Disney World Mac and Cheese Gallery

Mac and Cheese, the go-to meal of toddlers everywhere, has become a bit of a phenomenon at Walt Disney World. Everyone loves it. It comes in a bevvy of styles. And it’s almost always totally awesome.

So here’s a gallery of our favorites!

Mac and Cheese — Polite Pig

The Polite Pig Mac and Cheese is one of the newest additions to our gallery, and it’s divine. We love the shell pasta and how it holds all that tasty cheese sauce. Mmmm.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese Varieties — Eight Spoon Cafe

It’s impossible for us to choose just one of the mouthwatering options at Eight Spoon Cafe in Animal Kingdom, so we suggest getting one of each. The simple Baked Mac and Cheese is creamy and delish, while the Pulled Pork and the Sweet and Spicy Shrimp versions are interesting and satisfying. [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs

It’s been a while, Paradiso 37.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed dining at this waterfront spot, (now) located in The Landing at Disney Springs. (It hasn’t moved. It’s just that everything has grown up around it.)

The waterside views from the back of the open air restaurant were previously something special. (Like, not every place had them.) But these days, with the nearly complete transformation of Disney Springs, practically every restaurant has a table with a view.

So are favorites like Crazy Corn and the Paradiso Chocolate Stack still enough to win Paradiso 37 a spot on your advance dining reservations list? Read on to find out — and to see how the restaurant’s recent reno changed it up a bit.

Atmosphere

If you’re a longtime fan of Paradiso 37 (P37 for short from here on out), you may notice that a couple of changes have taken place within the last few years. From the outside, the restaurant looks much the same, with a paint job that’s just a shade or two lighter.

Outside View

Outside View

But the recent reno did add a couple of features. The restaurant now boasts two entrances — one to the upper seating area, and one to the lower area. Here’s a shot of the bar upstairs. The door is just to the right of the photo. [Read more…]

Disney Food Video: GET THIS at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is kind of the forgotten park right now in Disney World. So much construction. So many shuttered restaurants. So is it still even worth it to go? YEP! And when you DO go, we’ve got the list of what you need to be eating! Check out today’s DFB Video for the things you MUST eat when you visit Hollywood Studios!

Maple Bacon Whoopie Pie at Sweet Spells in Hollywood Studios

Maple Bacon Whoopie Pie at Sweet Spells in Hollywood Studios

There’s a lot to eat in the studios still, but some of it is just not worth the cost or the calories. Stick with our tips and you can rest assured you’ll be eating the best of the best.

[Read more…]

News: ABC Commissary Offers New ‘Fast Casual’ Dining and Dinner Menu

ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios hasn’t often wowed us in the past. But that may be changing.

The dining spot has previously been strictly counter service in the classic Disney sense of the word. (Check out a recent review here.) You know the set up — order your food from the overhead menu boards, and then step forward with your receipt to collect your tray of drinks and food.

These days, however, ABC Commissary is trying a slightly different approach.

Billing the spot as “fast casual” for the dinner hour, the restaurant takes the same tack as one of our favorites, Wolfgang Puck Express in Disney Springs. The concept is pretty simple: order your food from a cast member and receive a pager. But unlike spots that expect you to come collect your food when the pager goes, off, your food will find you.

Ordering stations

Ordering stations

Guests choose a seat once they’ve ordered their food, and cast members will deliver the food and drinks to their table. Cast members are also available for other needs during your meal. Flag them down for condiments or anything else you might need. [Read more…]

Review: Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

We’re heading back to Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner!

This fun spot, located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is the perfect place to dine with the whole family. What can you expect at Whispering Canyon? Generous portions, comfort foods, lots of all you care to enjoy options, and antics aplenty.

If I’m not enjoying breakfast here during a Walt Disney World visit, then you’ll probably find me at the dinner table at least once a year. And that was the case recently. Let’s check it out.

Atmosphere

If you’re trying to locate Whispering Canyon Cafe, you can’t really miss it. It’s immediately to your left as soon as you walk through the doors of the Wilderness Lodge.

Whispering Canyon Sign

Whispering Canyon Sign

Because it’s not all that removed — or removed at all — from the lobby, that means that when the antics really get going, you’re probably going to hear them throughout the space. [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…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Patagonia and Canada

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it! If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for September 19 through November 10!

food and wine festival logo

And around here, we think that making plans for the festival is big fun! We don’t want to miss a thing, and we know you don’t want to, either.

There are endless numbers of Special Events and Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars. But our favorite draw continues to be the Marketplace Booths throughout World Showcase.

So today, we are kicking off our previews of this year’s Marketplace Booths with two that you’re sure to love — The new Patagonia Booth and a returning favorite, Canada.

Patagonia Marketplace Booth

The Patagonia Marketplace Booth, new for 2014, will combine the flavors of Chile and Argentina. While we are still awaiting our first pictures of what the new Patagonia Marketplace Booth will actually look like (soon!), we are excited to see some returning favorites from the 2013 Argentina Booth join some brand new dishes!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

In addition to past favorites like the Beef Empanada, guests can enjoy wines selected from both Chile and Argentina.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Patagonia Booth Menu

  • Beef Empanada
  • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée (gluten free)
  • Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri (gluten free)
  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé

We’ve tasted the Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri. It’s sure to be a hit with guests this year!

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

And the Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée is always a crowd pleaser!

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Canada Marketplace Booth

The Canada Marketplace Booth is a mainstay of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Stop here for [Read more…]

Guest Review: Dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Join us in welcoming back Guest Author Paul Kuconis! His latest review features dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors located at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World.

When I think of Contemporary Resort-based restaurants, California Grill and Chef Mickey’s immediately come to mind. It’s hard to miss the glass dome sitting atop the Resort — ‘Oooh, there’s California Grill!’; and Chef Mickey is always in sight from the monorail.

But there is a hidden gem neatly tucked away — The Wave…of American Flavors — and entering through the front door makes it easy to miss. We always arrive by boat from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge so we walk by it often. Well, we finally decided to stop ‘passing by’ and made reservations during our last visit.

Atmosphere

The first thing I saw was a video marquee highlighting the culinary options presented inside. To me this presentation is very much in keeping with the ‘contemporary’ theme of the resort. OK, now I know what they serve, so let’s head inside.

Video Marquee

Video Marquee

The entrance is rather neat. First, it establishes the stainless steel theme I noticed throughout my meal, and the tunnel takes me to a different place — that of sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients.

Entrance to The Wave

Entrance to The Wave

As we approached the reception desk, I noticed the earth tones in keeping with the sustainable theme. Also, the wall partition presents the wave theme.

Reception Desk

Reception Desk

We had nice wall art to look at while we waited for our table. A very contemporary rendition, in keeping with the resort.

Wall Art

Wall Art

Even the ceiling features carry the wave theme with contemporary light fixtures. It all works well together as the earth tones carry throughout the restaurant.

The Wave Themed Ceiling

The Wave Themed Ceiling

A nice touch, and a very subtle one, is the wave embroidered on the linen napkin.

Themed Linen Napkin

Themed Linen Napkin

Eats

After we sat down and perused the wine list, we decided on a bottle of Bonterra Chardonnay 2012. I enjoy a nice chardonnay and this wine fits the bill. It’s from Mendocino, one of California’s better known wine regions with predominant vineyard acreage in chardonnay.

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

Bonterra Chardonnay 2012

A very nice wine. An initial impression of rich, buttery cream quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and crème brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest.

Although that description sounds very complex, it’s not. Bottom line for me is, does it have a nice flavor? And yes, this one does! Notice the stainless steel wine cooler.

A Nice Pour

A Nice Pour

After we ordered we were served bread and butter — Multi grain bread with ground flax seeds and butter with Hawaiian sea salt. (Notice the stainless steel bread bowl.) The bread was nice and fresh and the butter was just soft enough to spread easily and allowed the salt to mix in giving each bite a nice crunch. The ground flax seeds provided a visual balance to the sea salt atop the butter. Nicely done!

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I always look for menu offerings that I haven’t had before. The Sustainable Fish Taco fit the bill. To me, it also fit the theme of the restaurant, sustainable and locally sourced. I’ll try that!

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Sustainable Fish Taco Menu Item

Oooh! Very nicely plated with a stainless steel taco tray! The fish used were Snapper and Swordfish and fit nicely with the Apple-Jicama slaw and a mild white sauce drizzle, topped with micro greens.

The apples used were Pink Lady (a trademark and the variety is more correctly known as Cripps Pink). Cripps Pink apples are a cross between the Australian Lady Williams and the Golden Delicious. At any rate, this variety was new to me and had a very nice flavor and texture.

The slaw and sauce complemented the mildness of the fish and made for a nice bite. Providing a contrast in textures; the crunch of the apple and jicama worked well against the smoothness of the fish.

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Sustainable Fish Taco Appetizer

Yuzu Gelato was served providing a palette cleanser and a nice finisher. Yuzu a citrus fruit, originates in East Asia and looks like a very small grapefruit. The yuzu’s flavor is tart, closely resembling that of a grapefruit with hints of mandarin orange. A very nice way to end an awesome appetizer!

OK, how can my entrée top my appetizer? A tough task indeed.

I settled on the [Read more…]

First Look! Trattoria al Forno to Replace Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney World’s BoardWalk

We are getting our first details today about the restaurant that will replace Kouzzina at Disney’s BoardWalk when it closes later this year.

Trattoria al Forno will join other eateries at the deluxe hotel and entertainment district. The restaurant is slated to open this December.

Trattoria al Forno Logo

The menu will feature Italian fare with an emphasis on regional specialities and classic preparations. Many ingredients will actually be made from scratch, in-house. We can’t wait to try the freshly handcrafted Mozzarella and the house-made Cavatelli!

The restaurant will also have wood-burning ovens, and they’ll put them to good use making — you guessed it! — Neapolitan-style Pizza! Will it be like Via Napoli meets the BoardWalk? Sounds good to me!

Quattro Fromaggi Pizza from Via Napoli

I’m Hoping for Pizzas Like the Quattro Fromaggi from Via Napoli!

But they aren’t stopping there. Eating through Trattoria al Forno’s menu will be like [Read more…]

Best Table Service Restaurants in the Disneyland Resort

We’re counting down some of our all-time favorite spots to dine when we visit Disneyland!

Best Disneyland Table Service Restaurants

And while snacking abounds and counter service can be delicious, today we are turning our attention to our favorite table service spots.

While Disney’s original park may not offer the same number of dining locations as Walt Disney World, there are certainly some places that you won’t want to miss. And we love them for all different reasons. Some are sentimental favorites, while others offer fantastic food.

Head out with us as we tour our Top 6 Table Service Spots in Disneyland Resort!

Steakhouse 55

Our first stop takes us to a spot steeped in Disneyland history — Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel.

Dark, cool interiors are replete with luxury and plenty of nods to the past. Named for the year that Disneyland opened, of course, Steakhouse 55 channels a bygone era with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Close your eyes, and you can easily imagine power lunches by the entertainment elite taking place at the next table.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

There’s more here than just posh surroundings, however. The food is incredible, too. For dinner, expertly prepared Steaks and classic steakhouse Sides are the draw. And don’t forget the famous 24-layer Chocolate Cake!

No time for an epic meal, but still want to experience this awesome place? Stop in for Drinks and delicious Pub Grub in the Lounge.

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

But don’t forget breakfast! If you’re after a quiet start to your morning, you can’t go wrong with specialities like Eggs Benedict or New York Steak and Eggs.

Napa Rose

When I’m up for a culinary experience with a modern, California vibe, I head to Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The Craftsman style and open floor plan gives the restaurant a warm, welcoming feel. It never feels too intimidating or hoity-toity, even though you are dining in one of Southern California’s most celebrated eateries.

Begin your evening in [Read more…]