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‘Anyone Can Cook’ but What About EPCOT’s Chefs de France?

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With so many festivals at EPCOT, it’s a rare occasion for my family to dine at a table service location. The ability to “eat around the world” is one of the many reasons why we love this park. However, the glow of Chefs de France often calls to me, as it looks so beautiful and inviting. On a recent visit to EPCOT, we were still hungry by the time we made almost the full loop to France and stumbled upon a walk-up reservation.

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Speaking of walk-up reservations, I highly recommend checking this option frequently if you’re looking for a hard to get reservation. Sometimes it takes refreshing the My Disney Experience app several times and dining early or late but it’s always worth a shot! Keep in mind, you do have to be in the park or resort where the restaurant is located and you do have to reserve it in the app like any other dining reservation. Gone are the days of walking up to the restaurant podium and hoping for extra pixie dust!

On to our experience at Chefs de France! Our wait was quick. In fact so quick, I had to hop out of the line for the festival booth in France. I’ll be back for you later frozen hot chocolate martini! Unfortunately, the rest of the dinner was painfully slow. We had our toddler with us and if you have little ones, you know how exhausting a long dinner can be.

I had not been to Chefs de France in several years and my first impression was how loud the restaurant is. Blame it on bad acoustics and the tables being close together, but hardly a romantic dinner location. At first glance, the menu has a nice range of options and I was torn between ordering several dishes. I knew I had to get the French onion soup ($13.95) as I often hear about it being delicious. We ultimately landed on the seared salmon with rice pilaf and beurre blanc sauce ($34.95) and sautéed shrimp and scallops with potatoes in a creamy lobster sauce ($33.95). Our son, Owen, had the “croquette de boeuf en brioche” aka hamburger with fries ($12.95).

This is where the review takes a sad turn. The infamous French onion soup, despite looking incredible, was bland. The broth lacked flavor and the few onions in the soup were undercooked and still had a slight crunch. Don’t worry though, I was smart and still ate the cheese and bread on top.

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I was excited for Owen to try his hamburger with a brioche bun since he’s recently been all about burgers. Much to Owen’s dismay, the burger patty resembled a hockey puck. He was also smart and decided only to eat the brioche bun. I would say all kids burgers at Disney are the same but I’ve tried a far superior version at Steakhouse 71.

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Disney is great about getting the kids meals out first so your hungry little one can happily start eating. Thank goodness, this was the case at Chefs de France because our entrees and any interaction with a server then took almost 45 minutes. I usually wouldn’t mind except our table and those around us sat with empty water glasses for most of that time. To the point, I wanted to pay for our food and just leave several times.

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As for the adults’ entrees, the presentation was once again great and I wanted to like the meal so badly. Unfortunately, both dishes were close but not quite. The flavors were yet again lacking and we heavily relied on salt and pepper to give it life. We both ordered entrees with rich sauces, or so we thought. The sauces on each of the seafood dishes tasted more like heavy cream and nothing else. The portions were good and everything did taste fresh.

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To quote Home Alone, “You’re what the French call les incompetents.” So maybe that’s me! I’m sure the restaurant was understaffed and doing the best they could. As for the food, take my review with a grain of salt… literally! Also, Chefs de France does not accept discounts like Annual Pass so the value is harder for me to justify. I think we will stick to EPCOT’s festivals and our favorite snacks before dining at Chefs de France again.

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Hannah Anderson is a Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent, DIS Contributor, former Disney Cast Member, and Orlando local. Mostly importantly, she is a mom and loves spending time in the Disney Parks each week with her family.
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