Sunday, January 18, 2009

T-Rex: Eating with (and like) a Dinosaur

There are tons, TONS of great places to eat on Disney property. Whether you’re in one of the parks or at a resort or in Downtown Disney, the choices can be a bit daunting at times. The newest addition to this family is Downtown’s T-Rex.

Opened in mid-October, T-Rex is owned by Landry, the parent company of the popular Rainforest Café chain of restaurants. As you might expect, the theme of T-Rex is somewhat similar to that of the Rainforest locations except, of course, with dinos instead of monkeys! T-Rex is an ENORMOUS restaurant (the capacity sign lists it at, I believe, 992) and has several themed areas in which patrons can dine. Want a drink? You’ll be seated under a plethora of aquatic life capped by a huge octopus. Diners might be seated in the ice age, or under a school of jellyfish near the bar or next to the “Kitchen of Fire”. Periodically, there is a meteor shower where they can be seen streaking across the ceiling and even spot the points of impact, marked by flashes of light.

The “critters” throughout the restaurant are a sight to behold. From the gigantic namesake T-Rex near the entrance (complete with baby next to it) to the Woolly Mammoth (with a soundbite strikingly similar to that of the elephants on the Jungle Cruise ;) to a very large, very angry looking Pterodactyl, the creatures inhabiting the dining room are a lot of fun.

Check-in is similar to that of Rainforest Café, where you put your name in at a podium and then wait in line to be called to your table. While the line can look very, very intimidating, it does move surprisingly fast so don’t be discouraged. But let’s talk about the most important thing…..the food.

The food at T-Rex, in my experience (all four of them) so far has been extremely good. The menu is large with plenty of choices for all kinds of appetites. There is a great deal of variety both in the food and the drinks. There is even a selection of martinis capped with, and no I’m not kidding, cotton candy. The best thing about T-Rex though, are the desserts. I can’t even begin to describe how great the sweets at this place are. One to note is the “Meteor Bites”, a coupling of chocolate and vanilla doughnut holes that come with dipping sauces.

The pinnacle though, the top of the mountain, as it were is the “Chocolate Extinction”. Believe me when I say that songs will be written about this dessert. If we were cave men, we would draw pictures on the walls about it. People will tell their grandchildren about it. I am NOT lying. Four slices of cake (it’s more like a giant brownie with a layer of caramel in the middle) with scoops of ice cream (that are topped with Butterfinger bits) surround a cup of dry ice that is erupting as the plate is served to you. The menu says “Serves two to four” and it really should say “Bring a lot of friends.” because it’s a lot of food.

I could go on and on (can’t you tell) about the food at T-Rex but you really need to try it for yourself. The animatronics aren’t earth-shattering (yes, pun intended) but they are great fun and lend a lot to the atmosphere. The service has been great, the prices are reasonable and the food is wonderful. What more could you ask for?

No comments: