The newest dining establishment at Walt Disney World, Spice Road Table, is located in the Morocco Pavilion at EPCOT, and has been in "soft open status" (tentative opening times with seemingly random closures) for about a week now, and officially opened today (20 January 2014). They serve up Tapas (small servings) style Mediterranean food with a beautiful ambiance
Rachel and I were able to visit Spice Road Table before the hard open, and before it was widely advertised to the public, so we were able to walk in and quickly get seated during "Lunch rush" with no wait; and that's VERY uncommon. Inside we were struck breathless, it is so beautiful, and it was quiet (blissfully).
We did bring out son, AJ, so we did get the chance to check out the kid's menu, it was pretty standard fare on there, to avoid the picky eaters. He wanted chicken nuggets and apples.
We took a long look around the menu, and it has some very interesting choices on there. Ranging from a gyro slider (Greek-ish) to Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves (Egyptian-ish) and Harissa Chicken Rolls (Moroccan-ish), all at varying prices.
We decided to try the Tingis Sampler, which has Lamb Slider, Harissa Chicken Roll, and Merguez Sausage. We also got the Hummus and Imported Olives to split between Rachel and myself.
Now for the details!
I'll start with the hummus. There were two different types, a tomato-based one and a regular one, and some olive oil & rosemary enriched flatbread. Rachel immediately took a liking to the regular one, and I devoured the tomato one enthusiastically. The bread is definitely the star of the show here, it is flavorful, and somehow retains a nice crusty-texture while remaining chewy and delicious. The tomato one is very tomato and olive oil flavored, bordering on a brushetta-type flavour when put together with the bread. The regular hummus was almost TOO regular for my tastes, but Rachel loved it.
Next was the Sampler, which obviously was the main point of coming here.
I started out with the Sausage, it's a lamb sausage, so it's meant to be a little more gamy and tough than a pork type. Biting into this, one thing came to my mind... HOT! This is very spicy, at least with my "Low-tolerance" to heat. It is very good, just be prepared to drink while eating it, because Rachel, who can't drink and eat at the same time (long story, don't ask) couldn't finish one small sausage because it was too much for her. She did fine some reprieve when using some of the sauce of the gyro slider, but not much.
Second, came the Harissa Chicken Roll, and only one thing came to my mind again - WOW! This was the shining star of this dish. They are a "egg roll" type of finger food, and they were SPECTACULAR! Just enough spice and flavor, and went very well with the pilaf served with them. They are filled with grilled, spiced chicken with almost a corn salsa quality.
And finally, the gyro slider. It was really good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. The cucumber-dill sauce was what saved Rachel from dying from sausage heat, it worked really well with the lamb and the mint tatziki was really yummy too, and this is coming from a person who doesn't like mint! It wasn't too garlic-y and didn't leave a lingering after-taste. The bun was not too great, and I eventually just ate the delicious innards.
OK, so how do we score Spice Road Table? Here's the breakdown:
Ambiance: 10/10 - Right on the water, a great Illuminations watching spot, internally it's beautiful, the seating is well laid out, and everyone has a great place, even outside (they have a covered eating area). They obviously put a lot into this.
Food: 7.5/10 - good food, but some of it was either lacking, or had too much spice. We will try the rest of the food on another trip. Even AJ's chicken tasted different and delicious!
Cost: 4/10 - Expensive! $10 for the hummus, when it was only those little servings, and four pieces of bread (no matter how good it was). The $16 for the sampler was a little more alright, but still a lot for such a small single person type of meal. I think all the prices could be dropped $2 or so, and that would make it more reasonable.
Service: 4.5/10 - The waitress we had was attentive at first, and played with AJ, but as the time went along, disappeared (my biggest pet peeve) and didn't come back until we got a manager to ask about our bill.
Overall: 6/10 - sticker shock aside, we all really had a great time, enjoyed the view, and liked the food. We'll go again, and see how that goes, but it is definitely not an every visit kind of thing, and will probably be restricted to if we have people we are going to EPCOT with.