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Memories are Made of….Pancakes?

July 17, 2014

I rarely get a chance to blog. The DVC Rental Store is blessed with the best team members and guest bloggers so I hardly feel the need. When I do blog, I find that my research leads me back to great meals of the past. As a former restaurant owner and Executive Chef, one of my favorite things to do when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort is to eat. Each year, my wife and I will leave the kids at home and head to Disney for “Adult Time”. These visits include little or no park time, relaxing walks, leisurely enjoyed drinks and many memorable meals.

As I plan each trip, like you, I have my favorite restaurants that I seem to go back to. These preferences may be related to great food or a memory or event. I think I enjoy breakfast most of all. Here are just a few of our favorites. These are favorites based on the food, the time we spent together and the memories.

The Big Kahuna Breakfast - Photo courtesy Tom Bricker

The Big Kahuna Breakfast – Photo courtesy Tom Bricker

Kona Cafe, Disney’s Polynesian Resort – There is something about relaxing over the Big Kahuna Breakfast (French Toast, Pancakes topped with Pineapple Sauce and Macadamia Nut Butter, Eggs, Home-fried Potatoes, Ham, Bacon, and Sausage) with a cup of Kona coffee at the Polynesian Resort while viewing the hustle and bustle around you that is quite satisfying. I particularly enjoy watching the faces of the children that pass by. For many of these princesses and pirates it is the first morning of their visit. You can tell by the look on their face and the excitement in their step that there are castles to be explored, coasters to be ridden and magic to be made. Though I have many memories of my children at this age, my 14 year old son and 23 years old daughter no longer skip and dance as they use to. But I now have a 16 month old granddaughter who will allow me and my wife to live it all again.

Classic Golden Waffle - with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese, Honey, and Chopped Pecans - Disney Food Blog

Classic Golden Waffle – with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese, Honey, and Chopped Roasted Pecans Photo courtesy the Disney Food Blog

Kouzzina by Cat Cora, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort – Kouzzina is a new addition to our list. Being a southern boy, I grew up eating great breakfasts of country ham, grits, fluffy biscuits and pancakes. Honestly, Kalamata Olive Toast, Artichoke Spread, and Sweet Potato Hash were just not in my wheelhouse. Because of this, I had always skipped over Kouzzina. Then a couple of years ago, my wife and I decided that we would take a trip where we would only eat at new restaurants so Kouzzina made the list. I had the Classic Golden Waffle with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese, Honey, and Chopped Pecans. Wow!!! Served with chicken sausage this dish made me sad at all I had been missing. Sadly we’ll only get to enjoy Kouzzina for a short time more. You see, Kouzzina is scheduled to close September 30. It will be replaced by Trattoria al Forna, a new Italian eatery.

Citrus Pancakes - Roasted Pecan and Sun-dried Cranberry Pancakes served with House-made Orange Butter

Citrus Pancakes – Roasted Pecan & Cranberry Pancakes served with House-made Orange Butter

Grand Floridian Cafe, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – The first meal that my wife and I enjoyed at Disney was breakfast here. It was the first morning of our honeymoon 27 years ago and I still remember the sweet decadence of that bowl of fresh strawberries and cream while sitting across from my new bride. More recently, we took the kids to the Grand Floridan Cafe after a quick but enjoyable visit to the Magic Kingdom. I order the Citrus Pancakes which are fluffy pancakes studded with pecans and cranberries and topped with orange butter. As the plates were delivered, I began to cry. You see, they were garnished with orange slices. Once composed, I explained to my children, who by now were sure that Daddy had final lost his mind, that mandarin oranges were the only thing that my father, their PaPa, was able to eat as he fought and lost his battle with lung cancer. I still to this day enjoy the Citrus Pancakes in honor of my Dad but I request that they be served sans garnish.

So you see, Disney is all about making memories. Some of mine are made up of coffee, children dancing and orange slices. Maybe yours are Dole Whips, boat rides and watching your grandmother walk hand in hand with your children down Main Street. Memories are among the greatest of life’s blessings. Maybe the one greater is the chance to go again to make more.

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