Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Flame Tree BBQ Lunch Review

Oh, Animal Kingdom. I love you but you have a long way to go. I will be really interested to see what Avatar Land does. Hopefully brings more air conditioning. We managed to land at the park on a day when it was a balmy 95 degrees with a heat index that got up to 105.9 degrees. We wandered a bit trying to decide on our best lunch option and finally settled on Flame Tree Barbecue.

Flame Tree BBQ Lunch, August 2015
Ordering & Atmosphere
Flame Tree is set up a little differently than some of the other quick service restaurants I've eaten at. After standing one long queue, each different party is directed to a different channel with two stops. At the first station, you actually place your order with a cast member. Although the menu is on a sign overhead, our lady also handed us laminated menus that we could reference. We placed our orders quickly, then moved up to the window.

This got chaotic quickly. There was already a man and his kids waiting at the window, which was narrow and had metal railings on either side. There really was not enough space for everyone. We waited for quite awhile, with more people placing orders and moving up behind us. Finally, we got our food on a tray and moved out of the ordering area towards the seating.

Behind the actual restaurant are a number of little shelters, like in a park. There are also tables scattered around on tiered patios. It is a nice setup but was quite crowded the day we were there. We ended up walking all the way down to the bottom shelter, which overlooked the central lake. It was actually a very lovely view and was a little quieter than some of the other parts of the restaurant. We waited a bit for my husband's parents to find us, which gave me a chance to check out the decor. I really love the "circle of life" theming that is all around, definitely check that out if you get the chance!

Food & Drink
Here's what we ordered:
Me - Ribs & chicken combo with baked beans and jalapeno cornbread, and a bag of grapes
Hubby - Pulled pork sandwich topped with pickled slaw and served with baked beans, and lime mousse
MIL - 1/2 chicken with baked beans and jalapeno cornbread, and chocolate mousse
FIL - Pulled pork sandwich topped with pickled slaw and served with baked beans, and lime mousse

I'll be perfectly honest, I am not a ribs person. I don't like being messy when I eat, and it is pretty much impossible to stay clean while eating ribs. I tried going at them with a knife and fork, and eventually had to give up. I've tried some ribs where the meat is so tender it just falls right off of the bone, but these were not those. The flavor was good, but I wasn't a huge fan of the texture.

Hubby is a big pulled pork fan, and he was not disappointed in his sandwich. The flavor wasn't quite as intense as he would have liked, but luckily they had a station with dispensers of barbecue sauce that added a lot of great flavors. My chicken was good if a bit bland, and also benefitted from the application of barbecue sauce.

For what the chicken lacked, the baked beans more than made up for. They were awesome and were everyone's favorite thing on the table. They weren't too mushy, as sometimes baked beans can be, or too soupy. They really were great! The cornbread was quite good as well, with a nice heat from the jalapeno.

I decided to pass on a dessert, and if you're using the dining plan quick service meal you can substitute your dessert for one of the snacks that that individual restaurant carries. I switched mine out for a bag of grapes, which to be honest was a great choice. They were exactly what I needed on a hot and sweaty day. I tried a tiny bite of Hubby's lime mousse. I'm honestly not a huge fan of lime unless it is in a margarita so it wasn't the dessert for me, but he liked it well enough.

TLDR Breakdown
Food Rating: B-
Atmosphere Rating: B (especially if you can get a seat along the water!)
Service Rating: B-
Overall Rating: B-
Bottom Line: If you like generic barbecue and are looking for a quick meal option, this is not a bad choice. Definitely get the baked beans!

Check out my other Disney dining reviews and planning tips here!

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