News! Epcot’s Katsura Grill Grand Opening and Menu Announced

As reported in August, counter-service restaurant Yakitori House is being transformed into a new restaurant in the Japan Pavilion. The new Katsura Grill is set to open its doors on December 7, 2011, to Epcot visitors.

The Yakitori House in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Taking inspiration from the Katsura Imperial Villa of western Kyoto, Katsura Grill will reflect the Japanese architecture and incredible gardens of this Imperial Family villa.

The menu will include [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest Countdown! One Week to Go!

Our second annual WDW Foodie Fest in Walt Disney World is only ONE week away! (And we just ordered extra Mickey Bars and Mickey Rice Krispie Treats for our October 2nd Main Event, so you gotta come help us eat ‘em)!

Whether you stop by to participate in the scavenger hunt, or to just hang out with food and fellow foodie fans, it’s sure to be an awesome time!

Scavenger Hunt Specs

The focus (besides the food!) at the Foodie Fest Main Event on October 2nd will be our 2011 scavenger hunt through Epcot and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. You will need Epcot admission to participate in this hunt. Those who finish will be eligible to win a prize!!

How It Works
You’ll be able to pick up your scavenger hunt pages at the Foodie Fest Registration Tables. Both hunts will require participants to find answers to clues. Use those answers to discover the [Read more…]

WDW Foodie Fest Scavenger Hunt Sneak Peek!

Only 18 days until our second annual WDW Foodie Fest in Walt Disney World!!

As you know, we’ve already announced two more WDW Foodie Fest events (for a total of four!), but we’ve got more news today on our Main Event!

WDW Foodie Fest Main Event

Taking place on October 2, 2011, from 11am-1pm at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, the WDW Foodie Fest Main Event is an Open House full of food (just ordered even more Mickey Bars and Mickey Rice Krispie Treats for the menu!) and games (should you have the inclination). All are welcome!

But for those of you who are a bit more adventurous, we also prepare a WDW Foodie Fest Scavenger Hunt through the Epcot Food & Wine Festival! (Guests will need Epcot admission if they’d like to take part in the Scavenger Hunt.)

Scavenger Hunt Sneak Peek

Similar to last year’s Hunt, we’ll have two options: the “Grown-Ups” hunt and the “Family” hunt. Usually, kids over the age of 8 should be able to handle the “Grown-Ups” hunt — it’s just a bit tougher than the “Family” hunt, which is designed for younger kids to enjoy.

When you arrive at the WDW Foodie Fest, grab a Mickey Bar and head on out to Epcot with your Scavenger Hunt clues. Those who finish and get the correct answer to the master clue at the end of the Hunt will be entered in our drawing for prizes!!

Could ice cream be the answer?

This year’s Scavenger Hunt is nearing completion, and we wanted to give you a sneak peek at a couple of the questions! Do you know the answers…?

What is the street address number of La Hacienda de San Angel?

What Funnel Cake topping in the American Adventure pavilion costs just $1.00?

What animal can be found above the [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…]

WDW Foodie Fest: Two New Event Dates Announced!

With Disney Food Blog’s second annual WDW Foodie Fest just a month away, I’m excited to announce the dates for two more events during our week-long celebration of Disney food! Check out the schedule of events here!

WDW Foodie Fest

Join the Disney Food Blog team during the first week of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival as we gather to celebrate Disney food! With several events to choose from, we hope we’ll get to see all of you at least once!

Currently we have four WDW Foodie Fest events scheduled (with one more possibly on the way)! Personally, I can’t wait for the main event on October 2nd at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011: WDW Foodie Fest Main Event

We’ll be at our very own private location — Ariel’s in Disney’s Beach Club Resort — from 11am-1pm enjoying the comforts of [Read more…]

First Look! Epcot’s Kabuki Cafe and Menu

8/8/11 UPDATE: The menu has been shortened a bit, we hear. It no longer offers many of the savory food items that we see on the original menu below. We look forward to hearing your feedback as this location adjusts.

Thanks, once again, to Andy Jackson who writes the great Eating (and Drinking) Around WDW for sending along photos of this new addition to the Epcot Japan pavilion! The Cafe isn’t open yet, but the construction walls are down and he got a sneak peek!

Epcot's Kabuki Cafe

The Kabuki Cafe will replace the old Kakigori stand, but will offer plenty of new menu items (including kakigori, of course). You can see from the menu below that the stand will offer not only icy, sweet treats, but also sushi, ribs, sake (hot and cold), snacks (Miso Soup and Edamame), soft drinks and Ramune, green tea, and more!

Kabuki Cafe Menu -- click for larger image

I can’t wait to sample some of the new offerings! If you get there first, let us know what we should try! :-)

Review: Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Wolfgang Puck is the epitome of “celebrity chef.” Having successfully taken LA and several other USA cities by storm, he’s created a global empire (and worldwide name recognition) the likes of which have yet to be attained by any other chef that I know of.

Puck’s empire exists in Disney World’s Downtown Disney in the form of two counter-service restaurants, both named Wolfgang Puck Express; and two table-service restaurants — Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room.

On our visit, we headed to Wolfgang Puck Cafe — the less upscale and more boisterous of the two table-service restaurants — found in Downtown Disney’s West End.

Upon entering, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. On any given evening, this restaurant is bustling. During busy dinner hours, it’s loud (due to the echoing-ly high ceilings and tile decor), colorful, and energetic.

Sushi Bar

The bright colors and geometric shapes of the decor here will remind 80’s kids of [Read more…]

2011 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Purchase Room and Ticket Packages plus seminars and event tickets at:

Foodie fans of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival will find more culinary delights at the Second Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic!

Mark your calendar for October 7-8, 2011.

This year’s beverage seminars include Riesling Rendezvous, Beer, Please!, Spanish Wines, Modern Mixology and Beer, Wine Blending, All Things Sake and Base to Bubbles. Offered each day from 4:30-5:30 p.m. These classes will be taught by certified experts in hour-long sessions.

Award-winning restaurants from the Swan and Dolphin resorts will  host tasting stations on the [Read more…]

Review: Sake Bar in Epcot’s Japan

For all of you drinking-around-the-World fans, it’s time to dive into Sake! If you haven’t had the chance to sample it, Sake is a Japanese alcohol made from rice. Like wine and beer, it has multiple varieties, flavors, and “faces,” and exploring it can be a full-time job! For those who want a full history of Sake, the Wikipedia version is a good one.

Today, I had the chance to spend an hour or so with friends Sarah and Matt (many of you know Sarah Holodick from her many guest articles on this blog) at the Sake bar in the very back of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion.

Mitsukoshi Department Store

I’ve never seen this little tasting area very full, and today — during Spring Break — the line was long for the cash register, but the Sake bar itself was still quite barren. I chalk that up to not enough advertising, because spending time sampling at this little location is a great way to relax and refresh during a long day at Epcot.

The menu offers 10 different sake varieties to choose from, all of which are sold by the [Read more…]

Champagne and Sake Seminar Details: Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Furthering my crusade to learn more about the first annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, I got the wonderful opportunity to speak with two of the event’s seminar leaders last week: Chad Lobner, Kimonos Sushi Restaurant Manager and leader of the Sake Seminars; and Olivier Zambaux, Shula’s Steak House Manager/Certified Wine Sommelier and leader of the Champagne Seminars.

Here’re some of the pretty rad details that you get to experience if you’re signed up for either of these two seminars. (And if you’re not, check out this link for more information on how you can experience the first annual Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!)

Sake Seminar

When: Friday and Saturday, October 8th and 9th, 4:30-5:30pm
To Book: Some seminars are full, but it never hurts to call — 407-934-1609. As of this interview, there was still space in Friday’s seminar.

Description: Dive into the history of sake, the current trends in the industry, and a hint at what we can expect tomorrow. Topics include vessels, labeling, when to warm your sake and how the production and milling of sake produces different grades and taste profiles. This class will be filled with opportunities to taste many different types of sake and demonstrate how simple it is to pair with food. Kanpai! Instructor: Chad Lobner, Kimonos Sushi Restaurant Manager

What can guests expect from the sake seminar that might surprise them?
Guests will walk through the experience of Japanese sake, and the seminar will dispel some myths about sake. For example, hot sake, which is what many of us have the most experience with, is usually not the highest quality sake you [Read more…]