“You Know You’re Dining in Disney When…” Part Two!

We freely admit that our first “You Know You’re Eating in Disney World When…” post amused us so much that we had to do a Part 2! After all, where else can we dine with a beloved mouse in the kitchen!

Our “You know you’re eating in Disney World when…” thoughts were bountiful, and we’d love to hear yours too! Who knows…there may just have to be a third post in the series!

Leave us a comment with your personal “You know you’re eating in Disney World or Disneyland when…” experience! ;-)

You Know You’re Dining In Disney When…

Your beverage glows in the dark!

Disney's Blue Glow-Tini

You find it appropriate to have your server correct your manners (and, frankly, get kind of annoyed when they don’t!).

Take your elbows off the table!

You order ketchup and have multiple bottles delivered to your table by a dozen patrons seated near you.

Whispering Canyon Cafe Ketchup Delivery

There’s a train [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…]

Chefs and Beverage Presenters at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The list of Visiting Chefs and Presenters has been announced for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Are your faves on the list?

Visiting Chefs and Speakers include Cat Cora, the Food Network’s Iron Chef known for her Greek and American cooking. WDW guests love Kouzzina! You’ve seen Robert Irvine on several Food Network shows including 2011’s Restaurant: Impossible. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern may shock picky palates with his Bizarre Foods but he’s also a huge fan of Walt Disney World! And Keegan Gerhard, host of multiple Food Network Challenges, will surely present something mouth-watering!

Visiting Chefs - click image for larger version

And the renowned Walt Disney World Chefs (insert huge applause!) include Chef Brian Piasecki, Chef de Cuisine at the California Grill! Chef TJ Sudiswa has wowed many guests dining on a Special Diet. Once at ‘Ohana, he’s now [Read more…]

Disney World Bread Pudding Poll

Bread pudding is a ubiquitous dessert in Disney World. You can find versions of it on nearly every buffet restaurant menu (Boma’s and Crystal Palace’s are well-loved!), a counter-service version exists at the Main Street Bakery, savory versions have been found at Le Cellier and Cinderella’s Royal Table, and you could claim that Rose and Crown’s Sticky Toffee Pudding fits the bill.

But there are some spectacularly sweet, official bread pudding options at three of Disney World’s popular table-service restaurants.

It’s these three that I’m going to stick with today, and usually I can give you my clear favorite; but when it comes to these, I think it’s time for a poll. After having eaten each one of these desserts over the past year, I can’t make up my mind as to which I like best — I honestly can’t wait to dig into each one of them again!

So I’m hoping you’ll join in and cast your vote for a favorite. Let us know in the comments why you made your choice, and if you have another bread pudding version that you would [Read more…]

Reader Question: Planning a Special Vegetarian Meal at Disney World’s ‘Ohana

We recently had a question submitted by a reader regarding the vegetarian meal at ‘Ohana. Now that Chef TJ has taken his culinary skills to the Grand Floridian, our reader, who is celebrating her birthday at ‘Ohana, wondered if Chef TJ’s famed vegetarian meal (six courses!) was still being offered.

Tempura Asparagus at 'Ohana

I’m not sure what the current meal is for vegetarians at ‘Ohana since Chef TJ left, so here’s what I suggest — contact the Disney Special Diets folks (email SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com or call 407-WDW-DINE or 407-824-5967) and ask them what number to call if you have a special diet, have booked a particularly special meal, and would like to speak with a particular restaurant.

Once you get a direct number for ‘Ohana, ask if you can set up a time to speak by phone directly with the Chef at ‘Ohana, explaining that you booked a birthday meal there based on the rave reviews, but you understand there’s a new Chef there and you’d like to discuss options with him ahead of time since this is a special meal for you. Share the same info with him and see if you can work together to create a multi-course birthday dinner menu.

Be persistent about wanting to talk with the chef. You might run into [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Learning Opportunities for the Budding Chef

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster captures some great ways to encourage your kids’ love of cooking!

Obviously one of the many reasons that families find Disney destinations to be such compelling vacation spots is that the parks and resorts are fully prepared to accommodate the interests of children. At various points, all of my girls have been captivated with the idea of becoming a chef (well, at least until they began to realize that kitchens have to be cleaned after they are used).

Disney does a wonderful job of indulging the interests of the budding chef by allowing children, and their parents, plentiful opportunities to observe and interact with the real-life culinary craftspeople that make the food magic happen.

Where to Learn from the Masters: Sweets

Our favorite Walt Disney World venue for chef interaction is at Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney. On one recent trip, my girls and I spent over an hour standing at the candy prep counter there watching a cast member make pan after pan of swoon-inducing fudge.

Fudge in the pan

Fudge prep at Goofy's Candy Company

We have found that the cast members there are particularly gracious in taking the time to explain to curious bystanders exactly what they are doing, and why. We’ve even been offered small tasting spoonfuls of warm fudge batter to better assess the product as it transforms from [Read more…]

News: Refillable Mugs, Extended Dining, and Via Napoli Pizza-by-the-Slice

Hey Disney die-hards and foodie fans! Here is some news for your nourishment.

New Refillable Mugs
New refillable mugs for the 2011 “Let the Memories Begin” promotion are on sale now for $13.99 at your WDW resort.

2011 Refillable Mug

Lids (and handles) are now in blue, black, yellow and pink. Yes, pink! I know a few moms that will be grabbing up the “princessy” mugs! ;-)

Make sure each member of the family gets a different lid color. That way Mom doesn’t have to sip Dad’s coffee and Dad won’t be taking unintentional gulps of Mom’s diet soda. Note that not all the resorts appear to have the black lids. Let me know which mug types you spot during your WDW resort stay!

Extended Dining Options
It’s almost Spring Break time! WDW is extending dining times at Boma, Cape May Cafe, Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grill, Le Cellier Steakhouse, ‘Ohana and [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Big Groups

Please welcome Kim L. to the Disney Food Blog team! A current Disney World Moms Panelist back for yet another tour on the panel, we’re proud to have her working with us both “backstage and on stage” on the blog as well!

Last week we polled our Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for their answer to this question: “What Disney restaurant would you recommend for a large group or family reunion?” Among the many awesome answers, the three restaurants mentioned the most by our Facebook Friends were ‘Ohana, Whispering Canyon Cafe and Crystal Palace!

‘Ohana

With a resounding 20 comments, Facebook Fans raved about their group dining experiences at ‘Ohana! Located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, ‘Ohana offers all-you-can-eat family-style meals. After all, ‘Ohana means family! In this tropical setting, groups savor the Polynesian-influenced flavors (Yummo Sticky Wings!!). With a morning character meal and evening entertainment, it’s easy to see why this restaurant was tops! You can check out our most recent ‘Ohana review here!

'Ohana Fire Pit

Kathy B. and Caroline V. raved about their post-wedding parties! Fiona L. agreed: “‎’Ohana, we had our fab wedding meal there last month. Staff were great, a bit of entertainment for the kids, but not loud and [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana

Thanks again to Sarah Holodick for reporting and reviewing from one of our favorite spots, ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort!

Back in July I made a dinner reservation to go to ‘Ohana in January. It had been several years since Matt last went, and over 16 years for me! I don’t remember much, if anything, of what was served back then. Our reservation was for 7:15 p.m.  and we arrived early to have a drink at Tambu Lounge.

Tambu Lounge
We noticed that they’ve expanded their appetizer options since the last time we were there. They also have added a page dedicated to the Tambu Lounge specialty cocktails, which when I last saw it was simply the generic property-wide menu. We both highly recommend the Backscratcher! I checked in at the podium and had about a 15 minute wait until we were seated for dinner.

Tambu Lounge Menu

Tambu Lounge Specialty Drinks

‘Ohana
They led us to our table and, to start off, they serve sweet ‘Ohana bread. We dove in before [Read more…]

A Vegetarian in Disney — Tips From an Expert

Many thanks go out today to Disney World Moms Panelist Kathie F., who has kindly answered a few interview questions about how to make dining vegetarian in Disney a thoroughly fulfilling experience! Stay tuned after this to hear more from Kathie as she continues to contribute her tips and experience in upcoming Disney Food Blog articles!

My questions for Kathie are in bold!

Q. What foods are your most common options when visiting Disney World? (e.g. What can guests expect when ordering the “vegetarian option.”)

A. I don’t know if I have one; since there are so many options at so many restaurants I like to try and mix it up every visit! One of my stand-by restaurants is Teppan Edo. Our family loves the show that accompanies the food, and I love the veggies and noodles served there! As you’ll see from some of my other answers — I don’t shy away from any Disney restaurant no matter what the printed menu says!

onion volcano at Teppan Edo

If you’re planning on dining vegetarian at WDW, just expect the unexpected. Don’t [Read more…]