Garden Grill is a character dinner inside The Land at EPCOT. My favorite parts of this restaurant were the characters and rotating through the Living with the Land attraction. That made for a very fun experience.
It’s “all you care to eat,” and while we had plenty of food that we all left full, it was not the best meal I’ve ever had at Disney.
The entree was good, but first course and dessert were lacking.
The first course was a salad. It was a very plain salad. There were about 3 tomatoes in the whole thing! The standard dressing isn’t vegan, so they brought oil and vinegar. I’m not a fan of oil and vinegar, so I had mine without dressing.
The table bread isn’t vegan, but they had the Udi’s allergy-friendly gluten-free rolls. They warmed them, which was nice. But they were still quite dry. They were okay with a little of the olive oil.
For the main course, we got the new vegetarian entree, modified to be vegan, and several of the sides that are vegan/modified vegan.
For you fans of the previous polenta vegetarian entree, I asked about it specifically, and the chef said they don’t have it anymore in favor of this (in the chef’s opinion, better) option.
The sides were white rice, sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli, and vegan-modified mashed potatoes. They were all okay. The rice was a little bland. I was happy to have a healthy vegetable like broccoli. The fries were a nice treat. I’ve never met a mashed potato I didn’t like, and these were very good, but not the most gourmet ones I’ve had by any means.
The new vegetarian entree is a cool concept and has impressive presentation. It’s a stuffed poblano pepper filled with a mixture of Israeli couscous, red quinoa, eggplant, and zucchini. It is served on a bed of white beans in a tomato sauce. The filling tasted a lot like the zucchini and eggplant flatbread sandwich at Sunshine Seasons. So, while the flavor was good, I was also a little disappointed that it was so familiar. But for anyone who hasn’t had that sandwich a million times, it is very tasty. I think I enjoyed the bed of beans it was served on even more. Good job Garden Grill for giving us a vegetarian (and easily vegan-izable) entree with some protein! And protein other than tofu to boot! (Not that I have anything against tofu; I could eat tofu every day–but for variety’s sake, and for the soy-allergic, this was a great decision).
We ordered seconds of the mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, and peppers’ filling. I would have ordered more of the beans, but I was getting quite full at that point.
Dessert was marinated berries with a GF, vegan bread of some sort. I did not care for this bread at all. I detected a strong corn and almost bitter flavor (from it being GF) and it was not very dessert-like to me. The fruit was a little too sweet since it was marinated and could have really used a nicer biscuit to complement it.
Our first and last impressions (salad and dessert) were not the best. But the entree selection offered good variety and mostly good, unique flavors. I don’t think I’d return here without improvements to the salad and dessert. However, the character interactions and the ever-changing view helped make Garden Grill worth the rather hefty price tag.