REVIEW: Homecomin’ Rise & Shine Southern Brunch

This past Sunday marked the first day for the Homecomin’ Rise & Shine Southern Brunch at Disney Springs. As one of our favorite lunch/dinner offerings at Disney Springs, we were excited to see how the brunch offering stacks up.

First, a look at the menu. You can click on it for a larger image.

What is brunch without a Bloody Mary? Homecomin’ introduces five Bloody Mary variants, of which, we tried three.

Southern Mary – $15

Crop Tomato Vodka, Whiskey Willy’s Bloody Mary Mix with pecan-smoked bacon, fried green tomato, pimento cheese stuffed olives and seasoned salt rim

We should preface the Bloody Mary reviews with the fact that nobody at the table really cared for Bloody Marys in general. That said, there were some great and no-so-great elements of just about every drink. The Southern Mary was the most benign of the three, with a mostly traditional tomato flavor. While the “pecan-smoked” taste was largely missing from the bacon encountered during the brunch, it paired nicely with the tomato flavors here. The vodka was less present in this drink than the spirits encountered in the following two drinks, which made this an easy sip.

Whiskey Mary – $16

Ole Smoky Mango Habanero Whiskey, Whiskey Willy’s Bloody Mary Mix with bacon-wrapped ancho shrimp, pimento cheese-stuffed Fresno pepper

Next up was the Whiskey Mary. If the Southern Mary was tame, the Whiskey Mary was the opposite. With the same Bloody Mary mix as the Southern Mary, the differentiator here is the Ole Smoky Mango Habanero Whiskey. The mango works in a way that attempts to smooth out the kick from the habanero and works for the first few sips, but the habanero eventually wins out. A spicy drink that will definitely wake you up.

Bloody Maria – $16

Dobel Humito, Whiskey Willy’s Bloody Mary Mix, fresh lime juice with pimento cheese-stuffed celery, olives, Tasso ham and a seasoned salt rim

The most difficult to drink was the Bloody Maria. The tequila caught us off guard and didn’t really work at all in a Bloody Mary. That said, the celery and pimento cheese worked wonderfully, providing a cool bite paired with a slight spice that was enjoyable.

Princess Mimosa – $12

A royal pour of bubbly with fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice

A traditional mimosa with noticeably fresh orange juice. A solid pour makes this a wonderfully refreshing morning drink.

White Peach Sangria – $12

La Perlina Moscato with muddled orange and mango, fresh peach puree, peach moonshine and a moonshine-soaked peach wedge

A variety of fresh citrus ingredients led to this being another favorite at the table (along with the other non-Bloody-Mary drinks). The moscato is going to contain a bit of citrus with a refreshing taste.

Blueberry Mimosa – $10

A classic brunch staple with blueberry puree and fresh blueberries

The puree found its way to the bottom of the glass, which wasn’t a problem at all. The bubbly was wonderful and the hints of blueberry made this another excellent choice if you find yourself wandering in for brunch.

Now that we’ve established that it’s best to stick to the mimosas and sangria offered, lets take a look at entrees.

House-made Doughnuts – $8

Mini iced doughnuts piled with pecans, bacon and drizzled with house-made caramel

These may be the menu item that we were most excited to try. We’re happy to report that these were a home run. A perfectly constructed doughnut is accompanied with a warm caramel and delicious bacon. The chopped bacon and pecans are present in every bite, making for a fully realized dish that we can recommend. This is offered as a starter.

Biscuits – $8

Cheddar cheese drop biscuits served with choice of blackberry fig jam or sawmill gravy

While you can find biscuits on the regular lunch or dinner menu, Homecomin’ does biscuits so well that we couldn’t pass them up for brunch. The fig jam was wonderfully flavorful and it has a traditional blackberry taste. This is offered as a starter.

Fried Green, Eggs & Ham – $18

Open-faced biscuit topped with griddled country ham, fried green tomatoes, fried eggs, shaved country ham and remoulade sauce

While there are plenty of layers to this dish, it’s surprisingly bland. The good parts of the dish include the biscuit and eggs, but the country ham topping was dry and made the whole dish a bit disappointing. The only supporting sauce offered was the house-made hot sauce. It works well with chicken, but not really with the breakfast items found at brunch.

Grand-Daddy Plate – $18

Two eggs any-style, pecan-smoked bacon, griddled country ham and choice of two sides

There was nothing grand about this plate. The second-smallest plate (wait until you see the burger), this plate was missing something. While it’s hard to justify many of these brunch prices, this was maybe the worst value, and there was nothing “grand” about it.

Sunrise Burger – $20

Topped with pecan-smoked bacon, a fried egg, white cheddar and tomato-bacon jam on a brioche bun. Choice of side or chips

This was the most disappointing presentation of any of the dishes. For a $20 burger, it resembled a basic fast-food breakfast sandwich. With the delicious Art Burger being one of our favorite items from the dinner menu, it was unfortunate to see a thin fast-food burger served at brunch. As far as taste, the eggs and bacon took a back seat to the tomato-bacon jam. The jam was nice, but the burger as a whole left some to be desired.

Short Rib Hash – $22

Two fried eggs over our short rib hash with grilled corn succotash, potatoes, onions and red peppers. Served with a cheddar cheese drop biscuit and choice of one side.

The short rib hash was one of the items we figured would be an easy dish for Homecomin’ to prepare given their successful production of a short rib dish during other meal periods. Unfortunately, we were left wanting more with this dish as well. The small portion size of short rib compared to hash only gave us a few bites where we could actually enjoy both. While the hash was good, the dish was a bland experience overall. While we’re here, the potato gratin mash side was amazing. The potatoes were creamy and soft underneath the baked cheese on the top layer. This side was the standout of all the sides that we tried.

Hallelujah Biscuit –  $22

Open-faced biscuit topped with Chef Art’s famous fried chicken, two fried eggs, pimento cheese, pecan-smoked bacon and smothered in sawmill gravy. Choice of side item

Hallelujah, we finally found a dish worth ordering. This dish combines the things that Homecomin’ does really well – fried chicken and a biscuit. This was the only dish where all of the elements worked together. The chicken was nice and crispy, the biscuit was soft and flavorful, and the sawmill gravy paired nicely with the pimento cheese which offered just the slightest kick of spice at the end of a bite. All that combined with a few strips of bacon, ham, and eggs for a well-rounded plate and the only entree we can fully recommend.

Country Benedict – $18

Open-faced biscuit, two poached eggs, griddled country ham and house made hollandaise. Choice of side item

Yet another dish that failed to leave a lasting impression beyond “just okay”. If we were to offer feedback to Homecomin’, it would be to add more flavors to the dishes. They’re a southern restaurant with a variety of sauces and flavors at their disposal, and the vast majority of their entrees could use it.

Our Thoughts

The Rise & Shine Southern Brunch at Homecomin’ was a disappointment. Homecomin’ is the restaurant we’ve visited more than any other at Disney Springs, thanks to the high quality food and flavors. The brunch offerings were, at best, serviceable, and in many cases bland and unmemorable. When you’re going to be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-50 for a brunch, there needs to be a better product than what Homecomin’ presented.

While we can give a full recommendation to Homecomin’ for their regular lunch and dinner menu, we’d recommend skipping the brunch menu entirely.

Mike is the owner and writer for Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks

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