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Review Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016
Rosie's All-American Cafe is essentially a food ordering and distribution window in the Sunset Ranch Market area of Hollywood Studios. "Outside food-court" is going to more accurately describe the concept.
The counter-service locations in this food court, suffer from the same issues as some of the other food court concepts at Disney parks. If everyone in your group wants something different, you'll be waiting in many different lines and windows for quite a bit of time. Those lines can be quite long at peak times, which seem to overburden the concept of "quick service", so my best advice… if you see more than five or six people lined up, come back in an hour.
At off-peak times, the window at Rosie's is a walk-up and seating is plentiful in the half-covered mass dining area which is (more or less) in the center and off to the side of the various food booths.
Always being on the lookout for those unique items that you can't find anywhere else, I opted for Rosie's "Fried Green Tomato Sandwich". Technically, it is the only unique thing on Rosie's menu (burgers and chicken nuggets round out the list), so my choice was fairly easy.
This particular Fried Green Tomato Sandwich (an American Southern classic) is served on a Ciabatta Bread bun with some bits of Arugula, Pepper Jack cheese, a Jalapeño Ranch sauce (that did have a bit of kick, but was spread quite thin), and an equal amount of non-fried red tomatoes in between the fried green tomatoes. A decent portion of those hot, crispy Disney French Fries were piled in the cardboard serving boat as well… and those are almost always great.
Not wanting to bury the lead much deeper, the sandwich was good. Frankly, it's about as good as you can do... keeping in mind that this is a high-volume counter service location. You'll have to eat this one fairly quick though. While is was piping hot when served, these particular fried green tomatoes only have about 10 minutes of life in them. After that, the acids in the tomato will start breaking down the batter (yeah, more on that in a second), and you'll be left with a slimy mouth-feel that's more like day-old okra.
How could a non-counter service Fried Green Tomato Sandwich be better? Well technically, the fried green tomatoes shouldn't be battered at all. Traditionally, you'll want to shallow fry those with a little seasoning and cornmeal in bacon fat (white flour, if you're Pennsylvania Dutch, but that's a whole different story), and those would be fried one side at a time. Frying them with a batter wash (such as buttermilk) is easier in high volume situations, but it results in, well… we're back to the slimy mouth-feel comment.
All in all, unless you're completely put off by the idea of fried green anything (or if you're not a spicy mayo, dressing, or cheese) fan, this one gets a slightly higher than a "just okay" vote from me. I have to give them credit for keeping such an unusual item on the menu, and if you eat it quick, it's a pretty decent sandwich. You will then also have an "I ate a fried green tomato sandwich" story to tell everyone. And how cool would that be?