Review by Kevin Klose
There are three versions of Wolfgang Puck at Walt Disney World.
There are two Wolfgang Puck Express restaurants. One is next to the Days of Christmas store in the Marketplace and one is across from the Virgin Megastore Disney’s West Side.
Next to the West Side location is the Wolfgang Puck Café and then just plain old Wolfgang Puck (the most expensive of the three) is upstairs over that.
Confused? I’ll try to help out.
This review will discuss the Wolfgang Puck Café located between the House of Blues and Bongos Cuban Café. This is not the Express “grab and go” fast food location and not the fanciest of the three although, you would never guess that from the demeanor of the folks that greet you.
We made an advanced dining reservation for 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon. The reservation was for 4 people. Between making the reservation and actually arriving, we asked a 5th person to join us.
Upon arriving (on time) at the restaurant, we inquired as to whether there would be an issue accommodating an additional guest. After much conferencing between the four people standing behind the podium, it was decided that it would be ok that all 5 of us dined.
A seating person (not one of the original 4 tribunal) showed us to our table. Please note that although this building was built in the era of mandated handicapped accessibility, those in wheelchairs (and the companions) must navigate behind the dessert counter, under the main staircase and through part of the prep area, excusing yourself and apologizing all the way to those attempting to get ready for dinner.
Our less than talkative “seater” did not mention this, we just sort of stumbled upon it after realizing that there are three stairs down to the main dining room.
Upon arriving at our table, we found that we were being seated at a table for four with an additional chair wedged between the table and a wall. This table was also located between two of only four occupied tables in the almost empty restaurant. Even if we had remained a party of four, this table was inadequate. I asked our “not friendly” seater if we could move to a larger table. After rolling his eyes, he mumbled that he would check.
I followed him to the podium where he whispered to the tribunal and then one of them (stating that he was the manager) approached me stating that he had chosen this table specifically for us. I explained that we were big folks and had a wheel chair and that we wouldn’t fit at this table to which he replied “Well, you were the one that decided to bring someone else. Your reservation was for 4 and not 5.” I asked nicely if he realized that his restaurant was 95% empty and he told me that these tables were reserved for people that “knew how many people were going to be dining.” I politely told him we were leaving and he told me that was fine. One of the cooler heads in our group talked to him and asked if we were being punished for bringing an additional person. After sucking his teeth and rolling his eyes, he stated that he needed to rearrange things but that we could have a larger table.. He handed an additional menu to the mute “seater” and we were finally sat a larger table in a still nearly empty restaurant.
On to the rest of the experience,…
We ordered appetizers which range from approximately $10.00 to $15.00 per order. We tried the Asian Style Vegetable Spring Rolls ($9.95). which is two spring rolls cut in half, the Truffle – Maytag Blue Kettle Chips ($9.95) which are potato chips with bleu cheese and truffle oil, a cheese pizza (personal size for $11.95), the Butternut Squash soup ($6.95) and a sushi special (14/95).
The appetizers were tasty, but ridiculously overpriced for the quality and amount of food that we received.
For our entrees, which range from $17 – 28.00, we tried the Meatloaf (2 at $17.95), the Spicy Chicken Penne ($17.95), the Roasted Whole Chicken ($18.95) and an Iron Steak Special ($23.95).
Of the entrees, the only one deemed worth the time or the price was the whole roasted chicken. It was tender and juicy and plentiful. This could easily be shared by two (or more) people. The Iron Steak special was deemed tasteless. The two meatloaf entrees were described as having unusual texture and the Spicy Chicken Penne was “HOT” but bland. The only flavor was derived from the heat.
We also tried three deserts which are all $7.95. We had the Vanilla Crème Brulee, the Classic Carrot Cake and the Double Chocolate Mud Pie. All were described good…but not thrilling.
Our check for 5 people was $190.00. The Wolfgang Puck Café does not accept the Disney Dining Experience any longer.
I usually devote much more attention to the actual food in most restaurants but in this case the pretentiousness of our getting a table marred the entire experience. This is a loud boisterous restaurant that in my opinion is placing far too much relevance on a celebrity chef’s name and reputation.
This is Disney World folks…not New York City or Los Angeles. Folks are looking for a good dining experience…not fake snobbery.
By the way….there were empty tables available right up until our departure.