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Sunday 26 March 2017
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Dining Review: The Good, the Not-so-Bad and the Ugly – Part Six, More Not-so-Bad and the Ugly

As much as I want to love each and every dining experience in my favorite place, Walt Disney World, reality slaps my face in the form of medicore sushi, salty British food and a sad buffet. But the good news is that all three make my list that border “Not-so-Bad” and “Ugly.” Sadly though, all three are at Epcot, which I consider the dining mecca in WDW. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

First up, the “Not-so-Bad….”

Katsura Grill, JapanJapan is one of my favorite counties in World Showcase at Epcot. It’s tranquil and beautifully detailed. Tucked away in a back corner through winding garden paths and a koi pond is a quick service restaurant. We stopped here for a quick bite of sushi. I’ve been here before and knew that the sushi is pretty tame here compared to your typical sushi place. However, I felt this trip the sushi was modified even more for the less-than-adventurous palate. We shared a spicy tuna roll with matcha (green tea) cheesecake. I am very sensitive to spicy foods and often ask my local sushi place to make it less spicy for me but Disney’s version of spicy was nonexistent. As for the cheesecake, besides a slight hue of green, there was no trace of matcha in there. I want to love it here because it the surroundings are so beautiful but the food just doesn’t cut if for this sushi lover. This is coming from someone who could eat sushi daily if it wasn’t so expensive AND keeps a jar of matcha in her cupboard.  Rating C+
Rose & Crown Pub, United Kingdom – It had been several years since my last visit that I enjoyed dining here. I had timed the reservation close to Illuminations, Epcot’s night time firework show. When I checked in I requested a patio seat to view the show but it was a 45 minute wait that wasn’t guaranteed. The hostess noted that many people already seated would probably not leave those seats (this was an hour and a half before the show). We still sat outside under the covered patio and had limited viewing for Illuminations. Take note there is a separate viewing area for Rose & Crown guests that has a great view and you will be escorted to if asked.
We started with a Scotch Egg, a fried hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, which was pretty tasty, even the baby liked it. We also tried a side order as an appetizer, Bubble and Squeak. Bubble and Squeak is a concoction of potatoes and cabbage covered in a brown sauce. The veggies were bland and the brown sauce was too salty. We all passed on it. For our main courses we had the Grilled Salmon with veggies and the Grilled Tenderloin and Fried Fish, served with Yorkshire pudding, potatoes and veggies. The general consensus was that everything was extremely salty here. The highlight of the meal was the fried fish, it was light, crispy and delicious. Everything else was better left on the plate. For dessert we tried the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which I know is a fan favorite. It is essentially sponge cake covered in a toffee sauce and is incredibly sweet. We all agreed it was just ok, just overwhelmingly sweet. (This coming from someone who eats chocolate for breakfast – sometimes….).
This is another place, in my opinion, you go for the experience, not the food. It probably has the best views of Illuminations anywhere in Epcot. As an added bonus, don’t forget the Hat Lady singing and playing the piano indoors. She treated my daugther to a song while we were there! Rating  C+


Ok, brace yourselves – it’s time for the “Ugly.” Just one restaurant the entire trip earned this categorization. I want to like this place, really I do, I even had a awesome experience once before. But this time the food just killed it. I’m hoping it was an off night since I know it’s a fan favorite. Drum roll please….


Biergarten, Germany – I’m throwing up my white peace flag here but perhaps our biggest dining disappointment was the Biergarten on this trip. I thought it would be a lot of fun to experience German food and the Oompah band, having had a great visit once before. All of us, including myself, my fiancé, his 12 year old son and my fiancé’s father visiting us for the night, did not enjoy the food at all. Between the four of us we tried pretty much everything. We found the food to be tough, over-salted and sitting under the heaters for too long. The oompah band played for only about ten minutes for the hour plus we were there so that was a big disappointment as well. The setting is beautiful but I’d really love to forget that meal. There was not one item I can say any of us enjoyed. Rating D
There you have it, that concludes my dining experience, the good, the not-so-bad and the ugly. This trip was a learning experience for me and opened my eyes to some great new dishes and places. It also knocked Le Cellier out of my first place spot as my favorite restaurant and Be Our Guest took over. I hope you enjoyed the reviews as much as I enjoyed writing them. Bon Appetit!

View more articles from The Good, the Not-so-Bad and the Ugly Dining Series by Danielle:
Part One: Introduction
Part Four: The Rest of the Good
Part Five: Not-so Bad…
Part Six: More Not-so-Bad and the Ugly




  • wdw_eeyore

    I have to agree. Biergarten just ain’t what it used to be. Love the entertainment, but the food has gone South. Another huge disappointment is Boatwrights @ PORS. Another restaurant that has fallen to low standards, poor service, and lousy food. Thanks for the info.

  • I’m not a fan of Biergarten, Germany either…I have allergies to MSG and nearly the whole buffet has sausage in it…which is a big MSG factor. It does seem to be a fan favorite though, because every time I go, people always want to eat there!

  • Kayla

    I’m a sushi lover too, but after living in Japan I just can’t skip the soba soup and noodles at Katsura! If you haven’t already and are brave enough to try there again I would give their tempura shrimp or beef bowl a try!

  • Danielle

    Hi Kayla, I will give the soba soup and noodles at Katsura a try next time! Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Danielle

    WDW_Eeyore, never tried Boatwrights, thanks for the tip.

  • Danielle

    Julia, although I think Biergarten has a lot of fans I think it’s definitely not the most popular restaurant in World Showcase. I definitely think there are much better options.

  • Shea

    My husband and I ate at Biergarten in December 2011 and I will never step foot in that place again. We both wound up with food poisoning from something we ate and everything was dry and bland…even the desserts.

  • Debbie

    Three words: Cape May Cafe. Yum! Can’t wait to try the Be Our Guest restaurant in December when we are there. We’re were just there in March and the lines were too long. Also, you need to experience the Epcot Food & Wine Festival held every October. Talk about GOOD!

  • JM

    Thanks for the article,I enjoy the different points of view….personally I dislike Rose and Crown,my kids LOVE the Japanese restaurants,and last trip ,we met family for Biergarten,which surprised us all by being the highlight food/entertainment of our vacation!(That soup….the best ever) I don’t know if it’s different tastes,or the food differs that much from one night to the next…. I wonder….Biergarten is my new fave place! Plus,we stayed so long we heard 3 sets of music LOL,and had time to dance the polka….

  • Danielle

    Shea – I’m sorry to hear about your experience! That’s awful!

  • Danielle

    Debbie – Cape May Cafe is on my list to try out! You will not regret Be Our Guest – it is my new favorite restaurant. I’ve been to the F&W festival many times, it’s my favorite time of year!

  • Danielle

    JM – Thanks for your feedback! I think it could be a matter of tastes but moreso the food differing because I had a previously good experience there!