Review: Gourmet Grilled Cheese at Epcot’s Taste Track

Today, we’re grabbing lunch from a pop up seasonal spot in Epcot! And this one involves Grilled Cheese!!

You know these kiosks…often you’ll find them closed (and sometimes not even there!) if you’re lucky enough to visit during less busy times of the year.

Spaceship Earth, How We Love You

Epcot!

But since we’re smack dab in the middle of Spring Break, we’re seeing lots of extra food around the Parks to help feed the hungry crowds and minimize wait times at regular Counter Service and Table Service Locations.

Thanks to readers Daniel Wanderman and Megan McQuillan‎ for letting me know recently that we needed to get over to Epcot’s Taste Track to check out an incredible menu of Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I can’t wait to show you these!

Atmosphere

If you’re looking for Taste Track, hang a right as you’re facing Test Track, and head back toward Future World. If the kiosk is serving, this is where you’ll find it.

Taste Track

Taste Track

You won’t find much in the way of seating — as in tables and chairs — but there are the same highboy tables that you see scattered around World Showcase, especially during the Flower and Garden and Food and Wine Festivals.

Taste Track Tables

Tables Near Taste Track

Taste Track Tables 2

More Tables

There are also some benches shaded by umbrellas situated a short walk away. And there are a few low planters with walls that conveniently double as both benches and tables.

For a landmark to get your bearings, Cool Wash is directly behind you if you’re facing the Taste Track kiosk.

Cool Wash, Across from the Taste Track Kiosk

Cool Wash, Across from the Taste Track Kiosk

Everything on the menu sounded pretty fantastic and we were excited to sample a range of things. Let’s check out what we chose.

Eats

For such a small booth, there’s a surprisingly diverse menu offered here!

With three different Gourmet Grilled Cheese Selections, plus Soup and Salad options, this could be a stop for the whole family. There are also some fantastic Craft Beer Selections. Because Grilled Cheese and Beer.

Taste Track Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Taste Track Menu — Click to Enlarge

I thought the Kids’ Meal option of Grilled Cheese on Goldfish Honey Wheat Bread was fun, too. I tried to snap a pic from the family behind me; alas, they must have been hungry because they snatched it too quick. :-)

When it came down to it, my friend and I decided to sample all three of the “grown up” options. We began with the [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Join us in welcoming back Guest Reviewer Katie Roth with a review of ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Note that this review was written before the most recent round of ‘Ohana Menu Changes. Currently the Chicken Skewer is not being served at the restaurant. Aloha!

I have been staying at the Polynesian for years, but I had never eaten at ‘Ohana until last year! I know, I know…utter blasphemy! I was psyched that my husband and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Disney World AND were able to score a dinner reservation at ‘Ohana.

I admit that it was I that brought my husband into the light of Disney, and I just love getting to share my favorite experiences and eats with him whenever we visit Walt Disney World. Knowing how much he loves grilled meat, I absolutely could not wait to eat here with him!

To help control our excitement, we went to Tambu Lounge to temper those jitters. My husband went all out and ordered the Lapu Lapu while I went with a pineapple mojito (regular mojito with fresh pineapple chunks added). We loved our drinks and were primed for dinner ;)

Lapu Lapu!

In my opinion, ‘Ohana’s location lends itself to be one of those ‘would have missed it if I didn’t know it was there’ restaurants. The location of the restaurant is on the upper terrace of the Great Ceremonial House lobby tucked away behind the Tambu Lounge. If you are in front of Kona Café then you have gone too far!

As I’ve seen in the past couple of years, the easiest way to spot ‘Ohana is by the long line of people checking in for their Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) or those hopeful souls asking about a walk-in reservation. When it comes to Disney food (particularly at ‘Ohana), never leave fate to chance.

Lately, I have been eating a lot less meat and more fish for health reasons. I informed the host at the check-in station that I would like a vegetarian/pescetarian meal to which he replied would be no problem. I have heard great things about the vegetarian offerings at ‘Ohana and couldn’t wait to try them out! Just remember, if you are going to make a special request like this, check in early and let them know.

Once you are checked in, you will be given a buzzer and told to wait by the Tambu Lounge for your “cousin” (server) to take you to your table. If this is your first time to the restaurant, they will take you on a [Read more…]

The Story of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

For those who are new to Disney parks, everything here has a backstory. Rides, shows, and, yes, even restaurants!

Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Recently, one of my good friends, Eric Chu, shared the backstory of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with us.

For those who haven’t been there, this counter-service restaurant is located in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland resort. Basically, you climb off of Space Mountain and there you are!

But do you know WHY there’s a pizza joint in the middle of the Milky Way? Let’s find out!

The History Behind Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

“The only real problem with long-term space travel is that you can’t get a decent pizza.” — Dr. Tyrone Mantanio, INSA Sector 5

A-GREED! Can you imagine traveling through space without the ability to order pizza?! I know, right? ;-D And according to the always-creative Disney imagineers, solving the problem of finding must-have food in the cosmos became a goal for scientists!

Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Redd Rockett to the rescue! He set up a [Read more…]

Review: Blue Bayou in Disneyland

Today, we are headed back to one of the most interesting dining experiences in all of Disneyland — Blue Bayou!

Entrance Sign

This historic spot has been wooing Disneyland guests with its odd mixture of mysterious New Orleans charm and marauding pirate adventure ever since it first opened in 1967. Where does the fusion come from? Well, it’s a little strange. The restaurant is in New Orleans Square, but it’s situated at the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride path…so it’s kind of a mash-up. ;-)

We took in dinner at the Bayou a while back, and I was much more interested in the atmosphere than the food. In fact, the meals sort of reminded me of conference food (if you’ve ever been to a catered conference for hundreds of people, you know what I mean).

But, as we all know, one of Blue Bayou’s biggest claims to fame is that outrageous Monte Cristo Sandwich, which is only available for lunch. And so, that’s the meal that we made our advance dining reservation for this time.

Let’s head in!

Atmosphere

As I mentioned, you’ll enter Blue Bayou from New Orleans Square. You’ll be glad for the break from the busy activity of the narrow streets you’ve left behind.

Blue Bayou Sign

If you’ve done any research at all before your trip to Disneyland, then you already know that, among other must haves, the Monte Cristo Sandwich here rates high on the food requirement list when you visit the Park That Started It All.

Outside Menu -- Click to Enlarge

After checking in at the window in the front of the restaurant, you’ll wait for your buzzer to buzz in a tiny lobby. Once your name is called, you’re headed…right back outside it seems! But this time, you’ve been transported to a Louisiana bayou, and night has fallen. Give your eyes a little time to adjust from that bright California sunshine, and then have a look around.

Behind you, you’ll see a two-story building built in the finest tradition of The Big Easy.

Looking Across the Patio

You’ll be seated on the patio of this building, beneath paper lanterns and a thick canopy of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.

Seating Under the Live Oaks and Lanterns

And while there are wonderful details all around that immerse you in the bayou theme, here’s where I make my seating TIP: [Read more…]

Review: Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Bonjour, Mes Amis! We are heading to the City of Lights today for a luncheon at one of Epcot’s most iconic eateries, Les Chefs de France!

The bistro, located in the France Pavilion, has been a fixture of World Showcase since Epcot’s earliest days. It’s served thousands of meals to Epcot guests, and you’ll still find its tables full if you visit today.

Les Chefs de France has had the happy distinction for me of providing consistently decent food and friendly service — something that can’t always be said about Disney restaurants. Since I’ve had some truly fine meals here, I was ready to head back for lunch with AJ’s Mom and Dad (whom many of you know!).

Atmosphere

The food has been good to great during every visit that I’ve made in recent years to Les Chefs de France — but that’s only part of the story. Because I would be in love with this restaurant based upon looks alone.

Menu and Place Setting

That’s because I personally think that Les Chefs de France represents some excellent restaurant themeing. If it weren’t for the kid in Mickey ears at the next table, it’s very possible that you’d forget you’re actually in Florida.

We visited during the day, but I just couldn’t help but show you this gorgeous view of Les Chefs de France at night.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night -- My Favorite View!

It reminds me so much of my first trip to Paris that I wanted to share it with you.

And that’s the beauty of this restaurant. If you’ve had the pleasure of a trip to Paris, you will probably have eaten in (or at least seen) a spot that looks Just. Like. This.

Inside Les Chefs de France

Photos of the original “Les Chefs de France” team — Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre, and Roger Vergé — line the walls. These days, Chef Bocuse’s son, Jerome Bocuse, runs the France Pavilion restaurant empire. (Check out the photo of Chef Bocuse on opening day in front of Les Chefs de France that hangs upstairs in Monsieur Paul. You can see it in our review here.)

Decor Featuring Photos of the Founding Chefs

The color palette in Les Chefs de France tends toward [Read more…]

Review: 1900 Park Fare Dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Today, we’re back at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa to take in dinner at 1900 Park Fare!

You  may remember that the last time we were here, we were…nonplussed…unimpressed…frustrated…should I go on? Basically, we really didn’t have a great experience. But, as I always say, the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent. And some guests think this restaurant is fantastic — a great alternative to hard-to-get advance dining reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table.

So we’re back at this character buffet for another try… . While breakfast at 1900 Park Fare left us flat, this time around we’re checking out the dinner spread and hoping for the best!

Atmosphere

You’ll find 1900 Park Fare off of the ground floor lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. As you walk in the hotel’s front doors, the restaurant is located to your left, just past the Concierge desk.

1900 Park Fare Sign

The antique carousel decor flows with the Victorian feel that you encounter throughout the resort. While you can’t see the individual items on this menu board that’s displayed out front of the restaurant, you can definitely see the attention to detail when it comes to theme.

Menu Board Outside of 1900 Park Fare

When you first arrive and check in for your reservation (you DID make a reservation, right?), you’ll be given a pager and told to wait in the Grand Floridian lobby to be called when your table is ready. Note: this often takes A. LONG. TIME. In my experience, I’ve never been seated at this restaurant within 10 minutes of my reservation time. I’m always waiting quite a while to be called to the table. So if you’ve got little ones who are starving, bring some snacks to tide them over just in case.

Once you’re called, you’ll be told to get in line to have your picture taken with this mural. No…you’re not getting your photo taken with a character. Just with the mural. This can be a fun memory for families, but you might want to skip the pic and head straight in for your meal. Be persistent and make sure they know you don’t want to take the photo. They’re pretty serious about getting you into that line.

Trompe l'Oeil Mural Outside of 1900 Park Fare

Once you head into the massive dining room, you’re greeted with more Victorian charm in pastel shades. Even without windows, the sheer size of the dining room makes it feel airy.

There is a main area with high ceilings in front of the buffet, and some smaller dining rooms surrounding it with lower ceilings. I prefer these areas for seating, since they tend to be slightly quieter.

Dining Area

Seating itself is fairly standard, with cushioned chairs and nondescript tables.

Seating

The main dining room makes the best use of the carousel theme. There are several large statues of fantasy carousel animals situated atop half walls and surrounded by plants. You should take a moment to look at these, because they’re really beautiful.

Calliope in the Background and Carousel Horse Statue

The wall overtop the entrance to the restaurant plays host to an enormous calliope, reminiscent of the intricate musical instruments that you find on antique carousels. This [Read more…]

Review: Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure

Today, we are heading west for a visit to Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure! Located within the Pacific Wharf section of the park, Wine Country Trattoria is part of the Golden Vine Winery, celebrating the bounty and goodness of California wine country.

Wine Country Trattoria Plaque

Located centrally within the park, this spot makes for a beautiful haven during a busy day of park sightseeing. And if you’re planning to take in the spectacular World of Color light show, then you may also be interesting in booking a Dining Package for viewing the show later in the evening. The package includes a three-course prix fixe meal as well as access to a special viewing area for World of Color.

But would the food measure up to the beautiful surroundings? We wondered, too. Time to find out!

Atmosphere

I love the look and feel of WCT. It has a relatively big footprint, with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. Your first view is this hand-carved limestone fountain and a low, wide arch into the dining room.

Fountain at the Entrance

Cool and rustic touches are all around you, with tile floors below and beamed ceilings above. The variegated plaster walls give way to murals depicting California wine country.

Indoor Seating with a Wine Country Mural

There’s ample seating indoors, even if tables are situated a bit close together for my preference.

Additional Indoor Seating

But unless it is extremely hot, I heartily recommend that you [Read more…]

News! Menu Changes at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Editor’s Note: In addition to the peanut dipping sauce, sweet and sour sauce is now being offered again. Thanks to Disney Mom Leslie for this update!

Thanks to Disney Mom’s Panelist and DFB Friend Leslie Krzan for reporting on menu changes at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

We’ve got some interesting news about a few menu updates at guest favorite restaurant, ‘Ohana.

According to a server, changes were made to the menu here about a month ago with the posted menu outside of the restaurant still showing the old menu items. Let’s take a look at what’s been updated with this menu-go-round.

‘Ohana Salad Dressing Update

The fan-favorite honey lime dressing has been a stand-out at ‘Ohana as well as a much requested recipe, however it did not make the latest menu cut. Here’s Leslie’s take:

The new salad features a passion fruit vinaigrette with chunks of passion fruit and mandarin oranges. I don’t eat salad, but my husband said the salad was just OK. He really liked the old honey lime dressing. In fact, he usually eats the whole bowl of salad himself, but left about half of it this time.

New Salad at 'Ohana

DFB reader Anne T. also wrote to let us know about the change. She feels similarly about the new dressing: “The new dressing is still good, but not as good as the honey lime,” she says.

‘Ohana Stir-Fried Veggie Update

The vegetable dish has changed as well with this recent menu update. Here’s what Leslie discovered: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegetarian Meal at Monsieur Paul’s in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Join me in welcoming guest author Courtney Ketzler from Omaha, NE, with a review of the brand new Monsieur Paul Restaurant. When we first published the Monsieur Paul menu, many folks were concerned about the complete lack of vegetarian dishes. Courtney found that this isn’t a problem after all!

Being a vegetarian in the real world can be hard. I live in Nebraska, and the dining choices here are, well, limited. Dining at Disney World is another story.

My boyfriend and I are vegetarians, and we both LOVE food. It’s the only art we can really consume, and Disney World is one of the best places to visit with dining restrictions. I have yet to run into a bad meal, and during my last trip, encountered some very pleasant surprises, the biggest of which being the newly opened Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

Atmosphere

When we arrived, there were several unhappy looking people waiting to get seated. The very frazzled looking hostess told us we were on time for our reservation, but the reservations were not on time — it might be a 30 minute to an hour wait. We were using the deluxe plan and didn’t really have any other 2 credit options, so we sat down and decided to wait.

About 10 minutes later, a very kind manager came by and offered us both Kir Royales for waiting. Of course, how could we turn that down?

Stairwell leading up to Monsieur Paul

Eats

The drinks were delicious, and we ended up getting seated within a few minutes after that. Our server was very nice, and offered to walk us through the menu. We let her know we were vegetarians, and she started to tell us about fish options. I explained we don’t eat fish, and she said she would go speak with the chef.

She came back and said “the chef has told me he will be able to make you both a salad and a plate of vegetables”. Needless to say, we weren’t too excited by how the meal was being described and were hoping for our money that it would be a bit more sophisticated. She reassured us by bringing the chef out, and as he started to describe the meal, our fears melted away.

I am going to try my best to remember everything that was described about the meal [Read more…]

Food Photo Tour: Art of Animation Resort Landscape of Flavors Food Court

Life is a highway, and my pit stop this past weekend was Walt Disney World’s brand new Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World.

AoA is a value level resort, and like other WDW value hotels the main source of on-site nourishment is a food court, here called Landscape of Flavors.

I gathered dozens (hundreds?) of food photos to share, so you’ll be able to take a look at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert as well as pre-packaged goodies in the photo tour below!

Some of the elements of Landscape of Flavors will be familiar to those who have been to other Disney hotel food courts. There are multiple lines to order different types of food. There are self-serve soda and condiment stations past the registers, toasters for guest use, and a mug wash sink for rinsing your refillable mugs.

And the sides of the service area are lined with refrigerator cases of beverages and a limited selection of prepared items.

As for the actual food, Disney has tried to step it up a notch, offering fresher and more customizable options than in the other resorts. But before I get to that, here’s a tour so you can get the lay of the Landscape.

Overview Photos

You get to the restaurant through the Ink & Paint Shop gift store.

Ink and Paint Shop Gift Store

The seating areas are bright with blond wood tables and chairs.

Seating Areas

Overhead lights represent each of the four films highlighted at AoA: [Read more…]