Snack Series: Key Lime Tart at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

There are plenty of well-loved spots to eat all over Walt Disney World. (Don’t I know it!) But one spot that we love — and you do too, judging from your reviews, emails, and comments — is Sunshine Seasons in Epcot.

So recently, after a trip Soarin’ over California, ;-) I stopped by there for a bite to eat, and found a little snack that I can’t wait to share with you!

If you aren’t familiar with Sunshine Seasons, you need to be! It’s a huge counter service spot located on the first floor within The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World. Set up as a food court, there are countless freshly made and interesting food options featured everyday at the various stations, plus many more grab n’ go desserts and snacks.

Epcot's Sunshine Seasons

I’d heard a lot from readers about the Key Lime Tart here, and I was looking forward to trying it. Overall, you’ve got a subtantial graham cracker crust filled with key lime filling and topped with toasted meringue.

Key Lime Tart

When I [Read more…]

NEW! Peach Cobbler at Epcot’s Liberty Inn

There is so much going on with in Epcot right now with incredible food! With the Flower and Garden Festival off to a strong start (don’t forget to read our full review of all of the food here!), I think it’s going to be a great Spring at Disney World!

And now we get to tell you about a brand new dessert offering at Liberty Inn in the America Pavilion — Peach Cobbler! But this isn’t just a random new dessert. This cobbler has a story.

It’s a recipe inspired by Mrs. Fisher’s Cookbook, the first African-American Cookbook, published in 1881. The book is part of the Kinsey Collection, an exhibit celebrating African-American art and history, which recently opened in the America Pavilion in World Showcase.

Sign for Peach Cobbler at the Ordering Area

Love the idea and want to see more recipes? You can actually pick up a copy of the book yourself! But now, onto the Cobbler!

Peach Cobbler

The cobbler is baked into the standard Disney counter service disposable black bowl. A word about cobblers: the term encompasses lots of different styles. Some prefer a crumb topping, while others favor a biscuit. Still others make cobblers that resemble pies with pastry shells top and bottom.

While the book speaks to a pie-like creation, this cobbler falls firmly into the crumble category.

Peach Cobbler

Close up, you can see the crumb topping of butter, flour, sugar, oatmeal, and spices, that bakes together to form a [Read more…]

Review: “Extreme” Japanese Candy in Epcot! (Or, How I Ruined the Hotel Pipes With Pop Rocks)

Just about every veteran Disney World visitor knows to block off at least 30 minutes to wander around the black hole of awesomeness that is Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, right?

Mitsukoshi - Exterior of Store

In addition to everything else under the sun — from plush toys to bamboo to coffee mugs — Mitsukoshi offers a plethora of Japanese packaged food items!

Back in December, our fearless guest author Galloping Gourmand (a.k.a. Eric) wrote up a rad review of some more unique Japanese eats found at the store. And we all love indulging in some Pocky now and again.

But the last time I was there (spending my allotted time wandering through kimonos and Hello Kitty paraphernalia), I picked up a couple of appealing-looking packets of “extreme” candy to sample for you! :-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

The first thing I couldn’t wait to try for this “extreme” candy session was a Japanese version of Pop Rocks!

I originally picked these up to give to Heather‘s kids, but decided that you guys would totally want to experience what would obviously be a truly incredible candy adventure. So I’m doing a review instead. ;-)

Japanese Pop Rocks

For those who haven’t seen Pop Rocks before, they’re basically tiny crystals of candy that have been exposed to carbon dioxide at high pressure and allowed to cool. As a result, when they come into contact with liquid, the carbon dioxide is released making the candy pop and sizzle.

Contrary to popular belief (why?!?), nobody has actually died by eating Pop Rocks and drinking carbonated beverages (I know you were wondering). ;-)

Back of Japanese Pop Rocks

On my excursion, I picked up the Grape version and the Cola version. At least that’s what I understood them to be by looking at the excited pictures on the packets!

The packets contained the pop rocks crystals as well as little pastel candies. The pastel candies weren’t “poppy,” so I’m guessing there were there for an added sweetness? Upon trying the Pop Rocks, there were just as I’d remembered them from my kid-hood: fun and explosive without too much flavor. ;-)

Close Up Look at Contents of Japanese Pop Rocks Packets

BUT, here’s a word to the wise…

If you do have a packet of Pop Rocks (Japanese or otherwise) that you’re reviewing for a food blog about 5 minutes before you have to be checked out of your hotel room and the housekeeper is knocking on your door telling you she has to get the room ready for the next occupant, do not…I repeat DO NOT [Read more…]

FULL Review: 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Food Pictures, Booths, Menus, and Prices!

Whew!! We’ve been goin’ all day to report on the brand new food and beverage marketplaces at the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!!

We’ve got ALL the photos and reviews below, but overall — these food booths are a hit! In fact, those festival planners have outdone themselves and have given the Epcot Food and Wine Festival a run for its money!!

Let’s take a look at nearly everything you can try at the Flower and Garden Festival this year…

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Food and Beverage Marketplaces

Here are the marketplaces, menus, prices, FOOD PHOTOS, and reviews!!

THE COTTAGE: Savories, Trifles and Tea

– United Kingdom

  • Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream
  • Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney**
  • Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with house-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil**
  • Chocolate Trifle
  • Berry Trifle
  • Ginger and Tea Trifle
  • Trio of Trifles
  • Hot Teas (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Lemon Green Tea, Jasmine Green Tea, Spiced Apple Chai, Pumpkin Chai, Mixed Berry Black Tea, Pomegranate and Raspberry, Camomile Honey & Vanilla, Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange, Pure Peppermint, Lemon & Ginger)
  • Peach Cold Brewed Iced Tea
  • Mixed Berries Cold Brewed Iced Tea
  • Poema Cava Brut Rosé
  • Chilled Rose Blush Lemonade – Non alcoholic

The Cottage UK Booth

The Cottage UK Booth Menu

The Baked Goat’s Brie is good, but doesn’t pack as much of a cheese punch as we wish it did! The Kumquat Chutney is like a tangy marmalade!

Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney

The Biscuit and Salmon is a delicious dish! The tartare is fresh with lemon and dill, and the still-warm biscuit was a nice touch.

Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream

This salad offered very fresh and full-flavored tri-colored tomatoes!

Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with house-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil

The trifles are available individually, or as a trio as seen here. Each offers about two bites, and our favorite was the green tea!

Trio of Trifles -- chocolate, berry, and ginger tea

BAUERNMARKT: Farmer’s Market

– Adjacent to Germany

  • Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout
  • German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots
  • Potato Pancakes with house made Apple Sauce**
  • Florida Avenue American Wheat Ale
  • Krombacher Hefeweizen
  • Goose Island Brewing Company’s Honker Ale
  • Blue Point’s Toasted Lager
  • Beer Flight
  • Hugo – Charles De Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint

Germany Farmers Market Booth

Germany Farmers Market Menu

The meatloaf sandwich is much more of a “ham” loaf, actually! ;-) The breaded shallots are a [Read more…]

Review: Monsieur Paul in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Today, we have a real treat for you!

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

We are heading through the unassuming door and up the fabled staircase above Epcot’s Les Chefs de France to savor a meal at the newly revamped Monsieur Paul Restaurant!

Located in the France Pavilion within Epcot, Monsieur Paul was formerly Bistro de Paris. When the signature restaurant underwent refurbishment last year, it received a new name, honoring the life and legacy of legendary chef and owner Paul Bocuse.

But what else had changed? We were curious as well. And so, armed with a camera, my notebook, and an appetite, I recently made my way through the double doors to bring the story to you.

This is going to be a long one (over 50 photos!!), so settle in for a culinary journey!


As you poke around the France Pavilion and see glasses of wine and glaces for sale, you’ll encounter this sign letting you know of your (less obvious) dining options.

External Sign Showing France Pavilion Restaurants

And it’s a good thing! Because unless you know it’s there, it would be pretty easy to pass right by the entrance for Monsieur Paul, which is actually tucked back into the pavilion, wrapped behind the more prominent Les Chefs de France.

Monsieur Paul Menu Plaque

With its crisp awning cover and double doors, it blends in as just another part of the authentic themeing in the pavilion — which nearly convinces you that you’re in Paris.

Monsieur Paul -- Outside

Just like high-end restaurants that are hidden to all but those who have been let in on the secret, you won’t see any flashy signs hanging over the door. Instead, you’ll simply catch a glimpse (if you’re really looking for it) of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Lunch at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Today, we’re traveling to Epcot’s Italy Pavilion for lunch at Via Napoli in this guest review by Julie B.!

Buongiorni a tutti! I want to tell you about one of my favorite places for lunch in all of Disney World: Via Napoli, located in the Italy pavilion of World Showcase.

Via Napoli is a relatively recent addition to the dining options of Epcot (and part of a major restaurant overhaul in Italy’s pavilion over the past few years).

This pizzeria doesn’t disappoint when enlightening diners with the true wonders of Neapolitan pizza.

Via Napoli!


The first thing you should know about Via Napoli is that it’s huge, and I mean HUGE! When you walk into the main dining room you’ll notice that it’s very wide but also features sky-high ceilings. This does create a lot of echoing, so Via Napoli is not the best place to come for an intimate meal (but it’s great if you’ve got kids who need to blow off some steam).

The large dining room.

A benefit of those high ceilings is that they have large windows and allow the room to be bathed in natural light. It’s one of the main reasons I love to dine here for lunch instead of dinner.

Another one of my favorite parts of the restaurant’s large size is the center table that stretches across the whole room. If you’re seated at this table, you’ll be [Read more…]

New! Le Cellier Light-Up Menus in Disney World!

OK, I gotta tell you about this! We heard about another interesting update to the Le Cellier menus in Disney World’s Epcot and had to check it out!

We reported recently on the fact that Le Cellier has now gone to an all-day menu — but guests will have another surprise to explore when they arrive!

Here’s the new light-up menu!

This is a great option for darker restaurants like Le Cellier — the perfect way to see your menu with out eye strain. The menu itself is lit from behind! Here’s the menu — dark — just as you’re opening it…

…and here it is as it lights up automatically when you open it all the [Read more…]

News! Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Food Booths Are Arriving (And the Menu Has Been Updated)!

Epcot is starting to bloom for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, which will be held March 6-May 19th! And we’ve UPDATED OUR FULL MENU!!!

And we’ve just updated our FULL Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menu available at this year’s festival.

Don’t forget to check out the FOOD PHOTOS featuring some of the goodies that can be found at the TWELVE specialty food marketplaces this year!

The Epcot Flower and Garden festival menu items are sure to be crowd-pleasers, and we’re excited to see the food booths and topiaries already popping up around the Showcase…

2013 Cinderella Topiary at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Many of these booths — OK, ALL of the booths — are going to look very familiar to those of us who attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

In Mexico, we’re headed for a margarita along with some yummy tacos. What will you try? The Jardin De Fiestas Mexico booth will offer: Crab Tostadas with Chipotle Aioli and Valentina Salsa: Pork Tacos served over flour tortilla and topped with Cactus leaves, Tamarind and [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fish Fry

With Lent on the horizon — and with a few questions from readers recently about where to get a great fish fry in Disney World — I knew that now would be the perfect time to check out the best places to find that golden battered goodness at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let’s check out some of the best fried fish in Disney World

Best Disney World Restaurants for a Fish Fry

United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot

You can’t go wrong for fish and chips in the delicacy’s home pavilion in Epcot.

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Whether you take a load off at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room or grab some fried food to go from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, you’re in for a mild but authentic taste of one of England’s best exports.

While you’re there, enjoy a beer and a performance by The British Revolution or the Pub’s Hat Lady.

Cookes of Dublin and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

If you find yourself in need of a fish fix while you’re “Downtown,” head over to the Pleasure Island District for two authentic and delicious options. The One & One at Cookes of Dublin is one of our favorites on property.

Cooked to order and served piping hot, the fish is flaky and tender.

Fish and Chips from Cooke’s of Dublin

But if you have the time for a slower meal, you may want to consider the famous beer battered fish and chips on the lunch menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub right next door.

Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

Here in Liberty Square, you can enjoy a counter service battered fish basket with broccoli, apples, or French fries at Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant. The proportion of breading to fish is perfect, and the fish isn’t too oily.

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House (photo from Kelly Amey via the DFB Flickr Group) 

Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a slightly more upscale take on the English classic, take a monorail ride to the Grand Floridian and pull up a chair at Citricos. There, you should order the melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried Florida black grouper, which gets [Read more…]

News! Full Food and Beverage Listing for the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Marketplaces!

Great news! I got the chance to speak with Epcot Park Event Content Development Manager Michael Jenner — basically the head honcho when it comes to food at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival — and now I’m excited to share not only his recommendations for noshing around the World this spring, but everything that will be on offer at this year’s Festival!

As you know, the 2013 event will be the first to debut multiple food and beverage marketplaces throughout the World Showcase.

Today, we’ve got a few more great updates and tips to share, plus we’ve got the FULL list of food and beverage offerings!  Click here to see everything you’ll be able to try during the festival this year!

Q&A with Michael Jenner

I can’t wait to try all of the new goodies at the Festival this year! Let’s find out how this awesome addition came about…

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Angel Food Cake with Macerated Berries

Q: What brought about the idea of bringing more food and beverages to the Flower and Garden Festival?

A: We’ve been wanting to do this for several years. It’s been a daytime festival, so even though the parks stayed open at night, the festival kind of shut down. By adding the Food and Beverage component, as well as lit topiaries this year, the festival can continue after dark.

Guests have also been interested in the natural progression of food from garden to table. So the 12 new marketplaces will feature huge gardens in front of them, and the menus will feature ingredients inspired by what we’re displaying in those gardens.

Q: What are a couple of dishes you’re most excited about and recommend?

A: I’ll be at the Smokehouse Barbecue and Brews marketplace all day. We’ll actually have a wood burning smoker on stage smoking the pig for the pulled pig slider. The Smoked Brisket with Collard Greens with Jalapeno Cornbread just melts in your mouth! Also, portions at the smokehouse will be hearty-sized, not tapas-sized — you can’t do barbecue small!

I’m also excited about the Dole Whip with spiced rum at the Pineapple Promenade . We’ll be selling both regular dole whip and the spiced rum version, and the staff is really excited about it.

The Florida Fresh marketplace is featuring ingredients from local farms, and I love the Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro. It pairs well with the Hot Sun Tomato Wine, which has a spicy, almost Bloody Mary taste.

Q: What other surprises can we expect at the Flower and Garden Festival this year?

A: We’re finalizing the Passport for the Flower and Garden Festival. This will be a lot like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival passport, with which guests can get stamps when they visit various marketplaces.

Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, fresh Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro

We’re also excited about the “TRYit” items on the marketplace menus. These are specialty items that are inspired by the gardens around the World Showcase. They’re perfect ways for you (or the kids!) to try something new. One of these items is the Beet Lollipop, a “push-up” filled with roasted red and golden beets and cream cheese. It will be found at Intermissions Cafe in the Festival Center!

You’ll also want to check out the Oz Garden, inspired by the new Disney film, Oz, the Great and Powerful. This playground will be lit so the kids can play at night, and it’s the perfect place for them to blow off some steam while you (the parents) indulge in food from the marketplaces. The Oz Garden is scheduled to open next week (February 11th)!

Now let’s jump right into the full list of incredible eats and drinks you’ll have the chance to indulge in during the festival!

Flower and Garden Festival Marketplaces and Food and Beverage Listing

Note that many items on this list will be available for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit! Items in BOLD below are part of the “TRYit” menu inspired by fruits and vegetables growing in the gardens throughout the World Showcase during the festival! Be sure to [Read more…]