Sunday, May 10, 2015

Regular menu at Neverland

Neverland Tea Salon on Urbanspoon Last time I was in Neverland it was November of 2013. It didn't feel like much had changed in ambiance -- when it's busy, it's noisy and feels crowded. There's basically no chance for a "quiet" afternoon tea. You want to try elsewhere if that is important to you. Also, if you want to really take your time beyond the 1-1/2 hour seatings during their peak periods, go later. A 3 PM or later reservation should be fine and it's unlikely that there'll be anyone waiting for your table.

Although our party mostly went with the High Tea (using 2-for-1 coupons in the Entertainment Book), I opted for the regular menu this time around, just to see what they had.

Individual red wine braised onion tart ($13) Topped with chèvre, roasted mushrooms, and candied walnuts. Served hot with a side salad
  • Pet peeve time: This was on the online menu, but not in the paper menu at the restaurant. Can they not update the online menus at the same time? This isn't a complaint specific to Neverland -- quite a few restaurants aren't conscientious about this.
Mushroom & Brie Gratin ($12) Radiatore pasta with mellow onion and brie sauce, served over roasted mushrooms, topped with gruyère cheese and persillade bread crumbs (gluten and dairy omitted available).
  • During our particular visit, they were sold out of the "normal" pasta (non-gluten-free) so they had to make mine gluten-free. But it was completely fine and nothing odd stood out about it.
  • Their menu calls it "Neverland's own mac 'n cheese", which is an okay enough description since those are the primary ingredients, but if you are hoping for a mac 'n cheese, it's just not the same thing. It's quite dry and has no creaminess at all.
  • Fairly tasty, but portion (maybe 1-1/2 cups worth) felt small for $12 and no side. This is more like a big appetizer unless you have a small appetite.
Vegan Sandwich ($11) with Kale Caesar (+$2 substitution)
  • Basically a single sandwich using two slices of regulation sized bread.
  • Price for portion is sort of okay if you allow that they are pricing it like a gourmet burger.
  • Taste is pretty good.
  • Salad was heavy on dressing, so you may want to see if you can get that on the side if you don't like too much dressing.
  • Passable as a light lunch so if you're not a dainty eater (which, to be honest, is likely their clientele) you'll probably end up ordering something else.
Hot Choco-tea ($4)
  • Half hot chocolate, half tea of your choice. I went with the recommended Mumbai Chai.
  • Comes out sort of like a London Fog and tastes just as weak.
  • Neither a hot chocolate nor a tea, but an odd mix of both. If you are hoping for a thick or strong hot chocolate, this won't be it as the hot chocolate is obviously thinned by the tea.
  • Make sure you get a strong tea to compete with the hot chocolate.
  • $4 gets you approximately a Starbucks Grande size portion (16 oz).
Service felt pretty short-handed when their dining room was full -- another reason to try a later seating if you can.
Pretty easy to go gluten-free and even dairy-free here, and many counter items (like their assortment of brownies) are standard with either or both attributes.

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