I took some time on a recent trip to sample the menu at Backlot Express restaurant and evaluate the main entrees available. You think that makes me a little weird (and you’re probably right) but I’m always on the lookout for some good alternatives to burgers in the parks. There’s nothing wrong with the burgers at Walt Disney World, but what tends to happen is folks order a burger every day and it can get old very quickly. After a day or two of eating burgers, many folks want something else to eat so I've compiled a report on each of the main menu items available at the Backlot Express at the time of writing of this article and my thoughts on each.
Double hamburger: Kind of ironic that I spent a paragraph explaining why I look for alternatives to the burger and I start with a burger but it’s on the menu. As I said before, the burgers here are good. It should be noted that the menu lists it as a double burger but you can ask for a single beef patty burger and receive it (for a cheaper price). On my most recent trip my fiancée and I ordered burgers and we must have ordered at the perfect time because we had these perfect burgers that must have been right off the grill because they were juicy and tasted great and even the buns were lightly toasted and very good. Even when you don’t get the burger right off the grill, it’s a good option and if you don’t mind having a burger, it’s a great choice.
Hot dog: Here’s my problem with the hot dog, it’s good but the portion size is too small. I’m sure some people find it adequate but I’m looking for an entrée and not a snack. It’s my least favorite item on the menu and greatly prefer the hot dogs at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom for the fixins bar that allows me slop on as much sauerkraut and other condiments as my tray can hold. In other words, skip it.
Southwest Salad: The salad option here changes seasonally but currently Backlot Express offers the Southwest Salad. The salad part (as in the green stuff) is okay. Not great, but not bad either. It has an interesting dressing that isn’t something I was salivating over but I did enjoy it nonetheless. The salad also has plantains which are basically bananas. It certainly was not for me and although I have to admit I thought it was really bad chicken when I first ate it, I still don’t care for it even after finding out what it was that I ate. Basically, the salad is okay but nothing I’d recommend as a must-try.
Vegetarian sandwich: This has become my new favorite sandwich offering. I’m not a vegetarian but this blend of veggies and cheese really hit the spot for me. Some really interesting flavors with the combo of the veggies and cheese melt. It’s a great healthy alternative to a burger and there’s something to be said about having a counter service meal that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty. This sandwich comes with this bean salsa side (as opposed to the french fries offered with the other sandwiches), which I didn’t care for (too many beans, not enough of the other things that make salsa, salsa). I still ate it but I’d recommend eating it with your sandwich rather than saving it for the end.
Turkey sandwich: The turkey sandwich comes on this nice grain bread that gives it a little extra flavor and overall it’s a good sandwich. It’s grilled so adding heat to turkey can sometimes mean you have some dry turkey but I’ve found the turkey sandwich to be a good crowd pleaser and another good alternative to a burger. And it’s certainly healthier than the burgers so give it a try.
Chicken strips: If there’s a fallback for most people to order something in case nothing else suits their tastes and it isn’t called a burger, it’s probably the chicken strips. The chicken strips here are good and about the same as the ones you find all over Walt Disney World property. I can’t rave about them, but there’s nothing wrong with ordering them if perhaps none of the other items on the menu appeal to you or you’re not feeling adventurous.
The menu at Backlot Express changes every so often. The salad is seasonal and some items come and go from the menu (there used to be a side of chili available which made the burger even better but it’s since been retired). What’s great about Backlot Express is there’s almost always something for everyone there and it’s one of the reasons why it’s a favorite counter service restaurant of mine at Walt Disney World.