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8 Things You’ll Love about Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Walt Disney World

When news of Art Smith’s restaurant coming to Disney Springs was first announced I was beyond excited.  This home cooking/Southern/Farm Fresh style of cuisine may be my very favorite food of all time.  I saw it as a great addition of a new type of menu to Disney Springs rounding out the offerings that the keep expanding.  If you haven’t yet tried Art Smith’s Homecomin’ I recommend you do it soon!  Here are 8 things I think you’ll love when you go.

 

 

8. The Backstory

There is so much backstory to what brought Chef Art Smith to Disney Springs to open Homecomin’.  Art Smith is a native Floridian, from Jasper, Florida.  He was also a Disney Cast Member in 1981 as part of the college program.  So, his restaurant Homecomin’ is truly a coming back to his roots in Florida and at Walt Disney World.  The menu itself celebrates Florida agriculture and farm fresh ingredients like those used in his mother’s kitchen in Jasper.  Many of Chef Art’s recipes are inspired by his family and his mother Addie Mae in particular.  And, of course, Chef Art Smith has many awards & accolades including being a two time James Beard Foundation winner, television appearances and being Oprah’s personal chef.

7. The Fresh Florida Feel

One of the things I love about this restaurant is the fresh, open & airy feel of the entire space. It has an updated farm house vibe that looks like it came straight out of Joanna Gaines’s design book.  I find it comfortable, casual and a very welcoming space.  There are high ceilings, murals that pay tribute to Florida agriculture, some raw wood & metal elements, and comfortable upholstery.  The chandeliers may be one of my favorite parts.  Everything fits right down to the servers’ gingham shirts and the drink coasters

6. Hummingbird Cake

Let’s get down to the food, shall we?  And why not start with dessert.  Chef Art Smith serves up one of my favorite Southern cakes, the Hummingbird Cake.  Homecomin’ offers a generous slice of this fruity cake that resembles carrot cake but is made with pineapple, ripe bananas and cinnamon.  And just like carrot cake, the Hummingbird Cake is iced with a generous layer of cream cheese icing—you really can’t go wrong with anything that has cream cheese icing on it.  Plus, the name Hummingbird Cake just sounds like something special.

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5. The Hush Puppies

Let’s skip from dessert to appetizers.  I don’t think you can visit Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ without giving his hush puppies a try.  Listed on the menu as “Bunch of Puppies” these perfectly fried balls of dough are so worth the calories.  They have the perfect texture for a hush puppy—crispy outside, tender inside.  Unlike other hush puppies you may have had, these have pimento cheese mixed right into the puppy.  Yummm!  They are served with a side of red jalapeno jelly for dipping.

4. Momma’s Mac & Cheese

I find few foods as comforting as a good, cheesy macaroni & cheese dish.  And my favorite kind is a baked version.  Art Smith’s Homecomin’ version of mac & cheese has a crunchy topping baked to perfection and an ooey gooey cheesy inside.  You know if it is named for Momma it has got to be good, and it doesn’t disappoint with rich flavor and perfect textures.

3. The Shine

Art’s Smith’s Homecomin’ is officially named Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen & Southern Shine.  The bar menu features a lot of great cocktails, along with Moonshine on tap.  The perfect complement to this southern themed restaurant.  You can get a Sweet Tea Shine with sweet tea, lemon & moonshine; Blue Hooch with Blue Flame Moonshine, lemon infused moonshine, blue curacao, simple syrup and a splash of sprite.  Or you might want to try a flight of Moonshine.  If you are really enamored you can get a 22oz squeeze bottle that you can use for refills.  There are a few other cocktails on the bar menu that piqued my interest.  The Blueberry Bliss cocktail has Blueberry vodka, fresh blueberry puree, agave syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice; and the Florida Crush has Tito’s homemade vodka muddled with orange and strawberries, a splash of fresh squeezed Florida Orange juice and agave syrup.  And the menu has an extensive list of creative cocktails that would be refreshing and a great accompaniment to any of the entrees.

2. Brunch

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ has recently started serving Brunch on Sundays from 10am-2pm and that makes all of us very happy.  The Rise & Shine Southern Style Brunch features some of the favorites from the regular menu like fried chicken and shrimp and grits, but adds some great new twists on breakfast favorites like Fried Green, Eggs & Ham (open faced biscuit with griddled country ham, fried green tomatoes, fried eggs, shaved country ham and remoulade); or Short Rib Has (two fried eggs over short rib hash with grilled corn succotash, potatoes, onions and red peppers.  The bar menu has 5 types of Bloody Marys offered and what sounds like a delicious Blueberry Mimosa.  Brunch service begins June 10, 2018 according to most sources.

1. The Fried Chicken

If you visit Art Smith’s Homecomin’ you most definitely have to try the fried chicken.  Make sure someone in your party orders it and is willing to share at least a bite.  While there are so many tempting entrees on the menu I keep coming back to the fried chicken over & over because it is just so good.  The chicken is brined in buttermilk for 24 hours and then fried to perfection.  The chicken itself is moist and tender, the “crunchies” are perfectly seasoned and just the right ratio of crunchies to chicken.  Soooo good.  And luckily you can order it many formats:  the Fried Chicken Entrée, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Fried Chicken Salad, and my personal favorite the Fried Chicken and Doughnuts.  This is a bit of a spin on the chicken and waffles.  The doughnuts are made fresh in house and melt in your mouth.  They make a great companion to the fried chicken.  And remember, calories don’t count of vacation—just look at how much you walk each day at Walt Disney World.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is one of my favorite restaurants at Disney Springs.  What do you love about it?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).