It’s been a while since we visited Biergarten, so I thought we’d give it another whirl. Though I’m not real sure why I bother actually going to the restaurants to review them when it’s so much easier to sit in Texas and summarize yelp.
A Boisterous German Buffet!
Be transported to a traditional Bavarian village as you feast on German fare to the oompah beat of a lively band.
At communal, biergarten-style tables, enjoy such rotating buffet selections as bratwurst, rotisserie chicken, pork schnitzel and a variety of salads. Save room for Bavarian cheesecake and hand-pulled apple strudel, made fresh daily!
Polka on down to the dance floor, or simply relax in the twilit atmosphere and raise a stein to over 200 years of Oktoberfest celebrations.
Tables are set for eight. If you are one of those “Ick I have to sit next to other human beings THAT I’VE NEVER MET grosssssss even though all the food I’m eating has probably been spit on by toddlers anyway” people, you’re going to need to find seven other people you can tolerate (or who can tolerate you as the case may be) or move on to something more civilized. Perhaps Garden Grill is more your thing.
The smart money here is probably on lunch, which is served for those with reservations from 12pm – 3:30pm. Dinner brings a couple unique carved meats, but not necessarily 12 bucks a head worth. You may want to pull an Old Country Buffet and reserve a table around 3pm. You’ll pay the lunch price and have the opportunity to sample both menus.
The smartest money is on those liters of beer. A liter is 33.814 ounces or approximately 2.81783 12-ounce beers, which works out to approximately 39.9 cents per ounce.
You may remember the bottled beer selection at Teppan Edo, where a yucky Sapporo will run you an “are you really serious” 70.83 cents per ounce.
I’d skip the Radeberger, but the others are all excellent. The Hovels and Altenmunster are available outside, so you may want to try the Weizen here, which is pictured above. It’s a medium bodied beer, sweet up front with bananas, bread, and nutty yeast and a dry finish. The Pilsner is your Budweiser option and the Altenmunster has the best drinkability/taste ratio, particularly for the uninitiated. Hovels has more hoppy bitterness with some breadiness and caramel. Whichever direction you decide to go, German beer tastes 2.7x better here than it will anywhere outside of Germany/Austria.
Wine is also available.
Biergarten has some nice holiday touches this time of year.
To compare, the stage ordinarily looks like this.
The oompah band plays several holiday favorites, in addition to the traditional drinking songs, during the holidays. The 25-minute show usually begins at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4:15pm, 5:45pm, 7pm, and 8:15pm. If you have your choice of times, a reservation that begins about 45 minutes before the start of the show is best.
It usually takes about 15 minutes to be seated and then you’ll have an opportunity to hit the buffet before the music/CRAZINESS starts.
Here’s what’s at the buffet. The pictures aren’t the best as it’s really awkward taking pictures of buffet food:
Cabbage Salad, Bean Salad, Mixed Greens, Beet Salad, Tomato Salad, Cucumber Salad, Creamy Herb Dressing, Terragon Dressing
Sausage Selection, Herring Salad, Sausage Salad, German Sliced Pickles, Butter, Macaroni Salad, German Potato Salad
Cheese and Beer Soup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Roasted Potatoes, German Sausage
Roast Chicken, Seasonal Fish in Mustard and Cream Sauce
Beef Rouladen, Pork Schnitzel, Zesty Paprika Sauce
More Pretzel Rolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!
German Meat Loaf, Pork Roast
Curry Ketchup, Mustard, Ketchup, Sweet Mustard, Apple Sauce, Apricot Chutney
Red Berry Compote, Watermelon, Black Forest Cake, Bavarian Cheesecake, Vanilla Pudding
Apple Strudel, Christstollen
Cheese, Capers, Prosciutto, Ham
Unlike most buffets, there is no dedicated kids’ section with the standard macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, broccoli, etc.
For your enjoyment. I think the buffet has a nice variety of heavier meats and lighter salads and vegetables. You can easily load up on sausage, roast chicken, schnitzel, etc. and pair it with the cold salads.
The cheese and beer soup is as good, or better, than what’s served at Le Cellier. And you can get as much as you want. Protip: Dip the pretzel bread. The desserts are quite good too and offer a bit of variety. The holiday-specific christstollen in particular stood out and was the best I’d ever had. Our server commented that it was better than his grandmother’s, but he wasn’t planning on telling her. Individual items are probably not as high quality as most table service food, but I think the variety and quantity make up for that. The bottom line is Biergarten will easily fill you up with a nice variety of quality food. I also think it’s one of the more consistent restaurants at Disney World. There is really no such thing as an off night for the kitchen and you don’t run the risk of ordering something that isn’t to your tastes.
The show is a lot of fun too. Service is friendly and efficient. We were kindly introduced to the restaurant, plates were cleared whenever anyone got up, and refills arrived before drinks went dry. The only thing I would add is a picture with Mr. Pricklepants.
The website is admittedly not up to date on trendy pastries, but “cronuts,” or “croissant dougnuts” are apparently a big thing these days. Disney has gotten into the market at Refreshment Port, which is located on the right while walking into Canada.
$4.49 or a snack credit buys you one of these lovely, delicious cronuts.
It’s basically a layered pastry that’s fried and tossed in cinnamon sugar, resulting in a crispy exterior and softer, chewier center. They’re served warm and delicious. Highly recommended.
Refreshment Port is also sporting a new seasonal menu with a focus on hot coffee drinks with liqueur. The excellent fried shrimp are no longer available.
Epcot wait times at 7:10pm on Monday December 16th. Feels crowded.
Spice Road Table’s opening has been pushed back into early 2014.
The promenade tapas restaurant sits across from the excellent Tangierine Cafe.
Not sure why it isn’t an Iron Man hosted shawarma bar. #synergy
The Stave Church in Norway recently reopened after a brief refurbishment that brought new pieces inspired by Frozen.
I’ve seen people remark that the Stave Church is a quiet respite from the drunks harassing your children all around World Showcase, but that has not typically been my experience. That’s either due to the fact that I’m the drunk harassing your children or the fact that the confined space makes it really loud when just a few people are inside talking. Here’s what’s inside:
I’m headed back to the northwest tomorrow, so live menu updates and wall pics will have to wait a few weeks.