Grand Floridian Cafe Review

Laurie is back again with another review for us.  This time she ate at Grand Floridian Cafe.  See what she had to say.  It was also a pleasure to finally meet her in person.  Thanks for meeting with me, Laurie.
The cafe has big windows with a lovely view of the pool, good lighting, comfortable seating even for this Pooh sized lady, niches for some privacy, and great decor.  The bad news is that scooters are not allowed to park in the foyer so the scooters and strollers are left out on the porch.  I parked mine down the hall and walked. .
November, 2013 when I finally got to meet up with my awesome friend, Tabitha.  She popped in for a few minutes to chat and introduce me to her delightful son.  The waitress asked them if they needed anything but she declined as she was doing the dessert party in the Magic Kingdom.  The Grand Floridian Cafe had changed as the carpet had bits of debris and the seater did not have someone clean under the table when I said I saw a dinner roll. The cafe is the family restaurant for guests staying at the Grand Floridian Resort unless they want to pay a bit more for the character buffet.  Overall the kids seem to be better mannered here than in most family restaurants.  I told the chef I was no gluten and no soy which had to be repeated over and over.  The gluten free GNI roll came out a huge pair of pats of butter with sea salt.  I asked for the shrimp cocktail appetizer and the pork chop with grits.  The entree came but not the appetizer.  I got the impression that I was at fault for not ordering the shrimp.  I have a set way of ordering and am very clear on what I order.  I loved the dairy laden grits which were finely ground and smooth except for the tiny bits of corn.  The pork chop was done the way I like it, was flavorful, and had a good sear on it.  I could eat that entree every day.  The entree paired two great items to form a delicious hearty dish.
The sad news was the shrimp salad which arrived just before Tabitha showed up.  The menu said it was “Fragrantly-poached Shrimp served with Locally-sourced Tomato-Avocado and fresh Verde Sauce – $12.99”.  I stared, blinked, and tried to figure out what was sitting there in a corner waiting for me to finish my entree.  The bottom of the salad bowl was a pool of oil then a layer of diced tomatoes, a layer for shrimp, and a ring of avocado slices.  The thin avocado was breaking up and still had medium green rind on it.  The tomatoes did not have the stem area removed. Based on what I tasted the “verde sauce” was supposed to be the Italian version not Hispanic green salsa.  It was a muddled green sauce that did not sing of anything but oil, a bit of kick, and more oil.  Definitely not a true Italian green sauce.  I had to pick out tomatoes, avocado, and shrimp from the pool of oil.  The shrimp were firm and tasty while the tomatoes and avocado were a nice accompaniment. There was the poor knife skills, muddled sauce, and lake of oil that makes me wonder what is going on in the kitchen.  They made a wonderful pork chop and grits entree so what happened to the appetizer.  Another problem was that they brought out iced tea while I was on my second sip.  The drink sits there as the ice melts and is a waste of money, time, and man hours.  The waitress was very nice and good at her job.  I did not like how she wedged between my table and the neighboring table to take their order.  Did she have to stand on my left side to shout to the people on my right side to see if they needed drinks.  That was very impersonal and not professional as she was not going up to them to see if they needed anything not just drinks.
Grand Floridan Cafe offers great food, lovely decor, disabled access, very good lighting, and great service.  This was a quiet relaxed meal with a smooth service that did not leave me waiting for things as the timing was spot on.  Despite my limited diet they were able to provide me with bread, butter, appetizer, entree and several desserts which I regret passing up.  The issues mentioned above can be overlooked or by a guest telling staff to stop yelling across their table.  My experience there was top notch almost on par with fine dining locations.  I was disappointed by the shrimp dish which was poorly thought out.  I would gladly eat here again.