Review: Crossroads at House of Blues at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

So the big news from last week was the opening of a brand new counter service spot at Downtown Disney’s House Of Blues — the Smokehouse!

While we’ll be sure to stop by from time to time, it’s been a while since we reviewed the main house here as well! Let’s check out the dining room at Crossroads at House of Blues at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney for lunch.

We were surprised by the quality of food on our first visit. While just about everything was good, the classic Buffalo Chicken Wings and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding were the real standouts.

But since our last visit, House of Blues has partnered with celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez to completely overhaul the food offerings. While the emphasis at House of Blues is still on live music, the new Crossroads menu has taken the previously Southern-tinged menu in a slightly different direction.

Atmosphere

As I mentioned, if you haven’t been to House of Blues since the Crossroads menu came to the Walt Disney World location, you won’t find the surroundings to be much different than before. The menu didn’t coincide with a revamp of the restaurant itself.

In Blues We Trust!

Funky, rustic, slightly dark, and whimsical…those are the words that come to mind. You’re supposed to feel as though you happened upon House of Blues on some country road while traveling through the Deep South. And they succeed with transporting you.

Folk Art Outside

Like other Downtown Disney restaurants, House of Blues features multiple bars. The outside bar is a great spot to grab a drink and hang out with friends before or after a performance. It features “hand-lettered” menus and tole painting, as well as brackets and other finishes that appear to have been salvaged and repurposed.

Outdoor Bar

Next to Crossroads Restaurant, you’ll find the Club, which is the main performance venue for House of Blues. The hall holds up to 2,000 guests, and draws top-name talent regularly. It’s a great place to see a show if you haven’t had the chance.

Club — House of Blues Concert Venue

In addition to other performances, House of Blues also offers a regular Gospel Brunch. Held each Sunday at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, you can read our review of Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District here.

Gospel Brunch Information

But, snazzy musical performances would have to wait for another day. We were here for lunch, and we were hungry.

We made our way into the restaurant and were greeted with more folk art. At the hostess stand, you get a healthy dose of this interesting fusion. Gothic arches and cherubim call to mind a place of worship.

Entrance

Seating is nothing fancy — just utilitarian wooden chairs and tables.

Seating

Even booths are wooden. Nothing cozy here in the way of seating, but the booths are [Read more…]

NEWS! Downtown Disney Foodtopia Coming This October!

Welp, Downtown Disney Orlando has added another awesome food-focused piece of news to the Food Trucks and Disney Springs Restaurants!

Throughout October, eight Downtown Disney restaurants will feature 3-course dinners at bargain prices at the NEW Downtown Disney Foodtopia event!

Menus

Three full courses and a non-alcoholic beverage are included! Let’s take a look at some of the menus…

Paradiso 37: Choose from blackened mahi sliders, a hearty beef burrito, or chicken enchiladas paired with a starter and dessert.

Paradiso 37 Chocolate Stack Dessert

Planet Hollywood: Entree options are Celebrity BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, lasagna, or Southwest Salad.

Wolfgang Puck Café: Start with garlic and white bean hummus, a Caesar salad, or butternut squash soup. Entrees include pesto chicken, crispy pork loin, or spaghetti Bolognese. Desserts are key lime pie, carrot cake, or a brownie sundae. See our Wolfgang Puck Cafe dinner review here!

Carrot Cake at Wolfgang Puck!

Splitsville: Choose from eight appetizers and 10 entrées, with a brownie and ice cream for dessert.

Splitsville -- Outside View

Fulton’s Crab House: Shrimp cocktail, steamed clams and mussels, or jumbo lump crab cake to start; a whole Rhode Island lobster, cioppino, or filet mignon for an entrée, and a Tollhouse Cookie sundae, key lime pie, or root beer float for dessert.

Details

Dates and Times:
October 1 – 31; 5:30-7:30PM

Cost:
Prices do not include tax and gratuity.
$30: Bongos Cuban Café, House of Blues, Paradiso 37, Planet Hollywood, Portobello, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, and [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch at House of Blues

The House of Blues has been rockin’ the stage with a Sunday Gospel Brunch since the flagship location opened its doors in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in November of 1992.

As part of their year long 20th Anniversary celebration, the Sunday Gospel Brunch has been revamped with a Kirk Franklin twist.

Gospel Star and Grammy Award winning performer Kirk Franklin has been working closely with the House of Blues to hand select gospel performers and song sets at each location; making the show somewhat personalized to each House of Blues venue (FYI: Disney World’s House of Blues Gospel Brunch is available Sundays at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM!).

And with the new shows come new menu items, too! The Kirk Franklin Gospel Brunch debuted on Mother’s Day and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend with my family.

House of Blues Downtown Disney Anaheim

Atmosphere

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney next to Tortilla Jo’s and across from Ralph Brennen’s Jazz Kitchen, The House of Blues, Anaheim, is a two story venue that features table service meals as well as concerts; sometimes simultaneously. Today I will be sharing solely about the Gospel Brunch. But not to worry, I [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 13, 2012

Citrus Turkey Plate at Flo's V-8 Cafe in Cars Land

Will you be dining at one of the new Cars Land or Buena Vista Street restaurants at Disney California Adventure when they open on June 15th?

We’re so excited to be taste-testing and reviewing the food offerings, including those at Flo’s V-8 Cafe and Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel!

Disney Food News

Here’s the latest happening in the Disney Food World this week!

We’ve got more food news (including poolside ice cream at Disney World’s Saratoga Springs Resort) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 Ebook Review

Thanks to our good friend StudiosCentral.com for a great review of our latest guidebook, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012.


Here’s an excerpt:

… the amount of detail here astounds and impresses me. Topics I had never even considered were covered (scavenger hunts, how to avoid meltdowns in WDW restaurants, etc). If you love Walt Disney World and enjoy dining there, then to me there’s no question that you ought to pick up a copy of this book for your collection.

For Studios fans, you’ll find sections in the e-book that are just for you, including: a drinking guide, reviews of counter-service and table-service restaurants, snack recommendations, and a unique one-day dining strategy.

Read the full Studios Central review here!

Order your copy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining today! And don’t forget to check out our other great e-Books at our new DFBStore.com!

On To The Round-Up

AllEars.net’s Andrew Rossi visits the Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge.

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups investigates options for solo diners at Disney World!

Yesterland reminisces about the Baker’s Field Bakery in Disney California Adventure.

Random Neat Stuff shares vintage Disneyland restaurant menus!

DVCNews announces that soft serve ice cream will be served pool-side at Saratoga Springs Resort.

Daveland shares vintage photos of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant in Disneyland. Awesome pics!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World take us on a culinary tour around Epcot’s World Showcase, including a Wine Walk and pizza at Via Napoli.

Main Street Gazette discovers savory (not sweet) options at Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France pavilion.

Dinner and a Show: La Nouba and House of Blues Team Up for Savings

On Tuesday through Saturday evenings, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues are offering a dinner and show package! This opportunity gives a 25% savings on Category 2 seats for the 6:00pm performance. Dinner and one of the best shows I’ve ever seen for under $100? I’m game!

Cirque du Soleil La Nouba

Plus, you’ll enjoy a meal at House of Blues of an Appetizer, Entrée, Non-Alcoholic or Non-Specialty Drink, and a Dessert. Check out info on the Crossroads menu that debuted at House of Blues in December 2011 and see the Crossroads at House of Blues Dinner Menu here.

House of Blues Rack of Ribs

Booking Dates:
May 7, 2012 – June 30, 2012
Valid for 6:00 pm Shows Tues-Sat: June 1 – 30, 2012

Guests can book Dinner and a Show by calling [Read more…]

Disneyland Restaurant Details for Orange County Restaurant Week

Great news for So Cal folks — Orange County Restaurant Week takes place February 26 – March 3, 2012. This delicious event only takes place once per year and includes some great Downtown Disney District restaurants!

With fun, unique menus designed by amazing chefs, this is a great opportunity to try out a restaurant for a set cost (usually a pretty great deal, too!). Take advantage of this annual opportunity to sample some new eats, impress your loved one with a romantic meal, or grab a group of friends for a memorable outing.

Be sure to try our favorite Red Velvet Roulade at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen! No tickets are necessary. Just make a reservation, then dine at your chosen restaurant.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Red Velvet Roulade

Participating Restaurants

Some of our favorite Downtown Disney District restaurants are participating! Check out the menus below… [Read more…]

Disneyland Dining Options for “One More Disney Day” Event

According to the DisneyParks Blog, Disneyland is serving up fun, a midnight snack, and special eats for the One More Disney Day event!

Midnight Snack

Disneyland Park is gearing up for One More Disney Day with the announcement of the “Midnight Snack” at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.

Stop in 11:45 p.m. – 12:45 a.m. on February 29 (to March 1st) for yummy treats, hot beverages, Disney character meet ‘n greets, live music by Denny Moynahan, and other surprises.

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

No need to RSVP. Guests will be admitted from 11:45 p.m. until capacity is reached. This event is extremely limited to approximately 200 guests. You’ll need park admission, and lining up for the event can be no earlier than 10 p.m.

Other Special Menu Items

The Disneyland chefs are creating exclusive menu items for this [Read more…]

House of Blues Crossroads Menu Comes to WDW’s Downtown Disney in December

Thanks to Andy Jackson over at Eating (and Drinking) Around the World for sending over the photo below!

Celebrity Chef Aaron Sanchez is leaving his mark on the House of Blues chain of restaurants by introducing his new “Crossroads” menu, a fusion of food representing “music, love, art, and spirituality.”

A Crossroads menu was introduced in Disneyland’s House of Blues this summer, and the above announcement notes that a Crossroads menu will be moving into Disney World’s House of Blues restaurant in December, 2011.

While we’re not certain they’re the same exact menu, the new menu in Disneyland keeps HoB favorites like jambalaya, and adds new signature dishes including shrimp and grits, short rib meatball sliders, hand stretched grilled flatbreads, chile braised short ribs, and street tacos. Guest favorites like [Read more…]

Best Disney World Buffalo Wings

The Buffalo Bills are currently 2 and 0 right now — undefeated — and this is something we Bills fans do not take lightly. So I thought I’d celebrate (with the Bills, you never know when your next chance to celebrate might come…months?…years?…) by showcasing my top two picks for Buffalo Wings in Walt Disney World!

This post has been a long time coming, because for a while there I hadn’t really seen any Buffalo Wings in Disney World. Slowly but surely, I’ve visited enough places to put together my list of top picks, but I’m eager to hear your suggestions in the comments. (The more suggestions you make, the more Buffalo Wings I get to try!!!)

Also, as a disclaimer, I live in Texas now, so I only get Wing City Grille and Anchor Bar wings about twice a year — go easy on me if my palate isn’t as honed as it once was! ;-)

Where to Find the Best Wings in Walt Disney World

#1: House of Blues

Over in Downtown Disney, House of Blues serves their Buffalo Wing appetizer with a bleu cheese slaw.

The wings are crispy and hot with a strong, spicy flavor. On my scale of mild to hot, I’d definitely put these at mild-medium, but that also means that the heat isn’t charring your mouth to the point that you’re unable to taste the food anymore.

House of Blues Chicken Wings

House of Blues wings have a really great Buffalo Wing flavor, and they don’t try to do anything fancy with them so all you get is good old wings. Personally, I could use a little more sauce with them, but I’m also the person who [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 11, 2011

Donald Duck announces new lunch!

It was an exciting week with the announcement of a new character meal hosted by Donald Duck that will be offered at Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom.

And we’re getting so close to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival now that we’re already planning our touring strategy. You can too — just check out the information in our mini-guide below! We got some great reviews this week!

Latest Disney Food News

  • Starting December 4th, a Tusker House character lunch will be offered in addition to Donald’s Safari Breakfast!
  • Disney Parks exclusive wines will be debuting at the Food and Wine Festival!
  • Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road announced a Thanksgiving meal in addition to its regular lunch and dinner menu.
  • ‘AMA’AMA at Disney’s new Aulani Resort in Hawai’i is now serving guests! Check out this dinner review.

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book Review

We’re honored that our newest Mini-Guide is getting such positive reviews! One of the most recent is from Kristin Ford with the Orlando Sentinel’s A Mom and A Mouse! Here’s some of what she has to say about the Mini-Guide…

Like her other projects, AJ Wolfe’s new e-book is thorough. She, of course, explains the many components of the festival, such as seminars, celebrity chef meet-and-greets, signature tastings and concerts. It’s all valuable information laid out in an easy-to-find and easy-to-read format. …I especially like the “With the Kids Strategy” in The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Wolfe offers ideas to engage the kids throughout the park so that the family is moving around World Showcase, allowing parents to sample much of the food.

Read the rest of the review here. Thanks to Kristin and the Orlando Sentinel!!

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book has over 125 pages of information you need to dive right into the festival. Start YOUR planning with the purchase of your guide.

On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland Has a compilation of photos of Tokyo Disney Resort’s popcorn stands! This is from 2009, but it’s awesome! Love the Roastie-Toasties!

The Disney Blog tells us how to eat cheap at Disneyland!

Main Street Gazette takes us to the River Roost Lounge for evening entertainment and eats! Yee-Haa!!

Eating (and Drinking) Around The World shows us how to make Tuna Poke, Aulani Style!

All Ears Net‘s Jack Spence talks restaurants at Epcot’s France Pavilion. We love it when he does that.

DisMarks has released their 29th Disney Blog Carnival! Lots of great articles on your favorite topics over there.

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We’re thinking today of the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and of the friends and family they left behind, many of whom are still fighting fear and loss with strength and resilience.