Thursday, November 3, 2011

(T-Rex: It's Dino-mite!)

I'm not going to beat around the bush and make you wait until the end of this review to tell you how I feel about T-Rex. I LOVE it. In the span of our past two trips to Walt Disney World, I have dined there 4 times. I would have gone again if I had time, and definitely plan to go back on our next visit. So, since you already know I'm going to strongly recommend T-Rex, take a look at my favorite ways to enjoy your time in this prehistoric eatery.

Upon entering the Downtown Disney establishment, you're taken back to the age of the Dinosaurs. This is not the place to go if you're looking for a nice, quiet dinner. T-Rex is loud. Every 15 minutes or so, a meteor strikes and the dinos go wild! Expect lots of roaring, squawking and other prehistoric noises. The atmosphere is frequently dark, with flashes of light during the meteor showers. Depending on where you're sitting, there are a variety of lighting changes that make for a really fun, immersive atmosphere.

T-Rex was created by the same folks who brought us Rainforest Cafe, so you can expect the menu to be huge. Unlike Rainforest Cafe however, T-Rex does not serve breakfast. Bring a big appetite for lunch and dinner; T-Rex serves everything from great appetizers and salads to burgers, seafood, pasta, ribs, chicken and so much more.

If you're in the mood to munch, T-Rex offers the Supersaurus Sampler; Spinach & Pepper Jack Queso with tortilla chips, Bracchiosaurus Bruschetta, T-Rexadillas and onion rings round out the filling appetizer ($18.99). Make it a meal and add ribs for an additional $5.99. Everything was very good, and we found ourselves fighting over the queso and chips!

As I'm sure you know by now, what do I always order when it's on the menu? Say it together now...NACHOS! That's right, and T-Rex offers some of the best. One of my favorite experiences to ever come to mind is when J and I spent a memorable night at T-Rex, drinking way too much and munching away on nothing but nachos. After that we took a bus to the Grand Floridian where we proceeded to visit Mizner's Lounge for another liquid concoction, and then monorail-ed to the Magic Kingdom for a showing of Wishes! Now I know they don't serve alcohol in the Magic Kingdom, but if you get the chance to have a few drinks and then watch the fireworks, you're going to have a great time! But I'm getting off topic now...oh yes, nachos. The Colosso Nachos are made up of seasoned beef, pico de gallo, black beans, green onions, cheddar cheese, queso (plastic cheese!) and a hearty dollop of sour cream. Next to Margaritaville, these are probably my favorite nachos in the area. The tri-color chips don't hurt either, I'm a sucker for those.

Speaking of drinking too much, T-Rex has one of the coolest bars around. Surrounded by a giant octopus and littered with glowing fish tanks, this is a great place to have a drink while you're waiting for your table, or maybe just to stop by on your way to the Adventurer's Club (I know what you're going to say, but I'm still in denial that it's gone). I rarely ever see these chairs filled to capacity, so getting a seat shouldn't be a problem. T-Rex offers a variety of wines, beers and mixed drinks. You can get your drink mixed in a souvenir glass, and then top it off - refills are discounted (woohoo!) Drinks are available sans the glass as well.

I'm sure you've pretty much caught on by now; we're not usually very fancy eaters. A couple of drinks and appetizers keep J & I happy as clams. That isn't to say we aren't adventurous in our dining, and that we don't enjoy an expensive, well-prepared meal every now and then. We simply haven't made our millions (yet), and aren't terribly hard to please - especially if nachos or chicken wings are on the menu. Still though, sometimes on vacation you've just had enough of the junk, and you need a nice clean meal. This being the reason why I ordered a salad on one visit to T-Rex.

Pictured above is the Omnivore's Delight - iceberg, romaine and baby greens with goat cheese (one of my favorite things), Craisins, strawberries, red onion and carmelized pecans tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I love everything about this salad - with the exception of the frisee. The weird lettuce is like nature's way of saying, "I'm gonna make you choke on your salad." 

I haven't tried any of the entrees at T-Rex, because I'm usually just so satisfied with an appetizer or a salad. J once got a burger, and said it was only OK. The restaurant also serves a good selection of desserts, including the Chocolate Extinction (I think something akin to Rainforest's Volcano! dessert). The restaurant is divided into multiple sections, including the Ice Age, Prehistoric Insects, Under the Sea and more. If you're lucky, you'll be seated inside of the Ice Age cave, which is a show in itself. Request it next time you visit, and you'll see why!

Is T-Rex going to win awards for amazing food? Probably not. But that's not why you go there. If you're looking for a fantastic dining experience in Downtown Disney, go elsewhere. T-Rex is about the atmosphere. Expect loud, raucous fun and you will not leave T-Rex disappointed. Reservations are recommended but not required. Lines can get very long here! Definitely visit Disney's reservations page for the easiest and most convenient way to make sure you get a table.

Have you been to T-Rex? I'd love to hear your opinion on some of their entrees! Leave your comments!

Happy Dining!

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