Warm, toasted bread + soft, creamy butter = heaven, as far as I’m concerned.
Here in America, we’ve come to expect that “free” bread when we sit down to eat in a restaurant. At Disney World, they took that common, everyday expectation, and they did exactly what Disney World does: they plused it.
The delicious basket of bread is, in many Disney restaurants, part of the theme, adding to the overall story of the restaurant without much effort from the kitchen. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite examples of these wayfinding rations:
Personal Baguette at Bistro de Paris
I have to admit that this is on my list partially because I love having a “whole loaf” of bread to myself. It may be tiny, but it’s all mine, and that’s a powerful thing for a carboholic! Of course baguette is also a symbol of French culture. Who hasn’t dreamed of eating a loaf of crusty baguette with some fresh cheese near the Eifel Tower? It manages feel authentic and upscale (which Bistro absolutely is) at the same time. And I don’t think I can overstate how much I love that the baguette is all mine.
Welcome Bread at ’Ohana
The first time it landed on my table, I was confused because there wasn’t any butter served alongside it. But, let’s be honest: Welcome Bread doesn’t need any butter. It’s rich and buttery all on its own. Not only is it delicious, but this pineapple coconut bread is perfectly Polynesian, and it sets the scene for the rest of this all-you-care-to-eat feast.
Tortilla Chips at San Angel Inn
This may be my favorite bread-analog in the entire world. Crispy, crunchy, salty … they’re the perfect snack and the perfect way to whet my appetite and soak up my margarita. These heavenly little triangles are served warm and the slightest bit greasy, as if they were just pulled from the oil. Exactly what you’d expect from an authentic 17th-century Mayan hacienda!
Multi-Grain Bread at The Wave
Maybe it’s not terribly exciting, but I love the earthy, wholesome flavor of the multi-grain bread at The Wave. Not only is each slice dark, delicious and absolutely incredible smeared with salted butter, but it also tells a very clear story about The Wave and what to expect from the rest of your meal. The Wave is all about fresh, seasonal dishes with a healthy twist, and there’s nothing more hearty and nutritious than good whole grain bread.
Corn Bread at Boatwright’s Dining Hall
This Southern shipyard isn’t pulling any punches in the bread department: guests receive a basket full of freshly-baked corn bread. I’ve written about its incredible texture before—toasty on the outside, soft and yielding on the inside—but did you know that corn bread is often called the cornerstone of Southern American cuisine? It’s the perfect way for the chefs to let guests know that this menu is decidedly Southern.
What’s your favorite scene-setting bread in Walt Disney World? What did I leave off my list?
Editor’s Note: This post was featured in the April 15, 2012D isney Food Post Round-Up. Thanks, AJ! And hello to our new friends!