*This dining experience took place in October 2017 and contains a gluten free only review.
Lunch at Olivia’s Cafe
Olivia’s Cafe, a table service restaurant located at Disney’s Old Key West resort, is an easy-going and low-key place to have a meal. After getting back from Disneyland, I needed to do errands and so, I decided to stop by Olivia’s for lunch. I had really had my heart set on breakfast at Olivia’s, but I missed the breakfast service by about 30 minutes, so lunch it was.
One of the things I love most about Olivia’s Cafe is the low-key, laid-back vibe. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Key West, Florida, for sure. And, I’m always waiting for Jimmy Buffett to come around the corner — not too far off really, since you’ll hear Jimmy Buffett music, like Margaritaville throughout the resort.
Olivia’s Cafe includes both indoor and outdoor seating. I like to sit outside on cool days, since the outdoor seating area is covered. But, on this visit, I definitely didn’t mind eating inside.
Inside you’ll find lots of tables and even some cozy booths.
And, of course, you’ll see nautical nods everywhere from large wooden fish on the walls to sea-side photos and paintings.
One of the reasons I like to go to Olivia’s is the food. While, I wouldn’t say the menu there is anything fancy, I’ve always had solid meal options and choices that fit just about every preference or taste.
Like most Disney restaurants, Olivia’s Cafe does have an allergy-friendly lunch menu. But, I always ask for both a regular and allergy-friendly menu when I dine at any Disney restaurant. That’s so I can compare the menus and see what options I think could be easily modified. And, surprisingly, a lot of gluten free or even gluten free and dairy free dishes aren’t actually listed on the allergy-friendly menu. That’s because in order to make the menu, they need to cover multiple allergens. So, it’s always a good idea to ask.
On this visit, I was really looking forward to some gluten free and dairy free bread and Earth Balance vegan buttery spread. Having just returned from Disneyland, where they don’t carry any type of non-dairy butter alternative, I was looking forward to having this option. Normally, when I go to Olivia’s, when I ask for rolls, they give me Deanna’s Gluten Free rolls. But, for some reason I received Udi’s Gluten Free toast, which is both gluten free and dairy free. That seemed OK, until I got the bill later and realized that I was actually charged for the toast, instead of receiving complimentary rolls. Next time I go, I will definitely ask before ordering.
For my entree, I actually spoke to the server about the Mallory Square Cobb Salad. I usually am able to order it without modifications. But, it wasn’t listed on the allergy-friendly menu. She confirmed with the chef that it is naturally gluten free (including the blue cheese, which can often contain gluten).
The Mallory Square Cobb Salad made with Romaine Lettuce with layers of Chilled Shrimp, Crab Salad, Bacon, Egg, Blue Cheese, Tomato, and Avocado with a Key Lime-Mustard Vinaigrette is gluten free. I believe you can modify it to be dairy free by omitting the blue cheese.
This is a great summertime salad. I love the bright, crisp lettuce and flavors of the dish. The seafood is rich and buttery and pairs really well with the bacon, blue cheese, and egg. Add in the key lime vinaigrette for a pop of citrus that pulls it all together. This continues to be one of my favorites when I go to Olivia’s Cafe for lunch or dinner.
Olivia’s Cafe continues to be a solid restaurant with hearty food and charming atmosphere. I really love coming here for a low-key and less crowded meal that’s can be a lot more relaxing than some of the other busier table service restaurants.
Have you been to Olivia’s Cafe? What do you enjoy about this restaurant?