Italy is home to a vast blend of culture, landscape, and cuisine.
Orlando, Florida is a home to themed entertainment, highway traffic, and what could possibly be the worst Italian restaurant in the entire world.
If you’re looking for a positive review about a highly-recommend restaurant inside Walt Disney World, you came to the wrong site. Perhaps take a look at some of my more pleasant dining experiences, such as Yacht Club’s Ale & Compass, or Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans – Riverside.
In 1989, Tony’s Town Square Cafe replaced the original Town Square Cafe that opened with the Magic Kingdom and has been delivering pure disappointment ever since. Yesterday, I headed out to the restaurant that causes me so much pain to, yet again, try some new menu items, as well as extend my false hopes that someday this restaurant will be worth a visit. Let’s take a look.
The cheap, very used and worn paper menus list beverages and wines on one side and entrees on the other.
Bread With Olive Oil – Complimentary
Here’s the one single positive part of this review. The bread was actually delicious. Served with a side of olive oil, the crust was salted with sea salt and came fairly warm. It was doughy, fresh, and the small bowl of oil made it easy to apply to your liking. A really great way to get our hopes up before everything else got to the table.
Garlic-Parmesan Wings – $11.00
Next up was one of the all-new menu items that recently debuted at Tony’s: Garlic-Parmesan Wings. We’ve actually had these wings before, as you can get them at Sam’s Club for approximately $1.79 per pound. Never in my life have I tasted such flavorless, lukewarm, pizza-shack wings that come at such a high price. $11 for five of these wings is simply criminal.
See the sauce that’s on the left side of this picture? That’s not expired ranch, it’s Italian dressing. Like, the kind you put on a salad. I dipped one of my wings in the dressing for scientific purposes and immediately became embarrassed that I even tried it. It reminded me of my middle school lunch days when my friends would triple-dog-dare me to eat the disgusting food cocktail they came up with.
Needless to say, the Italian dressing mixed with the wings was just gross. Without it, however, the wings were dry and flavorless, so you really have to choose which route you’d rather go with this appetizer.
The wings are also served with a small side of peeled celery, which I didn’t think made much sense seeing that the wings weren’t hot or spicy at all.
Tony’s Pizza Pie – $21.00
After our appetizer and initial stomach aches, our entrees came promptly. We’ve had Tony’s Pizza Pie before, but it had been a while, so we decided to give it another try.
We went with half pepperoni and half garden veggie so we could try a little of each. There is also a sausage option, which we decided to skip for our own good.
The best way to describe this pizza is if an alien were to visit earth, and an average human was to tell the alien what a pizza is and how to bake one, and then the alien attempted such, this would be the outcome. This pie makes the Cici’s on International Drive look like a five-star establishment.
The cheese on the pizza was almost solid as if it had been sitting under no heat for quite a while. The crust was grainy and doughy as if it hadn’t been baked properly. Neither the garden veggies or the pepperoni were fresh nor warm. The crust tasted like, and kind of looks like, cardboard. I’ve had better pizza at Chuck-E-Cheese. (They don’t call me “the boy” for nothin’.)
Italian Trio – $32.00
Ah yes, the signature dish here at Tony’s Town Square: The Italian Trio. Made up of Chicken Parmigiana, Fettuccini Alfredo, and Spaghetti with pork-beef meatball.
The Fettuccini Alfredo was arguably the best element of the dish, so let’s start there. While it was served almost cold, the flavor of the sauce was actually quite present which helped to cover up the chewiness of the noodles.
Next up is the Spaghetti and Meatballs. Somewhere under all that sauce is a meatball. The noodles that were served with the spaghetti and meatballs were extremely fine. When you ate a forkful of noodles, they seemed to form a sort of paste immediately after chewing, which gave the effect of eating glue. The meatball was surprisingly warm and easy to cut into, however, the taste was almost artificial and, dare I say, chemical tasting. Any meat whatsoever was extremely difficult to point out, even though that’s literally all it was made up of. The red sauce on top (which was likely just Ragu) helped to ease the pain of eating this element of the dish, however it certainly wasn’t able to make it enjoyable all on its own.
The final element was the Chicken Parmigiana. The flavor of this chicken was intense, to say the least. Each and every bite was absolutely packed with a sharp citrus garlic taste, followed by a chewy piece of chicken breast. The cheese here was also not fresh, and the red sauce once again was unable to save the day. The chicken breast was slightly less dry than the wings were, crispy and easy to cut into, however, my mouth was left tasting of garlic for the remainder of the meal which was extremely off-putting.
We added some more parmesan to the entire dish because who cares anymore? While it didn’t improve any flavor or quality of the dish, it did improve the presentation… slightly.
Overall, just do yourself a favor and don’t do it. I don’t think there’s a single thing on the menu that we enjoy, and the mediocre wait staff, theming, and awful food makes up for an extremely disappointing and unenjoyable meal. I remain hopeful that Tony’s Town Square, which has such a wonderful location on Main Street, U.S.A., will one day get it together and be successful, but today was certainly not that day.