As you know, we’ve been eating our way around all the newly reopened restaurants at Disney Springs, and the time finally arrived to revisit one of our favorite spots, Chef Art Smith’s, Homecomin’: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ reopened this week, and you never need to ask us twice about swinging by for some southern comfort food. The moonshine cocktails seem to always hit the spot, and we are suckers (cluckers? Too much?) for the Fried Chicken. After sitting down and talking with Art Smith himself, we were eager to see if the food would be just as good as we remembered. Spoiler alert: it was.
The most significant change we noticed at Homecomin’ was the new Shine Bar + Patio. According to Art, “the outdoor space has been in the works for over a year and offers folks an open-air option to sit outside and listen to music while sippin’ on moonshine!”
Currently, the new patio seating is being sat by the hostess team for those dining at the restaurant, but soon a new bar will be added! The existing Shine Bar is still open for folks who want to walk up and grab a to-go drink or refill their squeeze bottles — more on that shortly! 😉
Inside, we noticed several new safety protocols. Chef Art even showed us some booths, which featured new glass dividers as an extra safety precaution.
There was also a contactless menu with QR code to alleviate an otherwise high-touch point menu.
In addition to the plexiglass shields between booths and contactless menu, Homecomin’ has spaced out tables and increased their sanitation practices to help keep patrons safe while dining.
Another thing we were thrilled to see were these adorable Chicken Face Masks being worn by the staff and can be purchased for $10.
While currently operating a little differently to adhere to newly implemented safety measures, we still felt all the southern hospitality we’ve grown to love at this “farm-to-fork” Southern and Florida cuisine staple.
But let’s get into our favorite topic: the food.
We HAD to start with a side of Cheddar Cheese Drop Biscuits. These babies are Chef Art Smith’s signature recipe, and to say we’ve missed them is an understatement.
These $7 goodies can best be described as little bites of heaven. They were perfectly cooked — flaky but not falling apart, with warm cheddar cheese melted into each bite. The peppers add just the right amount of flavor, without making them too hot. Pro tip: Order a side of pepper jelly to dip them in. The sweet and spicy jelly adds a little zest to each bite — best fifty cents you’ll ever spend. 🙂
After we devoured those carb-tastic noms, we went IN on our Harvest Salad with Chicken. This colorful plate is mixed greens tossed with fire-roasted red peppers and corn, shredded white cheddar cheese, and heirloom cherry tomatoes, topped with grilled chicken, avocado, and hushpuppies (!!!), with house-made balsamic dressing on the side.
We know, we know, you think a salad would be underwhelming after biscuits, but NO! This $18.00 salad was fresh and tasty!
The fire-roasted veggies and avocado really hit the spot, and we are partial to the hushpuppies as croutons. (Mental note: add hushpuppies to more salads.)
Are we saying you should order this over the fried chicken if it’s your first time here? Probably not. But if you’re a local or looking for a delicious lighter meal, this salad is a great option.
And then we left!
Ha, you know we didn’t :). After our salad, we were brought our HFK Barbecue Bun. This sandwich debuted with the restaurant’s reopening, so you KNOW we had to try it. In fact, our server said we were the first people to order it! Consider us honored.
This is one messy gal, but it is piled high with sweet and spicy barbecue chopped pork, topped with a fried egg, and Southern Slaw, so what do you expect?
Don’t be afraid of the “sweet and spicy” blend, though, because it is not too hot at all. The slaw adds a perfect crunch, and then the egg just takes it to the next level. If that wasn’t enough, it’s served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing!
And we (say it with us) loved this side dish! The housemade chips were perfectly crunchy, balanced perfectly with the citrusy signature dressing. If we have one complaint it’s that we want MORE of this dressing — which our server would’ve been happy to grab.
While dining inside, we stuck with an unsweetened iced tea. However, we did check-in to see if they would still be honoring the Homecomin’ Sippers for $13 moonshine refills and free non-alcoholic drink refills for you guys and…drumroll, please…
…get those sippers ready because they are still a thing in the reopened Homecomin’! We decided to grab the Rumshine Punch for dessert. (It’s a sweet drink so it totally counts right?) You can find out more about Homecomin’s Squeeze Bottles and here!
Nosh or Not
Consider dining at Homecomin’ if:
- You are craving Southern Comfort foods like Fried Catfish, Chicken Fried Steak, and Hushpuppies.
- You enjoy local ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine.
- You want to feel like you are in a rural-Florida setting, complete with a friendly staff and outdoor seating.
You might want to skip Homecomin’ if:
- You want something on the cheaper side. Art’s Famous Fried Chicken Main Plate comes in at $29.00. To still get that fried chicken fix, you could always swing by Chicken Guy!, where can you grab 5 tenders for $7.99.
- You are looking for a wider range of healthier options.
It’s unreal how delicious this place is! Everything we’ve tried has been perfect and yummy and always accompanied by southern hospitality. From the atmosphere to the food to the service, there’s a reason this has continued to be one of our go-to restaurants.
We mean, just look at that! We ate ALL of that…and can’t wait to do it again!
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Do you love Homecomin’ as much as we do? Let us know in the comments below!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their media preview of Homecomin’. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ