DFB Guest Author Joey Beyer returns with a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Take it away, Joey!
The Plaza Restaurant
Greetings everyone! I am very excited to bring you a review of The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. So, lets walk right down the middle of Main Street USA and check out The Plaza.
The Plaza is located right next to the Ice Cream Parlor after you turn right off of Main St. to go towards the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. This little passageway is also a great way to circumvent the perpetual traffic jam that is usually taking place in the hub, assuming you want to go to Tomorrowland.
The restaurant is all around an unassuming place. There is a check in desk right on the walkway where you can get your pager, or check for table availability. Once your table is ready you are shown into the restaurant, or to an outside table if you would prefer one (and there is one available).
One striking thing about The Plaza is how small it is. I never thought it was huge, but I never realized just how quaint and cozy it is, despite all the pictures I had seen. This restaurant truly captures the charm that we all love about Main Street.
The tables and chairs are pretty plain, but fit in perfectly with the theme.
The wall decorations and light fixtures are gorgeous, with a strong art nouveau design.
As I mentioned the restaurant is quite small, as you can tell from the pictures. There were a few tables behind me, but what you see is pretty much what is there.
Being on Main St. you do catch glimpses of Cinderella Castle and any fanfare that is taking place in that area of the park. If you look closely in my pictures, you can see the Main St. Electrical Parade through the windows.
I would not put this on a list of places to go to watch a parade or Wishes, but it is neat to catch a brief look at such things if your dining reservation coincides with them.
The menu at the plaza is very straightforward and is pretty traditional café fare. That is in no way a drawback, and I think there really is something here for everyone.
One thing that I love is the very reasonable prices. They really are comparable to a counter service restaurant, which is nice if you prefer a table service meal but do not want to spend a small fortune.
There is not really much of an appetizer list on the menu, and what options are available are subtle — the addition of a soup or a salad to your meal. The other thing I want to point out about the menu is the shakes and desserts. This is noteworthy because they come from right next door, which is the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor!
Thanks to a tip off from AJ, I knew that the shakes were not to be missed. This really ended up being an appetizer for me since it arrived right away. Now, I am sure all of you are much more disciplined than me, but there was no way I was going to resist the shake until my food came.
I went for the Cookies and Cream Shake, and in true old school ice cream parlor fashion it came in the traditional glass along with the extra shake in the metal mixing cup.
I have had many shakes in my day, and this one is right at the top of the list. When it comes to creaminess, these shakes mean business. The cookies were also adequately crushed, which made for a pleasant consistency.
For the main course, I went with the Chicken Strawberry Salad. While I love salad, I do not typically get it as my main meal because I worry about it not being as satiating as other options. However, this salad stuck out to me from the moment I first read it on the menu prior to my trip.
The salad comes with a hearty helping of chicken. In fact, the chicken, strawberries, and other accoutrements almost outnumbered the actual lettuce in the salad. The chicken was tender and well prepared. There is no particular seasoning or flavor that I could pick out, but I thought that was a good thing since this dish has a lot of other flavors at work. The chicken provided a great complimentary texture, and of course protein. The strawberries were nice and fresh, also.
I really enjoyed the dressing, but I rarely dislike vinaigrette. It is worth noting that it is a bit on the tart side, so I would recommend trying it first if tart is not your thing. The salad comes with the dressing already on it, so be sure to request it on the side if you prefer to distribute the dressing yourself.
My dining companion went with the Plaza Club sandwich. This is not your run of the mill deli meat club sandwich. The Plaza Club comes with thick pieces of ham and turkey breast like you expect at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I did taste the sandwich and it was delicious. The meat was not at all dry, and the bacon adds some nice contrast in texture and flavor. In addition to that, the tomatoes were very robust.
While I was by no means famished after the main course, I knew I would be remiss in my duties as a reviewer if I did not sample dessert.
Upon seeing a Brownie Sundae served at another table, there was no longer a decision to be made.
This brownie sundae is substantial, and is perfect for sharing.
As I find with most Disney brownies it was a bit on the dry side, but it did not bother me all that much with the ice cream along with it. I really enjoyed this dessert and would definitely order it again. It provided a perfect end to the meal.
I had been waiting a long time to try the Plaza, and it definitely did not disappoint. It is a great option for lunch or dinner, and is a great value. It also offers an enchanting atmosphere with fantastic décor.
I did not experience this during my visit, but the citizens of Main St. have been known to make appearances at The Plaza Restaurant, also! While the menu may not be the most adventurous on property, it is certainly delicious.
Joey Beyer is a full time medical student in Illinois, and an avid fan of all things Disney and food related. His first visit to Walt Disney World was at the age of two, and he hopes to eventually move to central Florida to be closer to the magic.
Have you been to The Plaza? Share your experiences, comments, and questions below!