The Best Churros at Disney World Are Not Where You're Looking
The pastry chefs at Orlando's exclusive Four Seasons Resort is raising the bar on this and other theme park treats.
Remember your first Disney World churro? Rabii Saber does, and while he will tell you that he thought it was a fine churro indeed, the Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando couldn't help but feel nostalgic for the churros he remembered, growing up next door to (and spending plenty of time in) the country that made the churro famous, which is Spain.
Should you find yourself at the Four Seasons, with its guests-only waterpark and best-in-class character breakfasts, hiding in plain sight at Disney World, barely a mile and a world away from the campers and the Hoop-De-Do Musical Revue at dear old Fort Wilderness, you should head to the rooftop restaurant and bar, Capa, order the Churros de Madrid, and put Saber to the test, though, spoiler alert, it really isn't a contest, because this is an extremely good dessert.
These churros, rolled in vanilla bean sugar, are served with a duo of dipping sauces—chocolate and dulce de leche—like puffy little clouds that might float away, were they not trapped inside a just-crunchy-enough exterior.
The popularity of the dessert was the beginning of something, apparently—now, in a delicious game of friendly oneupsmanship, Saber, Assistant Pastry Chef Guillermo Soto and their team have created an entire series of the sort of treats you might go looking for in certain nearby theme parks—elevated, naturally, to suit the very civilized (but also very fun) surroundings. You'll find the good stuff scattered throughout the resort; think of this as a sort of sweet (and highly photogenic) scavenger hunt.
How popular are those churros? Enough that they're now offered downstairs in the lobby café, Lickety Split, which means you don't have to wait until after your dinner to dig in. This very fine, anytime dessert comes with two churros standing sentry in a potent affogato, composed of two scoops of house-made vanilla gelato, drowning in your choice of Caffe Umbria cold brew coffee, or a shot of espresso.
Baked fresh all day long and served with a cheese sauce made from actual cheese, these carbaceous beauties come three to an order at PB&G, the resort's waterside, all-day hang. Brushed with plenty of butter, these Philadelphia-worthy numbers are served up not only with that cheese sauce, which is actually a beer cheese sauce, made with brown ale, but also a maple mustard glaze made from pure maple syrup and grain mustard. Perfect, in case you decide that you're eating these as dessert.
Avocado Gelato Ice Cream Taco
For those who can never have too much avocado in their lives, there's this generously sized and highly shareable treat, which appears to have been created primarily to be photographed. The whole thing bursts forth from a fresh waffle cone shell taco, dipped in dark Swiss chocolate and rainbow sprinkles; inside go many scoops of avocado gelato, made from fresh avocado puree. On top, you get dark chocolate drizzle, and shavings of white chocolate. Way more fun than avo toast.
What's better than a Hostess cupcake? One that's made from scratch, with a few high-quality ingredients, that's what. Rich with Belgian cocoa powder (Cacao Barry), filled with housemade marshmallow cream and topped with fudge icing, the final flourish is, you guessed it, a swirl of white icing across the top. Looks exactly like you'd expect it to look. Tastes a thousand times better. Available at Lickety Split.
Cotton Candy Gelato
In less capable hands, something so outré might end up a sickly disaster, but at the home to some of the better gelato you will find within the Happiest confines, it's hard not to go for spoonful after spoonful of this very pink offering, tasting exactly like spun cotton candy because it is made with loads of actual spun cotton candy. On top? More of same, a nice big puff of the stuff, plus the odd sprinkle or twenty.
What's better—bottle service, or S'mores service? Discuss. At the PB&G, the summer night by the lake classic comes tableside, no campfire required. An array of the necessaries—graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, and other goodies that work just as well—is delivered to you on an oversized butcher block, along with a cleverly disguised little Sterno burner. Just like those nights out at the lake? Pretty much—just no bugs. Sorry—we know you'll hate to miss out on the bugs.
Thanks to a sneaky shot of vodka, this bit of pure nostalgia is for grownups only. Served at PB&G, it's the perfect combination of throwback to your childhood and your current need for something a little stiff, after a day escorting a tribe of little people, currently living out their actual childhoods. Good luck trying to explain why they can't have a sip, but then again, this is still Disney World—there are plenty of kid-friendly alternatives.
Churros de Madrid
If you only try one dessert on property, it's a toss-up between the churro affogato, and this time-tested original, which you'll find on the dessert menu upstairs at Capa. Always served fresh with the requisite chocolate and dulce de leche sauces for dipping, these churros are the perfect ending to a night on the hotel's top floor terrace, preferably right around the time the Magic Kingdom fireworks show kicks off.