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Grand Floridian Cafe Dinner Review – Was It The Grandest Of Times?

Grand Floridian Cafe Dinner Review – Was It The Grandest Of Times?

That’s what we’re here to find out! The Grand Floridian Cafe is well-known for its brunch, we should know as we previously answered the question, is it brunchtastic? We’re still waiting for Webster to confirm that brunchtastic will make it into the next edition of his famous book. EVOO did, so why not brunchtastic? Anyways, we’re here to answer the next big question about the Grand Floridian Cafe, is it a grandest of dinner times? After a fun-filled day in the parks, we’ve worked an appetite!

dinner menu at the Grand Floridian Cafe

Location

It’s the grandest of locations! See what we did there? This is our grandest review after all. Back on topic, we’re talking about the Grand Floridian Resort. Either a monorail or a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom you’ll find the flagship resort of Walt Disney World. Entering the resort you’ll find the restaurant on the first floor towards the back left when facing Seven Seas Lagoon.

The restaurant is an indoor setting with the feeling of being outdoors. With views of the main courtyard, the dining area is lined with large glass windows that fill the area with natural light. We found the dining area to be well laid out with ample space between the tables, which creates a more intimate setting.

Passholder Insights: The waiting area for the Grand Floridian Cafe is shared with 1900 Park Fare and it can get confusing which check-in line is for which restaurant. On busy days it’s definitely worth asking a cast member to make sure you’re in the right line.

Cheese plate at Grand Floridian Cafe

The Dining Room Presents

Some times it just writes itself! Kick-offing our grandest dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe we opted for the cheese plate. We’re always suckers for a good cheese plate. With a collection of cheeses from around the world, brie from France, cheddar from the UK, and a bleu cheese from the US, the plate did not disappoint. Surprising to us was how the accoutrements were the real stars of the show. Served on the side were an apricot chutney, honey-comb, and carrot cake. Yes, carrot cake!

Each of the accoutrements made the cheese plate fantastic. The apricot chutney was perfectly sweet, yet not too sweet, to stand-up to rich creamy flavorings of the brie. Meanwhile, pairing the honeycomb with bleu cheese was delightful in so many ways. The floral aspect of the honeycomb worked well with pungent, upfront flavors of the bleu cheese. What stole the show had to be carrot cake. A dessert that could have easily been served by itself was truly delightful. For a real treat, pair it with cheddar. It doesn’t sound like it should work, but it definitely does!

Passholder Insights: In Epcot’s France pavilion at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie is one of our favorite grab and go cheese boards. Pair it with your favorite French wine and you’re in for a treat.

Shrimp and Grits from Grand Floridian Cafe

Main Courses

Let’s eat! With a Florida inspired menu, it would only make sense to order the shrimp the grits. Right? The Grand Floridian Cafe version of the dish is definitely an evaluated variation from the norm. A half dozen jumbo shrimp are combined with chorizo and fennel, then served atop mascarpone cheese grits. We can’t decide what’s better the grits or gravy. Why not both! By adding the mascarpone cheese to the grits it created a richer flavor compared to traditional grits, which is exactly what the dish needed to stand up to bold spicy flavors of the chorizo. The shrimp were perfectly cooked. Often we find that shrimp tend to be overcooked and more on the rubbery side. Definitely not these shrimp. If you’re a fan of shrimp and grits and looking for a different spin on the dish, we’d definitely recommend this one. Best shrimp and grits at Disney World!

Miso-glazed salmon at Grand Floridian Cafe

When you think Florida inspired menu, miso-glazed salmon is the first thing comes to mind right? No, most people would be thinking of fried chicken or meatloaf. Both of which came highly recommended by our waiter. On this night, we decided to take a chance and go off-script with miso-salmon. Guess what, we’re glad we did! Perfectly cooked salmon is served atop lemon-scented sticky rice, along with french green beans dressed in a ginger-soy vinaigrette. It’s a toss-up the star of the plate between the salmon and sticky rice. The subtle flavoring of the sticky rice was a welcome balance to the bolder flavors of miso glaze and ginger-soy vinaigrette. If you’re looking for a lighter dish, this is a fantastic choice. We’d order it again.

Passholder Insights: The Lobster Thermidor Burger is another of the famous dishes at The Grand Floridian Cafe. We previously tried at brunch and reviewed in the following article.

Our Thoughts

Why didn’t we go here sooner! Similar to Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian Cafe definitely gets most of its hype for its breakfast options. We have to say we were very impressed with our dinner and would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a restaurant with a variety of classic dishes. The restaurant itself is perfect for families and great way to enjoy a meal before the Magic Kingdom fireworks or wrap a fun day at the parks. To answer our question, yes it was the grandest of times!

Disneyland Mint Julep Recipe – A DVC Duo Cocktail Guide

Disneyland Mint Julep Recipe – A DVC Duo Cocktail Guide

It’s the iconic drink of Disneyland! No, we’re not talking about the Blue Milk in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. We’re back with another installment of our Disney at home recipes. This time around we’re sharing a true classic in the Disneyland Mint Julep recipe. Alright, let’s shake up another drink, or should we stir it? I don’t which we should do we’ll have to go ask James, Bond that it is.

Close up of our final product of our DIsneyland Mint Julep Recipe

Location

In the New Orleans Square portion of Disneyland, there are three places to find the Mint Julep. First is the Mint Julep Bar window at the French Market, second, being the Blue Bayou, and the last spot is Cafe Orleans. This refreshing, non-alcoholic, just tart enough beverage has been a go-to for Disneyland goers for years. Alright here is our Disneyland Mint Julep Recipe:

Ingredients

Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of mint leaves

Mint Julep

  • 3/4 cup of limeade
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 3 tbsp of mint simple syrup
  • 1 Lemon (cut into wedges)
  • Maraschino cherries

Directions

Mint Simple Syrup

  1. Add water and sugar to a saucepan
  2. Muddle mints leaves
  3. Add mint leaves to the saucepan
  4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes

Mint Julep

  1. Add ice to a cocktail shaker
  2. Add limeade, lemonade and 3 tbsp of mint simple syrup
  3. Shake until the cocktail shaker is too cold to hold
  4. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge, maraschino cherry, and mint sprig to garnish

Variations

Variety it’s the spice of life. Below are a few variations and substitutions, feel free to make changes where you would like.

  • Replace mint simple syrup with creme de menthe liqueur (non-alcoholic)
  • Replace mint simple syrup with creme de menthe liqueur with alcohol (adult version)
  • Add 1.5 ounces of your favorite bourbon (adult version)

Add little Jazz music for background music and it’s almost like you’re there!

Previous Recipe: Tonga Toast

Kona Cafe Tonga Toast Recipe – A DVC Duo Breakfast Guide

Kona Cafe Tonga Toast Recipe – A DVC Duo Breakfast Guide

Breakfast of Disney champions! We are back with our next installment of our Disney at home recipes. Today, we’re talking Tonga Toast recipe. This infamous Disney breakfast dish is one of the many reasons Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is our favorite breakfast spot. As we like to say, you can’t just have Tonga Toast once. Alright, let’s get this breakfast started, Tonga Toast recipe here we come!

inside our finished Tonga Toast recipe

Tonga Toast Recipe

Located on the second floor of Disney’s Polynesian Resort you’ll find Kona Cafe. The sweet breakfast treat is traditionally served topped with strawberry compote and maple syrup on the side. It’s the perfect pick me up before a fun-filled day in the parks. Here is the DVC Duo at home Tonga Toast recipe:

Ingredients

Strawberry Compote

  • 1 1/4 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar

Toast and Batter

  • 1 loaf of unsliced sourdough bread
  • 2 peeled and sliced bananas
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups of whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Strawberry Compote

  1. Add chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla to a small sauce pan
  2. Over medium heat simmer the mixture until the strawberries start to breakdown and thicken (about 5 minutes)
  3. Remove from heat and gently mash with a fork

Cinnamon Sugar

  1. Mixing together cinnamon and sugar on a plate

Toast

  1. Cut sourdough bread into 3 inch thick slices
  2. Make a slit into one side of the bread
  3. Slice bananas
  4. Stuff banana slices into the bread (about a half of banana)

Batter

  1. Add eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon into a medium bowl
  2. Whisk together
  3. Dunk toast into batter, coating all sides

Cooking

  1. Add about a 1/4″ of vegetable oil into a medium skillet.
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees or medium heat
  3. Add coated bread
  4. Cook about 2 to minutes per side
  5. Remove from the skillet, draining as much oil as possible
  6. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixure

Serve with strawberry compote and maple syrup

Variations

There’s more than one way to enjoy Tonga Toast. Here are a couple of variations we like to make.

  • Replace sourdough with unsliced white bread
  • Replace whole milk with cream (1 cup instead of 1 1/3 cups)
  • Replace strawberries with your favorite fruit (blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • Replace vegetable with canola oil

There is nothing left to do expect dig in!

Previous Recipe: La Cava Jalapeno Margarita

La Cava Jalapeno Margarita Recipe – A DVC Duo Cocktail Guide

La Cava Jalapeno Margarita Recipe – A DVC Duo Cocktail Guide

It’s fiesta time! No fiesta is complete without a margarita, right? Don’t worry we got you covered, we’re back with our next Disney at-home cocktail recipe. Today we’re feeling a little spicy and sharing our La Cava Jalapeno Margarita recipe. Let’s grab our cocktail shaker, our ingredients, and shake up a jalapeno margarita!

Our complete La Cava Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

La Cava Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

Located in one of our favorite World Showcase pavilions, Mexico, is one of the best places to grab a margarita. No, we’re not talking about Choza de Margarita, they do have a good drink, we’re talking about La Cava del Tequila. Hidden inside the Mayan temple on the righthand side as you head down the ramp is our favorite margarita spot. With a menu filled with unique options like the avocado or hibiscus margarita, there is something for everyone in your group. Here is our La Cava Jalapeno Margarita recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a fresh jalapeno
  • 1/4 of cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • 2 oz of Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz of agave nectar

Directions

  1. Remove the seeds from jalapeno and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  2. Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumber and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Add jalapeno and cucumber to a cocktail shaker
  4. Muddle the jalapeno and cucumber in the bottom of the cocktail shaker
  5. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice
  6. Add tequila, triple sec, and agave nectar
  7. Squeeze in the lime
  8. Shake for 30 seconds or until the shaker is too cold to hold
  9. Serve with a salted the rim of a margarita glass

Variations

The is more than one way to shake up this margarita. With this cocktail feel free to make these adjustments as you see fit.

  • Replace Triple Sec with Orange Liquor
  • Replace Agave Nectar with Simple Syrup
  • Replace Agave Nectar with Honey

For an extra spicy cocktail we like to replace the agave nectar with hot honey. Alright it looks like we’re ready for our spicy fiesta, let’s get it started!

Previous Recipe: Gratin de Macaroni

Les Chefs de France Gratin de Macaroni Recipe – A DVC Duo Recipe

Les Chefs de France Gratin de Macaroni Recipe – A DVC Duo Recipe

Did someone say cheese? We’re back with another installment of our Disney at home cooking. Today we’re talking about our Gratin de Macaroni recipe from Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion. This delectably delicious dish is both comforting and simple to make. Alright, let’s open up our recipe box and get going on our Gratin de Macaroni recipe!

Half way through our Gratin de Macaroni recipe

Gratin de Macaroni Recipe

Located in Epcot’s World Showcase is Les Chefs de France and our favorite macaroni and cheese at Walt Disney World. This elevated version of a childhood favorite is the comfort food we crave. It’s perfect as either a side dish or a main course. Here is the DVC Duo at home Gratin de Macaroni recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups of milk (whole or 2%)
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • About a 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 to 3 tables spoons of grated parmesan cheese (fresh if possible)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook elbow macaroni – about 1 minute less than suggested time – drain and set aside
  3. Heat a small saucepan and add butter
  4. Melt butter then slowly add the flour, stirring until it’s a warm yellow color
  5. Slowly add milk, while stirring
  6. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  7. Cook sauce for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Do not let it boil.
  8. Remove from heat and add cream and 3/4 of Gruyere cheese and all parmesan cheese
  9. Add cooked elbow macaroni to sauce
  10. Pour cheese and macaroni mixture into a medium baking dish
  11. Top with remaining Gruyere Cheese
  12. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes

Variations

There is more than one way to get your mac ‘n cheese on! With this dish feel free to make the following substitutions or additions as you see fit.

  • Light cream instead of heavy cream
  • Splash of white wine to the sauce
  • Bread crumbs on top for extra crunch
  • Rigatoni or penne or your favorite shaped pasta

There’s only one thing left to do, and that’s dig in!

Previous Recipe: Ohana Bread Pudding