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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: The Friar's Nook

by Reuben Gutierrez

14 July 2013

The time has come, the friar said, to talk of frying things.

Of hummus, chips, hot dogs, and snacks and teriyaki wings.

A little over two years ago, Sunday Brunch took a walk through history, observing the changes to the name and owner of the small snack stand on the Eastern side of Fantasyland. The current proprietor is Friar Tuck, the clerical badger from Disney's 1973 film Robin Hood. As I previously discussed, it seems as though the 'Friar's Nook' was a result from a play on words, also serving as salute to a Disney 'long-lost friend.' The theming of this little stand pertains mostly in name and decor, as the friar's fryer does not cook any Olde English fried specialties, but a unique, Americanized snack menu. In lieu of French Fries (the former main snack of this stand's previous incarnations), hot dogs, freshly made potato chips and the famous Disney chicken nuggets can be found among the common Disney snack items here.

Friar's Nook

Friar's Nook

The Friar's Nook opens seasonally, when crowds are large enough that additional food locations are welcome. Being a local, I've often seen the shutters closed, the friar absent from his nook. Now that we are in the midst of the summer peak season, I took the chance to snack while the friar was in town. The most unique food item thematically makes the least sense for its inclusion. Naturally, I knew one order of the Teriyaki Nuggets would be my first and only choice. Teriyaki, while popular in Japanese cuisine, is not often to be found in Fantasyland, M.K.

Friar's Nook

Friar's Nook

Friar's Nook

After ordering from the walk-up window,  a rare sight these days in the Disney parks, I received a large bowl-like plate with a handful of fresh-out-of-the-fryer, golden potato chips, along with more than half a dozen teriyaki nuggets. The teriyaki nuggets (your typical Disney quick service chicken nuggets) had been tossed in a heavy teriyaki sauce, then garnished with small green pods. I wasn't quite sure what they were, and didn't think to ask until after I had walked a ways away from the Friar's Nook.

Friar's Nook teriyaki nuggets

After my first bite, I judged these nuggets as quite excellent, with the tangy, sweet teriyaki sauce and the cool, crunchy green things. Though seconds after, the wave of saltiness and spiciness hit me as swiftly as another tax collection from the Sheriff of Nottingham. The spicy green pods resembled edamame, which I thought they were, so I ate with gusto. I later learned they were wasabi-roasted soybeans. Wasabi is an extremely spicy condiment from the roots of a Japanese plant in the same family as mustard and horseradish. I feel like a flavor that potent should be warned about when ordering.

While the initial portion of the meal was satisfying, I could not stand the saltiness as I continued eating. I did away with the spiciness by removing the wasabi beans, but the already salty chicken nuggets, compounded with the salty chips, were too much. I needed a drink of water, badly, and that resided on my mind throughout the meal. Though I must say, they stand out among the best potato chips I've ever had. So, if you're going to snack at the Friar's Nook, just go for the chips, while skipping the salty spicy nuggets.

The time has come, the friar said, to talk of frying things.

Of hummus, chips, hot dogs, and snacks and teriyaki wings.

And why the food is spicy hot and what are those green pod things?

Who knew? Say nay, just chips today, no teriyaki wings.

Who knew? Say nay, just chips today, no teriyaki wings.

 

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