Review: Epcot’s Les Halles Bakery

As recently reported, the new Les Halles Bakery is open for business in Epcot’s France pavilion. Les Halles replaces the previous France quick service location, Boulangerie Patisserie.

Les Halles in the back of the France pavilion, next to the old bakery location

Note that the Bakery opens at 9am — two hours earlier than most other counter-service locations in World Showcase! This will definitely be your place for breakfast if you’re entering Epcot through the International Gateway!

Atmosphere

While I was a fan of the food at Boulangerie Patisserie, I found the narrow service area and lack of seating to be a challenge, particularly when I was traveling with children in a stroller.

The large service area and ample indoor and outdoor seating at Les Halles solves these problems and improves upon the French cafe concept with more, and better, food options.

Wide service lanes!

Eats

While you don’t order these until the end, the first menu you’ll see when you walk into the restaurant lists your beverage options.

If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, all but one of the nonalcoholic drinks is available for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. It’s nice to see the continuing trend of $4.00-5.00 items available as snacks.

Because you’re in France, of course there are wine and beer options available. I purchased the the Kronenbourg 1664, which was a great accompaniment to my meal; but you should know that all alcohol is poured into plastic cups as it is served to you. No glass is allowed out into the park.

(Editor’s Note: Word is, according to the cast members, they do serve alcohol when they open at 9am. Not sure how long that will continue, but it’s one way to get a [Read more…]

FIRST LOOK! Les Halles Bakery Menu and Photo Tour in Epcot’s France, Walt Disney World

Update: The official bakery name is Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles. It will open at 9am ahead of World Showcase’s official 11am opening time.

Waaaaaay back at the beginning of 2012, we reported that Epcot’s France Pavilion would be getting an overhaul food-wise! And now it’s all becoming reality! Les Halles Bakery has officially opened!!

Les Halles Bakery Opens in Disney World

In addition to the opening on Monsieur Paul Restaurant in December, we can now celebrate the opening of Les Halles Boulangerie!! And we’ve got some incredible photos for you of the new Bakery, as well as the Disney Les Halles Menu! HUGE thanks go out to Michael Burk (@michaellburk) , once again, for sending over these great pics!

Les Halles Ordering Area and Queue -- click for larger image

The new bakery is HUGE compared to the old one, which will soon become Glacier Ice Cream Parlor. Once you enter, you’ll quickly see a long ordering queue line area, digital menus, and lots of yummo pastries waiting for you to choose them!

Les Halles Ordering Queue

The Les Halles menu includes an expanded selection, including pastries, soups, sandwiches (both hot and cold), salads, and more.

The Pumpkin Soup and Lobster Bisque are definitely on my list to try!

Les Halles Menu -- Soups, Sandwiches, Salads, and Specialties

Um…I’ll take one of everything on this pastries/desserts menu, please… [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…]

Snacks Series: Ham and Cheese Croissant in Epcot

Sometimes burgers just won’t cut it and you need a little piece of heaven for lunch, right? Who hasn’t felt that way after a few days in Disney World?

So here’s a quick Friday Afternoon Cost-Saving tip for ya: Fill up for less on one of these amazing ham and cheese croissants at Boulangerie Patisserie. Awesome, right?! And the last time we were there, you could get one of these babies for a single Disney Dining Plan snack credit!

Stop by France's bakery for a filling snack!

Enjoy your lunch at the nearby indoor seating area, or outside at one of the bistro tables! And since you’re keeping it “light” and inexpensive for this meal, you’ll be able to sample some more mouthwatering treats on your adventure through Epcot!

Boulangerie Patisserie Epcot

Don’t miss other delicious snack items in Epcot! We’ve included over 100 photos and reviews of our favorite snacks in the new Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks!

This e-Book has detailed reviews, information, and full-color photos of [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and “More Than Just” Wine Festival

As we all gear up for the 2012 Food and Wine Festival, welcome Heather Jones with a fun exploration through last year’s events!

I was so excited to experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the first time. But I was thinking that Disney might be doing the festival a disservice by calling it “Food and Wine,” because there are so many more drink choices than just wine.

Don’t get me wrong I love a nice chilled Chardonnay or a spicy Shiraz. But there’s also a huge variety of beer, cocktails, and sake to be had as well. I guess they can’t call it the “Food and Booze Festival.” That wouldn’t sound very Disney!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Signage

Beer Review

Let’s start with some beer, shall we? Our first stop was the brand new Hawaii booth for the Kalua Pork Slider and the Tuna Poke along with a Kona Longboard and a Pipeline beer.

Kalua Pork Slider

Tuna Poke

The Pipeline is dark and flavorful porter (I just love a dark beer!) and the Longboard is a tasty, light lager that paired well with the Poke.

Kona Long board and Pipeline Beer

Another favorite beer for me was the [Read more…]

News! Disney Restaurants Closing For Renovations in 2012 and 2013

Update: Hoop-Dee-Doo will now remain open in Fall 2012.
Update: Bistro de Paris will remain closed through early December. New name for Bistro de Paris will be “Monsieur Paul” — a fitting tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse!

There have been a lot of updates about restaurant closures lately, and I wanted to share the latest information we have so that it’s easier to make (or cancel or change ;-D) your Advance Dining Reservations.

Bistro de Paris

In today’s news, the Signature restaurant Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France pavilion will be closed for renovations starting July 1, 2012, and lasting until the end of October.

Bistro Dining Room

According to emails being sent out to guests, Advance Dining Reservations are being moved to Chefs de France.

This closing is possibly due to the Epcot France bakery expansion about which we’ve previously reported. The French bakery, Boulangerie Patisserie, is slated for many changes, including an updated menu, expanded kitchen, and more.

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be closed from [Read more…]

News! Epcot’s Expanded French Bakery Menu Details and Slated Opening Date

Update: December opening, ice cream parlor, and more current info on Epcot’s France pavilion. New name for Bistro de Paris will be “Monsieur Paul” — a fitting tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse!

We published a bit of rumor/news a few weeks back when Disney World filed a notice of commencement with Orange County to expand Epcot’s French Bakery area in the World Showcase. The Boulangerie Patisserie was slated to receive a second story as well as a 3000 square foot kitchen, and a full-blown counter-service restaurant.

Epcot's Boulangerie Patisserie Will Be Expanding This Year

Recently, I was made aware of an article interviewing Jerome Bocuse, son of Chef Paul Bocuse, who heads up the company running the restaurant operations in the French pavilion. In the article, Bocuse opens a discussion about the expansion by saying, “Now we’re redoing and doing renovations at several locations.” While Disney has not officially announced anything about this project, here’s a bit of info mentioned in the article. 


Bocuse responded to a question about specific changes with the following details:

We’re going to build a brand new bakery in a new building. It’s going to be very close to the bakeries that you see in France today. More like a modern bakery with sandwiches. We will cook all of our bread all day long and make sandwiches with that fresh bread.


The article’s author then states that “[It’s slated to open around [Read more…]

Guest Review: Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France

Join me in welcoming R. A. Pedersen with an in-depth review of dinner at Bistro de Paris in Epcot’s France Pavilion!

I’ll give you fair warning – as an Epcot historian I can’t help but link this review to the history of the park as a whole. I’ll try to keep it light though, perhaps an anecdote you can tell over candlelight between courses during your next visit.

Bistro de Paris Story and History

There’s a bit of humor and history in the name of the Bistro de Paris at the France Pavilion in Epcot. In French culture a “Bistro” is more typically a small, less formal establishment than a standard restaurant. A good comparison would be along the lines of an English pub; in fact, the hearty bar food would be quite comparable to the sort of cuisine they serve: typically casseroles and simple comfort foods.

So why is the high-end restaurant in the France pavilion, the darling of the famed Chefs de France (Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre, and Roger Verge), called a bistro?

Bistros in France were carved out of the basements in apartment buildings in order to feed the masses. Essentially the space was created from nothing to fulfill a need — and so goes the story in Epcot as well.

The France pavilion opened in 1982 with a small pair of restaurants amid its mansard roofs: the lower-level Chefs de France, and a connected exterior sidewalk café, Au Petit Café. Additionally guests could [Read more…]

Update: France Bakery Expansion in Epcot!

UPDATE: Menu info and slated opening date for new Epcot French Bakery And new ice cream shop! Plus, new name for Bistro de Paris will be “Monsieur Paul” — a fitting tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse!

While nothing is yet confirmed by Disney directly on this, we’ve got some GREAT potential news for those who love the France Boulangerie et Patisserie in Epcot (which, coincidentally, won our Bakery Throw Down!)

In a Notice of Commencement filed with Orange County on February 23, 2012, Walt Disney’s Operations Development department indicates that the bakery in Epcot’s France pavilion will be undergoing an expansion! Let’s hope for a more efficient queue as well as ample seating!

Seating Outside the Bakery in France

Proposed Improvements

The description of improvements specify that the France bakery will involve [Read more…]

Free Disney Facebook Timeline Covers — Food-Themed!

How many of you are on facebook? And how many of you have switched to the new Facebook “timeline” feature? Well, this post is for YOU! It’s time to add some Disney Food Magic to your Facebook page courtesy of photographer extraordinaire Tom Bricker, from DisneyTouristBlog.com.

Below, you’ll find fabulous food cover photos from Disneyland and Walt Disney World. These photos are all the optimal size to fit the new Facebook timeline. NOTE: See the instructions below for how to upload the photos into your Timeline.

Unlike most free Facebook Cover providers, Tom will not be adding watermarks to these Covers; in lieu of that, be sure to give him credit by adding a comment to the entry on your Timeline indicating that you’ve added or changed your cover stating “New Cover provided free, courtesy of http://DisneyTouristBlog.com. Check it out for great Disney Facebook Covers!”

Dole Whip
It’s the classic snack found in both Disneyland and Disney World — we love the pineapple flavor!

Hollywood Brown Derby
The celebrity caricatures on the walls of the Hollywood Brown Derby are a great conversation piece while you’re enjoying your meal (or grapefruit cake!).

Main Street Bakery
This turn of the century decor in the Main Street Bakery is very welcoming. Also, inviting? The [Read more…]