*This dining experience took place in August 2014.
When it comes to a seafood buffet, Cape May Cafe located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort has some of the best and most gluten free (and dairy free) friendly options around. it’s a veritable feast of crab legs, clams, mussels, and more. It’s also a family favorite, and we go every year in July/August to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday. Amazingly, I hadn’t been since the previous year’s birthday celebration, so it was great to go back for a visit.
We always try to get a Cape May Cafe ADR for 5 p.m., right when the restaurant opens. Cape May is very popular so it can often get very busy, very quickly here. I also personally prefer dining there earlier, so I can feel less stressed about cross-contamination while enjoying the buffet (and not getting every item from the back – though I do still get quite a few from the kitchen). On this particular visit, we noticed that Cape May now has little menus available at the check-in station.
Our family always sits at the benches near the restaurant while we wait. We love watching the restaurant set-up and getting excited for the meal!
Typically, we get seated near the front of the restaurant, but this time we were in the back. This was fine, though I have to say, our family much prefers the booths to tables because the tables were really closely placed together, making it difficult to get in and out.
Upon being seated, I was greeted by the chef. He then took me around to the buffet to go over the options. The menu seems to be relatively the same as it was last year. Though, I have to admit, I certainly do miss the braised cabbage and bacon they used to have the menu…too bad this can’t make a comeback!
My game plan at Cape May Cafe was to have the chef bring me some items from the back while I loaded up on items in the front. I may look a bit like a food hoarder when I dine here. I think I had 4 plates at my seat after all was said and done. I just feel better getting all my food at once, but that’s a personal preference and buffet strategy.
First up were the peel and eat shrimp with cocktail sauce and marinated olives. These are some of my favorites. I will say the peel and eat shrimp weren’t as good as I remember them being but the olives were outstanding!
One of my hands down favorite things at Cape May Cafe is the Cape May Salad. Made with cranberries, candied walnuts, and a citrus vinaigrette, it’s so delicious. The regular version of the salad comes with blue cheese, so if you ask the chef, they will make you your own version. I highly recommend this too! I have to say, this version was probably the most overdressed version I’ve ever had, which was disappointing. But still, very good.
I also asked for hummus from the back, and the chef brought GNI rolls to accompany the hummus. I preferred the Kalamata olive hummus over the roasted red pepper hummus, as I think the version from Sanaa is much better. As you know, I’m a condiment queen, and I do enjoy a good dip!
The star of Cape May Cafe is the seafood, and the crab legs and steamed clams are always high on my list. Both were good, though the clams were a little overcooked. Still, that won’t stop me from eating a good hearty plate filled with them.
I also got a plate that included BBQ ribs (pork), steamed potatoes, paella, green beans, and roasted chicken. The paella was my hands down favorite. It wasn’t particularly authentic but it tasted really great. The seafood was also cooked well, which made it even better. The ribs were also another hit for me — not overly sauced but seasoned well. I always love their roast chicken legs found on the kids buffet. Super flavorful and moist.
The chef also brought me a piece of salmon from the kitchen along with some sautéed broccoli rabe. The salmon was fabulously seasoned and well cooked. This was the surprise favorite for me after the paella. Sadly, the broccoli rabe was completely overcooked and the garlic and shallots served with it were burnt. This was the only thing I thought was really disappointing at the meal.
Amazingly, I somehow made room for dessert after all that food, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Cape May Cafe was still serving Babycakes NYC products. After the storefront for Babycakes closed last year, many restaurants stopped carrying their desserts, so I wasn’t sure what would be available to me. But now, I’m happy to report that both the donuts and the mini brownie cupcakes are available. For a full location of Babycakes NYC spots, check out reference sheet for it.
Overall, I really enjoyed my meal at Cape May Cafe. Some of the dishes weren’t as great as they have been in the past, but in general the food remains consistent and delicious. It’s still a family tradition and favorite that fits in perfectly with the summertime!
I’d give this visit a 7 out of 10.
Have you dined at Cape May Cafe? What is your favorite meal: breakfast or dinner?