Disney Food Challenge: The Disney World French Fry Crawl!

Y’all!!! It’s time for some FRONCH FROES!!!!!!

2017-DFB-Guide-to-WDW-Dining-Cover_3D

(For those of you new to DFB, that’s “french fries” in AJ-speak. ;-D)

We’ve got TONS of food crawls in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, and in our latest edition, we just had to develop a brand new one– the French Fry Crawl!

It’s just one of the many great features that make the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2nd Edition, our best book yet. With more than 650 pages of color photos, tips, reviews, and extra features, you HAVE TO HAVE IT for your next Disney trip! (I’m not biased or anything. For realz.)

But now, back to the subject at hand. Call ‘em Fries, Chips, Poutine, whatever — there’s pretty much nothing about fronch froes we don’t love. And Disney hasn’t failed us with their yummy spins on this classic side.

So head out with us as we complete this most delicious challenge. We’ll be all over the place for this one, so plan accordingly! The French Fry Crawl will likely take you an entire trip to complete. Unless, you know, you’re like us — and want to eat fries for every meal. Then it might only take you a day and a half. ;-)

Hungry? Good! Let’s go!

Stop #1: Smothered Fries, Beaches and Cream

Our first stop is Beaches and Cream. Find this little Soda Shop in the Disney Beach Club Resort.

Beaches and Cream is one of my favorite stops for about a million reasons. There’s a cool, beachy retro feel to the place, and it’s known for its killer sundaes. While my favorite is the No Way Jose, the most iconic treats here are the Kitchen Sinks.

But we’re stopping here today for a plate — or two — of their Loaded Fries! Currently, there are three versions: Sock Hop Fries, Chili-Cheese Fries, and Cheese and Bacon Fries.

Sock Hop Fries are covered in a savory Brown Gravy and topped with melty Shredded Cheddar. Think of them as Poutine’s American cousin.

Gravy Fries

Sock Hop Fries

But the Bacon and Cheese Fries. Omigosh. Cheese Sauce (!!!!), Bacon, Peppercorn Ranch, and Red Onions elevate this one to amazing. [Read more…]

Review: Battered Banger and Chips at Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub

The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the World Showcase at Disney World’s Epcot is an authentic English pub dropped into sunny central Florida. And we love it. Like “can-we-move-in?” love it.

For years, Rose and Crown has earned a reputation as a classic World Showcase spot. Diners satisfy their need for English comfort food like fish and chips and cottage pie while enjoying some of the best pints found in the Parks.

But many visitors to Epcot don’t realize that the no-reservations-needed pub here has an incredible (though small) food menu and atmosphere! Plus — Carl the Bartender!

We know, we know. You want in.

Atmosphere

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room gets high marks from diners for the restaurant’s authenticity, and it all starts with the curb appeal.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

In fact, Rose and Crown features architecture from three different centuries on its exterior, which is in keeping with the period architecture found throughout the United Kingdom pavilion.

[Read more…]

Review: Lunch (and new menu items!) at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

With so many new spots to check out at Disney Springs, I was anxious to get back to a few of our longstanding favorites.

So on a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I took the opportunity to meet friends at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

Atmosphere

If you’re familiar with the former Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, then you know that Raglan Road used to front the Pleasure Island District, right next to the expansive parking lots.

Well, with the redesign of the entire area and the birth of Disney Springs, Raglan Road seems to have moved! Actually, it’s in exactly the same place…it’s just that Disney Springs has bubbled up right out front of the spot. :-)

New Disney Springs Map

New Disney Springs Map — Key

New Disney Springs Map

New Disney Springs Map — Raglan Road is #36

So to get your bearings, you need to think of what’s around the restaurant now. You’ll find it across the bridge from Sprinkles. And of course, Morimoto Asia is right next door. [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Cinnamon Crisps from Rancho Del Zocalo

Looking for an amazing snack to munch on while perusing Disneyland? Then you must try the Cinnamon Crisps from Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland.

Cinnamon Crisps

Cinnamon Crisps

Located in between Big Thunder Mountain and the Shooting Gallery, Rancho Del Zocalo is a counter service restaurant offering up Mexican cuisine in the wild wild west of Disneyland.

Cinnamon Crisps are a hidden gem that not many people know about, and Rancho Del Zocalo is the only spot in the park that sells them.

Cinnamon Crisp Close Up

Cinnamon Crisp Close Up

Reminiscent of Taco Bell’s old “Cinnamon Crispas” (remember those!?!?!) this [Read more…]

Review: Cookes of Dublin at Disney World’s Downtown Disney

We’re stopping in for a quick, midday bite to eat at Cookes of Dublin!

You’ll find this little fish and chips shop at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, adjacent to Raglan Road Irish Pub. In fact, it’s part of that complex and shares a kitchen with the Pub.

Cookes has been a consistently reliable stop for a quick, hot meal every time we’ve visited. And we think they serve some of the best Fish and Chips around. But I simply can’t resist their Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip (and you shouldn’t, either).

But on a recent trip, we decided to branch out a bit and try a few other menu options! Let’s check out what we sampled this time out.

Atmosphere

You’ll find Cookes of Dublin around the corner from Raglan Road. If you’re coming from the Downtown Disney parking lots directly in front of Raglan Road, you’ll veer right, just past the gift shop and Hole in the Wall Bar.

Cookes of Dublin -- Outside

Cookes of Dublin — Outside

As you wait in the queue to order, be sure to take in Cookes Philosophy. This spot is more quick service than counter service; you can expect a bit of a wait while your food is cooked to order, but it won’t take long.

Philosophy

Philosophy

This is a really, really small space, but it’s not without charm. Trim on the floor and the counter are vintage-looking tile in classic Slytherin colors (probably coincidental), and there are plenty of brass accents as well.

Cookes Ordering Counter

Cookes Ordering Counter

Once you place your order, you can proceed to the right side of the ordering area, where you’ll pick up condiments and fill your drink cups.

Condiments

Condiments

You’ll find a full array of toppers for your meal, including some familiar favorites. After all, you can’t have [Read more…]

Review: San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Today, we are heading into the pyramid once again for dinner at one of Epcot’s most atmospheric restaurants — San Angel Inn Restaurante.

We have had a myriad of experiences here, ranging from very, very bad to excellent. In the past, San Angel Inn has suffered from a Disney restaurant’s biggest drawback — inconsistency.

We haven’t visited the original Mexico table service restaurant since the pavilion’s latest spot, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened on the waterfront. But we continue to love to drop by La Cava del Tequila and Cantina de San Angel, Mexico’s counter service option, so we thought it was time to give San Angel Inn a try once more.

Besides, they had undergone some changes since our last meal, and we wanted to see them for ourselves.

Atmosphere

Walking through Epcot anytime of the day is a treat, but it’s especially beautiful at night. And that’s when we decided to visit Mexico for dinner one evening on a recent trip.

You’ll find San Angel Inn by heading into the Aztec Temple, which serves as the centerpiece for Mexico.

Pyramid -- Up Close

Aztec Pyramid in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

And inside the pyramid, it’s always nighttime. As you make your way toward the back of the building, you come into an open courtyard setting, which feels like the town square of a quaint Mexican Village. In the distance, you’ll spot another Aztec Temple that looks very like the one you just entered. Beyond that, there’s also an active volcano. It’s really quite pretty, and sets the mood for the entire area, which also houses shopping, as well as La Cava del Tequila and the Three Caballeros Attraction.

In fact, boats of riders make their way along the quiet river below the restaurant — very similar to Blue Bayou in Disneyland.

View of the Aztec Pyramid

View of the Aztec Pyramid Inside

Among the other village building facades that border the square is the entrance to San Angel Inn, through this archway.

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

Step through the archway, and the floorplan for the restaurant opens up before you. It’s actually a fairly small space. But tables are placed very close together. This was a new detail of the recent renovation and restaurant updates, and I’ve gotta say — it’s not my favorite aspect of dining here. I’m uncomfortable in a restaurant whenever I feel like I can reach out and touch the person at the table next to me.

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

This table for two, near the rail that overlooks the Three Caballeros attraction, does offer a bit more intimacy. We always recommend requesting a waterside table here!

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

The layout of the restaurant is quite nice. The floor is actually comprised of varying levels, which lend some interest to the space. I took this photo near the railing, looking back up into the courtyard.

Lower Patio Seating Area

Lower Patio Seating Area

Although tables are uncomfortably close together, they are [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: NEW! Viva Navidad Snack Cart at Disney California Adventure

This year Disney California Adventure is featuring a brand new holiday festival called  Viva Navidad.  It showcases Latino holiday traditions with music, food, and fun!

Viva Navidad!

The colorful celebration has taken over the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure and has some really fabulous food offerings now through January 6, 2014.

I recently visited the new snack cart, which is located just to the left of Goofy’s Sky School.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart

Here you can find a handful of authentic Mexican treats that make for a perfect snack while watching the Viva Navidad Street Party.  The menu features three traditional snacks as well as Abuelita Hot Chocolate, assorted Coca Cola Beverages and some specialty cotton candy.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart Menu

My absolute favorite item were the Bunuelos with Cajeta. I was lucky enough to try these delicious little crisps [Read more…]

A Tour of Harambe Fruit Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We are on the hunt today for some refreshing snacks at Walt Disney World!

Fortunately, the parks host a wide range of places where you can score fresh fruit and veggies. When I’m in Magic Kingdom, I love to see what’s new at Liberty Square Market, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a stop by Anaheim Produce will net you some good fresh finds.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I head for Harambe Fruit Market!

Harambe Fruit Market

Clearly we can see that this place is right up my alley — just look at their liberal use of exclamation points!!!!!! ;-D

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Harambe Fruit Market offers a really good variety of [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Fillmore’s Taste-In in Disney California Adventure

When you’re in Cars Land and you are drooling over Radiator Springs Racers (which are totally worth drooling over), don’t forget to check out the fun little details Cars Land has to offer. 

One of my favorite sights caught my eye as I was walking over to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. On my way to ride, I got completely distracted by the psychedelic glow of Fillmore’s Taste-In. So much so, that I went over to check it out before hitting the spinning tractors!

Fillmore's Taste-In

Atmosphere

Fillmore’s signage is cleverly made of mufflers dangling from hubcaps, and his tent is just a “prop.” My guess is that inside is a storage area. The actual store consists of stands filled with what Disney calls “healthier” snacks and drinks.

Fillmore's Signage

Just like Fillmore’s character in the Cars movies, the Taste-In makes groovy “natural” snacks available to help you refuel and keep you racing! I was lucky to get to see Fillmore’s at night; the colors were spectacular, changing every few minutes (hence the crazy glowing [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney

We’re welcoming back Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of Cookes of Dublin!

I found myself sitting alone in my room at Pop Century with a free evening. It was getting late, and the parks were closing early, so I decided to take myself on a date to Downtown Disney.

When I got off the bus at Pleasure Island, I had no plans for dinner, but I knew I was hungry. The line for Raglan Road was daunting, and I wasn’t in the mood for Fulton’s, so I headed into Cookes of Dublin.

Pleasure Island

Cookes of Dublin

This hidden quick service gem is located right on the water at Disney’s Pleasure Island. You might walk right by it on your way to the Marketplace without even noticing it if you weren’t weak with hunger. But next time you head to Pleasure Island, make sure to keep your bellies empty and your eyes open because Cookes is worth [Read more…]