Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gluten Free Around the Epcot World Showcase - The American Adventure Pavilion

In my second installment of Gluten Free Around the Epcot World Showcase, I am going to be looking at gluten free snacks at the American Adventure Pavilion.  

Not only do you have a variety of gluten free options at Liberty Inn, Disney's quick service restaurant at The American Adventure Pavilion, but you can pick up a turkey leg or popcorn at the Fife & Drum Tavern. 

Always check with a cast member on the gluten free status of these items before ordering.   

In Heritage Manor Gifts, I found Tate's Bake Shop gluten free chocolate chip cookies, which are amazing on their own, or for making ice cream sandwiches.  

I also found four varieties of Krave Jerky - sweet chipotle beef jerky, grilled sweet teriyaki pork jerky, chili lime beef jerky, and basil citrus turkey jerky.  

All 8 varieties of Krave Jerky are gluten free.  You can read my review of Krave Jerky here.  

Heritage Manor Gifts also carries several varieties of Disney's Main Street Popcorn that do not contain gluten.  

What are your favorite gluten free options at The American Adventure Pavilion?  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ravello - Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Friday night, I had dinner at Ravello with my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  

Ravello is located at the newly opened Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World, which is inside Golden Oak community.  

Ravello's specialty is modern Italian cuisine, which pairs well with the modern decor of the restaurant & the Four Seasons Resort.  

I was a little disappointed that a chef did not come out to speak to us, but our server checked with the chef when he was not able to answer our questions.  

For my antipasti course, I ordered the Pomodoro e Burrata, which is heirloom tomatoes and burrata with a balsamic drizzle.  Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, and if you like Caprese, you will enjoy this salad.  The seasoning was spot on, and the ratio of tomato to burrata was perfect.  I loved this dish, but I thought it was a little pricey at $15.  

For a main course, I ordered the Herb Grilled Chicken, which was modified to make it gluten free.  This dish is usually served with semolina gnocchi and gorgonzola dolce sauce, but I was given roasted potatoes instead.  The potatoes were so flavorful and delicious, I could eat them every day!  I wonder if they are the new potatoes with garlic, butter, and rosemary that are listed as a side dish on the menu.  I also loved the seasonal vegetable, which was Romanesco, which is kind of like a cross between broccoli & cauliflower, but way more tasty in my opinion.  Like my potatoes, it was seasoned and cooked to perfection.  

I was also impressed by my chicken, which was moist inside, with a crispy skin on the outside, that was seasoned with a delightful mix of herbs .  I rarely order chicken when I dine out, but I would definitely order this dish again at Ravello.  For $28, I thought it was a nice size portion, with plenty of vegetables and meat.  I ended up not finishing my second piece of chicken, because I was becoming very full, and I wanted to save some room for dessert.   

I was a little disappointed when our server said they didn't have any gluten free desserts except sorbet, but when I asked about the gelato, he was able to confirm with the kitchen that all flavors of gelato were gluten free.  With the smallest portion size being two scoops, I asked if I could have one scoop of each of the two flavors I was interested in.  The pistachio reminded me of the gelato we had in Italy, then I tried the maple, which was hidden underneath my large scoop of pistachio, and instantly fell in love.  It was so deliciously creamy, and had just the right amount of maple flavor.  Even though the pistachio was excellent, I found myself only wanting the maple, because it was so good, and so different from any gelato I have ever tried.

I really enjoyed all three courses I ordered at Ravello, but I found myself disappointed that I had to pay for parking on top of a pricey meal.  You can only valet park your car at the Four Season Resort Orlando.  Ravello will validate your parking after you dine, which does reduce the cost, but we still had to pay $5, plus a tip to the valet.  I also missed the personal touch of having a chef visit our table, which would have made ordering much easier.

Even though nothing especially excited me when I first saw the menu, all of my food was excellent.  If I was staying at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, I would definitely dine at Ravello again.

You can read Sarah's review of our meal at Ravello on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.

Ravello is open daily for breakfast and dinner.  You can view Ravello's menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

Have you dined at Ravello?  What are your favorite gluten free dishes?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Liberty Tree Tavern - Magic Kingdom

I can now say that I have dined at every table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.  You won't find reviews of all of them on my blog, because we have not eaten at Cinderella's Royal Table or the Crystal Palace in a couple of years, but I highly recommend both of them for lunch or dinner.  

We have probably never dined at Liberty Tree Tavern before, because I knew they served a traditional family-style Thanksgiving dinner, which didn't interest me.  I am pretty particular about the dishes served on Thanksgiving, which is my favorite meal of the year.  I didn't think any restaurant could possibly compete with the smoked turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, garlic mashed potatoes, and cream cheese pumpkin pie my family makes on Thanksgiving.  

Just this week, I found out that Liberty Tree Tavern no longer features Disney characters, and for lunch, they have an a la carte menu.  Yep, I am really behind on the times when it comes to this restaurant.  Two days ago, I was able to get advance dining reservations for lunch today, so we decided to go for it, and finally try the Liberty Tree Tavern for the first time.  

Liberty Tree Tavern reminded me of Colonial Williamsburg, and has six rooms that commemorate an important figure in American history.  We sat in the Betsy Ross room, and were served water in Liberty Tree Tavern mugs.  

Chef Jennifer came out very quickly to discuss gluten free options with me.  I now realize that I didn't ask about appetizers, but for entrees, I could choose from the New England Pot Roast, the Pilgrim's Feast, Colony Salad, the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger on a gluten free bun, or The Liberty Boys BLT on a gluten free bun.  For dessert, Chef Jennifer mentioned a brownie sundae, sorbet, coconut ice cream, or a chocolate chip cookie.  

I ordered the New England Pot Roast with braised beef, mashed potatoes, and garden vegetables.  The beef was flavorful and tender, and the mashed potatoes were the perfect side for this dish.  I also loved the onions, but gave all the carrots and celery to my husband, because they are not my favorite vegetables.

My husband ordered the gluten free version of the Pilgrim's Feast, which is traditional roast turkey served with herb bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a garden vegetable (green beans).  The turkey was nice and moist, and the mashed potatoes on his dish were just as good as mine, though I enjoyed them more eaten with my beef.  I was really impressed that the chefs at Liberty Tree Tavern are making a gluten free stuffing, but I have only found one stuffing recipe that I like, and it is the cornbread stuffing I serve on Thanksgiving.  My husband thought everything on his plate was good, including the stuffing.  I didn't sample the gluten free gravy that was brought to the table, because I don't like gravy, but Mitch tried it, and said it was ok. He much preferred the side of gluten-filled gravy that the chef had sent out for him.  

Because we were so full after eating our turkey and pot roast, we decided to skip dessert at Liberty Tree Tavern.  We all enjoyed our meals, and I am glad we finally tried Liberty Tree Tavern, but I would probably go back to The Plaza Restaurant, Be Our Guest, Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Crystal Palace, or Cinderella's Royal Table before dining here again.  

You can read more about Liberty Tree Tavern, view the lunch & dinner menu, and made advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom?  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gluten Free Around the Epcot World Showcase - United Kingdom

As part of my gluten free Disney snack series, I am going to be looking at gluten free options in the shops around the World Showcase at Epcot, starting with The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom Pavilion.  

I found a couple of gluten free options at The Tea Caddy, and I am sure I could have found more if I had my reading glasses with me.  :-)

I have always been a huge fan of Cadbury Dairy Milk, and I love that The Tea Caddy carries a variety of Cadbury products, including chocolate buttons.  My daughters adore these little bite size pieces of chocolate.  You can check out Cadbury's list of gluten free options here.  

I have seen several of their gluten-absent products at The Tea Caddy.  Two of my personal favorites are the Cadbury Curly Wurly and Cadbury Flake.  

I took a picture of  Walker's Nonsuch Original or Brazil Nut Toffee while in The Tea Caddy, and was happy to confirm that they are gluten free when I visited their website.   

The final gluten free options I found on my quick tour around the store without glasses are Nairn's Gluten Free Oatmeal Grahams and Oatmeal & Raisin Cookies.  

I would love to try the Oatmeal Grahams, which I am pretty sure I have also seen at The Fresh Market.

If you want to kick back, relax, and enjoy a gluten free meal at the United Kingdom Pavilion, head over to the Rose & Crown Pub.

What are your favorite gluten free options at the United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pasta with Greens & Beans

My family loves greens & beans, and we love pasta, so I thought it might be fun to combine the two.  The resulting dish was a big hit with my whole family.  

I have made pasta with green & beans with both Barilla gluten free penne and rotini, but we all agreed that we preferred the rotini with this recipe.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Flying Fish Cafe - Disney's BoardWalk

After we attended FLBlogCon on Saturday, Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW and I went to dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe with my family.  

The Flying Fish is one of my parents' favorite restaurants at Disney, so my family has dined there before, but I was looking forward to checking out their new gluten free menu on this visit.  For a limited time in September and October, Disney is testing allergy-friendly menus at the ABC CommissarySci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios, Kona Cafe and Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Village Resort, the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney's BoardWalk, and the World Premiere Food Court at the All-Star Movies Resort.

The gluten free menu at the Flying Fish Cafe is huge!  I was shocked at how many dishes I had to choose from.  

Chef Tim came out to answer any questions Sarah and I might have, then brought us gluten free Ener-G rolls, which are not my favorite, but they were heated well.  

For an appetizer, I ordered the Old Bay-scented crispy calamari and Florida rock shrimp with savory vegetable slaw and classic cocktail sauce.  

I would go back to the Flying Fish Cafe again and again just for this dish.  I loved the flavorful breading on the fried calamari and shrimp, and I was really impressed with the portion size of my appetizer.  

My family shared a side of the aged gruyere and parmigiano-reggiano potato gratin.  It was heavenly, with just the right amount of cheese, and the potatoes were cooked to perfection.  

I split the oak-grilled organic Scottish salmon entree with my daughters.  It was served with Spanish chorizo, marble potato, carrot, tomato, and Sweety Drop Pepper "hash", a Serrano ham crisp, and Catalan-style lemon & garlic aioli, which I had served on the side.  The hash, which is hidden under the salmon, was incredible.  I usually don't like carrots, but the vegetables in the hash were seasoned and cooked so well, I ate every last bite.  My salmon was a little bit overcooked, but that was my fault for ordering it medium well.  It still tasted great, but next time, I need to order it medium.  

My husband ordered the Flying Fish Cafe's Idaho potato-wrapped red snapper, which is served with a rich leek fondue, veal glace de viande, and red wine-cassis butter reduction.  They must fry the fish to achieve that wonderfully crispy potato wrap. I enjoyed the piece I sampled, but preferred our salmon entree. 

Gluten free desserts are not listed on the menu, but Chef Tim told me I could choose sorbet, creme brulee, or no sugar added cheesecake.  

I ordered the creme brulee, which was served with fresh berries and the most wonderful cookies.  Our server Moe assured me that he checked with the chef to make sure I was given the gluten free version of this dessert.  I have to admit that I was a little freaked out when I first saw the cookies, because I had never seen anything like them before.  I wish I had asked Chef Tim about them before we left.  The cookies were soft and buttery, and oh so delicious.  The creme brulee was amazing as well, and was the perfect end to an incredible meal.  

I love that the Flying Fish is located on Disney's BoardWalk, which is a short walk from Epcot, where we headed after dinner.  

The Flying Fish Cafe is a signature dining restaurant, so expect the service to be a little slower, and the prices to be higher than other Disney table service restaurants.  Overall, I was really impressed with our food, and the excellent service we received from our server Moe and Chef Tim.

You can make advance dining reservations for the Flying Fish Cafe, and view their full menu on Disney's website here.

Flying Fish Cafe Menu for Guests with Gluten Allergies

  • Our Signature Flying Fish Café Appetizer Duo: Crispy Corn-crusted Savory Crab Cake and Our Very Own Caesar Salad
  • Chardonnay-steamed PEI Canadian Mussels with fennel, chiles, pesto crema, and grilled tapioca crostini 
  • Vegetarian Sushi Roll – silken tofu, avocado, heirloom radish and young carrot roll, cucumber-vegetable salad with Tamari and piquant Asian-spiced mango ketchup
  • Crispy Corn-crusted Savory Crab Cake served with a savory vegetable slaw, roasted red pepper coulis, and ancho chili remoulade
  • Old Bay-scented Crispy Calamari and Florida Rock Shrimp served with savory vegetable slaw and classic cocktail sauce 
  • Our Chef’s Degustation of Worldly Artisanal Cheeses – fig and almond torta, raisins on the vine, honeycomb and a balsamico and spice-scented red Vidalia onion, fresh and kiln-dried bing cherry compote agrodolce 

Artisanal Salads
  • Our Chef’s Thunder Appetizer: Roasted Heirloom Beets and Fresh Vermont Goat Cheese served with young greens, spiced pecans, citrus supremes, and a pecan-truffle-blood orange vinaigrette 
  • Epcot Land Pavilion Sweet Bibb and Local Mesclun Salad served with Epcot cucumbers, tiny tomatoes, radishes, pickled red onions, lemon-dijon vinaigrette, elephant garlic, and artichoke chips with fennel, Midnight Moon chevre, sweet onion, olive, local basil and sun-dried tomato fritters 
  • Mozzarella di Bufala alla Caprese – Florida yellow beefsteak, UgliRipe, and tiny tomatoes, aged balsamico, exotic peppercorns, petite basil, and Sicilian olio verde
  • Our Very Own Caesar Salad – hearts of romaine leaves, roasted garlic dressing, parmigiana-montegrappa frico, and pesto-tapioca bread croutons 

  • Our Signature Flying Fish Café Entrée Duo: Oak-grilled Angus New York Strip Steak and Potato-wrapped Red Snapper
  • Pan-roasted Citrus and Exotic Pepper-crusted Yellowfin Tuna served with opal basil, fennel, caper, olive, golden raisin, and pine nut-laced Epcot Land Pavilion eggplant caponata Sicilliana, with a Lake Meadow Naturals poached egg
  • Our Chef’s Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Fish Selection: Oak-grilled Organic Scottish Salmon served with Spanish chorizo, marble potato, carrot, tomato, and Sweety Drop Pepper “hash,” Serrano ham crisp, Catalan-style lemon and garlic aioli and an aromatic saffron-heirloom tomato caldo
  • Flying Fish Café’s Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper over a rich leek fondue, with a Veal Glace de Viande, and red wine-cassis butter reduction 
  • Key West Pink Shrimp and Calico Bay Scallop Brown Rice Gluten-free Spaghetti Pasta with fricassee of young squash, summer onions, tiny tomatoes, and a local basil with a fennel pollen-scented chardonnay crema
  • Oak-grilled Maine Sea Scallops served with confit artichoke bottoms, crispy young artichokes, local tomatoes and basil, pecorino romano and mascarpone-laced risotto di carnaroli
  • Oak-grilled Ashley Farms Organic Free-Range Ancho-Chicken served with roasted bliss potatoes, pole beans and young carrots, with tomatillo ketchup, jicama-pepper slaw, Epcot greens, and apple-chicken jus
  • Oak-grilled Angus New York Strip Steak served with thyme-roasted garlic vinaigrette-laced salad of local greens, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers and pole beans, with a classic sauce Foyot 

Seasonal Sides
  • Grilled California Asparagus with sauce Foyot 
  • Wilted Garlic and Lemon-scented Curly Spinach 
  • Creamy Risotto di Carnaroli – local tomatoes and basil, pecorino romano, and mascarpone 
  • Aged Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano Potato Gratin 
  • Fines Herb-roasted Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms 

You can view the current prices of these menu items on Sarah's blog, Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW, and read her review here.

November 3, 2014 Update

A couple of weeks ago, my daughters and I went to the Flying Fish Cafe to celebrate their half birthday.  Because my twins will always have to share a birthday, we celebrate their half birthday with a special dinner.

We were served different gluten free bread this time, but I found it to be a little dry.  

We ended up up ordering appetizers, salads, and seasonal sides instead of ordering an entree, and we had plenty of food.  The mozzarella di Bufala alla Caprese with Florida yellow beefsteak, UgliRipe, and tiny tomatoes, aged balsamico, exotic peppercorns, petite basil, and Sicilian olio verde was one of the best Caprese salads I have ever had at a restaurant.  The tomatoes and mozzarella were delicious, the seasoning was spot on, and I have always loved a little balsamic on my Caprese.  

My daughters shared the gluten free Caesar salad with hearts of Romaine leaves, roasted garlic dressing, Parmigiana-Montegrappa Frico, and pesto-tapioca bread croutons.  I am not a fan of Caesar salad, but my girls loved it.  I did enjoy the Parmesan crisp on top of the salad though, which oddly enough, my daughters didn't want.  Lucky me!  

When my girls first tasted the creamy risotto di Carnaroli with local tomatoes and basil, Pecorino Romano, and mascarpone, they said it was amazing.  Some of their adoration wore off when they started to get bites with the tomatoes in it, but we all still really enjoyed this dish. 

I couldn't go to the Flying Fish without getting the calamari and rock shrimp appetizer again, and it certainly did not disappoint.  My daughters also ordered the aged Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano potato gratin, which is hard to pass up.  

We finished our meal with creme brulee, which we were barely able to eat, because we were so full from all the other wonderful dishes we sampled.

I don't know how well you will be able to read the gluten free menu from our second visit, but there were definitely some changes.  We were a little sad to see that the salmon dish we enjoyed so much from our first visit was no longer on the menu, but we still had plenty of great options to choose from.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at the Flying Fish Cafe?