We got a chance to talk with Michelle Clegg, food & beverage operations manager for the soon-to-open Landscape of Flavors food court at the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort that debuts next month at Walt Disney World Resort.
They’re still tweaking the menu, but all sorts of creative new items make this the next generation of Disney food courts. Even burgers are “create your own”; you can start with a beef, chicken or veggie burger, and then the kitchen will pile on your favorite toppings (say, pepperjack cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions and lettuce). But most fun are the four onstage tandoor ovens where chefs will bake bread and roast chicken, shrimp, sausage and acorn squash and other veggies – Michelle says that the roasted acorn squash is her favorite dish at the new restaurant. Tandoors are cylindrical ovens that reach very high temperatures and quickly bake, so it should be a grand onstage show for diners. The real treat is naan, a delicious Indian bread that’s slapped directly onto the oven’s walls and left to bake until puffy and lightly browned, perfect for wrapping all sorts of delicious food.
And the restaurant’s Mongolian grill is another new touch – 3 feet in diameter, the chefs will make everything onstage, from challah bread French toast for breakfast to grilled beef and fish for lunch and dinner.
There’s lot of attention on “better-for-you” options, so you’ll find buckwheat waffles and pasta, multigrain rice, low-fat smoothies, egg white frittatas and make-your-own yogurt parfaits. But it’s all about choices, so there are still pizzas and fries (and chocolate chip pancakes).
And we’re excited to see real gelato on the menu, the Italian version of ice cream with less butterfat but bigger flavor. That and a whole menu of coffee drinks, including iced French vanilla, iced mocha, cappuccino, espresso and mochachino. We’ll carpool to the new resort for our 3 p.m. break!