Can you BELIEVE we’re already done with the first month of 2021? Honestly January has already felt like an entire YEAR when it comes to Disney news, and when it comes to food, we have definitely run the gamut from dishes we loved to dishes we wouldn’t mind never encountering again.
Let’s look back on the last month in Disney World food and beverage items and review our five BEST and our five WORST things we ate in January!
The Five Best:
Tomato Soup with French Onion & Bacon Grilled Cheese — Pop Eats, Festival of the Arts
There’s something so simple about grilled cheese and tomato soup, which is one reason why we’re REALLY into this dish from Pop Eats. This dish landed on our Best of the Fest list for the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, and deservedly so!
There are actually TWO versions of this dish you can try at the Festival: one with a French Onion & Bacon Grilled Cheese, and one with just plain Grilled Cheese — perfect for the kiddos who may not enjoy the French Onion & Bacon added in.
Our preferred sandwich comes with a side of Tomato Soup in…get this…a CAN (on select days of the week). The presentation really sells this dish, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s also de-li-cious. You can find this match made in foodie heaven at Pop Eats for $5.25.
Passion Fruit Mousse — Vibrante & Vívido, Festival of the Arts
Vibrante & Vívido is a brand new booth that debuted at this year’s Festival of the Arts, and it came out SWINGING! Another dish on our Best of the Fest list, this colorful dessert was one of our favorite sweets at this year’s Festival of the Arts!
Another perfect duo when it comes to presentation and taste, the Passion Fruit Mousse is one of the most visually stunning dishes at the festival. That’s saying a lot considering many if not most of the dishes served at the Festival of the Arts place a huge emphasis on presentation. This dessert also packs a punch when it comes to flavor: even those averse to passion fruit would enjoy this treat!
Be sure to check out that Best of the Fest list if you’re heading to EPCOT before February 22nd, which is when the 2021 festival comes to an end! If you’re curious to try the Passion Fruit Mousse, it costs $4.75.
Click here to read our full review of the Vibrante & Vívido booth at this year’s Festival of the Arts!
Maple Double Bacon Donut — Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew
If there’s anything we can say for certain is that January was FULL of exciting foodie events for us! Just a couple of days before the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts kicked off on the 8th, we got to experience the grand opening of Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew in Disney Springs!
This place is full of eye-popping donuts and sandwich (which earned Everglazed a little shout-out from Seth Meyers recently!), but the one donut that perhaps took the cake for our team this month was the Maple Double Bacon Donut. We felt that it struck the perfect balance of sweet and salty, especially given that both the maple AND the bacon are well represented in this treat.
At $5.50, it was one of the few donuts that we felt totally justified the price!
Frankenstein Cookie — Gideon’s Bakehouse
We HAD to sneak in another cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse on our Best Five list for the month of January! The new cookie shop in Disney Springs dominated our Best Five list for the month of December, and we were super excited to learn that we could try even MORE cookies this month at their grand opening!
The Frankenstein Cookie definitely topped our list and could be one of our favorite Gideon’s cookies thus far. This cookie comes topped with candy and has crushed Oreo and Chocolate Pieces. It’s typically a seasonal Halloween treat that only arrives in October, so it may be some time before we’re able to enjoy this one again!
Not only are these cookies scrumptious, but they’re a good value, too. You get a LOT of cookie for $6. Be sure to visit during Hot Cookie Hour to take your Gideon’s experience to the next level!
Orange Creme Cupcake — Roaring Fork
Our final favorite from January is a cupcake! If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you’ll know that cupcakes are sort of our thing. So when we come across a GREAT cupcake, we want to make sure you know about it!
Over at Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, we were feeling some strong summer vibes from the Orange Creme Cupcake! Having just gone through months of rich pumpkin, gingerbread, and red velvet flavors, it was a nice refreshing change to have a more citrusy sweet. However, we found the orange flavor to be just right and not overwhelming at all!
With Orange-flavored Cake with a Crème center and Orange Frosting (complete with a Candy Orange Garnish), this definitely has a particular audience in mind, but we found it to be delightful! It was basically an orange creamsicle in cupcake form. At $5.99 it’s a perfect alternative to those standard vanilla and chocolate cupcakes!
The Five Worst:
The King Dog — Hot Diggity Dog Food Truck
If the thought of an All-Beef Hotdog with French Toast Batter Dipped and Cereal-Crusted Bun, topped with a Spicy Peanut Butter Spread, Banana Honey Mustard, Chipotle-Berry Preserves, and pieces of Billionares Bacon sounds like your cup of tea, then…maybe this would land on your Best Five list.
For us, however, the overwhelming combination of what felt like seventy-two flavors going on at the same time, a soggy bun, and a strong spicy peanut butter taste didn’t add up to an experience we would go out of our way to try again.
This hot dog has recently been added to the official menu, so now everyone can give it a try. We’re crossing our fingers that Hot Diggity Dog’s next concoction will be less polarizing and more crowd-pleasing!
Salt-roasted Beet Tartare — The Painter’s Palate, Festival of the Arts
Over the past few years, Disney has made solid strides to include more plant-based options across their parks and resorts. Many times, those dishes are runaway hits in our books, but other times, they fall flat on their face. A classic example of a plant-based dish that we wanted to enjoy but just couldn’t bring ourselves to was the Salt-roasted Beet Tartare at The Painter’s Palate.
Beets are already a pretty polarizing food item, so we get that this won’t be some people’s cup of tea right off the bat. But Disney has surprised us before, so we dug in hoping this would be a hit…and it flopped.
If you visit this booth before the festival ends, we recommend you try the Steak Tartare instead if you are open to meat options. The Salt-roasted Beet Tartare costs $6.50; the Steak Tartare is an additional $2.
Arancini — L’Arte di Mangiare, Festival of the Arts
The food booth in the Italy Pavilion is notorious for disappointing us across nearly every EPCOT festival, and unfortunately, the 2021 Festival of the Arts was no exception to that rule. Among the dishes that didn’t hit the mark for us, the Arancini was probably our least favorite dish from this booth.
Arancini is another word for sweet sausage fried Risotto balls with Pomodoro sauce. Overall we found this dish very bland and flavorless, leaving the only taste we had in our mouths was an odd tangy sensation…not exactly what you would expect from a dish like this. And at $12 a pop, we want to be wowed!
We always seem to come back to the Italy booth with high expectations, hoping that this is finally the festival where we’re blown away…but for now, we’ll have to cross our fingers that the upcoming Flower & Garden Festival will be the time it finally rebounds.
Meat Lover’s Pizza & Pepperoni Pizza — PizzeRizzo
Our next least favorite item from this month is a double-whammy of lackluster pizzas from PizzeRizzo in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We typically recommend that you avoid those single-serve frozen pizzas if you can, and instead save the satiating of your ‘za cravings for places like Via Napoli in EPCOT or Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza in Disney Springs.
But we get it! Sometimes you just don’t have another choice, or you’re trying to stick to a budget, or perhaps your curiosity is just too strong to avoid. In that case, might we suggest literally any other menu item from PizzeRizzo but the pizza. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by their Meatball Sub!
Cotton Candy Cupcake — Main Street Confectionery
Just like with our “Best” list for January, we have a cupcake representative for the worst dishes we tried this month. A Cotton Candy Cupcake SOUNDS like a dream, but we wound up having multiple reporters say that this was just too sweet.
You might have more success with this cupcake than we did if you’re a die-hard fan of Cotton Candy, but if you’re even a little bit skeptical, we advise you skip this dessert. You can find it at Main Street Confectionery for $5.19.
We’re looking forward to trying all of the Valentine’s Day treats around Disney World next month, so be sure to check back and see if any of them wind up on our Best or Worst list for February!