After months of waiting, talking, and drooling while reading over the Downtown Disney T-Rex Cafe menu, we finally made it to our first dinner there.
We’ve been to Rainforest Cafe on several occasions, and while it’s a lot of fun, the food is mediocre at best, and the price can only be justified by the ambiance (is it really ambiance when it’s a lot of screeching, roaring, and rumbles?) and the huge portions. Since T-Rex Cafe is owned and run by the same people that own and run Rainforest Cafe, we were a bit nervous. Luckily, we’d heard a few reports that the food at T-Rex is as scrumptious as it is plentiful.
Before you even enter the restaurant proper, you’re greeted by this cheerful staff member. It’s a little hard to understand what he’s saying, but I didn’t dare ask him to repeat himself.
Despite having to swim through a crowd of hundreds (it seemed like that many, anyway) to hand in our reservations, we were seated relatively quickly. Perhaps 10-15 minutes after checking in. Honestly, we were waiting in a line of people with reservations, so that was pretty quick, and we spent most of the time watching the previously mentioned staff member and the octopus bar with waving tentacles.
We were seated along a wall in the Fern Forest room. This rocked because that meteor show they have at Downtown Disney’s T-Rex Cafe? It’s mostly in this room. And when the meteor shower isn’t going on? That’s the ceiling (see above). Pretty sweet looking, plus there are loads of dino buddies around the edges that you can watch if the pretty ceiling gets dull.
On the other side of the wall where we were seated was the Aqua Room. You see how cool that ceiling is? Yeah, the floor was like that too. This room is an extension of the Shark Bar and has all the cool jelly fish lamps. Love those!
Inside that big blue wall is the Ice Age room. I don’t recommend eating in there. For one thing, the light makes EVERYTHING look wonky, and can’t possibly make the food look appetizing, but for another? The bathroom is located in the back of that room, so you’ll have people trooping past your table all night.
Cool thing though? During the meteor storm, that wall flashes red.
Since we already knew that we wanted dessert, we decided to not order appetizers and ordered some of the “lighter” items on the menu.
This is called the Lost World Chicken Salad sandwich, and I opted for waffle fries as a side. It’s made with rotisserie chicken with tarragon, celery, onions, toasted almonds and mayonnaise, served on a croissant, and is currently $12.99 served with potato chips (the fries were extra).
You wouldn’t expect it to make such a difference, but the tarragon really added a fresh flavor to the chicken salad that you normally wouldn’t have, and it’s something simple enough that you can do at home. However, the toasted almonds had no flavor of their own, and the hard, crunchiness was quite off-putting in a normally soft dish. It had the same effect on my appetite that finding bones in my fish does. Not that it’s REALLY a problem, but I just lost interest in my sandwich pretty quickly because of it.
I realize that this portion doesn’t look like it’s huge, but you have to realize that these plates are about the size, and maybe a bit bigger than the average serving platter or charger plate. In other words, each half of that croissant sandwich is equal to a normal croissant sandwich.
This is the Mesozoic Mahi Mahi, and is butter cracker and Parmesan crusted Mahi Mahi topped with Gulf shrimp and lemon shallot butter served with Raptor rice and roasted vegetables, and is currently $24.99.
This is absolutely delicious. Since it was my husband’s meal, I didn’t get to try much of it, but the mahi mahi was light and tender, moist and flavorful. And really, I could say the same about the rice. I really don’t know how to explain the flavor, but it’s yummy!
Now, there is no way that you can quite grasp the hugeness that is the Chocolate Extinction. The photograph does not do this dessert justice.
When you order a chocolate extinction, the waiter will grin in an almost evil manner, and while you’re sitting quietly awaiting your dessert you’ll look up to see your waiter approaching you ( being a tiny group consisting of two people) grinning wickedly and carrying what looks like a bake shop with smoke pouring out of the middle.
The Chocolate Extinction consists of a chocolate brownie cake (it really is the whole cake- you only see four pieces because each “piece” is actually two pieces stacked on top of each other), and several scoops of vanilla ice cream. Caramel and fudge are drizzled on top, and Butterfinger crumbs are sprinkled on the ice cream.
It’s called Chocolate Extinction because it is to die for. The cake is the best brownie you will ever have and it can not be ordered in any other size or as part of any other dessert. And the presentation is awesome, with dry ice and water inside the blue T-Rex Cafe container spilling out the smoke effects (take the picture quick, cuz it doesn’t last long). It’s currently $14.99, but it’s worth every penny.
You see that crowd? That’s what we had to wade through just to present our reservation information. These people were waiting to get in. Even with reservations we had to wait 10-15 minutes. The lesson? Make your reservations, and make them early by calling T-Rex Cafe directly at (407)828-8739 (Disney Dining does not handle T-Rex reservations, but they can patch you through if you lose the number).
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