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Review: Parfait aux Fruits and Duo Mousse Cake at Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

It’s become one of my life goals to eat my way through the entire bakery case at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

And why not? This place rarely churns out a dud, even though the selection is HUGE.

Now, I do have to say, I’m quite partial to my favorites: for example, the Frangipane (puff pastry with an almond filling), which I’ve adored ever since I tried it at the Food and Wine Festival’s Parisian Breakfast last  year, and the Brix aux Pommes, which has become a more recent favorite of mine.

So sometimes it’s hard to switch gears and choose beyond those. But a goal is a goal and I aim to do my readers proud! To that end, I’d like to show you a few other staples in that bakery case that I haven’t previously showcased on the blog.

Welcome back to Les Halles!

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

While there are plenty of savory options at Les Halles (it’s a great spot to grab soup and a sandwich), today we’re focusing on the sweet stuff. Let’s check out a few more French goodies tucked inside!

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

In fact, the treats we’re checking out today are displayed side by side in there, even though they are quite different from each other. We’re trying the Parfaits aux Fruits and a little something by the name of “Duo.”

Duo

First up, the oddly titled “Duo.” Initial impression? It’s gorgeous. A smooth chocolate dome reflects the light in the bakery case and catches your eye immediately.

Duo

Duo

The small chocolate topper gives you a hint as to Continue reading →

DFB Weekly Deal: $6 Off the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

Want a huge discount on our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining? You’ve got it! Today through Sunday, you can get $6 off the full price of the guide using code DOLEWHIP!

miniguide_0114_3d

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: DOLEWHIP to get a $6 discount this weekend only!

Note: If you purchased the 2013 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts.

What’s In The Guide?

As thousands of repeat customers already know, the Guide includes:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals, dining discounts, and fireworks.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at EVERY Disney World restaurant, kiosk, bar, and lounge, including our personal tips to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • Four free, downloadable worksheets for planning your trip. These worksheets are designed to help you execute all the steps of planning the perfect Disney dining experience. And they’re reusable for all of your future trips!
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries for a head-start on planning.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges. An often under-appreciated option for both dining and entertainment, the e-Book devotes a whole index to the topic.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer! It’s fully portable right in your pocket!

While our 2013 Guide was extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated this edition with brand new details and more exclusive info! Check out a couple of sample pages below. Click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

Here’s Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2014 Guide:

  • Over 450 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: More Halloween Treats at the Disneyland Resort

It’s been so much fun hunting down all of  the Halloween Treats  at the Disneyland Resort this year.

Halloween is by far my very favorite time of the year.  I have so many photos of spooky delights and although I’d like to try every single item, I’d also like to fit into my Halloween costume in a few weeks. So, instead of a full review on each of these Halloween Time treats, let’s just look at some calorie free photos!  Most of the items I’m featuring in this post can be found in Candy Palace at Disneyland, Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure, and Marceline’s in Downtown Disney.  If an item is specific to a certain spot, I’ll let ya know!

Let’s start with these adorable Mickey o’ Lantern Cookies!

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Mickey Pumpkin Cookies

Followed by some Mickey Bat Cookies!  I love the tiny orange fangs!

Mickey Bat Cookies

Mickey Bat Cookies

New for 2014 are the Haunted Mansion Clock Crispy Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats. How cute are the little M&M eyes peeking out from behind the mummy’s “bandages?”

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

Haunted Mansion Clock & Mickey Mummy Crispy Treats

There’s also a new Jack o’ Lantern Marshmallow Wand.  This one I might have to get my hands on.  Four fluffy marshmallows are dipped in caramel, then coated with white chocolate and covered in orange sanding sugar.  I love that each pumpkin has a Continue reading →

Chocolate Sculptures on Display at the Food and Wine Festival “From Bean to the Bar” Experience

Greetings from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Center!

Festival Center

Festival Center

Tucked in the waaaaaay back of the center is a small area hosted by Ghirardelli that’s dedicated to all things chocolate: From Bean to the Bar. This is a returning exhibit, but they’ve got all new surprises this year.

From the Bean to the Bar

From the Bean to the Bar

You can pick up packaged Ghirardelli goodies here, and get an education about the chocolate-making process. But today we’d like to show you something that’s easy to miss if you’re not on the lookout. There are some pretty amazing displays created by none other than Disney Pastry Chefs… and they’re made of CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Chocolate Sculpture Introduction

Check out this gathering of many of our favorite Disney Villains created by Continue reading →

Review: Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In my opinion, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has always been hit or miss.

But on my last two visits, it was exceptional. I couldn’t wait to re-visit another year later and see if that was still the case. And, I gotta say, this place is still a hidden gem. I would, in all honestly, choose this restaurant over several signature restaurants on Disney property right now. Let’s take a look at the details.

Atmosphere

When we arrived for a late night advance dining reservation during an Extra Magic Hours night, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano was teeming with hungry guests. You get a sense of Mama’s random story before you ever enter the doors. The Mona Lisa, wearing shades, in front of the Hollywood Sign? Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Outside Wall

Outside Wall as You Approach Mama’s

The flimsy “backstory” unfolds: Mama was once an aspiring actress who began to cook her traditional dishes for friends while she was trying to become a star. Her dreams of acting fame may have faded, but she found another route into the hearts of the masses — her cooking. And Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano was born.

Entrance

Entrance to Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Even if the backstory still doesn’t make any sense to me after all this time, that doesn’t mean the restaurant isn’t kind of fun to look around. It’s a mix of old world meets Hollywood…and every year that goes by means Mama’s decor becomes even more antiquated.

One of my favorite touches is the wall-o-1980s-stars. These headshots crack me up! It’s like a who’s who of the year the Studios opened. (I always have to scout out Mary Fran.)

Podium and Entrance from the Waiting Area

Podium and Entrance from the Waiting Area

Other decor elements feature kitschy goodies from Mama’s collection.

In Vino Veritas!

In Vino Veritas!

More chances to look for your favorite late 20th century actors await you at the restroom entrance. And check out this guy we saw above the doorway…

Celebrity Pictures Outside the Restrooms

Celebrity Pictures Outside the Restrooms

These little Olafs-on-a-stick are part of the Frozen promotion in Hollywood Studios! Guess someone thought he’d be right at home here on a gondola?

Olaf -- This Guy is Everywhere

Olaf — This Guy is Everywhere

Walk through the large arch and past the kitchen, and the restaurant opens before you. Be sure to peek at the pizza oven as you walk by!

Show Kitchen

Show Kitchen

Once you’re in the dining area, pause to take a look around. The walls are covered with some fun stuff, including tons of albums. That’s right, kids — Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: Zero Premium Popcorn Bucket and Other Halloween Time Popcorn Souvenirs

The star of the Halloween Time popcorn world this year is most definitely the Zero Premium Popcorn Bucket.

Zero Premium Popcorn Bucket

Zero Premium Popcorn Bucket

Zero is currently residing in New Orleans Square at the Popcorn Wagon where Oogie Boogie is hard at work!

Oogie Hard at Work

Oogie Hard at Work

He can be yours for $12.50.

Popcorn Cart Pricing

Popcorn Cart Pricing

To access your freshly popped popcorn, simply Continue reading →

Photo Tour: Memento Mori Haunted Mansion Specialty Shop in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Welcome, Foolish Mortals… to Memento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion gift shop in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square!

Memento Mori sign

Memento Mori sign

“Materializing” on October 6th, this spot (formerly Yankee Trader) is situated right by the Haunted Mansion, naturally. (The Haunted Mansion never HAD a gift shop, and Disney needed to remedy that, of course.) And we’re dying to show you Haunted Mansion fans some of the gems tucked inside… (and, yep — there are LOTS of awesome kitchen items and food-related goodies to share, too)!

Memento Mori gift shop

Memento Mori gift shop

But seriously, this place is pretty awesome. I wandered the store for nearly an hour just trying to take it all in. Here are a couple of pics of the “atmosphere” around the top of the display areas.

Memento Mori Atmosphere

Memento Mori Atmosphere

Memento Mori Atmosphere

Memento Mori Atmosphere

If you can’t get to the shop in person, some of Continue reading →

Review: Maryland Crab Cakes and Old Bay Fries Liberty Inn, Epcot

Hear Ye, Hear Ye… there have been some recent additions to the menu at everyone’s favorite Publick Dining RoomLiberty Inn, found in Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion!

It’s time to strap on your tri-corner hat and buckled shoes (‘cuz I know you’ve got those handy!) and get ready to travel back to colonial times to check out some of the contemporary fare at this Counter Service option.

True, it’s primarily known as a place to grab a quick burger and fries or a hot dog. So it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re tempted to ask, “Why stop at Liberty Inn when there are so many unique options all around World Showcase?”  Well, as mentioned, they’re changing things up a bit, and I must say I’m somewhat intrigued with the direction things are going…

Liberty Inn sign

Liberty Inn sign

Entrance to the Liberty Inn

Entrance to the Liberty Inn

Come on in!

Atmosphere

Even if you’ve never stepped into Liberty Inn (and it’s somewhat easy to miss, blending into the back of the Pavilion), you likely won’t be surprised to know that the atmosphere reflects the colonial era, since that’s the general feel of the rest of the Pavilion. The place where this themeing is most evident is the collection of the thirteen original colony flags lining the brick wall.

Wall of Flags

Wall of Flags

Add a few touches such as candle “lanterns,” and you’re all set for time travel.

Wall lanterns

Wall lanterns

With ample natural light streaming in from the huge windows, white trim, and high ceilings, the indoor seating area always reminds me a little bit of Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 19, 2014

While we are still enjoying all the Halloween treats (Pumpkin Beignets!!) materializing around the Disney parks and resorts, we’re also happy to announce the upcoming opening date (December 18th) for the new Trattoria al Forno restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk resort in Walt Disney World.

Pumpkin Beignet

Pumpkin Beignet

Plus, click below for all the details on this week’s Disney Food News…

Disney Food News

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, Seasonal Coffees at the Animal Kingdom’s Royal Anandapur, Specialties at the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

As we get closer to Halloween, our Reader Finds are focusing on seasonal treats. DFB Reader Barry tweeted from our favorite cupcake hotspot in Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Starring Rolls Cafe. That Minnie cupcake is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!

Minnie Witch and Butterfinger Cupcakes

Minnie Witch and Butterfinger Cupcakes

Or how about the Worms and Dirt cupcake? It’s an especially fun sweet during the Halloween season.

Worms and Dirt Cupcake

Worms and Dirt Cupcake

Do you have a Favorite Find? Please, share!

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book is now available!

And in honor of our grand launch, you can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited timejust use code SNACKS14 at the check-out!

With over 280 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is part of our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information and advice on well over 250 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book includes: Continue reading →

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center Tour

Whew! The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is half over, and it feels like it just began!

There’s been a ton to do and see, but we couldn’t let another day slip by without showing you around one of the must-visit spots — Festival Center.

Festival Center

Festival Center

Located in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East, the venue comes alive each year for the Food and Wine Festival. This is your spot to attend low-cost seminars and demonstrations and other special events. You’ll find Festival information, Intermissions Cafe, and some great shopping here as well.

Festival Center Sign

Festival Center Sign

We recently toured the spot to bring you pictures of every corner. There’s a LOT to cover, so let’s get started!

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — Festival Center

Festival Center is THE place to begin your Food and Wine Festival Adventure. Helpful Cast Members provide you with information regarding all aspects of the Festival — from Marketplaces to Special Events.

Check out this map Continue reading →