07 June 2017

Entertain Special Guests

For the first year of its operation, Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a pretty great stopover for a bite to eat and a tasty beverage. It was located off the beaten path in the Discovery Island area of the park, right next to a set of construction walls that would one day lead to Pandora. By now, this oasis in the forest has been discovered by weary travelers venturing to and returning from Pandora, and it is likely being overrun by the restless natives. Just because it may be more difficult to grab a seat on the porch or a table on the inside doesn’t mean you should give up on visiting the watering hole. In fact, let me offer up a pair of treats to entice you to seek out Nomad Lounge.

We’ll start with Dalang’s Delight, named for an Indonesian master puppeteer, to quench your thirst. This deep red cocktail is prepared with Starr Africn Rum, Batavia-Arrack Van Oosten, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Mountain Berry Tea, Simple Syrup, and Lemon Juice. Now, there’s a lot of citrus flavor’s that are listed in that description, which would make you believe that the Dalang’s Delight would feature a prominently tart pattern. In fact, that is not necessarily the case. The mountain berry tea actually defines this cocktail with flavors reminiscent of hibiscus and pomegranate, with just enough sweetness from the simple syrup to take the edge off. Meanwhile, those citrus profiles come in as almost an aftereffect to leave each sip with something tangy.

After some main courses, and know that the main courses at Nomad Lounge are well worth a couple of articles on their own, the dessert menu features only one option. Listed simply as Churros, with accompaniments of vanilla crema and chili-strawberry, this could easily be passed over. I’m here today to tell you not to make that mistake.

The churros themselves are not the foot-long fried pastries that you know and love throughout the parks. This variety, which come five to an order, are finger length pastries that retain the familiar gear-like shape. The vanilla crema is rich, sweet and wonderful and the chili-strawberry is a bit messier, and even sweeter, with a nice spiciness to it, but that is not the main attraction here. That is the churros themselves. While the shape looks familiar and the coating of cinnamon and sugar seems like the churros we’ve all had many, many times, this is a different dessert. There is nothing greasy about these confections, and the idea that they’ve sat and hardened up after being fried, unlike their park thoroughfare brethren, is laughable. The churros at Nomad Lounge are soft and pliable to the touch and their insides are pillowy perfect pastries. It may seem like I am going a bit far to be talking about churros, but trust me when I say that they are truly the best churros I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

Whether looking at Nomad Lounge as a respite after visiting Pandora, a hideaway that has been uncovered by the masses, or a discourse on the nature of travel, there are a multitude of reasons to visit this public house in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what they have to offer, but if you have to start with a Dalang’s Delight or an order of churros, you won’t be disappointed.

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