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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homecomin' Kitchen: Our New "Must-Do" Disney Dining Location!


by: guide4wdw - Collin

Just last Friday (when this article was originally written: Mid July 2017), we had the opportunity to dine at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' Kitchen. To be quite honest, I had heard outstanding reviews of the location, but really didn't expect an amazing dining experience. I'm happy to say I was blown away by the level of service and incredible food the dining location encompasses. 

First off, we did have a reservation for dinner on July 7th at 6:00pm. We chose to spend that day of our trip at the resort just relaxing and taking in a few final minutes of Disney before flying home on Saturday. However, we wrapped up our time at the resort a little early and decided to head over to Disney Springs. Once we arrived, we decided to try to check in early for our reserved time (nearly 2 hours early), and the staff was more than helpful getting us a table much earlier than expected. After what was likely less than 10 minutes, we were at our table! 

When you walk in the door at Homecomin' you're greeted by the smell of classic southern food and a friendly staff. At the check in counter there's a bowl of taffy to eat while you wait or take with you after your meal. While that is simply a little detail, it's one of those things that sets a dining location apart from many others. (In a similar way, The Crazy Crab in Hilton Head Island, which many of you may have visited, has a characteristic key lime flavored candy at the welcome counter.) 

Once we were seated, our server arrived and really helped build the experience from the very beginning. As we pondered the menu, and attempted to narrow down our choices (which was extremely difficult because everything sounds good), our server made suggestions and helpful comments that were outstanding  Considering we were first time guests at the location, she made a special effort to share the location's story and how a majority of the items are actually "Florida fresh," and locally sourced. For me, that was a big selling point from the very beginning. Personally, if I can support the people around me in any way possible I'd much rather do that than an industry hundreds or even thousands of miles away. However, long story short, our server (Brooke if you want to ask for her by name) was outstanding and really helped better our overall Homecomin' experience. She gave truly honest opinion of what was served and really helped build an outstanding customer service experience!

After ordering, the food arrived fairly quickly and everything was brought to us hot and fresh.  All in all, we ordered four meals: Art's Famous Fried Chicken, Fried Chicken and Donuts, The Chopped Pork Barbecue Plate, and another Famous Fried Chicken. We were fair warned that the portion size was huge by our server (we didn't head the warning unfortunately), and she wasn't kidding. The meals are huge and I wouldn't have it any other way!  

Art's Famous Fried Chicken was the crowd pleaser for sure! Honestly, it is the best fried chicken I have eaten in my life. Each piece is breaded and fried to a crispy texture, but the best part is, a majority of the bones have been removed prior to frying (with the exception of the chicken leg), so you can essentially eat everything that is brought to you. Even the larger sections of chicken were cut around the bone making it extremely easy to eat. this particular meal is served with mashed potatoes and cheddar drop biscuits, but the side can be traded out for others on the menu. The macaroni and cheese is a $2 up charge and we'll share more on that later.   

The other fried chicken dish we ordered came with donuts opposed to the biscuits and was also outstanding. While in that particular meal you do get fewer pieces of chicken (see pictures), the meal is a simple variation of what is the Chicken and Waffles concept. The donuts aren't incredibly overbearing with sugar, and the sauce that comes with them is equally as tasty! It really offers up that sweet and savory combination that just goes great together. 

The chicken itself is amazing, it is a heavy meal, but a very juicy chicken with a ton of flavor. The sides are just as wonderful. The mashed potatoes are smooth and rich with an abundance of flavor paired with an equally creamy gravy. The Macaroni was outstanding, extremely filling, and is quite a large portion (hence the up charge). Another side we ordered, sweet potatoes, we're supposedly outstanding as well, but personally I never could stand the taste of that type of potato. I had to pass on that one.

Last, but certainly not least, the chopped pork meal was really surprising. The sauce was quite sweet and the pork was extremely tender. Also worth noting is that Macaroni is included in the original pairing for this item on the menu, so there is no uncharge to order it with this meal.   

No one in our group ordered alcoholic drinks, (personally I'm not 21 quite yet) but I will comment and say that this is one of the few places on Disney property where you can get "real" sweet tea. I'm from the city portion of Kentucky, so going a week without sweet tea is a challenge. If you're like us, enjoy it while you're at this dining location and it won't likely disappoint you. 

All in all, this was one of the best meals, if not the best meal, we had during our vacation and I know I'll be returning at some point in the future (hopefully sooner rather than later!). I understand this sounds like another over-positive review, but once again we paid for all of this out of pocket and I have very few complaints. Yes, as with everything on property it was a little pricey, but that's to be expected. However, if I could change one thing, the only gripe I could come up with is that the drink prices are really high even by Disney standards. Everything considered, the staff was outstanding, very friendly, and the food was really hard to put into words. It's true southern cooking at it's finest! If you go, ask for Brooke if she's there, and don't forget to try the chicken! If you want to check out a full menu here's a quick link -> Menu and Prices

Thanks for reading, and be sure to SHARE our new Disney dining "must do" with friends! If you're booking a vacation and plan on spending some time at Disney Springs, be sure to check this place out!

Honestly, I don't quite know how affiliated this property is with Disney, but they do take the dining plan and other Disney related discounts if you're interested! Thanks again! 

While you're here, be sure to shoot me a friend request on Facebook so I can keep in touch with some of our readers and answer any questions you may have! I really enjoy interacting with fellow Disney fans and make an honest effort to personally reply to any comments on our posts! -> Facebook  

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