veggie and vegan finds at disney
I recently gave into the hype and went with the fam to what my three-year-old refers to as “mickey park” for five entire days. I expected the boys and I to overdose on pasta and French fries, and we did have our fair share. However, there is something to be said for the veggie—even vegan—friendliness of the place.
The culinary highlights began when I discovered that BabyCakes, the beloved Lower East Side vegan bakery with gluten-free options, has a storefront in Downtown Disney. Yes, among the menus running amok with burgers and chicken salads sits this heaven-sent spot some 10 feet by ten feet in size (I’m guessing at the square footage, but you get my point) with the familiar cursive pink BabyCakes logo on its storefront, and its luscious selection of dairy-free cupcakes, cookies and brownies to be found behind the counter. B, my three-year-old, is allergic to dairy (not just lactose intolerant, but genuinely allergic), so I was thrilled to find an offshoot of the trusted vegan bakery unexpectedly standing before me when I entered the Downtown Disney Complex. I ordered two chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes to go. If I had wavered in my loyalty to BabyCakes before now, I am now a lifelong follower.
But the culinary highlight of the trip was the sit-down restaurant in the Contemporary Resort, where we stayed. In avertedly, hubby did right by me. He chose The Contemporary for its convenience to the Magic Kingdom—only three stops on the monorail (with a stop located in the hotel) going there, and one stop going back. But alas, its signature dining spot, The Wave, specialized in sustainable, organic, locally-grown produce, and also had an impressive all vegetarian menu with dishes that went beyond the predicable (some might say offensive) grilled vegetable plate.
Veggies and vegans like their hearty, fattening food too.
It took us three days to make it to the Wave, but once we did, we ate nowhere else for the last two days.
The highlight of the veggie menu included an explosively rich all-vegan, gluten-free curry stew, made with a coconut milk base, featuring butternut squash, heirloom apples and jade rice.
You could also order sautéed tofu with edamame, fresh corn, green beans and tomato.
The tofu turned out to be a life saver because my veggie boys eat little more than pasta and French fries when we travel. Yet, they found themselves feasting on bowls of tofu and whole-grain penne two days in a row.
Hubby ordered the tofu tacos, which were really more like wraps with grilled tofu, grated cheese, home-made salsa, and a hand-whipped aoli that blew his mind, which was made of butter and fresh herbs and spices.
Personally, I gorged on the veggie burger twice, in all its glory, topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms, and a generous serving of guacamole. It came with a pickle, lettuce, tomato, and baked fries on a corn-wheat bun.
Curiously, there is no mention of a vegetarian menu on The Wave’s web site.
In my next post on disney… vegan finds in the Magic Kingdom.