Sunday, January 9, 2011

a nice counter-service option

One of my favorite counter-service options hasn't changed in a few years: Sunshine Seasons, in the Land pavilion at Epcot. I used to love their "vegetarian entree", which basically consisted of all the vegetarian dishes they had, arranged on a plate. A year or two ago, they changed their standard vegetarian option to the Tofu and Vegetable Noodle Bowl - which was almost the same thing, but all of the veggies were thrown into a bowl, along with some tofu and some vegetable broth. It was also quite good.

On this most recent trip, the menu remains the same - the Tofu and Vegetable Noodle Bowl is still available. However, I was pleasantly surprised when one of the Cast Members working there asked me if I wanted that "in a bowl, or on a plate". I asked for a plate, and what I got was basically the same thing, but minus the broth. While the broth is a nice option, I actually personally prefer the plate, and in fact I chose this dish three times over the course of our week-long vacation. It consisted of a healthy serving of stir-fried vegetables, garlic udon noodles, and cubes of tofu. There is also plenty of soy sauce and hot sauce available to embellish it, if you'd like.

I should mention that, while the first Cast Member I encountered actually asked me if I wanted a bowl or plate, the next two gave me an odd look when I requested the dish "on a plate, please - not in a bowl". On my second visit, another Cast Member stationed there was able to explain and assist. On my third visit, I just nicely explained that I'd like the same items, but on a plate without the broth. They were all willing to do it, and were very nice about it - but clearly it wasn't an altogether common request. Just another example that you really can get what you want, even if it's not on the menu - just so long as they have the necessary ingredients to meet your request, and you ask nicely.

If the noodle bowl or plate doesn't appeal to you, there are actually a number of items available here just from the free-standing cases of add-on items they have, placed between the different "stations". While I didn't try most of these myself (sorry - I'm just so hooked on that noodle dish!), I did stop and take a look.

I found a nice veggie wrap:

There was some veggie sushi:

There were Taboulle Pin Wheels:

And to wash it down, they have both plain and chocolate Silk soy milk (and even some Silk yogurt!):

And Divvies chocolate chip cookies for dessert:

(Please note that the brownies on the left are gluten-free, but they do contain eggs.) I did also see Divvies caramel corn. Not a bad selection for a counter-service location, dontcha think? Try finding all that at a Six Flags park! (Sorry... my Disney loyalty got away from me for a moment.)

There are still other counter-service options out there. They still have a nice vegetarian platter at Tangierine Cafe in the Morocco pavilion. I still say that a nice plain soft pretzel with some fruit makes a wonderful light lunch (which I did have - but forgot to take a picture. Sorry!) I was sorry I missed one of my favorites this trip - the grilled veggie sandwich (minus cheese) at the Backlot Express in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It might not be vegan paradise, but you won't starve.

One more very special post coming soon - the meal "highlight" of my trip. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are both vegetarians but our son is not so we all LOVE Sunshine Seasons because it has lots of options for both. Like you, we usually eat there several times during our trips. You should also try the beet salad (minus the goat cheese) because it is REALLY GOOD!!! Thanks for another great post and I'll definitely try the noodle bowl (on a plate) in March on our upcoming trip! Gabriella