I found myself alone at lunch time recently, and being in the Swan/Dolphin area, I decided to try the “Fresh Mediterranean Market.”
I was taken to a table by the windows that rim the room, giving the interior a bright, sunny feel. My waiter introduced himself and poured a sample of the Sangria. It was delish but I was working so I behaved and ordered iced tea. I prefer unsweetened and was very happy to find that they had flavored teas without sugar in them. It was an additional charge, but the mango iced tea was well worth it.
The Mediterranean Market is a buffet, but with a unique approach. Rather than long rows of steamer trays, a sample of the day’s offerings is displayed on the counter. When you make your selection, you hand your plate to one of the talented chefs who serve you.
The day that I visited, the choices were outstanding. There were two soups, Minestrone and French Onion. I passed on them but did pick up a salad. Nearby, there was a display case with antipasto ingredients and premium cold cuts that they’ll slice for you.
My focus was on the incredible entrée choices. I began with the Swordfish served with a Tzatiki sauce and the Curried Chicken. The sauce was the perfect accompaniment with the fish and the chicken was a wonderful surprise. I’m usually not a fan of curry, but combined with the fresh pop of cherry tomatoes, it was great.
Next I sampled the Mahi-Mahi with Tomato Relish and the Herb Roasted Chicken. The chicken was moist and flavorful, and the relish tasted as if the tomatoes were just plucked from the garden.
As good as everything was so far, the one dish that stood out from the rest was the Carved Lamb with a Demi sauce. It was the most delicious lamb that I’ve ever had. It was carved fresh, a bit on the rare side, and absolutely outstanding. Rather than overwhelm the lamb, the sauce provided flavor with a light touch. This dish required a second helping.
There were three self-serve items, the Paella Valencia, Roast Vegetables and Roast Potatoes. I sampled a bit of the Paella that had plump, moist clams and mussels and the Roast Vegetables that were simply prepared and full of flavor.
For those of us on low-carb diets, the Fresh Mediterranean Market is a dream come true. Usually I find that buffets are loaded with starches and choices are limited. The Market also had a Panini of the day and a Pasta dish as well as Ribs in a sweet/sour sauce, but for the most part, the focus is on simple preparation of natural foods with the freshest ingredients.
If you don’t want the gravies/sauces, it’s not a problem. Most dishes have it added by the chef when it’s served so you can simply request that it be left off. Compare that to traditional buffet trays of meat that are swimming in gravy.
With my low-carb cravings more than satisfied, I found the willpower to pass on the tempting desserts. The center island had Key Lime tarts, Crème Brulee, Chocolate Mousse, Carrot Cake, Flan, Coffee Cake, Cheesecake, Passion Fruit cake, Goblets with fresh berries and cream and an assortment of freshly baked cookies. I could see that the other diners were enjoying these sweet endings to their meal.
The Fresh Mediterranean Market is open for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast also focuses on freshly prepared and served items. It includes juice and Starbucks coffee.
At lunch, there’s a selection of wines by the glass offered, as well as beers from Morocco, Spain and Italy in keeping with the Mediterranean focus.
Both breakfast and lunch offer a selection of a la Carte items if you’re not interested in the buffet, but I can’t imagine passing up on such an assortment.
The next time that I’m in Disney World with my family, we will definitely be leaving the park and heading to the Dolphin Resort to enjoy an outstanding dining experience at the Fresh Mediterranean Market.