If Bloody Marys and eggs Benedict are your idea of a blissful mid-morning meal, head to the monorail. Two top restaurants are now serving brunch at Disney World: Narcoossee's and the California Grill.
I sampled both on Sunday -- yes, the back-to-back midmorning meals involved a whole lot of food -- as Disney World's guest. I was so impressed that I'd return to either on my own. Not, the next time, on the same day.
Brunch at Disney World: Narcoossee's
Narcoossee's is a seafood restaurant set at the edge of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. The waterfront dining room has lovely views, and the setting is relatively relaxing.
The chefs put together an ambitious brunch menu, and the food is exceptional. Here are some highlights.
Brunch at Disney World: California Grill
This is how good the brunch is: We all ate a ton of what we were served even though we'd tasted all the Narcoossee's dishes above (and others; I had to cut somewhere) right before riding the monorail over for this feast.
Let's start with the Bloody Mary bar. I love Bloody Marys but not drinking during the day. The California Grill layout and ingredients were so enticing, though, that I had the staff make up a cocktail just to taste ... and polished off every bit of it. That was after slurping up that meal-in-a-class at the previous brunch at Disney World.
You begin by telling the bartender which of three types of vodka you want (he suggests the Bloody Mary variety) and answer another couple of questions. Then you add any of about 10 hot sauces. And then you peruse the platters pictured below to decide which five food items you'd like added. A server keeps things hygienic by serving you, wearing gloves.
So yea. Who wouldn't want that? If you don't drink, go the Virgin route, but do get yourself a Mary. And choose the pickled Romanesco (it's kind of like cauliflower). When else might you ever have pickled Romanesco in your Bloody Mary?
California Grill's Brunch at the Top begins with a buffet, which includes charcuterie, sushi, salads, hardwood-smoked salmon and deviled eggs. Here's a sampling.
When you're ready for your entrees, you'll also receive a bread basket.
If you're a local, it's worth driving over for brunch Disney World. Both are that good. If you're visiting, consider taking a break from the theme parks to relax over a Narcoossee's or California Grill brunch. In fact, look at brunch as a way to try two of Disney World's better restaurants for less money and with less hassle snagging a coveted a reservation.
Brunch at Disney World. Yes, please.
Narcoossee's: 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Sundays, $69, $41 ages 3 to 9. Cost includes one prosecco, mimosa, or Bloody Mary (smoothie for children) plus housemade pastries ,appetizer, entrée and dessert. California Grill: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays, $80; $48 ages 3-11. Cost includes valet parking, one welcome drink, pastries, buffet, entrée, desserts and drinks such as coffee and soda.