Grand Floridian Café

I have had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café more times than I can count but this was my first time having dinner here.  Unfortunately though, at this point of my trip I had come down with a cold and at this meal my symptoms were at their peak.  So I guess you need to take this into account when reading this review.

The meal started off well when I was seated at a table for two by a window, with a view of the Grand Floridian’s beautiful grounds…

And since I was one of the first guests to be seated for dinner, for the first part of my meal I had the area all to myself…

…which was nice, since I spent much of my time here coughing and blowing my nose.

Anyway, if you have ever dined at the Grand Floridian Café, you know that a single rose is placed on each of their tables.  Previously this had always been a red rose…

So I was surprised this time to see a beautiful pink rose…

I immediately ordered hot tea, so my server brought this cute little teapot of hot water along with a box of assorted Twining teas.  I chose the basic English Breakfast one…

I enjoyed my first cup of tea while perusing their menu…

My appetizer choice was an easy one…

Caramelized Onion Soup Gratinee – Traditional French Onion Soup

And a look underneath the cheese…

I had heard that this was really good and it definitely lived up to the hype.  I really enjoyed this.  This was better than the French onion soup I’ve had at Yachtsman Steakhouse, Chefs de France, and Be our Guest.  It rates right up there with Shula’s.

Also the sour dough rolls that were served went really well the soup…

My entrée was not so easily chosen.  Had I not been feeling under the weather, nearly the entire list of options would have appealed to me.  But in my current condition nothing really sounded good to me so this was more an “Eenie, Meenie, Miney Moe” choice…

Lobster “Thermidor” Burger – 7 oz. Artisanal Burger Patty and Lobster-Parmesan Thermidor Sauce on a Seared Brioche Bun and served with Cafe’s Signature Seasoned French Fries

And a little closer look…

Okay, let’s start with the main part of this entrée…

 

When asked, I requested that my burger be cooked medium well but it was quite pink inside.  Too undercooked for my liking.  So I concentrated on the lobster, which was pretty good.  But overall, I didn’t really like the flavor combination of ground beef and lobster so it’s unlikely that I will order this again.

As for the French fries…

…they were heavily seasoned with what tasted like Lawry’s seasoned salt.  They were okay, but the fries I had had earlier this day at Liberty Tree Tavern were much better.  The Liberty Tree ones were much crisper on the outside than these.

So since I didn’t eat much of my entrée, I still had room for dessert…

I couldn’t decide which to order.  So it was this indecisiveness, plus the memory of seeing photos of this very photogenic dessert…

…which always included a cute Mickey made of chocolate, that led to my choice.

In a shameful case of  “My Eyes Being Bigger Than My Stomach” I ordered the…

Dessert Sampler – (from left to right) Mocha Pot de Crème, Chocolate Timbale, Wild Strawberry Cheesecake, and Fresh Berry Tart

While this was still beautifully presented, sadly there was no chocolate Mickey.  But even without the Mickey I knew when they sat this down in front of me that it would be impossible for me to eat it all then.  So I went with Plan B and ate the one that was served in a cup…

Mocha Pot de Crème – Coffee-flavored Custard and Whipped Cream

This was quite good and turned out to be my second favorite of the four desserts.

The other three desserts (after taking photos while they were still looking pretty) I had boxed up and took back to my room to have later.

 

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The Chocolate Timbale was good and came in at 3rd best.

So what was the best, you ask?  My favorite was the Wild Strawberry Cheesecake

This was very good, so it would be my dessert choice the next time I dine at the Grand Floridian Café.

So that just leaves the…

Fresh Berry Tart – Almond cake topped with fresh blueberries and raspberries and apricot glaze

This one I didn’t like.  I didn’t care for this combination of flavors.  If I were ever to get the sampler again here (which I would only do if I had someone to share it with), I would probably ask them to substitute the Berry Tart for a second Cheesecake.

And now for the ratings.  Both Yelp and Trip Advisor reviewers rated the Grand Floridian Café 4 stars.  Based only on this meal, which started and ended well with the soup and desserts but fell a bit flat in the middle with my entrée, I would have to agree with their assessment.  As for their ranking, the Grand Floridian Café came in at #96 of the nearly 3,000 Orlando area restaurants reviewed on Trip Advisor and #33 of the Walt Disney World restaurants.  This was better than many of Disney’s signature restaurants.  Hmm, very interesting.

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