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View Full Version : Dining with a todder - From Jiko to Junk Food


Maggi May
06-16-2007, 02:10 PM
Just got back from a 4 night stay during Week 2 of Star Wars Weekends. I love reading the reviews on the DIS boards, and this is my first time posing our own.

The cast: me, DH, and 2.5 year old DS.

Donald’s Breakfastasaurus at Animal Kingdom

My DS left DH to sleep in one morning while we went to breakfast at AK. When we rounded the corner in Dinoland and saw the crowd of people outside the restaurant, I got a bit worried, but we were seated about 10 minutes after checking in. I heard the hostess tell a few walk-ups that the wait would be 30 minutes if they wanted to get on the list.

Compared to other character meals at “Ohana, Chef Mickey’s and Hollywood and Vine, the hot food buffet had fewer selections and the buffet area was small and crowded.. The breakfast pizza and chocolate chip pancakes were good. The link sausage was tough. The cold food area did have a nice variety of fruit and other cold offerings.

Character interaction was great. After about 15 minutes, all four characters came around in pretty quick succession. Movement from table to table was well orchestrated and the characters were in rare form, joking with each other and the guests. My DS had a blast with the characters. Due to our early reservation time, we were able to enjoy a few rides in the park after breakfast before things got too crowded.

Oh, forgot to mention the photo package “deal” for $29. Not worth it!

Boatwrights at Port Orleans Riverside

We decided to try the restaurant in our resort one night. I had made ADRs ahead of time for 6:30 but had no trouble calling a few hours ahead of our reservation time to push it back to 7:45.

Appetizers were crab cakes and shrimp cocktail. Both were good but nothing out of the ordinary.

DH’s Jambalaya was good, but with most jambalayas that we’ve eaten out at restaurants, it seemed a bit dried out. My pot roast on the other hand, was absolutely delicious -tender and well flavored. The collard greens and potatoes were a good compliment to the meat. I had hesitated to order it because I make a pretty mean pot roast at home, but this was very, very good. DS had the macaroni and cheese of the standard-issue bright orange-color-not-found-in-nature.

DH wasn’t too thrilled with the corn bread, which was a bit sweet and had corn kernels mixed in. (big no-no for DH). We both ordered pecan pie, which was pretty ordinary.

Service was quick and our server was very fast at refilling our drinks and checking on us. The portions were plentiful. Overall, we might go back if we stay at POR again, but if paying out of pocket would probably not get appetizers and desserts.

Raglan Road

A return trip to this restaurant. Emeril would have been proud -- all of our entrees and appetizers involved pork!

The evening started off not so well as we were 7 minutes late for our 7:30 reservation (didn’t realize that you can’t catch a bus directly from MGM to Downtown Disney). We were told that our reservation had been “moved to the bottom” and that it would be a 45 minute wait. I can understand not being seated right away but wasn’t too happy about the long wait. We sat at the outside bar and ordered a Half and Half for each of us (Guinness and Harp) but had to go stand inside the foyer when the skies opened up. After 45 minutes of trying juggle our beers glasses, entertain a hungry toddler amidst lots of people waiting for tables and keep him from all of the breakables at eye level in the gift shop, we were happy to finally be seated.

Appetizers: DH and I shared the Dalkey Duo with a mustard dipping sauce. Absolutely delicious and a large portion, even for two. We also ordered a side of Colcannon, which is a must-do whenever we go here.

Entrees:

Me -- Kevin’s Heavenly Ham. This was OK, not great, not something I would order again. The ham was a bit dry and over seasoned with cloves.

DH -- Paddy’s Pork, which is described as a tasty pork loin stuffed with our homemade sausage meat drizzled with honey soy glaze. This was very, very good.

For DS, we ordered the Dalkey sausages and fries. DS loved them. Think Irish corn dogs.

Dessert:

DH - Bailey’s Cream Brulee Tart. It looked like a slice of cheesecake but had the delicious taste and texture of creme brulee.

Me - Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding. Yum! -- a bowl of bread pudding accompanied by two sauces. Way too rich too finish, but wow! I will get this one again next time we go to Raglan Road

Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge

This was a meal that we were really looking forward to, and it didn’t disappoint. This is a real “foodie” place, where you can tell the chefs and staff know their stuff and enjoy what they do. I liked the fact that they offered a chef’s choice combo of appetizers and desserts if you wanted to try more than just one item.

We thoroughly enjoyed our server, Ron. He made an excellent wine suggestion, was very knowledgeable of the menu and was attentive without being over the top. We will be sure to ask for him when we return.

This is an upscale, expensive restaurant, but we still felt fairly comfortable bringing DS. There were several tables with children while we dined, and the children’s menu had 5 or 6 good choices. Ron was very solicitous of DS and included him in all of the service as if he were a grown up.

Appetizers:

DS had a bowl of finely diced fruit - watermelon, cantaloupe and I think papaya. DS isn’t a big melon fan, but this was a nice appetizer/snack for children.

Me - Kenyan Coffee Barbecued Chicken Flatbread. DH found this to be too sweet, but I thought it had just the right combination of sweetness and spice. The combination of onions, chicken cheese and apples really worked well.

DH - North African spiced Beef Bastela with Cucumber Yogurt. The beef was nicely spiced and the yogurt was a good, cool compliment to it.

Me and and DH - Oak Grilled Filet Mignon with Macaroni and Cheese and Red Wine Reduction. Best. Steak. I . Ever. Ate. I’ve been planning to try this ever since I saw it reviewed on the DIS, and it didn’t disappoint.

DS - Macaroni and cheese. A generous serving of macaroni with a fairly mild white cheese sauce. DS enjoyed it.

Dessert

Me - Flourless Chocolate-Mocha Cake Stack with ice cream and chocolate and caramel sauce. Very rich but very good. I forgot to ask, but the ice cream tasted like it was flavored with cardamom. A very subtle and complimentary flavor with the cake.

DH - Pistachio Creme Brule with a chocolate bottom. OMG - this was the best dessert we had all trip.

Thought on the dining plan

We have seasonal passes and usually book room-only reservations with a Florida resident or passholder’s discount, so the DDP is not usually not an option for us. However, there were no room discounts during the time that we traveled and we actually needed a one-day pass because of the seasonal blackout. So, the DDP it was!

There’s no such thing as “too much food” :), but DH and I found that the dining plan offered a bit more than we would usually eat or order. We also thought that the prices seemed high and that we wouldn’t feel at all happy about paying OOP for some of the meals. For example, our Boatwright’s bill was almost 80 dollars, covered by the DDP. The appetizers alone were $10 a piece. We’re happy paying $10 a pop for incredible and unusual appetizers at Jiko, but not for 3 small crab cakes or 6 chilled shrimp. While the food was pretty good, there is no way we’d be happy paying that much for the same meal at a regular restaurant. We did enjoy the convenience of the plan and probably tried more items than we would have without it.

DDE

We used the Disney Dining Experience card for drinks, DS’s meals and other items not on the dining plan. A definite deal!

Kid’s Meals

DS is that magical age where theme park admission and buffets are still free. :rotfl: We felt that there were plenty of options for DS to either share with us or get his own meal. The portions at CS restaurants were usually plenty to share a hamburger and fries or breakfast platter. The food court at POR offered plenty of children’s choices as did the table service restaurants. Raglan Road and Jiko in particular had selections that would appeal to a wide range of ages and picky kids. Counter service selections were much more limited, but given how limited counter service menus can be for adults, that’s no surprise. We always found plenty of healthy snacks (grapes, yogurt, applesauce) and good treats (cookies, brownies).

Junk Food a/ka snacks
Oh my! We took full advantage of our snack credits to enjoy rice krispie treats, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and magic cookie bars that would make your teeth hurt. This was a fun part of the dining plan, just grabbing the random treat wherever we were.

John's Mom
06-16-2007, 02:32 PM
Great reviews! Thanks for sharing. We love Jiko--excellent food and great service.

suzimar57
06-16-2007, 03:57 PM
great reviews - lots of detail, and easy to read!

Schucraig
06-16-2007, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the reviews!:thumbsup2

wilma-bride
06-17-2007, 07:34 AM
Great reviews. Thanks :thumbsup2

Minniespal
06-17-2007, 02:30 PM
Enjoyed reading your reviews ~ Thanx for sharing.

emh1129
06-17-2007, 05:47 PM
Great reviews. I think we will definitely try Jiko next time!

jimmalru80
06-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Great review. We are looking forward to dining at Jiko in less than ten days.

SJUGuy
06-18-2007, 01:38 PM
Jimmalru80 - Hey where is Jiko.

:rotfl2: :rotfl2:

Just kidding.

Maggi May
06-19-2007, 05:09 AM
Glad you all enjoyed the reviews. Jiko really is a wonderful place and we are looking forward to going back to it on our next visit to Orlando.

jms25
06-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Thanks so much for your reviews. Your Jiko one was especially helpful. We have this booked when we go in Sept. and I was wondering how it would be with a toddler. DD will be 28 months when we go so I was worried that it might be a bit too nice for a toddler. Thanks again

Booknut
06-23-2007, 04:02 PM
Great review, am looking forward already to my first trip to WDW with my own toddler (still 3 years away though!)

Maggi May
06-24-2007, 06:51 AM
Great review, am looking forward already to my first trip to WDW with my own toddler (still 3 years away though!)

Congrats! You will be amazed at how fast time will fly. Seems like my little guy was just born and now he's almost three.

natalielongstaff
06-24-2007, 12:13 PM
thanks for your reviews :) very well written

raven69david
06-24-2007, 07:26 PM
i loved the jiko review so much, i just got off with WDW dining and confirmed a 7pm reservation at Jiko on 12/9/07:cool1:

Maggi May
06-25-2007, 05:26 AM
i loved the jiko review so much, i just got off with WDW dining and confirmed a 7pm reservation at Jiko on 12/9/07:cool1:

That's great! We are staying at the AKL this fall and can't wait to go back again. I hope you and your little one enjoy it as much as we did.