Monday, October 1, 2007

Lotus Blossom Cafe (Epcot)

Epcot, like the other Disney parks, has lots of dining choices.  Epcot hosts the World Showcase, too; meaning there’s food from 11 different countries available so narrowing down a choice isn’t always easy.  One key thing to keep in mind is that there are essentially three types of places to get food.  The first category is small kiosks and stands, where you can get a quick bite to eat, the second category is your more reasonably priced sit-down restaurants, some using the cafeteria line method showcased in a few of my earlier Disney restaurant reviews, and then lastly, the nicer higher-priced upscale dining establishments.   Lotus Blossom Cafe falls into the second category, and is right nearby Nine Dragons, one of the aforementioned expensive places.  Lotus’ menu contains only a handful of items and is ideal for lunch or to get some fuel to keep your park trekking energy up.

We went to Lotus Blossom Cafe on our first Disney visit in ’06.  The pictures above are from our first trip.  The food was uniformly good, and in comparison to other, less expensive eateries the character of the food, people, and atmosphere here was more than enough to make it one of the only restaurants we made a return visit to on our second trip.

This time we both opted to get the Orange Chicken with steamed rice.  We had dinner reservations later that night and figured this would be a fun, quality lunch.  Chinese food has been bastardized by shopping malls and culturally plundered, but still in America, you can find both good and bad examples of it.  As far as mall and similar fare goes, Lotus’ Orange Chicken would rank up near the best that I’ve ever had.  It’s not fancy but rather simple and straightforward, but the taste is incredible, and the texture of the crispy chicken, thick, sweet sauce, and rice is unbelievably satisfying.

We tried what I believe they referred to as a “Choco Bubble Drink”, hoping it’d be similar to the boba tea phenomenon we’d recently been introduced to.  For the uninitiated, boba is generally little black round balls of tapioca that have a chewy texture, and are put in the bottom of tea and other beverages.  So, when you’re drinking, you’ll occasionally suck up a couple through your straw.  Writing it out sounds rather ridiculous, but when done correctly, it can be fun and quite addicting.  This beverage however was a pale imitation.  It tasted like generic chocolate milk, with crushed ice, and thin, rubbery square pieces that were their answer to boba.

A few small birds joined us for lunch.  I don’t think the employees were real thrilled we were feeding them bits of rice, but how could we refuse such delicate, beautiful creatures?

In closing, I really do enjoy Lotus Blossom Cafe.  I’ve been there twice, and next time I’m in Orlando, I’ll definitely be there again.  If there were a franchise of these and one was within driving distance, I’d make the trip regularly.  But, being that this is the only one, gives it so much more charm.  It’s located right in the heart of the China section of World Showcase, and really one of the best lunch options in all of Epcot.

Overall Grade: B+ 

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