Gasparilla Island Grill Lunch & Dinner

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016
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Gasparilla Island Grill Lunch & Dinner

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016
Counter Service (quick service)
$7-19 per entree**
After the fireworks one night we stopped into Gasparilla Island Grill for a quick "we missed dinner" snack and tried out two warm sandwiches. The dining area (i.e. "environment"), is getting ready to go through a multi-month refurbishment (along with the menu probably) so there's not much use in going on about how the space feels like the ugly, unpopular step-sister to the much grander dining areas in the main resort building.

The first sandwich was a holiday only offering called the Turkey and Stuffing Sandwich that also included gravy and cranberry sauce in the sandwich itself, and a side of french fries. It's good to know one of my long-standing theories still holds true. If it looks bland, it probably tastes bland. Enough said.

The second item was much better. It made me wish I could get it… someplace else, and with a beer. (I'm not a fan of Gasparilla's seating area or design cues… can you tell?) The Loaded Hot Dog Baked Potato is a great idea, and a really decent volume of food for the usual $10-$12 per entree fee you can expect at resort counter service locations.

Gasparilla is offering a different baked potato pairing or combo for each day of the week, and I'm really glad I was there on hot dog day. (I'm not sure what the other combos look like, it's all very mysterious.) In this case, a decent sized baked potato acted as the hot dog's "bun" and then the hot dog was topped with shredded cheese, bacon (because, why not?), sour cream and chives. If you were just thinking "boy, I wish there was a potato-based side item to go with that", fear not… house-made potato chips are also on the plate.

All kidding aside, this was a great item... everything was warm-to-hot (baked potatoes do tend to hold their heat) and there is a good amount of weight to the entree. All of the individual parts of the dish combine in some way and everything held it's own distinct flavor. There was a slight amount of salt on the outside of the baked potato (I could have used a bit more of that), but at least two of the sensory contrasts I'm looking for in a dish were there.

Cool sour cream -vs- hot potato and the sweet garden like combination of the chives and sour cream -vs- the savory bacon and hot dog. I wish the bacon were a little crunchier (this was more like "hash" style type of bacon), and then all three sensory contrasts would be there.

It's hard to say if the Loaded Hot Dog Baked Potato will stay on the menu after the refurbishment. I hope it does. The Turkey Sandwich? Not so much!

Have you ever visited any of these dining locations in our Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa directory?

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