Guest Review: Royal Tea at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Join me in welcoming guest author Kimberly Button with a review of the Royal Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort.

Tea time seems to be a vanishing indulgence in today’s modern world. So when I found out that the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is bringing back the culinary experience steeped (pardon the pun!) in tradition, I was happy to check it out.

You have got to make plans ahead of time for The Royal Tea at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. It’s not a “just pop in” kind of dining experience. The Royal Tea is served only on Sundays, and only from 3 – 5 p.m. The culinary staff needs advance notice to prepare platters of sandwiches and treats to be available for those choosing The Royal Tea experience.

Peacock Alley

The Royal Tea is held in the Waldorf’s beautiful Peacock Alley lounge. The lounge, with its vibrant carpet of royal blue and deep greens in peacock feather motif, is regal and welcoming at the same time.

Peacock Alley has plenty of seating options, and it is also where you’ll find the main bar. A variety of guests were seated in the lounge during our visit, including those just sitting around and talking, guests with luggage waiting to depart, and a family ordering quick snacks from the bar. There are plenty of cozy couches and seats surrounding large tables.

Piano Player

A piano player starts to perform in the lounge at the time tea service begins, which is a welcome treat to listen to live music from across the lounge.

Tea for Two

For our tea reservations, we were shown to a small table on the outskirts of the lounge that had been set up for tea. It appeared that there were only two parties with tea reservations on this day (each of us had a party of two), and both of us were sat in opposite corners of the lounge.

After we were seated, our waiter came by and asked us for our tea selection. It would be wise to check out the menu on the kiosk outside of Peacock Alley before sitting down, to choose which type of tea you want, since a formal menu is not presented at the table. Our server was able to make recommendations, though, and suggested the most popular tea, a white ginger pear.

Teas

The six teas come from Tea Forte, and are served for your selection upon a silver platter. Teas include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Decaf English Breakfast, Jasmine Green Tea, Chamomile, and White Ginger Pear.

The teas are in a triangle tea bag, with a cute little leaf attached by a wire at the top. The leaf serves up two purposes – not only is it super cute, but it can be bent over the top of your cup to keep the tea bag from floating around.

Tea bag

The White Ginger Pear was exceptionally good, with a smoother flavor than many teas. The black teas tend to have a stronger flavor, but this white tea was delicate with just a hint of caffeine.

After the tea was served and allowed to steep for a few minutes, the first platter of food was brought out.

Sandwich Platter

The first serving was an assortment of tea sandwiches, one of each for both of us. The selections include cucumber, roasted turkey, black forest ham, classic egg salad, and smoked salmon.

Sandwich menu

The sandwiches were flavorful and really great. Often, tea sandwiches can be bland, but these sandwiches were real standouts. Forget just plain cucumber sandwiches. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando bumps it up a notch by adding shaved Asian pear, which was a crisp and refreshing combination paired with dill cream cheese.

The most impressive, I thought, was the [Read more…]

The Story of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

For those who are new to Disney parks, everything here has a backstory. Rides, shows, and, yes, even restaurants!

Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Recently, one of my good friends, Eric Chu, shared the backstory of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with us.

For those who haven’t been there, this counter-service restaurant is located in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland resort. Basically, you climb off of Space Mountain and there you are!

But do you know WHY there’s a pizza joint in the middle of the Milky Way? Let’s find out!

The History Behind Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

“The only real problem with long-term space travel is that you can’t get a decent pizza.” — Dr. Tyrone Mantanio, INSA Sector 5

A-GREED! Can you imagine traveling through space without the ability to order pizza?! I know, right? ;-D And according to the always-creative Disney imagineers, solving the problem of finding must-have food in the cosmos became a goal for scientists!

Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Redd Rockett to the rescue! He set up a [Read more…]

Snack Series: Beignets at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express

I have been promising myself — and you guys! — that I’d get back to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express for a while now. And today is the day!

Sign at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Express

Located adjacent to the main Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen table service restaurant in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District, this counter service spot serves up some great, quick options.

We showed you the icy Sno-Balls last year, and now it’s time to share the most prized (in my opinion) option on the menu!

Atmosphere

The Express location of Ralph Brennan’s offers the same New Orleans vintage vibe as the table service restaurant, but with no indoor seating. This is strictly and “order it to-go” kinda place, though there are several tables outside.

One cool feature, though: see that area behind the glass? It’s actually an “on stage” area where employees are making beignets!

Inside Jazz Kitchen Express

After you taste a beignet from here, you’re pretty much guaranteed to want to duplicate the magic at home (or at least try). For the adventurous, Cafe Du Monde Beignet Mix is sold here as well.

Cafe Du Monde Beignet Mix For Sale

Once your order is ready, you’ll [Read more…]

New Celtic Brunch — and more! — at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road has announced a new Sunday brunch, holiday eats at Christmas, New Year’s Eve fun, and more!

New Raglan Road Celtic Brunch Menu and Hours

Raglan Road is now offering a swanky Celtic Sunday Brunch from 11am until 3pm!

It’s the perfect mix of breakfast and lunch tastes created by Master Chef Kevin Dundon. Brunch menu options will include traditional Full Irish breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Oatmeal, Smoked Salmon Omelet, and much more.

On Sunday afternoon, live entertainment from the Irish Dancers will be featured from Noon until 3:30pm.

Dancing Podium and Live Music Stage

Raglan Road Christmas Menu

For a memorable Christmas day, dine at Raglan Road! The holiday menu will feature a roast turkey dinner.

In addition to a delicious Bunratty Mead glazed turkey, trimmings will include [Read more…]

Review: Cream Puff, Chocolate Eclair, and Creme Brulee in Epcot’s France

Every once in a while, a dining spot comes along that screams indulgence! And when you are traveling around the World in the space of a few hours at Epcot, it is imperative that you sample some of the World’s best treats.

Desserts in Epcot’s France Pavilion fall into this category perfectly. You simply must try something here. ;-) So off we go to savor the decadence that is the Boulangerie Patisserie!

Boulangerie Patisserie

When you head into the bakery, you’re overloaded with rows of pastries and sandwiches. We somehow managed to keep our selections to only three this day, starting with the luscious Cream Puff.

Cream Puff

Come on. Look at this thing. Only people in commercials and books get to eat stuff like this, right? So you HAVE to try it!

This version starts with a lovely pate a choux, the fresh, rich-tender pastry that serves as a vehicle for all of that beautiful filling.

Cream Puff

Speaking of the filling, it was wonderfully light and fluffy, and so much more than plain ol’ “whipped cream” in texture, flavor, and general “ooh la la-ness” (yes, that is now a thing). I don’t know if they use a European cream with a higher fat content, or if it’s just French magic, but this is fantastic.

Eat it slowly (you know…if you’re blessedly alone and your kids aren’t clamoring for a swipe of that filling!), and savor every delicious bite. :-)

Just pretend you’re in one of those Dove chocolate commercials. It’ll totally work.

Cream Puff Close Up

Chocolate Eclair

For our second dessert, we tried the Chocolate Eclair. An important point to note: I wasn’t expecting a [Read more…]

Art of Animation Food Court and Menu

We got a peek at the Art of Animation food court this weekend! It’s lovely, and I can’t wait to actually eat there!

Art Of Animation Entrance

Atmosphere

The food court is broken into several seating areas or “dining rooms” representing sections of the resort — Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo, and Little Mermaid.

Each dining room has concept art drawings and themes from the films decorating the walls and ceiling.

Lion King Dining Room

And each dining area has a light fixture themed to the film as well. In the Lion King room, you’ll see a giant tree growing around the [Read more…]

Review: Dulce de Leche Popsycake at Bongos Cuban Cafe

Sure, we had an amazing dinner during my recent (and very first! But not my last!) trip to Bongos Cuban Cafe recently.

But I’ve been keeping a bit of a secret from you from that evening!! What I haven’t told you yet? There’s deliciousness to be enjoyed at Bongos even in their gift shop!

Popsycakes!

We spied this display in the shop, right next to the cashier, and I was intrigued. They looked like they’d be pretty bad, overly-preserved Little Debbie knock-offs, but I knew we had to check them out for ya!

Popsycake Display

What is a popsycake, you ask? Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock like me (or your love is only for Mickey Bars and Disney cupcakes), you’ve heard of the cake pop craze.

Think of an enormous cake pop, but with a pretzel rod for a stick. Because really, if you can do away with the inedible parts of food wrapping, you SO should.

Popsycake Flavors

The popsycakes come in four different flavors, although I’m not certain the Vanilla Bean version was available the day we were there. But the dark chocolate one included [Read more…]

New! Re-Vamped Tutto Italia Menus in Epcot!

Coming up soon — new Italian food in Disney World! Soon we’ll have even more news about the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, but first…

We’ve got a sneak peek at some of the eats you’ll be able to try at the newly re-vamped Tutto Italia!

As we await the re-opening of this beloved Italian eatery in Disney World’s Epcot, we can finally share with you the new lunch, dinner, dessert, gluten free (!!), and kids’ menus!

Ready to dive in??? Let us know what YOU can’t wait to eat at Tutto Italia!

NEW Tutto Italia and Tutto Gusto Signs

Appetizer Menu

Appetizer Menu

Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Dessert Menu

[Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 22, 2012

Carthay Circle Theater and Restaurant in Disney California Adventure

This week we had fun sharing the new dessert and cocktail menu items at La Luce. And check out all the news pouring out from Disney California Adventure!

Disney Food News

We’ve got more delicious news (including Cool Wash Pizza closure, Palo High Tea discontinued, extended hours at Land Pavilion, and Vinylmation So Tasty Series info) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Grand Launch: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2012 e-Book

We recently announced the grand launch of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book! It’s an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 310 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

We’ve updated our 2012 edition with over 60 new pages of details along with more photos, coverage of new Disney dining experiences, exclusive games, and more! This is the ONLY Disney Dining Guidebook you’ll need for your upcoming Disney World trip. It’s perfect for long-time Disney fans, and those brand new to the theme parks. Get your copy today at DFBGuide.com!

If you DID purchase the 2011 Guide and would like to purchase the 2012 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email us here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2012 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2011 Guide in the body of your email.

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups visits Les Vins de France Wine Shop and Tasting Room.

DisneyContemporary.com shares three favorite cupcakes from the bakery at the Contemporary Cafe.

AllEars.Net visits Flying Fish Cafe and Deb Wills explains why it’s a memorable meal for non-seafood lovers too!

Kevin Kidney celebrates the return of the Citrus Swirl and Orange Bird.

Main Street Gazette savors Beef Nachos at Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom.

StudiosCentral.com summarizes changes made to table-service restaurant menus at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

the magic kitschdom tackles home-made Zebra Domes.

“Biramisu” Review and Recipe, Portobello Trattoria

Beer? For Dessert? Yes, indeed.

Despite the fact that I don’t know much about beer and I’m not a fan of tiramisu, I’m extremely glad that I got to try this combo of the two — Biramisu — at Downtown Disney Orlando’s Portobello Trattoria.

I’d known for months (over a year, maybe??) that I needed to get my butt in a chair over at Portobello to try this dessert. It’s pretty innovative, eh? Beer + Tiramisu? And the fact that they make it with a local Orlando Brewing Company porter makes it even more compelling.

Biramisu on the Dessert Menu

The local Organic Blackwater Dry Porter that’s used to make the Biramisu was new to us when we got to the restaurant, but we tried a bottle during lunch to check it out. Liked it!

Orlando Brewing Company Organic Blackwater Dry Porter

But when it was time for dessert, I was still skeptical. (Don’t worry, though; we ordered the white chocolate creme brulee, too, just in case.) I’m just not a big fan of soggy cake, alcohol-soaked anything, or beer in my dessert (as far as I knew). And isn’t that pretty much what this was?

But, if you’re like me and concerned, not to worry. If you take a look at the recipe for this stuff, there’s more [Read more…]