Review: Lotus Blossom Cafe in Epcot’s China Pavilion

We’re stopping by Lotus Blossom Cafe today for a quick dinner and a line-free dining experience!

The counter service spot, located in Epcot’s China Pavilion, isn’t a frequent stop for me. That’s because, to be honest, there are just lots and lots of other things I’d rather eat around World Showcase. And during my few previous visits, I haven’t been exactly wowed by their offerings.

But, you never know what you’re going to get with Disney restaurants; and since this is the Disney Food Blog after all, here we go!

Atmosphere

Lotus Blossom Cafe is set back a bit within the China Pavilon. Really, among all of the beautiful Pavilions that make up the countries of World Showcase, China holds its own. The detail and decor here is stunning.

Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot’s China Pavilion

And even the Lotus Blossom Cafe is no exception from a decor perspective. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 18th, 2014

Ready for another trip around the World? We’re heading to three parks and a few resorts to check out holiday treats, gingerbread feats, and new menu eats! And which Counter Service location is now serving up steak? Just read on to find out and see What’s New!

HOLIDAY TREATS

Red and green aren’t the only colors taking over Disney World now that the holiday season has launched around here… hues of blue decorate the festive snacks at this year’s brand new “Frozen” Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

We tried the Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Read our review and see all the other treats available at the new display here!

Get ready for all your favorite Disney World bakery items (we’re talking Krispy Treats, Candy Apples, and Mickey Macarons) to be dressed up for the holiday season in spots like the Main Street Confectionery, Seashore Sweets, and Big Top Treats.

Holiday Bakery Case

Holiday Bakery Case

Ornament Candy Apples

Ornament Candy Apples

More candy apples!

More candy apples!

Holiday cupcakes

Holiday cupcakes

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

And now let’s look into some ways the Parks are getting into the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: October 28, 2014

Happy Fall! Autumnal treats have been appearing all over Disney World for a while now, but with Halloween just days away, we thought we’d give you one last glimpse of the season’s snacks.

But that’s not the only food news ’round these parts… not by a long shot. Take a trip with us around all four Disney World parks to check out What’s New!

Hollywood Studios

October is probably my favorite time for the candy apples that hit the scene, like these at Sweet Spells.

Halloween Candy Apples

Halloween Candy Apples

"Poisoned" Candy Apple

“Poisoned” Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner currently features a Caramel Apple Shake as its tribute to fall. The featured shakes here change frequently, so be sure to pop by to see what’s available on your visit!

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner

Caramel Apple Shake

Caramel Apple Shake

Joffrey’s Coffee Carts all over Disney World have changed their seasonal offerings to include a Pumpkin Pie Latte and a Pumpkin Pie Frozen Cappuccino.

Joffrey's Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Speaking of those Joffrey’s Carts… remember the Big ‘Ol Donut? We spotted a few topped with massive amounts of cookie crumble for a change [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 4, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’ve got food news (and menu changes galore) from every single Disney World park… and beyond! So settle, in, make yourselves comfy, and join us to see What’s New!

Animal Kingdom

We’ll start with the fact that Dole Whip (with or without rum, y’all) can now be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa! (Yep; we’ve had confirmation from Dole that it IS indeed authentic Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve.)

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

But we don’t want to miss the chance to mention that Tamu Tamu has also brought back some old favorites with a recent menu refresh: The Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is back (hooray!), along with the return of the Quinoa Salad. The Roasted Chicken Salad and gorgeous Fresh Fruit Salad made the cut from the previous menu.

Tamu Tamu Menu

Tamu Tamu Menu

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

And I’m very happy to say that the Fresh Fruit Bowl is back in time for summer!

Fruit Bowl at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Fruit Bowl Salad

The Fruit Salad has returned to Bradley Falls, too.

Bradley Falls menu

Bradley Falls menu

Remember, Bradley Falls operates seasonally, so if it’s closed during your visit, it’s good to know you can head over to Tamu Tamu for a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

Have you seen (or heard?!) this awesome Musical Tumbler found at various food locations throughout Animal Kingdom? Get the full scoop here!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a perfect spot to grab a cup of hot tea (assorted varieties available) or coffee. However, they’re currently offering some flavored Iced Teas in light of the warmer temps.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Though not food-related, I’d like to offer this next picture as a small tribute. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wrapped up its nearly 13-year run as Animal Kingdom makes way for all sorts of new adventures. I don’t think I’m speaking solely for myself when I say this unique, beautiful and fun parade will be missed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Magic Kingdom

The Lunching Pad has added one more option to its gourmet hot dog selection: the BLT Hot Dog joins the Coney Island Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday… this next bit is not a new item, but rather a new [Read more…]

Review: The Lucky Combo at the Joy of Tea in Epcot’s China

I’ll bet you’ve all spent a day or two (or more!) strolling around Epcot’s World Showcase…walking right past the Joy of Tea in the China Pavilion.

Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot’s China Pavilion

After all, with all of China’s gorgeous themeing inside the gate, who would happen to look outside of it?

Joy of Tea Kiosk

Huzzah! The Joy of Tea Kiosk!

Many folks assume it serves… well, just tea.

Joy of Tea sign

Joy of Tea sign

So they may not give it much thought as they make their way towards Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in the neighboring Norway Pavilion for a fix of School Bread.

But this fun grab-and-go stop actually offers so much more!

The Joy of Tea Menu -- click to enlarge

The Joy of Tea Menu — click to enlarge

And here’s a DFB tip! You can try all of their snacks at once via the Lucky Combo.

The Lucky Combo is a terrific way to sample the eats at the J of T: the Curry Chicken Pocket, Chinese BBQ Pork Bun, and Egg Roll (if you order the snack portion of any of these, you get two of the item – for the Combo, you get one each).

The Lucky Combo also includes your choice of ice cream (Caramel Ginger or Strawberry Red Bean), AND a can of soda to quench your thirst!

Lucky Combo!

Lucky Combo!

The price? $9.98 for everything. Score! That’s less than the cost of one turkey leg!

I took my Combo over to the seating area at the Lotus Blossom Café.

Seating at the Lotus Blossom Cafe

Seating at the Lotus Blossom Cafe

Let’s go down the list, shall we?

The Lucky Combo

The Lucky Combo

Starting with the Curry Chicken Pocket (AJ’s a fan!), the center is [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Garden Grill Restaurant in Disney World’s Epcot

We’re heading back to Epcot’s Future World for dinner at Garden Grill Restaurant!

This is a DFB favorite, and it comes together as Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast. The dinner features an all-you-care-to-eat meal served Family Style.

If you’ve ever shied away from eating in Future World in favor of the more varied cuisine available in World Showcase, it may be time to give Disney World’s only rotating restaurant a chance.

Please join me, Chip ‘n Dale, Pluto, and the main Mouse himself (MICKEY!) at the Harvest Feast for some food and fun!

Garden Grill Sign

Garden Grill Sign

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere? Well, that depends… You see, the Garden Grill rotates over the various scenes of the Living with the Land attraction, so what you see depends on where in the rotation you are in the moment.

It takes about one hour to make the full rotation, so it’s slow enough that you don’t really notice the feel of it while you are dining — at least, I didn’t. I was too busy enjoying the views!  Take a look…

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill -- The Farmhouse

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill — The Farmhouse

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill -- The Farmhouse

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill — The Farmhouse Dog!

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill -- Rainforest

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill — Rainforest

Transition from Rainforest to Desert

Transition from Rainforest to Desert

Garden Grill Mural

Garden Grill Mural

We enjoyed all of this from our table on the lower level of this two-level restaurant. It’s definitely a score if you are seated on the lower level, which is fashioned with booths as opposed to the chairs and tables on the upper level.

Garden Grill booth

Garden Grill booth

The booths provide more of a “front row seat” experience for the attraction, so it’s worth asking at check-in to see if you can get one. I wasn’t expecting a booth since it was just my husband and me, but several of the booths are divided with drop-leaf tables, allowing for a larger family on one side, and a pair on the other. The drop-leaf, of course, can be raised to accommodate a larger group, if needed.

Larger Booth -- Family Side

Larger Booth — Family Side

Larger Booth -- Side for a pair

Larger Booth — Side for a pair

Of course, the special touches are in full effect here — check out this table setting! Remind you of a certain character?

Mickey Table Setting :)

Mickey Table Setting :)

Speaking of… The one thing with the ability to distract you from the attraction views is… well, it’s actually FOUR things: the Characters!

Here’s Chip striking a pose in front of the Prairie Desert.

Chip strikes a pose

Chip strikes a pose

Pluto stopped by to say “Hello!”

Pluto!

Pluto!

Dale plotted how he might sneak some of our food…

Dale Plotting...

Dale Plotting…

… but I informed him it was people food, and not well-suited for chipmunks. (That makes for a sad chipmunk!)

Sad Dale

Sad Dale

Okay, this next shot is not a shining example of terrific photography ;) . But I hope it conveys that moment of excitement when you first spot THE EARS over a nearby booth (c’mon, you can admit it!), and realize who will be at your table shortly…

EARS!

EARS!

Farmer Mickey Mouse — in OVERALLS, no less!!!

Farmer Mickey

Farmer Mickey

At the start of the meal, I was a bit [Read more…]

First Look! 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival MUST-EAT Treats!

We’ve been touring the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival all day, indulging in the gorgeous views and good eats! See the full menus for this year’s booths here!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Must Eat Treats

As many of you remember, the Flower and Garden Festival added multiple food booths to its offerings last year. They’re all back this year — including one extra addition — to tempt the tastebuds of Springtime visitors to Epcot this time around!

Don't forget to grab your Flower and Garden Festival passport and keep track of all the eats!

Don’t forget to grab your Flower and Garden Festival passport and keep track of all the eats!

We’ll have a full review of ALL the goodies for you tomorrow, but let’s take a peek at some of the must-try items this year!

Ahhh, Epcot in the Spring.

Ahhh, Epcot in the Spring.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Dole Whip at Pineapple Promenade

This awesome combo of sweet potato waffle and everyone’s favorite pineapple deliciousness is a must-try for Epcot guests. We were really surprised how much we enjoyed the cinnamon + pineapple combo!

Find it at the Pineapple Promenade booth at the front of the World Showcase!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Dole Whip

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Dole Whip

Piggylicious Cupcake at The Smokehouse

If you woke up this morning thinking you should really have bacon AND cupcakes for breakfast, well, we’ve got the ticket! Just head over to the Smokehouse booth!

This Piggylicious cupcake gives you a bacon cupcake topped with maple frosting AND pretzels! Where do the pretzels come from? Who cares? Yum. Our team says the cake has lots of salty, smoky bacon; and the cake base is less sweet than normal yellow cake.

The maple frosting is much better than we expected, and altogether, this treat really works! Pancakes and bacon in a cupcake? Shore!!

Piggylicious Cupcake -- Bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzels

Piggylicious Cupcake — Bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzels

Kumquat Pie at Florida Fresh

New at the Florida Fresh booth this year, guests can partake in a Kumquat Pie!

We found the texture a [Read more…]

What’s New Around the World!

What’s new in regards to eats and treats in Disney World? What’s changed? Have any menu items bid us farewell? Read on to find out what has caught our eye lately!

Animal Kingdom

The Dawa Bar in Africa’s Harambe Village has moved and received a makeover! Check out the full scoop here.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

And thanks to Avatarland, we bid adieu to the Camp Minnie-Mickey character greeting area. This space had two snack kiosks: one for funnel cakes and the other for hot dogs and pretzels.

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

You can still grab a terrific hot dog over at Restaurantosaurus… a Mac & Cheese Dog, to be precise! And those beloved Mickey Pretzels can be found in the Harambe Fruit Market (including the Jalapeno Cheese-stuffed Pretzel!).

Mr. Kamal’s (a kiosk devoted primarily to vegetarian selections) recently revamped the menu. Pick up samosas, falafel sammies, and hummus with veggies!

Mr. Kamal's Updated Menu

Mr. Kamal’s Updated Menu

It’s worth scoping out Bradley Falls (directly across from Mr. Kamal’s), to see if it is open on your visit. It’s typically open during busy days, and the most recent menu showed that the Edamame and Asian Noodle Salad are options there along with a brand new Thai Coconut Soup! Check out some of these [Read more…]

Photos and Review Part 1: The NEW Spice Road Table in Walt Disney World’s Epcot!

Hooray! We’re finally celebrating our first taste of Spice Road Table!

Spice Road Table in Disney World's Epcot

We’ve been eating our little hearts out at Epcot’s newest tapas restaurant and we can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Our review will be broken into a few parts, since there’s SO much to share!

Spice Road Table will be soft opening on Saturday for the public (a grand opening has not yet been scheduled), and we want to hear what you think! The tapas-only restaurant features small plates (which means you can order a LOT!) as well as specialty drinks, a full bar, wines, beers, and more.

There’s even some chef-crafted ice cream (we got to try all five flavors!!) — scroll down to see our review and some fun pics!

But first, let’s take a look around…

Spice Road Table Sign (1)

Spice Road Table View from the water

Spice Road Table View from the water

Here you’ll see pictures of the new Juice Bar, the outdoor seating at the restaurant, and even the indoor decor! It’s gorgeous!! We can’t wait for you to check it out!

Atmosphere

Spice Road Table, Epcot’s newest restaurant taking up residence on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon in the Morocco Pavilion, will surely be a destination for many Disney food lovers like me!

The space combines 60 indoor seats and 120 outdoor seats, so guests will be comfortable no matter the weather. Now, let’s take a peek INSIDE the restaurant!

Spice Road Table Indoor Seating

Spice Road Table Indoor Seating

As you can see, the space inside is small, but well appointed. There is a view of the water from every single table through the giant wall of windows looking onto World Showcase Lagoon.

Yep — this will absolutely be a hot ticket for the fireworks!

Spice Road Table Decor Indoors

Spice Road Table Decor Indoors

Decor elements include bright colors, plenty of Moroccan additions, and some truly gorgeous lamps and lanterns.

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

Spice Road Table Indoor Lanterns

But, of course, the main draw is the view!! I’m looking forward to sitting at this table soon!

Spice Road Table Indoor View

Spice Road Table Indoor View

The atmosphere was meant to [Read more…]