And we were there on its grand reopening day, checking out how things have changed, and comparing it to what it was like before it closed with Disney World last year. We were there for breakfast, but we also decided to check it out for dinner!
Like many of the other buffets at Disney World, Cape May Cafe has shifted to a family-style all-you-can-eat feast where servers bring the food out to you.
As with other table service restaurants at Disney World, you can either check-in at the podium or use Mobile Dine Check-In on your phone to check in yourself.
Cape May Cafe feels like much of the rest of Beach Club — it’s open and airy and full of light. Inside, tables are spread out to encourage physical distancing. The booths have plexiglass dividers extending from their back sides.
The old buffet area (with its colorful tiles) is now roped off to keep guests away.
If you want a bigger look at the newly reopened restaurant, check out our first look post here! Once we were seated, it was time to eat!
Although there’s a copy of the menu outside, you can also access it via a QR Code at your table. The menu is decidedly surf-and-turf-based, with both a seafood boil and steak and chicken options. Note that you can add on Snow Crab legs or Lobster for an additional fee (more on that in a bit!). Not listed here is an included Lobster Mac and Cheese as well that we were very excited to try!
The first things to come out are Breads and Spreads. This includes Parker House Rolls and Cornbread. There are also three spreads for the breads and a Seasonal Harvest Salad.
The absolute best thing here are these Parker House Rolls, and there’s a reason these are wildly popular. They are SO buttery and light and they don’t fill you up like some breads. We could eat a dangerous amount of these without batting an eye. But the cornbread was also good — soft and not dry.
You also get three spreads: Roasted Garlic-Herb Butter, Salted Butter, and a creamy Cheese Spread. And these are FABULOUS, but of course, WE LOVED THE CHEESE. Because…well…CHEESE. But the salted butter came in at a close second.
The salad has a Citrus Vanilla Dressing that is VERY citrusy and tart. There is also a lot of dressing! We were split on it — although one of us liked it, our other reporter thought it was a bit TOO citrusy. Don’t let the vanilla in the name fool you — this is very citrus forward. We watched as Cast Members prepped the salads, so we suspect the salad-to-dressing ratio varies by server. You could probably ask your server for less dressing if citrus flavors aren’t your thing.
The rest of the salad was a mix of fresh greens, some thin sliced red onion, and halved cherry tomatoes.
Then it was time for the entrees! Check out this spread below!
The Seafood Boil includes PEI Mussels, Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, Cape May Clams, Sustainable Catch of the Day, Red Bliss Potatoes, and Corn on the Cobb. The mussels are very tender, and the clams are SO easy to eat and fall right out of the shell. The shrimp are juicy and fresh, too. You can see these were fairly well seasoned too! Lots of fresh garlic and parsley.
Funny thing, though — we aren’t big fans of clams and mussels, but we could eat these all day! The catch of the day, though, is Mahi Mahi, which isn’t a favorite, and it tasted a little dry. We felt it needed more seasoning as well. It was nice having the fish option but the shellfish was so good in comparison that the fish seemed bland! The potatoes and corn, though, were perfect. When eating a seafood boil is there really any other sides that will do??
Hiding at the bottom of the bowl is a bit of broth from all the boiled-up goodies. It was pretty flavorful and good for dipping the shellfish in. This whole “surf” portion of the meal was overall a hit.
The Turf Platter is Slow-roasted Strip Loin with Chimichurri and House-made Steak Sauce, Oven-roasted Lemon-Pepper Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Farmer’s Market Vegetables.
Our strip loin was nicely cooked, though it had some gristle and was difficult to cut and eat. However, the good thing about this kind of meal is you can always ask for another round if you get a cut of meat you don’t like or would like seconds of anything.
The Chicken, though, was cooked perfectly with a nice seasoning that had hints of lemon. We also couldn’t stop eating the Mashed Potatoes — when mashed potatoes are done well, we will EAT ALL OF THEM and ask for more (we totally did here).
The veggies were fine but nothing to write home about. They were cooked well and ours had a carrot, green beans, zucchini, and yellow squash cooked with a bit of red bell pepper. They served their purpose as a healthy side on the plate!
And well, you KNOW we had to try the Lobster Mac and Cheese because we do feel like we’re Mac and Cheese connoisseurs. This one had Crushed Goldfish on top along with seasoned panko bread crumbs that added a nice crunch to each bite. It was also VERY cheesy with LOTS of lobster. This could be one of our new favorite mac and cheeses — just that sweet lobster mixed with crunchy breading…NOM!
We asked for the Lobster add-on when the server came and asked us if we were ready for our entrees. The entrees came out within 10 minutes, but the lobster didn’t come out until about 15 minutes after the other entrees. We were there on the first night, though, so it might have just been opening night issues. Just in case, our recommendation is if you want the lobster or crab legs, let your server know earlier in the meal.
Once the Whole Maine Lobster came out, we dug in, and it was worth the wait. It was perfectly cooked with sweet and tender meat that was largely de-shelled for us before serving. The flavor was so nice that it didn’t even need the melted butter that came with it (LOL J/K we totally ate the butter too!). It was also A LOT of meat for one lobster and, considering ALL the food you get here for dinner, it might be enough to split between 2-4 people if everyone is just getting a couple tastes.
Although we miss the crab legs here before the closure, this lobster was a pleasant surprise (and you can totally opt to add on crab legs if you like!). TOTALLY worth the additional $35 if you’re looking to splurge a bit!
We asked for the plant-based entree so we could share with you what that was like. Here, you get a grilled Portobello Steak! The mushroom had a little bite and wasn’t super mushy — the texture was very steak-like! If you’ve had a portobello before, you might know the flavor is pretty savory, so this is actually a solid stand-in for those not looking to eat meat but still wanting a satisfying eating experience. The pasta that came with it was also flavorful. It’s a nice plant-based option, but considering that it’s the same price as the other options, it’s probably not a very good deal in comparison. That said, if anyone in your group is on a plant-based diet, it’s a solid option.
Hello, dessert! This is obviously the only way to end a good meal, so we went for it. Hold onto your hats, because it’s time to get our sweet tooth on with the Assorted House Made Desserts.
We started with the Oreo Bon Bon. This dessert is popular for a reason, and yes, we requested more because this little baby is a chocolate dream come true and you can’t just eat one. This was the standout dessert for us. It has been a popular dessert item at Cape May for years, so we were glad to try it again!
Next up was the Pineapple Mousse with Lime Macaron. This was gorgeous and VERY different. If you don’t like lime flavors, you’ll probably want to avoid this — the lime is VERY prominent. We liked it, though, and loved how well the lime and pineapple worked together.
The Raspberry Puff was soft, and the raspberry added a nice tart, but sweet flavor to the dessert.
We also liked the No Sugar Added Lemon Cheesecake. It was very lemony and we honestly would not have guessed it was sugar-free if the server hadn’t told us otherwise. It’s also a gluten-friendly dessert! Love the shape!!
Although we were really into the fruity desserts, the 8-Layer Chocolate Cake did not disappoint, although it wasn’t quite as good as the Oreo Bon Bon.
The Lemon Curd with Blood Orange Compote was okay, but we weren’t big fans of the curd’s texture. We LOVE us some lemon curd too, so this was a bummer. Definitely hoping this was another case of just bad luck with our batch. We thought the Lemon Cheesecake was better.
Finally, the Plant-Based Tiramisu. Honestly, we weren’t big fans of it. The flavor was there, but the texture was off, and it was dry. Tiramisu is usually more cream than cake and the opposite is true here. Again, not bad, but could have been better.
So the dessert plate wasn’t full of hits, but the good news is you can get more of what you like by just requesting it!
Nosh or Not
Make a beeline over to Cape May Cafe if…
- You love seafood — the seafood here is some of the best on property!
- You like family-style all-you-can eat dining.
- You don’t mind paying a little extra for add-ons, like lobster.
- You’re staying at an EPCOT area resort and looking for a relaxing dinner.
Skip Cape May Cafe if…
- You don’t like seafood. Although there are things on the menu here to please everyone, this is ultimately a seafood joint.
- You don’t like family-style dining. If you’re just wanting a course or two of smaller plates, this probably isn’t the restaurant for you. Unless you’ll likely enjoy most of the family-style meal, it might not be worth it.
- You want more plant-based options. There are only a few here, meaning that the full price of the meal wouldn’t be worth it just for those items.
- You’re looking for more unique eats. This is pretty approachable, easy food. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, EPCOT is just steps away with SO many options in World Showcase.
For us, the seafood IS the highlight here (although we would also throw in the rolls and Oreo Bon Bons). If you love seafood, this might not be the first spot that pops into your mind, but it’s a solid (and ALL you care to eat!) option. Seafood is a more costly item so it shouldn’t be understated how nice bottomless shrimp, mussels, clams, and more can be!
Although we miss the buffet setting and getting to pick and choose our own favorites, it’s nice to have all the food brought out to the table. Requesting more of anything is not a problem, just ask your server! The service was also stellar, save for the lobster arriving after our other entrees (and again, it might just be due to opening night problems or just needing to let the server know earlier in the meal if you want an add-on. It was steamed fresh for us though and, we felt, worth the wait.). The vibe here is pretty nice, too, and it’s nice eating dinner in a restaurant that’s well lit where you can actually see what you’re eating.
Pricewise, at $42 per adult and $25 per child, you get your money’s worth, although the additional add-ons can make this a more expensive meal (we thought the $35 lobster add-on was worth it for us!). Other all-you-care-to-eat family-style meals are comparable to this. Garden Grill in EPCOT features characters and a higher price tag of $55 per adult, while Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom is only $39 per adult but is character-free for the time being. We’d compare Cape May’s dinner to the experience at Crystal Palace. The price is very comparable too! In both cases, the otherwise somewhat underwhelming buffet is elevated a bit by the plated version of the meals.
In both cases, especially with Cape May, we’ve walked away from our meals VERY full and pleasantly surprised by the presentation and quality. If you find yourself at Beach Club, this is a solid option for dinner!
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Have you been to Cape May Cafe since it reopened? Let us know what you thought in the comments!