Eating Our Way Around the World – Part II

December 11, 2009

We were on a mission. We had a list of the rest of the counter service restaurants that we needed to cover in World Showcase to complete our task of eating in every country. Part I of this mission covered Germany, Japan, Morocco and France.

United Kingdom

A quick note about this photo was it was hysterical trying to explain to my children what a phone booth was and why we used to need them.

But, onto Yorkshire County Fish Shop we went. Epcot was extremely busy on this Friday in December. The line for the Fish Shop had at least 13 people waiting ahead of us so I found a bench for the children and I to sit on while my partner waited in line for the fish and chips.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

As you can see the meal is two fish strips and a decent serving of fries. Neither child wanted to try the fish as they both detest fish sticks. They like what they call “real” fish – salmon, mahi mahi, etc… not chopped up formed fish sticks. We broke the fish sticks open so that they could see that they are indeed “real” fish. With a bit of skepticism they took tentative bites then asked for more. Unfortunately this is one of the smallest meals we have encountered on our trek around the world.

The two fish strips were about 4″-5″ long each but only about an 1″ wide. For $7.99 I was expecting a bit bigger piece of fish. The fries were hot and crisp. We poured malted vinegar over the top and everyone dove right in.

Dessert choices were a bag of Lays Potato Chips (we already ordered the fries) and wanted the children to taste something that represented the country so we went with the package of Walker’s Shortbread. I love shortbread. I was wishing it had been an actual piece of shortbread made in the parks but this was good.

For our $13.00 for a large drink, shortbread, fish and chips. I felt this was a mediocre counter service. The food was good but the small portion of fish and the pre-packaged dessert really lowered our score.

Ham & Cheese Croissant

Ahhh. The Boulangerie Patisserie. We always stop here for pastries while in the World Showcase. We head to our usual seats – near the gardens next to the International Gateway. There are benches in the back of the gardens that are almost never occupied. Once again we are the only family back there. My partner and children head off to place their order as I sit an relax on the bench. Once in awhile a family would come by for a Kim Possible Mission Clue but other than that no one even ventured back that far into the gardens.

After 20 minutes I begin to wonder about my family. After 30 minutes I become concerned. At 35 minutes they returned. The line for the Patisserie was out the door and back to the fountain in the center of the courtyard.

But there was my croissant. I was not in the mood for something sweet and wanted something more savory. This hit the spot. A thick slice of ham with what I believe was a provolone cheese and then some goat cheese in the center. I was unable to inquire as the line for the Patisserie was so prohibitive. It was all on a flaky, buttery croissant that was slightly warmed. One bite and my little heart fluttered. I did share bites with all of the family as this was about trying different dishes but I did save the last tasty bite for myself.

Chocolate Eclair

My son chose the Chocolate Eclair. He has inherited my chocolate gene. His eclair was perfectly airy and light to hold the heavier chocolate pudding. As you bit into the eclair it was almost as if the dough melted into the pudding so that you wondered if it was ever even there is was so light.

Raspberry Schuss

I will admit I did not taste this dessert. I was too wrapped up in my croissant and by the time the last bite of this came around to me I was too full. My daughter who loves fruit desserts thought that the layers of soft cake nestled between layers of vanilla creme was the best part of the dessert. The top raspberry layer was a little too gummy and sweet for her tastes but still every bite was eaten.

This was my partner’s choice. She could not remember the name of it but it is a dense almond pastry dusted with powdered sugar cut into large slices. This was especially delicious as it was very flavorful but not overly sweet. The almond paste that it was made with was the flavor you were left with in your mouth and not a sugary sweet taste. I thought this was one of the best pastries we had ever eaten in France.

Perfectly full we headed off to see the rest of France including a long stop at the Kidcot Station and then wander over to the boat that runs between Morocco and near Mexico. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were having drinks around they world and they were in Mexico at the Cantina de San Angel waiting for us.

I have to say that of the Counter Service restaurants in World Showcase the ones that I have heard the most negative reviews on are Mexico and China. I used to LOVE this place 7-8 years ago when we last ate here but had things really changed that much that I would hate it?

The birds seem worse than I remember. They seemed to be everywhere and I can’t believe that there are actually people feeding them! Don’t encourage them to stay. There are several people cleaning tables constantly of bird poo but still. Ugh. Wow, these tables are small. My have I grown since I was last here. I really don’t like that the benches are attached to the tables so that you can not adjust for your height or girth.

Ranchos Combinacion

Now the food. We actually ended up ordering two platters as we could not make a decision on what to order. The Ranchos Platter was actually surprisingly good. It was served warm (not hot but warm) and had a good flavor to it. The shredded chicken and cheese taken with a bit of black beans and rice made a perfect mouthful. On their own each individual component was okay but put together they were far superior.

Cantina Burrito

Cantina Burrito – unwrapped

This soft flour tortilla filled with beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, black refried beans, sour cream and Adobo Sauce was again better than my expectations. It was a step up from a Taco Bell type of wrap but again I was not expecting authentic Mexican cuisine from an outdoor counter service. The four of us could not finish all the food on the plates.

So for our eating our way around the world we decided that overall Morocco (part I) aced the test. It offered the most outstanding food, at the best price with the best atmosphere. Next we chose Japan (part I) which was only slightly behind Morocco in taste and quality. And a tie between UK and Mexico (part II) for third place. The quality of food was slightly better in UK but the portions were smaller where in Mexico it was the reverse. The portions were generous but needed to be slightly warmer to ace the taste test.

Of course the Boulangerie Patisserie is in a class by itself. We don’t view this as counter service as you can use snack credits for the tasty treats. But I would order the croissant again as a meal with drink for 2 snack credits.

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