Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Backlot Express

I have been to Backlot Express twice in the past two years, one of which was with Matt Hochberg of Studios Central.  Both times I ordered a cheeseburger, but I don't know if that tells you more about the restaurant or about me...

Now I'm not sure how Matt feels about the restaurant, but I know for James and I, we eat there because it's convenient, not because we're in love with the food.  In fact, I've eaten at three counter service restaurants in the Studios, and I'm not in love with any of them, but that's a blog post for another time.  Notably important is that Backlot Express is, at least partially, indoors.  This is especially good to know when it's the middle of August, and you're deciding between here and Studio Catering Co (not indoors).

As I said, both times I've been here, I've ordered a cheeseburger.  I believe James has ordered the same both times.  When we went with Matt, he ordered the grilled veggie sandwich.  I said it was lame, but honestly, it looked good, sounds pretty good, and I'm pretty sure he thought it was good.  This may be the shining star on a menu that's less than creative.  The burger was your average burger.  It's fine, but it's nothing to write home about.  Honestly, I don't have much to say about it.  Although I hear it is now topped with avocado, which could make an average burger more interesting.

In August, James and I also got dessert with our meals, since we were on the dining plan.  We had a choice between marble cheesecake and strawberry parfait, and we both went with the parfait.  It had blueberries on top that looked dried out and not good.  The parfait itself was alright, nothing thrilling.  Then again, a good counter service dessert is hard to come by at Walt Disney World.

Overall, I think that Backlot Express is average.  It's interchangeable as far as the food goes.  You certainly don't need to avoid it, but I think you can find something better to eat in the Studios if you're willing to walk a little.  Perhaps to Starring Rolls for a big cupcake...

What do you think of Backlot Express?  Have you ever visited?  Do you visit often?  What have you ordered?  Let me know your thoughts on this counter service restaurant in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. I am having a hard time deciding on a counter service lunch at DHS for our trip in October. I had considered even park hopping to Epcot just to go eat but I am not fully sure. What do you think?
    We are only going to have 1 day at DHS (it is a EMH Evening though) and I don't really want to miss out on anything...

  2. Honestly, if you only have one day there, it's not worth the trip to Epcot. No matter which form of transportation you take, it'll be at least 15 or 20 minutes each way, and that's not worth the time. Backlot Express is good if you're just looking for a quick lunch. If it's hot, I'd avoid Studio Catering Co, and I'm not a very big fan of ABC Commissary. Those are the places I've tried, and I'd suggest Backlot Express as the best. Otherwise just grab something from a food cart and try to find a not-so-hot place to eat it.

  3. I don't think I've ever eaten there. We usually end up at the Commissary because it's inside and with AC. Doesn't sound like I'm missing much.

  4. My favorite options at Backlot Express are the veggie sandwich and the southwest salad. They stand out above the other food.

    Amanda, I think by now you're seeing that burgers at counter service restaurants are all the same (and that's not a good thing), so that's why I go for other options because I know the burgers are consistently disappointing.

    Next time you're in town, we should try out Studio Catering Co. They have a great buffalo chicken sandwich!

  5. I just ate there last week. I had the grilled turkey and cheese. Aside from being uncut, which I found weird, the sandwich was pretty decent. I'd get it again.

    I like the decor here. We sat in one of the first rooms with a bunch of marble bust props.

  6. Jessica, I like Backlot Express more than the Commissary. I did not like the Commissary at all.

    Matt, I definitely am. I tried Studio Catering Co in January, but I didn't like it either. I got some kind of turkey panini, and it was super dry and bland. Maybe I need to eat more table service at the Studios. Or more cupcakes in place of meals.

    Scott, I like the decor too. It's probably my favorite thing about the restaurant.