Friday, August 3, 2012

Food Finds: Seafire Inn at SeaWorld Orlando

Parks in the SeaWorld Parks chain, including SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa, feature an All-Day Dining Deal for a little over $30.  It's all you "care" to eat for an entire day at one price, a great bargain if you plan to have multiple meals and snacks in the parks.  Unfortunately, this also stretches the already limited number of restaurants to their limit.

With such crowded counter service dining locations, finding decent seating can be an impossible task.  At SeaWorld Orlando, there's one restaurant that has more than enough tables available, and proves one of the most efficient uses of space I've seen in a theme park.  That restaurant is the Seafire Inn.

In most aspects, there's nothing particularly remarkable about the place.  The decor is understated Mediterranean theming with no particular cohesion.  The main dining room and food counters are underlit and confusing in layout.

The food options are a decent variety of hot and cold sandwiches, as well as some salads and children's selections. Everything is pre-cooked, but servers often run out of items and have to scramble to fill orders.   This causes a bit of chaos that's only amplified by the unclear food ordering process, often causing customers to grab each other's food by accident.
The reason that this place is special, and a great find, is the Makahiki Luau.  More specifically, the Luau's dining room.  Inexplicably connected to the Greek themed Seafire Inn, the theater for this evening dinner show is open during the day for guests to find seats.  With a multitude of big tables, it can easily accommodate small or large groups.  It's a great use of space that would be otherwise wasted, and the kitschy Polynesian dining area is much more fun than the understated decor of the regular dining area. 

I haven't mentioned much about how the food tastes, but it's relatively good.  The Crisp Fish Sandwich contained decent, if unexciting, fried fish, while the Cheddar Roasted Beef combined tasty carved beef with a pretzel roll.  The potato salad was interesting, adding a hint of relish that made for a zestier flavor than usual.

Unfortunately, a problem Nicole and I encountered at the Seafire Inn and other SeaWorld restaurants is that the food is often kept well below safe temperatures.  Even though both our sandwiches were supposed to be served hot, by the time we reached our table any trace of heat was gone.  This may have been the cause of at least one upset stomach, and it's something that I'll be definitely keeping an eye on in the future.

Excepting that sour note, I still recommend the Seafire Inn.  When the heat index outside is over a hundred degrees, lots of seating and decent air conditioning is next to Heaven.

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