*This gluten free dining experience took place in September 2019. It includes information about dairy free modifications.
Lunch at The BOATHOUSE
The BOATHOUSE, located in Disney Springs, is a table service restaurant that offers guests a taste of fresh seafood and signature steaks. Although it’s not owned and operated by the Disney Company, this is one of our favorite restaurants in Disney Springs for their excellent food and special dietary needs accommodations. Recently, I stopped by for lunch with Brandon’s mom on a shopping day in Disney Springs.
The BOATHOUSE is one of those restaurants that I initially didn’t think I would like in terms of atmosphere. But, after our first meal there, I fell in love with the nautical theme, and especially all of the different themed dining rooms.
One of the things I love about the decor is that there is something for every preference and taste. Whether it’s dining at the colorful bar area or enjoying a meal in a brightly lit room or even dining in a boat, the theming options in The BOATHOUSE are pretty fantastic.
We often dine either outside or in one of the dining rooms with lots of dark wood (and that reminds me of old school decor from the Red Lobster restaurant chain from the 1980s and 1990s). On this visit, we were seated in a brightly lit dining room with lots of nautical touches.
Both Brandon’s mom and I really liked this room and especially how bright and cheery it was for lunch time.
It also offered a nice view of the boat launch area and outdoor seating. I do recommend outdoor seating at The BOATHOUSE when the weather is nicer, but when it’s summertime, we prefer to eat indoors.
Because The BOATHOUSE is not owned and operated by the Disney Company, they do not offer an allergy-friendly menu. But, you can always ask to speak with a chef when you dine there. I highly recommend this because they can discuss a variety of options with you and are very knowledgeable.
The BOATHOUSE also offers a variety of drinks from terrific non-alcoholic beverages like iced tea (which is some of the best on Disney property) to various alcoholic offerings. On this visit, I had a Bellini, which is peach puree with sparkling wine. It was really good and perfect for lunch time.
The restaurant also serves gluten free and buns as “rolls” if you are interested in a bread service option. They have been using what I believe are the commercial versions of Udi’s Gluten Free rolls for a while. The restaurant does not have a non-dairy vegan buttery spread on hand, so be sure to ask for extra virgin olive oil if you cannot have dairy. For me, I can sort of take or leave the bread option. But, it’s always nice to have, especially if you’re feeling a little hungry.
On this visit, I decided to order the Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos with Grilled Swordfish, Green Papaya-Jicama Slaw, Guajillo Sauce, and Spicy Avocado Salsa Verde. I was told that this is naturally gluten free and does not require any modifications — though would, of course, take proper precautions to prepare my meal safely. The sauce does contain dairy but can be easily omitted. You can read about the gluten free and dairy free version from our friend Celiac and the Beast.
This was a really tasty entree, and I had been wanting to order these tacos for a while. I’m definitely glad I did because the flavor was fantastic and the fish was super fresh tasting. Each component was great. And, I appreciate that the The BOATHOUSE prides itself on making all of their own sauces in-house. You can definitely tell a difference. I would absolutely order these again.
I realized as I was writing this review that I forgot to write up a review from our visit there this summer with Brandon’s parents for Father’s Day. On that visit, I ordered the “Yacht Club” Club Sandwich on a gluten free bun. This included Roasted Turkey Breast, Cucumber, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Chipotle-Honey Mayo, and Swiss Cheese. Normally it comes with French Fries, but since The BOATHOUSE does not have a dedicated allergy-friendly fryer, I opted for a Caesar Salad without croutons.
While I did like this sandwich a lot and found it to be a nice light option, I’m not sure I’d get it again. There’s a lot better options in the restaurant for gluten free guests that are tastier are a bit better value in terms of the cost. If you’re gluten free and dairy free, this may also be a good option. You could order minus the cheese and substitute the mayo if this version contains dairy.
The Caesar Salad on the other hand was excellent. You can tell they make the salad dressing in house too and the traditional way — with anchovies. I would definitely get this again. On a side note, always ask the chef to prepare this directly and in a clean bowl. I had a friend order this at The BOATHOUSE once who was glutened with leftover crouton crumbs in her salad. I discussed this at length with the chef at The BOATHOUSE, and he assured me that he would make sure that I did not get croutons in any way in the salad. Thankfully, mine was correct. But, my friend’s experience was a good reminder to always discuss concerns with a chef.
The BOATHOUSE always continues to be a great option for a good gluten free and special diets meal in Disney Springs. I really appreciate that there are chefs on hand to discuss options and that there are a variety of entrees with different price points — making it affordable to eat a lunch or dinner here. It’s a restaurant we continue to go to with family and friends for special occasions or just on a simple shopping trip in Disney Springs.
Have you been to The BOATHOUSE? What do you think of the special dietary needs options there?