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Adventures By Disney Dining Review: The Best of the Quest for the West, Part I

I’ve got another Adventures by Disney trip under my cowboy belt. This time I conquered mountains and geysers on the Quest for the West trip, covering the wilds of Wyoming including Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.

We watched Old Faithful erupt, rafted the rapids, encountered bison blocking our hiking path, marveled at the hot springs, shopped for boots, and learned to fly fish. But if you know me, you’ll have no trouble guessing that what I was really interested in was the food.

Our vittles were outstanding, particularly a wild game chili served at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, but two of the trip’s dining experiences really stood out. Today, in Part I of this review, I’m going to tell you all about Brooks Lake Lodge…

Brooks Lake Lodge Atmosphere

The true dining highlight of this trip was at Brooks Lake Lodge.

The view from my private cabin.

Brooks Lake is what my husband would call a dude ranch, but I’m perfectly comfortable calling it heaven. Nestled at the foot of the Pinnacle Buttes, and one mile from the Continental Divide, Brooks Lake is an all inclusive resort with lodging, Western-style activities, and Western-inspired food.

One of the many cozy sitting areas at Brooks Lake where you can enjoy a snack and conversation.

The meals I had at Brooks Lake were on par with the signature dining experiences at Walt Disney World, with fresh-beyond-fresh ingredients, sublime flavors, and gorgeous presentation.

Executive Chef Antonia Armenta-Miller was present at every meal to answer questions, oversee service, and tweak anything that needed tweaking to meet a guest’s needs. For example, a few of the children on the trip were in the mood for something plain on the day we had a Mexican buffet for lunch. In no time at all, unadorned cheese quesadillas and PB&J sandwiches emerged from the kitchen.

Brooks Lake Lodge Eats

But my palate is a bit more expansive than the kiddos’, and I was just fine with the menu presented. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Afternoon Tea

Our first food experience at Brooks Lake was afternoon tea presented in a sitting room.

The tea room

Tea, coffee, and lemonade are served alongside fresh fruit and homemade cookies every afternoon.

Tea and cookies. A very civilized way for a cowboy to relax.

Home made CCCs!

Relaxing at the Bar

If the afternoon calls for stronger spirits, you can indulge at the full bar. I tried a local beer my first night and had the house specialty huckleberry margarita on my second night there.

The Western bar

The margarita was made with care by expert bartender Mike, who also functioned as my fly fishing guide and photography instructor at various points during the day. He was equally adept at all his many tasks.

Tasty local beer

Huckleberry margarita. So crazy good that I nearly forgot to take its picture.

Breakfast

Breakfast and lunch are served in the soaring lodge dining room.

Dining room

The kids on the trip all chose to sit together.

Breakfast is served buffet style. Highlights each morning include an omelets-made-to-order station and fresh baked pastries.

Breakfast coffee and juice

Cereal, house made danish, fruit, and yogurt

A lovely fruit selection each morning

Eggs and bacon

Eggs to order

Those made-to-order omelets included quite a selection of flavor options.

Omelet mix-ins

Flapjacks and hash browns

My traveling companions and I spent quite a while discussing how we might abscond with a couple dozen of the cinnamon buns to take home.

The best cinnamon rolls in the world

The ultimate vacation breakfast

And of course, you can always find a little Disney on an ABD trip…

A hidden Mickey in our butter :-)

Lunch

Lunch is also a buffet, with the theme changing daily.

The lunch during our trip was Mexican, with fish tacos, chicken enchiladas, and grilled corn salad.

Salad

Chicken enchiladas

Fresh fish tacos

For dessert Antonia made crispy cinnamon wafers shaped like many of the Western creatures we had seen during our trip: moose, bears, squirrels, and more.

Chef Antonia Armenta-Miller, the genius behind the Brook Lake Lodge food

Cinnamon sugar animals

These were served with fresh whipped cream and mixed berries. Did I mention that even with all the hiking and rafting, I might have put on a few pounds on this trip?

A baby bear guards my whipped cream and berries

Dinner

If all that spectacular food at breakfast, lunch, and tea were amazing, the dinners at Brooks Lake were absolutely incredible.

The selections on our first night were locally raised strip steak, local trout, or potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms.

Dinner menu, day one

I opted for the gnocchi, only because I had had both trout and steak during previous meals on the trip. I’m not usually a mushroom person, but I think this dish converted me.

Gnocchi with wild mushrooms

I was able to sneak a few tastes of the other offerings and was blown away by the flavor.

House salad

Steak and potatoes

Fresh trout

Our day one dessert was a simple lemon pound cake topped with huckleberry compote. Truly divine!

Lemon pound cake with huckleberry compote

The Day Two dinner selections were stuffed Cornish game hens, tenderloin of red stag, or grilled citrus salmon.

Dinner menu day two

I had the hen, which was perfectly juicy and accompanied by the most beautiful selection of broccoli and cauliflower I had ever seen.

Cornish game hen

Tenderloin of red stag

Citrus salmon

Dessert for the group was house-made birthday cake, celebrating the special days of two of our trip mates. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal.

Birthday cake

Overall

The Brooks Lake Lodge was a dining highlight of the Adventures By Disney Quest for the West tour as you can see! Stay tuned for a second review from this tour, the Jackson Hole Playhouse, soon!

The Quest for the West trip is one of Adventures by Disney’s Most popular destinations. There are more than a dozen available for booking in 2013! Based on this little foodie tour, who’s signing up?

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

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5 Comments

  1. Laura says:

    Wow, that is above and beyond what I ever expected! Looks wonderful :)

  2. Erin Foster says:

    Laura – it really was wonderful. We only got to spend a day and a half at Brooks Lake during out Adventures by Disney tour. I’d be thrilled to spend a whole week there.

  3. Prof. Brainard says:

    Now that’s my kind of roughing it!

  4. Erin says:

    Thank you so much for the reviews, everything looks so amazing! I sure would like to stay there someday too!

  5. frost says:

    i wanna go there!

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