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…]

Review: Tea at Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Editor’s Note: The menu for Afternoon Tea at Garden View Lounge has changed since this review was written, and many of the items featured here are no longer available. For more details, see our news post about the changes.

Today, we’re taking in afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge. This charming spot, which occupies the far end of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa’s cavernous lobby, is the perfect place to relax, dress up a bit (perhaps), and slow down, while you enjoy traditional offerings and steaming pots of tea.

Menu Cover

Menu Cover

It’s become a rather hot ticket, though, so if you like what you see, be prepared to make your advance dining reservation well in advance.

Tea at the Grand has become a tradition of sorts for my mom and me, and so we were excited to head there for this special treat.

Atmosphere

Upon entering the Grand Floridian, take a moment to notice the details of the soaring atrium. With natural light flooding the seating areas during the day, the large birdcage, and the beautiful domed skylights, it really is lovely.

Lobby and Atrium Garden View Lounge

The Lobby and the Atrium Put the “Grand” in Grand Floridian

I’ve often heard people suggest that the Grand suffers from a “lack of themeing”. I’ve never thought so. To me, the setting is beautiful — elegance with a light touch, befitting Florida’s subtropical climate. And even with families around me rushing to catch the monorail, I’m transported when I enter it to a less-rushed time and place.

Whether you visit during the day or evening, you are likely to catch some form of live musical entertainment here. During the day, you’ll enjoy piano music. In the evening, be sure to catch Grand Floridian Society Orchestra playing jazz standards from the bandstand located just outside of Mizner’s Lounge on the second floor.

Piano Music in the Grand's Lobby

Piano Music in the Grand’s Lobby

The Garden View Lounge is located at the far end of the lobby, directly opposite from the main entrance.

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

Flanking either side of the lounge are these adorable mosaics of inlaid marble.

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Be sure to look down occasionally while walking around the Grand! They redid the floors a few years ago and added mosaics like these throughout. They are absolutely stunning.

Chip Mosaic

Chip Mosaic

Garden View is also the setting for the Perfectly Princess Tea Party, a character and storytelling experience.

Tea Info

Tea Info — Click to Enlarge

The Lounge itself is an open-air spot, separated from the rest of the lobby by a wall featuring “windowless” windows.

Flowers Garden View Lounge

Looking Into the Lounge from the Lobby

We arrived a few minutes early for our advance dining reservation, and were told that our table would be ready shortly. I’m not sure what all of the luggage by the hostess stand was about! There was a full house inside, however. And it seemed as though a few people were dressed up for a special occasion of some sort.

hostess stand Garden View Lounge

Hostess Stand

We relaxed nearby in the lobby. Soon, our pager went off, and we were shown to our table.

Entrance

Entrance

Marble statues flank both side entrances of the lounge. Other than that, the space is sparsely decorated.

Entering the Lounge

Entering the Lounge

The center of the room is dominated by [Read more…]

Disney Recipe from the Vault: ‘Ohana’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I have been known to post an ode or two to extinct Disney foods. And one of my most missed dishes are the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes that used to be a fixture at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

These potatoes — in all of their creamy, cheesy goodness — are no longer served at ‘Ohana. In their place, you’ll find a perfectly, well…fine…bowl of Lo Mein, noodle-y tangle.

Fine. But they’re no cheesy potatoes.

So imagine how the skies opened and the heavens sang when I recently ran across this recipe for the potatoes that we all knew and loved!

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

Now, I don’t see any shortening here, but everything else looks pretty fantastic. So I’m going out on a limb and am planning to give them a try.

You should, too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

‘Ohana
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Smokie City from Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant PLUS New Signature Dinner Announcement!

Time to dig into another delicious dish at Raglan Road!

The authentic Irish pub, located at Downtown Disney in Orlando, is one of our favorite spots for its warm atmosphere and fantastic live entertainment. But the food is incredible too. Fans obviously agree that it’s the total package — the pub was awarded Best Restaurant honors by Orlando Magazine earlier this year.

And Chef Kevin Dundon has knocked it out of the park on this one. (Well, he does that quite often, but that’s beside the point.) I first had Smokie City — a chunky, hot, cheesy dip that features potatoes and the rich flavors of smoked fish — at the recent Signature Dinner that I attended at Raglan Road. Chef Kevin was on hand to present each course, and while they were all first rate, this one was my favorite. I loved it so much that I made it for a recent family dinner!

Smoked Haddock Potato Tomatoes and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake  -- Up Close

Smoked Haddock, Potato, Tomatoes, and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake — Up Close

And after you read about it, I think you’re going to want to make it, too. So here’s the recipe!

Smokie City

Smoked Haddock, Potato, Tomato, and Vintage Dubliner Cheddar Bake
Serves 4

If you can’t find smoked haddock, go for an all-natural, firm smoked fish such as cod or coley. I also used Irish cheddar cheese.

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Gratin de Macaroni from Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Macaroni and Cheese — that glorious food that is both side dish and main dish.

But one of my favorite grown up versions is the baked Gratin de Macaroni at Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

The dish is so well loved that it’s even made its way onto the menu over the years for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the France Marketplace Booth. Will it make the cut for the 2014 Food and Wine Festival? Only time will tell!

But for the mac and cheese lover, this dish has everything! Sharp, tangy Gruyère cheese, golden crust, and it’s plenty big enough to share — if you want to! (Confession: Usually I don’t want to.)

But what are you to do if your next advance dining reservation for this wonderful spot is months off, and you’re craving some of this awesomeness, like, yesterday???

Gratin de Macaroni at Les Chefs de France

Gratin de Macaroni at Les Chefs de France

Why, make it at home, of course! Because with this recipe, the cheesy power is in your hands.

Gratin de Macaroni

Les Chefs de France

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Veggie Tater Bake from Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure (A Vegetarian Recipe!)

It’s always a good idea to have a vegetarian meal or two tucked into your recipe box, don’t you think? And if Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie are your thing, you’ve gotta try this veggie version!

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Offered at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land, Flo’s Veggie Tater Bake has been delighting herbivores and carnivores alike since the restaurant first opened two years ago!

Veggie Tater Bake

Veggie Tater Bake

Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas for Meatless Mondays or Fridays during Lent, or you have special friends you’d like to impress with your vegetarian cooking skills, we definitely think you should give this hearty casserole a try!

Veggie Tater Bake

Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Disney California Adventure
Serves 6

Ingredients: [Read more…]

News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Chocolate Dinner!

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish I could eat CHOCOLATE for dinner!!!!” I know. TONS, right? Well the dream has finally come true! And it happened at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

This year, a brand new signature dining experience kicked off the festival during opening weekend. The Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate, promised to be a sumptuous experience for the discriminating chocolate lover.

The dinner consisted of a reception, followed by six plated courses, presented by the Disney chefs who created them.

Let’s head over to Epcot’s World Showplace Event Pavilion for a look at this decadent event!

Reception

Ever wonder what’s behind those enormous brown doors between the Canada and UK Pavilions within Epcot’s World Showcase? You might, if you’ve never attended an event at the World Showplace Pavilion. But if you look closely at your Epcot map, you’ll see it there.

That was the setting for the evening’s event, and the sign above the beautiful awning announced it in style.

Chocolate Dinner Sign

Pan back a bit, and you can see the main entrance to the building. A reception preceding the plated dinner took place in the World Showplace courtyard, to the left of the main entrance.

World Showplace Entrance to the Chocolate Dinner

As we entered through the massive brown wooden doors, a team of servers greeted us with beverages. Guests could choose from Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Martinis, or Sparkling Wine. The drinks disappeared quickly every time the staff came out with another tray of them!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Chocolate Martini

While guests sipped on their cocktails, beer, and wine, teams of cast members passed trays of [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Parisian Breakfast at Les Chefs de France

It’s time to head back to one of my most favorite spots in all of Epcot’s World Showcase — Les Chefs de France!

Even though I’m happy to dine at this bistro anytime of the year, today we’re bringing you a review of a brand new special event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — the Parisian Breakfast.

When this new event was announced for this year’s festival, I jumped at the chance to add it to my busy opening weekend schedule! It’s one of the lower-priced special events available, and I’m always looking for a value.

As a special bonus, the event took place before most of World Showcase was fully opened. I always love it when I can have any part of the park (mostly) all to myself. :-)

Atmosphere

The Parisian atmosphere of Les Chefs shines through at this new breakfast special event.

Seating and Setting the Table

After all, if  you look at the pic below, it even kind of feels like you’re in Paris, eh??

Beautiful Morning Sunlight

I was seated at a table looking out onto the World Showcase promenade. This event (along with most other special events at the festival these days) had assigned seating.

This is relatively new for festival events, so be prepared if you’re hoping to sit with a friend who booked separately from you!

Our Table with a View

Luckily, I got to sit with an awesome group of Disney food fans and we chatted the morning away! It was a great time!

Now, as beautiful as the morning surroundings are, I know you’re anxious to see [Read more…]

Review: “Best of the Fest” at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Booths!

It’s here! The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is officially underway!

We’ve been super busy over the last couple of days, taking in low-cost demonstrations and special events. I can’t wait to share all of it with you (FYI: Parisian Breakfast = AWESOME!)!

But first, while opening weekend was a whirlwind of activity, we made it a point to check out every Marketplace Booth and try it all! It’s always our goal to do this so that YOU know which dishes are not-to-be-missed and can plan accordingly.

2013 Best of the Fest Marketplace Booth Dishes

While this “Best of” list started out a lot longer than this, we wanted to give you a breakdown of the cream of the crop — our very favorite dishes so far from the 2013 Marketplace Booths. Some of these are returning from past years, and some are brand new! Let’s go with the Best of the Fest for 2013!

Belgium: Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

Belgium features three different waffles in their lineup this year — one savory and two sweet. This Potato Leek Waffle comes with Braised Beef that reminds me of Sunday roasts.

Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef

The waffle is delicious by itself — but top it with the braised beef and MELTED BUTTER!!!! and it’s heavenly!

South Korea: Kimchi Dog

We’ve been raving about the South Korea Kimchi Dog since we first sampled it at the preview event for this year’s festival. The Spicy Hot Dog (which is specially made for Epcot just for the festival!) is topped with a fresh Kimchi Slaw and drizzled with a Spicy Mustard Sauce.

Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce

It has a bit of a kick, but it’s [Read more…]