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Review: Grand Floridian Cafe

Pinvestigator Cody, of the Global Disney Pinvestigation Blog, is back with another round of comments and photos about a recent meal. This time, Cody and his family celebrated his birthday at the Grand Floridian Cafe, one of the lesser known spots at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Thanks for the guest review, Cody!

GF Cafe logo

The Grand Floridian Cafe (GFC) is tucked away in the back of the resort on the bottom floor of the Grand Floridian. I personally had not heard of it until I was searching for restaurants for my “day after” my birthday celebration.

I was looking for somewhere with steak (preferably filet) that I could book on short notice, and I found GFC on the internet. I searched the menu, saw the New York Steak listed, and thought something new and different would be good for my birthday.

GF

Atmosphere
Our reservation was at 5:30, and while we arrived around 5:15, we weren’t seated until 5:30. We were escorted through the whole restaurant to our table in the very back. The restaurant has a nice theme that holds true throughout the whole area; it’s a “Florida Room,” with floral wallpaper and homey/country items throughout.

Grand Floridian Cafe Decor

Grand Floridian Cafe Decor

Grand Floridian Cafe Atmosphere

Grand Floridian Cafe Atmosphere

Grand Floridian Cafe Decor

Grand Floridian Cafe Decor

Eats
We sat down, and our waiter took our drink order and brought over some bread. The bread was only OK; it was multigrain raisin bread and sourdough, and it was served with Lemon Salted Butter.

Multigrain Raisin and Sourdough Bread

Multigrain Raisin and Sourdough Bread

My mom and I both ordered the New York Strip, and my dad ordered the Grand Floridian Burger. The meals came with salad or soup, and we all ordered the Caesar Salad. My personal opinion is that the salad was one of the best things all night, second to the birthday cupcake (which we will talk about later).

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

The waiter came quickly, cleared our plates, and then moments later brought our dinner. My mom and I, being picky eaters, ordered mashed potatoes instead of the steamed vegetables, but the dishes came to the table with both vegetables and potatoes.

The New York Strip was kind of “blah” and had little flavor, though it was cooked properly. We also realized that the potatoes weren’t normal mashed potatoes; there was something else in them besides the mashed skins.

strip steak menu

New York Strip Steak

New York Strip Steak

My Dad enjoyed his burger, which had lobster and asparagus added under a hollandaise sauce.

burger menu

Grand Floridian Cafe Burger

Grand Floridian Cafe Burger

After the meal, and although we’d decided against ordering dessert, our server came back with two giant cupcakes for my mom and me (we were both celebrating our birthdays at the restaurant). The cupcake was delicious and so large I couldn’t finish it all. I’m pretty sure the cupcake was the best thing all night.

Grand Floridian Cafe Birthday Cupcake

Grand Floridian Cafe Birthday Cupcake

Review
Overall, the meal was OK. Unlike my other meal reviews of Tutto Italia and ‘Ohana’s Character Breakfast, it was nothing special and kind of “blah.” It was definitely no Le Cellier!

Rating: 3 of 5
Accepts Tables in Wonderland Dining Discount Card?: Yes
Food: 2.5 of 5

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15 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I REALLY like the Grand Floridian Cafe. I think it’s particularly excellent for breakfast and lunch. Their different sandwiches are quite good.

  2. AJ says:

    Thanks for your review, Kelly! Any specific menu suggestions for breakfast or lunch?

  3. Jeff says:

    That burger looked awesome! And not to be persnickety, but Le Cellier is certainly nowhere near the apex of sublime steakhouse dining.

  4. AJ says:

    Whoops — had to edit this comment as I realized you already gave me your steakhouse list in the Shula’s post, Jeff! ;-)

  5. Kelly says:

    Jiko is my favorite steak (well filet) on property :) I’d choose Yachtsman over LeCellier any day.

    And at the Grand Floridian Cafe, I like the Rustic Chicken Sandwich where as people with more heartier appetites (like my brother!) I’d recommend the “Grand Sandwich.” The Grand Sandwich is an open faced sandwich that’s just huge. He had to eat it with a knife and fork. Very hearty, and if you happen to hit cold(er) weather, it’d be a great option. And for breakfast? I love the french toast, but that happens to be my breakfast of choice! I just like the atmosphere with a mimosa to start my day at Disney!!

  6. AJ says:

    Yum! French toast and a mimosa sounds just about right for a breakfast at Disney! Love the sound of the rustic chicken sandwich, too! Thanks for your suggestions, Kelly!

  7. Jeff says:

    AJ – Like I said in my comment on your Shula’s review, my favorite Disney steakhouse would definitely be Yachtsman. The cowboy steak was superbly prepared and cooked, and I still have dreams (no lie) about the chilled seafood salad and the pull-apart onion rolls, roasted garlic, and butter. :D

    Second place would be the filet that I had at Jiko back in ’05. I was blown away by the fact that they served it without a steak knife, and they didn’t need to – I could easily cut it with the regular old table knife provided. When the missus and I dined there again last year, however, the wife ordered the same dish (I ordered the excellent Kenyan coffee braised short rib) and said that it wasn’t as tender or flavorful as it was back in ’05. Maybe it had something to do with the new chef. Or not.

    And I’m going to contradict my own comment on the Shula’s review page now, but that’s because I’d forgotten about the teriyaki New York strip that I had at Kona Cafe back in ’05. Said steak would be my third favorite.

    And finally, Le Cellier, I hate to say, would come in last place, as far as steaks go (their cheddar cheese soup and breadsticks are, of course, quite heavenly). I’ve had both prime rib (2002) and New York strip (2005), and while neither was bad, they were also not very memorable, either. Combine that with the ungodly waits, with ADRs, at dinnertime, and the rushed, perfunctory service, and it just makes Le Cellier one of the more unpleasant (for us) dining experiences in the World.

  8. Cody says:

    I totally know that Le Cellier isnt the TOP steak dining location, but for me it is the best because i havent been to anywhereelse (on WDW prop, and the Shula’s) so i really cant say or compare it to anything else as i have not been, that is why i compared it to Le Cellier, hope you all understand :)

  9. Chris says:

    All these comments are making me hungry!

    I like GFC for breakfast. I can’t think of a better breakfast place on property, actually. The stuffed croissant is really good, as is the breakfast “skillet.”

  10. AJ says:

    Cody — I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Shula’s and/or Yachtsman Steakhouse when you go there :-) I also happen to be a big fan of Le Cellier — the filet there is wonderful, and the poutin is amazing!

    Chris — What’s the stuffed croissant stuffed with?

    Jeff — Yachtsman is always high on our list!!

  11. Cody…bummer that your b-day meal was not spectacular.

    Funny thing…my friend Rick and I just ate at the cafe this past Monday. I had never been there before. We ate lunch. I had the Cobb Salad and Rick had the Fish of the Day which was Tilapia with hollandaise. His fish was Sooooo Good! My Cobb was good too and I especially liked the cheese toast is was served with. We ended with a Chocolate Hazelnut tort which was also yummy.

    I would definitely eat there again.

  12. AJ says:

    Amanda — great review. Those choices sound delicious (cheese toast? yum!). :-)

  13. Cody says:

    With all these comments about breakfast… i feel that i must try it for breakfast for a better experience.

  14. Chris says:

    The croissant? Mascarpone and chocolate chips. It’s so wrong. In a good way.

  15. AJ says:

    That sounds wonderful, Chris! Yum!

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