Disney Food for Families: Foodie Farewell to 2011 — Crema Catalana Recipe

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

2011 was a pretty great Disney year for my family. We all made multiple trips to Walt Disney World, traveling as a whole family, in several smaller groups, and with friends. We also took an incredible combination Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line trip to Europe over the summer. And I made a special trip to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival with just my daughter Josie. This was her first F&W experience and our first mommy/daughter solo trip.

When looking for a way to commemorate and wrap up this year of awesome Disney experiences, of course our minds turned to food. We came up with the idea to find and make the Disney recipe that best represented 2011 for us. My girls flipped through our stash of Disney recipes and found a perfect choice: Crema Catalana!

One of the Creme Catalan dishes we ate in Barcelona.

Crema Catalana is sort of like the Spanish version of creme brulee, and the recipe we chose came from the 2009 official Food & Wine festival cookbook. This dish scored on two fronts, first because of the Food and Wine Festival connection, and second because the longest portion of our summer Adventures by Disney trip took place in Barcelona, Spain, the birthplace of the dish. While we were in Barcelona, we had four different versions of this local signature dish. We were eager to see if we could replicate it at home.

2009 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Cookbook

Let’s start with the ingredients:

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1.5 cups whole milk, divided
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
7 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided.

Assembled ingredients.

And on to the instructions:

1. Whisk together the cornstarch and two tablespoons of milk in small bowl until [Read more…]

Review: Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s quiet, it’s refined, the food is decent, and it’s one of those “hidden gems” when it comes to seeing the Magic Kingdom fireworks!! What more could you ask for? ;-)

Narcoossee’s boasts prime real estate at the Grand Floridian resort on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and has some of the best seafood on Disney World property.


Getting to Narcoossee’s can be a bit of a trick — maybe that’s why it’s still not all that difficult to get an ADR here!

The restaurant is located at the end of the Grand Floridian transportation boat dock, which means it’s about as far from the front door of the lobby (and the monorail) as you can get! If you wind up taking a boat there, it’ll be easier; but since Narcoossee’s is a signature dining location, you’ll likely be a bit dressed up, so a boat from the theme park might not be the best choice. ;-) Once you arrive at the lobby, ask a Cast Member how to get there. It’s much easier than trying to follow signs or a map.

Narcoossees Sign

Upon arriving at the restaurant, you’ll walk past the Chef’s vegetable and herb garden, which lines each side of the entry sidewalk to the resort. (Oh yeah, remember that Narccoossee’s is outside the main lobby, so bring your ‘brella if [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegan and Gluten-Free Meal at Remy on the Disney Dream

Let’s welcome back guest reviewer, Cheryl Perlmutter, with another restaurant review from the Disney Dream. This time, she dines at Remy and shares her vegan meal with our readers. Thanks, Cheryl!

In February, I went on the Disney Dream as part of the WDW Radio Cruise group. When I dine out, I request vegan meals and I am also gluten intolerant. Before boarding the ship, I contacted my travel agency and Disney Special Services. I noted my allergies and dietary needs and made requests.

Since I was planning an anniversary dinner on my May 2011 cruise, I decided to do a test run dinner at Remy with my friend Dana. At dinner the previous night, I contacted the restaurant manager who had been assigned to help with my special diet. I alerted him that I had dinner planned at Remy, and he notified Remy that I would be dining there the following night.

That night, dinner at Remy was excellent – the staff was very accommodating. The cheese course felt awkward as I was not eating, and my suggestion would be for them to get vegan cheeses for the cheese course portion of the meal.

The best dish was the Garlic Potato Puree, while the worst dish was the spaghetti squash as the flavor just wasn’t there.

garlic potato puree

Spaghetti Squash

I should have [Read more…]

Guest Review: Hollywood Brown Derby

Guest blogger Shayne Newell shares a critical review and fabulous photos from the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take it away, Shayne!

Brown Derby Entryway

In January 2010, my husband and I ate our first meal at Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We had a fabulous meal that literally made me want to lick my plate, and the service was outstanding. We recently found ourselves with a last-minute opportunity for a 2-night stay at Disney World over Valentine’s Day. We would be eating only 3 meals at the parks on this trip, and we quickly agreed that Hollywood Brown Derby should be [Read more…]

Disney Food Trends: Desserts + Fire

Crepe Suzette at Bistro de Paris

I’ve been noticing some interesting trends at Disney area restaurants lately! I mentioned the gourmet Mac & Cheese trend a while back, but here’s an interesting one that has to do with dessert — flames!

Yep, that’s what I said. Fire. Right there at your table.

Flambeing is certainly nothing new, but to have it as a prevalent show at so many restaurants in the Disney area is pretty interesting. Here are some of the spots where we’ve seen it recently…

Bistro de Paris, Epcot
In the France pavilion of Disney World’s Epcot, Bistro de Paris offers high-end dining in a beautiful second-floor dining room. The view of [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is one of those desserts that’s found on almost every Disney signature dining restaurant. Made with a custard base and heated, hardened sugar on top, the creme brulee can take on many different flavors. It’s almost like a blank canvas for dessert!

Here’s an incredible action shot! I love the focus on the spoon and broken sugar crust and the out-of-focus main dish. Photographer: Alan Lynn

Chefs de France Creme Brulee

I have heard MANY good things about this tropical fruit creme brulee at Disney World’s Citricos. Photographer: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 2, 2010

Our Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

We’re nearing the end of our whirlwind Disney World and Disneyland back-to-back trips, and there’s lots of news and info to share! Here are a few of the main items:

And now, on to the round-up! The first batch of links are from some colleagues of mine who attended the recent “From 5 Stars to Mickey Bars!” Disney World dining event with me.

What Now?!?!?, a fun blog written by Disney World Moms Panelist, Kathie F., showcases some shots from our Disney dinner at Flying Fish Cafe. Be sure to scroll through her other posts from our WDW weekend, too!

About.com: Theme Parks shares a photo gallery and review of Walt Disney World’s Sanaa Restaurant.

Chef Druck Musings has an awesome article covering some great counter-service finds in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Haute Travels reviews Todd English’s bluezoo.

Live and Learn has a fun break-down of what happened during our culinary weekend, as well as a hat tip to some great blogs and publications.

Studios Central tells us why NOT to book the Fantasmic Dinner Package.

GrubGrade shares the latest about Burger King’s Whiplash Whopper, created to commemorate Disney’s Iron Man 2.

Babes in Disneyland has some fun facts about Disneyland dining.

Passport To Dreams Old and New shares a piece about Ben Franklin, a mysterious Disney World portrait, the Hall of Presidents, and Liberty Tree Tavern.

Chip and Co has a fun look at creme brulee in Disney World.

Scott Joseph Orlando brings us to Victoria and Albert’s Queen Victoria Room.

A Trio of “Traditional Desserts”

One of my never-ending quests as a food blogger is to make sure everyone saves room for dessert! So, to forward that goal, I’d like to tempt you with three World Showcase desserts that are often considered to be, in a way, “food ambassadors” from their respective countries.

When you’re dining at Chefs de France, the Rose and Crown Restaurant, or Marrakesh, these are some of the desserts that are on the menu to represent their national cuisine:

Chefs de France: Creme Brulee
Creme brulee is a dessert made of a baked and cooled vanilla custard topped with sugar, which is rapidly melted (usually with a blow torch or broiler) to form a caramel-y, candied top crust. One of the most fantastic things about eating creme brulee is that first “crack” of the sugar crust crunching when you dive in with your spoon! The earliest known reference to Creme Brulee — which means “burnt cream” — is in a 17th century French cookbook.

The Chefs de France Creme Brulee is BIG and beautiful! It’s authentic, and it’s served without the flavor-y flair (pistachio, maple, milk chocolate, etc…) you’ll in creme brulee versions at other Disney restaurants. This is simple, straightforward, rich, and — honestly — luxurious.

Chefs de France Creme Brulee

Chefs de France Creme Brulee

Rose and Crown Restaurant: Sticky Toffee Pudding
Compared to creme brulee, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a relatively new dessert in the culinary world! Said to have been developed in 1907 and refined by a Lake District pub owner in the 1960’s, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a warm sponge cake, often flavored with dates, covered with…well…a sticky, toffee-flavored sauce! Many restaurants serve sticky toffee pudding with ice cream or a [Read more…]

Dessert Aux Chefs de France

It’s chocolate profiterole week at the food blog! My French may be abysmal, but we get to make another quick visit today to Epcot’s Les Chefs de France with guest poster and photographer extraordinaire, James Chapman, from DisneyfotoBlog.com. Thanks for sharing, James!

Chefs de France (c)FJFuchs

Chefs de France (c)FJFuchs

“Eating a pastry at the Les Chefs de France restaurant in Epcot is an experience and pleasure far beyond simply finishing the dessert at the end of a good meal. The French pâtissier has provided an exceptional dessert menu that offers items ranging from rich chocolate delicacies, to sorbet with elephant ear and fruits, to their signature crème brulée.

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

Both my wife and I enjoy dark chocolate, ice cream, and fruit, so we decided to order and share two different desserts, Profiterolles au Chocolat and Assiette de Sorbets du jour et son palmier. Both were excellent, especially on a warm (hot) summer day in July, and we would highly recommend both desserts with a slight emphasis on the Profiterolles au Chocolat for those who really crave a chocolate treat!

Assiette de Sorbets du jour et son palmier

Assiette de Sorbets du jour et son palmier

Profiterolles au Chocolat

Profiterolles au Chocolat

The Garde Manger shown in the photo above plated each dessert expertly, and after watching her caramelize the crème brulée, I knew that there would be many visits to Les Chefs de France in our family’s future! Bon appetit!”

Tusker House Breakfast (or…Duck a l’Harambe)

I hadn’t had Tusker House breakfast in years. I had great memories of going to the little counter-service eatery right after the park opened, getting my breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, shredded potatoes, and a biscuit, and sitting out at one of the tables, lazily watching commando dads and exhausted kids taking “monster steps” toward the Kilimanjaro Safari queue line. Sigh. Those were lovely mornings.

The Duck of the Hour

The Duck of the Hour

No sooner had I developed a routine, however, when Disney pulled the rug out from under me and established Tusker House as a table-service buffet rather than my beloved counter-service stop. They moved the Duck Breakfast there, too–no longer dubbing it “Donald’s Breakfast-o-saurus,” as was it’s name when hosted by Dino-land’s Restaurant-o-saurus, but “Donald’s Safari Breakfast,” implying its new home next to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride.

Tusker House Buffet Area

Tusker House Buffet Area

Now, don’t get me wrong; I love ducks as much as the next guy. And I love having breakfast with ducks…and mice, and dogs, and chipmunks, too. But I was a little perturbed that my slow, lazy, relaxing Tusker House breakfast was about to be turned into a typical loud, crazy, take-a-buzzer-and-hope-to-get-a-seat-within-an-hour character buffet meal.

Oatmeal and Mealie Pap

Oatmeal and Mealie Pap

Luckily, my first experience at Donald’s Safari Breakfast was a good one. We were seated after only about a 10 minute wait, and despite the hoarde of cheerleaders occupying an entire section of the restaurant, we were waited on quickly and efficiently and were doted upon by the characters twice during our hour in the restaurant.

Beef Bobotie, Veggie Quiche, Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole

Beef Bobotie, Veggie Quiche, Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole

The “complimentary” Jungle Juice was also a considerably successful attempt to brighten my experience (I LOVE that stuff!).

Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice

Tusker House is serving some fun, ethnic breakfast items along with the standards, and the massive size of the restaurant keeps the crowds from being unbearable. I think I’ll consider it a must-do character breakfast from here on out–alongside our favorite Crystal Palace!

Go! Enjoy! And say Hello to the duck for me!