*This dining experience took place in September 2017.
Appetizers at the Nomad Lounge
The Nomad Lounge, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, has quickly become one of our favorite lounges on Disney property. With lovely theming and a calm atmosphere, we’ve enjoyed resting and relaxing here on previous visits. We recently stopped by here for drinks and appetizers on a whim before heading to Pandora before the Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic event at the Animal Kingdom. We had originally planned to get dinner at Satu’li Canteen, but something about the Nomad Lounge drew us in that night.
One of the reasons that we love the Nomad Lounge is the atmosphere. It’s not too bright, and the decor is comfortable and makes you feel instantly relaxed.
I love seeing the flags that decorate the restaurant encouraging the discovery of travel and adventure.
On this visit, we decided to sit outside in a far corner with views of the water. It was quiet and calm, and the perfect way to enjoy a few drinks and food. Hurricane Irma had recently just hit, and we arrived just around sunset, so the outdoor seating wasn’t as put together feeling as it normally does, but it was still very tranquil.
On this visit, we decided to try out more of the food options. But, first, drinks!
I always get sparkling water with lime at the Nomad Lounge. I’m a huge fan of sparkling water, and as an added perk, it’s complimentary at the Nomad Lounge. That rarely happens, so I’ll take free sparkling water when I can. I also ordered a gin & tonic with lime which is fresh and inviting.
While we enjoyed drinks, I had the chance to speak with a chef. The Nomad Lounge does not currently carry an allergy-friendly menu, so be sure to ask to speak with a chef. My server tried to tell me what was safe, but I felt safer speaking with a chef.
Because I’ve reintroduced dairy back into my diet in limited forms, we did order the Nomad Lounge cheese plate. it’s a must-do for us and always so good. This can easily be made gluten free by removing the bread component, which is great. I think I liked the previous cheese plate offerings from the Nomad Lounge (they do rotate cheeses), but this was also quite good. Plus, I love the accompaniments.
For something more substantial, I ordered the Florida Lionfish Tacos. These were both gluten free and dairy free. If you’ve never heard of Lionfish, it’s an invasive fish species, that is not so great in the ocean, but great to eat. It’s a bit like whitefish such as cod, so it’s tender and flaky and delicious.
My tacos were served on homemade corn tortillas and charred pineapple and jalapeno. They were quite flavorful and fairly mild — though I got a few bites of jalapeno in it here and there that were spicy. I would have liked to have seen a spicy mayonnaise or something to offset some of the dryness, but overall, I would get this again.
It was a small portion, though, so keep that in mind if you’re a big eater or on the hungrier side.
But the shining star of our meal was dessert. The Nomad Lounge currently offers gluten free churros. Yes, you read that correctly, churros. They are gluten free, but they do contain dairy, as they are made with the cup4cup flour blend that contains milk. They are made in a dedicated gluten free fryer.
Can I just say wow?!
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a gluten free Disney churro, this fits the bill nicely. It’s maybe not quite as crispy as a regular churro (from what I remember from my pre-celiac days), but it’s still pretty amazing. Crispy on the outside, sugary without being too sweet, and a little spongy on the inside — these are the stuff Disney magic and pixie dust is made of.
The churros come with a chili strawberry sauce and a vanilla crema sauce. I didn’t try the vanilla crema sauce, but I did try the strawberry sauce. It was good, but I think the churros are best eaten solo without a sauce, but it’s amazing that there are even sauce options.
The Nomad Lounge continues to impress as one of the best chill and low-key lounges on Disney property. I love the atmosphere, and the fact that the food is very gluten free friendly. Plus, add to it that they have gluten free churros. Well, there’s just nothing better. If you can have dairy, the churros here are a must order and the perfect snack for an afternoon or late evening in the Animal Kingdom. Plus, the other food is really great too. But, let’s face it, it really is all about the churros! To read more about the Nomad Lounge’s gluten free offerings, check out Alexis’ Gluten Free Adventures blog for her review for even more info.
Have you been to the Nomad Lounge? What have you ordered when you’ve dined here?