This is a review for The Garden Grill at Epcot, we dined here on September 2017.
Garden Grill is another one of our "staple restaurants". We come here at every visit for a variety of reasons. When we visited on this trip, it was the day before Hurricane Irma was due to hit. So as you can imagine, it was very quiet. Really quiet. I've never seen any Disney restaurant so quiet.
There were around 5 cast members at the check-in desk, and they all looked pretty bored. When we got called forward, we were taken to our table. We walked past many empty tables and it was indeed quite a sight.
Garden Grill is a family style "all you care to enjoy" restaurant. Which means that they will bring food out to you, but you can keep asking for more and more. It is situated on a giant rotating platform, which very slowly moves. It doesn't move fast enough for you to get motion sickness, however. Although depending on where you are sat, it is a little odd to suddenly have a door appear next to you.
To start, we were given a salad and some bread rolls. The bread rolls and butter were delicious (so we of course asked for more). The salad was fine. The salad dressing was a little too heavy on the vinegar side for my taste, but it was perfectly edible nonetheless.
We were then presented with our main course, which consisted of three meats: turkey, beef & sausage. the sides were fries, mash, mac 'n' cheese, stuffing and side salad.
I'm not sure how much has changed with Garden Grill over the years, but I'm sure there was never a sausage and I thought there was some fish. Nevertheless, the Turkey was really good. We weren't huge fans of the "pot roast" beef and the sausage, but they were just about okay. I looked over pictures from last time and there was beef steak, which was really nice, so it's a shame they changed that out. Cost cutting maybe? The mac 'n' cheese was delightful as always. The fries were just the regular fries you find around all other quick service restaurants. The mash was really good. And, the stuffing was okay, just a little over-seasoned for my taste.
It was time for dessert, but to be honest we were pretty full. Our server brought it over and we gasped at the size of it. It was, as they said - a Short Cake with whipped cream on top. It was very filling and very sweet. We could barely eat more than a couple spoonfuls!
As the restaurant was really quiet, the characters obviously kept making their rounds and we saw each of the them at least 5 times. They also were having a little fun themselves with all the extra time they had.
Overall I remember the food being better than it was when we had it on this trip, but the interactions of the characters are second to none. To be honest, if this was not a character restaurant, this probably wouldn't make it on our "staple restaurant" list.
We will go back? Sure! I'm not happy they changed the fish our for a sausage that wasn't that nice, and replaced the beef steak strips out with pot roast beef. But it would be at the end of our staple list in case there is something else we'd rather try or experience next time.
Our Score 3.5/5
Is it worth the money? Probably just, but only for the character interaction
Is it worth the dining plan credit? It is worth your credit if you desire buffet style food and characters
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