Englishmum on Disney food: Gourmet delights amid the hidden Mickeys

Flying Fish Café blogger menu

WHO’D have thought it? The first time I tasted crab cakes and red snapper came at 1.30am our time on Disney’s Boardwalk, from a very fancy menu, personalised especially for our arrival.

As someone who struggles with their weight, it’s fair to say I love my food * far* too much and I eat too much crap. That’s why I was worried about what would be on offer at Walt Disney World, during our PR-hosted stay. (I’m fully aware how ridiculous this sounds by the way. Worrying about the free food on offer isn’t exactly up there with solving third world debt, now is it?)

Even my fellow traveller, Becky from Englishmum a gifted foodie no less, who when not cracking up at all the talk of hidden Mickeys (in Ireland it means d*ck in case you were wondering – no beating around the bush there) was well impressed.

Here’s an adapted version of a recent post from her brilliant blog. Thanks Becky for letting me post it. For anyone heading out to Walt Disney World, anytime soon, please bring me back some doughnuts.

Disney 7 logo

I SUPPOSE a common preconception about visiting Disney (maybe even America in general) is that you’re going to have to survive on a fast food diet of chips, burger and pizza.

But seriously, nothing is further from the truth. In fact, when our happy band of bloggers did happen to pass a rather enormous McDonalds in the bloggerbus, we were all begging Sarah (our very own Disney Mary Poppins) to let us stop. Happily, she had far nicer stuff in store for us:

First night, then, saw us wandering along Disney’s beautiful Boardwalk area, still dazed from our amazing upgraded flight (never EVER been upstairs in a plane before) and the fact that it was now 1am back home. The Boardwalk is a beautiful recreation of a 1940s seaside resort, where we walked, further dazzled by the beautiful lights twinklingly reflected in the water, into the stunning and very classy Flying Fish Café. We were even more gobsmacked when we found that Disney had created a restaurant menu just for us.

We started with cocktails (I had a Bay Breeze) and the chef brought us a little ‘amuse bouche’ of spiced seared tuna with a ‘carrot-coconut infusion’ (me neither but it was lubly) topped with sturgeon caviar (yellow and green – how do the Sturgeon do that?). I adored the caviar – I love the way it pops on your tongue. I tell you, thoughts of burgers were now seriously melting away:

Our amuse bouche at the Flying Fish Café

We moved onto our appetisers. I chose beautifully tender crispy sesame and togarashi scented calamari, served with spiced green papaya (amazing) and an Asian dipping sauce. For entrées (no mains here, baby) the choice was vast – from fresh yellowfin tuna… scallops… red snapper… I went for a beautiful piece of oak-grilled North Atlantic salmon with puy lentils and American Sturgeon caviar which was fabulous, and in my eagerness to stuff it into my face, I actually forgot to take a picture of it. I did, though take a pic (and a couple of generously proffered forkfuls – I think it was the fact that I was drooling on her shoulder that did it) of Jane‘s beautiful hand harvested Maine scallops with a pea, Pecorino, basil and mascarpone laced risotto and weird triffid things. It tasted even better than it looked:

Maine scallops

Too stuffed for desserts, we staggered back to our beautiful Beach Club Resort for a well earned rest.
Up bright and early to breakfast with Minnie, Goofy and Donald (more of this later). I actually still feel stuffed from the night before so settle for a reasonably ‘light’ breakfast of Mickey waffles with fruit, ignoring the vast array of bacon, sausages, fried potatoes, grits, yoghurts, and even desserts such as cobblers and crumbles:

Mickey waffles

Quick DISNEY FACT here: all around Walt Disney World there are what’s known as ‘hidden Mickeys’. There are even proper ‘hidden Mickey’ nerds that make it their life’s work to know where they all are. We spotted a couple, including a Mickey-shaped rivet in a manhole cover and a Mickey-shaped electricity pylon (no, honestly). This, obviously caused me to collapse in a heap laughing every time somebody mentioned it. Why? Because in Ireland a Mickey is another name for a man’s erm… oh, you know. And ‘hidden Mickey’ has all sorts of connotations to my filthy brain which prompted the snorting. Sorry…

The evening found us hurling ourself upside down on various rides at Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios Resort (sorry, but I’m going to have to keep saying ‘more of this later’) where we dined at the spectacular Hollywood Brown Derby, a pretty good approximation of the original Brown Derby, frequented by the stars and decorated with signed caricatures (I spotted Bette Davis’s and Fred Astaire’s).

The service, as usual, was impeccable: friendly, helpful, discreet and informative. The steaks were absolutely amazing (I think most of us ordered one):

Fabulous Brown Derby steak

We couldn’t possibly manage dessert so we had a cocktail instead.

Here’s a final DISNEY FACT to keep you on your toes: Walt Disney’s brain is widely held to be kept in a secret location, cryogenically frozen. This is a load of horse poo. He was just buried like everybody else. See, you’re gagging for more now, I can tell….