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An Off-Night at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

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*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.

Recently, I had the pleasure of dining at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. I’ve heard rave reviews, both online and in-person, so I was eager to try it myself to find out! I’m sure you’re curious now to learn more about my off-night experience, so I’ll get right into it.

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At first glance, Boatwright’s Dining Hall looks small. The restaurant is between the River Roost Lounge and the Riverside Mill Food Court. Lattice cleverly disguises part of the seating area, and it’s that shade of Disney green that causes your eyes to gloss over the place. After checking in, I was escorted to my table, located up a few stairs and in a room with high lattice walls. Maybe it helps to keep people from staring at you. My server introduced herself and took my drink order. I asked for a sweet tea, which they do have available. In previous dining experiences (elsewhere on property), only unsweet tea was available, but we are in a southern-influenced restaurant, so sweet tea was readily available. I also placed an order for Boudin Balls ($13), as I was eager to have anything boudin-like to remind me of Louisiana.

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<em>Boudin Balls $13<em>

I could describe Boudin balls, but the menu does an excellent job: “a mix of Andouille Sausage, Smoked Sausage, and Dirty Rice Breaded and Fried. Served with Remoulade, Creole Mustard, and Pickled Vegetables.” Andouille sausage is a spicy sausage often found in Louisiana. Y’all, and I can say that because we’re in the south for dinner, it was love at first bite. The dirty rice and sausages took me back to the last time I was in Louisiana. The mustard added heat; the pickled vegetable added zip. It was delicious! You could share this with the table, or you could keep it all to yourself—your choice.

Dinner also includes cornbread with butter. Unlike some other restaurants, this butter was soft and spreadable, which I greatly appreciated. The cornbread looked like normal cornbread. It tasted like normal cornbread. But when you cut a slice, it had a crispy outer edge that was intriguing. Was that a very light coating of honey? Was it something else? How did they do this? I was so curious but didn’t want to ask in case it was an in-house secret.

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For the main dish, I strayed from typical Louisiana and instead chose General Fulton’s Prime Rib ($36). “Slow-roasted Prime Rib rubbed with our specialty crafted Chicory-Coffee Blend, Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and Horseradish Cream.” I requested mine medium rare, and it arrived somewhere between rare and medium rare. The rub of Chicory coffee wasn’t very noticeable to me, and the steak itself was decent. The mashed potatoes were mashed potatoes, and the seasonal vegetable that night was green beans that were served blanched. They were very crispy in a fresh way. The horseradish cream was delightful, and I wish I had requested a little more.

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<em>General Fultons Prime Rib $36<em>

Two items caught my attention for dessert, and I wanted to try both.
First is the Banana Cream Pie Bread Pudding ($7), “House-made Bread Pudding with Fresh Bananas, Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Caramel Sauce, Bourbon-soaked Golden Raisins and Vanilla Ice Cream (Dessert contains alcohol).” I’m not used to banana cream pie having raisins, so that’s different. But y’all, this dessert was lovely! The caramel sauce with the bananas and the vanilla ice cream was decadent! The bread pudding was the perfect texture. The golden raisins, to me, were an interesting twist. The menu states they are soaked in bourbon, but I didn’t really notice the flavor. The entire dish was very good, and a steal at only $7! I can see other restaurants charging double for this.

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<em>Banana Cream Pie Bread Pudding $7<em>

The other dessert was the Trio of Sorbets ($6). “A Trio of Southern-inspired Sorbets.” That leaves a lot to the imagination. The lack of information about it on the menu made it more intriguing and mysterious. What flavors? Will I love it? Will I hate it? Will I even be able to recognize it? I must know!

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<em>Trio of Sorbets $6<em>

Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to know the flavors, skip to the end. Otherwise, read on!

The brown sorbet in the back I immediately recognized as sweet tea. How’d they turned sweet tea into a sorbet? I don’t know, but it was nice and different. The pale yellow sorbet was tart. Is this lemon? Is this lime? It’s southern-inspired, so maybe key lime? I guessed key lime. It was lemon. The red sorbet was raspberry, and let me tell you, I dreamed about that raspberry sorbet that night. It was perfection! The raspberry flavor was strong, and anyone who loves raspberry (like yours truly) is going to love this.

I’m sure you’ve read this far and are now wondering, “Liz, this all sounds great! What made this an off-night for you?” I’m glad you asked because the food I had no issue with; it was the service and kitchen timing. Maybe it’s because I was a lonely party of 1. Maybe my server had a demanding large table to contend with. I’m not sure exactly. It was the service throughout most of the meal, and also the timing of the kitchen that made my dinner experience less than stellar. Shortly after my drink arrived, my appetizer arrived, which I thought was odd. When I was halfway through my appetizer, my main course arrived, which was very odd since I ordered a steak. Then from the time my appetizer arrived until I was finished with my main course, I did not have a single beverage refill. I didn’t even see my server until I was two bites away from finishing dinner.

Then at the very end, I let my server know I had an Annual Pass so they could apply the discount. They returned with an updated check to reflect the discount, and they didn’t even apply the discount! So I had to wait for my server to return to let them know they didn’t apply the discount. They returned a few minutes later with the corrected check, a box of cornbread for my patience, and a sincere apology. I chalked this up to an off-night for my server and still added a nice gratuity (based on the original amount) because everyone has off-days.

I would still return to Boatwright’s Dining Hall because there are other menu items I would like to try, along with the Boudin Balls and that raspberry sorbet. The all-you-care-to-enjoy platter did sound tempting, but it seemed like a lot for one person. They also have jambalaya. The table next to me ordered that, and it did look tasty. From what I’ve been told, they also have an excellent French Onion Soup appetizer. For desserts, I really wanted to try the Mississippi Mud Crème Brûlée, but I’m happy with the two that I did have.

Boatwright’s Dining Hall is located at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. They are open for dinner from 5p-9p. Annual Passholders and Disney Visa Cardmembers do qualify for a discount. While advance reservations are suggested, sometimes you can get lucky and find a last-minute reservation like I did.

Hi, I'm Liz. I'm very tall, sorta funny, and I occasionally get lost inside gift shops.


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