I get many requests for recommendations of where to eat on a Walt Disney World vacation, and I know that most times they are talking about “where in the parks”. But of the top selections I normally provide, most are outside of the theme parks. One in particular I consider an absolute “must do”, and that is Boma-Flavors of Africa in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are two reasons for this, the first is that Boma is a great place to eat, with the exotic overtones of an African village experience but within taste of the American palette.
Why do I love Boma? The food is fresh, and the wide varieties of selections do have a familiarity even though some of the flavors look and sound a little exotic. It is a buffet, so I can have anything I want and there is enough of many types of foods for even the picky eater (or kids), vegetarians or those on special diets. Disney says that over 50 nations are represented in the menu; OK I’ll accept that, especially since there has to be well over that number of items spread around the entire (and very large) buffet areas.
The dinner menu is also from All Ears and I won’t even try to list them all; just visit the All Ears site. But as an example of exotic dishes there is a selection of African stews and soups, Moroccan Seafood Salad (Couscous, mussels, scallops and shrimp), Bobotie - lamb and beef quiche with onions, raisins and bread, and FuFu - sweet and white potatoes mashed with coriander and cinnamon. But there is also chicken in various versions, carved meats, seafood, vegetables and lots of salads.
[Disney] The lodge’s lobby overlooks Boma-Flavors of Africa, where wood-burning grills create sensational aromas from morning until night.
Boma in Africa is “an open, natural space that provides safety and shelter in the bush.” The 270-seat “marketplace” restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, featuring an exhibit kitchen and bakery that allows guests to walk up to a half-dozen side-by-side cooking stations and have their entrées freshly prepared. Curries, chutneys and other Indian and Asian influences add fabulous flavors to grilled fish, meats and vegetables. Diners find authentic soups, stews, tossed-to-order salads and other market-fresh fare on the daily menu.
Soups, from hearty chicken corn porridge to smoked tomato, are a highlight, along with salads such as avocado, grapefruit and papaya, or roasted chicken with chili-cilantro vinaigrette. Entrees include seafood, slow-roasted ribs and whole-spiced chicken, accompanied by couscous, saffron rice or sweet potato pancakes. Add chutneys, a peppery sambal or a sweet-and-sour chile papaya sauce for a delightful international treat. Breads, too, are African-inspired, including golden-brown naan, light and flaky chapatis or a blue cornbread.
Cultural representatives from Africa serve as hosts and hostesses, greeting guests as they enter the thatched-roof eatery. “This personal interaction helps our guests understand African culture,” says Clark. “Diners will find food they’re used to, but also new and unusual versions of African cuisine.” For children, there’s a separate cooking station with its own chef.
What did you think of this review?