The Definitive Capt. Cook’s Review
Are you ready for an amazing Capt. Cook’s review? After months of training, missed happy hours, restrictive dieting, and freezing cold runs, the last thing on my mind the evening before the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was leaving anything to chance. When you spend months working towards an endurance event, the night before the race is as regimented as a West Point student’s schedule.
Planning dinner before any race is key to a good run, and when it was after 5:00pm and I hadn’t any clue where (or what) I should eat, I ran to the nearest eatery in the hopes of finding something suitable.
Capt. Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort happened to be the closest eatery without a wait time, so I joined the short queue for what I hoped would be a nourishing pre-race dinner while the rest of my party simply hoped for, well, dinner! Let’s see how it stacked up!
Capt. Cook’s is the quick serve location at Disney’s Polynesian most famous for its grab-and-go breakfast staple; Tonga Toast. Since I’m allergic to bananas, I’ve never had the pleasure of indulging in the decadent-looking breakfast treat, and therefore this visit would be my first to the new Capt. Cooks since its Dole Whip days (RIP).
I noticed a few pre-race options on the menu, but when I reached the order point, the restaurant was featuring not one, but TWO Marathon Weekend exclusive meals tailor-made to fuel long runs!
Since the other two members in my party were not running the next day, they opted for two Capt. Cooks staples: a flatbread and the pork nachos! Ordering took no time at all.
If you’re dining with a group who likes a drink with their meal and wants more than just pre-sealed wine, a member of my party headed upstairs to Tambu Lounge and ordered drinks to-go from the full bar! With drinks and our food buzzer in hand, we found a table and waited for our food…
Since I opted for the Marathon Weekend special, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The special menu items aren’t usually available, and since I was already flying by the seat of my pants, I was a little nervous about what I would be presented with.
I was hoping for a good source of protein, a serving of carbs, and some green veggies- and the dish checked off all the boxes in spades! The grilled chicken was extremely simple and exactly what I wanted.
Cooked well and still juicy, the breast of chicken paired perfectly with the lemon-y quinoa/edamame side that did well to break up what could have been a monotonous chicken-heavy meal. The side green salad served with my meal made me feel great about my pre-race food choices, and the freshly prepared ingredients that spanned the whole dish made me put Capt. Cook’s on my radar for my next visit!
Another member of my party opted for a classic cheese flatbread. I’m from a neighborhood where pizza is very, very good, and unless I’m sitting down to a meal at Via Napoli, I always steer clear of Walt Disney World pizza.
It was my least favorite thing at my table, but the cheese flatbread pleasantly surprised me! Instead of a crispy, cracker-like crust that flatbreads are known for, this one had a doughy base that gave the whole thing a distinct ‘pizza’ feel! The sauce and cheese were flavorful without being overpowering making the flatbread a great choice for an adult or child looking for a classic light meal!
I don’t like nachos because they get soggy. I don’t like BBQ chips because the flavor is overpowering. I don’t like the texture of mayonnaise. I don’t like cheese sauce because it always tastes fake. Yet somehow, some way, the pork nachos were my favorite thing on our dinner table that evening!
Combining not one, but two drastically different types of house-made chips (BBQ and classic) with melted cheese, spicy mayo, diced tomatoes, and sweet pineapple salsa, this combo is not one that I would have ever ordered for myself.
It’s obvious that the nachos are a big hit here, because the restaurant has nailed the proportions and ratios of each ingredient so perfectly, that every chip I picked up had a uniquely stellar flavor combo that sent my hand right back down to the plate for more!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the most important part…the pork! If I could not use words to describe the slow-cooked, for-tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork that topped the already-incredible nachos, I would simply insert the emoji with heart shaped eyes. That’s how darn good it was. It’s a good thing for the nacho orderer that I was running the next morning, because I would have helped myself to his entire dinner!
Capt. Cooks has some stiff culinary competition at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Very stiff. The unlimited skewers at ‘Ohana never disappoint, Kona Cafè’s sushi is always fresh, and if you order enough, the small plates at Trader Sam’s are masterpieces that can easily be made into a meal!
I was thrilled when I saw the Marathon Weekend menu, and I feel guilty talking up a menu item you can’t always order, but it’s comforting to know the cooks in the kitchen know what they’re doing outside of the menu they’ve been trained to make!
The flatbread’s pizza-like dough texture and simply classic ingredients earned it my stamp of approval for a quick, satisfying light lunch or dinner. The pork nachos, of course, spoke for themselves. The eclectic combo of offbeat ingredients put me off at first, but my ever-curious palette tempted me to taste the tantalizing treat that knocked me off my feet!
Overall, my experience was very positive at Capt. Cooks. If you’re ever in need of a quick serve meal on the monorail loop, this certainly has my recommendation! Have you ever dined at Capt. Cooks? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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