*This dining experience took place in July 2014.
Boma: Flavors of Africa has consistently been one of my most favorite places to have brunch on Disney property. Their breakfast is outstanding, and I absolutely adore the African inspired food served at this location. However, it’s been several years since I’ve dined at Boma for dinner. My friend Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando along with some other friends have raved about dinner at Boma, and since it’s been so long I knew I needed to go again soon. And as luck would have it, I got an invite to have dinner with a friend at Boma recently, and I was so excited to go check it out.
Both my friend and I are gluten free and dairy free. I have to admit, I dine out a lot with gluten free folks but having another GFDF person to dine with is kind of nice! I also don’t remember the last time I dined at a buffet with another special diets person, so I loved getting to walk the buffet with a fellow special diets diner.
When were seated our server took our drink orders and shortly thereafter the chef came out to greet us. Chef Brian was very nice and told us we were going to have some fun with dinner and that we’d have plenty to eat. He took us around the buffet which is set-up in an almost identical fashion to breakfast. There are pods that have certain “themes” to them (i.e. kids section, meat section, fruit section, etc.).
In the first pod, we could have the Chakalaka (also on the breakfast menu) and basmati rice. From there, we went to the carving station which included a sirloin and beef short ribs. The ribs are only served on a few nights a week – one of them being Saturday (which was the night we visited). The chef also let us know what sauces were safe or not.
Moving on to the next pod, we could have Durban chicken. In the next bay, the kiddos section, we could have the chicken legs. For the veggies, we could have the broccolini as well as succotash. The chef also mentioned that we could have the peanut rice, but Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando had warned that it may contain soy sauce in it. I forgot to follow-up with him on the ingredients but ended up passing on eating it. There were also salads, fruit, and hummus that we could all. For the salads and hummus, Chef Brian brought us some from the back.
One thing that I had been looking forward to (and hoping) to try was the FuFu. It’s a mix of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes and I heard was amazing. Unfortunately, it contains butter, so it wasn’t safe for us dairy free folks but it is gluten free. I asked if there was any chance we could have some made for us dairy free but with the busy restaurant, they weren’t able to accommodate this meal. However, Chef Brian told me to ask in advance and they could probably make it happen. He also gave us the recipe for FuFu to recreate it at home (and dairy free!).
I have to say, Boma really is full of flavor. The first thing I dove into was the sausage and lentil soup. There were two soups that were gluten free and dairy free that night – this one and the vegetarian lentil soup which was also vegan. I didn’t get a chance to try the vegan soup but this one was very flavorful. It was hearty and rich, and although I sometimes have a bit of problems with sausage (it’s a bit of a Crohn’s trigger for me), this one was fairly mild and very tasty.
The salads provided interesting textures and flavors. My favorite by far was the chicken and cilantro salad. I love cilantro, though I will say that if you are adverse to cilantro, you might like this version. It was very mild! The lentil salad with hearts of palm was just OK, in my opinion. The lentils were very “crunchy” in terms of texture though I liked the balsamic dressing on it.
And then of course, there was the hummus. You know me. Total condiment queen! And a hummus addict to boot. I am mildly addicted to the roasted red pepper hummus from Sanaa, so I was looking forward to Boma’s version. I have to say, Sanaa’s version is still my favorite but the one from Boma was pretty great too. The kalamata olive hummus was outstanding. I basically had to make sure they took the plate away because I kept eating it and eating it.
For the main entrees, I loved the Durban chicken. This was hands down my favorite thing. Super flavorful, well cooked and just delicious. No dry boring chicken here! I also really enjoyed the short ribs. Who knew?! I usually avoid beef, but I thought I’d try these as they had been slow cooked. The sauce was really good, and I’d love to see a pork version of these ribs. That would be amazing. The broccolini was also quite nice as an accompaniment. I liked the spices in it a lot! I think the only things I missed from breakfast were the turkey and ham at the carving stations and the grilled asparagus. Those are my Boma weaknesses!
There’s no way I can leave Boma without getting fruit. There is something about the pineapple they serve here. It’s just so fresh and ripe. It’s the best!
As gluten free and dairy free diners, our dessert choices were a bit more limited than gluten free diners. We could choose from Tofutti and Rice Dream, Enjoy Life Cookies and Babycakes mini brownie cupcakes. Both my friend and I are never ones to turn down Babycakes, so we opted to share a plate of the mini brownie cupcakes. You can also get Babycakes cupcakes at the Mara too! To say we were both full was an understatement!
Overall, I was really pleased with my dinner at Boma. It was filling and flavorful! Add in having wonderful company, and that’s my idea of a great evening out at Disney. I would give this meal a solid 7.5 out of 10. The only points off for me were the lack of more gluten free and dairy free items, but it’s a treasure trove for gluten free only guests! I’m looking forward to going back again soon! Of course, now I want to go to brunch too!
Have you been to Boma? What were your favorite buffet items?