Guest Review: Disney World’s Paradiso 37

Guest reviewer Bill Iadonisi is back with another great review! This time, Bill takes us to a relatively new Downtown Disney eatery — Paradiso 37. Take it away, Bill!

Hello again Disney food lovers. Before I begin I must offer an apology. I had promised to first review all of the Disney counter-service restaurants for the Food Blog. But as you can see, I had to deviate a bit from my plans for this review. Circumstances brought me to Downtown Disney, and we decided on Paradiso 37 for dinner, hence this review! But I will be [Read more…]

Paradiso 37 Menu Changes

Reader Ellen D. and her son headed over to Downtown Disney’s Paradiso 37 recently and sent back a few photos of the restaurant’s new menus. Ellen also sent along photos and reviews of their entrees and dessert (yay!). By the way, if you’d like to read our full review of Paradiso 37, you can find it here! Here we go!

Paradiso 37

First off, the food! Ellen wasn’t a huge fan of the Citrus-Barbecued Pork Ribs, saying the spice rub was extremely strong.

Citrus Barbecue Pork Ribs with Slaw

This veg entree was created on-the-fly, she says. “The new menu doesn’t have any vegetarian entrees (the previous one did). Our server offered me this. First impression, [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland Restaurant Additions

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

Great news! Disney World’s Tables in Wonderland discount program has added four next restaurants to the list of participating locations!

Big River Grille & Brewing Works at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort; Bongo’s Cuban Cafe at Downtown Disney West Side; Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island; and Via Napoli in Epcot’s World Showcase are newly accepting the Tables in Wonderland discount card!

For more information and a list of all participating restaurants, see our Tables in Wonderland reference page.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 11, 2010

This going to be a BIG week, fellow foodies! Disney’s set to announce the 2010 Food and Wine Festival official details on Monday. But in the mean time, check out our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival pages for breaking news; details, times, menus, and Chefs for special events and demonstrations; International Marketplace kiosks; and more!

The big news this week on the F&W Festival front:

Also in the “big news” category, many menu items have been revealed from Epcot’s new Via Napoli menu — and the restaurant will be opening early! Next month!

And don’t forget to check out the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival, 6th Edition, out this week! Great Disney reading from your favorite new and veteran Disney bloggers.

Now, on to the round-up!

Imaginerding shares three patriotic recipes from Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Cookbook: Yankee Noodle Dandy, Cherry Vanilla Freeze, and Blueberry Crunch. I don’t know, George… not sure I could pull off that Yankee Noodle Dandy recipe…

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily preview their incredible Disneyland 55th Anniversary popcorn box and coffee cup.

2010 F&W Gift Cards

The Givens Chronicles makes Bailey’s Chocolate Lava Cake from the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Imagineering Disney posts even more wonderfulness about Frito Kid and the Frito Bandito!! Those Fritos sure are deeeeeeeeeeee-licous!

Watch Me Eat has a great review of Paradiso 37 (one of my favorites…)

Touring Plans blogger Caroline Baggerly takes us to Beaches and Cream!

Dan Goodsell‘s Darth Bacon sculpture heads to auction. Also, don’t miss this Tron, The Legacy Mr. Toast. It’s important.

Studios Central gives a review of eating low-carb at Hollywood and Vine.

Main St Gazette reminds me that I really need to get back to Yak and Yeti and its environs…if only for the drinks alone.

Concept Art for F&W Festival South Korea Booth

Babes in Disneyland has some great tips about the various places to get ice cream and cool treats in Disneyland.

DisneyShawn continues his tour through Typhoon Lagoon and visits the water park’s watering holes.

2719 Hyperion remembers late night fun full of Make-Your-Own-Pizza at Trail’s End.

Chip and Co gives reasons to make ADRs and plan your dining ahead.

DisUnplugged reviews the new Taste of Africa Street Party in Animal Kingdom.

Disney Parks Blog shares more imagineering prowess in the form of Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.

Snack Series: Churros!

Churros are quickly joining popcorn, Mickey Premium Bars, Dole Whip Floats, and Mickey Pretzels as one of the go-to snacks in Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

Churro Stand in the Disneyland Town Square

These long, doughnut-y sticks dipped in cinnamon-sugar are a delicious, light snack for any time of day. I got mine while I was waiting for the next show with Mr. Lincoln!

Churro Stand Pricing

Churro Making

Standard Churro in the Parks

One little piece of info I concluded during my marathon Disney-World-to-Disneyland-in-two-weeks trip is that churros have a much bigger presence in Disneyland than in Disney World! While you can find them in the World, churro stands in Disneyland feel more prevalent and are intricately themed based on the land where they’re located. Here’s a [Read more…]

Disney Food Round-Up: May 30th, 2010

Cat Cora's Ouzo-tini at Kouzzina

Welcome to the Round-Up! In Disney Food news this week:

And here are some great Disney Food stories from around the web:

What Now?!?!? (a.k.a. Moms Panelist Kathie F.) makes California Grill’s Pea Risotto (with some gorgeous pics to go along!)

The LA Times Daily Travel and Deal Blog has a great story about Tamales on Main Street…Main Street in Marceline, that is…

AKL Resort pays homage to the Bars and Lounges of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Web Gangsta has the Unofficial Official Rules for Beers Around the World at Epcot.

DisZine contemplates concern about potential pricing at Epcot’s Via Napoli.

Main Street Gazette visits Paradiso 37 with some pals.

Chip and Co highlights some of their favorite casual dining meals in WDW.

The Disney Blog pays tribute to his Top Five Places to Enjoy Ice Cream at WDW.

WDW Radio has some scrummy pics of Tonga Toast at the Poly.

The Disney Parks Blog talks vegan and vegetarian dining at Kouzzina by Cat Cora.

Pop Century Site captures via photograph the Pop Century Food Court menus (and the Peace of Pizza menu!)

Also, don’t forget to check out:
My Touring Plans post about Delicious and Convenient Disney Food for Busy Days

And the 4th Edition of the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival has been published!

Donuts! The New Interactive Dessert!

So, I find it fascinating that of the four new restaurants that recently opened in Walt Disney World (Sanaa, Kouzzina, T-Rex, and Paradiso 37), three of them have donuts on their dessert menus!

Donuts! With dipping sauces and everything! Interactive desserts are my favorite, and I have been called the “condiment queen.” So you can imagine how excited I am to have dip-able desserts, and the fact that they’re donuts makes them that much better. Let’s take a look at the three up-and-comers now:

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina’s Loukoumades
Kouzzina is Iron Chef Cat Cora’s signature restaurant in Walt Disney World, and the menu consists of many of her favorite traditional Greek recipes. One of these recipes is for her outstanding Loukoumades.

These “Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey” come to the table with two delicious dipping sauces, including [Read more…]

Disney Food News: Big Stories of 2009

UPDATE: Read about the Opening Date for Be Our Guest Restaurant and Reservations Info!

Happy New Year’s Eve, all! It’s been a wonderful nine months since I’ve started the Food Blog, and I look forward to more exciting Disney food news, reviews, photos, history, and everything in between as we march into 2010.

Thank you for reading, sharing incredible pictures and stories, and keeping me company as I rattle on and on about one of my favorite things: Disney food!

Now, what better way to culminate the decade of the “noughts” than to remember our big Disney Food news stories from this year? Original? No. Still fun? Yes! Here we go…

KouzzinaNew Disney Restaurants Open in 2009
This has been quite a year for new restaurants in Disney parks!

  • Sanaa, a restaurant that incorporates a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, opens in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s new Kidani Village.
  • Cat Cora opens Kouzzina, her first signature restaurant, on the Disney World Boardwalk.
  • Paradiso 37, a hub of delicious tapas and tequila, opens in Disney World’s Downtown Disney.
  • Celebration Round Up and BBQ heats things up again at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch.
  • Disney World’s Animal Kingdom introduces a new type of quick-service dining with the Picnic in the Park.
  • Customize your own rice bowl at the renovated and re-placed Lucky Fortune Cookery in Disneyland.
  • Disney World’s La Cava del Tequila brings Mexico’s favorite drink to the forefront in the World Showcase. The sheer number of varieties on the Cava del Tequila menu is astonishing.
Screen Shot of Online Advanced Dining Reservations System

Screen Shot of Online Advanced Dining Reservations System

Online Advanced Dining Reservations and Online Menus at
Finally. After so many years of setting three alarms for 6:50 AM and convincing everyone in the household to call on a different phone line…we have online ADRs! [Read more…]

Paradiso 37 Review

We haven’t had a good, solid restaurant review for a while, and I have a lot of them in the hopper! We’ll start today with Paradiso 37, where I had the good fortune to dine in September!

paradiso 37

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Paradiso 37 Entrance

The Atmosphere
You’ll remember that Paradiso 37, located on Pleasure Island in Disney World’s Downtown Disney, recently opened its doors. We posted some great food photos when Paradiso opened, and I wanted to supplement those with a few more photos and my review of the restaurant. Be sure to check out that link for the background of this new restaurant specializing in Latin American street food and cuisine.

We headed to Paradiso for lunch, and I was blown away by the incredible “bar glasses” chandelier. I’ve never seen anything like it, and the whimsy and risk prepared me for the menu I was about to see.

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

We were brought to our table and felt very comfortable in the open dining room. This place is clearly made for socializing — you can see almost every table in the restaurant from any vantage point, and the tapas-heavy menu screams “share me!” It’s also made for drinking (if you like that sort of thing); the floor-to-ceiling display of tequila bottles as the focal point of the room makes a gorgeous design statement, and the restaurant prides itself on its varied tequila, beer, and margarita offerings.

Paradiso 37 Dining Room

Paradiso 37 Dining Room

Paradiso 37 Tequila Bottle Bar Focal Point

Paradiso 37 Tequila Bottle Bar Focal Point

Paradiso 37 Partial Margarita Menu

Paradiso 37 Partial Margarita Menu

Paradiso 37 Tequila Menu

Paradiso 37 Tequila Menu

Paradiso 37 Beer Menu

Paradiso 37 Beer Menu

And while the indoor dining is lovely, the outdoor dining area, with its own bar and a fantastic view of Saratoga Springs Resort and the Characters in Flight balloon, is the perfect spot for an evening out with friends or a yummy family lunch.

Outdoor Seating and View

Outdoor Seating and View

Characters in Flight

Characters in Flight

Paradiso 37 Outdoor bar

Paradiso 37 Outdoor bar

The Meal
We were seated next to a table of four who seemed to have ordered every appetizer on the menu. We wondered why, but soon envied them. What we discovered was that Paradiso 37 seems to have spent a lot of time crafting interesting, delicious “appetizers and shareables,” but didn’t spend nearly as much time on the design of the entrees — at least in our opinion! Again, another piece of evidence that this place might want you to mix, mingle, drink, and socialize rather than tuck into a big meal.

I started out with a margarita, which was delicious — sour with a very strong flavor and not at all watery. From there, we dove into our outstanding appetizers: Central American Crazy Corn, which is fire roasted corn-on-the-cob with a spicy pepper sauce & chefs special cheeses; and the Mexican Dipping Trio — fresh corn tortilla chips served with three dips of chunky guacamole, chili con carne & queso fundido (we substituted more Fundido for the Guac…even though we’re from Texas, we’re not big guac fans).

Paradiso 37 Margarita

Paradiso 37 Margarita

Paradiso 37 Corn Appetizer

Paradiso 37 Corn Appetizer

Paradiso 37 chips, queso, and chili con carne

Paradiso 37 chips, queso, and chili con carne

The corn was delicious — clearly the spotlight of the meal for me. The combination of the (not-too-spicy) spicy pepper sauce with those melted cheeses was perfect. It tasted as good as it looks.

The fundido and chili with tortilla chips was good as well. Just be sure your fundido was fully melted; ours wasn’t, and after trying to cut it with a spoon, we asked if this was really what the texture was supposed to be. The manager soon came to our table with replacement fundido — smooth and, thank goodness, fully melted. The taste was divine, and I was more than willing to excuse the mistake.

We were full by this time, but our entrees soon came to the table: North American Sliders, served with your choice of Blackened Mahi Mahi, Grilled BBQ Chicken or BBQ Pulled Pork, served with fries (we got Grilled BBQ Chicken); and Baja Burrito — a flour tortilla with your choice of grilled chicken or beef with sauteed peppers, squash, red onions, chefs special cheeses and topped with sweet chipode BBQ sauce, served with cilantro rice and black beans.

Paradiso 37 Burrito

Paradiso 37 Burrito

Paradiso 37 BBQ Chicken Sliders entree

Paradiso 37 BBQ Chicken Sliders entree

French Fries

French Fries

Like I said, when you go to Paradiso 37, go for the appetizers/tapas and the drinks. The entrees were nothing special, and we weren’t all that impressed. Though everything tasted fine, we wished we’d spent the money and calories sampling a few more of those appetizers instead of choosing entrees. Live and learn!

Dessert was delicious, though. I knew I’d already posted photos of the mini-ice-cream-cones on my previous Paradiso 37 blog, so we decided to go for the churros, dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with caramel sauce; and Chilean sopapillas — crispy fritters dusted in sugar and served with chocolate sauce. Both were fantastic choices, and although the “fried-things-with-dipping-sauces” is a common dessert theme in Disney World right now, these impressed us more than other versions we tried on our trip. I’m also posting a photo of the restaurant’s signature dessert, which we didn’t order, but looks…hefty!

Paradiso 37 Churros and Sopapillas for dipping

Paradiso 37 Churros and Sopapillas for dipping

Paradiso 37 Signature Dessert

Paradiso 37 Signature Dessert

I highly recommend Paradiso 37 for drinks and appetizers, but unfortunately can’t recommend it so quite so highly for dinner entrees. That said, I hope you do get the chance to head over there for a fun evening on your next trip — enough of the appetizers and drinks are interesting and tasty enough to make it worth your while!

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: Part II

Animal Kingdom eat here
Here’s the second in this week’s Round-Up series! Thanks to everyone out there covering such great Disney Food topics!

Main Street Gazette bids farewell to Spoodles: Main Street Gazette designer Eric Hoffman provides a tribute to Spoodles and memories of his family’s most recent meal there.

Scott Joseph discusses Party for the Senses changes and Paradiso 37: Legendary food critic Scott Joseph gives his view on this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses updates as well as his review of Paradiso 37.

The Orange County Register analyzes Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue menu changes in Disneyland: Scroll down through the article to catch the info about the barbecue. It follows some other interesting info about Disneyland’s recent changes and construction.

SoloFriendly recaps her trip to Tangierine Cafe: SoloFriendly reviews the very popular counter service restaurant in World Showcase’s Morocco pavilion — and explains why the name has that weird spelling!

StitchKingdom shares the new Cap’n Jack’s All-Day Menu: WDW’s Downtown Disney has added Cap’n Jack’s to its list of all-day eateries.