If you’re heading to Galveston this summer there’s one restaurant you’re sure to notice. Galveston island has one of the largest and most elaborate Rainforest Cafe’s I have ever seen. The entire building is shaped like an erupting volcano with streams of water as lava running down the sides into pools surrounding the restaurant. It’s an immediate attention grabber as you’re driving down the Seawall. On a recent trip to Galveston I had the opportunity to give this behemoth of a restaurant a try.
The interior of the Rainforest Cafe is just as amazing as the building itself. The dimly lit restaurant is kept aglow by aquarium pillars filled with exotic fish. There are animatronic elephants and a band of gorillas that will keep the kids endlessly entertained. Every once in a while a clap of lightning will sound from the loudspeakers, the lights will flicker, and the gorillas will whoop and grunt madly. All Rainforest cafe’s are known for their amazing atmosphere, but this one takes a step above the rest with its enormous size and detail. Everyone in my crew as outgrown the robotic gorillas and talking trees, but we still enjoyed eating our dinner beneath the light of the giant tropical aquarium. If you have kids this place is a must, and even people without children can enjoy the dark and relaxing atmosphere.
Of course, atmosphere can only take a restaurant so far. When you pick up the menu at the Rainforest Cafe you will see that they have fairly high prices for food that’s really no better than what you’d get at a Chili’s or an Applebee’s. That’s not to say the food isn’t good, it’s just fine, it just may not be worth the price. At a place like the Rainforest Cafe you have to expect to pay for the atmosphere and the décor. At least the menu offers quite a variety including seafood, burgers, steaks, salads, and much more. They have several unique fruit drinks including some alcoholic blends for the grown-ups. And of course, there is the restaurant’s signature dessert, The Volcano. This treat consists of a mound of ice cream held together by four walls of rich chocolate brownie topped with a whipped cream, caramel, chocolate sauce, and a sparkler. This is one item on the menu which is worth every penny. This gigantic dessert can easily fill up a family of three or four. And I can assure you, it’s delicious. Of course, if you’re counting calories you can only look on with dismay, but everyone else will thoroughly enjoy it.
The service is nice but not exceptional. The servers were pleasant and polite, but we did have to wave them over a couple of times for drink refills. The give shop is fun to look through albeit a bit pricey, a good place to pick up a couple obligatory souvenirs. The food may be overpriced and the place may be a bit crowded, but overall the Rainforest Cafe is worth a stop sheerly for the experience.