Review: Chocolate Honey Baklava at Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Tangierine Cafe is one of Epcot’s World Showcase Counter Service classics thanks to delicious and authentic eats.

However, this beautiful Pavilion can be overlooked in regards to dining, even while showcasing great food in beautiful surroundings with Restaurant Marrakesh, Spice Road Table, and again, the spot we’re visiting today — Tangierine Cafe. It’s understandable, though, that when groups (especially families with little ones) travel together, the Pavilion offering possibly the most different flavors from what the majority of the group may be used to might be the easiest to pass.

Still, no matter what your or your traveling companions’ flavor preferences might be, I can think of few people who can argue against Baklava. Buttery and flaky puff pastry filled with honey and nuts (walnuts, cashews, or pistachios, while we’re at it), you’ll find a few varieties tucked into the pastry case located past the primary ordering counter at Tangierine Cafe.

Tangierine Cafe Sign

Tangierine Cafe Sign

You’ll have to go on a hunt because the pastries are located in a small alcove of sorts beyond the main ordering area. They’ll be on your left when facing the entree ordering stations. Your search will be rewarded with the view of a case full of items like Chocolate or Tangerine Rolls (or Roulades), Semolina Cookies and Almond Pastries alongside more standard muffins and cookies. [Read more…]

Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

We are back with the final installment in our popular series sharing our picks for the Top Value Restaurants when it comes to using your Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World.

Disney Food Blog Recommended Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Values

Previously, we shared our recommendations for the Recommended Disney Dining Plan Two-Credit Restaurants as well as our choices for Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values.

Today, we’re sharing our recommendations for Quick Service Restaurants when you’re using the Disney Dining Plan.

Remember — the name of the game here is finding the restaurants that hit the right balance: they have 1) a high average entree price, but they’re also 2) spots that we here at DFB would recommend.

Why is this important? Because we want to help you maximize those Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credits. Note that we have plenty of our own favorites that don’t make this list because the average price didn’t put them at the top.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to quick service credit spots.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Wolfgang Puck Express has been around forever, it seems. But one thing doesn’t change — even after all of these years, it still represents amazing quality and value, whether you’re dining on the DDP or not.

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken -- One of My All-Time Favorites

Wolfgang Puck Express Roast Chicken — One of My All-Time Favorites

That’s because the food here is easily on par with many table service spots. And when you consider that the average price of an entree here is just over $13, it also makes a lot of sense to spend your DDP credits here. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining with a Picky Eater

For many of us, there’s nothing better than planning a trip to Disney. I mean, sure…attractions and cool resorts and stuff. But best of all is the FOOD!

2016 book cover dfb guide

What happens if you have a super uber picky kiddo (or other member of your party) among your ranks though? It can really rock your trip. But it doesn’t have to!

And that’s why I dedicate a lot of attention to making plans with picky eaters in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. This is a great time to pick up your copy of this handy guide because it’s just been completely updated for your 2016 travel plans!! Don’t forget to use code HAPPYPLACE for $4 off the price!

Today, I want to share some of the tips that I’ve scattered through the book on how to deal with the pickiest eaters when you’re in Disney World. Need some help with this subject? Read on! [Read more…]

Review: Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

It has been too long since my last visit to Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe. (Yep, that’s spelled correctly. It’s like a play on words, right? Tangiers, Morocco — Tangierine? Get it? OK, moving on.)

My absence from this spot recently is kind of shocking, since it’s always voted some of the best and most interesting counter service food that you can get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

Located right on the promenade in the Morocco Pavilion, Tangierine Cafe offers an immersive atmosphere and good food with the ring of authenticity. Or at least, that’s always been my experience before.

Atmosphere

Tangierine Cafe is very photogenic. The whole Morocco pavilion is gorgeous, and this is no exception.

Tangierine Cafe

Tangierine Cafe

Once inside, you’ll find a cafeteria-style ordering area, and limited seating.

Ordering Counter and Seating Area

Ordering Counter and Seating Area — Notice the Beautiful Light Fixtures and Ceiling Detail

Assembling Plates

Assembling Plates

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

Indoor Seating Area, as Seen From the Coffee Bar at the Back

As you probably know, the construction of the Morocco Pavilion was sponsored by the government of Morocco; the design was overseen by King Hassan II himself! And so, the intricate decor and detail you see here represent design details authentic to Moroccan ideals.

Zellige tile, colored glass, and beautiful light fixtures punctuate the space and transport you to your exotic destination.

View from indoor table

View from indoor table

Seating

Seating and Stunning Tilework

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Beautiful Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Choose a seat inside, or enjoy lunch on the outdoor terrace that’s off to the side of the front entrance. It provides an excellent vantage for people watching.

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

Tangierine Cafe Terrace

View from Outdoor Seating

View from Outdoor Seating

There’s also a wonderful little room in the back of the space, set apart from the high-celinged main dining room. Since it’s rather hidden, sometimes you’ll find it empty. It’s a great spot to take a break from the Epcot crowds.

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Small Room Off to the Side of the Coffee and Dessert Bar

Additional outdoor seating, with umbrella-shaded tables, is available on the other side of the restaurant.

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Additional Outdoor Seating on the Other Side of Tangierine Cafe

Back inside, you’ll make your selections and await your food. Beverage options include a few Moroccan beers, which are available by the bottle, in addition to standard soft drink options.

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Top Cooler with Bottled Soft Drinks and Beer

Some of the Beers Available

Some of the Beers Available

You’ll find another hidden gem in the back of the restaurant, near the cash register. A bar devoted to [Read more…]

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…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

The Disney Food Blog Bingo Challenge!

Guest Author Katie Roth took on the Disney Food Blog Bingo Challenge. Are you game? Let’s play!

A few weeks before my recent trip to Disney World, the Disney Parks Blog posted an article on a fun new way to experience the Disney parks: Bingo!

When I read this article, I immediately wanted there to be a Disney food version which prompted me to contact AJ at the Disney Food Blog.

Magic Kingdom DFB Bingo Card.

She developed a card for each park and I was lucky enough to be the beta tester! :) For this trip, we attempted the Magic Kingdom and Epcot food bingo cards.

Magic Kingdom Disney Food Bingo Card

The first card that we attempted to complete was for the Magic Kingdom. I absolutely LURVE Magic Kingdom food, so I knew this card would be a cinch to complete.

Our first treat was a Root Beer Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle. It was in the high 80s with a packed park, so this cold and refreshing treat was welcomed.

While I love anything Dole Whip, and even though we got vanilla Dole Whip, I thought that the root beer actually didn’t taste the best with it …perhaps because it wasn’t the creamy, real vanilla ice cream that I’m used to? Maybe it was an off-day? Either way, I’ll probably need to get another one just to be sure. ;)

Root Beer Dole Whip Float.

Float!

As optimistic as I was that we would finish the Magic Kingdom bingo card, I am saddened and embarrassed to admit that we did not. :(

We got as far as the float and a popcorn and then threw our hands up in defeat – the Memorial Day crowds and our Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) just proved too much for us on top of attempting two bingo cards. We were, however, much more successful with the Epcot card.

Epcot Disney Food Blog Bingo Card

We were particularly excited about the Epcot food bingo card because [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Best Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Whelp, it’s time to re-visit one of our favorite topics around here: Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants!

 

We polled our readers back in 2009 for their favorites, and things are looking slightly different these days… ;-)

We recently asked our Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page for the best counter service restaurants inside the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Let’s find out where everyone is eating…

Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants

Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Columbia Harbour House
In a quiet corner of the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the Columbia Harbour House sets the scene for traditional Americana in a colonial village — and steals our Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service title away from Pecos Bill’s this year!

Columbia Harbour House

The decor of the restaurant emphasizes a nautical theme with plank flooring and hurricane lamps. Downstairs, seating is divided into small dining rooms giving the space a colonial charm.

Here’s a Favorite DFB Tip: The upstairs seating area is usually the quietest and offers some tables with quaint views. Brick hearths add even more “warmth” to the dark-wooded rooms.

Grilled Salmon… this meal belongs on a real plate.

Serving popular soups (awesome clam chowder!), salads, and sandwiches such as the Lighthouse (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw) and Anchors Aweigh (white tuna with lettuce and tomato) served on toasted multigrain bread; and recently adding a Lobster Roll and Grilled Salmon to the menu, Columbia Harbour House offers selections beyond the usual chicken nugget fare. (Although, there are those too!)

Lobster Roll with real chunks of lobster at Columbia Harbour House

Runners Up: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Be Our Guest Restaurant (lunch only), and Casey’s Corner.

Best Epcot Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Sunshine Seasons
Soarin’ isn’t the only main attraction in The Land pavilion! According to our readers, Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of traffic too.

Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

With five food stations including a [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]

Review: Tangierine Cafe’s Grown-Up Slushies in Epcot

Nestled in the back of Epcot’s Tangierine Café, you’ll find a lovely little spot that serves pastries and an assortment of coffee drinks, some laced with liqueurs.

At the same counter, you will also find a variety of grown-up slushies that prove to be very alluring on a hot (insert the season here) Florida day.

Sips

As I headed to the counter to try one of the flavors — termed daiquiris — I wasn’t really sure which one I was feelin’ of the coffee, tangerine, and strawberry options.

I had tried the Tangerine Daiquiri YEARS before, and had really enjoyed it. (If you’ve ever had the Moroccorita, the consistency is very similar.) But maybe it was time to broaden my horizons.

Since I was being all wishy-washy, the helpful cast member gave me samples to help seal the deal — one Tangerine, and one Strawberry. (Helpful cast members are the BEST.)

Samples of Tangerine and Strawberry Slushies

Now, I can’t promise that you’ll score samples, but it never hurts to ask!

The Tangerine was delicious and refreshing, but I found the Strawberry to be a little sweet for my taste. So, being the weirdo that I am, I asked for a combo Tangerine-Strawberry Daiquiri. Our helpful cast member continued to be [Read more…]