Sunday, July 15, 2012

Medieval Times Orlando/Kissimmee Review: All about the food

Pirates. Gangsters. Arabian princes. Hula girls. Blue men. Acrobats. This cast of characters and more await those choosing to spend an evening of an Orlando vacation at one of our many shows - with most also including a dinner. But of all the dinner shows in Orlando, none is more famous, or more popular, than Medieval Times in Kissimmee.

I've visited Medieval Times several times before and have always had a good time. Recently I was invited to attend the premiere of their brand new show and taste the revamped menu. I'm not much to critique the show - it's a fantastic spectacle of gallant knights fighting horseback with javelins and swords all dressed in medieval finery. The heavy metal swords clanging against the metal shields, horses galloping at full speed, the uplifting musical score and the roar of the crowds cheering for their ordained knight is quite striking and entertaining.

But let's face it - I'm here for the food.

Medieval Times is known for an immersive dining experience. As you enjoy your feast of roasted chicken, spare ribs and potatoes, you'll have no knife, fork or spoon to help you. This is a utensil-free affair. Servers address you and others as "my lord" and "my lady." It's rather fun to hear "Would you like more Diet Pepsi, my lord?"

The meal started with a metal cup of Tomato Bisque. Luckily there's a handle on the bowl to assist your slurping. The bisque wasn't bad, but I detected no seafood base - this was tomato soup take it or leave it.

Just as most of us at my table were finished our "Garlic Bread" arrived. Not to be a stickler, but the "bread" looked more like a small cheese pizza minus the sauce. While not bad, it would have been better and more appropriate had it arrived with the tomato bisque.

Next up was the main dish, half a "Roasted Chicken." It's funny to me that people know Medieval Times as the dinner show where you eat with your hands. How else does one eat a roasted chicken? I've never seen anyone eat a bone-in chicken with a knife and fork. The chicken was moist and the skin was crisp and crunchy. I enjoyed it.

Next arrived the "Spare Rib." One rib, but quite large. It was rather good but I wished for more than one.

Soon after the rib arrived, so did the "Herb-Roasted Potatoes." Akin to modern potato wedges, I could have used a little medieval ketchup to wash them down.

Lastly, the "Pastry of the Castle" arrived. This triangular puff pastry was flaky and buttery but I was unable to detect the flavor of the small dollop of  fruity filling inside. Apple? With the darkness, the horseplay, fighting, triumphant score and the paper-crown-wearing fanatics screaming at the top of their lungs all around you it's a little distracting to detect subtle flavors in the food.

Note: There is a vegetarian option available for those lords and ladies who so desire.

Now, you might think I didn't enjoy my meal from the description above, but you would be wrong. Medieval Times isn't about the food. It's all about the spectacle of the show. The utensil-free banquet with metal cups, saucers and simple fare is just a prop to help with your suspension of disbelief. You really are at a medieval banquet as the guest of honor. Those really are gallant knights, and the future of the kingdom really does depend on the outcome of the joust before you.

My lords, my ladies, please don't visit Medieval Times for just a meal. Don't visit just for a show. Visit for the spectacle of it all and the somewhat transcendent medieval experience.

4 Medieval Spectacles out of 5

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I have always wondered about Medieval Times, more excited to check it out after this post, thanks!