DFB Challenge: The Walt Disney World Beer Crawl

Alrighty, Guys — it’s time for another fun Disney Food Blog Challenge. And this one is definitely for the grown ups!

Everyone’s aware that craft Beer has become increasingly popular. Sure, through the years, you always had the garden variety options…

Lovely Beer!

Lovely Beer!

But these days, Craft Beers and International Selections are where it’s at. So we thought that it was high time we take a closer look at some of the interesting beer that you can get throughout Walt Disney World.

In the interest of interactive fun, we decided to come up with another DFB Food — er, Beverage — Crawl, dedicated to the world of beer, and all that it encompasses.

And we know that there are LOTS of you out there who are serious about your study and research of this important subject. We are in it for the fun. ;-) So we definitely want YOUR comments below on what you think the Can’t Miss Beers of Walt Disney World are!

Because this is a rather weighty subject, we’ll spread it out over a 3 day visit. But feel free to consolidate as your tolerance level allows.

Grab some beer nuts, and let’s go!

Day One: Explore Epcot

We’ll start our 3-day Beer Crawl in the best place for sampling a wide variety of food and drink — Epcot!

When beer is the main attraction of the day, it’s a good idea to get some sustenance first thing. We love to enter Epcot via the International Gateway Entrance and start our day with a stop in Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion for a petit déjeuner of French Pastries and Coffee or Chocolat Chaud.

We especially love the Frangipane Triangles!

Frangipane -- Cross Section

Frangipane — Cross Section

If you’d like a full-on breakfast platter-type situation, head to Sunshine Seasons (although the Croissant Berry Bread Pudding gets our vote).

Fueled up and ready to go, it’s time to hit World Showcase!

Moosehead in the Canada Pavilion

We all have our traditions, and one that we love to embrace is the First Beer of the Day in Epcot. And that honor almost always goes to Moosehead as we begin our Drinking Journey around the World! Find it at the Canada Beer Stand located near the entrance to Le Cellier Steakhouse.

The beer offerings in Canada

Stroll the area, making time to check out the Totem Poles before you head to your next stop.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion

With a small breakfast and your first brew under your belt, it’s time to stop for lunch and more beer in one of our favorite Epcot dining spots.

The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the UK Pavilion offers a wide array of beer and cider from the British Isles. Make your advance dining reservation ahead of time for a sit down meal, or take a gamble with finding a spot in the pub (it can get pretty crowded in there). Note that you can also get beers at a counter outside the restaurant and pub.

Sampling British beers is your goal here, so we recommend the Imperial Sampler, which normally includes pours of Bass, Harp, Strongbow, Boddington’s, and Guinness.

Imperial Sampler

Alternatively, you can choose from a long list of Pub Blends, which are half-and-half mixes of some of the beer on tap. You’ll never go wrong with a Black and Tan — half Bass Ale and half Guinness.

Of course, if you have a favorite beer among those on tap, enjoy a pint of that one instead. We especially love to order a Guinness, served with its famous Shamrock Head!

Shamrock Design on Top of Guinness

And if you visit on a weekday, don’t forget to say “hello” to Carl the Bartender!

Japan

With a little lunch under your belt, it’s time to hit up the Japan Pavilion for another unique stop on your beer tour. Kirin Frozen Beer comes with a fluffy, semi-frozen head that keeps your beer cold a little longer in that warm Florida sun.

While the picture below is from Tokyo Dining, you can also get a portable version in a plastic cup at Kabuki Cafe.

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot's Japan

Frozen Kirin Beer in Epcot’s Japan

Take in some time listening to the drummers or checking out the [Read more…]

Celebrate National Margarita Day Tomorrow, Walt Disney World Style!

We are happy to start a little early celebrating National Margarita Day tomorrow, February 22! Now, this is a holiday I can get behind!!!

If you’ve been here for any amount of time at all, then you know I lurve a good Margarita. (If you’re new here at DFB — welcome…and FYI, I love margaritas!) And some of my very favorites can be found right at Walt Disney World.

Grab some limes and tequila and let’s take a look at our must-drink margs!

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

The AguacateAvocado Margarita — from La Cava del Tequila has been one of my very favorites from the first time I sampled it!

It’s a wonderful, made-to-order concoction that blends Avocado, Lime Juice, White Tequila, and Melon Liqueur for a flavor that’s like no other!

Avocado Margarita

Avocado Margarita

My favorite thing about this drink is the perfect balance of the creamy consistency with a sweet flavor — not to mention the tequila :-). A little Agave Nectar and the liqueur balance the flavors nicely.

And thanks to an awesome reader, you and I can even make this one at home today with this recipe, and celebrate this holiday in style!

Blood Orange Margarita at Flying Fish Cafe

Blood Orange is one of my favorite flavors. After all, with the complex, less sweet, almost bitter taste it imparts, it’s a little more interesting than plain old orange…orange.

And it’s especially delicious when paired with other flavors in a margarita. We’ve enjoyed versions of this festive cocktail at San Angel Inn Ristorante, but my favorite one can be found at Flying Fish Cafe.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

If you’re anything like me, if you order this, it’ll be gone pretty quickly! SO good!

Italian Margarita at Via Napoli

One thing that you can count on at Disney when it comes to food and drink is a fun, fusion approach to some of your favorites. Case in point: the Italian Margarita in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion!

I first discovered this delicious drink at Via Napoli, the Italy Pavilion’s fantastic spot for pizza.

Italian Margarita

Italian Margarita

But it’s proven to be so popular, it’s also been available at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in recent years! And fortunately, you can still order it at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival's Italy Booth!

Italian Margarita at the Food and Wine Festival’s Italy Booth!

Flavored with a smooth combination of [Read more…]

News! More Popular Restaurants Possibly Coming to Disney Springs in Walt Disney World

As expected, we are hearing more news about Disney Springs in Walt Disney World!  We recently shared the announcement of a Patina Group Restaurant taking over the 8Trax and Mannequins clubs as the Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney is completely re-imagined.

Disney Springs Artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs Artwork on construction walls

And now we’ve got even more info for ya. If the current plans remain unchanged, we can expect some impressive eateries when Disney Springs officially opens in 2016.

Restaurants that are being considered include: Morimoto (based in New York and Philadelphia) featuring Japanese and sushi; STK (a steakhouse currently in New York, Miami,and Las Vegas); Los Angeles restaurant, The Edison; and The Boathouse.

A Landry’s restaurant, The Boathouse, currently serves up seafood and steak dishes at its British Columbia locations. T-Rex Cafe, Yak and Yeti, and Rainforest Cafe are also owned by Landry’s.

STK

STK

Morimoto, STK, and The Edison are upscale restaurants with award-winning accolades. The addition of these restaurants would help Disney Springs become an Orlando-based culinary destination for gourmands.

What’s happening with the current restaurants? As reported earlier, Planet Hollywood will remain in its current location. However, it will be converted into a planetary observatory! Will the theme change from celebrities to celestial stars? We can’t wait to find out!

If The Boathouse is constructed, it will occupy prime lagoon real estate next to [Read more…]

Top 5 Ways to Get Your Veggies at Walt Disney World

I  know, I know. It’s the new year and you’re really trying to fit in your five servings of fruit and veggies every day, right? Well, I’m here to help you stick to that goal — even when you’re vacationing in Disney World!

Here are my top 5 ways to get my veggie servings in Disney World… . Don’t forget to take notes.

Jalapeño, Avocado, and Cucumber Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila

One of my favorite ways to get my veggies comes with a healthy dose of tequila. That’s right, Friends. We’re heading to Mexico — in Epcot, that is — to La Cava del Tequila.

Seating in La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Because that’s where you can get some of the green stuff via their Handmade Margaritas. (Yep, that’s right. None of that pre-made, swirling in the slushie machine stuff for you here.)

The Avacado Margarita is one of our favorites!

Avocado Margarita in Epcot's Mexico

Avocado Margarita in Epcot’s Mexico

If you like a teensy bit of zip, go for the Jalapeño Margarita, which features tiny pieces of the peppers right in the mix.

Jalapeno Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Jalapeño Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Another refreshing option is the Cucumber Margarita.

cucumber margarita

Cucumber Margarita

Fans of this unusual choice swear by it. It’s like a spa treatment in a glass! With tequila!

Pizza at Via Napoli

Savvy parents have been sneaking veggies into stubborn kids’ food since the dawn of the food pyramid, I figure. And now, I think we should take a page from their book and visit Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion. Because who doesn’t love Pizza?

You guys — you know I think their pizza is totes the BEST. Ever. But hey, who says the best ever can’t have a few healthy benefits?

On our last visit, we tried several pies, including the luxurious Pizza Carciofi. Doesn’t “Artichoke” sound so much more appealing in Italian? This gorgeous pie also features Truffle Oil. So that’s got to count for a serving too, I’m thinking.

Pizza Carciofi

Pizza Carciofi at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Or you can skip the pizza and have your [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…]

Ten Best Frozen Drinks in Disney World

It’s getting hot out there, guys!

And sometimes, when it feels like it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweltering in line, you need more than a cold drink. You need a frozen drink!

Fortunately, there are lots of palate-pleasing options found in all corners of Disney World. And we’ve got great options whether you’d like to go alocholic or non-alcoholic! Refreshment is just a menu choice away…

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our very favorites!

Frozen Lemonade

Sweet-tart and chilly, Frozen Lemonade calls to mind seaside treats from our favorite resort towns. And there’s nothing like it for reviving you on a super hot, sticky Florida day.

The secret is in the balance. A too-sweet treat can leave you feeling not so great while you’re standing in the bright sun. That little kick of sour rounds out the flavors and makes the beverage a true refresher.

Raspberry Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom

If you’re a lover of frozen lemonade, I have great news for you: there are tons of different varieties to try around the parks and resorts! You could make your own personal frozen lemonade crawl. (Hey! That’s a great idea…)

One of our favorites is the Raspberry Lemonade Slush that you find at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe, located on the outskirts of Fantasyland. You can find a similar drink across the castle hub at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. And if you’re looking for frozen lemonade in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find an awesome, slurpee-type version at Herbie’s Drive-In.

If you prefer your frozen lemonade with a little kick, one of our favorite adult versions is available at Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks. The Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade has been inspiring random cravings for me ever since I tried it. :-)

Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade at Animal Kingdom's Dino Diner

Check out other locations to score frozen lemonade slushes when you’re parched in the parks.

Dole Whip Float

Part beverage, part Dole Whip soft serve, this is one of Disney’s classic must-eat treats! The Dole Whip Float combines sweet-tart soft serve pineapple goodness with pineapple juice to provide one of the most refreshing icy drinks in the Kingdom.

Breakfast of Champions!

You CAN get this with vanilla or orange dole whip as well — either choice will cut the tartness a bit. But I prefer pineapple-on-pineapple, myself! Find this great treat at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

Ice Cream Martinis

Looking for a new entry on your Drinking Around the World card? THE newest frozen drink concoction in Disney World can be found — where else? — World Showcase!

Head to Epcot’s newest eatery, L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion for the beautiful and crave-inspiring Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

The drink-sundae fusion is made by combining [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney

After about a year away, I headed back to Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney recently to see what was new with the menu!

Since my last lunch there, there have been a few menu changes and updates, so let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

The goal of Paradiso 37 is to offer an upscale, though casual and comfortable, dining experience, and I think it does a good job of that.

Personally, I love to visit Paradiso 37 during the quieter hours of the day when the sunshine is streaming in through the massive windows. While the evening features a fun nightlife vibe with live music and a hip crowd, the afternoon is laid back, and it’s easy to snag a table!

Paradiso 37

I was very interested to see that not much had changed about the inside of the restaurant since I was last there. You still have that fantastic floor-to-ceiling tequila bar that tells you THIS is a GREAT place for drinks…especially if you’re a fan of all things margarita like me!

Tequila Tower

One question we had when visiting: is Paradiso 37 appropriate for [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 Drinks, Appetizers, and Dessert

Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney has been one of my favorite tapas and drinks places in Walt Disney World since it opened on Pleasure Island back in 2009 (…back when Pleasure Island was Pleasure Island).

Today, even though Paradiso has lost a few of its neighbors, it’s still going strong (in my opinion) and offering some of my favorite appetizers and margaritas on property.

A few weeks ago, Erin Foster and I stopped into Paradiso (at my urging — I hadn’t been there in WAY too long) for some eats and treats.

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Atmosphere

Once again, I was reminded when walking into Paradiso 37 that this restaurant is all about fun — and all different kinds of fun at that!

The martini-glass-and-tequila-bottle chandelier hanging over the foyer is a good indication that this restaurant means business when it comes to happy hour.

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

And the floor-to-ceiling tequila bar centerpiece showcases [Read more…]

Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges

South African Wine at Jiko

When it comes to a happy hour beverage, a night out with your spouse or some friends, or…let’s face it…a margarita at the stroke of noon…there are a few spots in Disney World that get the job done better than others! FYI — The Disney Food Blog offers a full list of bars and lounges — complete with descriptions of each place — in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book.

Now, let’s take a tour of our Top Ten Disney World bars and lounges — these are the places that really make us want to get up and dance. ;-) Don’t forget to check out our list of Honorable Mentions at the end! Many of these spots offer the standard Disney Parks bar and lounge menu should you be interested.

Top Ten WDW Bars and Lounges

Top Ten Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges

1. La Cava del Tequila

Nestled in the twilit atmosphere of the Mexican pavilion in Epcot, La Cava del Tequila is popular with tequila and margarita fans. Try the Avocado Margarita while perusing the limited appetizer menu. See our margarita reviews here and a pic of the tequila flight here!

Due to its cozy and dark location, La Cava makes a great place to escape the heat and bright sunshine while touring World Showcase. However, it gets crowded quickly, so to ensure that you get a table, head over to La Cava at opening time — noon!

La Cava Bar

2. Jellyrolls

While Jellyrolls isn’t for everyone, if you love music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, and especially if you love dueling piano improv, it’s going to fit the bill for you!

An entertainment spot on Disney’s Boardwalk bringing you non-stop dueling pianos, the bar at Jellyrolls plays second fiddle to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 31, 2011

The Belgium Booth is back for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The Disney Food Blog enjoyed an exciting week chock full of all the things we love — menus from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s World Showcase booths were announced, we released of our very first Mini-Guide, and the sale of Epcot’s Candlelight processional dinner/lunch packages began!

We’ve got so many fun articles in the round-up and great foodie news to share, so “Come on, everybody! Here we go!”!!

Latest Disney Food News

Great news from this week! We’ll start with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then move on to the rest!

Explore in-depth coverage of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival here!

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book Launch

The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book is our first Mini-Guide in what we hope will be a very useful series of informational e-Books.

We couldn’t fit this detailed information into our overview book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, so we’ve created an entire guide detailing over 70 Magic Kingdom snacks!

You’ll see photos, reviews, costs, and Disney Dining Plan snack credit information about each featured snack! Be sure to check out http://DFBMiniGuides.com for details about the e-Book, sample pages, and even a list of the bonus items in the book!

And the best news is that for our Grand Launch week, you can get the book for 20% off its original purchase price using code MAGIC at the check-out!! We hope you enjoy!

Come Listen!

Yours truly is the guest this evening on WDW Today‘s Live Show, starting at 8pm ET! Come listen — or call in and talk food with us! You can join the chat room and listen in here. See ya there!

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World For Grown Ups congratulates Jiko in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge on being named one of the nation’s best wine restaurants!

Bournemouth Echo shares the Walt Disney World Company’s chocolate-themed team-building events.

An AllEars.net guest blogger reviews Paradiso 37 in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

PR Newswire featured a press release announcing that WDW and Chiquita have moved forward with their alliance! Watch for Chiquita to sponsor runDisney events, Living with the Land, and Crush ‘n’ Gusher.

Main Street Gazette sticks with barbecue this week and features Flame Tree Barbecue’s gorgeous St. Louis ribs.

Around Disney reports that Disneyland’s bakeries churn out the best macaroons in Orange County.

Finally, check out this video featuring All Star Sports Resort’s new fountain drink machines, equipped with an RFID card reader, during Disney’s new refillable mug system tests. Read the full story here.

Have a great week!