“Better-for-you” options at five mini shops serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is the overarching theme of the new Landscape of Flavors food court still being tweaked for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, opening in May. The new restaurant will be adjacent to the lobby.
“The idea is that you customize your choice,” says Chef Ed Wronski, Director, Food & Beverage Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “From burgers to pasta, salads, ethnic flavors, omelets, even parfaits and gelatos, everything is made fresh as you order.”
There’s a big focus on beverages, too. Fresh fruit smoothies are made to order, ditto for lemonade and pomegranate limeade. They’re stocking organic teas, beer (including gluten free), wine, coffee and juices. You can get a plain cup of coffee or a French vanilla or mocha iced. And half bottles of wine are paired with cuisine from the food shops.
We got a sneak peek at the menu, and here are some of the highlights:
The Soup-Salad-Sandwich Shop lets you create your own salad (with beef or chicken) and offers a caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on focaccia, or a Buffalo-style turkey sandwich with arugula and a blue cheese-Buffalo sauce-mayo spread. Both are served with delish house-made potato chips.
The World Flavors Shop adds Indian-African flair to breakfast, too, with scrambled eggs, tandoor potatoes, Portuguese sausage, slab bacon and a mini-naan; or a veggie flatbread sandwich on naan with cauliflower, spinach and paneer. Lunch and dinner is a choice of tandoori chicken or shrimp, Mongolian beef with vegetables, mahi mahi, Portuguese sausage or roasted acorn squash served with sides and naan bread.
The Pizza Shop features make-your-own pasta, cheese and pepperoni pizzas and meatballs on ciabatta bread. Room delivery is an option, too.
The Burger Shop includes a breakfast burger with chicken breakfast sausage, cheese and scrambled eggs on a multi-grain bun, and a steak-and-eggs breakfast burger with a burger topped with fried eggs, cheese and bacon. Besides the traditional burgers, lunch and dinner includes a surf and turf burger with crab cake and fried popcorn shrimp, and a pastrami cheeseburger topped with pepper jack cheese and a slice of fried green tomato.
The “grab ‘n go” Market Shop offers drinks, yogurt, bagels, pastries, gourmet cupcakes, cookies and gelato.
The food court will be part of the Disney Dining Plan, details to follow.
We’re fans of House of Blues just for the incredible collection of folk art – we visit just to enjoy the fantastic paintings. When we headed back last week, we found some new menu items – and tweaks to old favorites.
If you loved the HOB shrimp and grits, the new version is just as delicious, but now the grits are fried in a crispy cake, smothered in a chipotle garlic cream sauce with six pan-seared shrimp. If you’re trying to behave, the new grilled flatbreads are a winner: they grill the dough then finish it in the pizza oven. The simple basil pesto and tomato was our favorite.
Cornbread is back minus the rosemary, jambalaya returns without shrimp, but with a hefty serving of chicken and spicy Andouille sausage. The diverse menu runs the gamut from lobster mac & cheese to street tacos and generous salads, but we have to say that the new Juicy Lucy burger topped our list of favorites. The Angus beef was stuffed with cheese and Applewood bacon, then topped with crispy pickled jalapeños and chipotle mayo. We split it three ways.
The wine list is all new, and you’ll find 15 beers plus local micro brews and a full bar. When you’re really hungry, end with an order of bourbon bread pudding, now served with a splash of bourbon, or the new molten chocolate cake – then stroll Downtown Disney end to end to burn those calories.