REVIEW: New Smokehouse Chicken Salad, Caramel Apple Crisp Cupcake from Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree BBQ has added some additional offerings to their menu, including the Smokehouse Chicken Salad and the autumn-appropriate Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Cupcake. While one shines, the other fails to live up to its description.

The Smokehouse Chicken Salad – $10.99

With pulled chicken topped high with mixed greens, this entree is tossed with smoked cheddar cheese, diced granny smith apples, cornbread croutons, onions, and BBQ ranch dressing.

While barbecue-based salads can sometimes add too many extras, this one finds the right balance with the sweet apples countering the cheese and chicken. The cornbread croutons also add texture, as well as soak up juices better than the traditionally stiffer crouton.

If you’re seeking a protein-heavy meal, but have no interest in the traditional baked beans and coleslaw sides, this is a great alternative.

Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Cupcake – $5.99

This seasonal cupcake is a vanilla base with apple pie filling and a topping combination of caramel buttercream, salted caramel drizzle, streusel crumbs and a house-made apple chip.

While the frosting is rich, it’s not overpowering when combined with the vanilla cake, and the streusel crumbs bring a slight sugary grit to the bite. The pie filling tastes “from the can” standard, which is a real shame for its heavy presence in the cupcake. Also of note, while the apple chip looks good, much like any Disney dessert toppers, it’s flavorless and serves more as decoration than anything else.

Make no mistake—this is far more of an apple-crisp than a salted-caramel dessert, so in that respect it does a disservice to its name and its central ingredient.

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