Category Archives: Good Eats
What’s not to love – Disney and pasta? They had me at Hello!
If you are staying at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, you are just a stone’s throw away from a little hidden treasure that is under $11 and entirely free when using a quick service dining credit with the free dining offer.
The Create-Your-Own-Pasta Bar is offered daily from 11:00 a.m. to midnight. In June 2009 we drove for 17 hours straight and arrived at the resort at 8:30 p.m. We were all starving, so we decided to check in and then go on over to the food court to eat dinner. We arrived at the Riverside Mill, I grabbed a tray, looked around at the signs that listed the available entrees, saw the word “pasta” and I was all over it. The cast member pulled out a bowl-shaped container and asked me what all I wanted in my pasta. I asked what I could have and she pointed to the extensive list of ingredients from which to choose:
Pasta: fettuccine, spaghetti, or penne
Sauce: alfredo, marinara, or pesto
Meat: chicken or shrimp
Toppings: artichoke hearts, broccoli, Cremini mushrooms, Kalamata olives, parmesan cheese, green peas, pine nuts, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and yellow onions.
You can choose as little or as much as you want. What did I have? Let’s just say that this was an Italian feast made for me and leave it at that.
While I was looking at the bowl, it didn’t look like there was much in it but when she handed it to me I almost dropped it because it was so heavy. My husband came up to me and asked me what I got. I looked at him with big eyes and pointed to the lady. Knowing that I am a true connoisseur of great cuisine, he walked straight over and ordered the same thing. I knew I married this man for his innate brilliance.
If you fancy some delicious pasta during your trip, the Create-Your-Own Pasta bar at the Riverside Mill is to die for!
Ever get a craving for good pizza while you’re visiting Walt Disney World? Well, you’re in luck. Via Nap0li, which opened in August in Epcot’s Italy pavilion, may just very well be the best pizza you’ve ever eaten. Featuring wood fired pizza made from winter wheat and topped with fresh mozzarella, if you’ve never ventured far from the likes of take-out pizza, you’re in for a revelation.
Appetizers range from a tomato mozzarella salad to fried arancini (little balls of fried rice stuffed with sausage and served with a red sauce). Of the appetizers we tried, only the arancini was disappointing. Pizzas start with individual sizes and move on up to a massive 1/2 meter pizza (12 slices, in case you’re wondering). Unless you’re very hungry, two can share an appetizer and an individual pizza and be satisfied, but the pizza is so good you might just want to keep it all to yourself.
The standard pasta dishes are on the menu as well, but pizza is the star here. It’s not that overly sauced, soggy, cheesy mess you’re used to. It’s pizza elevated to an art, thin and crispy, the crust is flavorful and slightly chewy. The sauce lets the tomato shine and the mozzarella tastes like milk should taste. It’s just really good pizza and it’s also now my favorite place to eat at Walt Disney World.
Don’t forget to save room for desserts. Via Napoli, like most World Showcase restaurants, does a fine job of ending the meal on a sweet note. I’m a baker and as such, I am a total dessert snob, but they’ve truly won me over here. I’m still talking about the ricotta fritters served with chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream. Heavenly.
Whether for a quick lunch or a long dinner with friends, you won’t be disappointed in Via Napoli.
Via Napoli is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. We found it pretty easy to get a walk-up two times during our trip, but this was during a slower time of year. Call 407-WDW-DINE for reservations, which are recommended, but if you can’t get one definitely try getting in as a walk up. If you have an annual pass and you’re visiting during lunch Monday thru Friday, make sure you ask about the AP discount of 10%. A meal with an appetizer, soft drink and an individual pizza runs around $30 plus tip. The room is very large and the ceilings are high, but I didn’t find it overly loud, so individuals who prefer quieter dining should be fine.
With all the color and cuisine that helps define Mexico, La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel – two restaurants under one roof – have opened at the Epcot Mexico pavilion.
Overlooking World Showcase Lagoon, the lakeside house, or La Hacienda, is a 250-seat table-service restaurant, while La Cantina is a 150-seat quick-service restaurant. Together, the newly renovated and expanded restaurants, which originally opened in 1982 as a 3,500-square-foot, 288-seat quick-service eatery, will now boast 12,000 square feet, providing more seating capacity and variety of new dining offerings.
With the new architectural design, guests can fully enjoy the panoramic waterfront views of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks and laser light spectacular while they savor authentic Mexican specialties made from the freshest ingredients at La Hacienda de San Angel. Combining two of Mexico’s most important cultural gifts – art and food – the restaurant transports guests back to a different time and place, one in which they are welcomed into the Old World, countryside house of their gracious Mexican hosts.
“It’s an honor to bring the traditions, style and flavors of Mexico to the World Showcase at Epcot,” said Richard D. Debler, president of San Angel Inn, LLC. “This project is filled with passion, inspiration and pride. As the beauty of the World Showcase has evolved over the past 20 years, so has San Angel Inn and we are thrilled to bring this level of cuisine and cultural exchange to Disney guests from all over the world.”
Original pieces of art adorn each room at La Hacienda, which are filled with zesty aromas set to resemble different living areas such as the living room, grand salon, pantry and artist’s studio. The outdoor, casual environment lends itself to the dazzling sights and sounds of Epcot where guests can indulge in the chef’s interpretations of the traditional flavors of the Mexican taquerias and street food vendors.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with San Angel Inn on this project,” said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. “Providing another unique, high-quality, authentic experience for our guests, La Hacienda will further enhance the architectural landscape of World Showcase. And, wait till you see the view from this beautiful new restaurant – it’s truly spectacular!”
About La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel
La Hacienda de San Angel opens daily for dinner service at 4 p.m. The menu features starters like queso fundido (warm cheese with poblano pepper and chorizo) accompanied by fresh homemade tortillas. Entrées include a mixed grill for two with flank steak, chicken, chorizo and vegetables, or a seafood version with grouper, shrimp and scallops; roasted shrimp in pepper garlic broth; flank steak with spring onions, refried beans and cactus leaves; and grilled red snapper with roasted corn and cactus leaves. Dessert specialties include chocolate churros, sweet tamales and fruit empanadas. Refreshing margaritas are available for a mid-day break from the World Showcase journey, or to enjoy as the light of the night sky dances on the water.
La Cantina de San Angel opens daily at 11 a.m. and serves both lunch and dinner. The menu features many traditional favorites including chicken and beef tacos on fresh handmade corn tortillas; nachos; cheese empanadas; guacamole and chips, with warm churros and Mexican popsicles for a traditional Mexican treat.
Guests can reserve seating through Disney’s main reservation line at 407/WDW-DINE(929-3463).
For those who crave authentic Mexican cuisine and Old World hospitality, vamonos to La Hacienda de San Angel! The newest dining attraction in Epcot Center’s Mexico Pavilion offers an array of zesty, traditional dishes including Queso Fundido (warmed cheese with poblano peppers and chorizo) and a succulent Pescado a la Talla (grilled red snapper).
Modeled after a classic Hacienda and topped by an azure dome, this 250-seat eatery features indoor seating and has views of World Showcase Lagoon.
Start your evening with an appetizer such as Taquizas, a taco trio that includes rib-eye, roasted chicken and marinated pork. The salsas are made fresh with chipotle, Serrano peppers, tomatillos and spices.
Dinner selections offer a variety of grilled combinations including Parillada Del Mar (shrimp and scallops) and Arrachera (strip steak).
La Hacienda de San Angel boasts an on-site Tequila ambassador and an expert mixologist. Guests 21 and older are invited to unwind with a selection of inventive, flavored margaritas.
While savoring your deserts of Chocolate churros, sweet tamales and fruit empanadas, watch for a fireworks fiesta above while sitting on the terrace.
- Location : Mexico Pavilion
- Service : Dinner Casual Dining
- Food : Mexican $$ ($15 to $35.99)
- Reservations: (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 or
Click here for more information.
Chow down on cowboy-style grub in this rustic ranch setting, complete with toe-tappin’ country music and an all-you-care-to-eat barbecue feast.
At this barbecue blowout, you can have it all!
A family-style all-you-care-to-eat lunch includes barbeque chicken and ribs, cole slaw, ranch beans and cornbread.
At dinner, your server will bring you endless helpings of barbeque chicken and ribs, smoked sausages, cole slaw, Ranch beans, corn wheels and cornbread.
Vegetarians can request a barbecue skewer with potatoes, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms and tofu.
And you can wash it all down with your beverage of choice, served in an old-fashioned mason jar.
Dessert is available for an additional cost. You can order up an extravaganza of colorful cupcakes, seasonal cobblers, fresh strawberry shortcake, pies or a family-style cookie bake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Follow your host down a horseshoe-studded path to a shaded table. Rest your weary bones while your table server dishes up heaping piles of food and musicians fiddle and sing.
Kids are provided a souvenir sipper cup.
Musical guests will keep your spirits high and your hands clapping. The musical review is the perfect way to unwind before hitting the trail to your next adventure.
Photo Credit: by Disney