Epcot’s Living Seas Pavilion • Walt Disney World Resort • Lake Buena Vista, FL 32856 • (407) 824-4321 • disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/coral-reef-restaurant
When you enter a theme park the likes of Disney, your expectations quickly plummet somewhere between high school cafeteria and prison food, so much so that sustenance takes over as the main objective. Almost as if you were on the show Survivor. And if you’ve ever done Disney with two children under the age of six, it’s a lot like Survivor in more ways than one.
But the touristy masses of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, burgers and turkey legs, were no match for the Ferocious Foodie, who saw past the sea of crap food to a different kind of sea, of the food variety.
Yes, there’s actually a decent seafood restaurant tucked away in a corner of Epcot right next to the Nemo ride. I know, part of me is dying inside just having to type these words, but truth be truth.
Inside the restaurant the décor is too cavernous to ever be considered nice, but the novelty of giant fish tanks that would make most major aquariums swoon, certainly adds a little something extra to the experience.
As for the “decent” food I mentioned, the rainbow trout was surprisingly moist, with a nice balance of flavors between the starch of the white beans and the salty, savory accent of bacon.
Unfortunately, the other fish, the Mahi Mahi, wasn’t quite at the same level, being more what you might expect from a place founded on the fame of a six-foot mouse.
And while the kids had a typical children’s menu staple, mac and cheese, they licked the bowls clean, so I’m assuming that it’s pretty damn good, at least by the standards of my Ferocious progeny (when they order mac & cheese they usually never finish).
Shockingly enough, the cupcake that came with the kid’s meal was also surprisingly good. Moist and not too sickly sweet on the frosting.
Now don’t get me wrong here. It’s not like I’m comparing this to the likes of La Chevre D’or in the South of France or anything, but amidst the recalibrated expectations of theme park cuisine, it’s gourmet.