Review: NEW Tavern Beef Stew at Gaston’s Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Last week we broke the news that the Pork Shanks were officially taken off of the menu at Gaston’s Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

We also told you we would keep you posted on the potential replacement. So we are here to tell you that now on the menu is the: Tavern Beef Stew!

Let’s see how it compares to the surely missed pork shanks… .


Gaston’s Tavern is of course a tribute to the villain from Beauty and the Beast and offers an atmosphere that stays true to its name. (There are definitely antlers in the decorating!)

Check out all the details of the restaurant here.

Gaston's Tavern

Gaston’s Tavern

[Read more…]

News: Pork Shank No Longer on the Menu at Gaston’s Tavern

RIP, Pork Shank…

We’ve been hearing rumors about this for a while, and it has finally to pass — the Pork Shank is no more.

Gaston’s Tavern opened in late 2012 as part of the New Fantasyland expansion in Magic Kingdom, featuring a variety of snacks and beverages. Headliner items on the menu — which, until now, has remained basically unchanged since the opening — include LeFou’s Brew (the Tavern’s own signature beverage) and Warm Cinnamon Rolls (noteworthy since they are no longer served at Main Street Bakery).

The one non-snack item on the list, though, might be the one that gained the biggest reputation from the get-go: the Pork Shank. This huge serving of meat-on-bone drew immediate comparisons to the iconic Jumbo Turkey Leg. Unlike the Turkey Legs, though, which have a home in every park, Gaston’s Tavern was the only place where you could consistently find a Pork Shank (aside from being served for a stint at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner in Hollywood Studios), and ultimately it drew a dedicated fan base of its very own.

Pork Shank

Pork Shank

The Pork Shank has recently been removed from the menu at Gaston’s Tavern. Below is a screenshot of the current menu from the Walt Disney World website. [Read more…]

You Won’t Believe This Snack!: Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll at Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I was swinging by Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery in Disney’s Animal Kingdom the other day and two things on the breakfast menu caught my little eye…

First up — the hot breakfast wrap sounded like a yummy, protein-y mix of goodness to fuel my park day (and I did get it, though I’ll tell you all about it in another post); but THEN…how could I ignore the next item on the menu?

Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll???? For NINE DOLLARS?!??!?!

OK, so A) When you use the word “colossal,” you better mean business, and B) Seriously?? Nine dollars???

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Usually when I’m at Kusafiri, I sample their cupcakes or their Paw Print Brownie. But this time…well, you know what happened.

Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll

Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll

I took this picture to show you the size of this thing. The roll is big enough to [Read more…]

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Joints

Most of the time when I visit Disney, I indulge in a mix of meals. I may book a table service advance dining reservation for one part of the day, and leave the rest to chance — looking to discover new things at the parks’ kiosks and counter service spots.

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Restaurants

Today, I’m counting down my favorite places in Disneyland Resort to grab a quick meal!

Disneyland is second to none (yep — even compared to Disney World) at putting together truly outstanding counter service, quick service, and fast food meals. And the one consistent theme that you’ll find in Disneyland counter service spots — a lot of the time, the food and venues feel like table service quality (right down to real plates!)

Let’s get started!

Plaza Inn

The Plaza Inn is legendary for its beautiful atmosphere. Located where Main Street and Tomorrowland intersect, this charming spot has been open forever — and it’s been pleasing guests in search of a good meal all the while.

Even Walt was a fan!

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

A character meal table service location for breakfast, it morphs into a counter service buffet (sans characters) for lunch and dinnertime.

The Roast Beef and Pasta dishes here are both good choices. But ask most Disneyland food fans what the must-have dish here is, and you’ll get a resounding response: the Fried Chicken! The huge — and I mean HUGE — platter comes with three pieces of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, a Vegetable, and a Biscuit. I shared this with a friend the last time I got it, and we still couldn’t finish!

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Incidentally, you should try and save room for dessert, too. (I know…I know.) When strawberries are in season, I’d definitely recommend the luscious Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake at Plaza Inn in Disneyland

Strawberry Shortcake

But the Carrot Cake is pretty awesome, too.

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

Dining at Flo’s V-8 Cafe within Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an immersive experience. As with the rest of the spots in this newest Disneyland Resort section, you feel like you’ve wandered right into the animation!

But step inside the enormous restaurant, and you see all kinds of kitschy fun, inspired by the roadside diners that once peppered legendary Route 66.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

The name of the game at Flo’s is the kind of comfort food that you’d expect to find in such spots, with spit-fired meats dominating the dinner menu. There’s also an inventive vegetarian option here — the Veggie Tater Bake!

But it’s Flo’s breakfast that we love love LOVE the most!

For a super sweet start to your day, you’ve gotta try the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. (Dessert for breakfast? you ask? Well, yeah; pretty much! But…bananas!!!)

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Or, try the option that serves up a delicious Mexican food-inspired twist — the Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde.

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

And be sure to stop back by later in the day for dessert — Flo’s Signature Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama is spectacular!

Apple Pie at Flo's

Pie at Flo’s

Rancho del Zocalo

The beautifully themed Rancho del Zocalo, located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

Gorgeous murals and lighting fixtures dominate the walls inside, while a beautiful patio covered with gauzy awnings wins our vote for best place to sit here.

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Following the pattern of many Disneyland counter service spots, Rancho del Zocalo is counter service with the feel of a cafeteria. Guests order their main entree, and then visit stations to pick up extra courses, like salads and desserts.

The Mexican influenced menu is small, but the ingredients and preparation are always high quality, and a cut above what we think of as fast food. One of my favorite options here is the Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken. (You can also get them with beef.)

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

The addition of Peppers as well as Sour Cream and Guacamole on the side makes this a winner for me. I look forward to having it whenever I have a chance to visit Rancho del Zocalo!

Hungry Bear Restaurant

If you like eating in a treehouse, then I have just the Disneyland spot for you! Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland’s Critter Country recently underwent some renovations and [Read more…]

Guest Review: Old Faithful Club Concierge Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Welcome Guest Reviewer James Armstrong! Today, we get to see the concierge’s food amenities at the Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World. Let’s head to the Old Faithful Club!

While recently staying at Wilderness Lodge we had the pleasure of staying on the Concierge level (also known as the Old Faithful Club).

This is an “upgrade” you can purchase for your room when staying at most of the deluxe Disney World hotels. As part of this upgrade (and additional cost), you benefit from a private concierge to help arrange tickets, childcare, transportation, and recreational activities.

You ALSO get some free food in the Club Lounge.


To get to the concierge level guests need to use their room key in the elevator, which will activate access to the seventh floor.

Old Faithful Club Elevator Key.

From here, you’ll be afforded excellent views of both the Fire Rock Geiser and the lodge itself. It also has the Old Faithful Club Lounge!

Old Faithful Times Guide. Click image for larger version.


As part of the Concierge experience, access to the Old Faithful Club Lounge is granted. Here, you’ll find all-you-care to eat snacks and drinks. This service will likely not replace all three meals, however it is a convenient stop for in-between snacks or light meals.

Continental Breakfast (7:00am – 10:30am*)
Breakfast was a nice variety of pastries, muffins, bagels, yogurt, fruit, and cereal. The menu was consistent throughout our visit.

Breakfast Pastries

Fridge stocked at breakfast

Cereal Dispensers

The Cinnamon Rolls had tender dough and a nice sweet flavor.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls Close-Up

There were plenty of Mini Muffins– Blueberry and [Read more…]

Review: Fairfax Fare Breakfast at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Editor’s Note: With the opening of Trolley Car Cafe, Fairfax Fare is no longer serving breakfast.

Breakfast time!!! Today we are at Fairfax Fare in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a quick nosh.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m in Disney World is combine exercise with research, so while I was on a morning walk on the BoardWalk during a recent trip, I headed in to the Studios to scrounge up some breakfast.

Since Fairfax Fare is one of the only quick service locations for a hot breakfast in the Studios — and it’s fairly close to the front of the park — it seemed like a good choice! Let’s see how it goes…


Fairfax Fare is located in the Sunset Ranch Market area of Hollywood Studios. This super convenient spot is at a crossroads of sorts between Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster. It’s the perfect place to await your fastpass time!

The counter service location, like all of the Sunset Ranch Market stops, is a tiny walk up counter, and features a small menu.

Fairfax Fare -- Outside

Seating for Fairfax Fare is shared with other Sunset Ranch Market locations, and is made up of outdoor pavilions and tables with umbrellas. I prefer the pavilions, since they’re fitted with fans overhead.

Seating Pavilion for Fairfax Fare

Much of the seating is covered, although the early morning sun does tend to spill in anyway. It’s perfectly fine though for a quick stop.


We’ve stopped by Fairfax Fare recently for a review of some seriously good gourmet hot dogs. But this time, we were visiting a bit earlier in the day.

If you’d like to sample their breakfast menu though, you’d better get here early. Like most of the park breakfast spots, they only serve the meal until 10:30am! (Yup; I was rushing to get here on time!)

Breakfast Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Among other options, you can choose from [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Downtown Disney

Cruising Downtown Disney, heading back to our car to go home, a cart that I had never seen before caught my eye.  Old West Cinnamon Rolls? Hello!

Old West Cinnamon Rolls Downtown Disney

According to my 12 year old son, I stopped in my tracks “to get the breaking news.” Yes, he was making fun of me; and he did a whole running commentary while I stopped to get the scoop on this new-ish spot in Downtown Disney. After that nonsense, which was actually quite hilarious, he’s lucky that I still shared my cinnamon roll with him!


Located right next to the Pin Traders store, Old West Cinnamon Rolls has apparently been there for about 6 or so weeks. I obviously don’t cruise Downtown Disney enough to let this place exist for so long without knowing about it. Going to have to change that I guess, because the cinnamon rolls here are amazing.


The plastic cinnamon roll display (which reminded me of the gelato stand nearby) gives you inspiration to choose the cinnamon roll that’s right for you!

After quizzing the poor guy working at the stand I learned that the cinnamon rolls are a “design your own” situation. The menu consists of a base price of $4.75 for a plain cinnamon roll (and by plain they mean NO frosting). Additional toppings are $1.00, so you can build the designer cinnamon roll of your dreams. Toppings include [Read more…]

Review: Bread Bowls and Cinnamon Rolls at Pacific Wharf Cafe

Today, we’re heading over for a light lunch and a treat at one of my favorite stops in Disneyland, Pacific Wharf Cafe at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort!

Bread, bread bowls, soup, and baked goodies are the name of the game here, so bring your carb-loving gene! Let’s head in to to see what tempting options we can find.

Pacific Wharf Cafe -- Outside


Taking its theme from the famed Cannery Row in Monterrey, CA, Pacific Wharf Cafe is owned and operated by San Francisco’s Boudin Bakery. Imagineers have done a great job creating a space with the look and feel of the unique area.

The Boudin Bakery is San Francisco’s oldest company — it’s been in business without interruption since 1849. They still use many of the original old world techniques, and their bread bowls are legendary. They’ve decorated the cafe with some fun bread creations — you can even get a bread Mickey!

Fun Bread Displays

Serving counter service breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is a great go-to spot if you haven’t made plans in advance for eating and you find yourself in need of a meal or snack.

Head inside the open and airy space to order. You’ll only find the counter and queue area once inside; all the seating is outside of the cafe.

Ordering Queue

Check out some of the incredible baked goods as you place your order, and when you pick up your food, [Read more…]

News! Tomorrowland Terrace Breakfast Menu in Magic Kingdom (Now Serving Beignets?!)

Now that the Main Street Bakery is closed for renovation and Starbucks-ifying, guests have to go elsewhere for their breakfast pastries!

This past weekend, our colleague (and Goofy Challenge Medalist!!!) Andy Jackson from Eating (and Drinking) around the World sent over a few pics from the Magic Kingdom of the newest breakfast game in town: The Tomorrowland Terrace!

Usually open sporadically, Tomorrowland Terrace has had various menu changes throughout the past couple of years. But it rarely (if ever) offers breakfast.

Now, while the offerings aren’t as extensive as what you could have found at the Bakery had it been open, I’m pretty intrigued by a couple of the choices…

Tomorrowland Terrace Breakfast Offerings

Tomorrowland Terrace Breakfast Offerings -- Beignets!

Beignets?!? Wha?! I wonder if they’re more like the Port Orleans French Quarter Beignets, or more like the Disneyland Mickey Beignets! Anyone out there try them yet?

Port Orleans French Quarter Beignets

And it’s good to see that the Main Street Bakery ham and cheese croissant is still available… [Read more…]

Cinnamon Roll Throw-Down: Gaston’s Tavern vs. Main Street Bakery

Since the Starbucks at Main Street Bakery announcement a couple of weeks ago, there’s been lots of worry about whether the beloved cinnamon rolls will still be available at Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the only response to this question has been: “…the cinnamon rolls are available at Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland…”. Even if this only refers to the period while the Main Street Bakery will be closed for refurbishment, there’s no mention of whether or not they’ll return to the Main Street Bakery when it re-opens in the Summer of 2013. (Personally, I think they will, but what do I know?)

Gaston's Tavern VS. Main Street Bakery: Cinnamon Roll Challenge!

SO, we decided to take it upon ourselves to do a little taste test between the two cinnamon rolls to find out if the Gaston’s Tavern version is a worthy substitute for those giant rolls over on Main Street! Here we goooo!

Gaston’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll

According to cast members, these rolls are actually made at the Bakery and transported over to Gaston’s, so they should be largely the same, right? The icing (supposedly a maple version at Gaston’s) is added at the Tavern instead of at the Bakery.

First impression? The Gaston’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll is just as large — if not larger — than the one at Main Street Bakery!

As always, I asked for extra frosting — which isn’t (yet) a common request at Gaston’s. Still, the cast member was kind enough to go back to the kitchen and squeeze a bit more frosting onto the roll. The “extra frosting” thing works differently here than it does at Main Street Bakery, though: At Main Street, the extra frosting is scooped from the bottom of the cinnamon roll pan, which means it’s all warm and cinnamony!

Here at Gaston’s, the extra frosting is just squeezed on from the original frosting bottle, which means it’s room temp…and not cinnamony. Probably an issue due to the rolls being made elsewhere.

Gaston's Tavern Cinnamon Roll -- with extra icing

But we looked past that, as the roll seemed to have [Read more…]