This ‘Cheesesteak’ at Walt Disney World Is a Vegan’s Dream Come True
If you think of the cheesiest, meatiest sandwiches in the country, the classic Philly cheesesteak is probably on the top of that list. Traditionally, this sandwich is made with thinly sliced pieces of rib-eye and cheese, so the only plant-based things on this iconic dish are the grilled peppers and onions. If you’re vegan, a cheesesteak is pretty much on the top of your "do not eat" list. That is unless you go to Walt Disney World.
At the quick-service Centertown Market in the newly refurbished Caribbean Beach Resort, there are a variety of new vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options. The Daily Meal recently sampled some of these items, and one really stood out: the “Cheese Steak” With Griddled Seitan.
This version of the classic sandwich features seitan — which mimics the smokiness and heartiness of steak but doesn’t quite nail the texture — along with pickles, vegan mayo, peppers and onions. But the star of this sandwich, amazingly, is the “cheese.”
Vegan cheese can truly be gnarly — we know that truth firsthand — but the “cheese” sauce on this sandwich genuinely makes the dish complete. This sauce has the exact texture of classic nacho cheese and the nostalgic taste of Kraft Singles, recalling the classic cheesesteak topping Cheese Whiz. It took a lot of convincing for this cheese lover to believe that there is no dairy in this sauce. It’s just that convincing.
How did Centertown Market pull off this feat? While visiting the Northeast to scout vegan cuisine, Disney’s culinary team couldn’t resist a carnivorous side-trip to Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks in Philly, and they took inspiration from those legendary meaty sandwiches for this plant-based imitator.
The “cheese steak” isn’t the only meatless miracle at Centertown Market. Other highlights include an Island “Eggless” Salad Sandwich, plant-based tacos and a jackfruit carnitas burger.
Long gone are the days when you had to order a chicken Caesar salad, hold the chicken. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options can now be found on nearly every menu across Disney’s theme parks. Look no further than Satu’li Canteen at Animal Kingdom, where you can make your own healthy bowl and top it off with fried tofu or La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot, which has its own vegetarian menu to make things easy for guests. Disney is so commited to making things easy for veggie lovers that in spring 2019, the Magic Kingdom even launched its own plant-based eating guide, highlighting which items around the park fall in line with meat- and dairy-free diets, Disney Food Blog reports.
Good news found at the bottom of the brochure? Popcorn and Mickey-shaped pretzels are both vegan! That makes us happy, because they happen to be some of the most iconic Disney theme park snacks of all time.