While the website typically focuses on what’s “new,” it is occasionally prudent to check in on venerable favorites like Flame Tree Barbecue. So here we are.
The menu has changed a bit over the years though standbys like the St. Louis Ribs and 1/2 Chicken remain on the menu while salads and fruit plates are different.
This is the menu from back in 2011. It’s sort of interesting that the Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich is only up a dollar in six years while the ribs have nearly doubled in price. The Ribs and Chicken Combo is up 37.5% over the same amount of time but also comes with jalapeno cornbread circa 2k17.
You’ll have to excuse the quality of some of these pictures as this was very late in the evening and I was operating in the dark without a flash. But I had been intrigued by the $19.99 “Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler – The ultimate Flame Tree Barbecue Platter features our three specialties: Smoked Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork with a helping of our House-made Baked Beans, refreshing Coleslaw, and delicious Jalapeño Cornbread” since seeing the most expensive Disney quick service meal debut a couple of years ago now.
It’s a slam dunk on the Disney Dining Plan, though I have heard that Flame Tree won’t sub out their $6.49 “French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese” for the drink because it’s a “specialty side.” You may or may not have luck with that.
These days, Flame Tree’s ribs are okay…a bit greasy and fatty perhaps, but there’s a lot of meat on the three sizable bones included with the Sampler and the rub is heavy on the seasoned salt, paprika, and chili powder, which combine for a zesty flavor after being smoked in-house.
The chicken is similarly seasoned and typically juicy inside with a nice smoky flavor. I like to dip it in their excellent sweet and spicy barbecue sauce to add some hints of brown sugar, molasses, and vinegar. Even the pork largely hidden underneath the large piece of chicken is flavorful on its own with a nice smoky quality to it.
While I like spicy food, I’m surprised that Disney has kept the Jalapeno Cornbread here over what I think is far better stuff served at restaurants like Trail’s End and Boatwright’s. Flame Tree’s jalapeno almost tastes artificial – like it’s been injected with some kind of syrup and the spiciness of it doesn’t work for me with how crumbly and cake-y the cornbread itself is. But the barbecued baked beans are typically cooked to a nice al dente which allows them to hold up well against the sauce, which there is just enough of. I’m not really a coleslaw person, but Flame Tree’s version isn’t dripping with mayonnaise and the cabbage and other ingredients are a refreshing contrast to the smokiness of the meat.
At 20 bucks, obviously you’re paying for it, but this is about as much food as you can expect to be served at a quick service. Very shareable, though you may not want to and a slam dunk on the Dining Plan.
The $13.99 1/2 Chicken – Marinated Slow-smoked Chicken served with our Signature Baked Beans, refreshing Coleslaw and delicious Jalapeño Cornbread adds the leg that doesn’t come with the Sampler and is typically a bit larger in overall size than the Sampler portion. Otherwise, $6 to add three ribs and the pulled pork seems fair.
Last week, I got around to trying the $8.99 Safari Fruit Salad – Fresh Cubed Seasonal Melons, Pineapple, Blueberries and a Honey Citrus Vinaigrette. Above is what I was served.
This is the picture Disney’s @wdwtoday Twitter account tweeted of the same salad back in October and it was difficult not to feel a little shorted on the blueberries considering I came away with exactly four and theirs has at least 20, not to mention the amount of arugula is significantly heftier on the promo pic.
And I thought the “Honey Citrus Vinaigrette” was a little strange – if anything it was sour and oily. The melon was reasonably ripe, but suffered from that phenomenon where it gets a little slimy, a little mushy, and a little soft because it was cut so long before anyone orders it. With the lack of protein or any real heft, I’d say this is more suitable to share as a side to another entree over an entree in and of itself. You might request the vinaigrette on the side just in case you don’t like it.
I preferred its predecessor, the Watermelon Salad. Also not a lot of food, but the balsamic had a nice twang against the sweetness of the melon.
Flame Tree’s Onion Rings have taken a number of different looks over the years. These are from last week.
These might look more familiar if your last visit was a couple of years ago.
But I love the current version with the light, incredibly crispy exterior and the thick slice of crunchy onion wrapped inside each ring. About ten arrive with a $4 order, making them a fantastic accompaniment to any of the other entrees or a fantastic afternoon snack. Pair this with the Sampler and you should have plenty of food for two people to share for around the cost of a standard $12 quick service meal.
Of course, another bonus of eating at Flame Tree is the beautifully scenic location on the water across from Expedition Everest. Hi duckies!!!
Restuarantosaurus has seen some minor changes in somewhat recent memory, including the removal of the tables out in front, perhaps to increase the amount of stroller parking. Of course, there are still the steps up to the entrance…
The Southwest Salad served alongside a couple of the entrees has migrated over from Fairfax Fare and the Grilled Chicken BLT sees a somewhat different presentation, in addition to the availability of the double burger.
The $12.99 Grilled Chicken BLT was better than the quality of this picture, but still left something to be desired. The chicken itself was under-seasoned and on the small side and the bacon is your run-of-the-mill, mass produced variety with little flavor or crunch. It’s not a good sign when the slice of tomato is twice as thick as the chicken.
I like the Southwest Salad that’s served as an accompaniment here – it’s more of a spicy “salsa” than your typical “salad”- heavy on the corn, beans, tomato, peppers, and spices. You can also ask for it to be left off and you’ll save a dollar.
I like Disney’s “Chicken Breast Nuggets” for what they are…they’re not at all oily or greasy and the exterior has a nice crunch to it before giving way to the chicken inside.
The $10.69 Chili Cheese Dog was pretty terrible and I almost feel bad for posting this picture of it…the bun basically disintegrated under the “weight” of the largely flavorless chili and the cheese is literally the cheapest you could possibly buy…dry and old.
It’s pictured with some sauteed mushrooms on top. You might have noticed that a couple of the entrees are a couple of dollars more expensive than most other places with the “Vegetarian Black Bean Burger” rising in price $4 with the introduction of the expanded “premium topping bar.”
I’ve censored the $4.99 “Chili Cheese Fries,” which “features” that slimy cheese sauce that’s been banned in all European Union countries and California. To quote Dr. Seeker, “I wouldn’t.”
Restaurantosaurus does offer plentiful air-conditioned seating, refillable fountain beverages, and the usual Disney standbys that can be gussied up with the expansive toppings bar. And where else can you purchase a $17.29 fast food hamburger?
You’ll find me at Flame Tree though.