News! More Menu Details from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

It’s an exciting time, as we count down the days until the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway!

Of course, around here, we’re most interested in the Outdoor Kitchens! We’re so excited to see the return of these kiosks stationed around World Showcase.

Disney Food Blog Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

2015 will mark the third consecutive year that guests of the Festival can enjoy sips and tapas-sized dishes, themed to celebrate the bounty of the garden.

And while we’re still awaiting the full menus, we do have some news regarding some of the new dishes that will debut at this year’s festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

First off, let’s discuss which Outdoor Kitchens you can expect to see this year. While we haven’t heard word which Kitchen from 2014 won’t return, we know that Botanas Botánico will debut. Check out this post about Botanas Botánico to learn more about its menu.

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion Returns

That means we anticipate at least one 2014 Kitchen will be absent, as we expect there to be 11 kitchens.

So far, we know the following will return:

  • Fleur de Lys in the France Pavilion
  • Taste of Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Hanami in the Japan Pavilion
  • The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen in the America Pavilion
  • Primavera Kitchen in the Italy Pavilion
  • Lotus House in the China Pavilion
  • Jardin de Fiestas in the Mexico Pavilion
  • Florida Fresh
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Urban Farm Eats

Does that mean that the Buttercup Cottage in the UK Pavilion gets the axe this year? We super hope not — the Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and the Lemon Scones were to die for last year!!

As far as dishes go, there are certainly some exciting things that we can’t wait to try. We hear that fan favorites, like Frushi, will return.

Frushi (Fresh strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe rolled with coconut rice, atop a raspberry sauce sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream)

Frushi (Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cantaloupe Rolled with Coconut Rice, atop a Raspberry Sauce Sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream)

Chefs will also take advantage of the Florida strawberry season once more by offering Beijing Candied Strawberries.

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries Return to the Lotus House

New for 2015! New Flower and Garden Festival Dishes Debut

But we also have a few details on brand new menu items. Look for the [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…]

Review: Lunch at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

You know I can’t stay away from this place.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited Beaches and Cream “officially” here at the DFB. What I mean is, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is one of the few spots I frequent almost every time I visit Disney World, but its been a while since I shared some of the goodness with you here on the blog.

We’re fixing that today with a little (well, actually a LOT of) lunch at everyone’s favorite soda shop, and checking out some of the options from the updated menu while we’re at it.

Ready to go? Let’s head to the middle of the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, right next to Stormalong Bay, and settle in…

Beaches and Cream at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Atmosphere

I’m not the only one who loves Beaches and Cream — not by a long shot. Over the years this little spot has become one of the most popular resort restaurants in Disney World… and I do mean “little.” Those arriving for their first visit might be struck by how small it is in comparison with most Disney World restaurants.

And, remember, speaking of small, the restaurant now offers advance dining reservations…which are recommended. While the to-go section is still open, and seats at the counter are easier to come by than tables when you’re a walk-up guest, ADRs are often necessary even during the slow seasons these days.

Beaches and Cream Dining Room

Beaches and Cream Dining Room

Once inside, you’ll see that the decor is bright and cheerful, with soft pastels making up most of the color scheme, and mirrors to “open up” the space a bit.

Beaches and Cream

Beaches and Cream

Much of the decoration [Read more…]

Guest Review: Eats and Treats at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea

Welcome guest author Audrey B. with a review from Tokyo Disneyland!

When I recently had the opportunity to spend the day at the Tokyo Disney Resort, I was ecstatic but a bit apprehensive about the food situation.

Tokyo Disneyland

Although I had originally planned to spend the entire day at the DisneySea park, thanks to meticulous tour planning and FastPass I was able to enjoy all of the attractions by 2pm.

I could not resist jumping on the monorail and heading over to Disneyland Park, and here’s where you’ll find one of the most popular food items in Tokyo Disney!

Souvenir Popcorn Buckets

One thing you will notice if you ever make it to this park is that nearly everyone carries a souvenir popcorn bucket!

Popcorn in Tokyo Disneyland!

The popcorn is quite a big deal and a popular snack in Tokyo Disneyland. Carts can be found throughout the park, each offering unique flavors such as Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Curry, Milk Tea, Cranberry, and Soy Sauce & Butter.

After riding Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (arguably the most advanced, whimsical, and unique dark ride ever in the entire world!), I followed my tummy for a little smackerel of Honey Popcorn! It was undoubtedly my favorite out of everything I ate on the trip!

Tokyo DisneySea

Because I spent most of my time at DisneySea, a remarkably beautiful and unique counterpart to Disneyland, we’ve got a lot to talk about here.

Maple Balls

In the Agrabah Marketplace, I found a stand called Sultan’s Oasis, which served juice, ice cream, and something called Maple Balls, which I had to try!

Maple Balls.

Not quite like doughnuts, but not quite like cake, either, these scrumptious little nuggets had a slightly chewy texture, complimented with the crunch of the walnut topping.

New York Deli

For my full meal, I headed over to New York Deli! I’ve spent lots of time in Japan, and while the warmth of the people always makes it an enjoyable experience, the cuisine is quite exotic. And most [Read more…]

Review: Vegetarian Chili and Blueberry Cobbler at Columbia Harbour House

Well, it’s bound to happen once in a while… not every day can be perfectly bright and sunny in the Magic Kingdom.

Though colder days are primarily behind us for this year, sometimes it can get downright chilly, and there is potential to catch a rainy afternoon any time of year.

It’s time to escape to the indoors! Fortunately some of the best spots to get out of the rain are also some of the best food stops in the Park! Today we’re waiting out the rain in Columbia Harbour House, where the warm woods and tucked away sections and corners lend a cozy feel to lunch or snack time.

Upstairs seating in Columbia Harbor House

Upstairs seating in Columbia Harbour House

Additionally, the upstairs seating options offer some great vantage points for watching all the people in their rain ponchos.

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom

We’re warming up with a couple of hot dishes: the Vegetarian Chili and Seasonal Cobbler. Let’s start with the Chili!

Columbia Harbor House Vegetarian Chili (3)

The  Vegetarian Chili has long been a stand-out at Columbia Harbour House, offering a meatless option as well as warmth on a cold day (though, really, it’s just a tasty option any day). I topped mine with the oyster crackers available at the Harbour House. You can also sprinkle these in a bowl of their New England Clam Chowder.

Oyster Crackers

Oyster Crackers

Vegetarian Chili Close-up

Vegetarian Chili Close-up

This tasty chili is so chock-full of veggies that I’m not even certain [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Veggie Tater Bake from Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure (A Vegetarian Recipe!)

It’s always a good idea to have a vegetarian meal or two tucked into your recipe box, don’t you think? And if Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie are your thing, you’ve gotta try this veggie version!

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Offered at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land, Flo’s Veggie Tater Bake has been delighting herbivores and carnivores alike since the restaurant first opened two years ago!

Veggie Tater Bake

Veggie Tater Bake

Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas for Meatless Mondays or Fridays during Lent, or you have special friends you’d like to impress with your vegetarian cooking skills, we definitely think you should give this hearty casserole a try!

Veggie Tater Bake

Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Disney California Adventure
Serves 6

Ingredients: [Read more…]

News! And Review: Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments New Menu!

We’re heading to Harambe Village in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. Tamu Tamu Refreshments is our stop today, so we can check out the entirely new menu!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Atmosphere

It’s easy to stroll past Tamu Tamu on your way to Kilimanjaro Safaris, because this unassuming little spot blends in so perfectly with its surroundings.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Ordering Counter

There are a few clues, however, as to what is available to passersby:

Good Eats!

Cold drinks!

And the best part of the atmosphere is arguably a hidden gem. A lot of people aren’t aware of the gorgeous and peaceful outdoor seating area tucked behind!

Entry into the Harambe Fort

Chunky wooden tables and chairs are complemented by rustic plaster walls and artwork. It’s truly unexpected!

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

But I’d mentioned a new menu, so let’s dive in!

Eats

I was truly surprised to see the all-new offerings, especially since the Pulled Beef Sandwich had been a hit. (I must admit to being sad over the loss of that gorgeous fresh fruit bowl on the menu, and will continue to look for it at Bradley Falls whenever it is open!)

Tamu Tamu Menu

The menu is now offering three primary entrees: Slow-cooked Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry, and Roasted Chicken Salad. [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 27, 2013

Love treats? With Halloween this week, we’re all about stocking up on candy.

Fun New Chocolate Boxes!

On your next visit to Disney, try the new CHOCOLATE candy boxes! So clever!!

Don’t forget Disney Food Blog is giving away two sets of Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbooks from the 2012 and 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festivals!

Check out the rest of this week’s news from Disney restaurants!

Disney Food News

  • New candy boxes are on the shelves at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts!
  • Food Trucks will debut in early November at Downtown Disney Orlando!
  • Check out a review of ALL the Vegetarian Dishes at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
  • Private Dining available at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Uzima Springs Pool Bar.

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including Rocky Road Caramel Apple at Disneyland, Earn a Free Sandwich App at Earl of Sandwich, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Facebook Friend Timothy shares his mini-review of the French Regional Lunch at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival: “Attended the French Regional lunch at Monsieur Paul’s on Sunday. Cotes du Rhone wine from Jean Luc Colombo. The food and wine was superb, a well done event. We started with the Amuse-Bouche. Next was the Saucisson in brioche, greens and Port reduction. Mr. Paul’s vinegar chicken, Grautin Dauphinois, chanterelles, this was unbelievable. Emmental cheese and last Saint Honore, caramelized apricots, light vanilla cream, pistachio ice cream. I cannot believe I had room for this it was soooo good.”

Saint Honore at French Regional Lunch

And DFB reader Katie tweeted [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegetarian Dishes at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Join us in welcoming guest author Rebecca Dolan! After sampling ALL of the vegetarian menu items at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, she’s sharing her review with us. Read on…

Vegetarian Food at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The offerings at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival may err on the meaty (or fishy) side of things, but there are a number of nods to vegetarians around the World Showcase Lagoon. The veg options may not be terribly exciting, but there are enough to keep herbivorous appetites at bay. After sampling all of the items conveniently marked with a green “V” on the Food and Wine Festival menus, we’ve reviewed both the entrees and desserts below.

Savories

Africa: The spinach and cheese paneer pocket was one of my favorite vegetarian noshes. Since it’s fried, it can be a tad heavy, and perhaps not the best on a scorching Florida afternoon. The golden flaky pastry exterior yields to a filling that’s much like the saag paneer you’d find at an Indian restaurant.

Spinach and Cheese Paneer Pocket

Cheese: I personally did not care for the almond crusted blue cheese soufflé, as it was a bit soggy. But, blue cheese lovers might enjoy it as a unique vessel by which to enjoy its pungent bite, which is cut by a dollop of fig jam on top.

Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé

The cheese booth’s other offering was a trio of (what else?) cheeses: Flagship Reserve Cheddar, La Bonne Vie Triple Crème Brie and Wijngaard Goats Gouda. It’s a pretty standard cheese board and didn’t disappoint.

Cheese Trio

Greece: What would a Greek booth be without spanikopita, or cheese- and spinach-stuffed phyllo pockets? Though a tad on the greasy side, they were plump with filling. A bit like Africa’s spinach pockets, this version is slightly tangy thanks to the use of feta rather than mellow paneer.

Spanikopita

As advertised, the Taste of Greece is not vegetarian, due to the addition of [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

So, it had been far too long since I’d been to Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, and it was high time to head back.

Located in the Backlot area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mama’s is a hodgepodge, with all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia smooshed into an old fashioned Italian restaurant.

The food here can be inconsistent (surprise), so you never really know what you’re going to get. But my past two visits have been great, so I was excited to check it out again.

Let’s take a look at my most recent lunch here, and see where this meal falls on the Disney Restaurant Continuum. (Wait til you see the picture of the STEAK!!!)

Atmosphere

Mama Melrose’s is, well, a little strange. At first, it appears to a typical old-fashioned family restaurant that might be found in any large city’s Little Italy section.

Dining Room View From Outside

But once you move beyond the brick facade and really start to look around at the curious surroundings, you might inquire about the backstory to clear up the confusion.

The story behind Mama Melrose’s is a little “We Made This Story to Fit the Space.” But here goes.

A young girl from Italy with stars in her eyes makes her way across the US, in hopes of finding fame and fortune in Hollywood. But during her starving artist days, she found that her cooking was more successful than her acting.

Dining Room Inside

And so, she opened a restaurant at the urging of her friends in a vacant warehouse that had previously been used to store film equipment. Nicknamed “Mama Melrose” by her patrons, she gained the fame she was looking for — but it came via her authentic Italian cooking.

Since Mama was a poor, struggling actress — and a recent immigrant to boot — the dining room is set up with what she could find to make it cozy and comfortable. Low lighting from strands of lights give it a soft glow. (And who doesn’t love those little white lights?)

And chandeliers are mismatched — sometimes, right down to the glass globes around the bulbs.

Mismatched Shades

Quirky Lighting

Wall hangings celebrate Los Angeles, Mama’s new home, and her roots in Italy.

Wall Hangings

Of course, it is an Italian restaurant, and so you’ll also see foods — dried and cured sausages, cheese, pasta, and fruits and veggies — hanging around as well.

Food Decor at Mama's

Walls also hold pictures of [Read more…]