Kristin Casagrand / Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope everyone is enjoying great food and good company today (and maybe a little bit of football!).
This week in “A Taste of Disney,” we will be looking at a convenient breakfast spot before a day in Magic Kingdom®. Not many people have heard of the Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort®. This restaurant is a hidden gem and perfect for grabbing a bite to eat before heading out to the parks for the day. Kona Cafe also serves lunch and dinner, but I have only had the opportunity to experience breakfast so far.
When I went to Kona Cafe two years ago for breakfast, we were staying in a hotel not on the monorail loop. Reservations at Kona Cafe allowed us to drive to the Polynesian, park for our breakfast reservations, and then stay parked there the entire day while we utilized the monorail transportation to get to Magic Kingdom®. Very convenient and easy. However, I know Disney has cracked down on parking regulations in the past few years, so I am not sure if they still allow full-day parking for restaurant-goers at the resorts.
Kona Cafe is located on the second floor of the Polynesian Resort, and it is decked out in brightly colored, Polynesian themed decor. It is an open-air restaurant, so you are able to see the activity going on in the rest of the hotel and hear the sounds of the flowing waterfalls downstairs. It can get pretty crowded, so advance dining reservations are recommended, but walk-ins may be possible depending on the day.
Starting off, for drinks I would highly suggest you get Kona coffee or Lilikoi juice (combination of passionfruit, orange, and guava juices–yum!). The menu isn’t extensive, but it has plenty of choices to please everyone’s taste buds. One of the top choices is Tonga Toast -- banana-stuffed sourdough French toast rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with strawberry compote and your choice of ham, bacon, or sausage. Other menu items include the Big Kahuna, Steak and Eggs, Two Eggs Your Way, Omelet, Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes, Blueberry Pancakes, Pancakes, The Samoan, French Toast, and a Fruit Plate. During my last visit, I got the Steak and Eggs, and I can assure you it was filling and delicious!
Next time you’re looking for a breakfast spot, give Kona Cafe a try! This week’s recipe is for the infamous Tonga Toast. Recipe brought to you by http://www.magicalrecipes.net/kona-cafe-tonga-toast-recipe/.
Disney’s Polynesian Tonga Toast
2 or 4 slices sourdough bread, cut 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
oil or shortening for frying
whipped butter and/or syrup
Cut a 1-inch pocket in one side of each bread slice.
Cut banana in half crosswise, then split each piece lengthwise.
Remove peel and stuff 2 pieces of fruit in each pocket of bread; set aside.
Mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Mix well the egg, milk and vanilla.
Heat about 4 inches of oil in a pan to 350 degrees F.
Dip stuffed bread into egg/milk mixture and let it soak a few seconds to let penetrate bread.
Fry bread on both sides in hot oil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Drain on paper towels or wire rack.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve.
Have any of you eaten breakfast at Kona Cafe? What is your favorite menu item?
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.