Monday, July 21, 2014

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

After an incredible dining experience at Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney's Port Orleans Resort, it was only fitting that we finish our evening with New Orleans' favorite treat- beignets. Those familiar with these deep-friend dough pockets know that they are unlike anything else on Earth and are rarely gluten-free friendly. Once again, the magic of Disney is at play at Port Orleans because they have made these sweet treats safe for those with food allergies to enjoy once again. Having never tried a beignet before or after going gluten free, I couldn't wait to get my first taste of a dessert I've seen my friends and family happily devour. 

From the Riverside section of the resort (where Boatwright's is located) to the French Quarter (where the gluten-free beignets can be found) one can make the trek via the beautiful walking paths connecting the two. The distance between the two is a little over half a mile and takes you along a picturesque waterway and natural area. I really enjoyed taking in the natural beauty of the river and the beautiful architecture of the hotel. As we neared the French Quarter, the buildings started looking like they have stepped right out of New Orleans' French Quarter. Once on this side of the resort, it was a short walk to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory where the beignets are to be found.



The best part about these treats is that there's no advance notice needed to order allergy-free beignets. All you have to do is navigate to the beignet counter and ask to speak with the chef who can assist you with ordering the treats. Still more than stuffed from dinner, I knew I could probably manage only one beignet that evening, but not wanting to order a lone pastry, I decided to get six and plan on taking them home for my family to enjoy. My one request was that the powdered sugar on top be left off because my body can't tolerate a lot of sugar all at once. While beignet purists might shake their heads, I wanted to make sure my dessert wouldn't ruin my evening and leave me with regret. As the chef went to freshly prepare my order, I paid and was pleasently suprised to find the six treats only set me back $4.29. What a deal!

When they emerged a short time later, I fell in love with the cute pillow-like pastries. Piping hot, they were aromatic and irresistible and I carefully selected my first one. The pillow-like dough balls were light and airy on the inside and were not really sweet at all which was just to my taste. The batter has a hint of cinnamon which was subtle, but oh-so good. If I hadn't been so overwhelmingly full, I could have had more, but had to save the rest for another day considering my protesting stomach. Any thoughts of sharing them with my family disintegrated then and there because I knew I wanted the remaining five all to myself. As it turned out, they're still good the next day for breakfast!



As our evening winded down, I really enjoyed the festive decor at Sassagoula which channels the Mardi Gras spirit. The assorted garlands and other ceiling hangings made the whole restaurant festive and made me smile. It was the perfect place and way to end the evening. Once doubtful that I would like these little desserts because I don't ever eat fried food, I was so thankful I decided to give them a chance because I really enjoyed expanding my horizons in unexpected ways. I guess it's thanks to the magic of Disney's commitment to allergen-friendly fare and the convincing of gluten-free friends. Whatever the reason, I left with a smile on my face and one happy stomach. 

Want to check out these beignets yourself? Check out the upcoming Special Diets meetup hosted by Sarah from Gluten Free and Dairy Free at Walt Disney World on August 16th starting at 2:00. I know I'll be back for these sweet treats!


The Basics

Address: 3701 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Website: Disney's website for Sassagoula 
Cuisine: Southern, comfort food, New Orleans favorites
Ideal For: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price: Three beignets for $2.29, Six beignets for $4.29
Accessibility: The restaurant was wheelchair accessible. 
Special Features: No need to make special arrangements for allergy-free beignets. Just ask for a chef at the beignet counter.


Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

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