Coming home to Homecomin’

This fall, I moved to Florida from Long Island, New York and with the move, I’ve discovered new eateries. One new favorite is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs. We LOVE Disney Springs (obviously) and go almost every weekend. On special occasions, like finding an apartment to rent, having Mom along for the ride as we moved to Florida and actually being in Florida, we have dined out at Homecomin’ and enjoyed what Florida has to offer gastronomically, since Chef Art Smith is a Floridian at heart. That means moonshine, fried chicken, biscuits and deviled eggs; all southern and all delicious. The decor is even very farmhouse elegant and it’s just my style.


We love deviled eggs, so we began our meals with the Church Lady Deviled Eggs and the pickled onions that garnish the top are delicious additions that you’ve never had at any picnic or family barbecue. They even arrive in a little ceramic egg crate. On one occasion, we also added the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits which are lovely little fried chicken sliders and on another we ordered the Bunch of Puppies. The hush puppies weren’t our favorite, but the other two were.




The menu has an array of southern delights, so it is very hard to choose just one meal. My tip is to make sure whoever you are dining with does not order what you do so that you can try a forkful of something else. I’ve tried the Art’s Famous Fried Chicken and realized that it is famous for a reason. The flavor in the skin and the meat is astounding. It is really amazing how that flavor spreads all the way to the bone. The mashed potatoes and gravy were great and so was the cheddar biscuit that accompanied the dish.


Luckily I follow my own advice and my husband ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich that had that same delicious fried chicken and a handful of house-made potato chips on the side.


At Homecomin’, the menu includes cocktails mixed with flavors of Ole Smoky Moonshine from Tennessee. We didn’t order a cocktail during any of our visits, but we tasted the array of flavors at the tasting room when we vacationed in Gatlinburg, Tenn. in 2015 and many were good and didn’t immediately light my esophagus on fire.

Homecomin’ is a fantastic location if you want to get an idea of southern Florida cooking, but can’t venture too far from Walt Disney World or Orlando. You can make a reservation on the My Disney Experience app, on or by calling the dining reservation line at Walt Disney World (407-WDW-DINE), but make it early because this place fills up. Did I mention the fried chicken?

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Disney Springs, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-560-0100


Dining alongside dinosaurs at T-REX

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Prior to arriving in Orlando, Florida, we made a reservation for T-REX in Disney Springs™ . I knew that my son would love dining alongside huge moving dinosaurs.

On the way of our reservation, we shopped around Disney Springs a little bit and then I went to go check in for our reservation. We had two reservations for six and they were able to combine them so we could all eat together. Since, the reservation was very early, they sat us a few minutes after check in.

The hostess walked us by the large animatronic dinosaurs and themed rooms, and led us to a table in the Ice Age room. The whole room glowed blue and we could see a giant fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was pretty cool. We couldn’t see it in our room, but apparently there was a meteor shower periodically that made all the dinosaurs start to move around and roar. We had a Triceratops right behind our heads that moved from time to time.

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When it came time to order, I got myself a Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and the Tuna Tataki. The  beer was light and crisp, and the tuna was fresh and delicate. It was seared ahi tuna with sesame seeds on top of white rice, sauteed spinach and salsa with mushrooms. There was a wasabi sauce drizzled overtop and a soy sauce on the side. I ate around the mushrooms and dipped it all in the soy sauce. It was the perfect meal if you are expecting to eat a Ghirardelli ice cream sundae afterward, which I was.

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After dinner, I made sure to stop in the gift shop because they had children’s sunglasses and my son kept complaining about the sun being in his eyes.

Consider T-REX when you are making dining reservations in Orlando because it is a unique and fun family experience.

T-REX, Disney Springs™, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407.828.TREX

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Top Restaurant at the Top of the Contemporary: California Grill

We travel to Walt Disney World every other year and love it every time. This year, I wasn’t able to go (since I went in November 2013), but some of my family did and they had an enjoyable meal at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort.

The California Grill is one of the best places to get sushi in Walt Disney World and it is a great place to watch the Wishes fireworks show, other than Main Street in Magic Kingdom, of course. The restaurant pipes the music from Wishes through every night so that you can watch and listen to the show from your table. They also have an extensive wine and cocktail list.

So, without further ado, here’s some food from the California Grill …

Now, my family will know that I am not fibbing when I tell them that the California Grill is delicious. They know for themselves, and so should you.

California Grill, 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 407-939-3463