Day 8: Hubby’s 45th Birthday / H&H@TP 2017

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Chef Art Smith's Homecomin - Disney Springs
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ – Disney Springs

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

For his birthday lunch, Steve decided he wanted to go to Homecomin’. Or to give the restaurant its full name – Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Southern Shine (Or HFK for very short!). Chef Art, is an American celebrity chef and Disney’s description of this restaurant is as follows:

Dig into farm-to-fork cuisine showcasing Florida’s freshest flavors—all crafted from recipes by this award-winning celebrity chef! 

We hadn’t booked an ADR here and didn’t need one really as there were plenty of tables at lunchtime. Dinner in the evening might be a different story though, so I always advise to get an ADR for a restaurant you really want to dine in, at Walt Disney World.

The vast majority of ingredients are sourced from local farms, ranches or fisheries; and the style of food is old fashioned, down-home, with dishes like deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken – which is what Chef Art Smith is famous for.

We were given the choice to sit inside or outside. We chose inside because that is where the air-con is!

There was a bar in the middle of the restaurant, and the kitchen was open, so you could see the chefs preparing the food.





I really liked the style and decor of Homecomin’, with wood and metal finishes, a bright dining area, rustic touches, and a Floridian flair. The mural with the stork and farmland above the kitchen reminds you of their farm-to-fork cuisine.

Bar at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin - Disney Springs
Open Kitchen at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin - Disney Springs
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Homecomin’ Christmas Tree

After being sat at our table, we were given menus and ordered some drinks. The birthday boy decided on the moonshine. I asked him how he felt about turning 45… this was his response:

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Beverages…

Me: Lemonade ($3.75)

Him: Sweet Tea Shine – Sweet tea, fresh squeezed lemon and Moonshine ($12) or in a souvenir bottle ($22)

The Boy: Coke ($3.75)

Sweet Tea Moonshine - Chef Arts Homecomin
Sweet Tea Shine in Souvenir Bottle
Glass of Lemonade
Glass of Lemonade
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Appetizers…

Me: Church Lady Deviled Eggs – HFK-style whole deviled eggs ($12)

Him: Bunch of Puppies – House-made hushpuppies served with pimento cheese and red jalapeno jelly ($10)

If there is an opportunity to eat deviled eggs, then I’m there – I love ’em! There were six (pretty much whole) eggs in a portion, so enough to share – which is what we did. They were filled with creamy, mustardy filling, and topped with chives and bacon. The salad garnish was looking a bit worse for wear, but I loved the dish they were presented in, and the deviled eggs were delicious.

Church Lady Deviled Eggs at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen
Church Lady Deviled Eggs

For those wondering what on earth hushpuppies are, they are essentially small, savoury, deep-fried dough balls made from cornmeal-based batter. Think of them as a savoury doughnut!

The story of their name says that fishermen would fry up pieces of the batter that they were cooking their fish catch in, and throw these pieces of fried dough to their dogs, saying “hush puppy” to keep them quiet! I love food stories, and this has got to be one of the best I’ve ever heard!

The portion had around 8 – 10 hushpuppies, and they had a nice chilli kick to them. They were crunchy on the outside, and soft in the middle – fried food is always good!

Bunch of Puppies - Hushpuppies at Chef Arts Homecomin'
Bunch of Puppies

We had heard that the fried chicken at Homecomin’ was very good, so naturally, that’s what we had to eat! Except for Liam who simply must have a burger wherever we go!

The menu had a lot to choose from, and there were several choices both Steve and I said we would have made, including Fried Chicken & Doughnuts; Fried Catfish; Harvest Salad; and Big Grouper Sandwich. However, this is what we did have…

Entrées…

Me: Art’s Famous Fried Chicken – Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, a cheddar drop biscuit and love. ($28)

Him: Fried Chicken Sandwich – Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with hot sauce aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles. Served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing. ($17)

The Boy: The Art Burger – Two beef patties topped with American cheese, Art’s special sauce, tomato-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on a brioche bun. Served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing. ($17) Add pecan-smoked bacon. ($2)

Art's Famous Fried Chicken - Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, a cheddar drop biscuit and love
Art’s Famous Fried Chicken

What is there to say about fried chicken other than yum? A nice crispy coating, and tasty, tender chicken. I love biscuits and gravy, so that went down well, and the mashed potato was delicious and creamy.

Art's Famous Fried Chicken - Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, a cheddar drop biscuit and love
Fried Chicken Sandwich – Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with hot sauce aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles. Served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.

The same fried chicken goes into the sandwiches at Homecomin’ and it was a good generous serving of chicken inside the bun. The chips were full of flavour and the dressing was like a cool ranch dressing.

Fried Chicken Sandwich – Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with hot sauce aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles. Served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.
Fried Chicken Sandwich
The Art Burger – Two beef patties topped with American cheese, Art's special sauce, tomato-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on a brioche bun. Served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.

Liam was happy with his burger – he asked to have all the stuff removed, ie., Art’s special sauce, tomato-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. And he also switched out the chips, for fries. So for us, it was an expensive, regular old cheeseburger! But the toppings, to me, sound delish!

By now we were way too stuffed to eat dessert, which was a shame as I think the Hummingbird Cake (a pineapple-banana cake with cream cheese frosting) could have gone down really well…. the Pecan Pie too!

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Homecomin’ Dessert Menu

At the very start of the meal, I had mentioned it was Steve’s birthday, and our server brought out a doughnut with a scoop of ice cream, and a birthday candle for him, which was a sweet touch. It was gratis, and something you’ll find across Disney restaurants. That said, just because you say you are celebrating, doesn’t mean you will always receive a freebie!

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ » Disney Springs

Food: $114.50 + Tax: $5.95 + Tip: $20.61 = $141.06
TiW Discount: $22.90


Total Paid: $118.16

After paying the bill, we had a bit of a wander around Disney Springs, finally found the cupcake vending machine at Sprinkles, and stopped in World of Disney for some more shopping!

Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight
Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight

Still too stuffed to buy a cupcake, but one day I will, just to use the Cupcake ATM!

World of Disney
World of Disney

I really want to buy the Baymax, but sense hit me in the end, knowing that it would be a mare to bring home, so I settled for the much smaller Stitch instead!

Oops, nearly forgot the freebie we picked up at Ghiradellli – a square of peppermint bark – yum!

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We eventually drove back home to The Poly and realised it was a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party night. The giant, blow-up Snow-Mickey and Snow-Minnie were sitting above the Magic Kingdom welcome sign and only appear on party nights. So it was a no-go for the Magic Kingdom that night for us – but we could watch the fireworks from the beach instead!

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You may recall in yesterday’s report that my ECV’s battery went out for no apparent reason. Buena Vista Rentals, who provided the scooter to me for this trip, dropped a replacement one with Bell Services.

We combined picking that up with a stop at Pineapple Lanai to grab a couple of Dole Whips. Just one of the reasons we love staying at The Poly – Dole Whips whenever we want!

Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

We hung out at the Resort for the rest of the evening and watched Christmas Wishes from the beach. There’s not too much more to say, so I’ll close out today with photos of The Poly at night, and of the fireworks too.

Great Ceremonial House Sign - Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Great Ceremonial House Sign
Great Ceremonial House - Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Great Ceremonial House – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Bora Bora Bungalows - Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Bora Bora Bungalows – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks
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Christmas Wishes Fireworks
Christmas Wishes Fireworks

Read about the day after:
Day 9: Disney Resort Christmas Tree Trail Part 3
Beach Club / Lunch from Beach Club Marketplace / Yacht Club / BoardWalk / Ice Cream from Ample Hills Creamery / Animal Kingdom Lodge: Kidani Village / Animal Kingdom Lodge: Jambo House / Coronado Springs / Dinner at Maya Grill

Read about the day before:
Day 7: Disney Resort Christmas Tree Trail Part 2
Breakfast at Kona Cafe / Polynesian / Shopping at Super Target / All Star Sports / All Star Music / Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern / Happily Ever After Fireworks

» Read ALL the days!

Cinderella Castle
Cinderella Castle

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The camera I use for my Disney photography is a Canon EOS 70D.
The two main lenses I use are Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro and Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC Art. Both of these lenses will also fit Nikon and Sony DSLRs.
I also take some photos on my iPhone7 for sharing on social media – follow my Disney Instagram account – LoveDisneyPhotos.
Pool photos are taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5. A similar model is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30EB-A.
Videos are taken with a Panasonic HC-V720, although the newer model is the Panasonic HC-V770.
Any photo editing is done with Photoshop or with Instagram editing features and filters.

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