Think dining at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is way out of your budget? Think again! The Grand Floridian Cafe offers all the charm and elegance of the Grand Floridian with moderately priced meals. This charming little cafe is a hidden gem at Disney’s flagship resort offering fantastic views of the beautiful gardens from the wall of windows.
The Grand Floridian Cafe located in the main building on the first floor. The open, airy dining room boasts shades of sea foam green and mauve with light-colored wood furnishings and soft watercolor artwork. You won’t see any characters here, and there isn’t a designation of signature dining, but you will get a fantastic meal at a great price point.
The Grand Floridian Cafe serves American classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and often has walk-up seating available just a monorail ride away from the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom. On our most recent trip last week, I was trying to introduce my best friend to different flavors of the Walt Disney World Resort, and we were able to get a last minute reservation for dinner. A choice we did not regret!
We were seated immediately and greeted with wonderfully warm sourdough rolls and butter topped with sea salt. We both love to make a meal out of bread and butter (and wine – it’s a food group) so needless to say, the bread didn’t stand a chance with us while we were waiting for our Shrimp Cocktail appetizer.
The Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, while not always an impressive appetizer, struck our fancy because of the accompanying Citrus-Avocado Salad. The jumbo shrimp were perfectly prepared and the citrus avocado salad with fresh greens had the perfect amount of tart to it. I wasn’t too crazy about the Red Rooster cocktail sauce, but I like a lot of horseradish in my cocktail sauce, and this one was very mild. The plantain chips were a bonus as this Florida native loves plantains in any form!
We were not starving, especially after devouring the basket of bread and the shrimp cocktail, so we thought we would order lightly. (Fat chance of that!) Tracey ordered the Artisan-Made Spinach Ricotta Ravioli, and I ordered the Shrimp and Grits, a true Southern classic. And of course, we shared our meals as besties often do.
Tracey’s ravioli were outstanding, and not too heavy as one would think ravioli would be. The ravioli was in a light herb-pesto yogurt sauce and topped with a warm tomato vinaigrette. With the added kale and Alba mushroom, the dish was delish, and the marriage of flavors was perfect.
My Shrimp and Grits were exceptional, and not what I expected as I was a little hesitant of the Mascarpone cheese in the grits. I am a connoisseur of Shrimp and Grits and order them whenever I see them on a menu, and these did not disappoint. The jumbo shrimp – cooked to perfection, and the sautéed fennel and Chorizo had just the right amount of flavor and spice but the grits…oh, those grits…they were amazing! Creamy and flavorful, the Mascarpone cheese, an Italian cream cheese, added a hint of lemon and a bit of sweetness to the grits that are swimming in a pool of creamy goodness. If you love Shrimp and Grits, this dish is a must-have.
After such an excellent meal, we decided to skip dessert, and although the offerings looked tempting, we couldn’t take another bite. We will be back to try some of the other dishes on the dinner menu, as well as breakfast and lunch too.
So, if you are looking for a nice dining venue outside of the parks, look no further than the Grand Floridian Cafe. You can use your Disney Dining Plan (1 credit), and they also accept Tables in Wonderland! Bon appetit!
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