Cape May Clambake, Disney Beach Club, Orlando

We were planning to go off Disney property for dinner one night of our trip, but then I was nudging around the AllEars site and noticed an AYCE clambake at one of the resorts near Epcot. Now, a clambake sounds all right to me, but it’s like waving candy in front of a native New Englander like my husband. Needless to say, I canceled our off-property ressie and we went to Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club for dinner instead.

If you head to this buffet, I recommend trying to arrive before 6pm. I think it opens at 5:30pm. Our reservation was at 5:45. At 6:00 the masses descended and the lines doubled and tripled. The physical design of this buffet is not nearly as intelligent as the “pod” type setup over at Boma. It’s a big open square with some massive seafood steamers in the center. One side is salads, cold peel-n-eat shrimp, and other cold dishes. A second side includes BBQ ribs, Italian peppers and sausage, assorted hot vegetables, and a few other nonseafood entrees. A third side includes carved-to-order beef and a kids buffet with chicken fingers, mac-n-cheese, chocolate chip cookies and all those other comfort favorites (the kids buffet is at kids-eye level for easier selection). And the fourth side gets seriously backed up linewise: clam chowder, another soup of the day, steamed clams and mussels, a few veggies like corn-on-the-cob, and a fried fish of the day.

Everything on the buffet was pretty much ok, but not outstanding. I did like the fried fish (tilapia when we went), which was swathed in a crunchy batter. Some people went through the line just to get the tilapia, and it ran out often. The best thing we sampled was the clam chowder, which was one of the best versions I’ve had in a long time. Every bite had at least one clam in it–it was like clam-overload chowder.

Some more adult-like desserts like key lime tartlet and a German chocolate-cake type chocolate-coconut torte are cut into mini portions and displayed on a separate buffet.

If you only eat one buffet at Disney, Boma should be your destination. But you could do worse than Cape May if you want seafood and plenty of it. After dinner, you can walk along the boardwalk exploring amusements at the Beach Club and Boardwalk resorts. Or you can cross via the International Gateway into the World Showcase of Epcot for the Illuminations show. (The Beach Club is the closest resort to the Gateway.) Not a bad end to the evening either way.

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