For years this was a firm favorite of ours. I never remembered the Village Haus being more than burgers and fries, but all the food was good, easy on the pocketbook, and the restaurant offered playful surroundings that were a feast for our collective eyeballs. We stopped coming here for some reason — why, I cannot say. But with such cheerful memories of the past, and the greatly improved fare throughout the park, I thought this old friend needed to be loved by us once more.
First off, the place is rather chaotic inside. I mean, getting through the front door is a battle! Every single table outside was occupied, and there were dozens of people milling around, all looking for a place to plant their group. Inside is no better. We had all assumed this was due to the primo locale and the fine quality within. But if the food was good enough, as we hoped it was, it would be worth any effort on our part to squeeze through the mouse-capped sea of humanity.
The line for the food and the entire process that followed was more of the same. It was just a big mess. Granted, it’s an extremely busy restaurant, and the turn-around here is enormous, but don’t you think they would have things under control after 25 years? It was almost like a brand new restaurant with fresh staff, fully unaware of customer service and crowd control. People seemed agitated and almost resentful of one another. The fact that we got a table was a miracle — we had to hover for some time for that achievement, and our food was cold by the time we finally got to it.
Three of my meal mates had the bacon cheeseburger with fries. I opted for the standard cheeseburger, with a lighter addition of a “salad.” When I saw my “salad,” which fit into something not much larger than a salsa cup from El Pollo Loco, I almost wanted to laugh. I suppose this was a healthier choice through attrition.
The burgers were all dry and tasteless, from the bun to the meat. We understand that meat has to be cooked well in order to be completely safe in most high volume institutions, but does the very life need to be taken from it, as well? The beef could have used some serious seasoning, and the buns should have been at least steamed back to a more pliable state. When you eat a burger and notice the predominant taste is lettuce, and your condiments shine through like the morning sun, you are not in very good territory. The “salad” was fine, but it was so dang small, I was eating it in slow, methodical bites just as one would eating in a swanky restaurant to maximize their enjoyment of an over-priced nouveau appetizer.
As we ate, the table vultures were swarming with reckless abandon. This just compounded our unhappiness. All we wanted to do was grab our things and get the heck out of there. Seriously, it was like being at a McDonald’s in a bad neighborhood, watching people two tables down get in a shouting match. So much for being the Happiest Place on Earth!
We all agreed after the experience to never come back here, that any nostalgic heart strings once pulled by the Village Haus had snapped. If Pinocchio has no strings to hold him down, you can bet he’s running out of that place just as fast as we are.
Overall grade: D+
I give it a higher grade than I otherwise would based only on the fantastic look of the place. You can ignore the idea of eating here completely, especially if you have a group. I say look at it while you walk to another establishment and enjoy the rest of your day.
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, Healthy Selections
Service Type: Quick Service
Price Range: $ ($10 per person or less)
Meals Served: Lunch, Dinner, Snack