Five Great Underrated Steaks in Disney World

A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted my top steaks in Disney World. And today it’s time to spotlight my favorite lesser-known slabs of beef!

When you think about great steaks in Disney World, your mind goes to the big three: Le Cellier Steakhouse, Yachtsman Steakhouse, and Shula’s Steak House. If you’re a bit more studied in steak, you might also think of the great offering over at Flying Fish, or even the incredible Mac-and-Cheese festooned beef at Jiko.

But, with steak being one of my favorite meals in Disney World, I’ve been lucky enough to find a few more delicious options in my travels…

Teppan Edo

Teppan Edo, the Teppanyaki restaurant in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, has steak on the menu and believe me when I say it is some of the best steak I’ve ever had in Disney World. Maybe it’s the flavors of the other items being cooked on the hibachi grill, maybe it’s the buttery goodness of the cooking ingredients, maybe it’s the fact that I’m eating with chopsticks. I have no idea why, but it’s delectable.

Teppan Edo Steak and Noodles with Vegetables


That’s right! Disney’s newest (and only) Greek restaurant has a mouth-watering steak on the menu! Kouzzina‘s Wood-grilled Flank Steak with Kouzzina Potatoes is [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland July Events: Great Movie Ride, Food and Wine Festival, and More

Tables in Wonderland events for July are available!! Be sure to sign up fast, as these are SURE to go quickly! With a sneak peek into the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and two Great Movie Ride dinners, these will be the hot tickets for July! Good luck!

Sneak Preview: Epcot® International Food and Wine Festival, Celebrating 15 Years of Delicious Discoveries

Where: Epcot® – Wonders Retreat, located on the 2nd floor The Wonders of Life Pavilion
When: Thursday, July 8, 2010; 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Price: $95.00 per person, plus tax. Gratuity is included.

With the 15th annual Epcot® International Food and Wine Festival just around the corner, we would like to invite Tables in Wonderland members only to a “sneak preview” of this year’s Festival!

Be the first to sample the food and hear speakers talk about what new and exciting things we have in store for you this year! Learn what new marketplace kiosks will be added this year, as well as new special events. You will find out all of the information before it goes live on the website, and before reservations open to begin booking the events. Be the first, and be “in the know” as we celebrate 15 Years of Delicious Discoveries!

To keep up with all the current news and information about the 15th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, be sure to check out our 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page! Check out the info in red for new marketplaces, new events, and other breaking info!

Click on Link for Larger Image and Full Menu:

The Wave . . . of American Flavors Discovery Dinner
When: Thursday, July 15, 2010; 6:30 p.m. Reception 7 p.m. Dinner
Where: The Wave . . . of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Please meet at restaurant’s main podium
Price: $92 per person, includes tax and gratuity
Dress is Casual Evening Attire

Brooks Tropicals has been growing tropical fruits and vegetables in Florida and the Caribbean since the 1920s. Brooks sells more than 28 different tropical fruits and vegetables; its specialties are SlimCado avocados, Caribbean Red papayas and Florida starfruit. Representing Brooks Tropicals at this event will be Mary Ostlund, director of marketing

Hispanics call Caribbean Red papayas by the nickname “fruta bomba,” literally “bomb fruit.” One look at the three-to-five-pound fruit will tell you why. Consumers sometimes wonder whether the Caribbean Red is genetically modified, which it is not. It is naturally large and naturally good for you.

The SlimCado has a great avocado taste; it’s a much lighter-tasting avocado. It should be, with less than half the calories and a third less fat than the Hass avocado. And it’s so much bigger! SlimCado avocados can be three to five times larger than a Hass avocado.

Last but not least, the last tropical fruit star of the menu for this event is a star in itself – the starfruit. Brooks Tropicals was a U.S. pioneer for this Asian treat. Starfruit grow under the canopy of the rainforests in Southeast Asia. In Florida, Brooks grows them in the sandy soils of Pine Island on the west coast of Florida.

Click Photo to Enlarge and See Full Menu:

Special Event The Great Movie Ride Dinner
Where: Disney’s Hollywood Studios™
When: Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17, 2010; 7:30 – 10 p.m.
Price: $155.00 per person, plus tax. Gratuity is included.

Arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ and walk through the courtyard of the Majestic Graumann’s Chinese Theatre. Then you will be invited to come inside The Great Movie Ride after the attraction is closed with exclusive backstage VIP access!

We’ve cleared the track for you to walk through and dine inside the attraction where you will experience some of the most classic scenes in motion picture history. Sets from Busby Berkeley musicals, crime dramas, old-fashioned Westerns, and more!

We were lucky enough to post some fantastic photos from a friend’s special event dinner in the Great Movie Ride! While the Tables in Wonderland event won’t be this fancy, you can still get the idea! Click here to see photos from a special event dinner in the Great Movie Ride!

Click to Enlarge and See Full Menu:

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: April 4th, 2010

From Mad Hatter's Peep Party Diorama

Welcome to the Round-Up! Quick Disney food news recap on this Easter Sunday morning:

Finally, don’t forget to head over the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival for some great reads (30 submissions!!) about your favorite topics! And now, on to the Round-Up!

The Washington Post showcased these videos of the Marshmallow Peeps Diorama competition, two of which show dioramas themed to Disney movies (Winner: “Eep” — a representation of “Up.” Finalist: “The Mad Hatter’s Peep Party” — a representation of “Alice in Wonderland.)!

Three Baking Sheets to the Wind created some amazing Alice in Wonderland themed cupcakes. Just wait until you see the “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” ones… Wow.

Progress City USA has a picture of Jim MacPhee drinking Beverly. (You won’t know if it’s worth looking until it’s too late.) Also, a piece of history with Disney’s launch of French-fried ice cream.

Designing Disney has an Easter Egg Hunt on his blog… see if you can find ‘em!

Disney has released photos of the Walt Disney Signature dining installation in collaboration with design innovator, Cappellini, for this year’s Dining By Design DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event in New York City.

AllEars has a great photo blog from The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to find our favorite candy on Mainstreet USA!

Disney Shawn shows us the ins and outs of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

Studios Central has a great write-up of the recent counter service menu changes in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Orlando Sentinel talks about butterbeer at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios (I know…not technically Disney…but awesome!)

WDW Radio shares a special find — the Adventureland Veranda serving meals again…if only temporarily!

Disney Every Day has some pics of breakfast at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe.

Magical Kingdoms reviews Cafe Mickey in Disneyland Resort Paris.

Restaurant Review: The Wave

I posted a brief mention of the Contemporary Resort’s newest restaurant a few weeks ago, but I wanted to get a full review up of the The Wave as soon as possible. It’s one of Disney World’s most recent additions, and it’s getting pretty good marks from what I’ve seen.

Contemporary Resort's The Wave Restaurant

Contemporary Resort's The Wave Restaurant

The Wave is located on the Contemporary Resort‘s lobby level. (It’s tucked back into the space that used to house the Food and Fun center.) You’ll enter the restaurant through an archway and a tubular hallway — reminds me of the old Journey Into Imagination rainbow walkway after the ride — through blue and bubbles and other [Read more…]

Wine with a Twist at The Wave

When I learned last year that the Contemporary Resort’s new restaurant, The Wave, opened with one of the only (if not the only) wine programs in the country offering all screw-top wines, I couldn’t wait to explore.

The Wave

The Bar at Disney's The Wave Restaurant

The Bar at Disney's The Wave Restaurant

Choosing The Wine for The Wave
The choice to make the screw-top wine list was instituted in part as way to avoid “cork taint,” which is a chemical compound called TCA. With it, mold, chlorine, and other organic compounds can combine to produce a musty smell and flavor to the wine, which has been a particular problem with corked wines. (One interesting twist is that, while The Wave promotes a menu and spirit based on sustainable and environmentally-friendly dining, the screw-cap might not be the best environmental choice.)

Wines at the Wave

Wines at the Wave

A second twist to the wine list is that it is focused on wines from the Southern Hemisphere — bottles from Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, etc. This creates a fun contradiction to the Northern Hemisphere-focused wine list of the California Grill upstairs in the Contemporary Resort.

The Wave Wine Cellar

The Wave Wine Cellar

Another Wave Wine Fact: Keeping It Fresh
So you can bet that, as soon as I took a seat at the bar, I started asking questions! I even got a demonstration as the answer to one of my questions: How do they keep all of those wines fresh when they’re serving by the glass?

The bartender was willing to share the secret with me: vacuum-sealing! While this isn’t a new technology to keep wines fresh, it was new to me, and I was duly impressed.

Wave Wine Stoppers

Wave Wine Stoppers

Simply put in this little rubber cork, then suck out the air with the vacuum pump. Brilliant. The best part is, you can snag a wine vacuum sealer for yourself from shops like sharper image.

Vacuum Sealing Wine at the Wave

Vacuum Sealing Wine at the Wave

Relaxing at The Wave
I’ll be putting up my full review of The Wave soon, but I highly recommend heading over to the restaurant’s lounge and sampling some Southern Hemisphere favorites that you haven’t tried before. The cool, comfortable atmosphere and knowledgeable cast members make it a fun spot to unwind after a long day in the parks.

FYI, if you need a suggestion, John Blazon, master sommelier and manager of wine sales and standards for Disney, has said that the Veramonte Reserva Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile, is a top seller.

WDW Moms Panelists Consider: What Are Some Underrated Disney World Restaurants?

Here’s our third post in the Walt Disney World Moms Panel mini-series! You’ve met some of the moms and heard about their most magical Disney dining moments and their thoughts about the best dining values in Disney World. Today we get to hear what restaurants the moms think might not grab the spotlight as much as they should…

From Mom Erin F.

The Wave Trio of Desserts

The Wave Trio of Desserts

The Wave – really nice stuff and good wine flights. Good tasting desserts, and they have really lovely food.

Another one that I tried – Raglan Road – had really delicious food. And I was very pleasantly surprised by the food on the plate (I had shepherd’s pie). The Strawberry Salad was poppin’ in your mouth delicious. If they can make a basic green salad so tasty, they’ve got something good going on.

From Mom Amber V.

The two places that come to mind are the Grand Floridian Cafe and Maya Grill. I think they both get lost in the shuffle, especially if you aren’t staying at the Grand Floridian or Coronado Springs. When we ate at Maya Grill, we were able to walk up and get a table without an ADR, which was a surprise. We found the menu, service and atmosphere to be really wonderful. The Grand Floridian Cafe is a great choice for a refreshing, light lunch and is also a nice respite from the parks.

From Mom Anna S.

It seems to me that the one restaurant I can ALWAYS get a reservation for is Restaurant Marrakesh at EPCOT, and I love it there. We have had some of the best, most attentive servers of our Disney dining experiences there, and there is never the feeling that you are being rushed so they can turn the tables over. The kids enjoy the music and dancing, and the food is delicious. We eat here at least every other visit.

From Mom Jennifer W.

Flying Fish Cafe! I rarely hear anyone talking about makings ADRs here, and it is one of the best restaurants at WDW! It is a bit on the pricey side but worth every dime. The chef will even come to your table to personally discuss your order if you like. The atmosphere is a calming change from the hustle and bustle of many restaurants and the food is top notch. I highly recommend The Flying Fish to all my friends who are looking for something different at WDW.

From Mom Kara B.

Walt Disney On-Screen at Sci-Fi Dine In

Walt Disney On-Screen at Sci-Fi Dine In

Disney provides a chance to experience something new and exciting around every corner, so often for us a magical Disney experience may be more about the experience rather than the actual food. For example, Sci-Fi is an absolute must see for us every trip, regardless of the constant criticism regarding the food. Stick with hamburgers and milkshakes and all is good (I’ll gladly share that their tofu entree is de-lic-ious!). However for us, it is clearly the atmosphere that makes this restaurant a must-do. In the middle of a hot trip (we visit in June), escaping into the cool “night” air is so relaxing. The kids sit in the front seat; my husband and I sit in the back. We feel like we are on a date because the kids are shockingly silent watching those campy movies. In fact, the entire restaurant is eerily quiet. Again, total relaxation. And of course, we all get those silly drinks with light-up ice cubes and use them at home for a fun souvenir.

From Mom Joanne M.

1. Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney. Awesome view, fantastic food, and great selection. We love going there for lunch before heading to DisneyQuest. It’s not on the Disney Dining Plan, so we’ve never had a problem getting a table.

2. Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian Resort. The food is great, and where else can you simply turn your head and watch Wishes?

3. Kona Cafe – I have to say I’m not sure that this one is underrated, but I was so pleasantly surprised by the dining experience I have to mention it. The service was fabulous and attentive, menu varied, and great food! And the Kona Kone is the coolest dessert on Disney property!

From Mom Heather R.

In the Magic Kingdom I think the Plaza Restaurant is a real hidden gem. The location is quite convenient, and while the menu is somewhat limited, the food is excellent and the portions are quite large. My Chicken Strawberry Salad was not only delicious, but HUGE – easily shared between two people.

At the Fort Wilderness Resort, the Trail’s End Restaurant serves up home cooking style food at a very reasonable price, and since it’s a buffet (and a reasonably priced one at that!) it offers a good bang for your buck.

The Grand Floridian Cafe (guess where?) is also a real hidden gem. I can’t recommend any one particular standout menu item, but I know that every meal I’ve had there has been very good, service was attentive, and I leave intending to visit again. In a way I like it when that happens, because if I eat somewhere and have a particularly fantastic dish, I’m very likely to never try anything else! It’s good to branch out. :)

From Mom Whitney P.

Where do I begin? The Boardwalk Pizza take-out window is one of the best values, with a pepperoni pizza slice at $3.99! Its crust is like no other pizza on property! My indulgence is opening packet after packet of parmesan cheese and topping it off. I like to eat it outside at one of the nearby tables and people-watch. That, with a view of the water, is a great dining experience whether you’re alone or with your family.

If you’re looking for night-life, I recommend Kimono’s at the Swan. I’m a fan of karaoke and can sing with the best of them–from the comfort of my seat! It has the most extensive sushi menu on property, in my opinion, and if no one has the guts to get on the small stage and belt something out, you can sing along with the evening’s hostess.

From Mom Jo Y.

My family love Kona Cafe at the Poly, last trip I had the most delicious steak there, I much preferred it to Le Cellier and recommend it to everyone. I love how they have sample desserts on show as you enter the restaurant and if you time it right you can wander down to the beach afterwards to watch Wishes!

From Mom Kim L.

The Paint Room at Backlot Express

The Paint Room at Backlot Express

My family loves to eat at the Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when we are looking for a counter service meal. There’s always a quiet corner with fascinating props to view.

Also, Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West serves wonderful dishes in a relaxing atmosphere. This is a hidden gem.

From Mom Kay B.

I think one of the most underrated food spots is Citricos. This is an unbelievable restaurant that is constantly being overshadowed by Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian. It is family friendly yet can still be a romantic spot with a table in the inner room by the windows. The food is excellent from appetizers through desserts and the service has always been outstanding. They also have a nice wine room that can be reserved for a little more intimate dinner opportunity.

Another table service restaurant that is often forgotten and shouldn’t be is Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge. This is another outstanding location for food, service and ambiance.

In the counter service category I would say that Flametree in the Animal Kingdom park is not remembered and this is the one place we will go and not try to get dining reservations because we would all rather just eat at this counter service location. The barbecue is excellent, served in large portions, and then the area to sit in is quiet and relaxing. We take the path down to the lake and sit under the cool trees to catch a breeze on a hot day.

From Dad Doug I.

I think that Biergarten does not get it’s due as a fun dinner venue. While I can think of a few German classics that should be added to the menu, the buffet combines a lot of great choices, as well as some americanized selections for choosy kids. And the entertainment value is a nice plus. Finally, I love that you can meet people in their long table seating arrangements.

I also like San Angel Inn more than most. Having grown up in Mexico City, I think that some of the selections there are more authentic Mexican than you can typically find in the U.S., but it seems to get panned for cuisine, often by guests looking for more Tex-Mex style choices (which I love too!).

From Mom Jodi G.

I think sometimes the resort restaurants are overlooked, and the restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge are top-notch.  Jiko, in particular, is my favorite restaurant on property.

Sleepy Hollow's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich

Sleepy Hollow's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich

From Mom Beth C.

The Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom is a great spot to grab a treat. They have homemade chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. You can watch them bake the cookies right there! Sleepy Hollow is located right over the bridge as you cross into Liberty Square. It is a great place to get a snack before the parade or fireworks or if you are walking to the other attractions in this area.

From Mom Margaret F.

One location that our family really loves and I think misses some of the spotlight is Mama Melrose at Hollywood Studios. While it is often crowded, I think it often does not get the attention it deserves. We love the feel of the restaurant, with the warehouse setting and open kitchen. It is very family friendly and comfortable. The menu slection is top notch. The flatbread choices are delicious, and the bruschetta is superb. The pasta choices have a perfect blend of herbs and spices. My favorite here is the sirloin with grilled asparagus and red wine sauce. Mouth-watering for sure!

Thanks again to all the “moms” who are participating in the interviews!

Don’t forget, if you’d like to share your “most magical Disney Dining moment,” send me an email! I’m collecting stories and will post them in the next post of “Chicken Soup for the Disney Foodie soul!”

The Wave Discovery Dinners for Tables in Wonderland Members

Contemporary The Wave

Tables in Wonderland, formerly the Disney Dining Experience, is a fantastic dining discount program available to Florida Residents and Disney World Annual Passholders. As a part of the perks of membership, Disney has begun offering a series of “Discovery Dinners” at Disney Contemporary Resort’s The Wave Restaurant. Here’s the info on the upcoming dinner:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Wave Restaurant is delighted to offer a special series of dining events for the Tables in Wonderland Members. Chef Dylan Schauwecker and Sommelier Steve Shepherd will be welcoming three individuals with a great vision for the future at The Wave’s next Discovery Dinner. Bert Roper is an Inductee at the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame. He is a lifelong citrus farmer and world renowned inventor in addition to being a visionary. Mr. Roper has joined with Tim Blank who is an expert in Hydro-Organic food production to create a rooftop hydroponic garden in downtown Winter Garden, Florida. This working garden located on top of the Winter Garden Theatre represents their vision on how to create sustainable agriculture that can help feed our planet. Tim Blank is President and CEO of an international sustainable food production company called Future Growing. Guests will be sampling products grown in hydroponic towers that sit 4 stories above downtown Winter Garden. Lastly from Opici Wine Company, Donna Perrin will be joining us. Donna was integral in assisting with the selection of the wines for this discovery dinner and will be sharing her knowledge of these wines with our guests.

–Kilroy Sparkling Shiraz, Barossa Valley
–Cured Pork Crostini with Sweet Potato Brandade
–Gingered Kobe Beef Sliders with Grilled Jicama and Onion

–Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch
–Poached Lobster Salad, with local Hydroponic Greens, Avocado, and a Tomato Vinaigrette

–Hill of Content Pinot Noir, South Australia
–Cold Smoked Muscovy Duck with Caramelized Georgia Peaches over Brioche

–Rustenberg Chardonnay, Stellenbosch
–Wild Sockeye Salmon with a Citrus Beurre Blanc, Israeli Couscous, grilled Asparagus, Artichoke and Santa Sweet Tomato’s

–Mt. Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling, Clare Valley
–Summer Fruit Shortcake with Purple Micro Basil Sorbet and Sweet Summer Salad

Cocktails: 7:00 p.m. Wave Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, First Floor
Dress Code: Casual Evening Attire
Dinner to follow in the Restaurant
$92.00 per person, includes tax and gratuity

Please email with your interest to book, your name, daytime phone number, home address, and the number of people in your party. You will be notified on a first come first serve basis and your credit card will be taken over the phone. The event will be limited to 50 Guests.

§ Epcot® International Food and Wine Festival: September 25 – November 8, 2009.

§ Tables in Wonderland will continue The Wave Discovery Dinner series in November 2009.