You know how sometimes, you just get a craving for a good burger and nothing else will satisfy? That happened to me at Disney World in May. I was there for a week, and I had amazing, tastebud-tantalizing, flavor-explosion meals every day, but by the end of the week, I craved nothing more than I did a good cheeseburger. I tried to satisfy this craving at the Wilderness Lodge’s counter service restaurant, Roaring Fork, if you’ll recall, to disastrous results. Finally, on my last day at the World, I found satisfaction at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom.
I had not scheduled any particular lunch that day, but when I passed Liberty Tree Tavern (a table service restaurant), I noticed they were advertising availability for walk-ins. I got in with just a 10-minute wait. As you might imagine of a restaurant located in Liberty Square called the Liberty Tree Tavern, the decor here is old colonial New England. Even the staff dress in Colonial garb–which probably sucks for them on a hot summer day, but it definitely sets the tone. You almost expect to see the Founding Fathers huddled over a table in the corner, drafting the Declaration of Independence over lunch. They also have “town criers” who call your name when your table is ready. If I recall correctly, it was something like “Hear ye, hear ye, now seating the [insert last name here] party”. It might have been cute, except a) the poor cast members sounded like they were mortified to have to be doing this, and b) when they called out my “party”, I felt a bit self-conscious when I stood up and they saw it was just me. I mean, really, I don’t mind being a solo diner, but don’t call me a “party”. There’s just something pathetic about the phrase “party of one”.
They ushered me to a two-top table in a little room that was raised up above the central dining area, so I could look out and see people coming and going. My server, Cathi, was friendly. She asked where I was from and then mentioned that she had just been traveling herself. For some reason she seemed to think Virginia and Vermont were near each other geographically, as well as in the alphabet. But I think she said she’d been stuck in an airport all night and hadn’t slept, which would explain the lapse. We didn’t get to chat long, as the restaurant was starting to get busy.
I dutifully perused the menu, which is peppered with items fitting the Colonial theme, like “Patriot’s Punch”, “Declaration Salad,” and “Pilgrim’s Feast” and featured New England favorites like pot pie, pot roast and a turkey dinner. But I knew what I wanted: The Angus Chuck Cheeseburger, which can be topped with either mushrooms and provolone (which I chose) or bacon and cheddar, with either a side of fruit or tavern fries. I should have gone for the fruit, but I ordered the fries instead.
This was the cheeseburger I had been waiting for all week–Angus beef, cooked medium rare (with just the right amount of pink to make it juicy, but not too red or bloody), with sauted mushrooms and perfectly melted provolone cheese on a nice, soft, fluffy roll. Delicious! You know how you finally get that thing you’ve been craving for a long time, and you’re so happy you sigh and your whole body relaxes and you think “I can die happy now”? It was that good. It was also huge. I couldn’t even touch the fries that came with it. It also came with lettuce and tomato slices to add to the sandwich, but I ate those on the side.
As for solo-friendliness, I can’t fault the servers or the restaurant, but I definitely felt self-conscious as a solo diner here. First there was the town crier incident. Also, I don’t recall seeing anyone else dining alone there during the lunch hour. Not only was I the only solo diner in a small room full of families, but it took the food a little longer to arrive than I would have liked, and the wait made me feel even more conspicuous. But honestly, none of those things would keep me from coming back here for another one of those fantastic cheeseburgers.
This restaurant gets a big thumbs up from me. Not the solo-friendliest restaurant ever, but good theming and great burgers make it a worthwhile stop.