In my tiny corner of theme park food blogging, a constant and valid request is for more vegetarian options. Now, the choices in the Orlando area theme park destroy, in terms of quality and variety, the options ten years ago. However, there still need to be more. Even as someone who is not on any set plant-based diet, I desire more variety.
A non-traditional option can be found at Rosie’s All-American Café in Hollywood Studios. The menu describes it as a plant-based lobster roll. For $10.49, you get marinated hearts of palm, celery, sweet apples, and creamy Old Bay dressing in a traditional looking roll. This also comes with house-made chips. The roll is toasted adding to the lobster roll feel.
The bias I bring to this entrée is knowledge that this section of counter service places in Hollywood Studios rate low. Since Rosie’s struggle with less complicated food, this sandwich has potential for disaster. Now, this “lobster” roll exceeds the low bar I set for it. This is not just from me, but I have this confirmed from five other reliable sources.
Still, this roll is not even in the top three vegetarian options in Hollywood Studios.
The constant cry of reviewers about this is the creaminess of it. Based on creating a plant-based item, hearts of palm are used to play the role of the lobster in this dish. Using hearts of palm as a substitute for lobster is not uncommon.
Sorry vegetarians, the hearts of palm used in this roll fails to provide proper flavor. They fail on opening night when lobster is too sick to perform. Perhaps, a better quality of hearts of palm would improve this dish. Yet, that may increase the price point also.
The brine and distinct vinegar-like flavor of the “lobster” substitute takes over this dish. The Old Bay dressing plays its role in the play about a lobster roll with way too much mayonnaise to perfection. The Old Bay dressing is distinctive but cannot conquer the flavor of the hearts of palm.
Though most people can sense the sweetness of the apples in this “lobster” salad mix, some said they never tasted any sweetness to balance the sandwich. For example, one of my Disney blogging colleagues said they did not taste anything but some Old Bay seasoning and low-quality hearts of palm. I think that is not the standard experience. Still, you should be ready.
Another concern with this menu item is the name of it is deceiving to many. This menu item could be more accurately called a decent artichoke-type salad on a roll. Still, the creaminess of the dressing might undermine that naming. The roll itself is toasted and seasoned well. However, many guest experience the roll not holding up. The use of excessive napkins at a counter service place may be demanded.
All is not lost with this plant-based item. This item exceeds having just another meat alternative burger. This menu choice shows creativity with willingness to expand vegetarian options. On a scale of 1-10, I would give this item, a 5.5. There are so many better plant-based options in Hollywood Studios such as at Docking Bay 7 and ABC Commissary.
The best argument for this item is the price point. The item is under $11 with chips. I understand that flavor is a major concern. If you are trying to dine plant-based, your entrées can get expensive quickly. This “lobster” roll could save your bank account a little. We all know doing that at Walt Disney World is a major feat. Enjoy this at your own risk. Maybe more precisely, you should try this after having the better plant-based options in Hollywood Studios.
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