Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing at Spice Road Table

It’s hard to believe that the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is right around the corner!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Official Disney

This year, it stretches to a full two months! The fun begins September 14 and runs 62 days — ending November 14!

While there’s so much to eat, drink, and explore, it’s always fun to take in a few of the Special Events happening throughout the festival.

Events are varied, and include premium parties like Party for the Senses as well as special lunches and dinners that emphasize food and beverage pairings.

In the past we’ve really enjoyed these experiences, ranging from Beverage Pairings in Japan to Beer and Food Pairing in Italy — and even a Tequila Pairing in Mexico!

Last year, we decided that it was time to try a few new experiences. And since we had already tried the Moroccan Wine Pairing (loved it!), the other event in the Morocco Pavilion piqued our interest.

Wondering About ALL of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events?

The DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order! This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Order your 2016 edition today and we’ll immediately send you the 2015 edition for FREE to get started on planning right away! Don’t miss a moment of the fun!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

And now, onto the review!

Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing in the Morocco Pavilion

The Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing event took place at Spice Road Table in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion. [Read more…]

Review: Chocolate Honey Baklava at Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Tangierine Cafe is one of Epcot’s World Showcase Counter Service classics thanks to delicious and authentic eats.

However, this beautiful Pavilion can be overlooked in regards to dining, even while showcasing great food in beautiful surroundings with Restaurant Marrakesh, Spice Road Table, and again, the spot we’re visiting today — Tangierine Cafe. It’s understandable, though, that when groups (especially families with little ones) travel together, the Pavilion offering possibly the most different flavors from what the majority of the group may be used to might be the easiest to pass.

Still, no matter what your or your traveling companions’ flavor preferences might be, I can think of few people who can argue against Baklava. Buttery and flaky puff pastry filled with honey and nuts (walnuts, cashews, or pistachios, while we’re at it), you’ll find a few varieties tucked into the pastry case located past the primary ordering counter at Tangierine Cafe.

Tangierine Cafe Sign

Tangierine Cafe Sign

You’ll have to go on a hunt because the pastries are located in a small alcove of sorts beyond the main ordering area. They’ll be on your left when facing the entree ordering stations. Your search will be rewarded with the view of a case full of items like Chocolate or Tangerine Rolls (or Roulades), Semolina Cookies and Almond Pastries alongside more standard muffins and cookies. [Read more…]

First Look! Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Booth FOOD Pictures!

We had the opportunity to attend the Tables in Wonderland Flower and Garden Festival Preview Event on Friday!

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

And we’re excited to share with you all of the news — and photos! — detailing some of the delicious dishes and wonderful drinks that you can expect at the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, running from March 2-May 30, 2016!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Preview

But, super quick, before we get to the food, we HAD to show you a sneak peek at the festival itself! Crews are busy at working, preparing all of the exhibits.

Workers Getting It Done

Workers Getting It Done

We also had a first look at the brand new Music Garden Melodies Playground! OK, it doesn’t look like much right now, but kiddos are gonna LOVE this! [Read more…]

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.


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 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…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Hello, friends! Well, today I thought I’d bring you a special addition of Disney Food Pics of the Week, featuring some of YOUR best photos capturing that most magical time of the year. Yep, I’m talking about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Here are a few mouthwatering shots YOU shared with our Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza group on Flickr of Food and Wine Festival items that are returning to the 2013 Festival this year…

Escargots Persillade en Brioche from the France Marketplace Booth

The France Marketplace Booth is always a popular stop as you taste your way around the World. What a fantastic pic of a classic festival dish, Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic and Parsley Snails in Brioche)!

Photographer: txcrew

Escargots Persillade en Brioche

Guests have enjoyed this one for years, and we’re happy to report that it’s back for 2013!

Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun from the China Marketplace Booth

Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun proved to be a popular dish in 2012 for guests stopping by the China Marketplace Booth.

Photographer: Lisa Lamb

Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun

This fantastic photo really captures the [Read more…]

Review: Paradise Garden Grill in Disney California Adventure

I’m not sure how beautiful a day it is today in your neck of the woods, but on my last visit to Paradise Garden Grill in Disney California Adventure, it sure did FEEL like paradise! Ah, the SoCal weather…

Paradise Garden Grill


This dining spot is an outdoor eatery. It shares its Paradise Pier location and seating with Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta next door, and Bayside Brews nearby.

The whole group forms a little mini-town at the edge of the Pier, and its relatively remote location means that you could luck into an un-crowded eatery if you’re dining at the right times!

Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta Seating Area

Available seating includes covered and uncovered outdoor seating, so if it’s unseasonably cold or warm, take that into consideration before dining here.

But, like I said, it’s SoCal, so it’s probably going to be beautiful. ;-) (Yes, I’m originally from Buffalo, and yes, I’m jealous.)

Paradise Garden Grill Covered Outdoor Seating

Once you’ve ridden Toy Story Midway Mania a few times and checked in with Ariel “Under the Sea,” it’s time to head on over for a relatively healthy meal!


The menu here follows the (I think) awesome trend of customizing your eats to  your liking. It’s basically a mix-and-match Mediterranean menu where guests get to choose their skewer base: Steak, Chicken, Beef Kefta, or Veg/Tofu; and their sauce: Moroccan Chili, Chimichurri, Tandoori-Spiced Yogurt, or Tzatziki.

(Note that the price has gone up to $11.49 for the platters since this photo was taken.)

Paradise Garden Grill

Dessert choices include Baklava and a Brownie and Strawberry Skewer (not noted on the menu, but reviewed here!), and you can indulge in [Read more…]

Review: Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Editor’s Note: Tusker House now offers a character meal experience for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It’s been a LONG time since we’ve talked about Tusker House, so let’s get down to business!

I consider this sprawling restaurant within Disney’s Animal Kingdom to be one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to Disney World character meals.

Yep — Tusker House is known for its bounty of African dishes, but it’s also a character dining destination.

We have a ton of yummy pictures to share with you, so let’s go!


Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite Disney parks due to its truly incredible themeing, and Tusker House takes this one step further.

Tusker House – Outside View

It’s one of the Disney restaurants that doesn’t just incorporate theme on the surface — I could spend hours exploring all of the specialty decor, finishes, and props Imagineers have added to this massive restaurant.

You’ll enter the restaurant through the village of Harambe in Animal Kingdom’s Africa, and Tusker House serves as Harambe’s “open air” market on the edge of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. The podium for the restaurant was outside during our visit. Once you check in, you have the option to wait at a few outdoor tables that are leftover from the days when Tusker House was a counter-service restaurant.

Outdoor Waiting area

Also, next door is one of our favorite watering holes — the Dawa Bar. This is a great spot to [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Kouzzina by Cat Cora

I’ve been writing this blog for a loooooong time (since early 2009, to be exact), and you know we make it our focus to visit and review any and all Disney restaurants on an updated schedule.

Well, it had been a while since we had been to Kouzzina for dinner (for breakfast, this is one of my favorite spots!); so on a recent visit to Walt Disney World, we took ourselves over for a lazy stroll on the Boardwalk to have dinner at this rustic, Greek-style family restaurant.


Kouzzina is the first signature restaurant developed by Iron Chef Cat Cora. We visited for dinner when the restaurant first opened, back in Fall of 2009 (you can read that review here). There has been a mini-renovation in the dining room and lobby since we last visited, and there are a few new menu items as well.

And even though Kouzzina is branded with Cat Cora, you can still catch little Disney touches like this hidden Mickey we saw in the lobby. See if you can spy it the next time you visit!

Entryway Decor - Hidden Mickey

The first thing you notice when you enter the restaurant post-renovation is that the lobby is now actually less “waiting area” and more “gift shop,” with Kouzzina and Cat Cora’s wares throughout.

Entryway Sales - Cat Cora's Cookbooks

You’ll find cookbooks for sale here, as well as the types of olive oils and spreads you’ll find [Read more…]

Countdown to Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Belgium, Germany, Greece

Here we go with another fun Countdown to Food and Wine post! The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will begin in just a couple of days, and I’ve decided to share my excitement by counting down to the Festival with a look at the International Marketplace booths that will be located around the World Showcase Lagoon!

For those who haven’t had the chance to go to the Festival, one of my favorite parts are the dozens of International Marketplaces — little booths, or kiosks, set up that represent a specific country or region. Each booth offers a short menu of tasting plates and drinks from the country or region represented. These tasting items cost anywhere from $2-$7, so they’re a great way to enjoy the Festival without breaking the bank.

Today, I’m going to highlight the representative menus from Belgium, Germany, and Greece!

Don’t Forget!

Those with the Disney Dining Plan can use snack credits to purchase many of the items in the World Showcase booths! Just look for the DDP logos to see what’s available.

Belgian Waffle From New Belgium Kiosk at F&W Festival


This year, Belgium is a brand new addition to the World Showcase Promenade! Exciting options on the menu will include a Belgian waffle, of course, and mussels! Here’s the full menu for Belgium:

  • Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream
  • Freshly Baked Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
  • Stella Artois
  • Godiva Chocolate Iced Coffee (photo below from Tables in Wonderland 2010 Food and Wine Festival Preview)
  • Leffe
  • Hoegaarden

I can’t wait to try that delicious waffle!

The Belgium booth will be located [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”: Snacks and Drinks

We’ve recently started a fun new series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Due to some keen suggestions from readers, we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re taking a look at Snacks & Drinks! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” — snacks and drinks style — in Disney parks and resorts. To be sure, the answers sounded veeeery similar to our recent post about the Best Value for your Snack Credits, but we had a few different ideas as well!


Who doesn’t indulge a bit with some of the great snacks available on a trip to Disney? Here are a few of the favorites, as determined by Disney Food Blog readers:

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic! The Mickey Premium bar has been sweetening Disney trips for years, and I doubt that will stop anytime soon. While other ice cream treats come and go, I’m pretty sure you can count on the Mickey Bar to be available just about everywhere you can find the Big Cheese himself.

Mickey Premium Bar

Thanks again to Morgan! (Photo courtesy Morgan and Jeff Rooks via flickr)

School Bread

This Norwegian delight is a staple in the World Showcase and a favorite of [Read more…]