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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of mint leaves
3/4 cup of limeade
1/2 cup lemonade
3 tbsp of mint simple syrup
1 Lemon (cut into wedges)
Mint Simple Syrup
Add water and sugar to a saucepan
Muddle mints leaves
Add mint leaves to the saucepan
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
Add ice to a cocktail shaker
Add limeade, lemonade and 3 tbsp of mint simple syrup
Shake until the cocktail shaker is too cold to hold
Serve over ice with a lemon wedge, maraschino cherry, and mint sprig to garnish
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!
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!
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:
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
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Add chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla to a small sauce pan
Over medium heat simmer the mixture until the strawberries start to breakdown and thicken (about 5 minutes)
Remove from heat and gently mash with a fork
Mixing together cinnamon and sugar on a plate
Cut sourdough bread into 3 inch thick slices
Make a slit into one side of the bread
Stuff banana slices into the bread (about a half of banana)
Add eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon into a medium bowl
Dunk toast into batter, coating all sides
Add about a 1/4″ of vegetable oil into a medium skillet.
Heat oil to 350 degrees or medium heat
Add coated bread
Cook about 2 to minutes per side
Remove from the skillet, draining as much oil as possible
Roll in cinnamon sugar mixure
Serve with strawberry compote and maple syrup
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.)
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-homecocktail 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!
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!
1/2 of a fresh jalapeno
1/4 of cucumber
2 oz of Tequila
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz of agave nectar
Remove the seeds from jalapeno and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumber and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Add jalapeno and cucumber to a cocktail shaker
Muddle the jalapeno and cucumber in the bottom of the cocktail shaker
Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice
Add tequila, triple sec, and agave nectar
Squeeze in the lime
Shake for 30 seconds or until the shaker is too cold to hold
Serve with a salted the rim of a margarita glass
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!
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!
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!
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
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Cook elbow macaroni – about 1 minute less than suggested time – drain and set aside
Heat a small saucepan and add butter
Melt butter then slowly add the flour, stirring until it’s a warm yellow color
Slowly add milk, while stirring
Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Cook sauce for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Do not let it boil.
Remove from heat and add cream and 3/4 of Gruyere cheese and all parmesan cheese
Add cooked elbow macaroni to sauce
Pour cheese and macaroni mixture into a medium baking dish
Top with remaining Gruyere Cheese
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes
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!