Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom

We are heading to one of Walt Disney World’s busiest park counter service locations to see what’s new for lunch — Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Located on the edge of Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland near where it transitions to Fantasyland (it’s just to the right of the castle), Cosmic Ray’s is an excellent bet for finding something to please everyone, especially if your party includes members who are less adventurous in their tastes.

But if you do like more interesting fare, don’t be afraid of this intergalactic hotspot! In addition to tried and true favorites like Chicken Nuggets and Bacon Cheeseburgers, you’ll usually find some outta this world (see what I did there?) options as well.

Besides, Cosmic Ray’s is home to one of Disney’s legendary toppings bars. And you KNOW how much I love a good toppings bar.

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Let’s head in.

Atmosphere

Much like the rest of Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s is at once retro and futuristic — although the retro vibe is more 1980s than anything. Purple, teal, and silver will send you searching for your Swatch Watch.

Cosmic Ray's Sign

Cosmic Ray’s Sign

We’ll get to the ordering set up in just a sec, but first, let’s check out the seating. There’s a reason I want you to see this area first — one of the galaxy’s most famous acts takes center stage while you enjoy your meal. [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

We are kicking off this week right with one of my favorite breakfasts in all of the Disney Food Universe — Kona Cafe!

This mainstay of Walt Disney World flies under the radar quite a lot of the time. If you don’t know better, you’ll probably write it off as just a garden variety hotel lobby restaurant, good for grabbing a bite before you move onto bigger things.

For me — and for many Disney fans in the know — it’s a destination.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look around, then dive right into the eats.

Atmosphere

If it’s been a while since your last visit to the Polynesian, then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The hotel, one of Disney World’s original resorts, recently underwent a huge renovation.

The work not only added many new enhancements, like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and the Pineapple Lanai (your home for Dole Whip at the Poly). But it also transformed areas like the hotel’s lobby. While I miss the sound of the old waterfall, I think this assortment of glass float lights is a nice, new focal point.

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Still, for better or for worse, Kona Cafe has remained largely unchanged. Located off of the second floor atrium, it still appears to be a rather ho-hum restaurant. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

Writing about Disney Food — all of it — well, it’s kinda the point of this blog. But I am never happier than when I can share one of my truly favorite meals with you.

And ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Character Breakfast definitely qualifies! Let’s take a closer look at this experience as we head into the Great Ceremonial House and see why ‘Ohana Breakfast is definitely #OnTheList!

Atmosphere

Recently, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort underwent a lengthy refurbishment. If you haven’t visited the resort in a while, you’ll definitely notice some changes to the lobby and other public areas.

Tiki Statue in Lobby

Tiki Statue in Lobby

With the Resort’s name change (the Polynesian resumed its original, opening day name), we also welcomed a couple of exciting new additions — the Pineapple Lanai and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. [Read more…]

Review: Fairfax Salad at Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare has a cool, out-of-the-ordinary meal to try when you’re beating the pavement at Hollywood Studios.

This is the spot for Gourmet Hotdogs while visiting the ‘World. We can recommend the yummo Mac & Cheese (and Truffle Oil & Bacon) Hot Dog here.

Also, anyone who enjoys barbecue will want to check out their smoked specialties, like Chicken and Spareribs. Or grab your iconic Smoked Turkey Leg should the craving take hold (and Toluca Legs Turkey Co. isn’t serving, which is often the case). It’s served as a meal at Fairfax Fare, with Baked Beans and Coleslaw on the side.

We recently conducted all kinds of delicious research for the upcoming Grand Launch of the 2015 edition of the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Snacks. So it was the perfect opportunity to check out a few the menu items here that we haven’t enjoyed yet!

And guess what? We found a delicious salad at Fairfax Fare that’s sure to appeal to the most ardent meat lover out there. Let’s check it out.

The Fairfax Salad at Fairfax Fare

If you’re on the hunt for Fairfax Fare, head down Sunset Boulevard and hang a left before you make it all the way to Tower of Terror. The walk-up window location is part of the Sunset Ranch Market.

Fairfax Fare at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This area is home to several counter service options at DHS, like Anaheim Produce, Rosie’s All-American Cafe, Catalina Eddie’s, and Hollywood Scoops[Read more…]

Review: Breakfast Waffle Cone from Disney World’s BoardWalk Bakery

We’re stopping by BoardWalk Bakery this morning to take in another unique breakfast option!

The BoardWalk Bakery is pretty much the only counter-service stop on the BoardWalk that offers freshly made eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a bakery case full of ever-changing cupcakes and fan favorite standards. This place is my nemesis as a food news blogger, because there’s always something new debuting here and it’s hard to keep up! ;-D

In addition to the eats, this spot is also the refilling station for your Rapid Fill Mugs at the BoardWalk.

Outside

Outside

BoardWalk Bakery Sign

BoardWalk Bakery Sign

Breakfast here has been somewhat pedestrian in the past, with a menu featuring some standard breakfast sandwiches and a daily quiche. (The cinnamon rolls are pretty legit, though!) But we were [Read more…]

Review: Pop-Tarts® Breakfast Sandwich at Pop Century Resort

So, Everything Pop Food Court at Disney’s Pop Century Resort is at it again.

We recently shared our review of lunch here. But when we heard of a new-to-us breakfast sandwich, I knew we needed to get in gear and head back to Everything Pop asap.

In the past, Pop Century has brought us such greats as Twinkie Tiramisu, Tie-Dyed Cheesecake, and Mom’s Night Out TV Dinners, but this one…this one is going to take some getting used to.

The Pop-Tarts® Breakfast Sandwich

OK, so here we go. This unique breakfast sammy includes: eggs, bacon, cheese (pretty standard, right?) and…Pop-Tarts. Yep. Pop-Tarts. As in the original breakfast toaster pastry.

And I may be able to understand the whole thing if they were using the un-frosted brown sugar version…that might give it a fun, breakfast-y sweet/salty thing. But, no. They’re sandwiching the egg, bacon, and cheese between two frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts. Wha?!?

Yeah, so, that’s happening.

Pop Tart Breakfast Sandwich

Pop-Tarts® Breakfast Sandwich

Should you [Read more…]

News! Mother’s Day Meals at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Looking to treat Mom to an extra special meal this Mother’s Day? We have a few great options for you at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Restaurants!

Garden Grove Cafe

You’ll feel like you’re in a garden, with all the comforts of being in the a/c! Garden Grove Cafe at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort is the perfect spot to spoil Mom this Mother’s Day.

Feel Like You're Outdoors with the Comfort of Indoors!

Feel Like You’re Outdoors with the Comfort of Indoors!

And with two different options, there’s something for early risers as well as those who plan to let her sleep in a little. If it’s breakfast you’re after, enjoy Garden Grove’s special Mother’s Day Breakfast Menu.

When: Sunday, May 10, 7:00 — 10:00AM

Where: Garden Grove Cafe, Walt Disney World Swan Resort

Cost: $35.99 for Adults, $19.99 for children ages 3-9, children under three eat for free

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Garden Grove Mothers Day Breakfast Menu

Menu highlights include [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Recipe: Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse Booth

There have been lots of memorable dishes from the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

epcot flower and garden logo

But one that we continue to hear you rave about is a return dish from 2014 — the Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews Booth!

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews

The cupcake made a BIG impression on us from the first time we tried it. And it’s definitely addictive, with that sweet salty combination of flavors.

But we all know that the trip to Disney isn’t always possible. And even if it is, the Flower and Garden Festival will wrap up in just a few weeks.

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake From Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

So I’m really happy to share this recipe with you today on the blog! Because once you hear about a Disney cupcake that combines bacon, cake, and maple frosting…well…there’s no way you’re NOT gonna want to make this!

Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake

The Smokehouse Barbecues and Brews Outdoor Kitchen
Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes: [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Captain’s Grille in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Today, we’re getting a hearty start to our day with breakfast at Captain’s Grille!

I’ve long considered Captain’s Grille to be a hidden gem at Walt Disney World. Located at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, this place isn’t much to look at (pretty boring, in fact), but they really do have some great food and there always seems to be a table available.

I love heading here for a quiet, delicious lunch, or for a full breakfast spread. Similar to The Wave…of American Flavors at the Contemporary, at breakfast you can choose from the buffet or order from the a la carte menu.

Atmosphere

The decor of Captain’s Grille is consistent with the rest of the Yacht Club Resort. You won’t find anything outlandish in this corner of Disney, just lots of blond wood and boaty details — stripes, stars, compass-type stuff, anchors…you know the deal.

Captain's Grille Seating

Captain’s Grille Seating

The space is open with lots of light from overhead chandeliers and recessed light above as well as windows onto the lobby and grounds. The whole effect gives the room an airy feel. Seating is comprised of large padded chairs and booths. It’s fairly typical to find a sparsely populated dining room, so I’ve always considered the space to be roomy and comfortable.

Seating

The Main Seating Area

In the main seating area around the ceiling you’ll spy these porthole-type windows, which give you the feeling that you’re enjoying your meal below deck.

Porthole Window Detail

Porthole Window Detail

Shadow boxes feature interesting items, like this grouping of vintage keys.

Decor

Decor

While there aren’t tons of decorative details here, what you will find is pretty interesting. The three-dimensional sailing scenes are some of my favorite touches, and are a whimsical way to bring the theme into focus.

My Favorite One!

A Ship Sailing the Ocean Blue

Dioramas

Ocean Scenes

Now that we’ve had a look around, let’s explore the breakfast options.

Eats

Starting your day off with a [Read more…]

Sneak Peek and Review: Trattoria al Forno Breakfast at Disney’s BoardWalk

We have a treat for you today — a sneak peek at some of the food that will be served at Disney’s soon-to-be newest restaurant, Trattoria al Forno!

Trattoria al Forno Logo

Recently, we shared with you a first look at some of the menu items that are planned when the restaurant opens later this year at Disney’s BoardWalk (all subject to change, of course). But I was excited to find on my trip to Walt Disney World last week that the restaurant is already serving breakfast!

Well. Sort of.

As expected, the closing of Kouzzina left a breakfast vacuum (and a really, really devastating one at that). I was super bummed to see that the Mascarpone  Waffles and other unique offerings might be nixed when Cat Cora’s Disney restaurant would be shuttered. Breakfast at Kouzzina regularly topped our list for best ways to start the day in the World.

So while I was intrigued to see that Trattoria al Forno’s breakfast menu was being served already — at its closest neighbor, Flying Fish Cafe, I was skeptical that it would even come close to Kouzzina’s breakfast. But I was eager to try it out and see what would be offered!

Now, I’m accustomed to meeting friends for dinner at Flying Fish, so it’s a little strange to arrive here for a 9:00 AM advance dining reservation!

Flying Fish, is a DFB Favorite!

Flying Fish Cafe in the Morning Hours

Let’s take a look at what I found — focusing on the food, rather than the atmosphere.

Menu Comparison: Trattoria al Forno Breakfast Versus Kouzzina

So here’s the good news for all of your who were super sad to hear that Kouzzina was closing. The Trattoria al Forno menu — for breakfast, at least — definitely has some of the same “feel” as the Kouzzina menu. While there are enough standard items to keep breakfast purists happy, you’ll definitely see the influence of the restaurant’s themeing in some of the dishes.

To make easy work of comparing the two, let’s take a look at both new and old.

Here is the menu that I received during my recent breakfast at Flying Fish.

Trattoria al Forno Breakfast Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Trattoria al Forno Breakfast Menu — Click to Enlarge

And here’s the menu from the last time I enjoyed breakfast at Kouzzina.

Breakfast Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Breakfast Menu — Click to Enlarge

Press Pot Coffee will continue to be offered, something that Kouzzina fans often raved about.

While many of the exact items from Kouzzina don’t appear, there are definitely similarities. You’ll notice, for instance, that Trattoria will continue to serve Chicken Sausage as a side item. We’ve seen it on a few other breakfast menus though, at spots like The Wave (here’s a peek at their breakfast) at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Carnation Cafe (see a breakfast review here) in Disneyland Park.

Flavors shift in the Mediterranean spectrum from Greek to Italian. Pequillo Peppers give way to Roasted Red Peppers, and Feta and other Cheeses disappear in favor of Pecorino Romano and Fresh Mozzarella.

We did notice that the Waffles seemed to make the trip over with a “tiramisu” type flavor — the addition of a coffee accent to the mascarpone. Yay!

I was pretty sad to see the demise of one of my Kouzzina favorites, the Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll.

So Far, No Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Trattoria al Forno

So Far, No Warm Honey Pecan Cinnamon Roll at Trattoria al Forno

I’m still holding out hope that something similar will show up when Trattoria al Forno opens its doors! It was awesome.

In chatting with the staff, we do know of a few other items that will appear on the menu later that weren’t available when we visited. These include Caramel Apple Pancakes with Streusel-Like Topping, and a Fontina Fondue-Type dish with Prosciutto, Eggs, Vine Tomatoes, and several different types of Cheese.

Eats

Now that we’ve talked about the menu at length, it’s high time I showed you what I actually enjoyed!

I decided to go with [Read more…]