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Old 10-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
fitzperry
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Which WS restaurants are most authentic?

I see people rave about the food in WS, but I've always been kind of underwhelmed. Maybe it's because we eat out all the time and my standards are pretty high, but I'd like to have some more interesting dining experiences on our next trip.

Here are the WS restaurants we've tried:

Teppan Edo (ok, but not as good as the hibachi restaurant we frequent here)

Chefs de France (did lunch here last year, and it wasn't bad, but the menu seems fairly Americanized)

Marrakesh (I think we were about 50-50 on whether the people in our party enjoyed it; desserts were good, as I recall)

Le Cellier (don't find it worth the hype)

We've also tried the Mexican and Chinese counter service. I don't really remember the Mexican, but the Chinese was mediocre at best.

What else is good--ts or cs? We probably won't be on the dining plan next time, so anything goes.

Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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The Tangierine Cafe (Morocco counter service) is great. Never crowded, good portions, and fresh food. It's a must do for me in terms of WS eats!
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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We've dined at the Italian restaurant (under many different names) and always enjoyed it. England's restaurant is also good. Of course you need to enjoy these types of food. I too think the Chinese is just average.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Do you mean Authentic to the country? I've only travelled to Canada, England, France, Italy, China and Mexico of the Epcot countries.

I thought Via Napoli's pizza was closest to the food we had in Italy. The other restaurants, not so much.

My favorite is Biergarten but I have no idea on its authenticity since I haven't travelled to Germany.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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If you are looking for great ethnic food head to Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It offers food with a mix of Indian and African favors and everything we have tried has been wonderful. It is located in the Kidani Village Building, not the main building, Jambo House.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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When it comes to ethnic cuisine, ALL of the restaurants, whether in Epcot or in one of the resorts, have been dumbed down to appeal to the average American palate. So if you are a discriminating diner with prior experience of authentic cuisine from a particular country, you will most likely be disappointed. This is not a general heavy handed slam of these restaurants- we have seldom had a BAD meal at any of them. Just saying that none of them have truly authentic cuisine.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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If you're used to eating out at nice places, they might not be as 'nice' a dining experience as you are used to but I have found the flavors of some places to be consistent with the actual countries. I found the meatball dish at dinner at Akershus to be authentic to Norway as well as many items on the cold bar. As another poster mentioned, Via Napoli has very authentic Italian pizzas. The scotch egg and mixed beers at the Rose and Crown Pub were also authentic in my opinion.

Other places I find fun even if they're not totally authentic, Biergarten being one that stands out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
Do you mean Authentic to the country?
Yes OP you need to define authentic.

For instance Teppan Edo is probably more authentic than the your local places and stick more to the original teppanyaki style. For instance they don't make fried rice since its Chinese not Japanese.

Oddly enough teppanyaki is pretty much just an American thing, like fortune cookies. It was created after WW II to cater to the US GI's stationed in Japan. It then moved to the US and if you go to Benihana's in Japan its called Benihana's of New York since that's where the chain started.

But anyway, most post that the food in the WS is toned down or modified for American tastes.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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The tacos at the Mexican cantina are pretty consistent with the flavor and presentation of tacos you can get in Mexico at local taco places. The salsa, however, is not and the chips are not.

Some of the food at Biergarten is pretty authentic.

I have also found some of the food in France to be authentic, both in Chefs and in the pastry shop.

You also have to keep in mind that just like anywhere else, you can get multiple versions of the same dish based on where you go to eat it. Each restaurant has their own recipes. So one person may not think it's authentic because it wasn't like what they experienced in that country. Another person may think it was authentic because it was like what they experienced.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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We eat out a lot at authentic international restaurants too, so like you our standards are pretty high. We haven't eaten everywhere in WS but I do have to say the Chinese take-out was NOT authentic and not very good either. Akershous was pretty close to authentic and good too. Sad that the other restaurants we've eaten at weren't even memorable.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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I agree with the PP. The tacos at the Mexican pavilion remind me of Mexico. The salsa is just wrong - almost Cuban? It's hard to put my finger on it.

I thought the food in England was authentic, but Raglan Road at DTD was a better dining experience. Of course, I like authentic, regional flavors that are turned into something new! If you want ethnic, I agree with another PP - I think any of the restaurants at the AKL would be hands down better than WS! We have only tried Sanaa and Boma.

For dining experience, my favorite remains The Yachtsman, but I've heard some have had mediocre experiences even there! And that's not exactly authentic to any particular region, but I've always found it authentically Disney.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Have you ever walked into an Indian restaurant and asked them to make it the way they would prepare it for themselves? It's unbearably hot! So just like Indian food is made to cater to it's customers, so is the food in WS. You are not going to get 100% authentic food as you are still in America. It's like being from New York and ordering pizza or bagels in another state. It will never be the same as even the water affects the taste. With that in mind, I like the food in WS. It is good for what it is and it keeps me coming back for more
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFansInLINY View Post
Have you ever walked into an Indian restaurant and asked them to make it the way they would prepare it for themselves? It's unbearably hot! So just like Indian food is made to cater to it's customers, so is the food in WS. You are not going to get 100% authentic food as you are still in America. It's like being from New York and ordering pizza or bagels in another state. It will never be the same as even the water affects the taste. With that in mind, I like the food in WS. It is good for what it is and it keeps me coming back for more
In a similar vein isn't "traditional" Chinese food mostly rice with a small amount of meat.

We have a Chinese restaurant and I know its authentic because everyone is arguing with each other in Chinese but anyway I saw someone on break and they had probably 2-3 cups of rice and just a few pieces of meat.

I think if you go to a restaurant in China and want real Chinese food you have to go with a local and have them ask for the "other" menu.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartle View Post
In a similar vein isn't "traditional" Chinese food mostly rice with a small amount of meat.

We have a Chinese restaurant and I know its authentic because everyone is arguing with each other in Chinese but anyway I saw someone on break and they had probably 2-3 cups of rice and just a few pieces of meat.

I think if you go to a restaurant in China and want real Chinese food you have to go with a local and have them ask for the "other" menu.
Yes, this is very true. Chinese people do not eat the Chinese food they sell Americans. Their version is healthy without the addition of grease and sauces. Their portions are very small and plain. I have a friend who is of the Asian culture and her dad is a chef at a hotel in Maryland. He does not cook for his family like he cooks for the restaurant. She said that when they are very young they are given a small piece of meat and some rice. This actually keeps their stomachs from growing as they become accustomed to eating a small portion and become full very fast. She would eat one French fry and then say she was full. And that is why we are fat and they are not lol. Well except if they are Americanized.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
Do you mean Authentic to the country? I've only travelled to Canada, England, France, Italy, China and Mexico of the Epcot countries.

I thought Via Napoli's pizza was closest to the food we had in Italy. The other restaurants, not so much.

My favorite is Biergarten but I have no idea on its authenticity since I haven't travelled to Germany.
In terms of WS countries, you and I have traveled to the same places, except I haven't been to China or Italy. I think we might need to try Biergarten. Our kids would probably enjoy the entertainment. And I've heard good things about the Morrocan cs for years, so maybe we'll give that a shot. Also, we've never ventured over to AKL, but the restaurants there intrigue me, so maybe we'll do that next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFansInLINY View Post
Have you ever walked into an Indian restaurant and asked them to make it the way they would prepare it for themselves? It's unbearably hot! So just like Indian food is made to cater to it's customers, so is the food in WS. You are not going to get 100% authentic food as you are still in America. It's like being from New York and ordering pizza or bagels in another state. It will never be the same as even the water affects the taste. With that in mind, I like the food in WS. It is good for what it is and it keeps me coming back for more
There's (almost!) no such thing as too hot for dh and me, and our 9yo seems on her way to the same type of palate. We have Indian friends who have cooked for us and we enjoyed it very much. I agree that there are many factors that keep an experience from being truly "authentic." Just trying to come as close as I can within the confines of WDW, and I haven't yet found anything in WS that I want to go back for. In fact, the only restaurant in all of WDW where I would return for the food alone is California Grill. . . . at others--the atmosphere or entertainment, yes, but the food alone, not so much. Which is kind of a bummer for me because I love WDW and I love to eat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chartle View Post
Yes OP you need to define authentic.

For instance Teppan Edo is probably more authentic than the your local places and stick more to the original teppanyaki style. For instance they don't make fried rice since its Chinese not Japanese.

Oddly enough teppanyaki is pretty much just an American thing, like fortune cookies. It was created after WW II to cater to the US GI's stationed in Japan. It then moved to the US and if you go to Benihana's in Japan its called Benihana's of New York since that's where the chain started.

But anyway, most post that the food in the WS is toned down or modified for American tastes.
By "authentic," I do mean close to what you would get when dining in that country. I'm perfectly aware, of course, that dishes and ingredients vary depending upon region and other factors. Really I'm looking for the least Americanized and good quality.

I agree with you about Teppan Edo, and the one we love here is pretty Americanized (fried rice, for instance--but they use high quality ingredients and their salad dressing (that pink ginger and carrot based one that every Japanese restaurant in the U.S. serves) is the best; they also serve good sushi, so I can eat that while my kids and husband do the hibachi thing).

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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