Guest Review: Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market

Bill Iadonisi returns with a colorful and impressive review of the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. Take it away, Bill!

When guests vacation to Walt Disney World, they are looking forward to going on their favorite attractions, seeing World-Class shows and entertainment, and of course meeting the Disney Characters. A trip to Disney is an exciting adventure for all. But for many, the rides and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that for myself, dining at Disney is a whole world of fun! With menu options from around the world and a huge diversity of food choices, the dining scene is a theme park unto itself.

Welcome!

While most guests hanker to dine in the parks, the resort venues are just as impressive. We know the classic restaurants such as Citricos, the California Grill and Jiko, but the resorts are also home to some of Walt Disney World’s “sleeper” restaurants.

These eateries are hidden gems with mostly low crowds, fantastic menus and easy access. Many times when the parks are booked, you can usually walk right in or have just a short wait before dining. Some of my favorites are the Kona Café and the Captain’s Grille. And here we will review; Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market restaurant.

Atmosphere and Ordering Process

Pepper Market is an open food court located in the main building area of Coronado Springs Resort, called “El Centro.” It is a counter-service restaurant, although your drinks are brought to the table by a server.

But what makes this eatery special is its extensive menu and expansive dining area. Even during crowded times, you can usually find a table. It is themed after a south of the border-feel marketplace. Huge and airy, it is also very colorful, bright and gives the feeling of space versus claustrophobia — something we love in Disney restaurants.

Dining Area

As you make your way to the entrance, (next to Coronado’s table-service restaurant, the Maya Grill) you walk on terracotta tiles and past wrought iron fences adorned with green plants. Everything is vibrant and very colorful. It puts a smile on your face before you are even seated. At the entrance is a [Read more…]

Snack Series: Tomato Basil Soup at Pinocchio Village Haus

I’m a soup-lover from way back, and one of my favorites has always been tomato basil. So when I was on a recent research trip at the Magic Kingdom, I was very excited to find tomato basil soup listed on the menu at Pinocchio Village Haus!

Soup is a great snack — cheap, filling, and usually carrying fewer calories and fat than other snacks at the Kingdom.

But, at the time, I thought to myself — how good could it be? I’ve had exceptional tomato basil soup, but I’ve also had plenty of versions that don’t come close to making the cut.

Pinocchio Village Haus menu

Without too many expectations, I found a seat upstairs at the Village Haus and dug in — and it was amazing! I’m not kidding you. I don’t recommend something to you if I don’t love it, and I’m telling you this soup is gorgeous. Savory, buttery, creamy, and very flavorful. Usually when I’m researching, my companions and I split it and I only take a few bites, but I’m pretty sure I commandeered this cup of soup and just about ate the whole thing!

Tomato Basil Soup at Pinocchio Village Haus

So, just a quick post to let you know, if you like soup as much [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!”: Appetizers & Sides

We’ve just started a fun new series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Due to some keen suggestions from readers, we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts & drinks.

Today, we’re taking a look at Appetizers and Side Dishes! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” as far as appetizers and side dishes at Disney.

Soups

Soups were by far the #1 mentioned appetizer/side when I reached out to facebook and twitter folks for their favorites.

Portobello Soup at Artist Point

  • Most beloved are the soups found at Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. These vary every day, but the varieties specifically mentioned by readers as the Best Thing They Ever Ate! were: Mushroom Soup, Mulligatawny Soup, and Butternut Squash Soup. (Personally, the chicken corn chowder is my favorite!).
  • Of course, you can’t post a series like this without a few votes for Le Cellier Steakhouse‘s famous Cheddar Cheese Soup! This comes heartily recommended by Disney Food Blog readers — and yours truly, of course!
  • The Grand Floridian also racked up a couple of votes from our readers! The cashew cream soup from Victoria and Albert’s comes was noted, as was the cheesy tomato soup at the Grand Floridian Cafe (yum — doesn’t that sound good?!?).
  • Finally, that delicious Mushroom-Soup-That-Doesn’t-Taste-Like-Mushrooms was voted [Read more…]

A Cozy Meal at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

This post is in honor of StudiosCentral.com‘s “Disney’s Hollywood Studios Awareness Week,” so…be aware! ;-)

Mama Melrose Lobby Decor

I’ve mentioned on the blog before before that I’ve never truly understood the theme of Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. According to the storyline, Mama Melrose came to the United States from Italy, but wanted to become a Hollywood star. Moving to California, she didn’t “make it” as an actress, so she opened a restaurant, decorated it as a shrine to all things Hollywood, and started serving her Italian family favorites.

Atmosphere
So, although the story is a bit thin for Disney in my opinion, it’s still fun to wander around the restaurant to see how they’ve carried off the Italy-meets-California theme. The dark wood and red [Read more…]