First off, let me make a brief statement about waiting and ADRs at Crystal Palace. Perhaps it was because we went 2 weeks after free dining started, but even though we had an ADR we waited a ridiculous amount of time (to the point that I was going to leave in 15 min if we hadn’t been seated. We waited an hour). It was August so it was very warm and very crowded. Granted, I knew that this would be a popular dining location, but I really wanted to try this restaurant because I heard they were good with dietary restrictions. That being said, after a long wait, I was pretty tired and not overly excited (other than being seated and getting something to drink), but trying to get in the spirit of things. We arrived at our seats, and I reminded the waiter of my restrictions. He said he would get the chef and he also said that they make their own dietary desserts there and that he heard they were really good. So that made me pretty hopeful. The chef then arrived at our table and had the same pad of paper as Chef Kim at Kona. He asked my name and dietary restrictions. He then took me around the buffet and let me know what foods were OK to eat. For the most part, I could eat a lot here. The salad bar had a lot of offerings including a shrimp, hearts of palm, and quinoa salad (very good, but I got a little sick because of the vinegar. Apparently because of my Crohn’s I had sensitivity to vinegar), salads and non-dairy dressings (Zinfandel vinaigrette was tasty, but again vinegar based so it didn’t agree with me). I had a lot of meat choices to choose from: roast chicken, carving station (with pork loin and prime rib, which was later put out because we were there in the middle of lunch/dinner changes) I also enjoyed shrimp cocktail. The chef asked if I wanted tapioca rolls to be brought out, which I said yes to. I’m not a huge fan of tapioca bread/rolls, but I had heard good things about them and thought I’d give them a try. They were warmed up which helped. Here’s a picture:
Honestly, they weren’t bad. The texture was a little spongy, but they worked and tasted better than a lot of other GF rolls I’ve had.

The chef also asked me what I’d like for dessert. He offered me rice dream ice cream and a brownie cake. I am always looking for decadent chocolate desserts, so I said ice cream and cake would be great. Once I finished my meal, I let my server know I was ready for dessert and he went and got it. WOW! It was the best dessert of the trip. So good! I was practically licking the plate. It was the most decadent, chocolatey, moist, and non-dieatry tasting item I’d had! (and did the whole trip!) It was awesome. Here it is:

While I’m not sure I’ll make the trip to Crystal Palace for a while, I will say the dietary restriction needs were met with great enthusiasm and variety. I only wish I’d had asked for the allergy free chicken tenders (I saw some kid with them later) because I was CRAVING chicken tenders. But there’s always another time and another location. Overall, it was a nice place to eat, but be prepared for a wait. 8 out of 10.

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