*This dining experience took place in February 2015.
Ah, Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Every time I go I am treated to a great meal, and this time my meal was epic. That’s because I finally got to indulge in a little thing called chicken and waffles. Yes, honest to goodness deep fried chicken and waffles. But before I get into all that deep fried goodness, let me back up with my entire meal experience.
On this particular occasion, I was celebrating (a bit belatedly) my birthday. Last year, I went to Boatwright’s Dining Hall for the first time on my birthday, so it seemed fitting to make it a part of my birthday tradition. It was great too because almost all of my friends who dined with me the year before were able to come to dinner this year. Many of them also have special dietary needs, so it’s fun to see what everyone gets. You can read Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando’s review of our dinner on her website.
Alexis had ordered chicken and waffles on a previous visit to Boatwright’s, and while I also got the fried chicken, I didn’t get the waffles (huge mistake on my part), and for this visit I wanted to make sure I ordered this for the birthday celebration. Because of this I requested the chicken and waffles in advance. The restaurant asks that you request at least 2 weeks in advance through Disney’s Special Diets Department. This ensures that they have all the ingredients on hand and everything will be ready for you when you arrive (trust me, you don’t want to go and be disappointed you can’t order this or the crawfish bites).
After we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by Chef Paul who came prepared with a huge basket of GNI brand rolls and extra virgin olive oil. This restaurant consistently heats the GNI rolls really well, so they make for a terrific pre-dinner starter. My gluten-filled eating family and friends enjoyed the house-made cornbread, and I have to admit I secretly hope that one day Boatwright’s will also make a gluten free and dairy free version for special diets guests.
For an appetizer, I ordered the crawfish bites — of course! This time, I was pleasantly surprised to taste some new spices on the crawfish bites. The new seasoning added even more of a cajun/creole feel to the dish, and I really enjoyed the bit of spice it added. Of course, how can you really go wrong with anything that’s deep fried and seafood? The remoulade with its creaminess mellowed out the spice of the crawfish bites. Luckily, I split these with other diners, which is a good thing because I am pretty sure I’d be able to eat the entire plate myself.
And good thing I saved room because I needed it for the deliciousness that is chicken and waffles. I have to say that this dish totally exceeded my expectations (which I have to admit were pretty high after hearing Alexis rave about it). The chicken itself was super crispy (Chef Paul used a batter that included an egg wash and Namaste all purpose gluten free flour) and very well seasoned. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again – Chef Paul is an expert at seasoning fried foods!
The waffles were also extra crispy on the outside. When combined with the sweetness of the maple syrup and the salty fried chicken – the combo was just out of this world. It’s been years since I’ve had proper chicken and waffles, and I am so excited that I can now order it at Boatwright’s Dining Hall. I’m pretty sure this will be a regular on my entree rotation along with the sweet tea brined pork chop (another favorite).
When it comes to dessert, I’m always too full to get dessert here. Of course, if I had room I would probably run over (or maybe slowly stroll depending on how full I am!) to Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter for the gluten free and dairy free beignets. They are so good. Boatwright’s does have several options, so if you’re looking for dessert you’ll definitely have a few items to choose from (if you’re gluten free, you have to check out the bananas foster – it gets rave reviews!).
One again, I have to say a big thanks to the Boatwright’s team for making my birthday dinner wonderful. I can’t wait to visit again soon!
Have you been to Boatwright’s Dining Hall? What is your favorite menu item to order there?