News! and Review: Food Trucks In Testing at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

So, you’ve heard us mention Food Trucks quite a few times here on the DFB, and typically we’re referring to the four Disney Food Trucks most often found at Exposition Park in Downtown Disney’s West Side (though we’ve also had the chance to visit the Truckeria Rolling Taco Truck when it has appeared on occasion).

Well, today we’re visiting four more Food Trucks… but they’re not the ones you’re accustomed to seeing (like Fantasy Fare or Namaste Cafe), nor are they in the place you’re used to hearing them mentioned. Nope… we’re excited to bring you news of the Food Trucks that can currently be found on the weekends at the Causeway of Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resorts!

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

Swan and Dolphin Causeway

I say “currently” because — as is pretty common for food trucks of any sort — schedules (as well as locations –what with being mobile and all ;) ) are apt to change. And these food trucks are actually in a testing phase as well. So while we’ll list some info about hours and availability with every truck below, please note that [Read more…]

Guest Review and DFB Challenge: Eat Around the World at Disney’s Epcot

Ready to dine around Epcot? Yep, me too! Join me in welcoming guest author Anita Theiss with her review of some great Epcot eats!

World Showcase Snacks

My husband and I recently spent a day at Epcot celebrating our anniversary. While there, we decided to taste a little something from each of the nations represented in the World Showcase. An “Eat Around the World” challenge, so to speak. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed discussing which foods we liked best and which we liked the least. We followed a few simple rules for our self-assigned challenge.

Eat Around the World Rules

Rule One, choose one country-specific food item (no generic cookies or fries) to order from each nation and share it. (We had a slight breech of etiquette on this rule when we got to France, but more on that later.) Sharing meant that we could discuss what we thought of the item, and it kept us from eating too much.

Rule Two, go to counter service restaurants, kiosks, or food stands only. It just didn’t seem right to take up a reservation spot for just one item.

Rule Three, rate each food item on a scale of one to ten, with one being not quite so palate pleasing, and ten being the best thing to ever grace your taste buds.

Nachos in Mexico

Our digestive expedition started in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel with an order of nachos. The nachos come with ground beef, beans, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, and sour cream. We ordered them with the tomatoes and jalapeños on the side -— my husband loves them, but I am not a fan.

Nachos

Nachos

I enjoyed the nachos, but we both found them to be a little heavy on the cheese (if food can be too heavy with ‘plastic cheese’) and not heavy enough on the meat and beans. They had just the right amount of spice, and the chips were crisp. The portion was perfect for a meal, but these nachos are a great shareable snack as well. My husband gave them a 4, and I gave them a 6.

Troll Horn in Norway

We moved on to Norway and stopped at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafé. There were several items on the counter that looked good, and I could not decide between the Troll Horn and the Viking Mousse. I asked the cast member behind the counter which of the two she recommended, and she suggested the Troll Horn, which is filled which cloudberry cream.

Troll Horn

Troll Horn

The cloudberry cream was smooth and sweet, but not too sweet, and the pastry was tender but a little bland. The sugar crystals sprinkled on top added a nice sweetness and crunch, but overall the Troll Horn was just meh (how do you like that technical culinary term?). We both gave it a 4 on our grading scale — not horrible, but we won’t be rushing back to Norway to get one during our next trip.

Egg Roll in China

After a ride on Maelstrom (RIP), we headed to China. We stopped at Joy of Tea to place an egg roll order. An order of egg rolls actually includes two nice-sized pork and veggie egg rolls, which was a pleasant surprise considering how very delicious they were. (My husband had already snagged his and started munching when I took the picture which is why there is only one pictured.)

Egg Roll

Egg Roll

The egg roll wrapper was both tender and crunchy, and the filling was flavorful with seasoned pork and crisp veggies. There were packets of soy sauce (and other condiments) which just added another layer of fabulous flavor. We both gave the egg rolls an 8.5; we would definitely get them again and feel that they would be an excellent use of a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan since they are easily shared.

Bratwurst in Germany

We moved on from China to Germany for a stop at Sommerfest. To be honest, I had my heart set on wrapping my lips around a Nudel Gratin for days, but I was starting to get full and knew that such a dish would be both rich and heavy. So, I passed on the Nudel Gratin (which I now regret — I really should have persevered) while my husband ordered a bratwurst. He loves a brat, and this one did not disappoint.

Bratwurst

Bratwurst

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

The bratwurst comes on a very large crusty bun topped with loads of sauerkraut. He said the sauerkraut was alright and the bratwurst itself was delicious, but he felt that there was just too much bread. The bun was quite large and had a pretty tough and crusty consistency. He still enjoyed it and gave it a score of 6.

Gelato in Italy

After a quick shopping break in Germany, we headed to Italy, which had me a little worried because there is no counter service restaurant. But as we were walking into Italy, I spotted Gelati — a nice little gelato stand, so I stopped for a cup of chocolate gelato.

Gelato

Gelato

It was smooth, thick, creamy, quite tasty, and reminded me of a cold version of hot chocolate. It would definitely hit the spot on a hot summer day in Florida. My husband had a taste or two of it, but he is not much of a chocolate fan and didn’t like it as much as regular ice cream. I, on the other hand, much prefer the thicker consistency of gelato to its thinner American counterpart and gave it a 7.

Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel in American Adventure

After Italy, it was time for a return to our homeland of America. Now during our last trip to Disney a few months ago, I fell in love with the [Read more…]

Review: Chili-Cheese Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Jalapeño at Herbie’s Drive-In at Hollywood Studios

I’m guessing Herbie’s Drive-in isn’t really the first place that pops into your mind when considering meal possibilities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

And that’s fair, because this little stand tucked in the roundabout on the Streets of America is pretty basic. It’s not known for any sort of signature snack, and the Streets of America itself isn’t a major destination for many guests outside of the holiday season’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (although I’d argue that some of the best detailing in the park can be found in this charming area, made to look like streets in New York City and San Francisco).

Plus, if you’re looking for more memorable treats in this section of the park, you’re likely more tempted by the goodies at the Writer’s Stop, like the Carrot Cake Cookie. No shame in that!

But if you’re in the mood for something savory instead of sweet, there’s a snack at Herbie’s that deserves as a mention.

Herbie's Drive-In

Herbie’s Drive-In

Herbie's Drive-In sign

Herbie’s Drive-In sign

Before we dive in, though, here’s a peek at the full menu.

Herbie's Drive-in menu

Herbie’s Drive-in menu

For a very small space, it boasts a decent list of options (and this is the place at Hollywood Studios if you’re in the market for a Corn Dog).  But my Herbie’s go-to has become the Chili-Cheese Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Jalapeno.

Chili-Cheese Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Jalapeño

Chili-Cheese Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Jalapeño

These are made per order, so if you’re not [Read more…]

Review: The Tambu Lounge in Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Today we’re headed to one a lounge that’s achieved cult favorite status among Disney fans in the know like you guys — The Tambu Lounge!

Located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, this is one of my favorite spots in the entire resort to kick back, relax, and enjoy an adult beverage while awaiting my table at ‘Ohana. But what you might not know is that Tambu also serves up some tasty island-inspired pub grub as well.

It had been a while since I’d indulged in the menu here, so when the opportunity arose (in the form of a huge impending rainstorm) I knew just the place to hide away!

Atmosphere

Tambu Lounge is located in the open air atrium lobby of the Polynesian Resort. It actually serves as the waiting area for Disney guest-favorite restaurant ‘Ohana, and it’s also a stone’s throw from Kona Cafe, the resort’s other table service restaurant. This makes Tambu the perfect place to indulge in before dinner cocktails. But I had another idea in mind.

Since the space is open, the same decor that serves for the rest of the resort is found here as well. Dark walls, tikis, thatched roofs, and folk art serve to signal that you’ve traveled to Polynesia. And because this is Disney, you’ll often see guests of all ages here.

Tambu Lounge at Disney's Polynesian Resort

The comfortable, airy lounge features floor-to-ceiling picture windows that look out on the lush garden paths of the resort, and you can just catch a glimpse of the water through the trees. If you haven’t started the relaxation process by the time you hit Tambu, this spot is likely to get you moving in the right direction.

Eats

As I said before, normally Tambu is a Disney first day tradition for me. Either I’m awaiting my table at ‘Ohana, or I’m grabbing a Lapu Lapu before heading to the Polynesian’s beach to watch Wishes from my favorite spot. :-)

But today, I was all about noshing, and I couldn’t wait to check out the menu. We started, of course, by taking a look at the Specialty Drink Offerings.

Tambu Specialty Drink Menu

Although Disney has switched to a resort-wide beverage list for many of their bars and lounges, you can find some unique specialty cocktails at several of the resorts…and I’m so glad Tambu has kept several of theirs!

All the drinks are delicious, but nothing says “kicked back and relaxed” to me like that Lapu Lapu!

Lapu Lapu at the Polynesian's Tambu Lounge

This is one of my all-time favorites in Disney World. Served in a hollowed-out pineapple, it’s a delicious blend of dark rum and tropical fruit juices. In my opinion, it’s [Read more…]

Review: Nachos and Frozen Lemonade at Herbie’s Drive-In

Here’s another tucked away snack option for you in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

You’ll remember a couple of weeks ago when we talked about Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway in the Pixar Place area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Today, we’re taking you straight to the back of the park to find another fun spot for snacks on the go: Herbie’s Drive-In.

Herbie's Drive-in

The spot is themed after everyone’s favorite little love bug — Herbie! It even features his trademark number “53” and blue and red stripes.

The menu shows a standard list of Disney stroll and eat foods — corn dog, chili dog, a side of chili, and assorted chips and other snacks. There’s a 70s vibe here as well, with the red, white, and blue stars motif — very reminiscent of the Bicentennial celebrations.

And another cool 70s choice — you can get your Corn Dog and Chips served out of R2D2’s head!

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Note that many of the items here are available for a snack credit as well.

So since you guys now how much I LURVE nachos and plastic cheese, I opted for some [Read more…]

Guest Review: Everything Pop Food Court Breakfast, Snacks, and Dessert

Welcome back guest author Joey Beyer to the Disney Food Blog with a groovy review of Pop Century’s food court!

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I had multiple firsts, which included the Liberty Tree Tavern, Le Cellier, and lunch at the Tusker House.

Today however, I will be discussing the food court at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This was my first time staying at Pop Century, and my motivation was all the positive things I had heard about the “Everything Pop” food court.

Atmosphere

The Pop Century food court is well organized and, even when it was very busy, it never felt overly crowded.

Seating

The panoply of foods that each station offered also impressed me. Breakfast offers everything from the standard Disney baked goods (e.g. cheese danishes and muffins) to breakfast burritos to the famous Pop Century waffles.

Lunch and dinner sees the stations change to a deli counter, a grill, a pizza and pasta station, and a Mexican/Asian cuisine station. Sweet treats from the bakery such as cake, cookies, and cupcakes are offered throughout the day.

Eats

At breakfast time I sampled a Pop Century waffle, a cheese Danish (a longstanding Disney resort favorite of mine since I was very young), banana bread, and the blueberry muffin.

Of these options, the Pop waffle stands out the most. It may just be me, but something about that “Pop!” in the middle of the waffle makes it taste that [Read more…]

Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World — What’s Your Favorite?

We talk a lot around here about Disney’s sweet snacks, and with good reason: nothing says indulgence like a bit of Disney ice cream or a monster cupcake.

But everyone knows that sweet snacks are even better with a salty chaser! ;-)

Salty indulgences abound at Disney World, too! And we think it’s time to give them their day in the spotlight!

So without further adieu, we’d like to take a brief look at some of our favorites in our salute to the Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World!

Disney Popcorn

Alrighty, folks, we have to start with the obvious one: Popcorn.

How can you discuss Disney World salty snacks and not mention it? In fact, how can you go to a Disney park and not end up munching on this snack favorite?

We love popcorn in all its personalities — from the standard bucket you buy as soon as you walk into Magic Kingdom, to caramel corn at Big Top Treats or Karamell-Küche. And when popcorn started popping up on Disney menus a while back, we were all for it!

NEW Disney Parks Popcorn Boxes!

But the best version remains that classic Disney popcorn box full of buttery (flavored) yellow kernels of fluffy goodness. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave without trying a box.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Over at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, you’ll find a lovely little assortment of waffles to satisfy your salt craving.

What? You ask. Waffles = salt? When they’re in the form of waffle sandwiches — they sure can be!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich in Disney World

And my favorite when I’m satisfying a savory craving is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Sweet/spicy chicken with a touch of coleslaw offers a treat with complicated flavors, but a sure comfort food factor.

The perfect combo of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, this sandwich will leave you full, happy, and ready to tackle the rest of those Disney miles! Just know that this thing can be uber messy, so bring lots of napkins!

Nachos

I dearly love a plate of nachos, don’t you? And when I’m in the mood for this Tex-Mex treat, I head to La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Nachos with Cheese, Beef, and Jalapenos at Cantina de San Angel

The salty trifecta of chips, plastic cheese, and seasoned ground beef is perfection! And if you’re looking to add to it — try washing them down with a margarita, of course!

Want some less-fussy nachos? Head over to Casey’s Corner for an awesome version with just nacho cheese — or with chili and cheese! We’re also fans of the versions at Big River Grill and ESPN Club on the Boadwalk. Where do you find your favorite nachos in Disney World?

Tomato Basil Soup

If you’re in the mood for a good bowl of soup (fitting during the relatively cold Orlando days this past weekend), then head to Pinocchio Village Haus for their [Read more…]

Review: ESPN Club in Walt Disney World

Editor’s Note: As of May 2013, hot dogs are no longer being offered and the nachos are served with BBQ Pork.

It’s been TOO LONG since I’ve done an ESPN Club review for ya, so we finally headed over there on a recent visit. It wasn’t from lack of trying, mind you — I actually like this restaurant a lot and we enjoy going there. But other restaurants kept getting in the way. ;-)

But now it’s time for this paradise of bar food to get its day in the spotlight…here we go!

Atmosphere

Your first impression of ESPN Club will be that you’ve died and gone to Sports Bar Heaven. Seriously, as you will see, no detail is left untouched. This is a world created for the die hard sports fan. From the menu to the television placement (more to come!) you need never miss a second of the game while you’re here.

ESPN Club (with a line to get in on Game Day!)

But never fear, even though the feel is straight-up sports bar, it’s very kid-friendly, with the standard Disney kids’ menu offered. And with an arcade off to the side, chances are you’ll wave goodbye to the kids and not see them again until dessert anyway!

As you walk in, you can choose from seating in the bar area to the right or the dining room to the left. The bar area has ample TVs situated all around the room — even at your table.

Bar

And what goes better with the game than beer? Here are a few of the draft selections, including the very popular local Orange Blossom Pilsner.

Beer on Draft

Although we were there on a quiet weekday, make no mistake: this place gets packed fast when there’s a big game on. And while it’s a fantastic venue to catch the play-offs or a World Cup match, be prepared to [Read more…]

Review: La Cantina de San Angel

After finishing a day of the conference (the reason I’m here in Disney World is for a food blogger conference), I knew I needed a quick bite!

We’d been at seminars in the Odyssey Center all day long, and it was so nice to get out into the Epcot sunshine that I decided to STAY outside and headed right over to La Cantina de San Angel to have a snack by the World Showcase Lagoon!

Atmosphere

La Cantina de San Angel, Mexico’s counter-service restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase, offers a refuge by the water with ample amounts of shaded seating. If you enjoy Mexican eats, need a quick bite, and fancy a margarita with your meal, La Cantina makes a great stop in your world travels.

Front of Restaurant

This location opens at 11 a.m. (along with the rest of World Showcase) and lines quickly form since Mexico is often everyone’s first stop as they begin their tour around the World!

Queue Lines

Once you grab your food, there are several options for seating. A large, circular shaded area offers great views of the Lagoon, and possibly some nice [Read more…]

Chips and Queso “To Go” at La Cava del Tequila

Do you feel that? That’s the pure and utter joy that I feel about being able to give you this super fun news.

You know I love La Cava del Tequila. You know it’s one of my favorite places in Walt Disney World, with its cozy seating areas, top-of-the-line margaritas, and fun atmosphere.

I’ve talked about this spot on the blog before, but just wanted to share a few more fun photos with you! The line of tequilas…

Cava Bar

The cozy lighting…

Cozy Cava Lighting

And these guys. I mean, how can you NOT love this place when they have things like this as decor? I mean…what are these things?

Cute Mexican Decor

Cava Decor

Anyway, La Cava just did something last week that makes me love them even MORE than I already did (I didn’t think it was possible!). During my research trip for the new DFB MiniGuide to Epcot Snacks, I stopped into Cava to check out the appetizer menu (it’s been changing consistently all year).

La Cava del Tequila Food Menu 10-2011

My favorite item — Queso with Jalapeno — was still on the menu, but I knew I didn’t have time to sit and order. So I asked if it would be possible to [Read more…]