At Czarina's Royal Table -- Nibbles and Bits

by DThe Czarina
AllEars® Feature Writer

Feature Article

This article appeared in the January 29, 2002 Issue #123 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)


Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.


Beloved Public, sometimes you just don't want to settle down for a 90-minute restaurant dinner. Sometimes, Splash Mountain is calling you. Am I right? So here are a few "Must Eat But Must Dash" notes from a recent (January 2002) visit to the World:

SUNSET BOULEVARD LUNCH: The food stands on Sunset Boulevard in Disney-MGM Studios, on the way to the Tower of Terror, can be quite useful if 1) you are willing to eat early or late (they become very crowded at prime mealtimes) and 2) you are willing to graze from stand to stand. Here is what I consider the Perfect Boulevard Lunch:

Start with a bottle of water or soda from the roadside stand. Grab an apple or a banana for dessert, and one of those giant pickles if you like them.

Then head to Rosie's for a hamburger. These are good burgers, and fixings are available nearby. Resist the temptation to purchase fries, for the Quintessential American Fries are available at:

Fairfax Fries, the McDonald's outlet next to the Disney Vacation Club stand. Yes, yes, we deplore the intrusion of McDonald's into the parks. Nevertheless, and let's face it, they make the killer fries of all time.

Consume and head for the Tower. I hope your waiting time will be only 13 minutes!

THE BACK ROOM AT PECOS BILL'S: Pecos Bill's is in Frontierland, next door to Splash Mountain. In fact, it is possible to sit outdoors there and watch the helpless riders hurtling down into the Briar Patch. But Pecos Bill's also has an oasis of calm, known to us as the Back Room. This little-known haven is actually done up like a large Spanish courtyard, with adobe walls, climbing flowers, punched-tin lanterns and wrought iron doors. It is quite charming, and usually uncrowded.

At a recent Eat and Dash lunch there, the Czarina enjoyed the chicken salad plate. This is a fast-food place, so you don't get china. But mounded high on my paper plate was a truly delicious and HUGE salad, bursting with the following ingredients: grilled chicken strips, chunks of jack cheese, jicama slaw, red onions, green peppers, ripe tomatoes and lettuce in a fine, slightly sweetened vinaigrette dressing. Easily enough for two! And having praised McDonald's fries, let me say that the Pecos Bill's fries are almost their equal. However, if you insist on the Mickey D originals, they are available right outside.

The salad is $6.39 -- even with French fries and sodas, two can eat (sharing the salad) for about $11, definitely a bargain in the Magic Kingdom.

Other offerings at Pecos Bill's include a chicken wrap sandwich, burgers, chili, chocolate cream pie and Barq's root beer floats. Nice little menu, eh? And recently, I found it open as early as 10 a.m., in case Tony's Town Square is still closed for breakfast.

CZARINA'S TOP TIPS

Other favorite non-sugary Eat and Dash options: -- Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom of course! Excellent hot dogs, and load up on the fixings including the hot cheese sauce.

-- A quiche, or a fruit and cheese plate, from the Boulangerie in France.

-- Fish and Chips from the stand in the U.K.

-- A croissant from Starring Rolls at the Studios.

-- A baked potato and a bag of grapes from the stand opposite the steamboat landing in Liberty Square.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Don't forget about sharing. Often, these menu items are enormous. You can always get more if it isn't enough. If you don't want to sit down even for a fast-food meal, try snacking from stand to stand. Just beware the Sugar Overload; many offerings are super-sweet, and you may find yourself snoring on a bench instead of riding Big Thunder.

CORAL REEF UPDATE

January 2002 -- On a return lunchtime visit to the Coral Reef, my excellent server Alex recommended the salmon with cilantro mashed potatoes and candied carrots -- very delicious! The salmon was perfectly done, moist, with its crispy skin on the top -- also, absolutely boneless. It went well with a glass of Ostertag Riesling on a cold day. Alex also recommended the Iron Horse champagne mousse with strawberries for dessert. It sounded like a splendid idea, but I was too full to try it. Coral Reef remains a favorite spot!


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Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.