|It’s a new favorite for me.|
I have a confession to make. I don’t do breakfast. And I don’t do breakfast at Disney. While on vacation in Disney World, I prefer waking up at noon to eating waffles in the shape of Mickey Mouse at 7 a.m., no matter how good they may be. In fact, prior to eating at Kona Cafe recently, it had probably been 5 years since I ate breakfast in a Disney restaurant. How then did I manage to pull together this review? Well, as regular readers of the blog know, I recently attended “One More Disney Day”, and after stumbling out of the park around 6:30 a.m. or so, I needed something to eat, and a good, strong cup of coffee. Luckily, Kona Cafe didn’t disappoint on either count.
Located within Disney’s Polynesian Resort on the second floor of the Grand Ceremonial House (main building), Kona Cafe is very open, bright, and lively. Disney describes it as “infusing a bit of Asian zest” into traditional American fare. Personally, I think the resort itself, with its greenery, blooming flowers and inside water features is what helps make Kona so inviting. There’s a lot to look at inside, from the carpet with its tropical flower pattern to the walls adorned with island artifacts (well, they’re probably replicas of artifacts, but they’re still cool!). There’s even a small statue of Lilo and Stich inside.
|Not to be funny, but I love the “Contemporary” look of this place.|
Check-in for our ADR was a breeze, and since we had the earliest seating time for breakfast (7:30 a.m.) we were escorted promptly to our table. Our server, David, was awesome. A veteran cast member, he seemed to anticipate our every need before we could even ask. He was also familiar with the menu and able to describe the offerings in great detail.
If you like a good, hearty breakfast, you’ll LOVE Kona. Portions here are huge. I was glad to be going home after eating, because there was no way I could see myself getting on rides on such a full stomach. From the Big Kahuna ($11.99), which is served with french toast, pancakes, eggs your way, ham, home-fried potatoes, bacon and sausage (I think my cholesterol jumped 10 points just reading that) to the Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes ($9.99), served with Macadamia nut butter, pineapple sauce, and your choice of ham, sausage or bacon, you’ll get plenty of food at a very good price.
|The Tonga Toast. And no, the size has not been enlarged to show texture.|
The specialty of the house, however, which is what I ordered, is the Tonga Toast ($10.99), a delicious banana-stuffed sourdough bread, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. It also comes with sides of butter, syrup, and a fresh strawberry compote, though personally, I found that the toast was sweet enough on its own with just the butter, and the syrup and strawberry compote were a bit much. Now, mere words cannot describe how good Tonga Toast actually is. There are a few foods on Disney property that have achieved legendary status – the “Kitchen Sink” at Beaches and Cream, the “Filet Sicilian” at Citricos, and yes, even the “turkey” legs at snack carts across the Disney parks. Tonga Toast is lengendary, and not just because you can only find it at the Polynesian (you can also get it at Captain Cook’s, the counter service restaurant located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House). It’s legendary because it is awesome, and you must try it.
|A very blurry picture of the inside of Tonga Toast.
Note to self: Do not attempt to take photos while exhausted.
For those looking for something a little different, you might like what my wife, Donna had, The Samoan ($9.99), poached eggs with Hollandaise served over pulled pork hash, and topped with watercress. This was absolutely delicious, the pulled pork was juicy and tender and the poached eggs added silkiness, and the potato hash tied it all together as a complete breakfast drizzled in a creamy Hollandaise sauce. I only had a couple of bites of this, but I definitely want to order it my next trip to Kona.
|There’s a lot of delicious hiding under that watercress.|
Of course, with any good breakfast, you have to have a good cup of coffee. While your standard coffee is available, you’ll want to spend a little extra and get the French Press Pot of Kona coffee ($7.99) made from Kona coffee beans. At about 3-3 1/2 cups, it’s meant for two people. Since Donna doesn’t drink coffee though, I helped myself to the pot! A lot of people will say Kona coffee is bitter or too strong, but that’s not really a fair assessment. Just as grapes grown in different regions will result in different flavors in wine, so too is the case with coffee beans. I would describe Kona coffee as being much more bold than what the average consumer is used to, and boy, will it wake you up, and keep you up. By the way, if you’re just looking for a cup of coffee, right outside Kona Cafe is the “Kona Cart” selling the same great coffee and pastries. If coffee is not your thing – trust me kids, it will stunt your growth – that’s okay too, because you can get a variety of other hot coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, juices or even a cocktail.
|The best coffee you’ll find anywhere on Disney property.|
With everything that Kona has to offer, I may have a reason to drag myself out of bed at 7:00 a.m. while on vacation again.
Kona Cafe is one table service credit on the Disney dining plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and well worth it. They also accept the Tables in Wonderland card. Advanced dining reservations are recommended.