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November 10, 2016

Vivoli Gelato - Hidden Gem at Disney Springs

Deb's Digest Blog
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Did you know you can get real Italian Gelato in Disney Springs?? Well, you can and it's wonderful!

Vivoli Gelato is located in The Landing section of Disney Springs, diagonally across from the Hangar Bar. You may not have even realized it is there because the building and signage is understated. However, bright orange tables and chairs recently have been added outside for guests to relax and enjoy their Italian goodies.

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Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy. At that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar, and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day –- a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

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Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, was recently at the Vivoli Gelato to introduce four new fall flavors: Tiramisu, Apple Pie, Pecan, and Pumpkin.

It was clear at the start that Silvana Vivoli is quite passionate about her family business. She stressed to us how important it has been to remain dedicated to creating pure gelati and sorbetti with fresh, high quality ingredients and family crafted recipes. There is nothing artificial! The store uses local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy.

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As you peruse the showcase of gelatos you will notice both white and blue spoons. The blue spoons represent items that are vegan.

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I had observed while in Italy that some gelato stores (and also those in the U.S.) have mounds of gelato in their showcases and in others, the gelato is flat. She explained it has a lot to do with temperature and quality. "If you see big mountains, no," she said. If the colors are flashy, no again. "Most people are attracted by bright color and form, but that is gelato you should stay away from." This was the same advice my Italian Street Food Guide gave us in Rome.

You will also find an assortment of pastries at Vivoli Gelato. These are made by Chef Vincenzo, the pastry chef at Tutto Italia at the Italy Pavilion in EPCOT.

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Stop by Vivoli Gelato on your next visit to Disney Springs. You can even ask for a sample spoon of the gelato or sorbet.

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DISCLAIMER: I was invited to Vivoli Gelato to sample the fall flavors and meet Silvana. This did not affect this blog; my opinions are my own. In fact, after spending time in Italy last year, I got to enjoy the real Italian Gelato and this is it!

October 22, 2015

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar aka Because We Can Day - Quick Review

Deb's Digest Blog

Sometimes it is good to be spontaneous. Last Sunday we were home working and friends said, "hey we are going to Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar "-- do you want to come?" And at first I'm like "oh I have too much to do, I don't think so". But then thought about several loved ones going thru really difficult health times and I thought.. you know what we can so we should.

Hence - Because we can day!

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We had just been to Disney Springs the week before and in that short amount of time, roads have changed as has the entry into the garage. (Note to self - FOLLOW the signs LOL). Love the garages, the lighted signs and dots make it easy to find parking. Crowds were everywhere by noonish on Sunday. Why not, it was a beautiful day.
Deb Koma did a comprehensive review of Jock Lindsey's and I have to say I agree with just about everything she said.

The themeing is awesome (based on a pilot who appeared in Indiana Jones), as you would expect from Walt Disney Imagineering. It looks just like a pilot hangout you'd see in the movies. There are lots of hidden gems on the wall, nodding to Iron Man, Star Wars, and of course the story of Jock.

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Our food was tasty, a little off the norm (but not so exotic you didn't want to try it) and flavorful. The small plates ranged from $8.99 - $14.99. We really liked the Tanis Tacos - A Lost City Specialty! Filled with Falafel, Shredded Lettuce, and Cucumber-Tomato Salad $9.49. Other popular menu items are the wings and sliders. Check out the menu HERE.

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Service was excellent, thanks Courtney. She was attentive but not pushy and we didn't feel rushed. We were noshing on the food, enjoying our beverages and before we knew it over 2 hours had passed. We ran into several friends there who also were having a great time and enjoyed the food and atmosphere.

Place is small (150 seats for in and outside) . Indoor and covered outdoor seating. When we arrived there were no tables, within a few minutes a small area opened on Reggie the boat outside.

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Another 10 minutes a table for 4 opened up outside. Next thing we knew our friends had found a great table inside. As Deb Koma said in her review "Since it's open seating, this leads to people being forced to hover over tables, waiting for others to finish up."

Music was lively BUT you could have a conversation without shouting - loved that!

Our bill for 2 glasses of wine, 2 margaritas, and 3 menu items came to $75 with tax plus tip. If you want to buy the special drink glasses they are $15 each.

I liked Jock's much better than Trader Sam's, but that's like comparing apples and oranges. For what Trader Sam's is - it works but I think only if you are with other folks and up for a loud evening (sitting inside). Trader Sam's is a much more interactive experience. You can read my review of Trader Sams's HERE.

At Jock's it was a more friendly, warm atmosphere. I'll certainly return here. It's a great place to "hang out". Not sure when I'll get back to Trader Sam's.

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About Disney Springs

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Disney Springs category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Dining is the previous category.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.