Creamy Clam Chowder @ Royal Street Veranda

Price: $10.49

When: June 4, 2016, 2:45 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

The Royal Street Veranda is a quick-service restaurant in New Orleans Square. It’s located right at the mouth of the land, adjacent to the queue for Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Veranda has a limited menu: three different soups (each served in a bread bowl), one dessert item (fritters), and a selection of espresso drinks. They’re known for their Creamy Clam Chowder, and it felt like high time to give it a try.

We caught them on the slower part of a Saturday afternoon, which meant the line was manageable. We ordered, received our food, and grabbed one of the small, circular, outdoor tables that are scattered about the joint.

In terms of appearance, this is a pretty functional dish. You’re served a large loaf of sourdough bread, with an excavated cavity to hold the chowder. (The cap and excavated bread are served as a side.) The chowder is full-to-overflowing in the bread bowl. And you get a spoon (presumably, so you’re not required to drink it).

I’m sad to report that this is poor clam chowder. It is very, very starchy. I located chunks of (undercooked) potato in the mix, but have no memory of encountering a clam. (If the clams are here, they’re likely in hiding.) The salt level is OK, but the entire dish – taste, texture, everything – screams “filler.” It’s just thick, white, starchy liquid.

You will get full on this, especially if you consider the bread part of the meal. (We tried the bread: also not very good. Tough, cold, spongy sourdough.)

As Elaine said, “there just not much to this.” And she’s right. If this was $5, that might be excusable. For 11 bucks, I expect a whole heckuva lot more oomph, flavor, and delight. This doesn’t have it. Which means this is crazy-expensive for what it is.

Not recommended.