Flame Tree Barbecue is one of the best known open secrets when you’re looking for a barbecue lunch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With the addition of the Harambe Market and Satu’li Canteen over the past several years, it may not be as sought after as a dining location as it once was. These destinations have become guest favorites, particularly if you’re looking for something other than smoked meats. Of course, if you’re looking to slowly back away from the ancient art of barbecue, Flame Tree does have a couple of other offerings that you could consider.
Let’s start with a side dish that is really a snack or meal unto itself, the French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese. This is as straightforward a menu item as you can find in Walt Disney World. It is a plate of French fries topped with a scattering of pulled pork, liquid cheese, barbecue sauce, and scallions. The scallions are only there to add another color to the menu and so you can pretend this is a health-ish dish. The fries are your typical quick service offering, and the pork and barbecue sauce are the same pork used on the pulled pork sandwich at Flame Tree, just in a much smaller quantity. Then there is the cheese, the hot, liquid gold that used to be commonplace around the parks, but has become less available in recent years.
In all honesty, this “side dish” is Flame Tree’s answer to loaded French fries, with no frills, definitely messy, and ultimately delicious. Make sure to get extra napkins, or wet wipes, ready ahead of time and don’t have any plans to get onboard Expedition Everest afterwards (no matter how great the view is of it from across the way), and you should be fine. I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek this out, but if you happen to be around Flame Tree midafternoon and looking for a savory snack, this is a winner.
For those wanting to ditch barbecue altogether, and maybe opt for something a bit healthier, Flame Tree has you covered as well with its Watermelon Salad. This salad includes a base of mixed greens combined with watermelon, pickled red onion, and feta that is then tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette. Picture a cross between a Greek salad and a fruit salad and this pretty much sums up what they were going for with the Watermelon Salad.
The greens give the salad some roughage, with the feta, onion, and balsamic building this into a very tangy salad with a lot of crunch. Of course, the sweet and soft watermelon is the highlight of the party and mellows out some of the more acidic components of the salad. The Watermelon Salad is a fresh and cool option when the Florida heat is beating down and the humidity of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is making you wilt. This may not seem like the heartiest of meals, but it will definitely fill you up and keep you going.
The next time your making your way between DinoLand U.S.A. and Pandora, or happen to be crossing by a bridge that leads to Discovery Island, and you hear your stomach growl like a Sumatran tiger cub, remember that Flame Tree Barbecue has a lot of offerings to tempt your taste buds. Even if you’re not in the mood for ribs, smoked chicken, or pulled pork, this eatery has something that will hit your happy food notes.