Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lunch at Torgua Tavern

Just open Tortuga Tavern

Recently El Pirata Y El Perico the rarely open Adventureland counter service location was reimagined into the Tortuga Tavern. While I applaud Disney for putting forth the effort into redeeming this location, it didn’t quite seem to go all the way. The new piratey atmosphere was enjoyable, my companions and I sat in the shade and enjoyed a beautiful day, but the food was seemed disjointed. The menu at Tortuga Tavern remains decidedly Mexican, which I find confusing with the restaurant’s recent name change. I would have liked to see a creative Caribbean menu. The (historically seasonal) eatery isn’t a staple of Magic Kingdom dining for a reason, but still I can’t help but feel like they missed the opportunity to do something better. A fresh coat of paint is nice; but restaurants need to have fresh, creative menus to survive. The location does suffer from a very small cooking space, but these days even food trucks are turning out amazing cuisine, I feel that’s just an excuse.

Burritos (Beef, Chicken, or Veg), Nachos, a Taco Salad are the extent of the entrees served at this location (Menu board image can be seen here). The burritos and salads come from the window as a shell of whichever type of tortilla your dish calls for and a large scoop of the protein filling straight from the steam table. Honestly, not an appetizing plate to look down at when you pick up your tray. The joy of the meal is at the toppings bar where you can fill your shell with offerings of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and salsa. My biggest issue, as you can see from the picture, is that once I had what I wanted, there was no way to close the tortilla to eat a burrito. I ended up eating the filling out of it with a fork. It was quite filling, and I only made my way through about half of it.

Beef Burrito

The Nachos were passed through the window completed and I thought the best option available there. Crisp tortilla chips were topped with ground beef and covered in the oozy goodness of bright orange melted cheese food, then topped with a nice salsa of onions, tomato, cucumber and black beans that had just a little tang to it. Hot sauce is available at the toppings bar for those who want a little heat.


It would appear that this is still going to be operated as a part time spot to ease the crush on the Magic Kingdom’s real restaurants. While we were sitting there eating the kitchen was closed and windows shut, somewhere around 2:30. I did really enjoy my meal here, but it was all about the great location and the spectacular company of WDWParkhoppers John and Sarah. The food at Tortuga Tavern is easily forgotten and I see no reason to go back. If you want anything more to eat than something to fill you up, go around the corner to Frontierland and eat at Pecos Bills.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary park tickets, and reduced rate lodging as part of my paid registration to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. All opinions expressed on this website are entirely my own.


  1. I agree, that doesn't sound or look very appetizing. I expect more from Disney.

  2. Looks delish. I'm crazy about this kind of food. Thank you for taking the time to visit and follow my cat blog. Much appreciated. I'm following you too now. Have a lucky week!

  3. Those pictures are fab!! That is actually one of my favorite places to eat!

  4. This looks YUMMY! New follower from folow me chickadee. Stop by and visit me at Living at the Whitehead's Zoo.

  5. We just happened to be hungry as we wandered out from seeing Pirates on our last day at Disney. My husband eats vegetarian meals when out (we keep kosher at home), so quick service meals can be a bit challenging for him if he wants more than Pizza at the Magic Kingdom. I had never seen this restaurant open and looked at the menu. I immediately knew we were staying. My boys loved the options for kids and hubby and I had fun constructing our burritos. Hubby took lots of photos as well. It may not have been pretty, but it's a quick and dirty way of serving things so people can dress them up the way they like. Like you said, I think the atmosphere and quiet location is a huge plus.

  6. You're tempting me with those pix. I'm feeling so hungry now :)