When Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming opened in Disney Springs last July, it’s safe to say we were big fans. In fact, we were really big fans. In fact, with a restaurant row now loaded with incredible eateries such as Raglan Road, Morimoto Asia, and BOATHOUSE, Homecoming just may be our favorite of all.
This past week the restaurant officially changed its named to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. It also has added a few new items to menu over the past few months, so it was high time to go back and check it out.
We’ll start with appetizers, and first up is the THIGH HIGH CHICKEN BISCUITS. These have replaced the bbq chicken wings on the menu and we can confirm that they are one of the top six food items on Disney property.
Three biscuits topped with Chef Art’s famous fried chicken thighs and bread and butter pickles. Drizzled with hot honey.
The “hot” honey isn’t a hot sauce honey, but more of a warm, tangy honey and it is absolutely incredible. The sweet taste will pair well with a Sweet Tea Shine or one of the many cocktails on the menu.
Speaking of hot sauce, Homecomin’ now sells its house made hot sauce in bottles you can take home. This slightly sweet sauce gets a lot of rave reviews from hot sauce fans.
Another appetizer we tried was the BUNCH OF PUPPIES and they were very good, but all we could think about was ordering some more Thigh High Chicken Biscuits. Enjoyed that the hushpuppies had a nice crunchy outside, but soft in the middle. The jalapeño jelly dip added a nice sweet and spicy kick.
House-made hushpuppies served with pimento cheese and jalapeño jelly.
The BRAISED SHORT RIBS are one of the newer entree items. As the menu promised, the meat was was boneless and pulled apart easily. Very flavorful and because of the tenderness there was no need for a knife. While we enjoy the regular mashed potatoes at Homecomin’, the whipped sweet potatoes was a nice touch. You don’t see that any many restaurants.
Boneless beef short ribs are slow cooked until fork tender served over whipped sweet potatoes with seasonal vegetable.
One of our favorite dishes from Day One of Homecomin’ was the FRIED CHICKEN & DOUGHNUTS. Just as before, it was absolutely amazing as Homecomin’ has the best friend chicken at WDW and that combined with the doughnuts and syrup make the meal something special. The gravy that comes with the mashed potatoes is extremely thick and we ended up just not using it.
Two pieces of Chef Art Smith’s famous fried chicken served with house-made sugar doughnuts and creamy mashed potatoes.
Here is ART’S FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN. Can’t go wrong here. Two great pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes and a biscuit. We asked the server for a side of the hot honey after tasting it during the appetizers and drizzled some on the chicken as well as dipping the biscuit in it.
Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits, and love.
THE COUNTRY CLUB is a new sandwich that has been added to the menu and it’s a good one. The jalapeño jelly is not overwhelming, and the cheese and bacon on top of the chicken combined for more of a stand out experience compared to your average chicken sandwich.
Grilled chicken topped with white cheddar, pecan-smoked bacon, red jalapeño jelly, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.
Another sandwich we tried was the HFK BARBECUE BUN and it was fantastic, maybe the best pork sandwich at Disney. We did ask for an extra side of barbecue sauce to add even more on top.
Sweet and spicy barbecue chopped pork piled high on a brioche bun and topped with southern slaw served with house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing.
FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH. Just as the HFK Barbecue Bun may be the best pork sandwich at WDW, the fried chicken sandwich is right up there as well. As a person who is generally not a fan of hot sauces, drizzling the Homecomin’ hot sauce over the chicken breast actually works as the heat doesn’t overpower the taste.
Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with hot sauce, aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles
As a comparison, here is the KID’S CHICKEN SANDWICH. Sides are cucumber salad and sweet potatoes.
We had a vegetarian and a vegan with our dining party, and one of the items the table ordered was the KITCHEN PLATE. This allows you to pick any three sides, and we went with Broccolini, Southern Slaw, and KC Greens (braised kale and collards). Usually we find the vegetable selections to be of poor quality at meat-based restaurants, but that is not the case at Homecomin’. We also got sides of the iron skillet sweet potatoes and the cucumber salad, and each item was delicious.
A sampling of three different house-made sides. Yum, yum and yummy.
The MOMMA’S MAC AND CHEESE was a nice surprise for our family as the kiddos usually balk at Disney mac and cheese. Thankfully, the mac and cheese at Homecomin’ was freshly made from scratch and tastes better than what we make at home.
Ok. Time for some drinks. First up was the MOONSHINE FLIGHT that has been added to the menu. Homecomin’ has about 20 different types of moonshine available, and the flight allows you to pick any three. We went with HFK Pineapple, Pritchard’s Lincoln County Lightning, and Bear Gully. The pickle chaser did have a little spice to it, and the pecans were sweet, so they added a nice mix to cut the strength of the shine. As ol’ grandpappy would say, a shot of Bear Gully is going to put hair on your chest.
Select any three of our house-made or branded moonshine flavors. Served with a spiced pickle juice chaser and candied pecans.
SWEET TEA SHINE. We got this for a reluctant dining member who isn’t a big tea drinker, but absolutely loved the Sweet Tea Shine. We also got it served in one of the Homecomin’ souvenir cups, which is giant themed Solo cup. Great touch of Florida there.
Sweet tea, fresh-squeezed lemon and moonshine.
We’ve had the MOONSHINE MASH in the past and went back to it again because it is so good.
Mrs. Sutton’s Watermelon Likker, fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup.
After the Sweet Tea Shine, our table member tried out the BLUE HOOCH. This is billed as the strongest shine on tap at Homecomin’ and she loved the drink even more than the Sweet Tea Shine. A huge hit.
Blue Flame moonshine, lemon-infused moonshine, blue curaçao, house-made simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and a splash of Sprite. Our strongest shine on tap.
Your Humble Author always keeps it real. Went with a BUD LIGHT. Talk about a drink that personifies “Florida.”
Every time we go to Homecomin’ we get stuffed on food and never have room for desserts but this time we said Nay, Nay. No matter what, we’re getting desserts. Yes, it is a hard life we bloggers lead but we do it for you, Dear Reader, as you deserve nothing but our very best.
Our first dessert was an order of DOUGHNUTS. We loved the doughnuts that came with the chicken & doughnuts place, so it was time for some more to share. These came out hot and fresh and were mouth watering.
Freshly made mini orange-sugar doughnuts.
The signature dessert of Homecomin’ is SHINE CAKE. This is an “adults only” dessert” and was a pleasant surprise. You can actually taste the sine with each bite as it soaks through from the top down. The combination of the sweet cake along with the ice cream proved to us why this dessert is such a big hit with guests. Would definitely get again.
Chef Art Smith’s signature dessert. An adult only butter cake soaked with moonshine syrup. Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I started off by saying I was pretty confident Homecomin’ was my favorite restaurant in Disney Springs. That is no small praise, as I am in love with BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia, Cookes of Dublin and Splitsville (which may be the most “underrated” gem at Disney, in the sense that many people will never try it thinking it’s “bowling alley food” whereas anyone who goes knows it is GREAT.) The new menu changes cement Homecomin’ as my #1 though, as the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits are right up there with the Sanaa’s bread service, the waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow, Dole Whips, and the bread pudding at ‘Ohana for my personal favorite Disney food. The new Annual Passholder discount applied to all the food items, making it even better!
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All photos in this article courtesy of Brandon Glover.