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Columbia Harbour House – Climb Aboard or Jump Ship?

Outside of Columbia Harbour House

Ahoy there! Today we’re floating over to Columbia Harbour House to dive into their fried delights. This is one of the most popular restaurants in Magic Kingdom, but the DVC Duo has somewhat mediocre feelings on this classic establishment. Land ho! Let’s drop anchor and head inside for this week’s Foodie Friday article

Columbia Harbour House Seating Area

The Vessel

The major appeal of Columbia Harbour House from what I can gather is the available seating and the air conditioning. The ambiance is nice, it has the feeling of a recent settlement with dark wood and wide pine floors which is a style us New Englanders love. What we continue to struggle with is what exactly the food theme is. As best I can tell, the theme is fried. I’m not sure if they’re going for classic New England seafood or what but in any case let’s review the offerings

Columbia Harbour House Seafood Platter

The Captain

The perennial favorite that I see being ordered most frequently at Columbia Harbour House are the combo platters. These are combinations of shrimp, fish, and chicken nuggets served with hushpuppies and a veggie. Whoa mama, these look hearty enough to sink our ship! We have never ordered one for fear of an afternoon siesta but I can’t imagine it is fresh off the boat. Also, this is not a great representation of New England fried seafood, and I admit, I’m a bit partial

Columbia Harbour House Lobster Roll

The Crew

Moving on to the other entrees, we have had the lobster roll a few times. It’s reasonable, though not served in the classic New England style, as this roll is served with leaf lettuce and relish which is a very odd combination indeed. Overall, there’s a decent portion of lobster meat dressed in a light mayo sauce on a proper New England style bun (split top of course). This could be made much more authentic by having the relish walk the plank, and throwing on a little shredded iceberg if the roll needs a stowaway (though it would be more New England without!).

Another surprising Columbia Harbour House crew member is the tuna sandwich which is a solid tuna offering. Typical tuna salad, not too mayoish, seasoned well, served on a nice multigrain bread with lettuce and tomato. If you’re in the mood for familiar, this is the sandwich for you!

Rounding out the sandwiches is my go-to, the Lighthouse sandwich. This is a tasty combination of hummus, a mustardy broccoli slaw, and tomato on that hearty multigrain bread. The texture is definitely one dimensional, but if you’re looking for a lighter option than the fried “insert your favorite fried protein” platter, this is an option.

Columbus Harbour House Chicken Salad

Lastly, the salads – these really aren’t too bad either. The chicken is real chicken and the portion is perfect for the salad which has just enough yummy toppings to really make this a meal. Nate and I will frequently get a sandwich and salad and split the two for a filling afternoon break!

They also offer chili and New England clam chowder – the chili looks pretty hearty, would seem like a good option for a cold Florida day (those do happen!)

Land Ho!

Overall, we continue to struggle to find the appeal of Columbia Harbour House. This is a good stop for those who may be a little more health-conscious as this is one of the only places besides Cosmic Ray’s Cafe that you can get a salad. The theme is off though – more classic New England fried seafood would be clams and fish, not shrimp. The lobster roll with the relish is not appealing. Tuna salad seems woefully out of place here as well and would be much better as a grilled or fried fish sandwich. The vegetarian option is good but needs some cucumbers, sprouts, pepper rings – something with a little crunch. We vote to save our money and mosey on over to Tortuga Tavern or Casey’s Hot Dogs. We’re setting our course for another port.

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