A Vegetarian’s Review of Magical Dining at Jaleo
Magical Dining is back in Central Florida! Prix fixe menus are popping up all over Disney Springs, and when I caught wind that Jaleo was participating, I had to try it for myself! I had visited Jaleo just the second week into its operation for some pre-dinner drinks and appetizers and loved every bite, and I was long overdue to give it another try!
Last week, I headed back to inside one of Disney Springs’ coolest structures to taste my way through Jaleo’s Magical Dining offerings…when I noticed one of the courses did not offer a single vegetarian option.
Before I decided to order a la carte, I informed my server of my dietary preference and she told me not to worry- Jaleo’s chefs would gladly accommodate my plant-based diet! With the potential disappointment behind me, I went ahead and ordered my 5 courses.
Yep, you read that right…FIVE courses! Most of Jaleo’s dishes are small, and it is recommended that each person order 3-5 small plates to ensure the meal is satiating. Magical Dining lets you choose 4 of Jaleo’s signature small plates (and one dessert) and it truly is priced incredibly considering your location! If you are planning to order small plates for your meal, Magical Dining offers all the restaurant’s famous dishes.
For the first course, I chose the traditional pan con tomato y queso manchego. A simply roasted tomato with herbs is roasted and spread across imported Spanish bread.
Before serving, it’s topped with a triangle of decadently-salted manchego cheese. Every bite was perfectly balanced between the soft bread, delicious tomato spread, and salty cheese! This is one of those dishes that is so, so simple yet somehow incredibly fresh and satisfying.
For my second course, I chose espinacas a la catalana- aka roasted spinach with pine nuts, apples, and an unbelievably decadent butter reduction. The spinach was cooked a bit more than I liked, but the flavors of the pine nuts, apples, and nut butter reduction made this dish one I will be forever trying (and failing) to recreate in my kitchen.
Next, my setas al ajillo arrived. Tiny mushrooms (sans stems) sautéed in copious amounts of garlic = the dish of my dreams.
The mushrooms were cooked perfectly here, still chewy but sautéed long enough to have absorbed the flavor of the sauce and become tender. I love garlic so this was a smash in my book, but if you don’t- choose one of the other options for course 3.
…and then came course 4. For any vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based eater out there: we’re out of luck in this category! EVERY option has some form of meat or seafood. I wasn’t worried though, because like I mentioned earlier, my server informed me I could choose one of the other vegetarian options from courses 1-3!
I opted for the patatas bravas because you simply cannot go to Jaleo and leave without tasting them! I’ve had these the one other time I visited Jaleo and they were just as delicious as I remembered. I personally don’t think these crispy and perfectly-spiced potatoes need the aioli they are served with (and the dish can be made vegan by leaving the aioli out entirely), but my dining partners pointed out that the garlic-y aioli saved the potatoes from being too dry. To each his own, but no matter how you eat them, you’ve got to go with the patatas bravas!
This was the heftiest of all the course I was presented with and had I eaten all the potatoes, I would have been uncomfortably full by dessert. So, don’t be put off by Jaleo’s small plates thinking you won’t be full- trust me you will be!
For dessert, the table got both the pan con chocolate (listed on Magical Dining) and the vegan sorbet (not listed but available upon request). I liked the pan con chocolate, but ‘liked’ is the key word here. It consists of a chocolate mousse, ice cream, and is garnished with toasted olive oil bread.
Together, the flavors worked decently, but tasting each individual ingredient left me very underwhelmed. This was my least favorite of all the courses. I wouldn’t order it again, and if I had it to do over I would have opted for the sorbet myself…which was really tasty! Not overly sweet and perfectly zesty, the sorbet was the perfect finisher to this overall really outstanding meal.
Overall, I would highly recommend Jaleo based on the dining experience I had last week! Everything was cooked to order and served hot, the flavors were fantastic and unique, and I never once felt rushed to finish my meal. Jaleo is the pefect atmosphere to enjoy great food with loved ones in a gorgeous (and relaxed) location. I would head back to Jaleo anytime…but I want to know your thoughts! Will you go to Jaleo for Magical Dining? Or have you already tried Jaleo on a previous trip. Leave me a comment and let me know!
Now it’s time to start planning YOUR next Walt Disney World vacation! For my no-fee help planning, strategizing, and booking your next Disney vacation, contact: email@example.com! I am an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (Platinum Level) and all of my services are ALWAYS free…see you in the parks!