*This gluten free dining experience took place in January 2020. It includes information about dairy free options, as well as a review of fish/shellfish free, peanut free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free options.
Dinner at Homecomin’ Kitchen
Homecomin’ Kitchen, located in Disney Springs, is one of those restaurants that I rarely go to. Not because it’s not good. But, because it’s so popular that it’s hard to get a reservation or be able to dine here as a “walk-up.” Brandon and I have tried to eat at Homecomin’ nearly a half a dozen times without success. On this visit, we stopped by in January later in the evening and were pleasantly surprised that the walk-up wait time was only 20-30 minutes. So, we decided it was finally time to have a meal there together, because while I had been there several times, Brandon had never eaten there.
Homecomin’ Kitchen’s theme is decidedly Florida Southern. There’s lots of bright colors, cozy chairs, and plenty of Southern hospitality.
I especially like all of the wood throughout the restaurant. The cheery decor is both rustic and chic.
I also the cozy chairs at the tables. It feels very welcoming and inviting. If I had one complaint, it’s that the tables are entirely too close together with the cozy chairs.
We were seated at a table really close to others and in a spot that seemed to be causing issues with servers moving through with food and drinks. If you have any specific seating preferences, like a booth or corner, it’s good to let the Homecomin’ Kitchen team know ahead of time.
The lighting fixtures and murals are some of the best decor features of Homecomin’ Kitchen. Both Brandon and I really loved the potato sack lined chandelier in the middle of the restaurant.
There are so many great nods to Florida and local features — including this beautifully crafted wooden table. Overall, the theme of the restaurant really is very inviting.
Homecomin’ Kitchen has become so popular — mostly because of its Southern and Florida local fare. As a gluten free and dairy free guest, I would recommend going to another restaurant, as this location is very dairy heavy (though there are a few dishes that are options). How and what they can accommodate will definitely depend on your special dietary needs.
Because Homecomin’ Kitchen is not owned and operated by Disney, they do not have an allergy-friendly menu. However, some of the menu notes items that are gluten free (as is). And, you’ll also be able to speak directly with a manager to talk through options. On this visit, the manager (whose name I have forgotten) was fantastic at working with us to ensure both us had a great and safe meal.
For my meal, I opted to order the Country Club with grilled chicken, topped with white cheddar, pecan-smoked bacon, red jalapeño jelly, lettuce & tomato served on an Udi’s gluten free bun with a side of mashed potatoes. This dish was gluten free but contained dairy. Guests can order this gluten free by omitting the cheese and choosing a different side dish.
Overall, the sandwich was very good. The chicken was very flavorful, and I love the restaurant’s pecan-smoked bacon. I also really loved the red jalapeño jelly, which gave the sandwich a sweet and spicy kick. The mashed potatoes (if you can have dairy) and rich and creamy and quite tasty.
I’d get this entree again, though next time I might get a dairy free side like collard greens or Southern slaw. Because the restaurant doesn’t have a dedicated fryer, you are a bit more limited on options at the restaurant.
Brandon ordered the Art Burger which came with two beef patties topped with American cheese, Art’s special sauce, tomato-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, onion & pickles. Somehow neither Brandon or I could find a picture of the burger. I don’t know if we forgot to take a photo, which is possible, because his meal came out a little later than mine.
Because of Brandon’s allergies to fish/shellfish and chicken & turkey, the manager recommended that he order a burger and that the kitchen cook it in a pan to avoid cross-contamination. We were both really impressed that the manager was proactive and took extra steps to ensure Brandon’s safety. Unfortunately, something happened during the prep process, as they put chips on his plate. The chips weren’t safe for either of us due to a shared fryer, so the manager had the kitchen re-make Brandon’s burger. We were so grateful for this and really appreciative of the manager keeping a close eye on our meals.
In between, the manager brought Brandon a plate of macaroni & cheese so that he could enjoy some food while we waited for his burger (and so my food didn’t get cold). He also came back several times and when Brandon said how much he loved the mac & cheese, the manager actually gave us a to-go package of it to heat up at home since we had to wait for Brandon’s burger. That was another nice touch, and I was glad to see the Homecomin’ Kitchen team going above and beyond during our meal. And, Brandon was pretty happy with at home mac & cheese too!
Both of us enjoyed our meals, despite the slight hiccup with Brandon’s meal. Both of us agreed that it’s not our favorite place at Disney Springs, but that we liked it a lot. I don’t think there’s a ton of variety for either of us as special dietary needs guests. But, if we’re craving some Southern cooking, it’s a nice spot for a meal. I also really enjoy the brunch at Homecomin’ Kitchen too.
Have you been to Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Kitchen? What did you order when you dined there?