Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Scat Cat's Lounge at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort (Temporary Pop Up)

While I am not a big Disney person, there's no denying that Orlando's most famous resident is Mickey Mouse himself. In the limited time I have in Orlando for my winter break, I knew I did not want to miss an opportunity to eat out with my local gluten-free blogger friends Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando and Sarah from Gluten Free and Dairy Free at Walt Disney World. We tend to choose restaurants on property of Disney World, and for our December meet up we decided to try out Scat Cat's Lounge, a temporary holiday pop up restaurant at Disney's Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter. Because of the limited engagement nature of the restaurant, this review covers my experience, but the restaurant is no longer in operation. However, look out for future openings of the Lounge on a seasonal basis. 

Scat Cat's was set up with an all-you-care-to-eat family style service. Since our reservations coincided with the opening of the restaurant, we were seated immediately. Chef Tony and Chef Paul came out to give us an overview of the menu, and explained that most of the items were naturally gluten-free and allergen-friendly. 

The only items not available gluten-free was the corn bread. The only item not able to be dairy-free was the mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Amy's mac and cheese was on hand for gluten-free diners, but it was not dairy-free; we all decided to pass on it. 



We started off with rolls, a rarity when dining out gluten-free. Served with olive oil and herbs, the rolls were heated well and had a good texture. While nothing too special, it was nice to not have to watch everyone at the table except me eat bread.



Next up came the house salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette. I am normally not a salad eater, but really liked the garlic-y homemade dressing on this one. Although seemingly simple, the salad made a big impression.



After the initial courses, we were ready to tackle the main courses all at once. The vegetarian jambalaya was joined by grilled andouille sausage and cajun roasted chicken. I don't eat red meat, so I only tried the jambalaya and the chicken. The jambalaya was a bid dry and while good was not too impressive. The chicken however was really delicious, brined for hours and than roasted. Juicy and spicy, I definitely had seconds of the meat, and regarded it as the best of the extensive spread of food.



I did not try the pot roast, again as I am not gluten-free, but did sample the carrots that were roasted in the juice. They were flavorful and tender, roasted perfectly.




After all the meat, it was time to indulge in a few veggies. This trio was the mashed potatoes, maque choux, and collard greens. The first of the trio was not dairy free. I tried the two latter dishes, but am not a big corn or collards eater so I was not too over the moon for either. 




The vegetable that took top honors was the asparagus, which was roasted with a little bit of seasoning. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies, and the preparation served up was excellent. This dish was among my favorites of the night up there with the chicken and salad.



Of course no visit to Port Orleans French Quarter is complete without beignets, fried squares of dough with ample portioning of powdered sugar. After a big meal, I cannot eat a super sugary dessert, so I order mine without the powdered sweetness. Nevertheless, the beignets satisfy with their golden-fried goodness. 



Leaving Scat Cat's, I was pleasantly full but not overly stuffed. For $25.99, the dinner was one of the best deals on Walt Disney World property I have seen, because it's hard to find this amount of food at that price. While I really loved a few of the dishes, I was not a fan of everything on the menu because I am simply not a Southern food fan. However, I give full kudos to Chef Tony, Chef Paul, and the staff for their hospitality and willingness to bend over backward to accommodate my friends and I. 

While Scat Cat's was only a 2015 holiday installment, be on the lookout for future pop up openings in the future. The space is truly magical and the atmosphere was low-key with a touch of elegance. 

Want to hear Alexis' take on the dinner? Check out her full review here.

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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