Now here’s a restaurant you don’t hear much about when it comes to vegan food options. Today we’re paying a visit to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Kitchen in Disney Springs.
Vegan Disney Food Review: Homecomin’ Kitchen in Disney Springs
Oh, there won’t be anything vegan at a Southern restaurant known for fried chicken, deviled eggs and decadent Hummingbird cake you say? Well I’m here to dispel those myths with this post today.
You can find Homecomin’ Kitchen at The Landing in Disney Springs right across the way from Morimoto Asia.
The restaurant is a Florida inspired farm-to-table eatery cooking up scratch made mains and sides. The restaurant’s proprietor Chef Art Smith began his illustrious Walt Disney World career as an intern a long, long time ago. He then went on to become a James Beard award winner and personal chef to Oprah Winfrey. Homecomin’ represents his triumphant return to the great state of Florida.
Homecomin’ Kitchen Atmosphere
Playing on that farm-to-table Florida kitchen feel you’ll find touches of The Sunshine State throughout the restaurant.
Guests can choose to sit inside or out on the covered patio. A large bar provides seating in the comfort of centralized air and there is also a small section with seating that exists on the covered patio. Homecomin’ is known for their Moonshine cocktails and we were lucky enough to sample some throughout our dinner here. More on that in a moment.
The restaurant has a large show kitchen accented with gorgeous copper sconces and a huge Florida Farm mural.
Homecomin’ Kitchen Vegan Options
You can’t pay a visit to Homecomin’ Kitchen without sampling something from the extensive whiskey, moonshine and cocktail menu. We started off with two signature drinks from the “Crafty Moonshine & Resort Cocktails” list.
This is the Moonshine Mash ($12) which was enjoyed by my dining companion. The cocktail is served in a frosty copper mug and is composed of watermelon-infused moonshine, fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup.
I ordered the Cucumber Cooler ($12) which normally comes with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and a cucumber ribbon. Much like my visit to Splitsville, I substituted Hendrick’s Gin for the vodka.
Later on in the evening my girlfriend sampled another cocktail off the moonshine list. This is the Muleshine ($13) made with Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine, peach puree, fresh lime juice and a splash of Q Spectacular Ginger Beer.
And I couldn’t leave without a Moonshine Flight. I mean how can you turn down candied pecans and a pickle juice, hot sauce chaser? Am I right?
This is the Build Your Own Flight ($18) off of the “Moonshine Menu”. This option allows you to select any three house-infused or branded ‘shines. That spicy pickle juice chaser and candied pecans are the two shot glasses on the bottom of the board. At the recommendation of our fab bartender Allison, I went with HFK Lemon Shine which tasted like limoncello, Ole Smokey Peach and Ole Smokey Apple Pie, which I saved for dessert.
You’ll hear more about those candied pecans later on in this post.
When you take a look at the main menu here you won’t see any vegan options. Don’t panic. Homecomin’ has some tricks up,their sleeve and is great at modifications.
We started dinner off by splitting a salad off the “Salads and Such” portion of the menu since none of the “Starters” can be veganized.
Above is a photo of the modified Farmhouse Salad, from our original review in 2019, swapped out with Gardein chick’n tenders. This salad is no longer available, but you can modify and combine ingredients from any of the current salads – the Fried Chicken Salad – $19, the Harvest Salad – $19, and the Hamilton – $16. You have the various salad bases to choose from, offering either mixed greens or Romaine, and various vegan toppings of cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, fire-roasted red peppers and corn, pickled red onions, beets, and avocado. You’ll also have to omit the dressings as none of them here are vegan friendly. The house made balsamic also contains honey, so you can use oil and vinegar or make your own agave/mustard mix, which I’ve done before and works really well (and I don’t even like mustard usually!).
Here is the salad I got the other day, showcasing the new Morningstar Farms Incogmeato tenders. I combined a few of the salad ingredients to have a sort of “Frankenstein” salad.
I have had Incogmeato nuggets at home, but these tenders, cooked in a (shared) fryer, were so realistic in texture that despite their unnatural trapezoid shapes, I *really* thought this was real chicken for a minute. The weird thing was I later reheated my leftover tenders at home, and they were very obviously plant-based looking and tasting then. So it may have to do with coming out fresh from the fryer.
In any event, these are a FANTASTIC replacement for the Gardein tenders. The Gardein were always okay, but this feels like an actual attempt at making something as good as the non-vegan version. I loved it and it made me wish I’d gotten the sandwich to try too.
Another option is the Kitchen Plate ($19) which provides you with a sampling of three different house-made sides. We ordered a fourth, which was a $7 up charge, to show you more options. I ordered this again on my recent visit and got one of the sides as the Incogmeato Tenders so we could show you that option as well.
Our top two dishes were a tie between the Roasted Butternut Squash and KC Greens with braised kale and collards in a barbecue vinegar like brine. UPDATE: as of right now, the Squash and the Green Beans are no longer available as options. There is a new Sweet Potato option, which can be ordered without butter, as well as peas and carrots. Vegetables may vary based on when you visit.
We also enjoyed the Grilled Corn Succotash with tomatoes and lima beans. You could also opt for french fries in this dish if you wish.
The peas and carrots tasted like straight up frozen veggies, so I wouldn’t get those again, but the sweet potatoes were delicious as were the tenders. The corn is also a great choice.
Our other main comes to you off of the “Buns and Such” section of the menu.
This is the modified Fried Chicken Sandwich ($17) Substitute Morning Star Farms Incogmeato Crispy Tenders and omit the aioli. The sandwich comes on a house bun with iceberg lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles and is served with house-made barbecue chips. Skip the icebox dressing drizzle. (Pictured below with Gardein tenders, they recently changed to Incogmeato tenders which are a big improvement!)
We opted for a cup of mustard from the back of the house and asked our bartender to put some agave in with it and made our own agave mustard for slathering on the sandwich and dipping those amazing house-made chips in. You could also use this hack as a dressing for any of the salads here.
They also have raspberry sorbet which is not listed on the menu anywhere but does exist, if you want to end your meal on a tart and sweet note:
Before this recent change to Incogmeato, we wouldn’t have put Homecomin’ on our “must visit” vegan list, but now it’s an actual great option if you are visiting with omnivores and looking for a hearty salad, chicken sandwich, or some veggie sides. You do have solid vegan options at Homecomin’ Kitchen – we’d just love it if they added some vegan dressings or sauces for us though!
Special thanks to Homecomin’ Kitchen for hosting Amanda and her guest for dinner for this initial review in 2019. She was provided with a discount for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions are our own, and subsequent updates were paid for by us.