Review: Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

It has been too long since my last visit to Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe. (Yep, that’s spelled correctly. It’s like a play on words, right? Tangiers, Morocco — Tangierine? Get it? OK, moving on.)

My absence from this spot recently is kind of shocking, since it’s always voted some of the best and most interesting counter service food that you can get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

Located right on the promenade in the Morocco Pavilion, Tangierine Cafe offers an immersive atmosphere and good food with the ring of authenticity. Or at least, that’s always been my experience before.

Atmosphere

Tangierine Cafe is very photogenic. The whole Morocco pavilion is gorgeous, and this is no exception.

Tangierine Cafe

Tangierine Cafe

Once inside, you’ll find a cafeteria-style ordering area, and limited seating.

Ordering Counter and Seating Area

Ordering Counter and Seating Area — Notice the Beautiful Light Fixtures and Ceiling Detail

Assembling Plates

Assembling Plates

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

As you probably know, the construction of the Morocco Pavilion was sponsored by the government of Morocco; the design was overseen by King Hassan II himself! And so, the intricate decor and detail you see here represent design details authentic to Moroccan ideals.

Zellige tile, colored glass, and beautiful light fixtures punctuate the space and transport you to your exotic destination.

View from indoor table

View from indoor table

Seating

Seating and Stunning Tilework

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Choose a seat inside, or enjoy lunch on the outdoor terrace that’s off to the side of the front entrance. It provides an excellent vantage for people watching.

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

View from Outdoor Seating

View from Outdoor Seating

There’s also a wonderful little room in the back of the space, set apart from the high-celinged main dining room. Since it’s rather hidden, sometimes you’ll find it empty. It’s a great spot to take a break from the Epcot crowds.

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Additional outdoor seating, with umbrella-shaded tables, is available on the other side of the restaurant.

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Back inside, you’ll make your selections and await your food. Beverage options include a few Moroccan beers, which are available by the bottle, in addition to standard soft drink options.

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Some of the Beers Available

Some of the Beers Available

You’ll find another hidden gem in the back of the restaurant, near the cash register. A bar devoted to [Read more…]

Review: Victoria Sponge Cake at Yorkshire County Fish Shop in Epcot’s UK Pavilion

It’s somewhat rare that anything changes at Yorkshire County Fish Shop in Epcot’s UK Pavilion.

And I don’t mean that as a bad thing. When you’ve got a great classic like Fish & Chips as the main event, I’m of the opinion that Yorkshire County Fish Shop falls squarely under the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category.

So when I strolled past a few weeks ago on the way to meet some friends at Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room and noticed that the dessert option had changed to Victoria Sponge Cake filled with jam and buttercream (you can now also find whole fruit options as well), I knew I wanted to get back as soon as possible and give it a try.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop menu

Yorkshire County Fish Shop menu

Prior to the Victoria Sponge Cake, the dessert option on this limited menu was an English Bay Sugar Cookie, and before that, the common dessert option was a package of shortbread cookies for… well, for as long as I can remember. So the Victoria Sponge Cake is a definite departure from the cookies.

Unfortunately, I can’t claim to be familiar with a traditional English Victoria Sponge Cake. But I can tell you that the version you’ll receive at Epcot comes, understandably, in a “To Go” package, custom made for the search for seats at this popular stop.

Victoria Sponge Cake in package

Victoria Sponge Cake in package

Victoria Sponge Cake in package

Victoria Sponge Cake in package

Before I dug in, I wanted to give you a chance to see inside. Between [Read more…]

Dining in Tokyo Disneyland: Park Snacks, Plus a Few Meals, Too!

There are so many unique eats at the Tokyo Disney Resort.  In this post, I’ve complied most of the items my family tried on our recent trip. Rather than do individual posts on each thing, here’s a mega post featuring them all! Ready, let’s go to Tokyo!

I’m going to start with my very first snack stop at Tokyo Disney Sea. We stopped at Refrescos’ in the Mediterranean Harbor area for a little bit of everything: A Gyoza Sausage Bun, a Maple Mickey Churro, and Cream of Corn Soup.  Basically one of every thing on the menu.  We were really excited because there was absolutely zero line.  I’m told that the Gyoza Sausage Bun is one of the most popular items at Disney Sea and sometimes people wait over an hour for one.  We lucked out because apparently this was an area that just recently started selling them.  Normally they are only at the stand in Mysterious Island.

Goyza Sausage Bun, Corn Soup & a Mickey Churro

Gyoza Sausage Bun, Corn Soup & a Mickey Churro

I was most excited about the Maple Mickey Churro, but unfortunately, it fell way short of the churros we have at the Disneyland Resort.  Although it scored major points for being Mickey shaped, the churro itself was hard, dry and had very little flavor.  Really cute, but not at all worth it.

Mickey Shaped Maple Churro

Mickey Shaped Maple Churro

The Corn Soup was fabulous.  It’s not creamy like a chowder you’d find in the states, but it is still flavorful and hits the spot on a chilly day.  I love that it’s served in [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Potato Nuggets at Magic Kingdom’s Golden Oak Outpost

The last time we visited the Golden Oak Outpost in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, it was for a Fry Feast, trying out their revamped menu featuring loaded Waffle Fries.

Because my hands (and tummy) were full of fries that day, I didn’t have the chance to sample the other new addition to the menu at that time: Sweet Potato Nuggets. Before the fry takeover, you may recall that Golden Oak Outpost offered Corn Nuggets dusted with Powdered Sugar for a short time. So today we’re back to finally check out the newest nuggets on the scene.

You’ll see the Sweet Potato Nuggets on the menu underneath the variety of Waffle Fries. By the way, where there were previously four types of fries, you’ll now see three (the Tex-Mex Fries didn’t make the final cut).

Golden Oak Outpost menu

Golden Oak Outpost menu

At first glance, the Sweet Potato Nuggets looked a bit like the Corn Nuggets (save for the color), thanks to the helping of powdered sugar dusting the top.

Sugar-dusted nuggets

Sugar-dusted nuggets

But where the Corn Nuggets featured a separate fried batter surrounding creamed corn, the sweet potato nuggets are nothing but sweet potato. Once you bite in, you can easily see that [Read more…]

YOU MUST EAT THIS: Warm Peanut Butter Brownie at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

This past Sunday was National Peanut Butter Day!! But, you guys know that around here, every day is peanut butter day, so… I couldn’t wait to tell you about this ah-mazing snack I tried last week!

It’s at Sunshine Seasons, which is one of the best counter-service joints in Epcot. It’s home to yummy breakfasts (including their Croissant Berry Bread Pudding), healthy grab and go eats, and dinners that rival many table service meals.

It’s also THE place for some fabulous snacks in Epcot, including Strawberry Shortcake, the Red Velvet Whoopie Pie, and one of my favorite carrot cake cupcakes on property.

But, now, I’ve found something that puts all of that to shame. I’d heard rumors about this awesomeness, and — FYI — they’re TRUE.

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie

Check out the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie.

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie in the Container

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie in the Container

Honestly, it doesn’t look like much at first glance. But, you can see that the Brownie Batter is swirled with Peanut Butter. So that’s awesome. A thin Caramel Glaze adds another element to the top.

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie -- Up Close

Warm Peanut Butter Brownie — Up Close

But then, you cut into it and you see that there’s far more here than meets the eye initially. Inside, you meet with a thick ribbon of [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 3, 2015

We’re taking a quick trip around all four Disney World Parks and then making stops at several Resorts, where a lot of food news seems to be taking place as of late!

But we’re starting our “World”-wide tour at Downtown Disney, and taking a peek at how things are shaping up as the transition towards “Disney Springs” continues on. And we may even take a sneak peek at something coming to our friends in Disneyland on the west coast.

Disney Springs mural

Disney Springs mural

So, are you ready to see What’s New? Good! Because in the words of Peter Pan, “Here we GOOOOOOO…”

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

Okay, so we’ve mentioned it a couple of times recently, but that’s because we’re happy that BabyCakes has a new home in Downtown Disney! Located at The Landing of what will be Disney Springs, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC has been up and running since 1 pm on Sunday, February 22nd.

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC

Erin McKenna

Erin McKenna

Samoa Donut

Samoa Donut

Featuring gluten-free and vegan baked goods, this is great news for guests on some dietary restrictions. Read our opening day review here!

Flour and Sugar

Speaking of baked goods, Flour and Sugar is a little kiosk that can be found on the newly opened Marketplace Causeway. It sells pre-packaged cookies inspired by various cities in the Sunshine State.

Flour and Sugar

Flour and Sugar

We tried the Siesta Key Key Lime S’more, and we’ll have a review here for you soon!

Key Lime S'more

Key Lime S’more

Disney Springs Construction

All in all, things really seem to be picking up speed in Downtown Disney with the Causeway completed, allowing an easy stroll from spots around T-Rex to the Rainforest Cafe side at the Marketplace.

The Marketplace Causeway

The Marketplace Causeway

Light post on The Marketplace Causeway

Light post on The Marketplace Causeway

Disney Springs sign

Disney Springs sign

We’ll be sure to take a little tour along the path when we’re back with our Flour and Sugar review! The next thing we have our eyes on? Look for [Read more…]

Review: Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We are headed back to Territory Lounge! FINALLY!

The lounge, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is pretty much the definition of awesome when it comes to Disney resort bars and lounges.

We’ve talked about the  pub grub here in the past, and it’s no secret that every time I stay at WL I find myself down here at least a few times. So during a recent stay I was excited to dig in and share the latest updates with you.

So kick back for a relaxing visit. Let’s begin by taking a look around.

Atmosphere

You’ll find the Territory Lounge tucked off to the left side, way past Whispering Canyon Cafe, as you enter the lobby of Wilderness Lodge. It’s fully separated from that animated restaurant, so don’t let its close proximity put you off. It’s fairly quiet in here.

territory lounge wilderness lodge

Bar Area and Round Table Seating

There’s sort of a nostalgic hunter’s lodge feel about the Lounge, matching the feel of the whole resort. Wood paneling, paintings of wildlife, and antiqued walls give that sense that you’re in a bit of a man cave.

Rich Colors and Comfortable Seating Make the Space Inviting

Rich Colors and Comfortable Seating Make the Space Inviting

Americana Decor and a Cozy Loveseat Make for an Inviting Space

Americana Decor and a Cozy Loveseat Make for an Inviting Space

Intimate tables for two along the wall offer that “didn’t-get-here-early-enough-to-get-the-easy-chairs” seating. ;-)

Intimate Seating Along the Paneled Wall

Intimate Seating Along the Paneled Wall

I love the shadowboxes that hang just above these tables. They’re full of interesting expedition objects, and the faint glow provides nice light.

Cool Shadowboxes Use Old Expedition Tools as Decor

Cool Shadowboxes Use Old Expedition Tools as Decor

But, of course, I always seek out the comfy seating in a Disney lounge, and Territory doesn’t disappoint. Curling up in these easy chairs with a nightcap seems like the perfect way to end a Disney Day.

Comfy Chairs and the Framed Flatscreen

Comfy Chairs and the Framed Flatscreen

Be sure to check out these guys, too! The carved bears [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Healthier Options in Walt Disney World

Many of us regard a trip to Walt Disney World as an opportunity to take a break from healthy eating, and counting calories, carbs, etc.

dfb2015_guide_3d

But sometimes, you don’t necessarily want to check nutritional discipline at the Purple Gates.

You may think that healthy eating at Walt Disney World is an oxymoron. But more and more, that’s simply not so.

Sure, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But whether you’re looking to sub out just one meal or snack a day for a health-savvy option, or you plan to stick to your guns in the nutrition department while you’re amidst the magic, we have some great tips for finding healthy and tasty options at Walt Disney World!

They come courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015! And if you find these tips to be helpful, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Head for the Grab and Go

Not too long ago, Disney World was a sea of hamburgers, fries, and soda pop. And some people think that’s what it STILL is.

But, honestly, things have changed.

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Sure, you still have lots and lots of choices in the burger genre. But they’ve definitely expanded beyond the fast food mentality when it comes to quick eating options.

My best tip for eating healthy — and this goes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time — is to head for the Grab and Go section.

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

You’ll spy Grab and Go spots in lots of places. There are always robust choices in the Resorts. There, you’ll find everything from prepared salads, sandwiches made with lean meats, and even sushi. Check out Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a great selection! And when it comes to a Park option, Sunshine Seasons offers choices that can’t be beat.

Grab and Go Sushi

Grab and Go Sushi at Landscape of Flavors

So if you have the resolve to pass the pizza and burgers by, a healthy meal is totally in your grasp!

Be Mindful About Restaurant Choices

If you have healthy eating in mind, then you probably shouldn’t pencil in a counter service lunch at Casey’s Corner. ;-)

Don’t get me wrong — Corn Dog Nuggets and Plastic Cheese are totally boss. But let’s face it — planning ahead to eat at a restaurant that offers lots of fresh choices and grilled options is probably a better idea when you’re trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon.

Fortunately, better-for-you options abound at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite spots to grab a healthy counter service lunch is Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can’t go wrong with their Chicken or Vegetable Curry.

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Tamu Tamu Vegetarian Curry

Another option that I can recommend is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Whether you choose Miso Soup from Kabuki Cafe, a counter service meal at Katsura Grill, or you opt for [Read more…]

Spotted: Hawaiian Host Macadamia Treats at Polynesian Village Resort’s Boutiki

Did you know you can take a real taste of the Hawaiian islands home with you from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Now, you may already be familiar with some of the ways you can grab a macadamia treat while at the resort… say, the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake occasionally spotted at Captain Cook’s, or Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe.

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook's

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook’s

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

But I was walking by Boutiki recently — the main merchandise location at the Polynesian — and couldn’t help but notice this window display packed to the brim with “Hawaiian Host” items, prepackaged and ready for travel.

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Stepping inside I found the Hawaiian Host display, which features an assortment of chocolate treats — all starring Macadamia nuts. The selection at Boutiki includes [Read more…]

Best Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers

Okay. So I tried to come up with the Top Three Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers. But there was no way I could limit my picks to just three. So then, I said, hey, let’s try for the Top Five.

Even still.

So in the end, I cut myself off at Eight. :-)

Disneyland's Matterhorn

Matterhorn!

There is so much good food in Disneyland. Really, it was super hard not to just give you a list of pretty much every restaurant there, and call it a day.

But if you must narrow it down, these are the restaurants that I love. These are the spots that I’d go to every single time if I could. (And mostly, I do.)

Heading to Disneyland, or just dreaming about a pilgrimage there? Check out my picks for the places you have to visit during your very first trip. Whether you’re looking for a meal or a snack, you can’t go wrong with putting these spots on your list.

Cafe Orleans

If I could only eat at one spot in Disneyland for the rest of my life, I’m fairly sure that spot would be Cafe Orleans. Located on New Orleans Square, it’s offers some of the beautiful patio seating that Disneyland is known for.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But I’m going to be honest — Cafe Orleans claims the distinction of offering not just one or two, but three of my favorite Disneyland dishes. (And that’s pretty much all I ever eat there.) First, when you visit here, I insist you order the Pommes Frites. Tossed with Garlic and Parmesan, they’re served with a Cajun Remoulade ramekin. I also insist you order TWO remoulades. At least. Per person.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

While I love their gumbo here as well, it’s the Monte Cristo Sandwich that I can’t live without. Pockets of bread layered with Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese are lightly battered and deep-fried. Served with Berry Puree for dipping, this is pretty much something everyone should eat at least once in life.

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans

Not a meat-eater? There’s also an All-Cheese Version. No. Seriously. There is.

Behold. The Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. Did I mention the Double Creme Brie?

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

But save room for dessert — because you can’t pass on the Mickey Beignets served with Dipping Sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Have this meal just once, and you can say “I’ve been to Disneyland” properly as far as I’m concerned.

Blue Bayou

But Cafe Orleans has an older, slightly more posh sister — Blue Bayou. And while I usually skip it in favor of Cafe Orleans, if you’re visiting the ‘Land for the first time, you really need to experience this place.

Because more than anything, Blue Bayou is an experience; it’s as much an attraction as a restaurant.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Because the restaurant is fashioned to look like a verandah on a river’s edge. Look below you into the water, and you see travelers, en route to explore the mysteries of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Honestly, the food is less important here to me than the “view.” I have enjoyed the New Orleans Signature Gumbo. And in this setting, it’s even better.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

And yep, to be honest, I like to order the Monte Cristo here, too!

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

It’s a little fancier (and more expensive), but just as delicious.

Napa Rose

Some of my Disneyland dining choices are obviously sentimental; either I love the restaurant, the food, or both. But it’s not like they’re the tip-top of the culinary pyramid or anything. But then, there’s Napa Rose.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Start Your Napa Rose Adventure With a Glass of Wine on the Outside Patio

Nestled inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Napa Rose stands as a testament to fine California fusion cuisine, inspired by fresh farm-to-market ingredients.

Chef Sutton's Chili Base

Chef Sutton’s Chili Base — Even Base Ingredients are Created in House From Scratch

Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge here, and his menus make use of the freshest items. Prepare to be [Read more…]