Review: Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine at Disney Springs

I hope that you’re sitting down.

Because we have a ton of pictures and details to share with you about Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine!

The restaurant opened with fanfare and plenty of rave reviews. And we were right there with you as we shared a first look!

If you can believe it, we’ve been back to Homecoming Florida Kitchen (hereafter shortened to HFK to save my fingers extra typing) again since opening day. As a result, we have lots of variety to share with you about this special spot.

This is a place that beckons you to slow down and sit a spell. So to begin, let’s take a nice, leisurely look around.


You’ll find HFK right in the heart of Disney Springs, where the Town Center and The Landing come together.



While the outside may look a little Plain Jane at first inspection, you may form a different opinion after your initial look. Tons of windows, shaded in part by the metal hip roof that overhangs them, is reminiscent of the Florida Vernacular style of architecture. I love that you don’t find a single ounce of faux stucco here — the building choice of most Florida homebuilders these days. [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Party for the Senses

Today, we have a big treat for you!

You know that we love to talk about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival here at DFB. It’s like the Super Bowl and Olympics and Christmas all rolled into one!

Party for the Senses Sign

Party for the Senses Sign

And while there’s tons to do and see and eat throughout the event, some of the most highly anticipated premium events are the Parties for the Senses. (See the review of our last time attending the event here.) In 2016, you can choose from parties held on October 1, 8, 15, 22, 28, and 29, featuring different themes. Read all about it on our Special Events Page! [Read more…]

Review: New Arrivals at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Who’s up for an adventure? Because we’ve certainly got one for you!

I know we can all agree on one thing: there is nowhere better to grab a Margarita than La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion.

The staff there is warm and friendly. The surroundings are beautiful and cozy (and cool!!). And the handcrafted margaritas are some of the best, most interesting versions of this beloved cocktail that you can get anywhere. And if you’ve tried to indulge in a visit here, then you know this for sure: La Cava is always PACKED.

But here’s the thing. La Cava isn’t satisfied to leave things the way they are. They’re always developing the next hot trend, the next new thing.

And today, we’re going to talk about something that would be adventurous anywhere. But when you put it within the framework of a Disney Park?

Salts and Pineapple Margarita

Salts and Pineapple Margarita


Time to check out La Cava’s newest offerings — Rim Salts in a variety of over the top combinations, new Margaritas, new spirits, and more. Ready? Here we go! [Read more…]

Friday Happy Hour: Beet, and Blood Orange Margaritas at Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila

Looking for a unique margarita? Well, look no further than La Cava del Tequila!

Tucked inside Epcot’s gorgeous Mexico Pavilion, this cozy tequila house was once considered something of a hidden gem. While it’s definitely still a gem, it can no longer really be considered “hidden,” judging by the lines that can easily extend out the door. In fact, these lines were likely part of the recent change in hours for La Cava, which now opens at 11:30 am (as opposed to the previous Noon opening). AND you can grab a quick ‘rita after Illuminations if you’d like; closing time has now been extended to 9:30 pm.

La Cava has well-earned a solid reputation for its impressive selection of tequila, some freaking amazing Queso, and a staff with passion and knowledge about all things related to tequila as well as creative margarita concoctions.

And what’s better than a margarita from La Cava? Why, that would be TWO margaritas from La Cava!

So join me as I try an old favorite — the Blood Orange Margarita — along with a newer selection that was just begging for a taste test: the Beet Margarita.

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila

But first… remember those lines I mentioned? These days, this joint is pretty much always jumpin’… the shot below serves as an example of the packed house on my recent visit. [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival News: Menu for Mexico Tequila Tasting Lunch

We have some exciting news today for you about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’ve confirmed that Tequila Pairing Lunches in the Mexico Pavilion are back as part of the Special Events line up!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.14.45 PM

I had the chance to attend the luncheon a while back. It was a great way to spend the afternoon — sampling tequila, and learning how this versatile spirit can pair beautifully with different menu items.

In anticipation of this year’s lineup, our friends from the Mexico Pavilion recently held a tasting to determine just what would make the menu cut.

We’re excited to share some menu descriptions straight from La Cava del Tequila! Let’s take a closer look.

Menu Planned for the Tequila Pairing Lunch at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

When I attended the Tequila Pairing Lunch, we enjoyed four courses, paired with three different tequilas as well as Agovera Liqueur. (This event is not for the faint of heart. :-) )

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

As of the writing of this post, the lunch will include four courses paired with tequilas. But please keep in mind, the dishes are subject to change! Anything is possible between now and Festival Go-Time on September 25!

Your journey through the world of tequila will start with a Flautas de Carnitas — a mini crispy Flauta filled with Pork Carnitas and accompanied by Avocado, Cream, Queso Foam, Roasted Serrano Pepper, and Tomato.

Crispy Carnitas

Flautas de Carnitas

The next course, Sopa de Chile Poblano y Calabaza, will be prepared with Roasted Poblano Pepper, Zucchini, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, and Guajillo Pepper Oil.

The Main Entrée will be a combination of Mar y TierraPan-Seared Snapper and Sirloin — served with a creamy [Read more…]

News: Pomegranate Margarita Updated at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot

Fun news today out of one of our favorite watering holes — La Cava del Tequila.

Seems that the great group of margarita artistes are at it again.

This time, they aren’t debuting something brand new, like their newest must-have Tamarind Margarita. Nor are they bringing back another old favorite, like the Hibiscus Margarita, for a limited time. (Get it now during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Hurry!)

No — today, we’re reporting on a revamped favorite. The Pomegranate Margarita, it seems, has received a little attention, and the recipe has been updated. Think of it as the Pom 2.0, if you will.

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

La Cava Has Changed Up the Recipe for Their Pomegranate Margarita!

The new version even incorporates [Read more…]

Review: La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Aaaahhh, La Cava del Tequila… what’s a trip around World Showcase without walking inside your doors?

Well, we’re back, and we’re here to celebrate a very special birthday…La Cava del Tequila just turned five years old! For a place that’s still relatively new (in Disney World terms, anyway), it sure has earned its place on the absolute MUST list ever since opening its doors in August 2009.

We’re celebrating this special occasion with a few of my favorite things (cue the song!) and branching out with a few sips I’d never tried before.

As the saying goes, it may be “5 o’clock somewhere,” but we’re just happy when it’s 12 o’clock at La Cava del Tequila!

La Cava del Tequila Sign

La Cava del Tequila Sign

"We Open at Noon"

“We Open at Noon”

Is it noon yet ;) ? Then let’s step in!


Small and cozy (and often crowded due to its well-deserved reputation), there’s still plenty for the eye to take in. Obviously, the tequila gets the spotlight – both figuratively and literally!

La Cava Tequilas

La Cava Tequilas

When you first walk in, [Read more…]

Review: Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito and Empanadas at La Cantina in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Happy NATIONAL MOJITO DAY, EVERYONE!! OK, I’ll be honest. We’d PLANNED to share this post with you on the ACTUAL National Mojito Day, but a big news item came up and we had to bump it. So this is our STAND-IN National Mojito Day. I hope that works for you. :-D

Still, crazy how time flies, isn’t it? I remember last Mojito Day like it was yesterday! It feels like I was just putting up my Mojito Tree, baking mojito cookies and singing all my favorite mojito carols…

Oh, wait, was that just me?

Anyway, on this day as we gather with family and friends to celebrate Mojitos all around the world ;), we thought we’d show you a mojito in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion that has more than a bit of a twist… the Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito found at La Cantina de San Angel.

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Sign

La Cantina Drink Menu

La Cantina Drink Menu

The drink serving is huge – it fills every inch of the glass and beyond, as you can see. (At $11.50, I should hope so.)  As a bonus, it’s also looks terrific!

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

Frozen Pomegranate Lime Mojito

A traditional Mojito is a mix of fresh mint, lime, club soda, sugar, and white rum on the rocks. The Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito has… well, it’s got lime :) . And pomegranate!

Tequila – as opposed to rum – is the featured liquor here, and I can’t say I picked up one hint of mint. What I did pick up on was a refreshing blast of cold, fruity sweetness nicely balanced by the tart lime.

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

Pomegranate Lime Frozen Mojito

For all my joking about Mojito Day traditions, I’m actually not a huge mojito fan myself, so this version is far more up my alley.

You know what goes well with a tart-and-sweet beverage like this? Something

[Read more…]

News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

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.


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…]