Who needs chicken when you have heart-stopping smothered fries?
Golden Oak Outpost has a relatively short history compared to other quick-service dining locations at the Magic Kingdom. Back in the ancient year of 2009, Golden Oak Outpost opened, replacing a frontier wagon-themed stand that sold McDonald’s french fries from 1997 to 2007 as part of an alliance between the two companies. Since opening, the dining location themed after the Golden Oak Ranch, has normally featured chicken nuggets and a fried chicken sandwich making this new menu update a radical and extremely delicious change.
Those looking for chicken will be extremely disappointed, because the menu now offers four unique smothered waffle fry creations: Brown Gravy and Cheese Waffle Fries, BLT Waffle Fries, Barbecue Pork Waffle Fries, and Tex-Mex Waffle Fries. For those who want a potato dessert with their potato meal, Disney has blessed us with Sweet Potato Nuggets topped with Powdered Sugar. Here is our breakdown and ranking of the five new options:
Brown Gravy and Cheese Waffle Fries
The Brown Gravy and Cheese Waffle Fries (topped with Brown Gravy and White Cheddar) are Disney’s version of Poutine, a Canadian dish that roughly translates to “messy” featuring french fries topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. Poutine has been an extraordinarily popular food in Canadian culture (they have a version at McDonald’s which apparently is a disgrace to poutine), but lately Americans are starting to get more excited about the mouthwatering combination.
When visually comparing the Brown Gravy and Cheese Waffle Fries to poutine, there is no comparison at all. What is generally supposed to be a sloppy mess is presented beautifully at Golden Oak Outpost. The gravy is not very salty which helps to balance out the seasoning in the french fries themselves. The cheddar cheese curds also add a lot to the flavor, but there wasn’t enough hot gravy to help melt down the small amount of cheese curds and provide enough of the topping to all of the fries in the dish. It isn’t the best poutine in the world, but for those looking to satisfy their craving for the classic Canadian dish while visiting Walt Disney World it is a great option.
Craig’s Ranking: Third Place
Shaun’s Ranking: First Place
BLT Waffle Fries
The BLT Waffle Fries (topped with Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Ranch Dressing) are the closest thing to the retired Figaro Fries that used to be sold at Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Fantasyland, but with three differences. First, Figaro Fries featured cheddar cheese which is missing from this variation. Second, Figaro Fries were made with the classic Disney french fry that many love, yet more despise whereas this version is made with waffle fries. Finally, Figaro Fries were drenched in enough ranch dressing to take the taste away from the terrible Disney fries. Golden Oak Outpost uses ranch more as a garnish than an actual ingredient.
Eating smothered french fries outside on a 90-degree Florida day may not sound appealing, but the BLT Waffle Fries are very light and probably the best option if it is scorching hot out. However, the dish itself is basically ten waffle fries with a sad, tiny salad on top. There are some nice flavors there, but unless you bribe the person making your fries to throw on extra bacon and tomatoes then this combination will fall short compared to the other options.
Craig’s Ranking: Fourth Place
Shaun’s Ranking: Third Place
Barbecue Pork Waffle Fries
The Barbecue Pork Waffle Fries (topped with Barbecue Pork and Coleslaw) just make sense. Pulled pork is very hard to screw up and when it was thrown on nachos it became a hit. Disney decided to put pulled pork and coleslaw on a hot dog over at Casey’s Corner a couple years back and it remains on their menu still. You can never go wrong if you order food that is topped with pulled pork (pulled pork poutine?). Like the creation at Casey’s Corner, Golden Oak Outpost deserves a gold star for this item.
Of all the new menu items, the Barbecue Pork Waffle Fries is definitely the heftiest. The pulled pork and coleslaw is piled on so high if you had a spare bun with you then you could scrape it off and make yourself a sandwich. The pork itself is not the same quality that you’d get at a fantastic BBQ joint in the south, but it is decent nonetheless. The barbecue sauce is probably Heinz, but like the ranch dressing in the BLT Waffle Fries it is more of a garnish and doesn’t ruin the dish. Overall, the flavors blend together well with the fries making another great way to enjoy pulled pork.
Craig’s Ranking: Second Place
Shaun’s Ranking: Second Place
Tex-Mex Waffle Fries
The Tex-Mex Waffle Fries (topped with Black Bean Cucumber Relish, warm Cheddar and Slice Jalapeńos) could easily be described as nachos with french fries as the base instead of chips. That being said, there isn’t much else to say about it except there are even more toppings (and less) than what is described on the menu. There were definitely black beans in the dish, but if there were any cucumbers then they must’ve been hidden in the moat of cheddar cheese sauce. Salsa was poured on top along with some corn, but who knows, that could’ve been part of the relish.
One thing that this dish didn’t lack was flavor and it arguably has the most since it has the most ingredients of any of the new menu items. However, the Tex-Mex Waffle Fries can’t be sold as anything other than french fries with toppings generally used on nachos. Some might even ask the question, “Why not just eat nachos?” Regardless, it stands out as a unique way to eat fries and if ground beef is added in the future then it could become a modern day miracle.
Craig’s Ranking: First Place
Shaun’s Ranking: Fourth Place
Sweet Potato Nuggets
Sweet Potato Nuggets (topped with Powdered Sugar) are usually a side dish in the same vein as sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries, but Golden Oak Outpost adds on some powdered sugar and all of a sudden you have a dessert that seems healthier than the other option – prepackaged, delicious (sarcasm) chocolate-chip cookies! Okay, the cookies aren’t that bad really, but Disney is known for having great desserts so why not throw some freshly-made ones in a food stand?
Anyways, the Sweet Potato Nuggets topped with powdered sugar are a nice option as a snack or a dessert, but these have to be enjoyed quickly or they can get soggy. At $2.99, they qualify as a snack if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan and are actually the only thing on the new menu to be valid at all for the Disney Dining Plan. As temperatures get colder, it may be a nice option on those chilly nights during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Craig’s Ranking: Fifth Place
Shaun’s Ranking: Fifth Place
Overall, the newly updated menu for Golden Oak Outpost is going to be a big success for Disney. The new options all have one important thing in common – the food is unique, delicious and a million times better than anything that was served at Golden Oak Outpost in the past five years. The only negative thing to say at this time is the portions don’t fall in line with the price. Each waffle fry creation comes in at $5.99, which doesn’t break the bank, but the amount of fries you get in a dish is more or less on the level of a snack or even an extravagant side dish. If Disney could drop the price to make it a snack or increase the amount of fries and toppings to make it an entrée, then those on the Disney Dining Plan would win. Regardless, the change is welcome and hopefully more high quality dining options will continue to pop up at Walt Disney World replacing the old boring burger and fries menus of the past.