A mainstay of dining in Magic Kingdom, Liberty Tree Tavern has always been a favorite for my family and friends for a filling mid-day meal. Recently, the kitchen underwent a few improvements in connection to the construction of nearby Skipper Canteen, so I thought it was about time to head back to the Tavern to see if this spot was still worthy of a stop. The lunch menu features slightly elevated versions of American classics like burgers and sandwiches, pot roast, and an individual portion of the popular Pilgrim’s Feast (Thanksgiving turkey dinner) offered as an all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner here. After a little investigating, I realized the pot roast entrée on the lunch menu is pretty much the same as what I sampled a few weeks ago at Diamond Horseshoe next door (the two share many similar menu items, so if it sounds the same, it probably is). I knew that a few items looked new to me, and after talking with my very friendly server, I decided I’d give the three newest dishes on the menu a shot: sweet corn fritters for my appetizer, the updated Liberty Boys Sandwich for my entree, and the Boston Cream Pie for dessert.
First to arrive were the sweet corn fritters ($7), five fritters served alongside a pepper jelly made in-house and atop a schmear of creamed corn (a nice plating touch, but altogether unnecessary – I appreciated the effort, though!). The fritters had a crispy fried coating sprinkled with a bit of salt, and a creamy and sweet corn flavor inside. Some of the fritters were more like hushpuppies in texture, with one or two a bit softer (I got the sense these weren’t quite cooked long enough, and the cornbread/hushpuppy texture was meant to be the real deal). Overall, I found these fritters sweet and savory, with a touch of warmth from the jalapenos inside the batter. The sweet and slightly spicy pepper jelly served on the side cut through the dense flavors of the fritters, but was a bit tough to use as a dip, practically speaking. I should also note that spicy-food-averse people shouldn’t necessarily write this dish off altogether, as the flavors from the fritters overall are relatively innocuous. I’d probably suggest these to anyone on the deluxe dining plan in search of a different kind of appetizer compared to other restaurants, but unless you’re absolutely starving, I’d probably skip appetizers altogether here and save room for dessert (you’ll see why shortly).
A few minutes later, my requested entrée arrived – the Liberty Boys Sandwich ($15), billed as slow-roasted pork, arugula, and tomatoes on house-made bread with caramelized shallots, pickled jalapenos, and a mushroom-mayonnaise spread (that I sheepishly ordered on the side). Though not advertised on the menu, you also get a pretty healthy portion of steak fries and a pickle spear with this sandwich. At first glance, I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of bread on my plate, and after taking a bite or two, I could easily confirm that the bread to meat ratio here is way off. The thick-sliced multi-grain focaccia was sweet and dense, and notably fresh, but it was a bit too thick for my taste. There were about two or three thin slices of roasted pork per side of my sandwich, all of which was very tasty – sage and thyme popping with the natural savory flavor of the pork. The meat was a tad on the dry side, but easily remedied by the earthy mayonnaise spread. When combined all together with the sweet tomatoes and caramelized onions, plus the bite of the peppery arugula, the whole sandwich comes together flavor-wise (though I should note, I never noticed any jalapenos anywhere near my palate or plate). I chose to combine the two halves of my sandwich into one to maximize the fillings and overcome the amount of bread. Between the newly-reorganized sandwich and the crisp and fluffy steak fries, I was a pretty happy camper with this entrée.
Only a few minutes after my plates were cleared, the glorious Boston Cream Pie dessert ($8.50) arrived. I’ll be honest – I felt like the price was a little steep for dessert going into this course, not just for this selection, but for all of them on the menu. Liberty Tree traditionally smashes dessert out of the park, though (I don’t think I’ve met a person who’s dined here and doesn’t rave about the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake), so I trusted this new dish would pass muster; to be completely honest, it did – and then some. Listed on the menu as a “tower of vanilla cake, white chocolate pastry cream, chocolate ganache, and chocolate pearl crunch”, I expected something a bit taller than what I got, but after one bite, had quickly forgotten what it was supposed to be and just kept eating. The ganache on top was rich and decadent, perfectly set; the filling, while listed as white chocolate flavored, had visible vanilla beans, and as a result, a great, fresh flavor (not at all artificial tasting). Everything was sweet, but not cloyingly so, and creamy, offset by a dense, slightly dry vanilla cake layer at the bottom of the tower. The chocolate pearl crunch pieces were hidden under the layer of ganache, but gave the whole dish some textural contrast, so you didn’t feel like you were eating a plate full of pudding. I’d probably come back to Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch again just to order this, if I’m honest; it was a perfect way to end my meal.
All in all, I had a pretty reasonable lunch in both price and quality at Liberty Tree Tavern: these three satisfying courses totaled $30.50 before tax and tip (and for one person, was more than enough food, portion-wise). Another positive part of the experience? It only took 45 minutes (with an earlier lunch seating), and I never felt rushed or had more than one plate of food at a time. Everything was well-paced, I always had a full drink glass (other servers working in the same section were vigilant about helping out when my server was busy at other tables – an excellent sign), and I was quickly back on my way to catch my next FastPass+ in the park. Given its central location and quality food, Liberty Tree Tavern lunch would make an excellent addition to any touring plan if you’re in search of a quick table service meal to break up your day.