July 12, 2016, was a big day at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s rethemed entertainment complex welcomed Celebrity Chef Art Smith. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is paying homage to Florida’s rich agricultural heritage by highlighting local ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine, my friends. Believe me, when I tell you, I found a new weekly eatery and thankfully, it’s in my backyard. This week, Disney invited my family out for a menu tasting and I’m here to tell you what I feel to be the five items you have to order at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’!
As you walk in you’ll notice the high ceilings and an abundance of woods used throughout. Ample light creates a great atmosphere for the 6,000-square-foot restaurant. It’s like my perfect little farmhouse themed house and I wanted to move in asap.
Offering one of the most accessible menus at Disney’s shopping and dining district, Homecomin’ serves comfort food favorites with a Florida twist in one of the Springs’ friendliest atmospheres. And if you’re on the move, you can quickly order some favorites from the To-Go window. A sweet touch, if you ask me.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Favorites
1. The Church Lady Deviled Eggs
“HFK-style” whole deviled eggs arrive “in carton” with one of the most precious food presentations that I’ve ever seen. Six whole eggs arrive, tops slightly removed, each with an unbelievably creamy center, and a meaty finish with the prosciutto on top. Heavenly, really. I must say, I’ve never, ever, ever liked deviled eggs but these, oh my. I swear I ate four of them. So delicious, so full of flavor, so good. Get them!
2. The Thigh High Chicken Biscuits
For $12, you receive three biscuits warm cheddar biscuits with Chef Art’s famous fried chicken thighs and a bread & butter pickles. The chicken is also drizzled with hot honey. Might as well ask for more on the side because you’ll want to drink it. The hot honey does a nice job of spicing up the smooth sharp cheddar cheese inside of the crispy exterior biscuit, while at the same time contrasting with the juicy chicken. The sweet & spicy taste will pair well with a Sweet Tea Shine or one of the many cocktails on the menu.
3. Art’s Famous Fried Chicken
You can’t visit Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ without getting Chef Art’s famous chicken! Ready for this? HFK chicken is buttermilk-brined for 24 hours before it’s perfectly fried. With your order, three pieces of bone-in chicken are served alongside the mashed potatoes and two biscuits. The brine leaves the chicken incredibly succulent underneath the rich, crispy coating. And if you can get some of the Hot Honey sauce on the side, you’ll be in chicken heaven.
4. Shrimp & Grits
Pan-seared shrimp with robust and slightly spicy tomato gravy sit atop Tasso ham served over creamy, cheesy Bradley’s grits. The serving size is perfect for one or I would say, even shareable. What I enjoy is that it’s one of the few non-fried, non-barbecue, non-sandwich entrees on the menu. So while I enjoy fried food like the next person, I also have my days when I want something on the lighter side. Shrimp and grits are perfect for those days.
5. Hummingbird Cake
If you’ve read Chef Art’s bestselling cookbook, “Back to the Table,” then you know what this cake is. The famous pineapple-banana cake with cream cheese frosting has to be in your belly by the end of the night. You get a flavor explosion while eating this cake. One I’ve never experienced before. Crushed pineapple, sweet and tart, creamy banana, and tangy buttercream icing. You’d think it would be overwhelming but it’s totally not. Oh and there’s vanilla bean ice cream on the plate too. Yep, it’s perfection. And a note before you order, what you see here in the photo is a sample slice. The normal serving is huge. Huge like I would share it with 3 people so plan accordingly.
Disclosure: I’m a Disney Partner and received this complimentary trip for #DisneyKids. As always, all opinions are my own.