We normally have breakfast on our last day at the Kona Cafe, but this trip we decided to opt to try the Wave partially out of convenience (we were staying in the Contemporary) and partially to break from tradition in favor of trying something new. We are all so very glad we did!
Even though it's rather difficult to think of passing up Tonga Toast or pineapple macadamia nut pancakes, I was really interested in a few of the menu items at the Wave. In particular, I wanted to see if the sweet potato pancakes were really as good as people reported or if they were just hype. Believe me now - there's no hype going on with those pancakes. They are fantastic and my wife's new favorite. Yes, they toppled the fabled pineapple macadamia pancakes in her book.
There are currently a few options at the Wave for breakfast. There is the option for a breakfast buffet and then there is an a la carte menu. My son and I chose to order from the menu and my wife went with the buffet. I did peruse the offerings on the breakfast buffet line before deciding to order from the menu and there were a lot of different choices. At $21.99, the cost isn't too bad and it certainly doesn't approach the price of the buffet at Chef Mickey's. However, I found that for the amount of food I eat, the cost of the buffet wasn't really going to be the best value for me. Or at least that's what I thought.
I ordered the spinach, tomato and feta omelet with breakfast potatoes and my son ordered the belgian waffle (which was huge AND Mickey shaped!) with bacon. I instantly regretted my decision when my wife returned from the buffet and tried her first spoonful of cheese grits. Her reaction (mind you, she's a Southern girl through and through) of "These are the best grits I've ever tasted!" sparked me to catch our waitress and order a side of the grits for myself. . . and for research and review purposes, of course! They were, in fact, also the best grits I've ever eaten as well. I knew they were going to be good when I watched the gooey cheese stretch from the bowl as my wife tasted her first spoonful. You know the stringy gooey cheesy stretch I'm talking about if you've ever lifted a piece of piping hot pizza from the tray to your plate. Yeah. . . that's what I'm talking about here. The buffet version had Tillamook cheddar and Nueske's smoked bacon bits mixed in already, but the side order I received not only had that, but another layer of cheese and bacon bits garnishing the top! It looked like an order of baked potato soup and I probably could've had just this serving and been more than full.
My omelet was gigantic. No kidding! It had to have contained four to five eggs at least. It was far more than I could have eaten even if this was the only item I'd ordered. The serving of breakfast potatoes (red potatoes) were great as was the omelet. There was no shortage of spinach (which was fresh), tomatoes or feta and it was very flavorful. However, I couldn't help but have entree envy with my wife's continued exclamations of "This is amazing! Try this!"
Ok, so now on to the breakfast buffet. The buffet had a selection of fresh fruit (berries, melons, grapes, pineapple) as well as other continental breakfast fair (croissants, chocolate croissants, pastries, whole grain breads, bagels, multi-grain muffins, hard boiled eggs, etc.) as well as steel cut oatmeal with toppings (brown sugar, raisins). There was a ham and cheese omelet offering as well as Eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs. Of course there were breakfast meats like bacon and sausage as well. The cheesy grits are also part of the buffet and I must add that they were just as fresh and just as delicious as the side item I ordered. However, the stars on the buffet were clearly the sweet potato pancakes, the waffles and bread pudding.
While these are smaller versions (in size) of the a la carte offerings, I'm sure they are every bit as delicious. I didn't see any place to order bread pudding as a side item so it might only be available on the buffet, and it was so good that it might just be worth the buffet to get this item in and of itself. It was just perfect bread pudding. It wasn't all mushy like it can get if it's got too much liquid. It was moist, but not too moist. The outer crust on the top was somewhat firm but not crispy. However, the texture of the bread that comprised the pudding was still intact. It was very fresh and it had some sauce to pour over it that took it to a new level! I only took a small taste of this as I was dealing with Mount Omelete on my own plate, but my wife insisted I had to try it. That was part of what contributed to entree envy. The sweet potato pancakes sealed the deal for me. They were simply amazing. They were so fluffy and moist and sweet that they really didn't need any syrup, but let me tell you that the honey pecan butter is not to be missed. These were the best pancakes I've had anywhere. They far outshines anything I've ever ordered at Kona Cafe and I used to love the glycemic carnival of Tonga Toast. I can only imagine that the full sized order of the sweet potato pancakes would be huge and more than enough to satisfy and fill you up.
My son's Belgian waffle was a huge Mickey shaped delight - crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside. It was more than enough for him. He opted to skip the syrup and use the berry compote that it was served with and he said it was the best waffle he'd ever eaten. Unlike my wife, the concept of sharing a bite for the purposes of research is not in his genetic composition. I didn't get to try these and my wife was too full to indulge a second trip to the buffet line to bring back a smaller version of this waffle. All I have to report on his breakfast is strictly anecdotal but he did say the waffle was fantastic as well as the bacon. The bacon was rather thick by Disney standards and was actually crisp.
Our server was great, too. We had excellent service here even though our server was clearly very busy - she had several tables. Even though the restaurant was very busy for our 9:30 reservation, we never had to wait for refills on water or coffee. Our server was very knowledgeable with the breakfast menu and I should have taken her suggestion of the sweet potato pancakes! Service here was excellent and very attentive!
The only downside to this restaurant is the ambiance. While it has a wave theme in the design elements of the chairs and ceiling tiles, it is pretty much a beige version of Le Cellier. There are no windows and the feeling is slightly claustrophobic to me. There's not much they can do about this because the location is in the old game room in the lobby of the contemporary. My wife and I discussed the decor and came to the conclusion that they could use a splash of some real color in order to improve the decor and ambiance.
We loved our experience at the Wave so much that, while at the table, I got on the My Disney Experience app and switched our breakfast ADR for an upcoming trip from Kona Cafe to the Wave. We had actually had this reservation for the past two or three trips to Disney, but always changed it at the last moment for the old standby at the Kona. We are all so glad we tried the Wave. It was excellent!
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