05-07-2006, 06:26 PM
Not really Disney dining but.... :blush:
I've had lots of suggestions to cover my dining plan days, but there are a some days I'll be offsite - e.g. Universal, I-Drive and Busch Gardens. Amyrlin kindly suggested some I might care to consider and got me thinking (and drooling)....Has anyone else got any good recommendations for dining outside the World? :stir: Thanks!
05-07-2006, 06:30 PM
Universal has great dining op's. Two Emeril restaurants, the Palm steakhouse @ Hard Rock, The Kitchen @ Hard Rock, Bufett's Margaritaville, Bubba Gump's opening soon, The Hard Rock Cafe...You name your food type and you'll find a good choice here.
05-07-2006, 06:37 PM
You didn't mention SeaWorld, but if you go there, Sharks Grill is terrific. Great atmosphere. Great service. Great food. The only thing I didn't like was the weird booth seats. They were sunken a bit and it made me feel shorter than I already am.
05-07-2006, 06:44 PM
Yup, Seaworld is on the to-do list too, but I was thinking of rushing back to Whispering Canyon Cafe that evening just to tell them where we had spent the day ;) :teeth:
05-07-2006, 06:52 PM
We loved Confiscos grill in IOA, Finnegans Bar and grille in US, We tried Margarita ville on the boardwalk and NBA, On I Drive Bahama Breeze, Dixie Crossroads, BG
05-07-2006, 06:57 PM
We had a wonderful meal at Emeril's place Tchoup Chop. Here's the review DD24 wrote from our last trip.
- Dinner – Tchoup Chop, Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Studios (gasp!)
Holy mackerel! Breaking all rules of convention, we ventured off site for the 3rd of our new restaurants. And boy am I glad we did, b/c this meal was one of the best we had all week! Tchoup Chop is one of the two restaurants at Universal owned by that bamming and kicking-it-up-a-notch tv personality and chef, Emeril LaGasse. While his show isn’t one of my favorites on Food Network, I surely did enjoy the man’s restaurant.
Our reservation was for 6pm, and we didn't have to wait at all. However, the first table where we were seated was awful! It was smashed up against a large party, and the servers all had to squeeze in between our chairs and the party members'. We requested a different table, and were moved immediately. The hostess put the next group that walked in the door at the same table; I have no idea why; it seemed like it would be inconvenient for everyone!!
Tchoup Chop continues the Thai/Indonesian theme of the Royal Pacific nicely. It has a lily pond running down the center of the restaurant, and it’s decorated in shades of blue, turquoise and orange. It has a very peaceful, zen-like feel to it, and it’s not a very large restaurant. Definitely make a reservation if you want to go. The dress code says “smart casual,” but I wore jeans and a nice sweater and was dressed like 99% of the ppl in there, so don’t spaz about that one.
As a guest of Tchoup Chop, you’re very, very well taken care of. One waiter isn’t enough. Oh no. You must have 3. One, ours was named Chris, comes to greet you when you sit down. He says something like, “Hello, my name is Chris, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight along with Sean and Mike. Mike will be bringing you water shortly. Would you like bottled or tap?” Then he departs and Mike appears with the water. He’s the “drink waiter,” and he keeps your drinks full. Between the main course and dessert he even replaced our water glasses with fresh new ones, as though the ice melting into the water was sacrilege. Sean was our “food waiter,” and it was his job to go over the menu with us, take our order, bring our food, etc. Chris would pop by from time to time to make sure we were ok. How could we not be with so many ppl seeing to our every need? On our bill where it would normally have your server’s name, it instead read “team 2.”
On to the food…the appetizer menu is incredible. Before we went, I’d looked at the menu online, but I’d never gotten past the appetizers b/c they all looked so good! Sean told us the appetizers were small, so we could feel free to order more than one. We decided to order 3 and split an entrée. We got the dumpling basket, eggrolls w/ orange chili sauce, and crispy shrimp. They were indeed small, so definitely order more than one! There were 2 eggrolls, 4 shrimp, and 4 fairly small dumplings. It’s nice that way, though, b/c there are too many yummy choices to get just 1!
The sauce that came w/ the shrimp was very spicy, but it was really good. Normally you’d wrap the shrimp in the lettuce that came w/ them, and then dip it all in the sauce, but we don’t like lettuce. I imagine that extra step would add a whole other layer of texture to the dish. The eggrolls had an orange chili sauce that was sweet and spicy and incredibly tasty. The dumplings were steamed and came w/ a sake soy sauce that was a nice complement.
Our entrée…man, once we tasted it we wished we’d each gotten our own! We ordered the filet mignon (again, but I wasn’t in the mood for something really spicy or exotic that night), and it was amazingly good. The meat was so tender you could’ve cut it w/ a butter knife, and it just melted in your mouth. Man, it’s making me really hungry writing this!! The roasted potatoes w/ it were, oddly, not good. They tasted like they’d been frozen and then (badly) thawed. I don’t know, it was really weird that something as simple as potatoes could be messed up when everything else was so wonderful.
We ordered separate desserts b/c I really wanted the banana cream pie, and Mom doesn’t like bananas. She got the Hawaiian chocolate chocolate cake. My slice of pie was HUGE, and it was really good. A lot of banana cream pie or pudding is really, really sweet, but this wasn’t. It relied on the natural flavor of the banana, not a bunch of sugar, and that’s what I like. Mom really liked her chocolate cake – it was solid, flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate sauce drizzled on it. She said it wasn’t too dense or too sweet like a lot of flourless chocolate cake, and she really liked that.
We’ll definitely be returning to Tchoup Chop on future visits! The food, service and atmosphere were all wonderful, and we couldn’t have asked for a much better meal.
05-07-2006, 07:11 PM
As far as off property -- I recommend Emerils - Chevy's Tex-Mex at Crossroads and Ming Court for Chinese - excellent!
party of 3
05-07-2006, 07:23 PM
Charlies Steakhouse! By far the best restaurant down there! I promise you you will love it!
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