Don’t Miss These Five Booths at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival This Year!

I’m so excited that the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is just around the corner! Mark your calendars for August 31-November 13, when we celebrate 75 incredible days of food, wine, and more!

2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Logo Disney

The festival begins earlier than ever before this year, so we’re busy preparing and planning to make the most of our time there. And I suggest you do the same!

While taking in Low Cost Seminars and Demonstrations or splurging on a Special Event or two is super fun, my favorite festival pastime is still strolling along the World Showcase Promenade and taking in both new and familiar eats and drinks at the festival Marketplace Booths.

Hops and Barley Booth

Hops and Barley Booth

While we await news of just exactly what that means, and to see what if any new booths are announced, today we’re sharing the five booths you absolutely cannot miss at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year!

Note — Disney has not released their official list of Epcot Food and Wine Festival booths, yet, so these are subject to change. To make sure you get notified FIRST when this year’s booths are finalized, join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter

So, What’s New?

There’s always something fun and new to look forward to each year. And this year will be no exception. Disney promises 35 booths to celebrate 35 years of Epcot awesomeness. So far, we’re getting a look at two newly returning booths that promise to offer some delicious and exotic fare.

Spain

Spain, last seen on the World Showcase Promenade in 2010, returns to the festival this year. Since Spain has a rich culture of beautifully prepared regional foods, we look forward to seeing this menu!

So far, we’ve confirmed a new Spain menu item, Charcuterie in a Cone. What a cool way to have your snack and stroll with it too. :-D  I’m pretty sure this plus a glass of Spanish wine will be very nice on a festival evening.

Charcuterie in a Cone from Spain ©Disney

Charcuterie in a Cone from Spain ©Disney

In addition, there’s a very real chance that we’ll see variations on dishes that have been featured here before. Look for possibilities such as Seared Albacore Tuna with Romesco Sauce, Snapper Escabeche, Spanish Almond Cake, or Crema Catalana, along with some interesting Spanish wines and beer.

[Read more…]

First Look and Review: Paddlefish at Disney Springs

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Paddlefish, the latest restaurant to open in Disney Springs.

I say “latest,” but Paddlefish is simultaneously one of Disney Springs’ oldest and newest stops. That’s because Paddlefish is just the latest tenant in a restaurant that’s been in this area for quite some time. If you’ve been following along, then you know Paddlefish was most recently known as Fulton’s Crab House. And before that, you may have known it as the Empress Lilly, originally opened in 1977 and named for Walt Disney’s beloved wife.

With the revamping and major overhaul that Downtown Disney — now Disney Springs — has recently experienced, the old riverboat theming of Fulton’s wasn’t going to flow with the new vibe. And so, the restaurant’s owner, Levy Restaurants, signed to stay on in Disney Springs, and commenced to a stem to stern reimagining of the Old Girl.

We had a chance to take a look around at the new space, which opened to the public February 4th. Join us on a tour.

Atmosphere

As with the rest of Disney Springs, Paddlefish somehow manages to channel past and future at the same time, all with an industrial vibe.

Paddlefish -- Outside View

Paddlefish — Outside View

If you were familiar with Fulton’s, you’ll see the stark contrast between old and new right away. Gone is the old-timey riverboat look. In its place is a neutral palette of grey and white with touches of rich stained wood. [Read more…]

Sneak Peek: More Food Photos from Paddlefish, Opening Soon at Disney Springs

This past spring we found out that Paddlefish is coming to Disney Springs in the former location of Fulton’s Crab House. The new restaurant will focus on seafood as well as chops and steaks and a new oyster shucking bar!

disney-springs-Paddlefish-construction-1-548x600

Way back in the Summer we shared a sneak peek at a few menu items. And while the official menu hasn’t been announced yet we have another peek at more of the menu items coming soon to Paddlefish. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contempo Cafe has consistently been one of my favorite spots for better-than-average counter service meals.

What you find here is quick service, no advance dining reservation required. But the fare is anything but fast food quality.

It had been a while since I’d enjoyed a meal here, and since that last visit, they’d added a Lobster Roll that was getting rave reviews from readers!

Recently, on a very quick visit to the World, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to check out all that’s new at the Contempo — and to see if I still consider it a must-do stop.

Atmosphere

If you’re unfamiliar with the Contempo Cafe, well, you’ve probably seen it before, and you just didn’t know it! It occupies primo Disney real estate right next to Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

That’s the area that you whizz by when you’re traveling on the Monorail en route to Magic Kingdom. See? [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

We are back with the final installment in our popular series sharing our picks for the Top Value Restaurants when it comes to using your Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World.

Disney Food Blog Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

Previously, we shared our recommendations for the Recommended Disney Dining Plan Two-Credit Restaurants as well as our choices for Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values.

Today, we’re sharing our recommendations for Quick Service Restaurants when you’re using the Disney Dining Plan.

Remember — the name of the game here is finding the restaurants that hit the right balance: they have 1) a high average entree price, but they’re also 2) spots that we here at DFB would recommend.

Why is this important? Because we want to help you maximize those Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credits. Note that we have plenty of our own favorites that don’t make this list because the average price didn’t put them at the top.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to quick service credit spots.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Wolfgang Puck Express has been around forever, it seems. But one thing doesn’t change — even after all of these years, it still represents amazing quality and value, whether you’re dining on the DDP or not.

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken -- One of My All-Time Favorites

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken — One of My All-Time Favorites

That’s because the food here is easily on par with many table service spots. And when you consider that the average price of an entree here is just over $13, it also makes a lot of sense to spend your DDP credits here. [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 27, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival has finally started and we’ve been eating and drinking our way around World Showcase for a couple of days!

Ice Pop Pomme

Ice Pop Pomme

It was another week full of big news stories including the opening of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and some new enhancements for the Chase Lounge at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

We have a lot to share, so let’s jump right in…

Disney Food News

[Read more…]

Review: The Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

We are stopping into The Crew’s Cup Lounge for a light bite!

Located in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, The Crew’s Cup Lounge is a wonderful little spot to take a breather and beat the heat for a bit. In fact, if you’re ever looking for me and I’m not wandering the parks with my camera, I’ll most likely be in a Disney resort lounge somewhere hiding in the blessed coolness.

This spot has a surprisingly awesome menu (dinner’s pretty darn fancy, even), a great staff, and a relaxed atmosphere. I headed in for lunch on a recent trip after arriving from the airport famished!

 

Atmosphere

The Crew’s Cup Lounge is tucked into the hallway between Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts. It’s easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention.

Crew's Cup Lounge Sign

Crew’s Cup Lounge Sign

See what I mean? There’s no flash here, folks. It almost feels like a private club. And that definitely enhances the relaxing atmosphere.

Entrance

Entrance

Step inside and you’re surrounded by the same decor you see elsewhere in the resort — lots of light-stained wood everywhere, from floor to ceiling.

You’ll find comfortable seating throughout the fairly small space. The wooden chairs are generous and cushioned, making them perfect for lingering.

More Seating

More Seating

The bar is tucked into one corner of the room.

Bar Seating

Bar Seating

Since there’s no outside light here, surroundings are a bit more dim than they are in lobby area; but it’s by no means dark. You’ll have no trouble reading your menus. :-)

But while you’re looking up at the lights, check out the brass surround depicting — what else? — rowing. The rowers are sculling along a smooth river, their perfect reflections mirrored in the water below. Don’t you love the detail? Well, we aren’t finished yet!

Lighting and Decor Detail

Lighting and Decor Detail

Check out the racing shell suspended from the ceiling! That big “window” is a view of the Yachtsman Steakhouse meat cutting room; the Crew’s Cup is often a waiting area for those awaiting their table at the restaurant.

Atmosphere

A Comfortable Place to Relax

Rain slickers hang from [Read more…]

Top 5 Must-Try NEW Restaurants in Walt Disney World for 2014

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Disney Food Blog Readers out there!

Chocolate-Macaron-ice-cream-sandwich-600x471

Whether you’re busy getting started with those resolutions, or recuperating from the big party last night, we thought we’d take a few minutes and discuss some fun new options that you’ve just gotta try in 2014!

True, there wasn’t nearly as much expansion in Disney Parks in 2013. It’s hard to measure up to New Fantasyland and Cars Land, after all! But there are still some fun new spots to check out.

So if you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to introduce our picks for the Top 5 Must-Try New Walt Disney World Dining Spots for 2014!

L’Artisan des Glaces

Who knew that you could make Ice Cream even better? We were a little sad to hear that one of our favorite destinations for ice cream, Fountain View Cafe (hand made ice cream sandwiches!!!) would be converting to a Starbucks. But our blues faded away the very first time we stepped foot into L’Artisan des Glaces.

L'Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

L’Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

The tiny sorbet and ice cream parlour has tons of Old World charm — quite a feat since it opened, brand-new, in 2013! Occupying the space that was previously home to Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion, the shop gave us lots of reasons to venture off the beaten path in search of a refreshing treat. (Bakery fans, not to worry. The très popular bakery and pastry shop was rechristened Les Halles, and expanded to the back of the France Pavilion.)

Inside L'Artisan des Glaces

Inside L’Artisan des Glaces

On any given day, the scoop shop plays host to 16 varying flavors of ice cream and sorbet, made from scratch right here in the France Pavilion.

A scoop of the good stuff

A scoop of the good stuff

And the flavors aren’t your garden variety vanilla. They’re European-inspired flavors, with exotic names like Caramel Fleur de Sel, Coco-White Chocolate, and Profiterole. Okay and yes — there’s Vanilla, too. :-) They’re all made in house (I’ve actually seen the ice cream machines in the back!!), and the flavors absolutely pop.

L'Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot's France

L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot’s France

But that’s only part of the story. Because if you’re looking for something a little more interesting than just another scoop of ice cream (really, really incredible ice cream, mind you), then L’Artisan des Glaces is for you. They’re pushing the envelope with not one but THREE fun ice cream snacks that ensure I pop into the shop nearly every trip.

In the category of frosty drink treats with a grown-up twist, we have this gorgeous [Read more…]

Review: Downtown Disney’s World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck

At long last (and as you may know from a previous DFB post), the final food truck has arrived at Downtown Disney’s West Side in Walt Disney World!

World Showcase of Flavors joins Superstar Catering, Namaste Café, and Fantasy Fare to complete the Disney Food Trucks lineup.

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck pre-opening

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck pre-opening

We’ve got a full review of that $18 lobster roll for ya, so scroll down to see that! In the meantime, let’s take a peek at this sleek truck!

Atmosphere

Each Food Truck reflects the theme of a different Disney World Park (thus far Superstar Catering for Hollywood Studios, Namaste Café for Animal Kingdom, and Fantasy Fare for Magic Kingdom). World Showcase of Flavors represents Epcot — more specifically, the beloved Epcot Food & Wine Festival that comes to Epcot every Fall.

Banner on the back of the World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck

The adventure of travel and exploring other cultures for which World Showcase is known is captured in the design of the truck. I think the way it brings to mind an old-fashioned travel trunk covered with vintage-style “badges” collected along the way is pretty cool!

Vintage "stickers"

More vintage "stickers"

My favorite touch is the row of suitcases on top of the pickup window.

Pickup Window

By the way, my next pictures appear in a different setting – that’s because the trucks move :)! I snapped a few close-ups at its location by Cirque de Soleil pre-opening hours, but went back to eat when it was parked at the grassy area by Bongos Cuban Café.

Food Truck location by Bongos Cuban Cafe

Food Truck location by Bongos Cuban Cafe

Eats

The menu brings “The Best of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival” to guests year-round.

"The Best of the International Food and Wine Festival"

The three entrees are Festival favorites

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Menu! World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

We’ve been reporting on the new food trucks at Downtown Disney steadily as they’ve been appearing, and now the World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck has joined Fantasy FareNamaste Café, and Superstar Catering, bringing the current line-up of Downtown Disney Food Trucks to four.

Featuring “The Best of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival,” the green truck with vintage travel decor will be offering some of our Epcot Food and Wine Festival favorites!

Vintage Travel Posters

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival marketplace booths represented are Hops & Barley, Poland, and Florida Local. Let’s take a closer look at the menus…

Hops and Barley

From Hops & Barley, you’ll find the Lobster Roll with House-made Chips. The price of $18.25 seems kind of steep, right?! Not sure I’d be willing to shell out that amount, though you DO get a larger size serving than you do at the festival.

Hops and Barley Menu

Here’s the Food and Wine Festival version. Expect the Truck version to be MUCH larger!

Linda Bean’s® Perfect Maine Lobster Roll®

Poland

Pierogies with Kielbasa and Caramelized Onions are highlighted as a nod to the Poland booth.

Poland Menu


Fans of the Poland marketplace will be familiar with this version:

Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Florida Local

Florida Local showcases [Read more…]