time to shine. With that in mind, each week during June, July, and August we are going to be highlighting the water parks, past and present, with at least a single article a week. This week, we left it up to our followers on Twitter to decide just what dish from Leaning Palms they’d like us to review. The results were overwhelming, and so today we’re digging into the Island Burger.

Leaning Palms, or Placid Palms as it was known before the storm that created Typhoon Lagoon, has a menu that features a great blend of theme park and summer favorites, as well as tip-toeing into the culinary deep end for a quick service. When it comes to burgers, however, there is nothing that rises to the top of the park’s menu like the big kahuna, aka the Island Burger.

The menu lists the Island Burger with toppings that include Monterey Jack, barbecued pork, and a pineapple ring. For sides it states that it comes with coleslaw and French fries, but I’m thinking my coleslaw must have been washed out to sea, because it never arrived on my tray or in my burger boat.

I’m going to preface my next statement by acknowledging that I know Walt Disney World pretty much uses the same hamburger patties for all of its burgers. That said, the cooks at Leaning Palms must have learned a trick or two when it comes to grilling or seasoning, because for the first time in a long time I actually noticed the flavor of the burger and not just its accompaniments. Is it a hamburger patty I would have whipped up at home, no, but it was a tasty burger.

The Monterey Jack does a nice job of keeping the burger in place and providing some flavor beyond your typical cheddar. Similarly, the pineapple adds just enough tropical sweetness to the sandwich to give it something different. As for the barbecued pork, if you were expecting something other than the shredded, sticky mess of meat that you can get from a tub in a grocery store, then you’re expectations are a bit high for a quick service theme park burger. I’m not saying that it’s bad, but the quality of the ingredient shows here. The pork is sweet and tangy, but also makes the sandwich incredibly messy and causes the different layers to shift quite a lot.

The Island Burger is by far not the worst burger I’ve had on property, and it actually does a nice job creating that island burger vibe, but it doesn’t get me excited for my lunch the way some of the other offerings at Leaning Palms might. However, if you don’t set lofty expectations around your meal, and you’re just looking for something appetizing to tide you over between waves and water slides, then the Island Burger has got you covered.

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