Another Sunday means another visit to Disney Springs for brunch. If you missed our brunch last weekend, we tried the all-new southern brunch at Homecomin’. This weekend, we visited Maria and Enzo’s in Disney Springs to check out the Maria and Enzo’s Sunday brunch offering. We had heard some good things about it, so we were excited to give it a try ourselves.
Once inside, there is a large main dining room where all of the action takes place. We were originally supposed to sit in the first-class lounge, but asked nicely to sit in the main dining room. I would suggest you do the same for ease of access to the buffet.
The brunch is broken down into two offerings, but basically nobody in attendance chose the à la carte option, so we’ll focus on the prix-fixe option.
The prix-fixe brunch focuses exclusively on the right side of the menu and offers buffet-style “starter” stations, in addition to one entree. Let’s start with the starter stations.
Salumi and Cheese Station
The first of three “starter” stations, the salumi and cheese station required the staffing of the buffet. The staff was there to plate the salumi and cheese for you. The buffet included two blocks of cheese, which were chiseled as needed by staff and served to you. The stagg was knowledgeable on the types of cheese and the taste that could be expected from each. As they were served off the block, both of the cheeses were exceptionally fresh.
The salumi were also exceptionally fresh and full of flavor. As the line at the buffet increased, a staff member would travel down the line and plate some of the meats for you.
Located between the block of cheese and the pizza station, the Antipasti Station consisted of a fresh Caprese salad and a bowl of bowtie pasta with assorted vegetables and a light dressing. I really can’t stress enough how fresh everything on the buffet line was.
As far as stations go, our last station was the Pizza Station. Two pizzas were on offer here, with both excelling on the flavor scale, while appearing bland visually. There was enough flavor in both the red sauce and cheese-based pizzas, but we’d favor the cheese pizza on a return visit.
If you’re looking for a traditional pizza slice like what you might find at Blaze Pizza or upstairs in Pizza Ponte, forget it. They might not look like much, but these pizzas really worked well with the rest of the buffet offerings.
…and More Station
Presented on the same table as the other “stations”, there was also some salad and chilled shrimp. The peel-your-own shrimp surprised in terms of size and proved to be a favorite at the table. A large display of prosciutto could be found with the shrimp, but we found it to be a bit on the salty side. The salad continued the trend of fresh tastes and accompanied the pizza well.
A few photos of the above station offerings as they appeared on our plate.
In addition to the buffet, some delicious, buttery croissants were brought to the table.
Next up were the entrees. As part of the $35 for the prix-fixe brunch, you get to choose one entree, delivered to the table as you’re enjoying the buffet.
warm berry preserves, whipped mascarpone, granola
I don’t think it’s by chance that the french toast is first on the menu. This was by far the best entree offered at brunch, and would be our recommendation to you should you visit. Fresh french toast is as tall as the famous Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe. The soft french toast comes with layers of fresh berry preserves that soak through, providing a robust flavor to each bite. The fruit itself is fresh, just like everything else we’ve encountered up to this point. The whipped mascarpone provided a hint of vanilla to an already flavorful dish. It’s a really solid offering with more flavor in a single bite than many of the other entrees contain in a full plate.
NY Strip Steak N’ Eggs
served with scrambled or over easy with parm roasted potatoes
Next on the menu, we find the NY Strip Steak N’ Eggs. This plate was, perhaps, the most desired plate at the table whilst reading the menu, but turned out to be woefully underwhelming.
The eggs were ordered scrambled, but came out watery. Somewhere between a cheap hotel continental breakfast and just pure egg yolk, the eggs were not good at all. The steak came out cooler than the ordered temperature, but was otherwise tolerable. The potatoes were delicious, if a bit salty, but failed to save the plate as a whole.
Farmstead Vegetable Frittata
fingerling potatoes, asparagus, forest mushrooms, tomato, onion, four cheeses
The frittata was the most underwhelming, visually. An additional side would be warranted if we ordered this as an a la carte item, but another trip to the buffet might make up for a portion that was too small on its own. The ingredients continued the trend of “fresh and flavorful”. When one of the ingredients was part of your bite, I think the dish works well. However, the egg was generally bland and probably worth a pass.
Poached Hen Egg & Quinoa Kale Salad
zucchini, pepper, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, toasted almonds, avocado, frisee, citrus vinaigrette
The Quinoa Kale Salad earns a well-deserved second place in the entree lineup behind the french toast. A diverse mixture of fresh ingredients and a light dressing lead to a refreshing dish that paired quite nicely with the generally “heavy” buffet options.
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
parmesan cream sauce, poached hen eggs, prosciutto de parma
The Spaghetti Alla Carbonara follows the Maria and Enzo’s theme of cooking their pasta closer to the al dente side than what you’ll find elsewhere on Walt Disney World property. The poached hen egg found in the quinoa salad above makes its way into this dish as well in an effort to add a breakfast theme to what may otherwise be considered a forgettable dish at lunch or dinner. I did learn an Italian word during our meal, as the prosciutto de parma basically translated to “bacon” in both form and function. I think the prosciutto de parma worked well as a bacon, but the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is really another passable entree.
Unlimited Cocktails (additional $15)
For an additional $15, you can add truly unlimited cocktails. On offer is a white peach puree and prosecco bellini and a traditional mimosa. Both are premixed and poured at the table. As far as which was more enjoyable, we’d give the advantage to the mimosa. The bellini proved to be too thick and difficult to drink and enjoy. The mimosa paired a traditional champagne with an overly pulpy orange juice. The staff was generally attentive and while the mixtures favored the juices more than the alcohol, three, four, or more glasses of mimosa still make for quite an enjoyable brunch.
We’ve finally made it to the chocolate fountain. Between the starter stations, entrees, and unlimited cocktails, it seems like quite a journey to get to dessert, but it’s worth it.
A six layer fountain is surrounded by 9 different accompaniments and desserts. From cookie dough style squares, strawberries, and blueberry mini-muffins, to rice krispies, marshmallows, and yogurt, the dessert is a solid bookend to a wonderful brunch.
The Maria and Enzo’s brunch is a real winner. At a $35 base price (plus $15 unlimited cocktail), we think there’s some real value here compared to just about any other brunch offering we’ve tried. Don’t let the generally underwhelming entrees scare you off. Order the french toast and come hungry. The exceptionally fresh “starter” station is a really good value, when enjoyed buffet-style. The chocolate fountain finishes the experience nicely with a wide selection of accompaniments. If you find yourself looking for a brunch option at Disney Springs, you can’t go wrong with Maria and Enzo’s.
P.S. if you thought that this brunch looked good, check out the first attempt that Maria and Enzo’s made at brunch, with this Easter Brunch review from Scott at the Disney Cruise Line Blog.