Disney Dining For the Boys

The Hungry Guy's Guide to Disney World Restaurants - a list of the best meaty, manly dining options to keep your hungry males from becoming "hangry" males.   

Is this another article pandering to the male stereotypes of grilled meat, fried food and huge portions?  You bet, because those things are awesome!

In a land where princesses can outnumber pirates, Disney World can still be an excellent place to get your manly grub on.  Here are some of our favorite stout-hearted selections:

EPCOT

Teppan Edo – guys flashing huge knives and periodic bursts of flame right at your table, while you sit mere inches from a 1000-degree cooking surface. Outstanding Japanese cuisine with a side of DANGER!

Coral Reef – It’s always cool to sit just a few feet from live sharks while you eat. Try the seared mahi- mahi to feel victorious, or the New York Strip - an excellent steak, even by snooty Texan standards.

La Hacienda de San Angel – Try the La Hacienda, a grilled offering of New York strip, half a chicken al pastor, chorizos, with sides of vegetables, beans and fresh salsas. Bring a friend and split it – let’s not risk injury.

Le Cellier Steakhouse – My well-traveled brother’s favorite, seared Canadian bison strip loin for those of us who want to something that once roamed the open plains, or the absolutely magnificent Black Angus boneless rib-eye.

San Angel Inn Restaurante – because men like a little lovin’ from time to time, try a romantic atmosphere for your special someone, coupled with Camarones a la Diabla, a roasted diabla-style shrimp with poblano rice, and the grilled carne asada served with cheese enchilada cannot be beaten.

Via Napoli -  I would like to be able to offer something insightful about the variety of entrees based on southern Italian cuisine, but I never made it past the build-your-own Pizza Napoletana, which resulted in a thorough belt-loosening and a markedly slower pace for the next few hours. It was rough – I almost couldn’t fit the Tiramisu in, but I pushed through it because I’m an American, and Americans don’t quit. 

 The Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest – For when you need a sandwich as big as your forearm , be the Beast (or Gaston, if you have to) and get the carved prime chuck roast-beef sandwich - served warm on a baguette with horseradish sour cream and Pommes Frites (what fancy people call fries). This is the only time I’ve ever looked at my daughter and said “You don’t have to finish that.”

Casey’s Corner – Get the Barbecue Slaw Dog topped with Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, and BBQ Sauce, with a side of fries to bribe the birds so they don’t steal your hot dog. Seriously - watch the birds.  

Pecos Bill Tale Tale Inn & Cafe - Nacho Rio Grande Challenge – You're seeing the words "nacho" and "challenge" and you're already excited, aren't you?  This is a "secret" menu item featuring 12-pounds of nachos that is only available between 3PM & 6PM.   There is a limit of four Nacho Real Grande Challenges available at a time so arrive early!   Click here to learn more!

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare - I get the Chicken and Spareribs with baked beans and corn every time, followed b y the Vanilla Cake dessert. I can’t believe this is counter service.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant - The Reuben. Oh, how I praise thee, Saint Rueben, especially after the opening hymn of onion rings in the horseradish dipping sauce.  And the benediction shall be led by brother Warm Glazed Doughnut with Cinnamon Apples and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, with caramel sauce. Amen.

Starring Rolls – if there’s one thing I like, it’s a wild overconsumption of sugars and carbohydrates early in the morning, and my go-to is the Apple Turnover, or a massive cinnamon roll. Just not at the same time.  OK – fine. I got both, and I ate them both, but that doesn’t mean you should.  Look – if the meal plan says two snacks, somebody has to eat those snacks, and if you can pound them down it just saves time later in the day, so really it’s a win-win. 

Toluca Legs Turkey Co. – Turkey legs require more commitment than say, a chicken drumstick, but are one of the few foods you can wander aimlessly and gnaw on without worrying about public opinion. When I see a fellow carnivore dispatching a turkey leg, I think to myself “I accept you, brother (or sister) – go in peace with your massive stick of smoked domesticated fowl, and enjoy it down to the very last juicy morsel. “ For when you eat a turkey leg, all who eat the turkey leg are your bretheren. Or sisteren, if that’s a word. 

Animal Kingdom

Tusker House - I don’t know what berebere is, but when they put it on the Berbere-rubbed spit-roasted beef strip loin it is a thing of beauty. The Kenyan coffee BBQ pork loin is another thing of beauty, as is the Cape Malay Curry Chicken. There is much beauty in this place, made even more beautiful because it’s another glorious buffet.

Flame Tree BBQ – Being from Texas, I am an unashamed BBQ snob. One of the strictest, most time-honored and effective criteria for determining the worthiness of any particular establishment is this: You MUST be able to small the product from outside the restaurant.  Fortunately, because Flame Tree uses an actual on-site smokehouse, they score a solid win. Pick any meat and you won’t be disappointed, and sides of beans and coleslaw, which are often disregarded and wasted at other places (even in my beloved Texas) are wonderful, as is the genius that is jalapeño cornbread, which I will not share. No, sir – I will not.

 Disney Resorts – because sometimes you just have to say “I ain’t leaving.”

Disney’s Polynesian Resort: 'Ohana – For dinner only, you can have steak, chicken or shrimp prepared over an open fire, because fire makes everything better.

Disney’s Caribbean Resort: Shutters at Old Port Royale –My Ancho-grilled Beef Rib-Eye came in a close second to the Pepperberry-rubbed Caribbean Pork Ribs. If you can survive dinner without being wheeled out, pound down a Warm Banana Bread Pudding with Rum-Caramel Sauce if you can.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort:  Whispering Canyon Café – At night, sometimes I dream about cornbread, slow-smoked pork ribs, barbecued pulled pork, roasted chicken, oak-roasted beef strip loin, and Western-style Sausage served with mashed yukon potatoes, corn on the cob, and cowboy-style Baked Beans. There’s some vegetables in there as well, but I forgot to mention them because did I mention this is a BUFFET?

Disney's BoardWalk: Big River Grill – There’s really not a way to go wrong here, but trying to decide between the full-slab of Rocket Red ribs and the steaks will drive one to distraction.  Fortunately, you can watch an actual brewmaster craft the delicious varieties of micro-brews onsite, to aid in your contemplation, or to grossly impair it, depending on how thirsty you are. 

Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) 

Disney Springs:  Raglan Road – My mother’s name is O’Bryant, and they’ve managed to hold on to much of their Irish heritage without overly pandering to the Irish stereotypes. This place has managed to nail the cuisine, and if you leave hungry it’ll be your fault somehow.  The Guinness bangers and mash are as close to authentic as you can get without a misty loch and wooly turtleneck, and in Florida that’s just a bad idea.  At the risk of sounding un-manly, I feel at home here, and as King Brian said “You can forget the tears an' troubles of the world outside. There's nothin' but fun and diversion here.”

Dinner Shows

Because sometimes the kings need to be entertained while they dine. Admit it – they do.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show -  narrowly avoid injury with this all-you-can-eat debauchery of Island pulled pork, BBQ ribs, roasted chicken and some vegetables that are delicious but can take up valuable space that could be occupied by more meat. The pineapple-coconut bread is an acceptable substitute, as is the warm pineapple bread pudding with caramel sauce.  Wheelbarrows are not available to carry you out -I checked.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness:  Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue – possibly saving the best for last, buckets of all-you-can-eat fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, as well as a tossed green salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread and strawberry shortcake, followed by three of the most glorious words known to men: unlimited draft beer.

This article was written by Ian Scott who has decades of experience in both eating and being male.  He is also an expert at planning Disney vacations and would love to help you plan your next trip.  

Click here to see Ian's bio

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