Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Even Vegans Eat Like Royalty in the Magic Kingdom Part 2 of 4

Continuation of: Even Vegans Eat Like Royalty in the Magic Kingdom Part 1 of 4
By Amy Shoff (Guest Writer)

Moving on to vegan meals, my first fancy dinner of the trip was at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This restaurant is one of my favorites, not only because it faithfully recreates the original Brown Derby right down to the celebrity caricatures on the wall, but because it is home to my favorite vegan dish in all of WDW. By fortunate coincidence, our wonderful waiter, Joshua, was also vegan, and kindly offered to have the signature Cobb Salad (invented at the original Brown Derby in the 1930s) made vegan friendly for me, which meant eliminating the blue cheese, turkey, bacon, and egg and replacing it with bonus vegetables that no one else gets, like asparagus, broccoli, and cucumbers. Joshua even swapped out the dressing for me, because the original Cobb salad dressing is made with anchovy paste. My entrée was the Noodle Bowl with Wok-fried Coconut Tofu, Soy Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushrooms in a Red Curry Broth.  It has that perfect balance of sweet coconut and spicy curry, and although it’s been a signature dish on the menu for several years, I never get tired of it. When it got to dessert time, there was nothing on the menu that didn’t involve milk, but Joshua offered some off-menu passion fruit sorbet served over fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Absolutely magical!

The next day’s lunch was at the relatively new Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. The World Showcase at Epcot features 11 different countries (with delicious restaurants at each one), which are staffed by international representatives from each respective nation, who are living in Florida on temporary contract basis. So, when you’re visiting Mexico, your wait staff is actually FROM Mexico, and speaks fluent espanol, which is muy divertido!

As you can see from the photo on the left, La Hacienda has its own separate vegetarian menu in addition to the regular menu.  Not every WDW restaurant has this, but many do. Almost all of the full-service restaurants feature at least one vegetarian option, and in the few cases where they don’t, you can usually order some combination of side items that they will turn into an entrée for you. I opted for the Ensalada de la Casa with pomegranate, pine nuts, and avocado, sans queso fresco (yes, sans is French, but I don’t know the Spanish equivalent-lo siento!). Our adorable waiter, Nicolas, ended up bringing me a little bowl of black beans in addition to the one you see on the table in the photo (on the right) because he realized they had put cheese on top.  The silly thing was, I wasn’t even supposed to get beans because they were actually part of my sister’s order. I totally ate them with delight, though. We were so full, we skipped dinner that night (…okay, you caught me, I had some french fries around midnight…see, I told you I wasn’t healthy…).


  1. Oh, my, sounds like a delicious trip! BTW, you had your ensalada "sin" queso fresco! ;)

  2. "Sin!" I should really know that, but everything I ever learned in school was replaced with Simpsons quotes and extraneous information about theme parks. Thanks...er...gracias!