Satu'li Canteen and Pongu Pongu- the Food of Avatar!
Pandora- The World of Avatar is opening Memorial Day Weekend 2017! Pete and I were lucky enough to journey into this world on three separate occasions and experience not only the brand new attractions, but also the local foods! Let's take a closer look at the new places offering sustenance to travelers from all over, particularly Earth!
The new quick-serve is called Satu’li Canteen. It offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus with lunch and dinner menus being the same. It has an absolutely lovely themed seating area- both outside and inside- and also features the new mobile ordering from the My Disney Experience App. The setup is that this is the old RDA eatery (corporation from the film) that the natives have now appropriated for travelers to their world- so this means you get a mix of old military commissary with the wicker designs of Pandora. Just a quick look at the entrance above will show you that the roots of the design are closely related to those of Animal Kingdom Lodge and Aulani- simply beautiful.
We were lucky enough to eat at Satu’li Canteen for both breakfast and lunch/dinner. The food overall offers simple options with a twist. Nothing has been too spicy or “weird” to make the meal unenjoyable. In fact, each meal was a complete masterpiece of flavors without over-doing it for those less adventurous palettes.
So let's start with breakfast- click here for the menu. I tried the breakfast pods ($8.49)- which are bao pods/buns filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, and spinach all blended together. The taste was pleasant- it reminded me of a cornmeal or cornbread taste more than anything. There was also the steel cut oatmeal ($7.49) topped with brown sugar, raisins, marcona almonds, and goji berries, which was a large enough portion to sustain you for your adventures through the world. They also offer a vegetable goat cheese frittata, slow-roasted pork shoulder potato hash, and cinnamon french toast with blueberry cheesecake dollop, passion fruit anglaise, and sausage. Additionally, you can get tropical Pandora forest fruits with fresh yogurt muesli and vanilla maple syrup; as well as assorted cereals. Overall, this was a perfect way to start the day with typical quick-serve prices. The portion sizes are decent, particularly on anything in a bowl, so you get a good amount for the price you pay.
Moving on to lunch/dinner, we enter the world of bowls. Click here for the lunch/dinner menu. If you’ve ever done a bowl at say Chipotle or Moe’s Southwest Grill, you know sort of what you’re in for- pick certain ingredient to blend into one amazing dish. So the Satu’li Bowl lets you first choose your protein: slow-roasted sliced grilled beef, chopped wood-grilled chicken, sustainable fresh fillet, or chili-spiced crispy fried tofu; then you pick your base: quinoa & vegetable salad, red & sweet potato hash, mixed whole grain & rice, or romaine & kale salad; then you finish with your sauce: charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette, or creamy herb dressing. The combinations are vast and offer such an array of options, from truly decadent to healthy options. The beef or fish bowls are $12.99 and the chicken or tofu bowls are $11.49. I tried the beef and the chicken, both of which were flavored extremely well- the chicken tasted like it was straight from a proper charcoal grill and the beef was super tender. My favorite was the potato hash, but the quinoa and vegetable salad was a nice light option for a hot afternoon- nothing too heavy. I also tried the chimichurri and the creamy herb dressing- the herb dressing was my favorite but the chimichurri was a nice dash of flavor on the quinoa blend. I just love that you could eat here for a week without repeating the same dish!
They also offer 2 differed steamed “pods” bao buns- either vegetable curry or cheeseburger ($10.99), that also come with your choice of vegetable chips (potato, sweet potato, and blue chips) or crunchy vegetable slaw. For kids, they also offer cheese quesadilla, teylu all-beef hot dog wrapped in dough, or cheeseburger pods. To wash it all down, there’s the non-alcoholic Pandora Sunrise ($4.49), along with regular fountain drinks and coffee/tea. You can also be adventurous with Pandora draft beers- the Hawkes’ Grog Ale (green but like a light beer) or Mo’Ara High Country Ale (darker) ($8.25 for 16 oz., $9.50 for 22 oz.), as well as Bud Light and Stella Artois Lager. Of course, you can try the Banshee Chardonnay or Banshee Pinot Noir ($9.00), or go a little tropical with Dreamwalker Sangria- a white sangria with a hint of blue curacao ($9.50). To finish the meal- you have your choice of blueberry cream cheese mousse (personal favorite for hot Florida days) or the chocolate cake with a crunchy cookie layer, banana cream and Goji berries ($5.29 each). I prefer the blueberry mousse as the chocolate cake was made with a darker chocolate and was definitely not as sweet, but it all depends on what you like!
We also were able to try the new little drink/snack spot- Pongu Pongu (which means party party)! It looks like a perfect Tiki shack- something familiar in this alien world.
Here, we have a couple of drink options. The Mo'Ara High Country Ale and the Hawkes' Grog Ale are available here in both the 16 oz. and 22 oz. There's also a non alcoholic Night Blossom ($4.99) drink, which is layered limeade with apple and desert pear flavors topped with passion fruit boba balls, and a Mo’Ara Margarita ($9.25), a frozen drink with sauza commemorative anejo tequila with strawberry and blood orange flavors topped with strawberry boba balls. The margarita was amazing and didn't taste alcoholic at all- and sucking up the little flavor balls through the gigantic straw was fun. You can also get either drink in a souvenir Pongu mug with a glowing unadelta seed ($18.50)...the mug was pretty cool looking- watch out for a later pic, I'll probably get one of these soon.
Pongu Pongu also offers a snack- pineapple lumpia ($4.59)- which are pineapple cream cheese spring roll- which counts as a snack credit on the dining plan-and you get 2 of the spring rolls in a serving.
Overall, both of these places were amazing highlights that did not disappoint. They definitely confirm that this park has the best food offerings,especially for unique snacks and for quick service- from Satu’li Canteen to Harambe Market to Yak & Yeti Local Foods to Flame Tree Barbeque- this park is one to spend all day and now all night in with plenty of fuel to keep you going on all your adventures! So, when’s your next adventure happening?