One of the best, affordable Disney luncheons is the lunch buffet at the Biergarten. Approximately $28 dollars gets an adult guest an unlimited smorgasbord of German staples like snitzel, sauerkraut, brautwursts, and beef roast including fountain drinks. Sorry beer fans, amber-filled steins are extra. The best part is that people with late lunch reservations can enjoy a little dinner too as the dinner items are rolled out for evening guests — thank you for that tip, K!

Adam and I joined a few friends in the buffet line as soon as our waitress bedecked in festive German dress had our drink orders. Like Texas de Brazil, resist is almost futile while walking by the salad bar items. A few spoonfuls of ‘kraut, Bavarian Sausage Salad — think sliced bologna salad — and Warm German Potato Salad later, my eyes fell upon the fabled Mini Pretzel Bread Rolls of which I’m a wild-eyed advocate. The trick is to get the pretzel rolls hot off the tray — one warm pretzel roll later and you’ll see what I mean. The Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs get an honorable mention for being firm but soft and permeated with flavors from full springs of thyme. I drizzled a little savory Mushroom Sauce over the potatoes because in addition to being a potato fangirl, I couldn’t walk by a brown mushroom sauce without ladling a little onto my plate.

Plump slices of sausage are also a must, but the medium-well Marinated Pot Roast at the carving station was another top buffet pick. The tender meat practically melted in my mouth and did not need much more than a butter knife to slice through. Since I’m a backwards kind of person, and I needed both hands to carry my loaded first plate, my second course was this blessedly creamy Potato Leek Soup. I sat, closed my eyes, and savored. I admire a potato soup with a smooth, heavy consistency especially after a quick run through Future World into the World Showcase in cool weather.

The resident German band, Oktoberfest Musicanten, started their next set while we were polishing off our first plates. The band was dressed in traditional hose, high-waisted pants, pattered suspenders, and hats, but their songs were themed to match the holiday season. Don’t worry, there was still a rousing round of “Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi hoi hoi!” There was also an impressive telling of holiday stories, polka dancing, and mesmerizing xylophone playing. The mood was set for a few festive mini-desserts.

The crisp Florentiner Cookie had a lightly sweet berry layer topped with toasty almond slices. The Black Forest Cake was packed with rich dark chocolate despite its size, but the fluffy frosting did little to cut through or compliment the extreme chocolate taste. I couldn’t finish my slice of Black Forest. My favorite dessert was the fresh Apple Streusel with Vanilla Sauce. The same dessert during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was gummy and inedible, but this slice of Apple Streusel was everything I hoped it would be; crisp, flaky outer layers with warm, chunky apple filling.

If you plan to visit Epcot for a day, make sure to book advanced reservations for a late lunch at Biergarten and expect to skip dinner that evening. Seating is family-style and the stein-waving is as plentiful as the food. Biergarten is a neat place to relive Oktoberfest and a fun once-in-a-while escape into the tourist-sphere with live music to boot!

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