By Tamara Speidel
Our family recently made a trip to Disney Springs and it was amazing! So many great shops and restaurants . . . we could have spent days just exploring Disney Springs. However, because we made the mistake decision of having our daughter pick where we ate for lunch, this post will focus on a slightly less glamorous, less new establishment, The T-Rex Café. (Don’t get me wrong. We <spoiler alert> actually really enjoyed her pick. I just felt some serious Disney Blogger shame at missing out on the more recently opened places like Jock Lindsey’s, Morimoto Asia, or The Boathouse.)
It probably comes as no surprise to hear that the T-Rex Café has a prehistoric theme. You are immersed into a world of wooly mammoths, dinosaurs, behemoth sea creatures and meteor showers. The theming was fun and the cast members encouraged guests to get up and walk around the restaurant to see all of the various sections. – a tropical forest, a colorful ice cave, or under the sea. We were seated in the sea life section and enjoyed the large jellyfish lights as well as the GIANT octopus that hangs over the bar. Be warned though. A meteor shower occurs every 15 minutes and the dinosaurs in the other sections get very agitated by those meteors. They come alive with every shower, roaring and moving about. The theme alone makes this a “must do” for any dinosaur lover. However, it can be loud and over-stimulating. Definitely NOT the place for a quiet meal!
Usually, if I go to a restaurant with an over-the-top theme, I don’t have high expectations for the food. I must say that I was very surprised by the taste and variety of the food offered at T-Rex.
The Mega Meso-Bones was a full rack of pork ribs, served with a side of waffle fries (it also comes with coleslaw, but we asked for extra fries instead). The ribs were meaty, juicy and tender. The meat fell right off the bone and according to our server, Anthony, the ribs are slow-cooked all day long. The sauce was sweet and maybe a tad bit too salty but we would definitely order these again! My hunch is that the waffle fries came out of a big bag from the freezer. They were just okay . . . I have definitely had better.
We also tried the Layers of the Earth Lasagna. This was a HUGE portion of food!!! It was definitely filling . . . it would probably be best as a dinner entrée rather than lunch. The sauce was creamy and the ingredients were cooked perfectly – nice and moist, excellent texture, a very hearty meal. Again, this is something we would order if we return to T-Rex.
Our final entrée was the Bronto Burger. This burger was quite good! The meat was juicy and better quality than your typical hamburger patty. The combination of pepper jack cheese, guacamole and onion ring really hit the mark! Guess what??? We would order this again too!
Even though we were stuffed, we decided to persevere in the name of research and indulge in a bit of dessert. So, of course we ordered the Chocolate Extinction. This dessert serves at least 4 . . . it is GIANORMOUS!!! The combination of caramel, chocolate and ice cream was perfection! My only complaint is that the whipped cream on top of the ice cream tasted distinctly like frozen Cool Whip. The presentation of this enormous treat certainly adds to the appeal. It is served on a large platter containing a martini shaker with dry ice that billows steam down and around the ice cream and layered cake. (While you can get the martini shaker as a souvenir with certain drinks, it is not a souvenir included in this dessert. Please do not ask me how I found that out. It is embarrassing.)
To be honest, I am glad that we tried this place out. The food was good and the atmosphere was entertaining. The service was decent, with friendly and attentive staff. However, if I had to peg a specific demographic that would most enjoy this restaurant it would unequivocally be 8-year-old boys. And, this is a demographic you will not find in my family. (Before you start getting snarky with me about that gender-biased remark, please note that the girls at our table thoroughly enjoyed the theme too!) The atmosphere was fun, but LOUD. Enduring 4 meteor showers in one hour seemed a bit much . . . While I do not regret eating here, I am looking forward to trying out some of the other dining establishments next time we are in Disney Springs.