The Rainforest Cafe Restaurant chain operates under the strap line "Rainforest Cafe-A Wild Place to Shop and Eat" and is one of the most imaginatively themed restaurants around. You dine in a lush tropical rainforest, surrounded by tanks of brightly coloured tropical fish, waterfalls, caves and rocks, talking trees, live birds and full sized animated wildlife. To complete the picture, the waiting staff are dressed in safari khaki.
As you eat your meal under a starry night, you are aware of the sights, sounds and smells of the forest all around you. Every twenty minutes or so, the sky darkens and special effects create a thunderstorm with rain, thunderclaps and lightning which in turn set off the animatronic elephants and chimpanzees. The Rainforest Cafe Restaurants also have a large sports bar serving a range of speciality drinks under a giant mushroom.
To enter the restaurant you must pass through the Rainforest Cafe Retail Village (shop) selling a large range of colourful clothing and gifts bearing the Rainforest Cafe logo. Of course this a great place to hang out whilst you are waiting to be seated !!
The Rainforest Cafe restaurants are incredibly popular and get very busy (2 hour waits are not uncommon) so it is essential to either make a reservation or eat outside of normal hours. The food is moderately priced American/seafood with a tropical twist.
Appetisers include Cyclone Crab Cake, Chimi-cha-cha (roast chicken breast inside a wonton skin), Congo Clam strips and Raging Thunder Buffalo Wings or you can go for soups like Seaside Clam Chowder or salads like Caesar Salad or Amazon Fajita Salad.
There are a large range entrees including Mogambo Shrimp with penne pasta, Rumble in the Jungle Turkey Wrap, Cyclone Crab Cake Sandwich, Rainforest Burger, Congo Catfish Plate, Shrimp Platter with shrimp scampi, coconut shrimp and shrimp enbrochette, steaks, chicken, pot roast, fajitas and pork ribs.
For desserts there are a host of choices including cheesecake, key lime pie, apple cobbler or the Sparkling Volcano (enough for 2) with warm chocolate brownie cake and vanilla icecream topped with caramel and chocolate sauce and a sparkler.
Kids are well catered for with plenty of recognisable dishes including fish fingers, mini hot dogs, shrimp, chicken tidbits, pizza, pasta and macaroni cheese.
Rainforest Cafe started in 1994 and today there are some 40 Rainforest Cafe restaurants spread across 16 states plus a few overseas. The chain is now owned by Landry's Restaurants who also own The Crab House chain amongst others. Rainforest Cafe have three restaurants in Florida, two in the Walt Disney World Resort and one in Fort Lauderdale:
- 1800 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830 - north end (West Side) of Downtown Disney Area by the lake
Tel: (407) 827-8500
- 505 North Rainforest Road, Bay Lake, Orlando, FL 32830 - entrance to Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tel: (407) 938-9100
- 12801 West Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33323 - Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall
Tel: (954) 851-1015