Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

by josh on October 7, 2012

10/8/14 Update: Menu updated.

Location: In Frontierland – Country Bear Jamboree is to the left and if you continued walking, you’d see Big Thunder and Splash Mountains on your right and Adventureland down to your left.

Food Type: Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches.

Dining Plan: One quick service credit and some items are snack credits.

Lunch Entrees:




Dinner Entrees available after 4pm:

Note the Steak and Chicken Platter is up to $16.19.

Unique Items: Southwest Chicken Salad, Karubi Style Short Ribs, Steak and Chicken Plater.

Advantages:

  • Restaurant is dark, kept at a nice cool temperature, and themed well.
  • The toppings bar is among the best in Disney World, offering sauteed onions and mushrooms, hot cheese sauce, salsa, lemons, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Ranch and Caesar salad dressings are also provided along with packets of croutons.
  • Service is usually on the fast side even when lines appear long.
  • The Taco Salad is a nice customizable choice.
  • Dinner sees several items that are good values on the Dining Plan.

Disadvantages:

  • Much more limited menu than has been offered in the past, particularly at lunch.
  • During peak meal times and/or heavy crowds, there usually aren’t enough tables inside.  Disney may try to keep people without food from holding tables, but that only causes the ordering area to be more cramped.
  • Noisy.
  • Nothing on the menu is particularly inspired.  Items are generally Disney staples, including the Pork Sandwich  and Hamburgers.
  • Burgers are generally dry, overcooked, and flavorless.

Value: Average.  This is mostly standard Disney entrees at standard Disney prices.  Several of the dinner options cost as much as some table service entrees and don’t bring the same kind of quality.

Reputation: Despite an arguably mundane menu, Pecos Bill remains one of Disney’s most popular quick services.  It helps that it’s located in a busy corridor that connects Adventureland and Frontierland.  The toppings bar carries Pecos, but the food is the definition of average Disney.

Food Choices:

Barbecued Pork Sandwich

Pictured is the Barbecued Pork Sandwich from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, but they’re all the same.  Similar items are also available at Fairfax Fare (Hollywood Studios) and Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom).  It’s really nothing to write home about.  If you’re familiar with the Jack Daniels brand of pulled pork, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what to expect inside this thing.  It’s better than Lloyd’s or Curly’s though.  I am a bit of a meat tub connoisseur, so you can trust me on this.  There’s a reasonable dollop in between the basic bun, but I didn’t find it to be a particularly filling or satisfying meal.

Karubi Style Short Ribs

This is how your Karubi Ribs appear on the plate alongside the radioactive-looking Sweet Potato Fries. I’m not sure the small picture emphasizes the texture or the amount of fat covering the ribs. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/karubi2.jpg.

I’m still not sure the amount of fat on these suckers is obvious.  The good news is that the meat was quite good – moist, tender, and bathed in a tangy barbecue sauce.  I had some problems differentiating what was meat and what was fat because the textures were similar and you’re fighting the battle with a plastic fork and knife on the battlefield that is a slippery paper plate.  The Sweet Potato Fries, which you could argue are nutritionally worse-for-you than the regular fries, seemed to be the same that they used to serve at Restaurantosaurus.  They were crispy with a distinct sweet potato flavor – a nice change of pace from the prototypical Disney fry.

There’s one short rib on the left – everything on the right of the plate is either fat or bone.  My caution here is to expect a lot of fat covering the ribs, potentially making them not-kid-friendly as well as taking some time to separate meat and fat.  It’s not a particularly attractive process.  The good news is that it’s a ton of food and quite filling.  And the meat that you do uncover should be moist and flavorful.  The side of coleslaw is kind of a joke, but I’m not complaining since I don’t like coleslaw.  It’s about two bites in a tiny cup.  At $14.19, the meal is one of the more expensive on the Disney Dining Plan.  With how disgusting the food looks on the plate and how arduous the ribs are to eat, I can’t give the Karubi Style Short Ribs two thumbs up.  But please comment if you’ve tried them.  We all have different tastes.

Southwest Chicken Salad

Mixed Greens, Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese, Tomato, Roasted Corn, and Chipotle Ranch.  This had a slightly spicy chipotle dressing and a healthy portion of sliced up chicken.  There wasn’t nearly enough dressing in that little tub to cover the salad.  I can appreciate them wanting to give guests the opportunity to dress their salad as they like, but if they’re going to give you two ounces, they might as well pour it over themselves.  Beware of that jalapeno – it’s no joke.  There’s a lot of heat there.  Fortunately you can simply remove it if it’s not your thing.  Finally, the corn was lacking much flavor, despite looking attractive (in real life) on the plate.

Taco Salad

The Taco Salad is the same one served at Tortuga Tavern around the corner in Adventureland.  What you get is just the meat, shell, and small packet of sour cream.  You then take the shell over to the condiment bar to “dress it up” with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and whatever else.  This throws a lot of people off because they’re expecting to see something resembling an actual salad when it’s served.  I like to order the Taco Salad at off-peak times because it can be a hassle to get to the lettuce and cheese during peak meal times.  There isn’t a ton of beef in the bottom and most of the meal comes from the condiment bar.  It would also be helped along by some more interesting ingredients.  That said, it is a nice light option and the shell is a lot of  “fun” to eat as you go to town on the salad.  Crispy and flaky.

Steak and Chicken Platter:

I’m happy to report that the new iteration continues the tradition of basically inedible quick service fare at Pecos Bill.

Imagine the cheapest, driest, most flavorless piece of meat-ish possibly allowable by the FDA. Then imagine a lower quality cut somehow shoehorned into law via what I’m sure was a hefty bribe or some kind of obscure grandfathering. Then microwave that meat-ish for four hours and let it cool in the sun. And you’re in the ball park of what this tasted like. It could not have been drier. I feel like you need a glass of water just looking at it. The slimy pesto sauce on top does add a bit of oily flavor, if you want to look on the bright side.

Let’s say you have a decent box of cornbread mix that calls for it to be baked in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for say….20 to 25 minutes. Instead of following the instructions, you bake it at 250 degrees for four minutes. This is what comes out – a gummy, undercooked, sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth hunk of dough. On the positive side, I think I finally swallowed the last piece of cornbread stuck in my throat and this replaced it.

Imagine one of those frozen Tyson chicken breasts. Then imagine thawing a pile of them outdoors for two weeks on the ground in Orange County Florida. Then squeeze all the liquid out of what’s left and microwave it for four hours. That dry mass is topped with brown-dyed high fructose corn syrup and served. This was the best part of the meal.

A side of salsa for some reason.

The presentation inside this cardboard cup is the best part of corn on the cob here at Pecos Bill. The corn is long overcooked and left sitting somewhere for as long as it takes for some poor soul to order it. Corn on the cob is not one of those things that can generally be left sitting out for a while. The smart money here is on the regular fries and that’s just sad.

This is perhaps the worst $15.49 you can spend on “food” at Disney World. On the Disney Dining Plan, you might just order one to see how bad things can get, particularly if you have an extra credit and the family can find sustenance somewhere else. Avoid at all costs.

Chili Cheese Fries and Root Beer Slush

It looked like the root beer slush machines they were using were from the early 80s.  It was basically an ice cube with root beer syrup poured over the top.  Not recommended until things improve on that front(ier) either.  Also pictured are the Chili Cheese Fries with cheese added from the condiment bar.  They are not particularly attractive looking.  Chili Cheese Fries rarely are.  It’s basically a serving of fries covered in a conservative amount of Nalley chili.  They’re a hearty snack, but not much to write home about I don’t think.

Seating:

Pecos Bill seemingly has a lot of tables, but it’s almost always jam packed full of people at regular meal times.  The indoor seating area is dark and the seats aren’t particularly comfortable – many also have no backs.  Outdoor patio seating is also available.  If it’s after 3pm, you can also head down to Tortuga Tavern after it’s finished serving, where you should have no trouble finding a table.



Condiments:

Pecos Bill has one of the most elaborate toppings bars of any Disney World quick service.  You’ll find sauteed onions and mushrooms, hot cheese sauce, salsa, lemons, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.   Ranch and Caesar salad dressings are also provided along with packets of croutons.







{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Kay December 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I got the bowl of chili. It was actually chili ‘sauce’ they put on the cheese fries… would not recommend.

Reply

Mark December 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

Love the “fixins” bar that has hot cheese sauce. Yum…..

Reply

Sue January 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Wow, good info! Guess if I eat here ill just stick to the 1/3 angus burger or my taco salad with all the fixins!

Reply

Kelsey October 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

We’ve eaten here 4 times. First 2 times, I got the taco salad. I’m a picky eater (especially when it comes to mexican/southwest inspired foods), so I loved the fact that I was able to get exactly what I wanted on the salad without having to “special order” it.

3rd time, had the pork sandwich. 4th time, DH and I split the pork/steak platter. This was April of 2013. I don’t remember it being all that bad…maybe I was just really hungry. Or maybe I blocked the memory.

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dusty cheatham June 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

MISS THE CHILLED CHICKEN WRAP

Reply

Amanda July 30, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Is that really the only kids selection? If I remember correctly there used to be pb&j among other things for the kids. Would love a taco salad from here but I know my kids won’t eat BBQ pulled pork!

Reply

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