Review: Kobe-Style Brisket Poutine at Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There’s a lot to explore — and a lot to love — at Animal Kingdom.

First, of course, is an entire new land, Pandora, and its new quick service restaurant Satu’li Canteen. And there’s Pongu Pongu, where you can snag fun and colorful drinks to sip on while you wait seventeen hours to ride Flight of Passage.

But before Pandora welcomed the masses to a whole new world this past May, the new kids on the block were Tiffins, the park’s first Signature Restaurant known for its creative dishes and incredible theming, and its next door neighbor, Nomad Lounge.

Nomad Lounge quickly became a guest — and DFB! — favorite, from our very first visit due to the peaceful, travel-inspired atmosphere and creative drinks. But Nomad Lounge also serves up small bites alongside beverages like the Leaping Lizard and Hightower Rocks. And the food offerings simply didn’t wow us the way the beverages did in the early days.

But when we heard of a recent addition to the menu — namely, House-Smoked Kobe-Style Brisket Poutine — we knew without a doubt that it was time to grab another bite at Nomad Lounge!

Atmosphere

Nomad Lounge is as much a destination for exploration as it is a destination for refreshments. For starters, the decor is designed to evoke stories of travel and includes fantastic banners that celebrate journeys taken by the WDW Animal Kingdom Imagineers themselves.

Travel Banners

Travel Banners

Once you look down, you’ll discover some suuuuuper comfy seating located both inside and outside the lounge. [Read more…]

DFB Video: Be Our Guest vs. Cinderella’s Royal Table

Happy Monday! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re discussing the differences between the two most in-demand Magic Kingdom dining experiences. It’s Be Our Guest Restaurant versus Cinderella’s Royal Table!

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

There is a LOT to consider when you’re trying to determine which spot receives one of your precious Advance Dining Reservations on your Disney World vacation. We’re tackling five major factors of each location: decor, food, cost, characters, and the views.  AND we’re letting you know which restaurant wins each category for DFB! [Read more…]

Review: New Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork at Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue

Picture it: A plate full of Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

On top of that, a pile of Flame Tree Barbecue’s Pulled Pork.

On top of THAT, another Flame Tree favorite: Onion Rings!

And on the side? Just a bit of coleslaw to provide a hint of cooling tang to the entire dish.

Well, guess what? You don’t have to simply imagine it — because the fine folks at Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue have made it a reality!

You’ll see it on the updated menu, where the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork Topped with Onion Rings and Coleslaw has replaced the Smoked Turkey Sandwich.

Flame Tree Barbecue Menu

Flame Tree Barbecue Menu

You’ll notice a difference in presentation, though, from the menu.

[Read more…]

DFB Video: Nosh or Not? Epcot’s Italy Food Tour!

Why, hello there! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re taking a tour of Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. Acually, it’s better than that… we’re taking a FOOD TOUR of Epcot’s Italy!

Pizza at Via Napoli

Pizza at Via Napoli

Sure, the Italy Pavilion is home to the Best Pizza in Disney World, courtesy of Via Napoli. But Italian cuisine is more than simply pizza (even when that pizza should NOT be missed!). We hope you’ll join us for a spin around Epcot’s Italy to discover the Pavilion’s vino, pasta, cheese, gelato, and more. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at STK in Disney Springs

We hadn’t been back to STK Orlando for another meal since it opened last summer, and it was time to check this brand new Disney Springs restaurant out again.

Located in The Landing area of Disney Springs, this restaurant that strives to be sexy has more of a vibe suited for a big city or Vegas, rather than the sleepy, Old Florida town of Disney Springs. Still, it was one of the most anticipated new restaurants that sprang up in the area.

On our first visit, we were fairly impressed with much of the food. But even as new restaurants continue to open in Disney Springs, we’re finding that some are rising to the top…and some…well…aren’t.

Which camp do we think STK is in? Come with us as we share our impressions of the upscale steakhouse.

Atmosphere

We arrived late for our advance dining reservation, owing to an earlier commitment that ran long. Since I was more than 15 minutes late, I was told that we would have to wait to be worked back into the schedule. Because I had a dining companion to chat with, it wasn’t a total bummer. But since the upstairs was completely closed for a private event, thus making downstairs more crowded than it needed to be, it was a little unfortunate. The old advice holds: try not to be late for your ADR.

STK Outside View and Outdoor Seating

STK Outside View and Outdoor Seating

While we were waiting, the DJ was spinning, as he normally is. The music was a combo of more recent songs with a smattering of everything else, from disco to 80s and beyond. It was a bit loud, but not so loud that we couldn’t talk. [Read more…]

Quick Eats: Disney World Food Golf Carts!

Okay, so I may not know how to golf, but I know something cute when I see it…

Mickey Refreshment Golf Cart

Mickey Refreshment Golf Cart

… and that’s how I came across the Mickey Refreshment Golf Cart at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course!

The golf course is located at Saratoga Springs Resort, and I was upstairs on the patio of the Turf Club when I looked down and this bright red and blue cart caught my eye — as did Golfer Mickey! — so I went down to check it out. [Read more…]

Review: Olivia’s Bread Pudding at Good’s Food to Go in Old Key West Resort

You know which Resort Counter Service location has a couple of fun options for breakfast?

Good’s Food to Go at Old Key West Resort!

Now, you may be thinking, “Great! Wait…. where?” And that’s fair enough. Because Good’s Food to Go isn’t exactly what you might call a high profile location. While Olivia’s Cafe — Old Key West’s Table Service restaurant — has earned its great reputation (though it still flies under the radar due to its non-park-centric location), Good’s Food to Go is hardly known at all.

Which makes sense. You’ll soon see that it’s not “destination dining,” per se.

Good's Food To Go

Good’s Food To Go

Even though its surroundings reflect the fun and tropical Keys vibe of the Resort (and it’s tucked right next to what is possibly the cutest little bar in all of Disney World, the Gurgling Suitcase)… [Read more…]

Review: Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since its earliest days, I’ve always enjoyed a stop at Yak and Yeti Restaurant.

Yak and Yeti is located in Animal Kingdom’s Asia (you’ll pass it on the corner on your way to the Maharajah Jungle Trek) in the fictional village of Anandapur. Like Tiffins and Restaurantosaurus — and pretty much any restaurant in Animal Kingdom — theming is key here, with decor that is immersive and memorable. While you dine, you are surrounded by images and icons of Asian culture. Even the brightly painted exterior mimics that which you might see on the colorful village streets of Northern India or Nepal.

And as for the food? It’s also usually — dare I say it? – consistent here. Consistently GOOD. If you’ve been reading DFB for any length of time, then you’ll know that is a compliment I rarely bestow, as it’s so rarely earned in any Disney World Table Service restaurant.

So… I headed to Yak and Yeti ON MY BIRTHDAY, because I reeeeally wanted those firecracker shrimp on my special day. Did my most recent visit likewise measure up?

Atmosphere

Once you’re on the right continent in Animal Kingdom, the bright purple stucco exterior that makes up Yak & Yeti Restaurant is accented by arched windows, intricate corbels, and beautifully carved doors.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

The backstory here is that the owner of this building in Anandapur is a man named Arjun, a former merchant who’s turned his opulent home into lodging for travelers. These details account for the eclectic mix of statues, wall hangings, and furniture. The bar area you see below features examples of these details. [Read more…]

Review: Coconut Pot de Creme at Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Coconut lovers, have I got a treat for you today!

And it’s located someplace rather unexpected: Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

You see, Gasparilla Island Grill has never been a spot we’ve visited specifically to seek out dessert. Like, EVER. Gasparilla has always carried a couple of cupcakes in the refrigerated section, like the Pina Colada Cupcake and the German Chocolate Cupcake. But when you consider the fact that some really incredible dessert options are just a quick ride away via the Resort Monorail (like the Peanut Butter Pie at Contempo Cafe, or Dole Whips at Pineapple Lanai), Gasparilla’s offerings usually seemed pretty ho-hum in comparison.

However, when the counter service spot opened up again after its most recent refurbishment (no major changes to the guest area, other than the addition of Coke Freestyle machines), the dessert options had changed. And they’d been enhanced.

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

No longer relegated to a small row or two in the refrigerator, desserts now entirely take up a full bakery case next to the more traditional breakfast pastry selections. The cute-as-a-button Minnie Mouse Cupcake stands out right away. [Read more…]

DFB Video: Hollywood Studios Restaurants RANKED (Including BaseLine Tap House!)

Hey, Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re ranking the restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from bottom to top… including the brand new BaseLine Tap House!

BaseLine Tap House

BaseLine Tap House

From super casual quick eats at spots like ABC Commissary and Rosie’s All-American Cafe to the park’s Signature Restaurant, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios has plenty of long-time staples alongside the park’s newest lounge. So how will you know which spots should top the list for YOUR Studios visit? I guess you’ll have to watch our latest DFB Video to find out! [Read more…]