Review: Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese at Friar’s Nook in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

When the menu at Friar’s Nook received a New Year’s makeover, Mac & Cheese-loving hearts went all aflutter over the spins on this classic comfort food.

Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese debuted alongside of Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic (and a more traditional take topped with Panko crumbs arrived as well).

So, changes at Friar’s Nook aren’t entirely unexpected, but we have to admit that we were a little surprised to spot another one so soon: The Blue Cheese Macaroni was recently replaced on the menu with Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese.

So, prepare yourself for a bowl of comfort food topped with hearty helping of… MORE comfort food!

Friar's Nook Menu

Friar’s Nook Menu

Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese

Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese

The first thing I noticed was the topping on this dish is less involved than its counterpart, the Bacon Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese. Where the Bacon Cheeseburger Mac is topped with ground beef, bacon, lettuce and tomato, the Pot Roast Mac & Cheese is topped with simply that: a pile of pot roast on top of the macaroni.

Pot Roast on the top

Pot Roast on the top

Things started out great: the pot roast was very well-prepared. Tender and juicy — and mine had very little in the way of fat. OK, not that that’s huge concern when you’re eating beef-covered mac and cheese ;), but my point is, the meat was really good, and actually  tasted homemade.

Pot Roast closeup

Pot Roast closeup

Pot Roast closeup

Pot Roast closeup

The second component is, of course, the Mac & Cheese. There is even more cheese to this mac & cheese than the name implies. For those accustomed to the mac & cheese found at buffets around Disney property, or commonly offered as a Kids’ option, there seems to be more shredded cheese in addition to the melted cheese sauce that we’re used to.

Mac & Cheese underneath Pot Roast

Mac & Cheese underneath Pot Roast

Extra cheesy mac!

Extra cheesy mac!

While the flavor is outstanding, and the cheese tasted great with the pot roast, the extra cheese lends a heaviness to this dish that [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can [Read more…]

Review: Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

One of my very favorite Disney hotel counter service spots is Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Offering awesome cupcakes, it’s an ideal spot to stop off on your way to or from the Magic Kingdom. And like Captain Cook’s or Sunshine Seasons, it offers a wide variety of unique and delicious eats.

Let’s head over to the Contemporary for some late night eats!


The Contempo Cafe is located on the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, adjacent to Chef Mickey’s. While the restaurant has only been open since 2008, there’s an immediate sense of history here owing to its location.

Contempo Cafe on the Concourse of Disney's Contemporary Resort

Monorails have been buzzing through this concourse since the very beginning. And while the offerings have changed — a souvenir book from the 1970s reminds us that the Contemporary was once home to nine restaurants and lounges! — the interior as we all remember it from childhood remains very much the same.

You’ll still spy the soaring, colorful mosaic mural created by Disney artist and imagineer Mary Blair, that serves as the centerpiece to the concourse and a wall to the restaurant.

Mary Blair Mural

While not as large as some of the food court-style food service offerings of the value resorts, the Contempo Cafe occupies quite a bit of space. Because of the soaring ceilings and spacious layout, you feel as though you have plenty of room to stretch and spread out.

Seating is comfortable, dominated by tables and chairs with a clean, modern, almost Scandinavian feel. (Don’t miss the Mickeys!)

Seating Area

Though the area is spacious, [Read more…]

Review: 50s Prime Time Cafe (The Cheese is Back!!)

I never say no to a meal at 50s Prime Time Cafe, but I hadn’t been in WAY too long. So when I got a little email tip from a reader last week (thanks, Courtney!!) I knew I had to head over there…and quick! A menu change was about to make my dreams come true!

Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this place is pure nostalgia. You really feel like you’ve stumbled into the 1950s when you enter this eatery — from the decor to the menu, everything screams mid 20th Century Americana.

Fancy meatloaf and mashed potatoes or fried chicken? Then you’re in the right place! Grab a napkin and set of silverware, remember to keep your elbows off the table, and join me for a fun, interactive helping of comfort food in this well-loved table service spot.


Stepping into this restaurant truly is like stepping back in time.

50s Prime Time Sign - Outside

I never cease to be amazed at the way this restaurant immerses guests in the 1950s home atmosphere. You begin your meal by waiting in Dad’s Living Room. Be sure to take a moment and look around; I bet you’ll find something you’ll remember from your parents’ (or grandparents’!) house — I always do!

Dad's Living Room - The Waiting Area

Fancy a drink from Dad’s Liquor Cabinet? Then sidle up to the Tune-In Lounge Bar for a house specialty, or order something once you arrive at your table.

Full Bar at Tune In Lounge

Here’s a tip: If you can’t get an Advanced Dining Reservation here, hang out at the bar. You can order food there, too.

Another of Dad's Living Rooms - Seating for the Tune-In Lounge

When it’s time to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Shutters at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Today we welcome back D.J. Jones with our very first Vero Beach Resort review — take a look at Shutters Restaurant! Feel free to join in more of D.J.’s adventures at his blog The World of Deej.

On the final evening of our recent trip to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, my wife and I were faced with a food dilemma. Do we keep things casual and have the final meal of our trip at Shutters, or do we go out with a bang, as we’d originally planned, and dine at the more upscale Sonya’s?

Given that I had not worn shoes of any kind in over three days, I was in no mood to put on flip flops, much less get “dressed up;” therefore Shutter’s became the obvious choice.

Shutters Restaurant -- photo copyright Disney


Upon entering Shutters, the first thing one will notice is the restaurant’s awesome exhibition kitchen. I always love watching the action of a working restaurant, although I’m sure those behind the counter would prefer to be out of guests’ view.

The bustling kitchen

In addition, the décor is quick to remind guests that this is a beachfront setting, however the numerous sailboat models and other fixtures feel more New England than they do Florida. Overall, the atmosphere of Shutters is [Read more…]

Menu Spotlight: New Tasting Plate at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Thanks to reader Mandy Jansen, we’ve got something new to look forward to at 50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Check it out… a tasting plate of all three of Prime Time’s most beloved meals: Dad’s Meatloaf, Mom’s Pot Roast, and Aunt Liz’s Fried Chicken!

Thanks for whetting our appetites, Mandy!! I hope this is here on my next visit!

Review: 50s Prime Time Cafe

Let’s go back in time to the 1950s when TV was the latest technology and food was simple and delicious. Meatloaf, fried chicken, pot roast — you can’t go wrong!

Over at 50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, get ready for a fun, interactive meal in Mom’s kitchen. That’s right — the whole place is decorated like a kitchen straight out of the 1950s, including accessories, decorations, calendars, and even those old black-and-white TVs!

But make sure you eat all your veggies and keep your elbows off the table… you never know when Mom’s watching!


When you walk into 50s Prime Time Cafe, you’ll find yourself right in between Dad’s Living Room and Mom’s Kitchen. Dad’s Living Room is the waiting area for the restaurant, while Mom’s Kitchen is the main dining room. Here’s a tip: When you check in, ask for a TV table. While they can’t guarantee it, cross your fingers — you’ll see why later!

Hopefully you’ll have a bit of time to explore Dad’s Living Room while you wait for your table. Everything in the room(s), from the wallpaper to the knick knacks to the furniture, is vintage and [Read more…]