What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.
So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!
50s Prime Time Cafe
Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!
The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.
To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!
A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can get it two ways — by itself, or as part of a Sampling of Mom’s Favorites, where it’s served alongside hearty helpings of fried chicken and meatloaf! It’s like the best family potluck ever.
Now that’s a plate of comfort food! Still — pssst, don’t tell Mom — this isn’t my favorite pot roast on property. There are a couple of others I’d rank a little higher…
You wouldn’t think that a counter service spot called Contempo Cafe could have mention-worthy, slow-cooked braised beef. At least I didn’t. With its sleek, futuristic signage and touch screen kiosks, you might not expect to find it’s also a great stop on your quest for home-cooked goodness.
But it so is. In fact, when I tried the Pot Roast Platter there recently, I was very pleasantly surprised (okay, shocked) to find that it was probably the greatest pot roast that I’d had at Disney. And that’s a big claim, besting some pretty stiff competition.
And it’s different too, which I love. Rather than being served with mashed potatoes or new potatoes roasted along with the meat, the veggies here — breaded potato wedges and baby carrots — were completely separate from the roast itself. And the beef itself was extremely tender, and smothered with a rich brown gravy. Pretty incredible.
And to think that all of this yum is available as a walk-up meal may be the biggest draw of all. It’s tasty, the price is right, and the service is fast. You can’t beat it…
Liberty Tree Tavern
…Unless you happen to serve pot roast at one of my very favorite spots in the whole Disney universe.
That’s right, at the end of the day, it’s hard to go up against Liberty Tree Tavern when there’s a “Best of the Best” title on the line.
And Liberty Tree Tavern, with its early American themeing, is a fascinating place to roam. The food here tastes like what you’d expect to get in a New England tavern. The whole experience is charming.
But it’s the food that we’re here for. And while there are some delicious iterations of this braised dish all over Disney World, none comes closer to looking like the fabulous food of my childhood than the New England Pot Roast at this Magic Kingdom spot.
Rustic chunks of carrots, celery, and onion are braised to perfection in a Cabernet-mushroom sauce, before it’s served over a bed of mashed potatoes.
Though it used to come with a a tangled mess of onion straws on top as garnish (onion straws, you are missed), even without them it’s pretty darn good. And remember, if you’re after pot roast at Liberty Tree Tavern, be sure to make your advance dining reservation for lunch — the a la carte menu featuring this delicious dish is only available for the noonday meal.
Beaches and Cream
I’ll take my No Way Jose with a side of…braised beef?
That might not be what you’re thinking when you first walk into Disney World’s favorite soda fountain, Beaches and Cream, but you might soon change your tune.
This beachy throwback to vacation spots from a less hectic era has always been one of our favorite restaurants for their incredible ice cream treats. Kitchen Sink, anyone? And many Disney fans will make a pilgrimage to Beaches and Cream just for their burgers. But if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, they also have a killer Pot Roast Sandwich.
The sandwich, served open-faced on sourdough with a big helping of mashed potatoes, is covered in a rich broth. And there are no fussy veggies to get in the way of your vacay food enjoyment.
Served with a garnish of french-fried onions and a pickle spear made in house, this will keep you going all day long!
And Now, It’s Your Turn to Vote!
When you’re craving homestyle Pot Roast, where do you turn at Disney? What’s your favorite place to score this comforting, traditional dish? We want to know if you like your gravy thick, or if you prefer a jus, and whether the veggies should be part of the dish or separate.
Be sure to vote for your favorite Walt Disney World version of Pot Roast. Share your opinion in the comments section below!