News and Review: Three Baked Mac and Cheeses at Eight Spoon Cafe

Let’s try some word association. We’ll give you a bunch of words, and you tell us what they make you think of. Baked. Macaroni. Cheese.

Your turn. We’ll wait.

Correct! The answer is “YUM!” Great work. Now, come along as we tell you where you can find all of the above in three awesome, cheesy incarnations. We’ll give you a hint: You’re gonna hAVATARrific day in this park. ;)

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

That’s right! Animal Kingdom! With all of the excitement about Pandora — The World of Avatar and Rivers of Light that’s ramping up right now, it can be tough to plan your Animal Kingdom park days — especially your dining!

We feel your pain completely. We want to go to Tiffins, and Nomad Lounge, and Pizzafari (they’ve got a sick Shrimp Flatbread, y’all), and Tusker House (because RoL dining package!). We want fries with pulled pork and cheese from Flame Tree BBQ and a Cretaceous Cooler from Restaurantosaurus.

But we have to be honest, some of our favorite hidden food gems at Animal Kingdom come from kiosks. We know — it’s easy to walk by en route to Everest. It’s an honest mistake. But Eight Spoon Cafe (formerly Beastly Kiosk) is worth the stop.

You’ll find Eight Spoon Cafe in Discovery Island, near the entrance to Asia. It’s a beautiful kiosk.

Eight Spoon Cafe Kiosk

Eight Spoon Cafe Kiosk

You might remember a slightly different color scheme here, but the carvings and overall design are exactly what we expect to find in this location. And the menu is pretty awesome too.

Eight Spoon Cafe Menu

Eight Spoon Cafe Menu

Anything with three Macaroni and Cheese options is okay in our book.

We started with the classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese so we could get a baseline for comparing the other options. Research, people, all in the name of research.

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Baked, brown, crunchy cheese is where. it’s. at.

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

We thought the portion was decent for a snack, but you may not want to stop at one!!

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

This baby may look small, but there’s a ton of cheese in there.

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Cheese is our favorite accompaniment to cheese. So we were stoked with this.

If you’re a noodle purist (is that a thing?), you might be disappointed. These didn’t hold their shape. Maybe something about being boiled, stirred into melted cheese, transported, and baked put a little too much strain on the poor dears. But they’re thick, so you still get the noodle texture and flavor that you want.

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Macaroni and Cheese

Plus, did we mention all. the. cheese? Winner, winner, cheesetastic… snack. But we didn’t stop with this traditional baked M&C. Oh, no. We went one step further. Load us up, friendly Cast Member: we need the fancy ones, too.

Eight Spoon Cafe Shrimp and Pork Macaroni and Cheese Variations

Eight Spoon Cafe Shrimp and Pork Macaroni and Cheese Variations

Ooh, la, la. Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Shrimp and Sweet Chili Sauce and Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork. Pass the fork. Pork first.

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Baked Mac and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Baked Mac and Cheese

We need to point out that this dish starts with the same amount of Macaroni and Cheese as the classic we just tried. We pulled the pork off so we could check.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese (Minus the Pork) from Eight Spoon Cafe

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese (Minus the Pork) from Eight Spoon Cafe

Then, for good measure, they pile on a substantial amount of meat. Just so much to love here.

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

We love that there’s still crunchy baked cheese on the edge of the dish too. In case we forgot what was under that gorgeous pile of meat. And the meat! Smoky and awesome. Awe. Some.

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

The pop of green from the scallions and the BBQ-style sauce on top are icing on the cake. We loved this. It was our favorite of the three. Go get this. And please share with us. You know what: just get a second one for us. We don’t share well when something tastes this good.

Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese from Eight Spoon Cafe

Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese from Eight Spoon Cafe

Super delicious combination.

And the same can be said of the Shrimp and Sweet Chili Sauce Macaroni and Cheese. That sauce!

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

I mean, that sauce. It was delicious! A total win. Sweet, tangy, the tiniest bit of spice (we would’ve been fine with a lot more heat, but we loved it regardless!). It paired really well with the shrimp, which were a good size and nicely cooked.

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

We counted three shrimp, and for the size of the dish and with the flavorful sauce, we thought this was a good portion. Scallions complete the toppings on this one too.

 Shrimp Mac and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

Shrimp Mac and Cheese at Eight Spoon Cafe

And, again, we got the same amount of Macaroni and Cheese. We’re happy they aren’t skimping on the Mac to offset those proteins.

Eight Spoon Cafe Mac and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Mac and Cheese

We thought the unique combination of the Macaroni and Cheese and the Sweet Chili Sauce was super tasty. And we know shrimp and Mac is a popular combo (we had it most recently at Columbia Harbour House).

Eight Spoon Cafe Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Eight Spoon Cafe Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Believe it or not, these beautiful bowls of cheesy yum are Disney Dining Plan snack credit eligible! The classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese is $4.29, the Pulled Pork version is $6.29, and the Shrimp version is $6.49. Any of them would be a good use of a snack credit, but if you’re into the pork or shrimp…or just, you know…heaven on a plate…it’s an excellent use of a snack credit.

Tell us about your favorite Mac and Cheese moment in the comments! 

Comments

  1. Karen says

    I was so trying to forget I had this last weekend, because I can’t even come close to anything here at home! I had the shrimp version about two hours before dinner at Tusker House as a snack, because I needed some energy to keep walking around Animal Kingdom, and this was the closest snack place. Oh, my. This was heaven on earth! I almost said forget Tuskers, so I could try the other two (glad I didn’t!). The shrimp were huge, and were nicely prepared, topped with That Sauce. And the mac and cheese? I didn’t really care that the pasta was a little overdone, because they were covered in CHEESE. And I don’t mean that nasty stuff you get in restaurants around town, I’m talking good, awesome, very well prepared, baked, lovely Cheese. All of it was GOOD. I had this the Sunday before this weekend and I sure wish I had a supersized bowl right now. Next time, I’m gonna try the pork version. And maybe have another bowl with the shrimp. *sigh*

  2. Terri says

    I snuck over to your previous post on the shrimp mac and cheese at Columbia Harbor House and I saw it was $12.49 for the dish. You may get a few more shrimp, but it seems the “snack sized” portion of Mac and cheese topped with shrimp or pork is a much better deal at Animal Kingdom. Looking forward to trying this in our trip in just a few weeks. Thanks for the review!

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