Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Tequila Pairing Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel

While at Disney World for the opening weekend of the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a Tequila Pairing Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel.

A Food and Wine Festival special event, the lunch takes place most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the Food and Wine Festival from 12 noon until 1:30pm.

While I’d been to the very first Tequila Tasting Seminar held in Epcot’s Mexico during the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I hadn’t yet been to one of the lunches, which began at last year’s festival and have been highly acclaimed.

Armed with a love of tequila and an appreciation for Mexican food, I headed into La Hacienda de San Angel to see what awaited me.

Atmosphere

Shazam! For a great beginning, I was welcomed with my first sample of tequila of the day — a beautiful Rose Margarita.

Rose Margarita, The Opening Cocktail

Made with premium white tequila and rose water, this is a lovely — and authentically Mexican — way to begin our journey. I sipped as I strolled to my seat.

As I entered the dining room, I passed by this display table holding various tequilas and other elements of our seminar. This table gives you a view-at-a-glance of everything we would discuss and experience during the lunch. This was clearly going to be fun!

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

Since I was alone, I found myself sharing a table with three other women and we chatted a bit before the presentation began. We were seated in the main dining room of La Hacienda for the sold-out event.

Seating and Table Settings for Luncheon

Once we were all [Read more…]

Entree Duo and PB&J Creme Brulee at Flying Fish Cafe on Disney World’s Boardwalk

Any time I have the chance to dine at Flying Fish Cafe in Disney World’s Boardwalk Inn Resort, I take it! I love this restaurant, and it always manages to surprise me with its clever and innovative menu.

I dined there in July, and while I’m not going to do a full review of that meal, I needed to share these awesome menu items with you just in case you’re headed over. I wish I had this meal to do over again, because I’d definitely order the same thing!

Get these on your must-eat list, stat!

Duo of Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper

Well, Flying Fish Cafe has two signature entrees…can you guess what they are? ;-) Yep, the Char-Crusted Strip and the Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper are the menu’s highlights, and Flying Fish has done us all a favor and put them together on one plate!

Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

The Potato-Wrapped Snapper includes Leek Fondue with a Veal Glace, Red Wine, and Cassis Butter reduction; while the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip comes with Fingerling Potatoes, Hericot Vert, Young Carrots, and Bermuda Onions, and an applewood-smoked Bacon Mustard Seed Vinaigrette and Classic Sauce Foyot (hubba hubba!).

I was very surprised and impressed how well everything actually went together. I was using the sauce from the Snapper with the steak, and vice versa. The flavors were [Read more…]

The Most Expensive Meals in the “World”

On the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, we field several questions every day from guests looking for ways to economize on their Disney food budget. These are meaningful and important questions, and we’re happy to help.

But every once in a while I find myself wishing that someone would send in a question like, “My rich uncle has died and left me a gazillion dollars. What’s the most expensive meal I can buy at Walt Disney World?” (Or maybe I’m just wishing that I had rich uncle in poor health :-).)

V&A's caviar. Yummy (and expensive).

The quick answer to the expensive meal question is Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian. This posh-beyond-posh restaurant will set you back at least $125 in the main dining room, or at least $200 in the even-more-posh-beyond-posh Queen Victoria Room or Chef’s Table.

And that’s not including tax, tip, booze, and supplementary extra caviar. I’m sure Uncle Moneybags would approve.

Disney World’s Priciest Meals

But I found myself wondering if there were any “regular” restaurant meals that would inflict nearly this much damage to my shiny red Disney Visa. I decided to figure out the most expensive non-V&A’s meal you could find at Walt Disney World (not counting special event or private event meals).

And as an added bonus, I realized that this would be a good tool for a guest on the Disney Dining Plan who was REEEEALLY looking to get his money’s worth.

So in order to compare apples to apples, or more accurately steak to steak, I decided to construct the most expensive standard three course meal at each Disney World signature restaurant: one appetizer/starter course, one single-serving entree, and one dessert.

Flying Fish, Boardwalk (DDP = Yes)

  • Chardonnay-steamed Mussels, $18
  • Black Angus New York Strip Steak, $42
  • Trio of Concession Sweets, $9

TOTAL: $69

Bistro de Paris, Epcot (DDP = Yes)

Review: The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We hadn’t been back to The Wave for a couple of years, so we knew it was time to head back for dinner!

The Wave is a unique table-service spot at Disney, because their menu focuses on local and sustainable ingredients. Because of the ever-changing and seasonal local offerings, they are one of the few moderate table service restaurants I’ve encountered that changes up the menu four times per year. (Usually that’s only allowed for signature restaurants!)

Available for breakfast (which also features a buffet), lunch, and dinner, you won’t necessarily find the same dish here that you had six months ago. That can be good and bad, but it’s always an adventure to stop in and see what’s new!

Atmosphere

Located in the back left corner of the Contemporary Resort’s lobby (just past the concierge desks), you might miss The Wave altogether — except that they’ve dreamed up this groovy light tunnel for the entrance.

This gives you the feeling of heading below the waves for a culinary adventure. (Or it could also remind you of the dearly departed rainbow tunnel from the original Journey Into Your Imagination. Either way, it’s still cool.)

Wave Entry

The atmosphere is modern and contemporary, and the check-in and bar areas look a little “night-clubby,” actually! But never fear — this restaurant is very family-friendly.

Wave Check-In

You make your way around the beautiful and expansive bar as you walk to the dining area. Here, you’ll see more waves in the decor, like the backs of the comfortable bar chairs.

The bar features screw-top wines (more about that later) and fun organic local beers.

Wave Bar

As you enter the sleek dining room, the color palette changes from blue to harvest gold. Waves (amber waves of grain, perhaps?) continue to surround you, even from above.

Wave Dining Room

Although the look is decidedly modern, it maintains a comfortable feel, with padded seats and booths throughout. The finish also cleverly disguises [Read more…]

Review: Disney World’s Flying Fish Cafe

Ah, yes — I get to write about one of my very favorite restaurants in Disney World today!! Flying Fish Cafe is located on Disney’s Boardwalk in Walt Disney World, right next to the back entrance of the Boardwalk Inn.

The entrance is adorned with a giant neon sign complete with flying fish! You can’t miss it. ;-) And once inside, you’ll be treated to whimsical decor, an incredible seasonal menu, and an awesome view of Chef Tim Keating’s open kitchen.

Atmosphere

I think this restaurant is the perfect mix of Disney magic and star-quality food. Plus, the place is just fun to look at. There are shiny things and smooth things and fun things and colorful things all around you when you walk in. Don’t miss the jumping fire at the grills in the open kitchen!

Flying Fish Chef's Counter

From the parachuting fish on the ceiling to the colorful circus-themed mural on the walls there’s always something you missed the last time you were there. And let’s not even start talking about the draped “circus-tent” room in the back of the restaurant where you get to eat if you’re really, really lucky!

Flying Fish Cafe Tables and Murals

Parachutes and Flying Fish

Can you see the hidden Mickey in this mural? I know, I know — I point it out all the time, but I [Read more…]

Review: Yachtsman Steakhouse

Awesomeness! It’s been a long time since we’ve reviewed Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort, which is a real shame considering how much I like this restaurant! (Meat? Good! Butter? Good! Habanero-Infused Flourless Chocolate Cake? Good!)

But on this visit, I broke away from my standards and tried some new items! Can’t wait to share them with you! Let’s get started…

Atmosphere

Yachtsman Steakhouse has very clean, traditional lines when it comes to decor.

One of the Yachtsman Steakhouse Dining Areas

Guests enter into a foyer where they’ll encounter a large picture window looking into the steak trimming room, then they’ll pass by the open kitchen and into the dining room, which is furnished in light woods and tasteful artwork from top to bottom. Craftsman style chandeliers hang over the white-clothed tables.

Restaurant Entrance

Chandelier in the Two-Story Dining Room

My favorite room in the dining area is a [Read more…]

New! Epcot World Showcase Drinks and Eats T-Shirts

Thanks to @Jobber99 (Jon Chua) we have pictures of two new World Showcase shirts being sold in Epcot. Whether you enjoy drinking, eating, or both (like us! ;-D) around the countries of World Showcase in Epcot, these shirts show off the specialties of each nation.

Drinking Around the World

While these shirts tour World Showcase clock-wise, you can start in Canada or the UK with a Guinness at Rose & Crown or a steak at Le Cellier — we won’t tell. :-) We’re equal-opportunity World Travelers.

Eating Around the World

Yep, we pretty much [Read more…]

Review: Le Cellier’s New Lunch Menu

We stopped by Le Cellier in Canada last week to sample the lunch menu, which has been tweaked yet again!

But more than just the menu, there were a few other surprises in store for us at Le Cellier as well! There’s a new martini flight, the desserts have been changed up a bit, and…believe it or not…the bread has changed!!

Let’s take a look…

Atmosphere

The atmosphere here remains exactly the same. You’re dining in a wine cellar, basically, so there are no windows and there’s very little light.

Le Cellier Dining Room

The feel is cozy, however, rather than [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland Hotel’s Steakhouse 55

I’m so excited to finally be writing this review. This is one of my very favorite restaurants in Disneyland (are you surprised that I love a steakhouse?), and in terms of history and excellent food, it’s a must-do.

Atmosphere

Located in the Disneyland Hotel, Steakhouse 55 has been around for eons, though not always under its current moniker. Until about five years ago, the place was known as Granville’s, named for the wife of Disneyland Hotel creator Jack Wrather — who himself is a very complicated and interesting part of Disneyland history. And history has always been made here.

Photo of Walt

The Steakhouse 55 Lounge and Restaurant feel like they’re from another era — classic Hollywood glamour can be felt throughout the place. Big names and big deals could — and still can — be found here from time to time.

Lounge

Steakhouse 55 Dining Room

Blown-up black-and-white photos on the walls depict VIPs from classic film days, and you can’t help but [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Steak

Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them along! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature mouth-watering steaks!

The Chili-rubbed Flat Iron Steak at The Wave has big flavor!
Photographer: Morgan & Jeff Rooks

Chili-rubbed Flat Iron Steak

Now this is a salad! The Grilled Sirloin Salad at Le Cellier is another reason to get a [Read more…]