Food Post Weekly Round-Up: Sept. 13

Animal Kingdom eat hereHowdy, all! I’ve been on vacation this week and might have missed a few food posts; if you’ve caught some that aren’t mentioned here, drop me a line and I’ll add them! In the meantime, these ones are pretty fantastic:

Jim Hill Media essays about Cap’n Jack’s Menu Change and La Cava del Tequila: As we’ve come to expect from Jim Hill’s site, there are some fantastic photos here, along with pics of the new menu at Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant in Downtown Disney!

The Disney Chick whips up some Guinness Stew from Rose and Crown Dining Room: This favorite from Epcot’s local pub is another Disney Chick hit. As usual, she includes photos of each step of the recipe (great for all the visual learners out there, like me!).

Theme Park Mom lists Four Sandwiches To Try at Disney World: Nom, nom, nom! Put these on your list to grab on your next trip!

Recipe: Potatoes With Afritude

Boma's Potatoes with Afritude

Boma's Potatoes with Afritude

I thought this would be a really fun one to make at home this weekend! Be sure to let me know if you try it out :-)

POTATOES WITH AFRITUDE, Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:
5 lbs. Red Skinned Potatoes (any variety of potato may be used)
2 ounces Olive Oil
3 T. Curry Powder
2 T. Turmeric
1 T. Garlic Powder
1 T. Paprika
To taste Salt and Pepper

Method:
Wash potatoes well, and cut into wedges. In a large bowl mix the spices and olive oil. Add the raw potatoes. Coat the potatoes with the spice mixture. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe Credit: DisneyRecipes.homestead.com

Cantina de San Angel’s NEW Menu

Many thanks to Amanda Tinney, writer of the rockin’ new blog DisneyEveryDay.com, for guest blogging about this new menu! Can’t wait to try it! (Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full menu)

While wandering the World Showcase promenade yesterday I passed through Mexico, and something strange caught my eye. It was the round menu plaque, whose twin hangs on the pillar flanking each side of the entrance to the Cantina de San Angel Inn (Mexico’s Counter Service Restaurant). Chilaquiles! Chilaquiles, caught my eye! I have passed by these pillars many times before and have never seen that word. I have only had the pleasure of sampling Chilaquiles (pronounced cheela keeleez) at Mexico’s booth during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and they were delicious…spicy but delicious. Looks like they have taken up a permanent residence here at the Cantina de San Angel.

New Menu at Cantina de San Angel

New Menu at Cantina de San Angel

My guest and I decided that we would have to go check out the new offerings that very day. We had already eaten lunch and it was not quite time for dinner yet so we settled on an order of Guacamole with Corn Tortilla Chips. This turned out to be a fantastic choice! The price was just right at $5.50 and the portion size was large enough to fill both of us up. The guacamole was smooth and buttery with just the right portions of heat and tang. It was topped with fresh, diced tomatoes. The ratio of chips to dip was also portioned out so that “no chip was left behind”. The dish was made to order so that the chips on the bottom stayed crisp and did not get soggy under the dip. You can definitely taste the onion in this dish so if you are on a date, either bring a breath mint or make sure your other half eats their fair share. This item is also NOT part of the Disney Dining Plan, but is certainly enough for two people.

Cantina Chips and Guacamole

Cantina Chips and Guacamole

I asked a cast member when the menu had changed and was told that it had been about two months ago. I also asked if the Chilaquiles on their menu were the same as the Chilaquiles served at the Food and Wine Festival. I remembered that the Food and Wine Festival version had a green tomatilla sauce. She informed me that the sauce for the Cantina de San Angel version was topped with a red sauce.

Everything on the new menu looked delicious! The cold beer, margaritas, and churros are still a mainstay on the menu along with the newer items, which round out the offerings. The next time you visit Epcot make sure to stop by the Cantina de San Angel and turn your meal into a Fiesta!

Cantina de San Angel Menu and Prices:

Chilaquilies con Pollo – $9.99 – Fried corn tortillas with melted Monterey Jack cheese, chicken and red sauce, topped with onions and sour cream, served with black refried beans and rice.

Burrito de Carnitas – $8.99 – Flour chipotle tortilla filled with pulled pork, black beans, rice, shredded lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Cantina Nachos – $8.75 – Tortilla Chips with beef, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and sour cream.

Guacamole with Corn Tortilla Chips – $5.50 – Avocado dip mixed with onions, cilantro, chile serrano and lime.

Kids Picks – $4.99 – (for our guests 9 years old and younger) Choice of grilled cheese quesadilla or chicken nuggets. Served with corn chips with cheese sauce and carrots. Includes choice of 1% milk, bottle of water, or small soft drink.

Churros – $3.25 – Fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Bunuelos – $2.95 – Round fritter sprinkled with sugar.

Beverages – from $2.19 to $2.49

XX Lager Draft Beer – $7.50

Frozen Margarita – $8.99 – Tequila, Triple Sec and Lime Juice

Frozen Pina Colada – $8.99 – Rum and Pina Colada Mix

Best Disney World Restaurants When You Don’t Have A Reservation!

It’s happened to all of us — you need some eats and have no advanced dining reservation (ADR) for a meal at Disney World. No matter if it’s on purpose or by accident, sometimes those nights you have to “wing it” can end in a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter from the Hess Station if you’re not prepared (speaking from experience!). DisneyFoodBlog readers have pulled together their suggestions for the best Disney World restaurants they count on when they’re starving and minus a reservation (thanks again for everyone who contributed)! Quick reminder, though, when Disney World’s busy, you’re probably going to have a wait everywhere. These might get you in a little quicker…

Best Disney World Restaurants for When You Don't Have a Reservation

Marrakesh
Restaurant Marrakesh, Morocco, Epcot’s World Showcase
Coming in strong at the top is Restaurant Marrakesh, serving authentic African Mediterranean dishes in a beautiful setting. Wind through Morocco’s medina to the back of the pavilion to find the small door of the restaurant. The King of Morocco sent his own artisans and tile-workers to create the Morocco pavilion, and Marrakesh’s decor is stunning. (Even if you’re not dining there, head in to take a picture or two!)

Marrakesh Dining Room

Marrakesh Dining Room

Marrakesh Decor

Marrakesh Decor

The Dinner Menu at Marrakesh includes plenty of couscous, the National dish of Morocco, along with chicken, mussels, and other authentic cuisine.

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Sampler Platter

Sampler Platter

For more food photos, just visit the umbrella’d podium at the front of the Morocco pavilion; they’ve set up a cast member with a large photo album of food pictures of the dishes at Restaurant Marrakesh in hopes of driving more traffic to the establishment.

Bonus: There’s some great entertainment — belly dancers! — at Restaurant Marrakesh!

Biergarten, Germany Pavilion, Epcot’s World Showcase
Biergarten in Epcot’s Germany was a shock to me when it came in at the number two spot for places to go without an ADR (good to know that I can head over there anytime!)! Every review I’ve seen of Biergarten has been positive, and with family-style seating (meaning you’ll probably be seated at a long table with one or two other parties) and some fantastic entertainment, the restaurant offers great opportunity for fun.

Celebrating With Steins!

Celebrating With Steins!

Christmas Entertainment

Christmas Entertainment

Dancing the Night Away

Dancing the Night Away

Riiiiiiiicolaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Riiiiiiiicolaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Not sure the menu will agree with you? Biergarten is a buffet, which means there’s something for everyone! Lots of spaetzel, wurst, pretzel, and sauerkraut, but there’s mac n cheese, too, just in case!

Famous Pretzel Bread Rolls

Famous Pretzel Bread Rolls

Wurst and More

Wurst and More

Carving Board

Carving Board

Maya Grill, Coronado Springs Resort
Maya Grill came in a distant third in the poll, but it was mentioned several times and deserved a spot in the blog. This restaurant is located in Coronado Springs Resort and serves dishes representative of the resort’s southwestern USA and northern Mexico theme.

Maya Grill

Maya Grill

As a general rule, restaurants at Disney’s moderate-level and Disney Vacation Club resorts don’t fill up as fast as the theme park and regular resort restaurants, so these are good spots to stop for an unplanned meal.

Other Suggestions
While these three were the most-suggested, there were several others mentioned that you should keep in the back of your mind as “just-in-case” locations. Thanks again to everyone who contributed ideas!:

Captain’s Grille, Yacht Club Resort
Olivia’s, Old Key West Resort
Rainforest Cafe, Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort
San Angel Inn, Epcot’s World Showcase, Mexico
Yak and Yeti, Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Turf Club, Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
Mama Melrose, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park
Nine Dragons, Epcot’s World Showcase, China
Trails End, Fort Wilderness Resort
Grand Floridian Cafe, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
ESPN Zone, Disney’s Boardwalk
Big River Grille and Brewing Works, Disney’s Boardwalk
Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney
Raglan Road, Downtown Disney
The Plaza Restaurant, Magic Kingdom Theme Park

Let me know your thoughts (and YOUR top spots for grabbing an unplanned meal!) via facebook, twitter, or email!

Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!

“Is This Place Ever Open?”: El Pirata y El Perico

There are a couple of dining spots in Disney World that seem to always be closed — at least when I’m there — and El Pirata y El Perico is one of them!

El Pirata y El Perico

Located near Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, El Pirata y El Perico (The Pirate and The Parrot) is themed to represent a Caribbean village eatery, and with dark woods, beautiful tiles, and mosaics, it seems to be an extension of the ride itself!

El Pirata y El Perico themeing

El Pirata y El Perico themeing

El Pirata y El Perico Ordering Area

El Pirata y El Perico Ordering Area

It is considered to be “open seasonally,” which can mean just about anything! In the past several years, it’s occasionally been open during Disney’s busy seasons (summer and Christmas season), and most often serves counter-service meals. Usually the restaurant serves Mexican food, including tacos and taco salads (see the DisneyWorld.com Magic Kingdom dining page for this description), but the day I was there, the restaurant was standing in for the closed-for-refurbishment Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe next door. Thus the menu below displays foods better associated with that establishment.

El Pirata y El Perico Board (standing in on this day for Pecos Bill's)

El Pirata y El Perico Board (standing in on this day for Pecos Bill's)

The open-air seating areas are the perfect place to relax and take a break from the Florida heat. Even when the restaurant isn’t open, a lot of these seating areas are still accessible for relaxing and people-watching.

El Pirata y El Perico Seating Area

El Pirata y El Perico Seating Area

El Pirata y El Perico Seating Area

El Pirata y El Perico Seating Area

When I was wandering around taking photos, the restaurant was actually just about to open believe it or not. Because it was “standing in” for Pecos Bill’s, there was a “fixin’s bar” for the burgers:

El Pirata y El Perico

Have you ever eaten at El Pirata y El Perico when it was serving its Mexican menu? What did you think? Let me know via facebook, twitter, or email! Also let me know of places that never seem to be open when you’re in Disney!

Cape May Cafe Character Breakfast

Cape May Cafe sign

Cape May Cafe, at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, is one of the best character meals on property, in my opinion. It’s more “below the radar” than more popular character meals (e.g. Chef Mickey’s and Cinderella’s Royal Table), so reservations are a slight bit easier to get; the food is fantastic; and the characters are all dressed in their bathing suits ready for a day at the beach — how much fun is that? At this meal, you can see Goofy, Minnie, and Donald (this used to have Chip and Dale, but they’ve been replaced!).

Goofy Visits With a Little Guest

Goofy Visits With a Little Guest

(More character photos later in the post!) Located on the right hand side of the Beach Club’s lobby (entering from the parking lot), Cape May Cafe is a large restaurant with a Beach theme — decor includes light colored woods and old-fashioned wooden and canvas beach chairs and umbrellas. The restaurant is also the location for the Beach Club’s Clam Bake buffet each night (we’ll cover this in a later blog!).

Cape May Cafe Decor

Cape May Cafe Decor

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe

Once you’re seated with your drink order taken, you’re free to visit the delicious buffet, which begins in the foyer of the restaurant with bagels and lox, and moves into the main area of the restaurant with dozens of other options. These include different flavors of yogurt accompanied by granola, raisins, and fresh fruit for toppings; oatmeal and cream of wheat; pancakes and mickey waffles; egg dishes and meats; and a whole buffet of delectable baked goods! There’re also plenty of cereal choices.

Buffet Items

Buffet Items

Hot Buffet Selections

Hot Buffet Selections

Bagels and Lox

Bagels and Lox

Yogurt with Toppings

Yogurt with Toppings

Cereals

Cereals

Bakery Items

Bakery Items

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Eggs and Breakfast Meat

Eggs and Breakfast Meat

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Fruit

Fruit

Hot Cereal

Hot Cereal

Mickey Waffles

Mickey Waffles

Food plate all ready to go: mickey waffles, eggs, breakfast pizza, homefries, muffins, and sausage

Food plate all ready to go: mickey waffles, eggs, breakfast pizza, homefries, muffins, and sausage

And now for the characters! This breakfast offers a truly unique photo experience with the characters all ready for their day at the beach!

Goofy's about to hang ten!

Goofy's about to hang ten!

Silly Donald! You Don't NEED A Swimsuit!

Silly Donald! You Don't NEED A Swimsuit!

Minnie's Ready for Her Close-Up

Minnie's Ready for Her Close-Up

I can highly recommend this character breakfast (even if you don’t have kids!). It’s thoroughly enjoyable, slightly “quieter” than the others, and has great variation in the available food. We’ve enjoyed every trip here.

Be sure to let me know about your favorite character breakfast and your Cape May Cafe experiences — I love hearing your stories! Happy Labor Day!

Disney Food Weekly Round-Up: September 6th

Animal Kingdom eat hereIt’s so much fun to see all the food posts each week. There are some great photos this week, too!

Also, just a reminder that the Lucky Fortune Cookery opened in Disney’s California Adventure on the 4th! Head over and check it out — there have been some cool menu changes!

Now, on to the Round-Up!

LoadedCouchPotatoes review La Cava del Tequila, complete with amazing photos!

Main Street Gazette walks us through his re-creation of 50’s Prime Time Cafe meatloaf! Again, lots of photos for you visual learners!

Disney and More guides us through the re-imagineering of the Theme Building Encounter Restaurant at Los Angeles airport. This is some concept art you’ll want to see. Absolutely incredible stuff.

Progress City USA remembers the Melvin the Moose Breakfast Show from Fort Wilderness.

Home by the Sea reviews Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort. Some really beautiful food shots here!

TouringPlans takes an end-of-summer look at the two “lounges” of the Polynesian Resort Tambu Lounge and Barefoot Pool Bar. Nothing like summer by the sea!

Orlando Sentinel reminds us that there will be trick or treating this halloween — for free! — at Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Have a great week and Labor Day holiday everyone! Enjoy these amazing blogs, and be sure to let me know when you come across a good Disney food post this week!

Pool Bar Series: Petals at POP Century Resort

POP Century sign

I’ve mentioned on the food blog before how much I enjoy Petals Pool Bar at POP Century Resort, and I thought it’d be fitting to dedicate a colorful TGIF blog to this great place.

Petals Pool bar

Again, there are some truly wonderful bartenders here (I don’t know how Disney finds so many of these top notch CMs), and Petals rivals Banana Cabana at Caribbean Beach Resort, Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, and Trout Pass at Wilderness Lodge for my “favorite folks” award.

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

POP Century Resort is themed around the pop culture of the past half century, and giant, two- and three-story icons represent nostalgic items and characters from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Petals is located at POP’s Hippy Dippy Pool, which is shaped like a giant flower and plopped down in the center of the two 1960’s buildings. This is the resort’s main pool, situated right behind the building housing the lobby, food court, and gift shop.

I really like the ability to stop into the food court or gift shop to get any items that might be needed, then stroll outside to grab a cocktail and have a seat in the shade. Because the pool is so close to the main building, you really don’t feel out of place having a cocktail at the pool bar when you’re not swimming. This is a great feature at value and moderate resorts, which don’t have indoor lounges.

There are no food offerings at Petals, but there’s a good variety of frozen, on-the-rocks, and non-alcoholic drinks. If you need something to nosh on, just pop into Everything POP Food Court for a snack, and bring it back out to the pool area!

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Once you’ve settled in with your drink, pass the time by watching a ping-pong match on the nearby table, or ponder which Disney tattoo or hair wrap you might treat yourself to — those kiosks are just across the pathway from Petals!

Ping Pong Table

Ping Pong Table

Hair Wrap Station

Hair Wrap Station

Overall, Petals is a great place to comfortably relax. Even when I’m not staying at POP Century, I love popping by the resort for a bite to eat in the food court (one of the best on property in my opinion) and grab a drink at Petals. Good drinks, good people. I’m a big fan.

Lucky Fortune Cookery

Lucky Fortune Cookery

A “new” restaurant opens tomorrow in Disney’s California Adventure! Moving into Cocina Cucamonga’s old spot on Pacific Wharf, the Lucky Fortune Cookery “offers guests the opportunity to create their own Asian Rice Bowl meals and enjoy them in an outdoor plaza.”

According to the Disneyland press release, guests will dine amid colorful surroundings, decorated with paper lanterns, cheery umbrellas, and oversized pots filled with bamboo.

The menu will highlight customized Asian Rice Bowls, which will include steamed white or brown rice, seared Asian veggies, and chicken, beef, or tofu topped with each guest’s choice of sauce: Mandarin orange, spicy Korean (based on an old family recipe from Napa Rose chef de cuisine Gloria Tae), Thai green curry, or teriyaki. Each rice bowl will be priced at $9.49, regardless of contents. Kids’ meals (teriyaki chicken and rice, fruit cup, and beverage) are available for $6.49.

photo copyright Disney

Recipe: Crystal Palace “Pooh’s Breakfast Lasagna”

Pooh's Breakfast Lasagna (photo copyright DisneyFoodBlog)

Pooh's Breakfast Lasagna (photo copyright DisneyFoodBlog)

This breakfast lasagna has made a stir ever since it was first included in the Crystal Palace character breakfast. It’s a multi-layered miracle, and quite difficult to accomplish from what I’ve heard! Several folks suggest making the recipe in stages… . I know there are a lot of incredibly talented chefs and bakers out there — I’d love to hear how this recipe turns out for you!

Recipe credit goes to:Dr. House at RecipeZaar.com. Check out the actual recipe link, as he’s made some good notes, and others have made some really helpful comments.

INGREDIENTS

Pastry cream

* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 6 egg yolks
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup sugar

Pancakes

* 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg, well beaten
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 3 tablespoons shortening or salad oil

Waffles

* 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg, well beaten
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons shortening or salad oil

Pound Cake

* 3 cups cake flour
* 6 large eggs
* 1 lb butter
* 1 lb sugar
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup milk

Custard

* 6 large eggs
* 1 1/2 pints heavy cream
* 1 pint half-and-half
* 1 ounce brandy
* 1/4 ounce nutmeg
* 1/2 ounce cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups sugar

Additional Ingredients to Assemble

* 1 cup frozen raspberries
* 1 cup frozen blueberries
* 3 bananas
* 1 tablespoon butter

Baking and Garnishing

* 1 banana
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 pint your favorite fresh berries

DIRECTIONS

1. Make the Pastry Cream first.
a. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt and milk and whisk; over medium heat, cook while stirring until mixture thickens.

b. In a small bowl with a fork, beat egg yolks slightly, beat small amount of milk mixture into yolks.

c. Slowly pour egg mixture back into milk mixture.

d. Stirring constantly, cook over medium low heat until mixture thickens.

e. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Chill cream until ready to use.

2. While cream is chilling, make pancakes, waffles and pound cake:
Pancakes: (note the 3 TB. shortening should be melted and slightly cooled)
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix egg, milk and shortening. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir only enough to moisten. Do not beat or the pancakes will be tough. Bake on a hot griddle, lightly greased if necessary. Turn pancakes only once.

Waffles:
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix egg, milk, vanilla and shortening. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir only enough to moisten. Do not beat or the waffles will be tough. Bake in waffle iron following waffle iron instructions.

Pound Cake:
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, using a large spoon. Add room temperature butter. Add eggs. Using a mixer on low speed, slowly add the milk, and then the vanilla extract. After thoroughly stirred, turn mixer to medium for a few minutes, then to high. Mix thoroughly. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a standard tube pan with butter, then lightly flour it, shaking the excess from the pan. Pour in the mix and bake the cake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check the doneness of the cake with a toothpick. Allow cake to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan, then crumble the cake into small crumbs with your hands.

3. Custard:.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. Chill until ready to use. Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Assembly:

Put a layer of waffles in a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle a quarter of the pound cake over the waffles. Peel and slice the bananas. Layer with half of each of the following: the cut bananas, frozen raspberries, and frozen blueberries. Sprinkle half of the remaining pound cake over the fruit, then top with the rest of the fruit. Top the fruit with a layer of pancakes, the sprinkle the rest of the pound cake on top. Press down on the layers to pack firmly. Slowly add the 1 1/2 quarts custard mixture until the entire dish is saturated.

Baking and Garnishing:
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes. (Oven thermometer placed in center of dish should register 165 degrees.) Top the lasagna with a layer of 2 1/2 cups pastry cream. Slice the banana and layer on top of cream. Sprinkle sugar on top and place casserole under the broiler until browned. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve.