Review: New Menu at Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It’s time to head back to one of our favorite spots — Liberty Tree Tavern!

Ah, how we love thee, Liberty Tree. Located in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, there are plenty of reasons why this park original is still one of our favorites. First of all, although we can embrace and even enjoy change (within moderation ;-) ), Liberty Tree Tavern has literally been around since the beginning. And that makes it a shoe-in for a spot in some of our collective earliest memories. A show of hands out there — how many of you recollect this Colonial-inspired dining room as one of your first Disney meals?

But then, it keeps us coming back as grown-ups for delicious comfort food! The a la carte menu served at lunch features one of DFB’s Favorite Burgers, the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger! And who could possibly resist the Pilgrims Feast at lunch? Because Thanksgiving Dinner served all year ’round is A-OK with me!

Recently, we learned of updates here (what?!?!) to the dinner menu. And while I don’t usually need an excuse to make an advance dining reservation at Liberty Tree, I figured it was the perfect reason to visit.

Join us to see what’s new — and what remains the same — when you dine at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner!

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Liberty Tree Tavern Entrance

Atmosphere

To step into Liberty Tree Tavern is to step back in time. The restaurant offers seating in six different rooms (none of that modern open floor plan stuff here).

Seating and View

Seating and View

Of course, an argument could be made that the throwback nostalgia here is part Colonial, part 1970s. But you know what? We’re totally fine with it. While some rooms offer paneling a plenty…

Decor

Seating and Wood Paneling Decor

Others are awash in white. Still, ample wood accents and parquet floors lend warmth and a feeling of antiquity. [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Corn Chowder Soup from Storytellers Cafe at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Resort

One of the best things about summer has to be enjoying fresh corn on the cob, straight from the farmer’s market! And one of our favorite recipes to make with that fresh corn is the Corn Chowder Soup from the Storytellers Cafe at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.

Storyteller's Cafe Corn Chowder -- as served in the restaurant

Storyteller’s Cafe Corn Chowder — as served in the restaurant

This is no ordinary corn chowder – it’s filled with fresh corn, potatoes, and chicken. And, to make it even more delicious, it’s topped with crumbled bacon!

This dish really is a must-try at Storytellers Cafe and now you can make it at home any time you want.

Making this soup will take some time, but it’s perfect for a rainy day!

Storytellers Cafe Corn Chowder Soup

Storyteller’s Cafe – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Ingredients
4 ears fresh corn, unshucked
4 slices bacon, divided
1 tablespoon diced onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup pulled chicken meat
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. To roast the corn, put whole ears in their husks into preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then peel back the husks and cut kernels off the cobs. Set aside.
3. Dice 2 slices of bacon; saute. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and add onion and garlic to the pan and saute until transparent but not brown. Add the roasted corn, potato, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
4. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a separate saute pan. Add flour, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until mixture begins to loosen slightly. Let cool.
5. Add the cooled butter/flour mixture to the simmering broth, mixing with a whisk. Stir often to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes.
6. Add the cream and pulled chicken meat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, cook the remaining bacon until crisp. Drain and chop bacon into small pieces; set aside.
8. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with garnish of bacon and cilantro.

Serves 4 to 6.

Will you be cooking up this delicious corn chowder soup? Let us know in the comments!

Review: New Menu Items at The Plaza Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Lots of changes have come to The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom recently!

This summer, The Plaza — which is a Table Service restaurant — became much more accessible to walk-up guests when it changed its Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) availability window to just 11:00 am – 12:00 noon daily, opening up the remainder of the day to play host to those without ADRs.

Hot on the heels of that change, we noticed another… to the menu! The Entree and Dessert listings have been expanded with a few more options. But the new assortment of Appetizers has gained the most attention, since one of the three new selections bears a striking resemblance to a favorite retired Magic Kingdom snack from back in the day (we’ll be taking a look at that again here today!).

Before we dive into the changes, though, it might be nice to know that some of the things about this beloved spot have remained — thankfully — very much the same… .

Atmosphere

As you turn the corner on Main Street, U.S.A. towards Tomorrowland, you’ll find The Plaza Restaurant tucked right next to its Quick Service counterpart, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.

The Plaza Restaurant sign

The Plaza Restaurant sign

Upon entering, you’ll notice that lots of windows allow for plenty of sunlight to flow in, and the smaller size of the restaurant is made to feel somewhat larger with the help of mirrors in the main dining room as well. [Read more…]

Review: New Late Night Menu and Forbidden Lounge at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

Morimoto Asia arrived in Disney Springs in late September of 2015.

Even though this Signature Restaurant is still a relatively new spot, at this point it could be considered one of the more established restaurants in the area given the many additions to dining options in Disney Springs since that time.

But Morimoto Asia has still gone through several changes of its own since opening. For instance, Morimoto Asia Street Food has since hit the scene, offering the restaurant’s signature Pan-Asian cuisine in a Quick Service fashion.

Even more recently, they’ve created an option custom-made for all you night owls out there enjoying the newly revived nightlife of Disney Springs with a new Late Night Menu!

And nighttime is an especially good time to visit Morimoto Asia. Because even though it’s a remarkably beautiful restaurant no matter the time of day, it’s especially pretty at night when the script on the outside of the building is brightly illuminated.

Morimoto Asia at Night

Morimoto Asia at Night

The late night menu is available each night starting at 10 PM, and is served exclusively on the second floor of the restaurant. [Read more…]

First Look! Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen in Disney Springs

We’re here for a FIRST LOOK at Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine!

Newly open in the Town Center of Disney Springs (yesterday was Opening Day), Homecoming is the latest venue opened by a Celebrity Chef in Disney World.

While the restaurants backed by Chef Morimoto (Morimoto Asia) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Cocina) make up other terrific recent additions to Disney World’s shopping and dining district, Homecoming is especially significant to Disney World and Florida as Chef Art Smith has strong connections to both.

Hailing from Jasper, Florida, Chef Smith is also a former Disney Cast Member via the Disney College Program! So, as you can imagine, even though Chef Smith heads up restaurants in other areas of the country, the name Homecoming has an extra special meaning.

Homecoming sign

Homecoming sign

We’ll be back with our full review of this new spot next week, but in the meantime, we couldn’t resist sharing this FIRST LOOK with you.

Oh, and just look who dropped by to say, “Welcome!” [Read more…]

News! Homecoming by Chef Art Smith to Open on July 12th in Disney Springs

Are YOU as excited about the impending arrival of Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine as we are?!

Coming Soon --  Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Coming Soon — Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Well, it looks like we’ll all get our chance to welcome Chef Art Smith’s newest restaurant to Disney Springs VERY soon… as in TOMORROW, July 12th!! [Read more…]

Menu Sneak Peek for Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine by Chef Art Smith

The arrival is getting closer… Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine — an upcoming restaurant headed by Chef Art Smith — is coming to Disney Springs soon!

Coming Soon --  Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Coming Soon — Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar

Orlando My Way from WESH TV got a Sneak Peek at the space… and the MENU!

It’s all Southern fare and fun, starting with… well, the Starters! Items like Church Lady Deviled Eggs and “Bunch of Puppies” with Pimento Cheese (I. LOVE. HUSHPUPPIES!).

Church Lady Deviled Eggs @Homecoming FL, Twitter Account for Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine

Church Lady Deviled Eggs @Homecoming FL, Twitter Account for Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine

“Buns & Such” features a Fried Chicken Sandwich and a Fried Catfish Sandwich. But it’s the Main Plates that are especially eye-catching, I think. We’re gonna focus on the poultry here… what with Fried Chicken & DOUGHNUTS and Art’s Fabulous Fried Chicken on the menu! (Pair those up with some Cheddar Cheese Biscuits or Momma’s Mac and Cheese under the Sides menu!)

Fried Chicken @Homecoming FL, Twitter Account for Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine

Fried Chicken @Homecoming FL, Twitter Account for Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine

Last week we spotted Chef Smith himself checking out some artwork at the new spot…

Chef Art Smith checking out the artwork at Homecoming

Chef Art Smith looking at Homecoming

… and we can’t wait to welcome him — and Homecoming! — to Disney Springs SOON!

Which dish would you most like to try at Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine? Please let us know with a comment! 

Review: New Arrivals at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Who’s up for an adventure? Because we’ve certainly got one for you!

I know we can all agree on one thing: there is nowhere better to grab a Margarita than La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion.

The staff there is warm and friendly. The surroundings are beautiful and cozy (and cool!!). And the handcrafted margaritas are some of the best, most interesting versions of this beloved cocktail that you can get anywhere. And if you’ve tried to indulge in a visit here, then you know this for sure: La Cava is always PACKED.

But here’s the thing. La Cava isn’t satisfied to leave things the way they are. They’re always developing the next hot trend, the next new thing.

And today, we’re going to talk about something that would be adventurous anywhere. But when you put it within the framework of a Disney Park?

Salts and Pineapple Margarita

Salts and Pineapple Margarita

Amazing.

Time to check out La Cava’s newest offerings — Rim Salts in a variety of over the top combinations, new Margaritas, new spirits, and more. Ready? Here we go! [Read more…]

Review: Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We’re heading back to Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner!

This fun spot, located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is the perfect place to dine with the whole family. What can you expect at Whispering Canyon? Generous portions, comfort foods, lots of all you care to enjoy options, and antics aplenty.

If I’m not enjoying breakfast here during a Walt Disney World visit, then you’ll probably find me at the dinner table at least once a year. And that was the case recently. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

If you’re trying to locate Whispering Canyon Cafe, you can’t really miss it. It’s immediately to your left as soon as you walk through the doors of the Wilderness Lodge.

Whispering Canyon Sign

Whispering Canyon Sign

Because it’s not all that removed — or removed at all — from the lobby, that means that when the antics really get going, you’re probably going to hear them throughout the space. [Read more…]

Review: Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless in Disney Springs

Frontera Cocina is the latest Table Service addition to the Disney Springs dining scene!

Frontera Cocina is headed by Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless. It’s located in the Town Center of Disney Springs, which still has a few eateries on the way throughout the summer; among them, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine and Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza.

Chef Bayless may be best known as the host of the PBS show “Mexico—One Plate at a Time” (though he has received numerous accolades throughout his career), and Frontera Cocina likewise showcases authentic Mexican cuisine.

You’ll find Frontera Cocina right across from Sprinkles (though, since Sprinkles is still new itself, more familiar landmarks are seen just across the walking bridge — spots like Raglan Road and Morimoto Asia).

Frontera Cocina

Frontera Cocina

Now that we know where it is, let’s step inside… [Read more…]