Review: Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate and Caramel Cream in Epcot’s France

We’re already back at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!

And why not? With the huge assortment of classic pastries, desserts, soups, sandwiches… let me think, did I miss anything? Oh, right… quiche, salads, baguettes, macarons…. well, you’re gonna need more than a few trips to hit it all! Should you be a wee bit overwhelmed with your choices here (and who could blame you?), we’re here to help.

It’s more of the sweet stuff today, and we’re focusing on a classic as well as a dessert with a little twist.

The Mousse au Chocolat is our classic.

I don’t know if it’s my bias towards all things Les Halles, but the Chocolate Mousse here — both in appearance and flavor — strike me as a bit darker and richer than other mousse desserts I’ve tried.

Mouse au Chocolat

Mouse au Chocolat

As expected, it’s light and creamy, and you can definitely call it “airy,” though it still has a bit of substance to it.

Topped off with a sprinkling of crunchy garnish, the mousse scratches that itch for [Read more…]

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…]

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: Café Liégeois at Les Halles in Epcot’s France Pavilion

When you’re visiting Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the huge array of choices and just stick with what you know. (In the case of the frangipane, I forgive you.)

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Frangipane -- Cross Section

Frangipane — Cross Section

Now, maybe you’ve been tempted to step outside the box, but just haven’t known enough about the other options to trust that it would be a good use of your snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan or your dining dollars.

Les Halles dessert and pastries menu

Les Halles dessert and pastries menu

Well, that’s why you have us! Today we’re going to demystify one of those lesser-known items: the Café Liégeois!

Cafe Liegeois

Cafe Liegeois

You’ll spot the Café Liégeois among the soft desserts in the bakery case near items like Chocolate Mousse and Fruit Parfaits.

Cafe Leigeios in bakery case

Cafe Leigeios in bakery case

My understanding is that while a Café Liégeois is traditionally an ice cream treat, the Les Halles take is a coffee and cream mousse, which offers the full coffee-flavor experience in three layers.

Cafe Liegeois

Cafe Liegeois

Taking it from the top, the white layer is an airy sweet cream, and reminds me of the flavored coffee creamers that you can buy in the store (and thank goodness for those — they are what get me through the morning!).

Top layer of the Cafe Liegeois

Top layer of the Cafe Liegeois

The second, dark layer is an intense espresso flavor for the serious coffee connoisseur, and the most dense in texture of the three.

Second and third layers of the Cafe Liegeois

Second and third layers of the Cafe Liegeois

And the third and final mousse-layer is what we like to call [Read more…]

Review: A Lunch Stop at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France

Time to head to my favorite French bakery this side of Paris — Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie! (I know we’ve been here a lot lately, but there’s SO much to tell you about!)

The bakery relocated to the back of Epcot’s France Pavilion last year, and gained quite a bit of real estate in the process. And it’s a good thing — because it has continued to grow in popularity through the years.

Anyway, I sampled a pastry there last Fall that I’ve returned for time and time again…and it’s finally time to tell you about it! At first glance you might be unimpressed…but ohmigosh as soon as you try it you’ll be a convert! Let’s goooooo!

Atmosphere

If you haven’t meandered through the France Pavilion lately, you should! There have been some interesting changes to this corner of World Showcase.

Les Halles

Les Halles

The area that formerly housed the Boulangerie Patisserie is now L’Artisan des Glaces, home of some of the best ice cream you’ll taste in Walt Disney World.

And the back of the France Pavilion now houses Les Halles.

Les Halles

Les Halles

The move greatly expanded the ordering area, giving guests a little elbow room. But the cases are still mirror images of one another — pick either the right or the left, and you’ll see the same offerings.

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

One of the most popular things about the move has been the addition of some indoor seating. It’s not much and it’s usually hard to find a table on a busy day, though. Fortunately, you can still head back outside to dine at one of the small cafe tables in the open air, Paris-style. :-)

Les Halles Seating

Les Halles Seating

There are menu boards above that give you the rundown on what’s available. But the cool thing about Les Halles is that you can [Read more…]

What’s New in Walt Disney World: February 22nd, 2014

This week, we shared with you lots of fun news — from a new refillable mug design at the Disney World Resorts to supersized slushies in Epcot’s France to the face that we get another WHOLE WEEK to enjoy the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year. But there’s a whole lot more going on in Disney World that we still need to tell you about!

We’re happy to welcome you on another trip around the World with us to see what’s new!

Epcot

We spied all sorts of happenings around World Showcase! Things are already changing up a bit at Spice Road Table, with a few small changes to the menu.

The Salted Cod Croquettes are still available as part of the Mogador Sampler; however, they’ve been replaced on the individual tapas menu by Mix Grill Skewers: “Beef and Chicken with Garlic and Fresh Herbs.”

Spice Road Table Menu

Spice Road Table Menu

Italy’s Tutto Gusto is featuring a few new “Gusto Specialties”: Meatballs Parmigiana, Meatball Sliders, Ravioli di Ricotta, and Tuscan Pork Ribs.

Tutto Gusto

Tutto Gusto

Tutto Gusto Menu

Tutto Gusto Menu

Over in Germany, you can now pick up some official Werther’s Drizzle to take home with you at Karamell-Küche!

Werther's Drizzle

Werther’s Drizzle

Now you can make your very own cookies look like this :) :

Cookies at Karamel Kuche

Cookies at Karamel Kuche

And have you heard the news in France? [Read more…]

News! Beignets and Elephant Ears Debut at Les Halles in Epcot’s France Pavilion

We’ve had LOTS of people ask us why you can’t find beignets in Epcot’s France, but now we have reason to celebrate!

Yep! Beignets (Bugnes Lyonnaise) have arrived at Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles in Epcot’s France Pavilion!

Les Halles

Les Halles

Beignets

Head inside and you’ll notice a little something special on the menu — these are here as a Mardi Gras special only. That’s right… these babies are only around until Mardi Gras to honor tradition (though we’re hoping they decide to keep them longer!).

"Mardi Gras Special"

“Mardi Gras Special”

And among all of these beautiful treats…

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

… you’ll spot them in the case. Here they are!

Beignets in the Bakery Case

Beignets in the Bakery Case

So, if you’re visiting France (Epcot’s France, that is) through March 4th, then you’re in luck :) . Let’s dig in!

Beignets at Les Halles

Beignets at Les Halles

They look great, don’t they? I love the way the shape of the beignets reminds me of a Mardi Gras party mask.

Beignets at Les Halles

Beignets at Les Halles

As far as the taste [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

If you’re a Disney Food Fan, then 2013 has been an exciting year!

Disney food news stories of 2013

We’ve had lots of  change, new announcements, and brand new experiences.

So today, we thought we’d take a look back at this year, and review the Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2013!

From new coffee to new restaurants, new technology to new ice cream, we have a ton to cover!

Let’s get started!

1. COFFEE!

When Starbucks and Disney announced in 2012 that the coffee giant would be coming to Disney Parks, the news was huge! And when the first Walt Disney World locations began opening in 2013, the story once again topped the list of Disney food headlines.

Starbucks at Main Street Bakery is Right in the Middle of the Magic

The first location to open was Main Street Bakery on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA. While some loyal fans of the historic spot decried the chain store intrusion, many coffee lovers were thrilled that they could now enjoy their favorite brew in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle.

And with the Main Street cinnamon rolls available at Gaston’s Tavern (at least they claim they’re the same…you can see our cinnamon roll throw down here!), well — at least not all of our favorite goodies are lost.

A Busy Morning at Main Street Bakery

The reopening of Fountain View Cafe in Epcot as the second WDW Starbucks location seemed to ruffle fewer feathers, since the themeing for the futuristic ice cream parlor wasn’t as beloved as Main Street Bakery. Still, patrons were irked with the lack of seating, even if the many, many bays for ordering mean that your java arrives fresh and fast.

Have Your Starbucks in Epcot with a View of Spaceship Earth

But Starbucks wasn’t the only coffee news we debated in 2013. Disney also announced that Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company, headquartered in Tampa, would become the official specialty coffee provider for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Joffrey’s is Named the Official Coffee Brand of Disney Parks

We’ve been enjoying Joffrey’s products for ages at the kiosks throughout the parks, so this was welcome news to many. So far, we are hearing that you seem pleased with the switch from Nescafe to Joffrey’s.

2. RESTAURANT FASTPASS TESTING — AND MORE TECH UPDATES!

Waaaaayyyyy back in January of this year, we first wrote about how we thought My Magic+ would affect Disney Dining.

mymagic+

And before the year was out, we had the opportunity to see just how some of the new technology would work.

One of the most intriguing uses of MyMagic+ technology was the Touch to Pay System. We had an opportunity to put our Magic Bands to work with the new system, and Erin, our Disney Food For Families columnist, documented the process so our readers could be in the know!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

Erin Paying with Her Magic Band at Artist Point!

And while we love the Magic Band concept, even cooler is all the Disney food bling that you can get to individualize your bracelet! I’m a sucker for the cupcake!

Magic Band Food Bling

Magic Band Food Bling

 

Another rumor that came to fruition was that [Read more…]

Snack Series: Raspberry Macarons at Epcot’s France

I was favorably impressed by my first visit to Les Halles bakery in the France pavilion at Epcot. I’ve been back several times since then and continue to think this is one of the best counter service dining venues at Walt Disney World.

During a recent trip to Epcot, I took my husband for his initial taste of Les Halles. As his introduction to the bakery, I bought him a raspberry macaron.

Macaron at Epcot's France pavilion

During a trip to Paris and Disneyland Paris in 2010, we become obsessed with macarons. I’m not saying that lightly. We sampled macarons at Pierre Hermé, Angelina, Ladurée, and a dozen more locations throughout Paris. I’m a professional ;-)

Macaron display at Ladurée Paris

Raspberry macaron at Angelina in Paris

For those of you who have yet to be initiated into the cult, French macarons are [Read more…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]