Five-Cheese Ravioli @ Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

Price: $9.99

When: December 2, 2015, 2:45 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is a counter-service restaurant in Paradise Pier. It’s in the south-west corner of the park, near the Silly Symphony Swings. They have walk-up counters where you can choose from different salad, pasta, and pizza options.

After trying the vegetarian option at Smokejumpers, I thought it might be fun to keep on the meatless trend here, too. I ordered the Five-Cheese Ravioli, and hoped for the best.

I was visiting in the later afternoon, well after the usual lunch crowds. This meant that I got a made-to-order dish, rather than one that was pre-made and sitting under a heat lamp. A few minutes after I placed my order, a friendly Cast Member arrived with the cooked ravioli and asked if I wanted “tomatoes, cheese, and pine nuts” to be added to the dish.

Yes, please.

I grabbed silverware, headed outside, and found a table.

First, presentation: it’s just OK. I wasn’t wowed, but was fine with it. Paul, on the other hand, quipped that it’s “like someone saw a Giada recipe and tried to attempt it but doesn’t know how to cook.” Your mileage may vary.

Second: texture. Mushy. The ravioli was overcooked, which meant the consistency of the pasta was poor. Everything came apart in the mouth very quickly, giving a mush-mouth feel. Not appealing.

Third: flavor. It’s all over the place, and not in a good way. The dish just doesn’t come together. While there’s no question there are solid building blocks in here – the balsamic, the pesto, the cheese, the ravioli cheese filling, the tomatoes – the individual flavors quickly fade and become this sort of confused mediocrity. The tomatoes were good – mine were fairly fresh – but they were the exception, not the rule.

I really wanted to like this dish. On paper, it looked great – and I was jazzed at the prospect of a tasty vegetarian option in the park. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it (and, in truth, I didn’t even enjoy it enough to finish it). Skip this one.

Postscript: Twenty minutes after finishing the meal, I was standing in line for California Screamin’ with a terrible aftertaste in my mouth. Ugh. If you’re gonna eat this, pack gum.