Each and every trip to Disney, we like to try out at least one new-to-us restaurant. During this trip, that happened to be Carnation Cafe (which is definitely not a new restaurant to the park!)
Located on Main Street USA, Carnation Cafe features some of Walt’s favourite recipes. It is not a huge place, and reservations are definitely recommended.
We checked in, and only had to wait a few minutes before our names were called and we were led to a two-top table in the outside section. The menu is not huge here, just a single page.
We ordered our drinks – a root beer for me and a cherry coke for Luke. They quickly arrived (and apparently I was so thirsty I drank a quarter of mine before taking a picture haha).
I loved the carnations in the design of the tabletop, I thought it was a cute way to tie in the name of the restaurant. It also gave it a vintage feel – I wonder how old these tables actually are?
There were also real carnations on every table. I’m not a huge flower person, but I’ve always likes the simplicity of carnations 🙂
While we were sitting there, waiting for our food, a server came over and asked if we would mind moving to a different table. They had a large group checking in, and they needed our two-top table to push up against a large 6-top. They ended up moving us to a 4-top table – so no complaints from us! It’s always nice to have a little more space for our food!
Luke decided to start with the Fried Pickles with Dipping Sauce – Dill pickle spears dipped in Parmesan and Panko, fried golden brown and served with a house sauce, $7.
I don’t like pickles, so I didn’t try these, but Luke seemed to really enjoy them! He described them as having a nice crispy/dense panko-style breading The sauce was like a cajun aioli, and tasted great with the pickles. He did recommend sharing it between two people, he found it to be a lot to eat all on his own.
I had scoped out the menu before we even made this dining reservation, so I knew exactly what I was going to order before I even sat down – the Chicken-Fried Chicken – buttermilk-fried chicken breast served with mashed potatoes, country gravy and seasonal vegetables, $18.
This was a huge piece of chicken! It was much larger than I expected it to be, and it was tasty! The batter on it was really good – flaky and crispy at the same time, and the chicken was nice and moist. The mashed potatoes were good, although I did ask for more of the country gravy so I could pour it on top of those as well. The seasonal vegetables were a little underwhelming, just a few pieces of cauliflower and broccoli, but I still ate them. The sourdough roll was nice, and I appreciated the huge dish of butter they provided to smear over everything (obviously, I didn’t put butter on my chicken haha).
I came close, but I wasn’t quite able to finish everything on my plate. I would definitely order this meal again!
Luke ordered the Homemade Meatloaf – our special blend of beef and pork served with ketchup glaze, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and seasonal vegetables, $15. Since my meal was also served with mashed potatoes, we asked about switching his out for french fries, and that was no issue at all – we just wanted to try both 🙂
The outside of the meatloaf had a nice crunch to it, while the inside was juicy and flavourful. The ketchup glaze had a smokey taste and the mushroom gravy was just the right amount of savoury. The perfect umami complement to its tangy tomato counterpart. The shoestring fries were as you’d want them to be. Light, crisp and not too greasy. The ketchup was sublime. Or Heinz. Either way – 9/10. Would dip fries into again. The vegetables were pretty good to, if not necessary to get a little fibre involved with this whole thing. We’re not getting any younger – amiright?
After using my annual pass to save 15%, our total bill came to $43.94 after tax – not bad for such a good meal!