There have been many renovations around the Disney parks over the last few years. Just about every bakery on property has been altered in that time, and the Boardwalk Bakery is no exception. Last April, the bakery, which is just a few short steps down the Boardwalk from the Inn of the same name, reopened with three times more interior space.
Disney’s Boardwalk exists in conjunction with the Boardwalk Hotel. The quarter mile long Boardwalk simulates early 20th century boardwalks from the Northeast United States. You’ll find everything from related entertainment, dining, and shops, all along the water’s edge. This gives hotel guests and visitors the ultimate early 1900’s experience.
The Boardwalk Bakery still sits next to Kouzzina, the restaurant where I had two amazing pancake and French toast breakfasts that were showcased in my first reviews last year. I love coming here first thing in the morning. The temperature is cooler, the crowds non-existent, and the views of the lake as the sun comes up are serene.
I will get more interior photos during future visits, but for now I wanted to focus on the food they offer. Boardwalk Bakery carries more foods on my list than any other location, so I have a lot to try over the next few visits. On this visit, I stopped in for a light breakfast with our group, and then only about an hour later I came back with my wife so she could have breakfast. On the return visit I had a light snack.
Customers move from left to right as they pass the various cases of food. Some of them contain sweets, others have salads and small meals such as bread bowls or breakfast sandwiches. Another has the pre-packaged drinks and sandwiches. There are menu boards high up behind the counter that have pricing for the sandwiches, breakfasts, salads, and drinks.
Here is just a small tease of what these cases contain. A few of these will be showcased today:
Along with my breakfast bread bowl I picked up two sweets. The first was the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie.
This $3.99 snack has what probably can be called the four best combining flavors in the dessert category. On the vary top of the pie, before you even cut into it, you have three different flavors. The first is the banana, and it’s in the shape of a yellow dome that sits in the corner.
The dome is made from a soft cream that is flavored like banana, and has a yellow colored outer layer that really isn’t any firmer than the material underneath. The banana flavor was tasty, just limited in quantity as you can see by the size of the dome compared to the whole pie square. There was no other banana flavor inside the snack.
Leaning up on the banana dome was the ubiquitous paper thin fondant square with the location’s name imprinted in gold. In this case, “Boardwalk.”
The candied bacon was a nice treat that added the salty flair to the otherwise sweet flavors of chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. The “candied” part of the bacon wasn’t so noticeable, but the bacon itself was in great enough supply that you could taste it.
All these toppings sit on top of a thin, but rich layer of chocolate ganache. This ganache is the same that’s used in many of Disney’s tarts and “pies,” including the Chocolate Mickey Tart that I reviewed last time.
The chocolate ganache layer may have been thin, but it wasn’t they only layer providing a sweet treat here. Underneath the ganache was the peanut butter layer. It wasn’t pure peanut butter, but regardless of whether it had real peanut butter or was a completely manufactured product, it definitely had a pure peanut butter taste. The chocolate ganache and the peanut butter layer were the heart of this dessert, and they came through with flying colors.
Everything was held together in a chocolate tart encasement. It’s again the same tart that the Chocolate Mickey Tart uses. It’s a very light chocolate taste, but that’s acceptable since this is just the ingredient that holds everything else together. The fact that this “tart bowl” is edible is just a bonus.
The Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie were everything I hoped they would be. I knew before digging in that these flavors would come together as well as any others that go hand in hand. What really pleased me was that the flavors were strong and tasted pure, even if they may not have been. This was a very tasty treat.
The next pick was something I’d been looking forward to for several months, ever since first reading a review of the grand opening and seeing this old salty-sweet combination it it’s newest form.
Salted caramel has become hugely popular, especially in Disney, and the $3.99 Salted Caramel Ganache is their newest offering.
The Salted Caramel Ganache has the same structure as the above Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie. The base is the same chocolate tart made into a square bowl to hold everything else. The same chocolate fondant with the golden Boardwalk lettering was stuck into the center. One edge had white cream rolls that provided mostly a change in presentation, but didn’t offer anything for the flavor. They were dotted with several orange dragées.
One major difference in this tart versus the other is the obviously lighter chocolate ganache that’s used. In this case, the chocolate ganache is a more prime ingredient as you’ll see in the cross section view. This ganache had a lighter taste so it wasn’t overwhelming to the taste buds, but it was still just as soft and creamy as I expected. The salt that is oh so important for the salty-sweet taste that a salted caramel ganache promises, is clearly present, embedded in the chocolate pool.
Finally we come to the biggest shocker of all…
If you’re looking at that caramel and thinking that it seems “off” a little, you’re on to something. It turns out that sometime between the grand opening in April, and my visit in December, they decided to use a passion fruit purée in place of the caramel. I know, I was thinking the same thing, “what???” As I was choosing my treats in the bakery, the cast member mentioned something about passion fruit flavor in the tart, but I half ignored the comments thinking, “they can add whatever flavor into my salted caramel that they want.” I didn’t realize at the time that there WAS NO CARAMEL in this “Salted CARAMEL Ganache!”
As for the taste, I’ll admit it was indeed tasty. The passion fruit purée was very sweet, just as caramel would have been. In that aspect, everything was close to what it should be. Salty, sweet, chocolatey, it was just missing the one ingredient I was most looking forward to.
I brought up my concerns with the changes in this tart when I came back an hour later for additional snacks. The cast member understood my concerns and said she wasn’t sure when it was changed, nor if it will ever change back. My biggest issue wasn’t the different ingredients, as Disney can make their snacks and treats with whatever ingredients they please. My issue was the advertising of a caramel product that contained no such ingredient. Even with the vague warning as I picked it out, it was quite shocking to realize I didn’t receive what I thought I paid for, and I wasn’t going to have a chance to eat the tart I had been craving for so long. I was very disappointed, and I think many others that visit Disney for the food will feel the same.
Coming back for that later snack, I browsed the aforementioned menu board that previewed the fresh made sandwiches.
I don’t know why I bothered, since I knew before I got there what I was going to order…
I picked up the popular Maine Lobster Sandwich. At $15.99 it wasn’t cheap for its small size. I could easily hold this paltry sandwich in one hand. Whether or not I found it worth the price though, I knew I had to try it at least once.
Even as I placed the sandwich on the table I could see one thing was clear. This sandwich wasn’t light on lobster. I’m guessing there was an entire lobster contained inside the bun. Right on the very top, in plain view was one whole claw…
And the other claw was right next to it on the other side:
Inside there was more than enough lobster to justify most of the $15.99 price tag. Everything sat in a warmed, but not toasted sandwich roll. I loved the contrasting temperature from the cold lobster inside the heated bread.
The sandwich contained the lobster, lettuce, and a buttered chive mayonnaise. Three ingredients, but that’s all it needed. This sandwich was heavenly. Again, the quantity of lobster almost covered the cost, and the taste made it more than worth every penny I paid for it. Everything tasted fresh. The lettuce was crisp, the bread ever so soft. Mayonnaise goes so well with a cold seafood sandwich, and this flavored mayo did the trick. I was skeptical at first, but really ended up loving it. This is definitely something I’ll be picking up on a future visit.
After that very enjoyable lobster sandwich, I was ready for another dessert snack with a $3.79 Eclair.
The main breading portion was a moderate texture between firm and soft. The chocolate layer covering the top was minimal to the point where it could hardly be tasted. As a chocoholic I prefer to see more chocolate on my desserts, so that was slightly disappointing. The chocolate coating was scattered with mini-dragées.
The custard inside was the norm for what you’d expect, although this custard had an unusual mild alcohol taste. My best guess was that a vanilla or other extract was used, maybe in too high of a quantity, causing the taste of alcohol to be evident. It wasn’t enough to make it distasteful, but it was noticeable. Other than that abnormality, it was a nice creamy filling with a standard custard taste.
I’ve had various complaints about elcairs in the past. Maybe they’re not a dessert I find that enjoyable, but I usually find them somewhat bland and lacking that punch I look for in desserts. This one however, wasn’t too bad.
Finally I had an old favorite of mine, key lime pie.
In this instance it was in tart form. The Key Lime Tart was topped with an egg white meringue. It’s more common to see key lime pie’s topped with whipped cream, but I grew up on meringue topped pies. While I may not have a preference of one over the other, it was nice to have this old childhood topping make a return, just like mom used to make.
One shocker came from the dragées. Most of the time these hardened sugary balls are flavorless (other than the sweet taste of sugar), and just colored to match the dessert. On this tart, the dragées had a very strong orange taste, matching their visual cues. Orange is not a flavor normally associated with key lime pies or tarts, but I enjoyed both the contrasting flavor, and the surprise that it brought from not expecting it. A very nice start.
The key lime filling was spot on. I can’t describe it any better than the perfect key lime custard. Sweet, tart, and wonderfully creamy. It was everything I hoped for.
The crust on the bottom was the typical graham cracker crust, although somewhat thin and definitely more oily than normal. For the most part the crust tasted just like any other graham cracker crust, it was just the texture that differed.
This photo allows you to clearly see how oily the crust was:
Again, it didn’t alter the taste, just the way it felt in your mouth. If anything, it probably made it easier to cut with the plastic forks you get at counter service venues. Other than wishing it had a bit more substance so I could taste more of it, I was happy with this different crust.
The $4.29 Key Lime Tart was a hit with me. Key lime pie is one of my favored desserts, and I was happy to find this one genuine to the tastes and textures that I’m used to. They kept it simple, but perked it up with some flavored dragées and the meringue topping. Well done Boardwalk Bakery!
Boardwalk Bakery has lived up to its reputation of providing quality desserts (and now many more small meals), some of which are unique to only this location. The choices are numerous, and it’s hard to go wrong, especially when you follow my lead of picking multiple items to sample. While I don’t generally visit the Disney bakeries for the non-dessert choices, I may have to try some more of their sandwiches after having that fantastic Main Lobster Sandwich. I will be back. There are several more snacks I have on my list. I’ll report back soon.