Over the last few years, I’ve been feverishly squawking that the fine folks at Blue Bell should get behind a pumpkin ice cream flavor for the holiday season. Their masterful way with the cold, creamy stuff would be well-suited to the cause, easily topping rivals with a pure pumpkin explosion that cheerily evokes this special time of year. Well, those magnificent bastards have finally heard my pleas, bringing forth “Spiced Pumpkin Pecan,” a marvelous concoction that strengthens a brand domination I’m simply in awe of.
For anyone visiting Walt Disney World with little girls in tow, face time with the Disney Princesses is an absolute priority. In fact, the royal ladies are often treated a bit like The Beatles, commanding a large amount of attention whenever they hit the parks, attracting scores of parents and anxious kids seeking an autograph, a picture, and a little insider conversation. Primarily tips on how to keep a tiara clean.
I’m a big supporter of any ice cream company that dares to enter uncharted waters of funky flavoring, zeroing in on specialized tastes outside of the freezer aisle norm. But not too outside of the norm. Watching the Travel Channel and Food Network would have anyone believing there’s a market out there for hideous gunk such as fish and pizza ice cream. Nobody wants that. Ice cream belongs in the realm of the sweet, not the wecanbecausewecan mentality. Still, even lords of the cold treat can get a little ahead of themselves from time to time.
I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘Ohana should be accepted as a way of life, not just another restaurant situated on the Walt Disney World property. It’s home to an appealing Polynesian atmosphere, an animated dining area, and an obscene parade of luscious food that could give an Andre the Giant-sized appetite pause. ‘Ohana isn’t for the meek or the miserable, it’s a sweeping playground for drooling carnivores who’ve pulled the safety restrictions off their meat intake valve, or perhaps a place for those who enjoy the kitsch of Hawaii without the burden of a plane ride.
In February, I was coerced into celebrating a dark, impossibly depressing event that I’ve come to anticipate with all the hand-trembling, teeth-grinding joyfulness of tax day: my birthday. Barf. To help digest such a bleak occasion, I made a choice to visit one of my favorite Walt Disney World restaurants, The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s not an establishment known for its killer culinary lavishness, but solely for its spirited ambiance, and on a day like that day, I needed all the simulated enchantment I could seize. To me, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is a home away from home.
People enjoy heat. I’m not a member of this wet-brow, runny-nose club, but I applaud anyone who dares to confront food that could possibly liquefy them. Doritos isn’t new to the ways of zesty, but they’ve introduced a pair of amplified flavors to help cross-promote Pepsi Max Cease Fire, a “cooling” brand of lime-infused soda eager to make a dent in the marketplace. This coupling of drink and chip is intended to provide the ideal snacking intensity, yet these Doritos retain a bit more snap than anticipated.
The Kona Café is one of those super-secret handshake restaurants inside Walt Disney World. While obviously open to the general public, the eatery’s reputation is perhaps most widely circulated through Disney superfans, a blindly passionate group that always speaks highly of the establishment, practically breaking down in tears when the name of a certain menu item is uttered. That’s right, I’m talkin’ Tonga Toast.
Those mouth-watering highlights of “Julie & Julia” aside, French cuisine doesn’t hold quite the same twirl of utensil-dancing romanticism for me as it does the general public. The food retains outstanding craftsmanship and thrilling exotic flavors, but rarely, if ever, have I been in a position where I bust out a touchdown dance when the prospect of visiting a French restaurant is brought up. While hardly an exclusive Parisian hideaway shooing away Americans, the prospect of lunch at Epcot’s Les Chefs de France was somewhat daunting. However, for the purposes of high adventure, reservations were made, hunger was locked in, and personal prejudices were cast aside.
To help celebrate the release of their new album, “Sonic Boom,” superband of the land KISS decided to undertake a rare publicity move, issuing some kitschy merchandise to help create an ambiance of gotta-have-it excitement. The price? Well, to retrieve luxury items such as $5 T-shirts, Mr. Potato Heads, and fleece blankets required a trip to Wal-Mart, the satanic figure of Western mass merchandise stores. The horror. The horror.
The Minnesota State Fair ended its run last week, but it wasn’t the close on just any old year. 2009 represented a record run for the annual “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” pulling in an astounding 1,790,947 people over 12 days to experience caloric thunderstorms and blinding state pride. I even added a few twists of the turnstile on my own, making a short pilgrimage to my beloved place of birth to enjoy a state fair like no other around.
I think a proper challenge for any resident of Orlando (or perhaps adventurous tourist) is to dine at all of the pavilions located within Epcot’s glorious parade of countries, the World Showcase. It’s an expensive proposal (Mickey’s a cute mouse, but he loves money), but not impossible, especially if this lofty gastric quest is portioned out over an extended period of time. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, satisfying an itch for a theme-park-exclusive challenge and to wave an extended middle finger toward my personal foodie fraidy-cat nature. While I’ve visited a few of the countries in the past for eats, I’ve never actively pursued them all. It’s time to change that. The first stop was the famed Le Cellier, located inside the Canada pavilion.