Dole Whip + Rum = A Dream Come True at Disney World

Dole Whip with Rum!

Adding rum to Dole Whip has probably crossed the minds of many who have enjoyed that frozen pineapple treat. (Sidenote: VenTiki in Ventura makes their own version once in awhile.)

IMG_1680

Disney World first made that wish come true at the 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival with the Pineapple Promenade booth serving up Dole Whip with Siesta Key spiced rum. Last year they followed up with versions with Parrot Bay coconut rum and Myers’s dark rum, and those two offerings soon after found a permanent home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

IMG_1661

Tamu Tamu Refreshments, a counter-service spot located in the Africa section of the park, is the only place at Disney World where you can get spiked Dole Whip all year round. Apparently, “Tamu Tamu” is the Swahili equivalent of “Yum Yum,” so that’s appropriate.

IMG_1669

Next to the ordering area is an entryway leading into Harambe Fort, a seemingly crumbling edifice “erected 1420.” This all plays into the Imagineers’ backstory for this area’s setting, which is a fictional East African port town called Harambe. (I suggest reading more about it on the Jambo Everyone blog.)

IMG_1671

Here you’ll find a somewhat shaded courtyard full of tables. I’d seen this described as a quiet, hidden area to sit down but the secret must be out as there was no shortage of people the Saturday we were there.

IMG_1678

Be sure to admire the kigelia (also known as a sausage tree for its hanging fruit) and beautiful, “aged” walls of Swahili-inspired plaster carvings. (This is a tradition in Lamu, the coastal town in Kenya that served as the muse for Harambe.)

IMG_1657

Tamu Tamu’s menu offers just three savory dishes — chicken curry, vegetarian curry and African-spiced chicken salad — along with Dole Whip (regular or with coconut or dark rum), snack packs for kids, chocolate milkshakes, soda and bottled water.

IMG_1673

The chicken curry ($9.49) is listed as mild, but it does have a bit of a kick. It’s a great alternative to your typical theme park food of pizza and burgers, though you’ll find that at the park, too, of course. (The shorter line here is also a bonus.)

IMG_1675

Now, on to the part we really care about: Dole Whip with rum! Technically it’s billed as pineapple whip soft serve ($6.25) but it tastes the same although the texture is softer and more like a Frosty from Wendy’s. The serving size is on the petite side if you’re used to Dole Whip floats, and there’s not all that much rum in there (the cast member guessed less than a shot), but it’s a fun novelty. I would get the coconut rum version again.

IMG_1737

No alcohol is served at Disneyland (except at Club 33), so we’ll probably never see anything like this at the Dole Whip stand at the Enchanted Tiki Room. However, Dole Whip can also be found at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Whipp’d, so I think I’ve got to start spiking it on my own. What rum would you pair with Dole Whip?

Torpedo Room at Eat Street Social – Minneapolis

IMG_8837

With its vintage vibe and old-fashioned soda fountain drinks, Eat Street Social in Minneapolis seemed like a place I would have liked even if they hadn’t installed a pop-up tiki bar last September. Our annual Minnesota visit coincided with one of the last June weekends before the Torpedo Room went on “summer vacation” (aka hiatus).

IMG_8941

The Torpedo Room was hidden behind a curtain off to the right of the main bar and was only open Friday and Saturday nights. The set-up reminded us of Tiki Tolteca in New Orleans, as they’re both tiki annexes operating on certain nights in the private party areas of restaurants. Each also presented its own unique take on tiki drinks (but more on that soon.)

IMG_8861

The narrow room had a small bar on one side with a thatched roof and a “tiki bar” sign — just in case you weren’t sure what kind of bar you’re in. ;) Up on the top shelves above the liquor were a few tiki mugs, including Cthulhu (a smashing kickstarter success) and vessels from Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago.

14678519743_10aeffddd1_k_2

The rest of the space had clusters of wicker chairs and nautical-esque barrel tables, chairs and sofas, plus fake palm trees strung with colorful lights and wall decorations of netting, cork floats and a large marlin.

14658607815_b636d83295_k_2

We arrived right around 7 p.m. when they opened the Torpedo Room and had the place to ourselves for the most part. The impression I got was that most of the Minnesotan patrons wanted to savor the summer weather on the patio, which was where the tiki bar was originally intended to go.

IMG_8862

Twin Cities cocktail guru Nick Kosevich and fellow Bittercube Bitters founder Ira Koplowitz, along with Marco Zappia and the Eat Street Social team, designed the Torpedo Room’s cocktail menu with a “Minnesota exotic” theme. This meant there were a few nods to the Midwest (like Wisconsin’s Modest Vodka and Gamle Ode aquavit) brought to the table in addition to housemade syrups (orgeat, falernum) and interesting ingredients (Red Boat fish sauce and Thai basil). To top it all off, there were even several sno cones — available with alcohol (“makua” i.e. for adults) or without (“keiki” i.e. for kids). These featured sophisticated flavors like “Nectar” (Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, almond-vanilla syrup, cream and orange blossom water).

IMG_8894

One of their most talked-about tipples was the Corn Tiki ($13), which was inspired by the Painkiller but substituted sweet corn cream for coconut cream and mulled apple cider instead of pineapple and orange juice. (So, it’s really nothing like a Painkiller at all.) I appreciated the unique concept though it was a touch viscous for my taste. I preferred the Royal Hawaiian #Pine ($13), which was accidentally created when Marco misinterpreted the recipe notes and mixed the drink with pine liqueur instead of pineapple juice. The team liked it so much that they kept it, and I can see why. (I told him he missed the opportunity to call it Marco’s Mistake.)

IMG_8913

Served in Atomic Tony Tiki’s Mana Mana mug from Tiki Farm, Zappia’s Zombie ($15) gave a good wallop with Plantation 3 Stars & 5 Yr. Rum, Lemon Hart 151, lime, orange, housemade falernum, cinnamon syrup, passionfruit cordial, pineapple, hibiscus grenadine and Bittercube Bolivar bitters. A few of the other drinks dabbled with more unusual spirits. Case in point was the Sri Lankan Sling ($11), a spin on the Singapore Sling made with White Lion Arrack (a Sri Lankan alcohol made from coconut flower nectar), housemade tart orange and cherry liqueurs, Benedictine, hibiscus grenadine, pineapple, lemon and Mahalo Bitters.

IMG_8905

Meanwhile, the kitchen offered several “Island Bar Food” dishes, including island jerk spice chicken wings ($7), “butcher’s cut” steak ($18) and, my favorite, the house-made Spam and cream cheese wontons ($5).

14471960919_2f39e9a523_k_2

I love that they went the extra mile to make their own version of Spam, which was also featured in the steamed bun sandwiches with kimchee and pineapple-cilantro-jalapeno jelly. (They’d ran out of Chinese bao so ours were served on mini brioche buns.)

IMG_8888

Eat Street Social’s web site promises that the Torpedo Room will return in the fall. Perhaps a little tropical escapism will be more appreciated then. As much as I adore the veritable tiki theme park that is Psycho Suzi’s, the artisanal tiki cocktails at Eat Street Social were on another level, so I’m definitely rooting for a comeback.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Eat Street Social’s tiki bar has returned for the Fall 2014 season!

Torpedo Room Tiki Bar at Eat Street Social
18 W 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-767-6850

Eat Street Social on Urbanspoon

A Tricky Trio – Players Sports Grill, Tiki Bar & Arcade, San Francisco

IMG_3559

On our last visit to San Francisco, Mr. Hockey found an ad in our little tourist map for Players Sports Grill & Arcade that billed it as “San Francisco’s only waterfront tiki bar.” He asked me if I knew about it and I snobbishly insisted that it couldn’t be a real tiki bar.

IMG_3188

Our wanderings along the Embarcadero did eventually take us to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, and Mr. Hockey wanted to see if Players was legit. I remained skeptical about a sports bar, arcade and tiki bar coexisting under one roof.

IMG_3279

The front area looked like your typical sports bar, but then we spotted this little kiosk with a Lono (Hawaiian tiki) and a sign pointing towards the Luau Lounge tiki bar that was 50 steps away.

IMG_3270

But first you have to navigate through a little labyrinth of video games and skee ball to the back of the establishment. (I suppose if you have kids you could let them loose here while you go enjoy a drink?)

IMG_3253

Coincidentally they even have an arcade game that features Moai among the graphics. Cruis’n Exotica — no relation to the musical genre, as far as I can tell — is the 1999 sequel to the racing games Cruis’n USA and Cruis’n World. Alas, it doesn’t look like Easter Island is one of the available tracks.

IMG_3268

Maybe it’s the obscure location but the Luau Lounge was a surprisingly serene oasis in the middle of this tourist trap area. Not too many folks had ventured back there that afternoon and there was vintage and modern jazz on the soundspeakers.

IMG_3195

Once you pass the tikis standing sentinel at the bar’s entrance, you’ll find a thatched hut bar in the center of the room manned by a bartender in a Hawaiian shirt.

IMG_3220

My expectations had been quite low so I was a bit surprised to see that the decor was actually pretty decent, with tapa print and bamboo on the walls, fish float and pufferfish lanterns, and prints of Eugene Savage’s Hawaii-inspired art. These were featured on the menus for the Matson Lines steamships traveling from the West Coast to Hawaii in the late 1940s. (You might also recognize them from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel — or that “Mad Men” episode filmed there.

IMG_3252

To top it all off, there are fantastic views of Alcatraz and the bay from pretty much every seat in the house.

IMG_3197

But then things took a turn for the worse when I opened the cocktail menu. Granted, most places that serve Mai Tais don’t make them the way Trader Vic intended, but to call these “Tiki Classics” is too much.

IMG_3216

At least they delivered the Mai Tai ($11) in a tiki glass, though. We also had to order the appropriately named Cruzan Confusion ($11) because it sounded like such an abomination of a beverage. Made with pineapple juice and four flavored Cruzan rums, it reminded me of those “suicide” fountain drinks we’d make as kids by mixing all the different sodas together.

IMG_3193

Normally I wouldn’t advocate drinking beer at a tiki bar, but here that may be your best bet. There are about a dozen options on draft, including local brews like Anchor Steam ($6) and a few rotating seasonal taps.

IMG_3258

With so many great tiki bars in the San Francisco/Bay Area (Smuggler’s Cove, Tonga Room, Trader Vic’s, Forbidden Island), I can’t honestly recommend going out of your way for the Luau Lounge at Players Sports Grill. However, if you’re already at Fisherman’s Wharf anyway, you could do worse!

Players Sports Grill, Tiki Bar & Arcade
Pier 39
San Francisco, CA 94133
451-981-6300

Related Posts:
Reviews of Tiki Bars in San Francisco

Players Sports Grill & Arcade on Urbanspoon