DFB Podcast Episode 2: Counter-Service Finds

Hey all! Thanks for your generous welcome of our new DFB Podcast into your listening list!

Just wanted to drop a line this afternoon to let you know that the second episode of our DFB Podcast is now posted and ready for downloading!

In this episode, we take a look at Disney Food News, answer listener questions, reveal our trivia winner from last week, and take a look at some new (and new-to-us) counter-service options that we found on our recent vacations!

Click here to go to the Podcast page. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Take a gander and a listen and let us know what you think! Your feedback is important to us — we’re still super new at all of this and want to make sure we’re packing the podcast full of info that YOU want.

Friday Happy Hour: Downtown Disney Margarita Bar

Situated on the boardwalk of Downtown Disney’s Marketplace in Orlando, the Margarita Bar serves up margaritas, bottled beverages, a Rum Runner, draft beer, frozen drinks, and yes, even cigars! It’s a handy little escape prior to a dinner reservation, or to relax on a sunny Orlando afternoon.

This week (and for several weeks previous, according to the bartender), the drink special was a Grapefruit Margarita.

Atmosphere

The Margarita Bar is tucked a bit out of the way of the main Downtown Disney thoroughfare — in fact, it’s a few steps down and situated right on the dock next to the Downtown Disney Marina!

The Bar itself is more of a kiosk — a small island-esque shack on the dock with several umbrella-clad tables close by.

Margarita Bar

Thankfully after strolling around in the hot Florida sun, those tables alongside the marina provide some shade! And the live music on the waterfront invites guests to unwind. Frequently, [Read more…]

Guest Review: Gasparilla Grill and Games at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort


Editor’s Note: The lobster mac and cheese is no longer offered at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Thanks to Chantel B. for sending along these great photos and mini-reviews from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort’s Gasparilla Grill and Games!

Gasparilla Grill and Games overlooks the marina at Disney’s Grand Floridian. Open 24-hours (!!!), this quick-service restaurant makes a great late night stop when leaving the Magic Kingdom. Dinner items are served until 11:30 p.m., then late night snacks are available overnight.

Dining indoors can be a bit noisy since this space also functions as the arcade. For a view of Cinderella’s Castle (and a quieter atmosphere) in the distance, dine at an outdoor table.

View from Gasparilla Grill

You can check out our full review with more atmosphere pics here! But let’s take a look at Chantel’s reviews of some very popular Gasparilla dishes…

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese

If you’re not staying at the Grand Floridian, this dish is worth a trip to the resort! The Lobster meat was small, not chunked. And the gruyere cheese blend had a nice creamy texture.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chicken Sandwich plus Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

Served on a wheat bun, this sandwich had a nice flavor (obviously marinated) and not dry! The salad was [Read more…]

Sunshine Seasons Strawberry Shortcake: A “Best Snack Value” in Epcot

As you know, we’ve just released our brand new The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks, and we’ve got a special tip from the book today!

As many of you know, it can be difficult to decide how to get the best value with your Disney Dining Plan snack credits or vacation dollars while in Walt Disney World. And while you can get a Mickey Bar anywhere, some guests want a more unique treat.

Here’s where we com in! When visiting Epcot, Sunshine Seasons in The Land pavilion is a convenient location in Future World for a great snack. The restaurant is located downstairs — just steps from Soarin’ — and offers dozens of market-fresh treats and meals. One of our very favorites is this Strawberry Shortcake, which has quickly reached cult favorite status for repeat Disney guests!

Sunshine Seasons Strawberry Shortcake

Smooth, creamy whipped cream, decadent vanilla shortcake, and fresh strawberries make this snack an incredible value for the dollar — and it’s [Read more…]

My Three Favorite Disney World Counter-Service Breakfasts

Let’s admit it — most of us don’t have time to grab a long, leisurely breakfast when we’re in Disney World. Usually it’s up-and-at-‘em, throw some clothes on, grab the kids, and get over to rope drop for the park of the day!

But sometimes I like to take a few minutes to grab a classic Disney counter-service breakfast, and when that happens, these are my go-to options! I’d love to hear your favorite counter-service breakfasts — share your top choices in the comments section below!

Tonga Toast

This is one case where you can get one of the very best menu items at a table-service restaurant…but fast! Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s Tonga Toast is an icon of Disney food — sweet bananas all wrapped up in thick french toast and covered in cinnamon and sugar!

Disney's Polynesian Resort Tonga Toast

It’s an amazing treat, and you can get it for cheap at the Polynesian’s Captain Cook’s Snack Company counter-service restaurant. Only available in the mornings, it’s a great way to start your day!

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

You’d think that you would be able to eat a cinnamon roll on the go, but not one of these! The monstrous breakfast rolls are truly out of this world, and anyone who knows me knows that I’ll always ask for the extra scoop of frosting on top!

Disney World Cinnamon Roll

Stop into the Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for this awesome treat! Check out my review of [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 19, 2012

New Temporary Italy Kiosk in Epcot

Viva Italia! The temporary Italy kiosk in Epcot is now serving up some tasty eats including ravioli — along with glasses of wine!

Disney Food News

We’re serving up the latest foodie news this week!


For more delicious food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

On to the Round-Up

Carmi’s Art Life World Check out the Mickey Retro Kitchen Series — it’s miniature Japanese collectibles!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups visits the lounge at the California Grill. Cheers!

MousePlanet stops by Germany’s Biergarten in Epcot!

Burger Invasion (c)Yesterland

StudiosCentral.com analyzes how to get the best values with your Disney Dining Plan credits at counter-service restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Yesterland takes a look back at the Burger Invasion in Disney California Adventure.

Kevin Kidney reminisces about a long-lost mural from the Plaza Pavilion and welcomes the new Jolly Holiday Bakery to Disneyland.

Main Street Gazette pays tribute to the Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby.

Guest Review: The Mara

I’m happy to welcome back Bill Iadonisi with another enlightening review. This time he explores the counter-service eatery, The Mara, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. Take it away, Bill!

Hello Disney Food Blog fans! I know it’s been long between reviews, so let’s get started on this month’s eatery! I have always said that Disney’s resorts hold some of the best places to eat on property. Usually much quieter and less hectic then the restaurants in the parks, and many times you can just walk in and sit down.

Today we are going to the dark continent of Africa for this review. Well, maybe a quick safari trip to Disney’s Jambo house is what we’ll do. The main attractions at this beautiful resort are the breathtaking views of the African Savanna from select rooms. But it’s also home to some of Disney’s finest restaurants.

Although not a five-star eatery, Jambo House’s counter-service establishment, The Mara (named after the Mara River in Africa) is a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it does all three equally well.

The Mara Story - click image for larger version

Atmosphere

So before we explore the eats, let’s take a look at the décor.

Themeing and Decor
Located very close to the Jambo House pool, the Mara is themed (like all Disney eateries), but not as strongly as, say, Pizzafari or even the Flame Tree Barbeque.

Entrance

Inside is a spacious dining area with a colorful mural of African flora and fauna on the two back walls.

Spacious Dining Area

The tables and chairs are plain and Spartan, but overhead are metallic cut-outs that resemble tree leaves, and several support posts that have large wooden beams resembling tree limbs make it appear as though you are [Read more…]

Snack Series: Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

We found another awesome new cupcake to share with you! (Well, we found three awesome new cupcakes to share with you, but we’ll focus on this one for today…)

Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion of Epcot’s Future World is a quick-service restaurant with ample seating and a large, varied menu. It’s a favorite of DFB readers (and me!), and often wins the top spot when it comes to beloved counter-service restaurants!

It deserves this honor, too! There are plenty of options on the menu, including fresh and unique items. Choose from one of five varied menus!

Epcot's Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Menus -- click for larger image

On my visit last week, though, I headed straight for the Bakery area! I’d heard from a few DFB readers about the new Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake, and I knew I had to try it!

When I got to the bakery case, this lovely item was staring (literally — kind of looks like an eye, doesn’t it?) back at me!

Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake

The cupcake is only available here at Sunshine Seasons — a unique addition to this fun location’s menu!

The cake is moist vanilla — very rich for a vanilla cake, in fact. On top is a mound of light cream cheese frosting (when I say “light,” I don’t mean low-calorie — it just had a more [Read more…]

Hot Fudge Cookie Sundae On the Menu at Storybook Treats

UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, the Hot Fudge Cookie Sundae is no longer being served at Storybook Treats. 

We told you earlier about the awesome hot fudge, and strawberry shortcake sundaes at Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom, but now there’s something even better — well, in my opinion anyway!

Introducing the Chocolate Chunk Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae at Storybook Treats!

Storybook Treats Sundae

This is SUPER exciting to me, since one of my favorite sundaes at Eat-n-Park back when I was in college was their massive cookie hot fudge sundae! I always put strawberry sauce on it, which gives me a great idea for how to alter this sundae as well… ;-) Anyway…

From Whence It Came

The menu has consistently offered a chocolate chunk cookie as well as a hot fudge brownie sundae, and my guess is that so many guests asked for the cookie to be substituted for the brownie that they decided to just make it a permanent addition to the menu!

Sundae

Also, remember that caramel sauce can be substituted for the hot fudge on most Storybook Treats sundaes. So on my visit last week, I asked if they could just add [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dining Plan Quick-Service Values for 2012

It’s time to re-visit our Top 5 Quick-Service 2012 Disney Dining Plan* Values! Last year, our choices were great bargains because they offered good portions and quality food — and they were less attractive when paying out-of-pocket!

Since then, prices and options have changed, so it’s time to re-evaluate for 2012!

Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney

While shopping at Downtown Disney, use your quick service credit at Wolfgang Puck Express! The Pennette Chicken Alfredo with peas, bacon and parmesan at $15 is very filling (an easy meal to split)!

Pennette Chicken Alfredo

Here are some other smart choices:
Spaghetti & Meatballs with tomato-basil-garlic sauce and fresh herbs $16; Oven Roasted Salmon served with fennel, tomatoes, arugula, roasted potatoes and horseradish cream $18; or the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes, port wine sauce and crispy onion rings $15.

Quality and quantity make WPE the place at Downtown Disney to get the best value with your DDP credit!

Katsura Grill

We’re assuming that Katsura Grill, which opens TODAY at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, is on the Dining Plan as a counter-service location. If we’re right, it will be a great value for a counter-service credit. (By the way, since it’s replacing the Yakitori House, we’re guessing that it will be on the Dining Plan; but we don’t know yet for sure!)

On the new menu the Sushi Combos, including the California Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, top out at $12.99, as does the Tonosama combo, with comes with teriyaki beef, chicken, and salmon. The Teriyaki Salmon is $11.99, while the [Read more…]