So 50s Prime Time it was!
|50s Prime Time Cafe|
|Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream Extinction|
Across from the 50s Prime Time Cafe.
I walked into the lobby of the restaurant at about 6:30ish and talked to two very nice young ladies at the reservation check-in desk. When I asked about walk-in seating, I was told that it was available, as long as I didn't mind waiting about twenty minutes. I indicated that I didn't, and Becky (one of the two ladies in question) pointed out that I could always take a seat at the bar while I waited.
This sounded like a fine plan, so to the bar I hied myself hence.
|Becky and Anne, who were taking reservation check-ins.|
|Tiffany the Bartender|
She was bubbly, friendly, effusive, and snarky, just like a bartender should be.
|A sample shot of the decor as seen from my table.|
I sipped my drink and watched what was on TV in the 50s. In addition to the occasional 50s commercial, there were clips from the original "Mickey Mouse Club", "Father Knows Best", "I Married Joan", "Make Room For Daddy", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", and "Car 54, Where Are You".
|"Mickey Mouse Club" from the 50s.|
These TVs were everywhere.
Tiffany the Bartender asked Harriet who was taking care of me and it was at this point I found out that my server would be "Cousin Robb". Tiffany assured me I was in good hands, telling me that Robb was not only a sweetheart, but a great server to boot. I was escorted to my table, which interestingly was completely empty. No condiments, no little bowl of sweeteners, no salt and pepper shakers. Harriet only brought those after I was seated.
One of the first things I noticed when I sat down was that the table was actually about two inches higher than I was used to in a restaurant. I took a quick look around, only to confirm that all the tables were about two inches higher. It took me a minute to realize that what I was seeing was a very cute and subtle way of continuing the theme that I was a kid coming in to eat dinner at Mom's table.
|Me at my overly-high table.|
So I was left at the table, with only a little bowl of sugar and the salt and pepper. I mean literally left... Harriet didn't say "Someone will be with you shortly," or "Robb will be right here to take your drink order" or even "Your head looks like a billiard ball, what with it being all bald and everything."
She just sat me, placed the stuff on the table, and walked off.
Let me, at this point, make an observation. The restaurant was pretty full. It wasn't over-crowded, and it certainly wasn't as busy and overwhelming as T-Rex had been, but there was a lot of bustle here. And a lot of background noise. Between the omnipresent televisions, the conversations going on all around me (and this restaurant is another one of those which for some reason believes that using close-quarters to pack more people into a smaller space is a good thing), it was a surprise I could hear myself think.
And then Cousin Robb arrived, and the fun began.
|Cousin Robb, my server.|
He made the night more fun than it might have been.
- No elbows on the table.
- Eat all your vegetables.
- Clean your plate or no dessert.
- No whining.
- No fighting, no complaining, and no arguing.
So he talked to me about the menu... actually reading off of it at one point because "You know how it is, you never know what Mom is cooking up until it hits the table", told a couple of jokes, took my drink order, and hurried off. A minute later, he was back with my Coca-Cola, a plate (an honest to god diner-style blue plate) some silverware, and some napkins. I made my dinner choice (Mom's Old Fashioned Pot Roast), and again he rushed off.
Maybe two minutes later he rushes past, taking time to swat me on the arm with a menu, yelling (yes, YELLING), "I thought I told you no elbows on the table, young man! And what, are you too big for your britches to not set the table?" I hastily removed my elbows from the table with a funny guilty feeling, but the rest of it puzzled me. Then I realized that the plate and silverware he'd brought were still sitting in the middle of the table, with the silverware roll still on it, and the napkins next to it, and immediately corrected my error by unrolling my silver, setting my napkins to either side, and creating the setting (plate in the middle, forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right).
|My place setting. I didn't realize I had to set the table myself.|
|Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast|
While I was eating, something unusual happened: the pot roast, the potatoes, and the vegetables simply disappeared. What I mean by this was that it was a very quick feed; I was done with this dish in about ten minutes, and I was not rushing or bolting the food down. And it wasn't just me... I noticed that in the family who was seated next to me there was a young woman who was sitting puzzled over an empty plate. When I inquired, she confirmed that she had ordered the pot roast, found it tasty and delicious, and was wondering how it was she finished it so quickly when the rest of the family was barely halfway through their entrees.
Robb came back to check on me, and was a bit astonished by my being finished already. He asked me about dessert, and when I said sure he handed me a menu. (The viewmaster dessert menu isn't being used anymore... sorry about that, folks.)
So Robb asked about desserts, and I picked Dad's Brownie Sundae and handed back the menu. Now, I was expecting a brownie with ice cream on it, but I really wasn't expecting what I ended up getting.
Take a look at this:
|Dad's Brownie Sundae from above.|
But that really was the only problem of the night. For a jack-and-coke, a coke, the potroast, the dessert, and the tip, I ended up paying $32 and change, which is not bad for a full-service restaurant inside a theme park.
And what's my opinion?
I think the 50s Prime Time Cafe is a pretty fun place. The fact that the theme allows the cast members to get away with some pretty outrageous behavior is interesting. The food is damn good (though not the best I've had in a Disney restaurant), and the people were friendly.
Three and a half stars out of five stars, I think. I do wish the dessert was smaller, but that was really the only problem I had all night. It was busy and loud and a bit off-putting, but I dealt with it pretty well.
Next stop: Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.