Review: Parfait aux Fruits and Duo Mousse Cake at Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

It’s become one of my life goals to eat my way through the entire bakery case at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

And why not? This place rarely churns out a dud, even though the selection is HUGE.

Now, I do have to say, I’m quite partial to my favorites: for example, the Frangipane (puff pastry with an almond filling), which I’ve adored ever since I tried it at the Food and Wine Festival’s Parisian Breakfast last  year, and the Brix aux Pommes, which has become a more recent favorite of mine.

So sometimes it’s hard to switch gears and choose beyond those. But a goal is a goal and I aim to do my readers proud! To that end, I’d like to show you a few other staples in that bakery case that I haven’t previously showcased on the blog.

Welcome back to Les Halles!

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

Les Halles

While there are plenty of savory options at Les Halles (it’s a great spot to grab soup and a sandwich), today we’re focusing on the sweet stuff. Let’s check out a few more French goodies tucked inside!

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

In fact, the treats we’re checking out today are displayed side by side in there, even though they are quite different from each other. We’re trying the Parfaits aux Fruits and a little something by the name of “Duo.”

Duo

First up, the oddly titled “Duo.” Initial impression? It’s gorgeous. A smooth chocolate dome reflects the light in the bakery case and catches your eye immediately.

Duo

Duo

The small chocolate topper gives you a hint as to [Read more…]

Review: Caramel Bacon Square and Caramel S’more at Epcot’s Karamell-Küche

It’s always a good day when we get to try ANYTHING at Karamell-Küche… and, we’ve got some awesome new-to-us treats for you today!

I stopped by the Germany Pavilion recently with the sole intention of grabbing a Chewy Caramel Shortbread Bar, but simply had to take a peek first into that bakery case chock full of golden caramel goodness. And…we found new stuffs!!

So, what’s new at the Caramel Kitchen, you ask?

Among the items that have arrived since my most recent visit were Vanilla and Chocolate Cakeballs, Caramel Gingersnaps, Caramel Bacon Squares (what WHAT?), and Caramel S’mores.

Caramel Gingersnap and Caramel S'more in bakery case

Caramel Gingersnap and Caramel S’more in bakery case

Chocolate Cakeball in bakery case

Chocolate Cakeball in bakery case

Caramel Bacon Square next to Caramel and Milk Chocolate in bakery case

Caramel Bacon Square next to Caramel and Milk Chocolate in bakery case

Umm… did somebody say “BACON”? Clearly, I altered my order right away to grab a Caramel Bacon Square ;). I asked for a Caramel S’more, too, while I was at it!

Caramel S'more and Caramel Bacon Square

Caramel S’more and Caramel Bacon Square

Sweet stuff with a touch of good ol’ bacon isn’t a mixture that’s unique to Karamell-Küche. You can find it in things like Everything Pop’s King Cupcake and Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie at BoardWalk Bakery.

What’s the Karamell-Küche take on this combo? From the outside, the Caramel Bacon Square looks a lot like the other chocolate-covered caramels in the case, only with [Read more…]

Review: Steamed Vegetables and Rice at Katsura Grill in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

I bet we caught you by surprise with the title of this post ;).

After all, here at the DFB we’re known for our love of all things fried, frosted, or otherwise fixed up in the name of vacation indulgence! It’s not that we’re opposed to veggies, believe it or not. (I love ‘em!) It’s just that in the Vacation Kingdom that is Disney World, we enjoy showing you all sorts of decadent vacation treats you might not typically encounter.

But sometimes maybe you just feel the need to switch things up for whatever reason… to counteract overindulgence, or just fulfill a sudden craving for more simple, natural foods.  For such times, I’d like to introduce you to one of my (surprisingly, I know!) favorite finds in Epcot: Steamed Vegetables and Rice at the Japan Pavilion’s Katsura Grill.

Katsura Grill

Katsura Grill

Now, the Steamed Vegetables and Rice aren’t sold as a combo – they are each [Read more…]

Review: Lemon Blast Cupcake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

You know how we love our big, over-the-top cupcakes here at the DFB.

We take ‘em filled with cream cheese, topped with Darth Vader, sprinkled with edible glitter, and any and all combinations of the above!

Cupcakes tend to take some of the top spots in any Disney World bakery case, so typically they aren’t remotely hard to spot.

But there is a little cupcake gem that really hasn’t received its proper due… The Lemon Blast Cupcake can only be found in the Sunshine Seasons bakery case in Epcot’s Future World, and more often than not, it’s hidden on the bottom shelf, well below the croissants, cookies, and muffins.

Here is a small batch, just waiting to be discovered like the “Charlie in the Box” on the Island of Misfit Toys…

Lemon Blast cupcake on the bottom of the case

Lemon Blast cupcake on the very bottom of the case

(By the way, the Lemon Blast Cupcake is $4.49 and a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.)

One of our rad readers (thanks, Jessica!) reminded us of this one, and it’s high time to give the Lemon Blast Cupcake a little DFB love!

Aside from the zig-zaggy, criss-cross-y pattern of lemon (!) drizzled over the top, the rest of the cupcake is pretty basic… or so it seems. Vanilla frosting covers a yellow cupcake base.

Lemon Blast Cupcake

Lemon Blast Cupcake

Frosting and lemon closeup

Frosting and lemon closeup

Before we find out what’s inside, take a look at this…

Lemon Cupcake Topping

Lemon Cupcake Topping

Weird, right? The piped lemon gel topping is a little stringy and a little sticky. So be warned. ;-) I’m not sure how I feel about it. Physically it’s kind of gross, but it tasted fine. So, there ya go.

So what is inside, anyway? A [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry and Cream Cupcake at Epcot’s Fountain View Starbucks

When visiting Fountain ViewEpcot’s Starbucks location – you’ll primarily find food items similar to what you’ll likely see at any Starbucks across the country: cake pops, muffins, breads, and Danish pastries, to name a few.

However, at the two Starbucks locations in Disney World Parks (the other being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery), there are a few treats specific to these locations – primarily, cupcakes!

And it’s always good to see those gems in the case amidst the more standard fare… especially since they come out along with all the other treats at breakfast time, and it’s practically a vacation rite of passage to start your day with a cupcake ;) . The previous selection from Fountain View included the Mickey Cupcake and the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake. And we love the Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake at Main Street Bakery!

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

A little while ago, Fountain View debuted a new cupcake next to to the Mickey Cupcake (replacing the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake), and I decided to give it a try: the Strawberry and Cream Cupcake. (Note that the bakery changes out items seasonally, so these may or may not be there on your visit. :-D)

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

I’m starting to realize that I’ve been completely spoiled by the humongous cupcakes found all over Disney World at places like Starring Rolls Cafe, Contempo Café, and the BoardWalk Bakery, because this cupcake struck me as rather small… when, in actuality, it’s a just, like, a normal-sized cupcake :).

The swirled strawberry and vanilla frosting is a really nice touch.

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

I prefer a thicker frosting, and though this frosting was airy and light instead, I appreciated that I could spot vanilla bean seeds in the “cream” side of the swirled frosting as well as strawberry seeds from the puree in the strawberry side.

Vanilla frosting

Vanilla frosting

Strawberry frosting

Strawberry frosting

That, unfortunately, is where my appreciation [Read more…]

Review: Croissant Berry Bread Pudding at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s Land Pavilion

When it comes to Disney World, sometimes I think there are morning park people and there are night park people.

I’ve always considered myself a night park person… I’m always up for a viewing of any of the nighttime spectaculars, and I’ve never been able to pick a favorite out of Illuminations, Wishes, or Fantasmic!

And the lights on the buildings on Main Street or the torches surrounding World Showcase only add to atmosphere. Plus, the blazing Florida sun has set, so you know… bonus!

But even I have to admit that sometimes the early bird really does catch the worm. Check out this unbelievably peaceful atmosphere for an early morning breakfast of Croissant Berry Pudding at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons!

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Can’t you just hear the music from Soarin’ somewhere in the back of your mind :) ?

Anyway, while the crowds are lining up for their morning java over at Fountain View (Starbucks) Cafe, Sunshine Seasons has a few great A.M. treasures (available until 11:00AM) that shouldn’t be overlooked.

You can find plenty of bakery pastries alongside hot breakfast dishes, including an Egg and Bacon Breakfast Panini; a full Breakfast Platter featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and a biscuit; and – the reason for today’s visit – a Croissant Berry Bread [Read more…]

Review: Espresso Gelato “Affogato” in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

We’re in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, and that means it’s GELATO TIME!!!

Unless, of course, it’s pizza time, but for now we’re just going to focus on the sweet stuff :).

Italy’s simple Gelato Stand is located just before you enter the Pavilion coming from Germany.

Gelato Stand

Gelato Stand

We’ve enjoyed grabbing Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches during a stroll or two around World Showcase, and you can always get a scoop of your choice of gelato in a cone or cup.

Gelato Selections

Gelato Selections

But there are some additional items on the menu as well. For instance, the Coppa Delizia pretty much rocked our world. Given that bit of awesomeness, we were curious to try one of the other “Gelato Creations” (designated as such on the menu): the Espresso Gelato “Affogato.”

Gelato Stand menu

Gelato Stand menu

I’m going to steal the description directly from the menu: this creation is “Italian Espresso poured over Fior di Latte Gelato topped with chocolate coffee beans.” And here’s what it looks like:

Espresso Gelato Affogato

Espresso Gelato Affogato

You’re getting a few treats in one here: a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and several accompaniments: two simple cookies, chocolate coffee beans, and a wafer “straw”. By the way, am I right that the cookies stuck just so into the scoop of gelato make a Mickey?

Mickey?

Is that you, Mickey?

Affogato means “drowned,” and that pretty much sums up the consistency of this gelato creation. The weird thing is, even though [Read more…]

Review: Green Tea Cheesecake at Katsura Grill in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

We’ve been enjoying snack time at Walt Disney World as we launched our Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition earlier this week!

To continue the celebration, let’s check out one of my favorite spots in World Showcase. And while we’re there, we’ll sample a never-featured-here-before snack today!

I think Epcot’s Japan Pavilion boasts some of the loveliest landscaping in Epcot, and a lot of it can be enjoyed from an outdoor seat at Katsura Grill.

Katsura Grill

Katsura Grill

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

The greenery, the paper lanterns, and waterfall all contribute to a sense of beauty and peace — even on the busiest of park days — so I’m always looking for reasons to spend more time in this spot.

A view from Katsura Grill

A view from Katsura Grill

Lanterns

Lanterns

Waterfall

Waterfall

One of those reasons, recently, was to try the Green Tea Cheesecake. I adore cheesecake, but have had both good and bad experiences with green tea infused food, so I was curious about what I might discover.

Upon receiving my slice, the first thing my eyes took in was the color. As expected, it’s rather green :), but a very light hue.

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

The portion size, I must say, seemed [Read more…]

Review: New Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch Ice Cream at L’Artisan des Glaces

So, here we are on our second trip to L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion in one week!

You may have seen our review of the new Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, but we just had to make it back right away to taste their brand new flavor. Take a deep breath, ‘cuz this one is a mouthful:  Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch Ice Cream.

And it’s good to be back so soon for another visit, because let’s face it – if there’s a list of places at Disney World that merit more than one trip during your vacation, L’Artisan des Glaces deserves to be on it.

That case full of 16 homemade flavors of ice cream and sorbet just doesn’t disappoint.

L'artisan des Glaces ice cream case

L’Artisan des Glaces ice cream case

Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch in the case

Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch in the case

There are so many words in the name “Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch,” it barely fits on the menu!

Flavor Menu

Flavor Menu

Menu close-up

Menu close-up

Fortunately, the Cast Member knew exactly what I was going for when I said, “May I have one scoop in a cup of the… um, Caramel, Cinnamon… uhh, Crumble … stuff? Please?”

Smooth. As. Silk. ;)

So, with that little tongue-twister out of the way, it was time to give it a try.

A cup of Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch

A cup of Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch

The name, of course, is a full description of a very full-flavored ice cream. You can immediately see the [Read more…]

Review: NEW Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France

Being that it’s July – the month we celebrate America’s independence – it’s not surprising to find a little extra red, white, and blue around Disney World these days.

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

All-American Mickey!

All-American Mickey!

Of course, Americans aren’t the only ones who claim these colors in their flag. Among others, our friends in France do, too!

French flags

French flags

Still, you don’t really expect to see these colors incorporated together in your food, which is why I was so surprised to spot the new Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion, sporting the colors of the French flag!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

I have to applaud the creativity of the chefs who came up with this treat. Check out the incredibly vivid red and blue making up each side of the macaron!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich red side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Of course, those colors may make you question the flavor of the macaron surrounding the ice cream – it’s vanilla. Essentially, this is the vanilla version of this treat’s counterpart, the Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, the vanilla version comes to you in that same French “newspaper” wrapping.

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French "newspaper"

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French “newspaper”

If you’ve enjoyed the housemade ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces, then you know how very creamy, dense, and decadent it is, and this is certainly true of the rich vanilla ice cream in the center of this sandwich.

Vanilla ice cream in center

Vanilla ice cream in center

The vanilla macaron surrounding the ice cream differs from the one surrounding the chocolate version in that [Read more…]