Here’s How to Go on a Charcuterie Crawl at Walt Disney World (Yes, It’s Awesome)
If you have a day at Walt Disney World without park tickets, you need a break from park hopping, or you’re just game for a good old fashioned food crawl, this is the ultimate Disney-for-adults activity — no park-hopper ticket required. Each new restaurant and bar surprised us with its unique twist and take on a classic meat-and-cheese board. Check out our itinerary for the crawl with recommendations along the way.
Stop 1: Jaleo
Jaleo just opened at Disney Springs; it’s the brainchild of celebrated chef and philanthropist José Andrés. This creative Spanish restaurant takes tapas to the next level, and its charcuterie selection is no exception.
As you may have gathered, this won’t be your typical “here’s some salami and cheese, enjoy” kind of service. Start with a Spanish “48-month cured ham” that’s carved tableside (It comes from Ibérico pigs in Spain!). The chefs at Jaleo pull out all the stops to ensure that every cheese is paired with something beautiful to accompany it, like Pedro Ximénez compressed pears, fig jam with rosemary crackers, and bitter orange jam. Make sure you order the “pan de cristal con tomate” — a delectable freshly baked bread, thinly sliced, toasted, and brushed with tomato jam. Are you sensing a jam theme here? It works.
To sweeten the deal even further, the sangria is flowing. We have never tasted better sangria, truly. Even if meat and cheese don’t do it for you, sister, come for the sangria. We drank both the white and the red. En masse.
Stop 2: Wine Bar George
Don’t go too hard on the sangria at Jaleo, because you absolutely must make it to Wine Bar George. We shared the charcuterie with WBG’s founder George Miliotes, a master sommelier, who showed us exactly how you can pair your charcuterie accoutrements with the right glass of wine.
This stop is so clearly about the wine, but in the most charcuterie-esque way. You can sample your vino at Wine Bar George the same way you would sample cured meats and crumbled blue. Get this — you can try some of the greatest wines in the world (starting at $160 up to $2,160) by the ounce without paying to cork the bottle. In fact, George uses a Coravin, which allows him to tap the wine for a single serving without uncorking it. We tried an ounce of 2015 Chappellet Cabernet from Napa, which costs $250 per bottle.
Charcuterie becomes an interactive experience when you’re learning to pair a brut English sparkling wine with a creamy brie and a robust, rich cab with sharp parmesan, and (as George put it) “anything with cornichons.” You’re mixing a little of this, a little of that, and before you know it, you’ve eaten all the olives and Marcona almonds and you’ve downed an entire bottle of pinot. Whoops! It’s OK, because it’s vacation.
Hit up Wine Bar George to expand your palette, learn about new wines, experience some of the best varietals of your life without bankrupting yourself, and eat cornichons to your heart’s content. Be sure to get the “Big Board” for $59 — six cheeses, five meats, and all the trappings you could want. If you’re in the mood for something sparkly, we recommend the Digby brut (the aforementioned English wine).
Stop 3: Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar
For an authentic Italian experience, cruise your way over to Enzo’s speakeasy-inspired respite. This hideaway bar is a gem. It’s arguably the coolest ambiance of the lot and a place in which you’ll want to spend many hours.
Yes, there is an impressive wine list here as well, but the cocktail list is the star of the show when it comes to washing down your cheese board selection. And this is more than your average Aperol-spritz-and-capicola combo, friends. Try a Sparkling Sage (Hangar One vodka, St Germain, honey sage syrup, fresh ruby red grapefruit, and prosecco) or the Limoncello Gimlet (Nolet’s gin, Caravella limoncello, simple syrup, and thyme).
Or you could go the spritz route, and try the house version, Luciano Spritz: solerno blood orange, Aperol, blood orange juice, prosecco. Your zesty aperitifs will go quite nicely with the “Dolce Vita” board that includes aged prosciutto and some of the most delicious olives. And of course, no Italian charcuterie would be complete without scrumptious Italian cheeses, right? This one has parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano, and fontina val d’aosta (our personal fave).
Stop 4: Terralina
Get ready for the gauntlet, y’all, because the home stretch of the charcuterie crawl comes to a grand finale with the most Instagrammable board you can imagine: a colorful “antipasti tower.” Less antipasti and more accurately a full-blown meal, this sharable dish is the most vegetarian-friendly board of all of ’em.
Bedecked with caprese, zucchini, beets, peppers, olives, carrots, a huge spray of crunchy parmesan, and a bowl of freshly made chips (oh heck yeah), the double-decker antipasti tower at Terralina transcends charcuterie and cements itself in the halls of hors d’œuvre history as edible art.
I’ll be honest, at this point in the charcuterie tour, I had quite the fill of wines and sangrias, so I didn’t opt for a wine pairing with the antipasti, but I did
gorge delicately indulge in some vegetables on this more vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian-friendly board. Yes, there are meats on this one too, carnivores! And as Terralina’s manager put it, it’s mostly keto-friendly as well. Something I might want to consider after this crawl.
(Photos via Dominique Michelle Astorino)