Happy Friday aka happy Beauty and the Beast live-action release day (and also happy St. Paddy’s day)! Speaking of Beauty and the Beast, I saw it last night and I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet. Since Beauty and the Beast is my FAVORITE movie, I already knew that I’d be more critical (and constantly comparing it to the animated version) than the average viewer. Although I really did like the humor, the new characters and the fact that the live-action version covered a lot of plot holes that the animated one didn’t, it was the songs/singing that was a little lack luster to me (I mean the music is what makes BATB, in my opinion!). Also, here’s a little fun fact for you all: my birthday is in EXACTLY one month (aka April 17th!). That means in exactly one month I’ll be 25?! It’s crazy because it seems like yesterday I was celebrating my 24th birthday at Disneyland Paris (which by the way, was one of the BEST birthdays EVER!). While we’re on the topic of Disney, whenever I visit the Disney parks, I always make it my mission to try and eat at at least one new restaurant. Whether it be somewhere in the parks that I’ve never tried before or at somewhere in Downtown Disney (if I’m visiting Disneyland) or Disney Springs (if I’m visiting Disney World). With the recent expansion of Disney Springs last year, I’ve come across so many new eateries that I’ve been itching to try out (because who doesn’t love food?). During my most recent trip to Disney World last week, I decided to finally give Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ a try (after reading and hearing so any AWESOME reviews about it!).
Located in the Town Center area at Disney Springs, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (which opened last summer) offers Southern comfort food with a Florida flair. I know what you’re thinking “Chef Smith? That name sounds so familiar?”. Well, Chef Smith (whose expertise is Southern cuisine) is an American chef who worked for former Florida governors Bob Graham and Jeb Bush and until 2007 was the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey.
One of my absolute favorite things about Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (besides the yummy food, obviously) is that the vast majority of the ingredients used in the cuisines are sourced from local farms, ranches or fisheries (how awesome is that?). I love farm to table restaurants so much!
I’ve heard that (especially during weekends) Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ can get a little crowded at times (which I totally understand since it’s so yummy) but when I went (on a Tuesday afternoon), the restaurant was nearly empty. Since there was so much available seating (and since it was such a lovely day outside), we opted for a table on the patio!
Notable Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ favorites include the Church Lady Deviled Eggs (how funny is the name of that dish!?), the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits, Shrimp & Grits and Art’s Famous Fried Chicken!
With the help of our super knowledgeable (and super friendly) waiter, we decided to try the Momma’s Mac and Cheese, the Fried Chicken Sandwich and, of course, Art’s Famous Fried Chicken (which our waiter insisted was the “best friend chicken in the entire state of Florida!”).
I was really craving a strawberry lemonade that day but unfortunately they don’t offer it at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, so our (awesome) waiter suggested I try a mixture of cherry and pomegranate and oh my gosh, it was AMAZING!
Can we all just take a moment to really analyze that photo? SO MUCH YUMMY FOOD!
Oh Momma’s Mac and Cheese, what did I do to deserve you? Now mind you, I’m from the south side of Chicago so I KNOW soul food/good Mac and Cheese (personally nothing beats my grandmas recipe but that’s neither here nor there) and this was good Mac and Cheese!
In fact, the sole reason we decided to check out Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ was because my mom saw a picture of the Momma’s Mac and Cheese online and was like “okay, I NEED to try that ASAP!”. A picture is worth a thousand words, am I right?
I ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich which consists of a buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with hot sauce, aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles (and it comes with yummy BBQ chips on the side!). I’m not a big hot sauce fan so I got it on the side (you can see it there in the silver cup) and boy am I glad I did (it was a little to spicy for my liking!).
The best way to describe this Fried Chicken Sandwich is to think of a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich (which is super yummy) and multiply that by three! In layman terms, it’s DELICIOUS! Although I do suggest getting the hot sauce on the side (like I did). Even if you like hot sauce, you can easily pour it on your sandwich if need be.
My mom decided to try Art’s Famous Fried Chicken which consists of buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits and most importantly, love!
It was so filling that we couldn’t even finish it all in one sitting (but man did it heat up lovely once we got back to our hotel room!). If you’re ever in the Disney Springs/Disney World area, I HIGHLY recommend giving Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ a try (I can’t wait until my next Disney World trip in August so I can dine here again and try even more delicious food! I think next time I’m going to try the Fried Chicken & Doughnuts or The Hamilton!).
Any fellow Disney lovers out there? Be sure to check out more Disney Haul, Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Disney Park Pack and Disney Restaurant Review posts here on Simply Sinova (because there’s always room for more Disney!)