By David Juart

All of these restaurants were getting “meh” reviews from the online Disney community at the time of our trip in July 2011. We went against the grain and tried them anyway, and were pleasantly surprised. It just goes to show that everything you read on the Internet isn’t necessarily true. Who’d have guessed!

5. Kouzzina – In an effort to have complete disclosure, we ate here in the summer of 2010, but the same “meh on Net” guidelines apply. Cat Cora is doing it right with her traditional Mediterranean dishes. Surprisingly kid friendly and not terribly expensive, both my wife and I went off the reservation and ordered some of the more adventurous dishes and weren’t disappointed. Next time you’re on the Boardwalk, skip ESPN ZONE and try Kouzzina.
4. Fulton’s Crab House – On our last trip, we arrived a day early and were staying at one of the Downtown Disney Hotels. Not having the ability to eat in-park and not wanting to travel far, we headed to Downtown Disney. The wife being hungry for seafood, we ended up here, much to my chagrin. Fortunately my reservations about this place were put to rest with a fantastic mussel and scallops dish over pasta while wifey enjoyed her crab legs. Long story short, though there may be better seafood options on property, this place shouldn’t be overlooked.
3. Liberty Tree Tavern (Lunch) – Yes, I know I blasted this place for its perennial wait times just a few weeks ago, but today is about the food. Yes, there are better options only a Monorail ride away. But with a hearty, American-style lunch consisting of pot pies, burgers and other red meat dishes you can’t go wrong eating here.
2. Via Napoli – I don’t know how this got on the “so-so” list. Maybe it’s the price, maybe it’s because it’s “just pizza.” But Via Napoli came out of the gates dodging bullets from critics. They must have gotten their stuff together though. Because when we ate there for lunch on our last trip, it was vying for the top meal we had against heavyweights ‘Ohana and Le Cellier. If you haven’t been, go.
1. 1900 Park Fare (Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner) – Speaking strictly about the food, this buffet undeservedly takes a small beating by critics everywhere I look. Frankly, it’s not that bad. There are your traditional Disney buffet dishes, but there were plenty of California-inspired options, plus Prime Rib which makes any buffet.

So what restaurants do you love, despite the critics? Let us know in the comments below. You can also contact us via Twitter @DisDadsPodcast or the author directly @dpjuart.

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