Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is a table-service restaurant in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. The restaurant serves comfort and Florida cuisine. Homecomin’ touts using local farms in their ingredients. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ does accept the Disney Dining Plan, Tables in Wonderland and has an Annual Pass (10%) discount. We’ve dined at Homecomin’ several times and this review will cover those experiences, including photos, and our thoughts on the food and value.
Disney Springs has made significant upgrades in dining over the last five years. The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia have become a few of our favorite Disney World restaurants. Homecomin’ has now joined that list, with delicious comfort food and a relaxing setting.
Chef Art Smith has several restaurants around the country, but Homecomin’ is a return to his home state. The restaurant’s cuisine and style matches his down-home, Florida roots. If you aren’t sure what Florida cuisine and style consists of, I was to. The food is a mix of seafood and southern comfort food. Style and decor inside the restaurant is slightly harder to pin down, as Florida is a big state with a broad history. Homecomin’ celebrates more of the southern, farmhouse style.
The inside of the restaurant is a nice mix of rustic and modern. Much of the restaurant’s dining room features gorgeous wood and interesting angles. An open kitchen sits on one end of Homecomin’ while a bar sits on the other end. Windows surround the entire restaurant, making the atmosphere feel inviting and warm. Artwork around the restaurant enhances the comforting environment. All of this feels as if a farmer was tasked with building a very modern design restaurant. It’s a style that few could argue with. There is also outdoor seating that looks over the water. If it’s not too hot then sitting outside is a great option.
We’ve done both the Rise & Shine Southern Brunch (on Sundays) and lunch/dinner at Homecomin’. There is some carryover from the brunch menu to the lunch and dinner menu, namely the fried chicken dishes. We enjoyed both meals and would recommend either, with a slight nod to lunch.
A look at the menu shows that brunch doesn’t offer any fish unlike lunch and dinner. There’s also a pretty strong focus on breakfast items, unsurprisingly. One item that is offered at both meal times is the Fried Chicken & Doughnuts (the other being Shrimp & Grits).
The fried chicken was some of the best I’ve ever had and one of the best items I’ve ever tried at Walt Disney World. My mouth is watering just thinking about the dish. As our waitress explained, there is a 24-hour buttermilk brine on the chicken. This makes the chicken incredibly juicy and full of flavor. The batter was light and flaky. The powdered sugar on top was a nice contrast to the seasoning on the batter. With the batter being fairly thin, the chicken is still the star of the dish and delicious.
While they don’t quite measure up to the chicken, the donuts were also delicious. They were homemade, warm and soft. Powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar were sprinkled on top. The star when it came to the donuts though was the syrup. This was a spiced cane syrup and tasted incredibly fresh, just like the rest of the dish. Local ingredients really shown through in both the syrup and the chicken.
My meal also came with a choice of a side. I picked the grits, as Melissa ordered the others. These were my favorite grits I’ve tried, although I must admit that I’m not a huge fan. The grits were incredibly creamy and cheesy, making for good flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the chicken and donuts more but the grits were an interesting side.
In a recent trip we ordered the Mac & Cheese with the Fried Chicken & Donuts (so healthy, I know). This is now our favorite side that Homecomin’ offers. The Mac & Cheese was creamy with loads of cheese and bacon sprinkled on top. Whether you want this hearty of a side with an already filling meal is worth considering but you can’t go wrong with the Mac & Cheese.
For brunch, Melissa ordered the Grand-daddy Plate which came with three eggs, pecan-smoked bacon, country ham, a cheddar biscuit and 2 sides, in this case fresh fruit and potato gratin mash. This was a fairly typical breakfast dish and made well. The ham was a highlight, as it was grilled to perfection and had a nice sweetness. We both also really enjoyed the potato gratin mash as it was cheesy and creamy. Out of all the sides, this was our favorite that we tried. The eggs were fairly standard, although the yokes were large and impressive. The cheddar biscuit and bacon were both good but nothing spectacular.
A few others in our party had the Hallelujah Biscuit, fried chicken on a biscuit with eggs, cheese, bacon and gravy on top. They all raved about this dish and would get it again. Although the consensus was that the highlight of the dish was the fried chicken so deciding between Fried Chicken and Donuts or Hallelujah Biscuit is a tough choice. I’d choose either of those over the Grand-daddy Plate though.
At lunch & dinner we have also tasted the Braised Short Ribs. While Melissa and I both enjoy the Fried Chicken more, this was another strong option. We were both blown away by the size of the dish, as portions at this restaurant are very large.
Moving on to dessert, I ordered the Shine Cake. This is a Butter Cake soaked in Moonshine Syrup and served with Ice Cream. I thoroughly enjoyed this dessert as the cake was moist and not overly sweet. On certain bites, the Moonshine really came through and was strong. More often than not this just tasted like an excellent Butter Cake.
Melissa ordered a special at the time – Key Lime Pie. I liked the dessert but didn’t love it. Melissa, on the other hand, really enjoyed it. We both liked the filling. The only part I wasn’t crazy about was the crust but, overall, this is a dessert worth trying if available.
Our waitress was one of the best I’ve experienced at Walt Disney World, being very informative and helpful. She even offered us to-go cups for whatever drinks we had on the way out. This helped make the whole southern charm vibe come alive.
The prices at Homecomin’ were slightly high but nothing out of the ordinary for being on Disney World property. Fried Chicken and Donuts are the most expensive dish at $26. Yes, that’s slightly high for fried chicken but I would absolutely pay that again for the exact same thing. Melissa’s dish was $18 which is a little high for a breakfast dish but, again, not terrible. Lunch and Dinner fall under the same boat with entree prices falling between $18 and $30. More than anything, the prices won’t detract us from going back. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, lunch and dinner represent a better value than brunch although the better value is only by a few dollars.
When factoring in the environment, food and price, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is one of the better restaurants in Walt Disney World. No where on property, and few places in the world, have better fried chicken. The environment isn’t themed or telling a story, instead it’s simply a nice restaurant celebrating the area. In large part because of the excellent fried chicken, Homecomin’ has become one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World.
Have you been to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’? Let us know your thoughts or any questions you have in the comments. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews