2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Vegetarian Moussaka at the Greece Marketplace Booth

We have more delicious eats for you today from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Disney has been lauded in the past for their commitment to serving guests who have special dietary needs. Whether you’re gluten free, vegetarian, or have other food sensitivities, your choices throughout Walt Disney World have been steadily increasing.

We’ve also seen this emphasis at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. For the last few years, an entire Marketplace Booth, Terra, has been devoted to a vegan menu.

But beyond Terra, you’ll also find vegetarian offerings scattered throughout the other Marketplaces. (See the full listing of Festival Vegetarian options here, and a list of Festival Gluten Free options here.)

One of our very favorites was introduced this year — Vegetarian Moussaka.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Vegetarian Moussaka

A layered dish customarily consisting of Eggplant and/or Potatoes, a rich Meat Filling, and Béchamel, it’s a comforting dish that’s especially perfect for the cold weather months.

Vegetarian Moussaka --Inside

Vegetarian Moussaka –Inside

No lie — I have been dreaming about this dish since I first tasted it at the Food and Wine Preview dinner last Summer. When I had a chance to sample it once again at the Greece Marketplace Booth, it was just as amazing! It is truly one of the most delicious and satisfying vegetarian entrees I have ever tasted.

And now, you and I can both make it at home! Perfect for the next time you’d like to offer a meatless meal, this hearty casserole will please even the most die-hard meat eaters.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Greece Marketplace Booth

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

Meatless Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 (11-ounce) packages meatless crumbles
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Béchamel Sauce: [Read more…]

Top 5 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The themeing is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Top Five Animal Kingdom Restaurants

Tusker House

If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.

This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive themeing anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and imagineering here with just one meal.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat, whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

But if you’re still looking to add a character dining experience to your list of advance dining reservations, be sure to book the breakfast or lunch, as characters don’t appear at dinner.

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

Seeing Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb at Breakfast and Lunch is Super Fun!

It’s always a kick to add pics Mickey and Friends in different outfits, and at Tusker House, they’re dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!

Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find

[Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Veggie Tater Bake from Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure (A Vegetarian Recipe!)

It’s always a good idea to have a vegetarian meal or two tucked into your recipe box, don’t you think? And if Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie are your thing, you’ve gotta try this veggie version!

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Offered at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land, Flo’s Veggie Tater Bake has been delighting herbivores and carnivores alike since the restaurant first opened two years ago!

Veggie Tater Bake

Veggie Tater Bake

Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas for Meatless Mondays or Fridays during Lent, or you have special friends you’d like to impress with your vegetarian cooking skills, we definitely think you should give this hearty casserole a try!

Veggie Tater Bake

Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Disney California Adventure
Serves 6

Ingredients: [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…]

Review! New Vegetarian Fare and Allergy Kiosk at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We were excited to tell you about the brand new Gardens kiosk at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last week, which caters to guests with allergies and special dietary concerns. The new information station debuted over the weekend — and today, we have photos for you!

But in addition to the Gardens, guests who prefer a vegetarian menu will find some great new vegetarian options in the park, too. We’ve reviewed two new options today for you!

Gardens Kiosk Menu and Offerings

New Gardens Allergy Information Kiosk

The Gardens kiosk opened for business on Sunday, and it looks like a real winner. It’s another great step in Disney’s commitment to being a great destination for guests special dietary needs or restrictions.

The hub, located centrally on Discovery Island near Flame Tree Barbecue and the entrance to It’s Tough to Be a Bug, serves to educate guests about the top eight food allergens.

Cast members are available to advise guests with food allergies on the best places within Animal Kingdom to eat.

Cast Member Giving Guests Information at Gardens Kiosk

But it’s more than just a great place for advice. Guests can stop by the handy booth for [Read more…]

My Favorite Food Kiosks at Walt Disney World! What Are Yours?

I get lots of emails and questions about the food I personally love in Disney World, and today I’m sharing some of my favorite Disney Food Kiosks!

You know the ones — those cute little structures that are almost restaurants, but not quite? Here are a few of the BIGGEST TASTES you can get at the smallest places in Disney World! :-)

I hope you’ll share some of your favorites in the comments, too!

Aloha Isle

There is no way I could have a list of favorite kiosks without putting Magic Kingdom’s Aloha Isle right up front! The welcoming little stand, located in Adventureland, is home to one of Disney’s most beloved treats, after all.

Aloha Isle

Aloha Isle

That’s right — we’re talking Dole Whips!

And whether you like yours in float form, swirled with vanilla, or are you’re a purist, most Disney fans don’t consider their trip complete until they’ve made at least one stop here.

Dole Whip Float! A Must-Eat snack for every Disney guest.

As for me, I prefer about one visit to Aloha Isle for each day I’m at Disney. :-) No kidding, even though I’m usually eating non-stop on every Disney trip, this is one snack I never skip.

Fife and Drum

At the midway point while you’re walking around Epcot’s World Showcase, you’ll encounter another of our favorite stops, Fife and Drum.

This unassuming little stand looks like just another drink stop, but be sure to swing by and check out the menu for some seriously fun eats. Fife and Drum is home to some items you won’t find anyplace else! But there are not-to-be missed classics here as well, like the cult favorite Smoked Turkey Legs.

Fife and Drum Tavern

If you’re a pretzel fan, you have three different varieties to choose from. The stuffed Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel has a great spicy kick! And you’ll also find the sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel (decadent!) and the Mickey Soft Pretzel (cute!) here, too. This is one of the few places in Disney World to find all of these kinds of pretzels sold in one spot.

UPDATE: Please note, you can still find all these pretzels in the American Adventure Pavilion; however, they are now located at the Block and Hans Craft Beer kiosk.

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel!

There are also some amazingly tasty drinks here as well. We’ve told you about the Jim Beam Red Stag Lemonade, a wonderful little frozen drink with a punch, thanks to black cherry-flavored bourbon.

You can get your root beer float fix here, too, made with vanilla soft serve.

Root Beer Float

But the piece de resistance of slushies can also be found in this humble spot: I give you the American Dream! This incredible frozen drink combines [Read more…]

Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe — Vegetarian Style!

We all know that Pecos Bill’s is a terrific place to grab a burger and fries, right?

But on a recent visit I really wanted to try out a few new-to-me items that I’d been hearing about: the corn on the cob, and the onion rings.

So what began as casual curiosity ended up being a completely vegetarian meal. And how did a burger joint fare as a vegetarian option? Read on…

Atmosphere

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (known to many just as “Pecos Bill’s”) in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland is extremely popular. I would venture a guess that this dining location and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe see the majority of the counter-service traffic in the Magic Kingdom.

Pecos Bill Sign

Straddling Adventureland and Frontierland, the restaurant’s architecture seems to include both Caribbean and Western influences.

Sign from Frontierland Side

But the story of Pecos Bill clearly signals that the heart of this eatery is firmly planted in the Old West. The Great State of Texas, to be exact!

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

Don’t forget to always respect the Code of the West!

Inside, you’ll find beams on the low ceilings and soft light (sometimes it can get downright [Read more…]

A Vegetarian in Disney — Tips From an Expert

Many thanks go out today to Disney World Moms Panelist Kathie F., who has kindly answered a few interview questions about how to make dining vegetarian in Disney a thoroughly fulfilling experience! Stay tuned after this to hear more from Kathie as she continues to contribute her tips and experience in upcoming Disney Food Blog articles!

My questions for Kathie are in bold!

Q. What foods are your most common options when visiting Disney World? (e.g. What can guests expect when ordering the “vegetarian option.”)

A. I don’t know if I have one; since there are so many options at so many restaurants I like to try and mix it up every visit! One of my stand-by restaurants is Teppan Edo. Our family loves the show that accompanies the food, and I love the veggies and noodles served there! As you’ll see from some of my other answers — I don’t shy away from any Disney restaurant no matter what the printed menu says!

onion volcano at Teppan Edo

If you’re planning on dining vegetarian at WDW, just expect the unexpected. Don’t [Read more…]

Lunch at Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe

Disney World’s Tangierine Cafe (like “Tangier,” Morocco; get it?) is a guest favorite for two reasons: consistent quality and a unique menu. While many think that Disney counter-service (fast food) is all burgers and pizzas, Disney fans know that there’s a lot more beneath the greasy exterior!

Atmosphere
This is easily one of the most beautiful quick-service restaurants in all of Disney World. Being part of Epcot’s Morocco pavilion means that the architecture and design of the restaurant was under the guidance of the King of Morocco; intricate tiling and decor is all authentic Moroccan design.

Tangierine Cafe ordering area and dining room

View from indoor table

Gorgeous Moroccan chandeliers, zellige tiling along the counters and serving areas, plaster carvings lining the walls, and intricate iron work are all components to the design here — it’s worth it to just pop in, get a mint tea, and relax while taking in the incredible surroundings. And while there is seating indoors, you might enjoy [Read more…]