*This dining experience took place in February 2017.
Breakfast at Boma: Flavors of Africa
Boma, located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, is a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. I’m a huge fan of their breakfast options. So, when I thought about where to go at Disney for my recent birthday meal, I decided brunch at Boma was just the ticket. Boma’s breakfast is African inspired but has a lot of classic American breakfast options too. This means that even though it might seem like it has some exotic dishes, there are plenty of breakfast staples you’ll recognize and enjoy.
Boma’s interior is simple but artfully designed. The buffet area has a charming thatched roof and some nice African touches. The main dining area has beautiful mix and match wooden tables and chairs, which I love. It’s a buffet, so it’s meant to hold a large number of guests, so some of the seating areas can be a little too close for comfort in my opinion. The best seating is near the windows, where you can find larger tables and cozy corners. Of course, the best part about Boma is the smells from the amazing open fires and the aroma of delicious food cooking.
I had recently been to Boma in December with my family during the holidays, so I was pretty sure not much on the menu offerings had changed. Because Boma is a buffet style restaurant, there is no allergy friendly menu. But, don’t be too discouraged. When you arrive, you’ll meet with a Disney chef who will take you through the buffet options, noting items that are safe for your special dietary need. If you are concerned about cross-contamination, the chefs will prepare you safe items from the back.
On this visit, the chef took me through the buffet line, and I opted to get many items from the kitchen and a small select amount of items from the buffet, including the carving station.
Up first, I made sure to get a bowl of the hot quinoa with apples and raisins. I had this on my last visit, and with a bit of brown sugar, it makes for the perfect hot cereal. They do offer oatmeal, but it is not certified gluten free. So, if you have celiac disease, you’ll want to avoid that one. I have been told in the past that they carry Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free oats that they can make for you, but you’ll want to check with a chef to confirm that they have them on hand. You’ll also want to watch out for the bowl of fried quinoa next to the hot quinoa. I was told that it was fried in a shared fryer.
After enjoying some hot quinoa, I made sure to get some grilled asparagus, along with some breakfast meats including the carved ham, bacon, and sausage. The asparagus was unbelievably good on this visit, and it continues to be a major favorite of mine. The ham is another favorite, and I can’t not get it from the carving station on every visit.
I was disappointed on this visit to hear that they didn’t have turkey on the carving station, which they usually do. The chef said they are rotating it with other meats, and on the day I visited it was corned beef, which was not gluten free.
Still, there were a ton of breakfast meat options to choose from.
Though not photographed, I did also have a bowl of pap, which is a fancy word for grits. It’s really hit or miss whether the ones on the buffet contain dairy, and on this visit they did. The chef brought me some from the back. They went perfectly with my custom omelet that contained ham and onion along with baked breakfast potatoes.
The regular breakfast potatoes are gluten free, but are fried in a shared fryer, which means cross-contamination might occur. Because of this, the chef made me some baked ones. Sadly, she didn’t really season them at all, so they were really boring and bland. I managed to salvage them by adding some salt and pepper, but still. They could have used some of Boma’s signature Afritude seasoning that they use, which is gluten free and dairy free.
The chef also baked me some plantains. They had the same issue as the potatoes with a shared fryer. Again, this was another underwhelming option. They didn’t have any flavoring at all, making them just really bland. My stepdad ate a ton of them, but they weren’t high on my must eat list that morning.
The best part of the meal had to be my allergy friendly Mickey waffles. I was able to add a few fun toppings for something different. I got toasted coconut, walnuts, and banana chips. Note that these were all served on the side and separately, as the allergy Mickey waffles are prepared in dedicated waffle makers.
The allergy friendly Mickey waffles were served plain and with 100% pure maple syrup, along with my toppings on the side. The waffles at Boma are currently made with a combination of Bob’s Red Mill Pancake & Waffle Mix and Namaste Pancake & Waffle Mix.
They were absolutely perfect with the added toppings to them. The waffles themselves were crispy but not overly chewy. Thankfully, they were really well cooked, and I could dig into them happily. If you’re just gluten free, you can get a bananas foster sauce there too, which is a nice option. But, I’ve really become partial to adding mix and match toppings to the waffles.
I forgot to take a photo, but the chef also brought out an Udi’s Gluten Free Muffin, Kinnikinnick donut, and some mini brownie cupcakes from Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, the gluten free and allergy friendly bakery at Disney Springs. This was a nice little touch. But, it was also a ton of food. Thankfully, they gave me a small to-go box for my baked goods to take with me. Though this isn’t usually allowed at buffets, I have found that if you have a special diet, they will let you take extra food home with you, which is so nice.
Boma continues to be one of my favorite brunch spots at Disney. This visit wasn’t the best in terms of food quality, with some underseasoned and bland dishes, but overall, I always find the breakfast there to be delicious and filling. Plus, the amazing allergy friendly Mickey waffles there and carving station make it a must do for me.
Have you been to Boma? What is your favorite meal there?