Guest Review and DFB Challenge: Eat Around the World at Disney’s Epcot

Ready to dine around Epcot? Yep, me too! Join me in welcoming guest author Anita Theiss with her review of some great Epcot eats!

World Showcase Snacks

My husband and I recently spent a day at Epcot celebrating our anniversary. While there, we decided to taste a little something from each of the nations represented in the World Showcase. An “Eat Around the World” challenge, so to speak. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed discussing which foods we liked best and which we liked the least. We followed a few simple rules for our self-assigned challenge.

Eat Around the World Rules

Rule One, choose one country-specific food item (no generic cookies or fries) to order from each nation and share it. (We had a slight breech of etiquette on this rule when we got to France, but more on that later.) Sharing meant that we could discuss what we thought of the item, and it kept us from eating too much.

Rule Two, go to counter service restaurants, kiosks, or food stands only. It just didn’t seem right to take up a reservation spot for just one item.

Rule Three, rate each food item on a scale of one to ten, with one being not quite so palate pleasing, and ten being the best thing to ever grace your taste buds.

Nachos in Mexico

Our digestive expedition started in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel with an order of nachos. The nachos come with ground beef, beans, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, and sour cream. We ordered them with the tomatoes and jalapeños on the side -— my husband loves them, but I am not a fan.

Nachos

Nachos

I enjoyed the nachos, but we both found them to be a little heavy on the cheese (if food can be too heavy with ‘plastic cheese’) and not heavy enough on the meat and beans. They had just the right amount of spice, and the chips were crisp. The portion was perfect for a meal, but these nachos are a great shareable snack as well. My husband gave them a 4, and I gave them a 6.

Troll Horn in Norway

We moved on to Norway and stopped at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafé. There were several items on the counter that looked good, and I could not decide between the Troll Horn and the Viking Mousse. I asked the cast member behind the counter which of the two she recommended, and she suggested the Troll Horn, which is filled which cloudberry cream.

Troll Horn

Troll Horn

The cloudberry cream was smooth and sweet, but not too sweet, and the pastry was tender but a little bland. The sugar crystals sprinkled on top added a nice sweetness and crunch, but overall the Troll Horn was just meh (how do you like that technical culinary term?). We both gave it a 4 on our grading scale — not horrible, but we won’t be rushing back to Norway to get one during our next trip.

Egg Roll in China

After a ride on Maelstrom (RIP), we headed to China. We stopped at Joy of Tea to place an egg roll order. An order of egg rolls actually includes two nice-sized pork and veggie egg rolls, which was a pleasant surprise considering how very delicious they were. (My husband had already snagged his and started munching when I took the picture which is why there is only one pictured.)

Egg Roll

Egg Roll

The egg roll wrapper was both tender and crunchy, and the filling was flavorful with seasoned pork and crisp veggies. There were packets of soy sauce (and other condiments) which just added another layer of fabulous flavor. We both gave the egg rolls an 8.5; we would definitely get them again and feel that they would be an excellent use of a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan since they are easily shared.

Bratwurst in Germany

We moved on from China to Germany for a stop at Sommerfest. To be honest, I had my heart set on wrapping my lips around a Nudel Gratin for days, but I was starting to get full and knew that such a dish would be both rich and heavy. So, I passed on the Nudel Gratin (which I now regret — I really should have persevered) while my husband ordered a bratwurst. He loves a brat, and this one did not disappoint.

Bratwurst

Bratwurst

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

Bratwurst Cross Section with Mustard

The bratwurst comes on a very large crusty bun topped with loads of sauerkraut. He said the sauerkraut was alright and the bratwurst itself was delicious, but he felt that there was just too much bread. The bun was quite large and had a pretty tough and crusty consistency. He still enjoyed it and gave it a score of 6.

Gelato in Italy

After a quick shopping break in Germany, we headed to Italy, which had me a little worried because there is no counter service restaurant. But as we were walking into Italy, I spotted Gelati — a nice little gelato stand, so I stopped for a cup of chocolate gelato.

Gelato

Gelato

It was smooth, thick, creamy, quite tasty, and reminded me of a cold version of hot chocolate. It would definitely hit the spot on a hot summer day in Florida. My husband had a taste or two of it, but he is not much of a chocolate fan and didn’t like it as much as regular ice cream. I, on the other hand, much prefer the thicker consistency of gelato to its thinner American counterpart and gave it a 7.

Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel in American Adventure

After Italy, it was time for a return to our homeland of America. Now during our last trip to Disney a few months ago, I fell in love with the [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but [Read more…]

Seven Must-Eat Disney Treats for 2014!

It’s time for some seeeeeeeerious recommendations, friends!!! Do you have your planning spreadsheets ready?!?

Seven Must Eat Disney Treats for 2014

As much as I love my classics (Dole Whip!!!), I have found some brand new delicious Disney treats to add to the list of my favorites in 2014.

If you’re looking to try some new things, or you’re just curious about what fun new finds we’re celebrating, read on — and discover My 7 Favorite New Disney Food Items for 2014!

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches at L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop

There’s nothing like finding something completely new and original while you’re strolling through the parks. And I wasn’t disappointed on a recent trip through Epcot’s France Pavilion.

We all love L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop. I mean, 16 delicious, artisan ice creams and sorbets made right here in Epcot (I’ve seen the machines)!

L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

PLUS Ice Cream Martinis and Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. Are you kidding me?? Utter yumness.

But stop the presses! (Ha! That will be even funnier after you finish reading this.) Because they’ve also added Croque Glaces — Pressed Ice Cream Sandwiches.

L'Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce

L’Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce

If you love ice cream sandwiches as much as I do, you’ve gotta try this. They take a freshly baked Brioche Bun, add a scoop of your choice of Ice Cream, and a drizzle of your choice of Raspberry or Chocolate Sauce. (Yep! It’s totally customized!)

Adding Ice Cream and Sauce to the Mix!

Adding Ice Cream and Sauce to the Mix!

Then, the top of the bun is replaced, and the whole thing is [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Nudel Gratin from Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

It’s time for another delicious Disney recipe! And this one is seriously a MUST-TRY for any cheese addicts out there.

When it comes to Eating Around the World, an awesome family destination is the Germany Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. Their Biergarten Restaurant will trick you into thinking you’ve hopped a plane for Bavaria.

And a bounty of brand new delights await you if you haven’t been to Sommerfest, their counter service spot, in a while.

One of my favorite dishes on the Biergarten buffet is the amazing Nudel Gratin. This is one of the best versions of macaroni and cheese that I’ve ever tasted in my life.

So when it popped up on the Sommerfest menu, we had to try it.

Nudel Gratin at Sommerfest

But even better — now, I can make it between trips to Walt Disney World, thanks to this recipe! I know what we’re having for dinner tonight! :-)

Sommerfest and Biergarten Nudel Gratin

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 15, 2013

Great news!!! Disneyland Corn Dogs — those hand-dipped gems on a stick — are coming to Walt Disney World via a themed food truck!

Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dog

There are lots more yummy eats (BUTTER CHICKEN!) rolling into Downtown Disney, too.

And, let’s not forget about other new treats found recently, including cupcakes, Caramel Apple Stuffed French Toast, and more!

If you’re not hungry yet, read on!

Disney Food News

Lots of great food news reading from Disney this week!

  • Themed food trucks will roll into Downtown Disney starting this Fall!
  • Disneyland’s Club 33 will be renovated in 2014. There are lots of changes in store for this historic space. Will Club 33 expand to Walt Disney World?
  • Caramel Apple Stuffed French Toast is now being served at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom.
  • Check out our review of the Guava Pocket and Peanut Butter Brownie options at the renovated Fountain View Cafe/Starbucks in Epcot!
  • Two new cupcakes were spotted recently at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Starring Rolls Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Look for the Chocolate Cherry Cupcake and Root Beer Cupcake on your next visit!
  • Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany pavilion is now serving three new menu items — Curry Wurst, Leberkase (German Meatloaf) Reuben, and Nudel Gratin!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including a Chips & Slices Now Open at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, Magic Kingdom’s Disney Chefs at Inaugural Edible Orlando – Field to Feast Event, New Menu Item at La Cantina de San Angel, Halloween Cake Pops at Sweet Spells in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland’s Market House Starbucks Opening Soon, New Menu at Disneyland’s Rancho del Zocalo, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

This week, DFB Reader (and guest author!) Katie shares pictures of Disney cupcakes — Minnie Mouse Cupcake and PB&J Cupcake — from Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort.

Minnie Mouse Cupcake

PB&J Cupcake

We love cupcakes; thanks for sharing your treats with us! Check out MORE Disney cupcakes here!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Pre- Food and Wine Festival Sale!

In honor of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicking off in just a couple of weeks, pick up our 2013 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book for $4 off using code DINE!

This comprehensive e-Book offers over 400 pages of expert information, color photographs, advice, reviews, and details about Dining in Disney World. And these awesome bonus items are included:

  • Downloadable worksheets for planning your trip.
  • Seven sample one-day dining itineraries to help you with brainstorming.
  • A comprehensive index of bars and lounges.
  • An index of some of our favorite Top 5 lists.
  • Four food-themed scavenger hunts — one for each Disney World theme park!
  • Disney Dining Trivia to play while waiting in line, or waiting for a table.

Pick up your copy today with code DINE for a $4 discount! As a downloadable PDF, the book can be read on your computer, smartphone, and tablet easily!

Want Even More Savings?

If you’re headed to Disney World this year or in early 2014, our BEST DEAL can be found when you bundle for savings!

Right now, get over 40% off of four of our most popular Disney Dining Guides with the DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle.

Including the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining AND all three of our DFB Snacks Guides. Get more information about the DFB Guide + Snacks Bundle here!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix entices us to make our own Disney recipes in this gorgeous Mickey Mouse Casserole Dish. Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Yes, please!

Mickey Mouse Casserole Dish

Gorillas Don’t Blog reminisces about the seating area at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship in Disneyland!

Wicked Local celebrates the return of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!

Quasi-Everything creates a rum drink inspired by Monsters Inc!

Studios Central shares Halloween Halloween Cake Pops from Sweet Spells!

Main Street Gazette reviews BoardWalk Bakery’s No-Sugar Added Mango Vanilla Panna Cotta!

AllEars interviews California Grill’s Chef Brian Piasecki.

Review: New Sommerfest Menu Items at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Welcome back new Disney Food Blog author Wendy with a review of the new menu at Epcot’s Sommerfest!

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion, you may want to remedy that as soon as possible.

There are some recent additions to the menu that are well worth the trip while in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Old World with limited seating sums up the atmosphere at Sommerfest. Still, there’s always a line here!

Sign at Sommerfest.

You’ll find this location at the back of the Germany pavilion in Epcot, right next to the waiting area for the larger, table-service restaurant, Biergarten.

The location is entirely open air, though you will be under cover when ordering.

Cast Members at Sommerfest.

Seating is minimal here, and many guests find themselves sitting on the pavement or on a nearby fountain ledge to dine! Be prepared if you’re visiting during the sweltering heat of…well…about nine months out of the year in Orlando. ;-)

Seating at Sommerfest.

Eats

If you are a fan of the Bratwurst and Frankfurters that are Sommerfest staples, fret not. They’re still at the top of the menu!

But I’m happy to say that the new Curry Wurst, Leberkäse (German Meatloaf) Reuben, and Nudel Gratin bring some fantastic variety along with both traditional and unexpected flavors to this beloved snack and counter service spot.

Sommerfest Trio.

Menu at Sommerfest.

Let’s start with the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 18, 2013

New technology continues to be unveiled at Walt Disney World restaurants. This week, we have an exclusive report on the Rapid Fill beverage program at Disney resorts, as well as the Touch to Pay system that comes along with the MyMagic+ rollout.

Choose your Rapid Fill mug!

Choose your Rapid Fill mug!

Let’s not forget that we’re still gearing up for the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We’re excited about the new Chase VIP Lounge location in the American Adventure pavilion!

It’s time to catch up on the news. Read on…

Disney Food News

Lots of news from Disney this week!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including An Artful Open House at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district, Animal Kingdom Menu Changes, New Entertainment at Scat Cat’s Club in the Port Orleans French Quarter resort, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

We love this tweet received from Reader Nicole: “Thanks @DisneyFoodBlog for all the yummy suggestions and it’s only Day 1!” You are welcome!! ;-)

Day 1 of Disney Food!

Reader Becky tweeted the new menu from Epcot’s Sommerfest restaurant. The side item — German Potato Salad — is a new addition!

Sommerfest Menu — click image for larger version.

The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

We’re thrilled to announce the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 190 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial!

In honor of our grand launch, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time — just use code CHEFS at the check-out!

As always, we’ve made this mini-guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with over 190 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items to help you get the best experience possible.

Bonus Items

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival includes customized bonus items that go above and beyond any other Food & Wine Festival coverage currently available. These include:

  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
  • Themed World Showcase booth crawls (there’s even one for the kids!)
  • Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, visits with kids, and more
  • A chapter dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, menu items, booths, and more
  • Full food, wine, beer, winery, and chef indexes, including dates and locations of where you can find your favorites
  • Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes
  • And more!

Once again, celebrate the grand launch with us by getting $3 off the purchase price for the e-Book! Order your copy now for only $11.95 (regularly $14.95). To secure the discount, use code CHEFS at the check-out.

Want an Even Better Deal?

We’ve got it! For an even bigger discount, [Read more…]

Review: Sommerfest in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Editor’s Note: New entrees and side items were recently added to the menu.

Alrighty, all — it’s time to take a little field trip to Deutschland!! We’re headed to Sommerfest!

This place is as simple and what-you-see-is-what-you-get as possible, but sometimes simple and easy is exactly what you need on a long Epcot touring day. When you don’t have an advance dining reservation and you’re headed toward Epcot’s Germany Pavilion, you might consider stopping at this little counter service spot!

Sausage. Pretzel. Beer. Cake. What more do you need? Let’s check it out!

Atmosphere

Atmosphere is kind of limited, since this is basically in the giant stone waiting area of Biergarten, the pavilion’s table service restaurant. That said, the waiting area itself is very well themed and has a fun old world feel to it. That’s really something I love about the whole Germany Pavilion.

Mural Welcoming Guests

Sommerfest is located at the back of the Pavilion. Head through the “town square,” past the counter selling beer and Jägermeister on your right, to the awning that reads “Sommerfest Snacks”.

Outside View

Turn the corner to the left, and you’re there! It really isn’t much more than a serving counter. You’ll head back out to the sunshine to find a seat in the square by the fountain once you get  your food.

Speaking of seating — there’s not much of it. There are a few tables scattered inside the big covered area, and a couple of them outside as well. But if you’re visiting during prime meal hours or a busy Disney season, those WILL all be taken when you get your food. Many folks perch on the edge of the fountain, or even sit on the ground to eat up.

And one other thing — there’s almost always a line here. But your patience will be rewarded.

Cast Members at Sommerfest

Cast Members here, who are from Germany of course, know [Read more…]

Guest Review: Bratwurst at Epcot’s Sommerfest

Thanks to our good friends at WDW for Grown-ups for this great review of the Bratwurst at Sommerfest, the counter-service location in Epcot’s Germany pavilion!

Apparently, many people don’t care for sauerkraut.

I get this impression because in the short time I was eating outside of Sommerfest, several families passed on eating there because the food came with kraut. This is a shame, because they missed out on a great meal for no reason.

Statements of fact: 1. Sommerfest has pretty good food, even if you don’t like sauerkraut; and 2. You can avoid the kraut. Let’s proceed…

Sommerfest Mural

Eats

Germany’s Sommerfest is located next to the entrance to the table-service location, Biergarten. According to their current menu, Sommerfest has two “entrees:” you can either get a bratwurst, or a frankfurter (both of which come with [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 15, 2011

Credential Front

Hope everyone’s had a great week, and all of you D23ers are having a blast in WDW!

Disney Food News

In Disney Food News his week, we heard the latest on Disney California Adventure’s two new restaurants set to open on July 1st!

AND we got the chance to put on our guest passes and (virtually) walk the black carpet at Disneyland’s Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Premiere with our fearless Disneyland columnist — Heather Sievers!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Recommendation

On MiceChat, Sam Gennaway recommends Disney World essentials, including The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!

A quick quote from the review: “[AJ’s] goal was to write a book that is unlike any other Disney guidebook. In that respect, she has succeeded. This could only come from somebody who realizes that dining is more than just eating at Disney, it is an important part of the whole experience. Plus, the book tries really hard to find the proper balance between planning and spontaneity, which is not easy anymore.”

Thanks to Sam, again, for this review, and thanks to MiceChat for sharing it! If you’d like to check out the e-Book, pick up your copy here!

And now, on to the round up…

A World View reviews our own Disney Food Blog Restaurant Search Tool! Thanks, Bruce!

Main Street Gazette reviews the sweet Sacristain pastry treat at France’s Boulangerie Patisserie.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World shows us where to find freshly made potato chips and sweet potato fries.

Progress City, U.S.A. examines the Germany pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase including the Biergarten! Grab a snack from Sommerfest and check out these details.

Pitch interviews a former WDW chef. Find out how Celina Tio began cooking at Disney!

Thanks to Stitch Kingdom for giving us a heads up on a new cookbook to be published this fall.

Portobello, the Italian restaurant in Downtown Disney — not the mushroom — showcases pictures from their Cooking Class on May 13th!

MousePlanning reviews the brick oven made pizza at Via Napoli.