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View Full Version : "We're Just Here For the Free Food"--One vegetarian & one omnivore 8/25-9/4 (w/ pics)


smartestnumber5
09-04-2007, 05:11 PM
The vital Preliminary info

Me: 25 year old vegetarian, Disney Dining planner, and lover of sugar, chocolate, and cheese. :cheer2:
GF: 31 year old former vegetarian and current lover of seafood and meat; likes to sit back and let me do the planning. pirate:

2nd time on (Free!) DDP: 8/26-9/4. We arrived a day early and stayed one night without the DDP.

Total cost of food obtained on DDP: $1023.80

TS Restaurants:
Ohana
Boma
Le Cellier
Flying Fish
Garden View Tea Room
Chefs de France
California Grill
Kona Café
Cap’n Jacks
Planet Hollywood
Rainforest Café

CS Restaurants:
Riverside Mill
Pop
Sunshine Seasons
Main Street Bakery
Columbia Harbor House
Cosmic Rays
Wolfgang Puck Express
Pizzafari
Earl of Sandwich

And of course many snacks.

:dance3:

MickeyNicki
09-04-2007, 05:44 PM
Cannot wait for your reviews!

TigerKat
09-04-2007, 07:21 PM
Subscribing...popcorn::

smartestnumber5
09-04-2007, 11:14 PM
We arrived at Disney a day before Free Dining began and stayed at POR for the night. We went to Riverside Mill for dinner. GF had the carver special—turkey w/ gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread. GF says it was just what she needed—meat and potatoes. The potatoes even had real lumps which she enjoyed (GF: “mmm … lumps”).

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1433.jpg

I “made” my own pasta. I chose penne, pesto sauce, and sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, spinach, and onions. It was very good and I definitely enjoyed it. (I’m a pretty big fan of pesto and it was nice to have some different ingredients than usual salad bar fare which I’m used to at “make your own pasta” stations.) It came with a piece of toasted garlic bread. The only problem was that there was a vast vat of oil at the bottom of the container which made the last few forkfuls way too oily. Since GF had a few bites, too, we both ended up coated with oil head to toe. (GF: “The upside, however, was that our skin became soft, silky, and supple thanks to the Riverside Mill.”)

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1434.jpg

We bought a refillable mug (which since they are the same at each resort can now be used at any resort over the course of your stay) and had iced tea. And we shared carrot cake. The cake had amazingly sweet cream cheese icing. I hadn’t been all that excited about carrot cake at first, but I really loved the icing. I told you I loved sugar! GF actually couldn’t eat that much of it because the icing was just way too sweet for her; she says it actually made her mouth sting. (GF: “ouch!”)

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1435.jpg

We were both pretty pleased with the meal. I commented that we were already to a great eating start and we hadn’t even gotten our free dining credits yet! We also must have gone at a good time because the food court was less than half full. We were able to get a nice table in a quiet area right next to the Mill wheel.

One complaint about the Riverside Mill, though, was that there were not many vegetarian options for dinner—it was either pizza or make-your-own-pasta. At least the pasta offered numerous possibilities though.


Pasta your way: 8.99
Carver: 8.99
Carrot Cake: 3.59
Mug: 11.99
Tax: 2.18
Total: 35.74--OOP (paid with rewards dollars)

Food: 4 out of 5
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Service: N/A

swankybeth
09-05-2007, 06:06 AM
Great start, looking forward to the next installment. :thumbsup2

wishesUT
09-05-2007, 02:45 PM
Subscribing! Can't wait for more. :cool1:

OneBadApple
09-05-2007, 04:21 PM
Looking forward to reading the rest of your reviews.

kimisabella
09-05-2007, 04:32 PM
Great start - looking forward to more!

passthepixiedust
09-05-2007, 05:29 PM
I'm in! :)

TinkrBeth
09-05-2007, 08:08 PM
popcorn:: Me too!

momofdbsdc
09-05-2007, 09:20 PM
Great start!!! Can't wait for the rest! :surfweb: Thanks for sharing!

smartestnumber5
09-05-2007, 10:20 PM
Still none of the good stuff (the T.S. restaurants of course ;) ), but it's coming soon. Just a note, GF has insisted on interjecting her own comments into these reviews--hence the constant parentheses with a quote from her inside.

Breakfast—Riverside Mill & Room

I woke up earlier than GF and headed over to Riverside Mill. I got some hot chocolate in our refillable mug and decided on a make-your-own-yogurt-parfait. I try to eat yogurt every day—mostly Dan Active—and it really does seem to work in regulating the digestive system. I also had a pop tart in the room and GF stuck with her usual coffee (how nice to have a coffee pot in the room at POR!).

The make your own yogurt area also offered make-your-own-oatmeal and make-your-own-cereal. I only saw people ordering yogurt. One would tell the parfait maker what toppings one wanted and the parfait maker would put them all together in a bowl and stir them up. I was expecting them to just be dumped on top as toppings and that it would be up to the individual to mix it up. I kind of like it that way--so you can control exactly how much yogurt, fruit, and granola goes into each bite. :)

I chose blueberries, strawberries, banana chips, and granola for the parfait. Unfortunately, though, the yogurt was not sweetened. I saw honey and brown sugar as potential add ins, but since it was also the make your own oatmeal station, I assumed they were intended for oatmeal, not yogurt. Most yogurt is vanilla and already sweetened—this was not. Yuck. (GF: "Unsweetened yogurt was good enough for the Huns of the Mongolian Plains--none of this sweetened vanilla crap for them.") I had to add some sugar from a packet that came with the coffee in the room to make it edible. (GF: "She's lucky to still have her original teeth!")

Yogurt parfait: 3.79
Tax: .25
Total: 4.04 --> OOP (used rewards)

Food: 1.5 out of 5 (Would have been more like a 3.5 if the yogurt had been sweetened)
Atmosphere: N/A—ate in room
Service: N/A


Snack—Pop

We decided to go right over to Pop after leaving POR in order to get our dining credits so we could use them for lunch at Epcot. By the time we got to Pop it was already creeping up on lunch time and GF hadn’t eaten anything yet. While I checked in she went and grabbed a snack—a fruit and cheese plate. We brought it back to our room after check in to eat.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1488.jpg

It had grapes, about 1/3 of a granny smith apple, walnuts, and 3 kinds of cheese—cubes of what seemed to be cheddar, a large hunk of brie, and a smaller hunk of something with an orange rind. There was also one package of crackers. It was good, but could have used more crackers. (GF: “Two crackers! Its like they expected people to scoop up giant hunks of oozing cheese with their bare hands and just gobble it down”) GF let me have all of the brie as she doesn’t like it. A good idea for a snack (to share).

Cheese plate: 5.49
Tax: .36
Total: 5.85 --> OOP (used rewards)

Food: 4 out of 5.
Atmosphere: N/A—ate in room
Service: N/A

smartestnumber5
09-05-2007, 10:41 PM
Once we checked in at Pop and got our room we headed right to Epcot. We were pretty hungry at that point so we decided to eat first thing as it was approaching 1pm. We headed to Sunshine Seasons thinking we could get a Soarin fastpass, but on the way one of the big boards indicated that the fastpass times being given out were between 5 and 6 pm (and the standby line was of course over an hour long.) We weren't planning on staying in the park, so we realized that meant no Soarin for us that day (actually we didn't end up getting to go on Soarin or Everest this trip :sad1:). We started worrying that the parks might be more crowded than usual and what if there were long lines for everything? :confused3 (We were really worrying for nothing--the parks didn't really appear to be significantly more crowded than last year.) I tried to set our minds at ease and said, "It doesn't matter if it's crowded. We're just here for the food!" :woohoo: We ended up repeating this mantra every time we got tired or faced some kind of obstacle--"Just remember, we're just here for the food."


Lunch at Sunshine Seasons

The past few visits I have gotten the same sandwich here and I was committed to getting something different this time. I was pleased to see a new vegetarian entrée in the Chinese section—it appeared to be broccoli, white rice, stir fried veggies, and lo mein. I thought about getting this, but I knew that the vegetarian entrée at Ohana was a lo mein like dish, so I thought I’d better get something else.

I ended up with the same old Cuban veggie sandwich like usual! I also chose the butterfinger cheesecake and an iced tea.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1495.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1496.jpg


GF went for the seared tuna on mixed greens, strawberry shortcake, and coke.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1493.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1494.jpg


I had the same problem with the sandwich as the previous time. The veggies (which seem to be marinated in some type of dressing or oil/vinegar) don’t really go with the bread/cheese/mustard thing going on. I decided to just eat the two separately. I took all the veggies out and then had myself a cheese sandwich on nice crusty bread with a lot of mustard (I’m a big mustard fan!) and ate a few of the veggies on the side. I was happy.

The butterfinger cheesecake was fine—not great, but better than what I’ve had at other counter service places. I didn’t really understand what made it butterfinger. (GF: “they were just trying to trick gullible candy-holics like you”) There was a light drizzle of chocolate and something that looked like caramel or peanut butter--I couldn’t really taste it.

GF said her salad was light and fresh but wished the tuna had more flavor. She enjoyed her strawberry shortcake; it had lots of strawberries but would have been better with real cream. (GF: “Most of the counter service places use a tasteless whipped-air sort of crap”)

This place is always pretty crowded. We’ve found the corner area by the land is usually less full of people than the other table areas.


Grilled Vegetable Cuban Sandwich: 7.59
Seared Tuna on Mixed Greens: 8.39
Butterfinger cheesecake: 3.50*
Strawberry shortcake: 3.50*
Drink: 2.49
Drink: 2.49
Tax: 1.68
Total: 29.64

Food: 4 out of 5
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5.
Service: N/A.

AnninIowa
09-05-2007, 10:50 PM
Subscribing!!! :thumbsup2

christinou
09-06-2007, 10:13 AM
Great report, thank you.... I can't wait to read more.

susieq76
09-06-2007, 01:04 PM
Yuuuuummmmyyy! Sounds delicious!

kelleigh1
09-06-2007, 01:18 PM
Great reviews!

I love reading reports from vegetarians because even though I'm not, I think it opens up my eyes to other options that I may not try. And there are plenty of times when I just want a meat-free option.

Smurfy
09-06-2007, 02:04 PM
very interested in this report as i did not do so well at Disney my last visit, i only really had Mac and Cheese and the vege burger... very boring

my3disneygirls
09-06-2007, 04:54 PM
Can't wait to see more.:thumbsup2

kabuki
09-06-2007, 06:17 PM
Thanks for posting! Can't wait for more!:goodvibes

smartestnumber5
09-06-2007, 07:13 PM
We were so looking forward to this meal! I had gone with my family a few years back before the menu changed and enjoyed it then, but didn’t *love* it. When GF and I went for our first trip (on free dining) I told her meat-loving self about Ohana (meat on never ending sticks) and Whispering Canyon (meat in a never ending skillet) and told her she should choose one and we would go. She chose Whispering Canyon. We went and had a fine meal there, but it just didn’t “wow” us. For the next trip we were paying OOP and trying to cut down on some costs, so I suggested we do Ohana since it was fixed price and included everything. Well it turned out we both loved Ohana. We couldn’t wait to go back. :love:

We arrived a few minutes early and checked in. The area around Ohana and Kona is a madhouse at dinner time with tons of people standing around waiting. Last time we had taken our buzzer and headed downstairs to wait. Well that was a mistake because apparently the buzzers don’t work downstairs (not that they actually tell you that!). We ended up waiting for like 1.5-2 hours; they said they buzzed us and that the buzzer must have been out of range downstairs. So this time we stayed upstairs.

We looked around at the gift shop on that level, took a peek at the Kona menu (going there later in the trip :yay:), and then luckily found an empty seat. We waited another 10 minutes or so while seated. While there we were directly in front of the check in podium where we people-watched. Mostly we just saw people bumping into each other and parents scolding their children. There was one interesting couple both GF and I noticed though. They walked over and got in line to check in and I saw that the male half of the couple kept putting his hand on the female part’s back. She would move or turn around to look at something and still his hand would be there—just resting lightly there as if he had to be touching her at every moment. I didn’t really think anything of that, but then I saw his hand start to drift downwards to her lower back and maybe even lower and press in a little. At that point I was thinking, “Is that guy groping her butt?” It was kind of hard to tell whether he was touching butt proper, or whether it was still technically her lower back. (GF: “Oh, it was definitely butt.”) She was wearing a long dark straight dress and was a bit chubby so I wasn’t able to make out exactly where her hips/butt started. I figured it must just be her lower back, though, since people just don’t grope each other’s butts while standing in line to check in at Ohana!

Well I was wrong. A minute or two later I noticed that the woman’s hand had begun to drift down the man’s back—all the way down until it was very obviously on a cheek. Then she squeezed! Hard. So hard her fingers kind of disappeared a bit between the butt cheeks. :scared1: I thought, “Wow—that was some butt grab!” Are these people honeymooners or something? Why are they groping each other in public? I also noticed a child about 10 years old who came over and talked to the man for a minute. I assume he was their son. All I can say is, geez that poor kid must be scarred if he has to watch his parents molest each other’s butts all the time. If they do that in public, I’d hate to see how explicit it is in the kitchen at home! :rotfl2:

Back to the food. The meal at Ohana is all you care to eat and includes: skewers of meat (steak, turkey, sausage, and pork), scalloped potatoes, fried wontons and dips (peanut sauce!), light dressed salad greens, mixed veggies, sweet and sour shrimp, and sticky wings. They also made me their usual vegetarian entrée—a lo mein type noodle dish with various stir fried veggies (snow peas, carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, onions), fried tofu, and miso broth that comes in a press pot that you pour on top. Dessert is a pineapple coconut bread pudding that comes with ice cream and caramel bananas foster sauce on top. GF and I also both had iced teas to drink (no specialty drinks were included).

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1521.jpg
salad and wontons w/ dips

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1522.jpg
shrimp

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1524.jpg
sticky wings

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1525.jpg
scalloped potatoes

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1526.jpg
mixed veggies

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1527.jpg
vegetarian entree

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1528.jpg
Some sausage and turkey on GF's plate

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1529.jpg
Oops--forgot to take a pic of the bread pudding until we were done with it

smartestnumber5
09-06-2007, 07:22 PM
The food was just as good as last time. Our favorites :love: : GF and I both love the scalloped potatoes which are amazingly cheesy. She is a huge fan of the sweet and sour shrimp and ate the entire bowl—she kept saying she was going to induce shrimp poisoning. (GF: “fortunately, I remained hale and hearty enough to eat plenty more food the next day”) And I just love the fried wontons with the peanut sauce—I pretty much ate the entire basket of wontons myself.

The other stuff: The salad was good—a light but flavorful dressing and just greens which is nice because there is so much food at the meal there is no need for a heavy salad. Both GF and I had just a few bites of this—no need to waste room in our stomachs on lettuce! The fried wontons were more oily than I remembered, but still yummy. They come with three sauces—the peanut sauce, one orange sauce, and one green. I believe the green one has parsley in it (GF: “it tastes like oil-heavy salad dressing”) and I’m drawing a blank on the orange one (GF: “I liked this one the best – it is a kind of spicy curry thing”). Neither GF nor I particularly loved the orange or green, but like I said, I’m all about the peanut sauce. (I actually have tried to make it at home based on a recipe I found online, but it never came out that close to Ohana’s. :sad1: )

Next out came the sticky wings and sweet and sour shrimp. Obviously I didn’t taste these, but GF reports being very happy with both of them. (GF: “I like the wings, but love the shrimp. Both are very messy – lots of finger licking is necessary – but really delicious. I don’t really get why people complain sometimes about the peel and eat shrimp on Ohana’s menu, want them to be pre-peeled or on skewers or whatnot – don’t they know that shrimp are most tender and perfect and juicy when cooked in their shells? Plus you get the carnivorous thrill of ripping off their shells and pitiful dangling legs.”) The shrimp, sticky wings, and potatoes are what formed most of GF's meal. She really didn’t care much about the meat on skewers because she likes the shrimp so much. Next out were the potatoes and mixed veggies. We went straight for the potatoes but, of course, ignored the veggies. (GF: “this time, the potatoes seemed kind of overcooked – more like mashed potatoes than scalloped potatoes, but still good.”) No point in wasting room on vegetables I say ;) !

Time for the main courses. My vegetarian entrée came out. It was a little different than I remembered from last time—more noodles and less broth I think (which is exactly what I would have changed about it the last time). It came with a press pot of miso broth to pour over it. The broth wasn't the most flavorful, but still I enjoyed it a lot. I ate up all the noodles and tofu and left a lot of veggies—there were just so many of them!

This was the point in the meal when we started noticing the lack in service. Our server had taken our drink orders and then someone else had dropped off all of the food we’d gotten to that point. It was our server, though, who brought me my vegetarian dish. I guess she was carrying too much at the time because she had already walked past me on the way to another table, but then came back and said, “Hon, here’s your vegetarian meal” and began to unceremoniously slide it down on the edge of the table. I scrambled to make room for it to fit and then picked it up and put it in front of me. She mumbled something like “Sorry this was all just too heavy to carry. He’s killing me” and gestured to the man standing next to her. I’m guessing she had already had a tray of stuff with her when one of the cooks brought my meal out to her and gave it to her and she had too much to carry. Okay, well that’s understandable.

Around that time we had finished off our first glasses of iced tea and were ready for refills. Our server wasn’t really around to offer us any though. GF was still happily chowing down on shrimp and sticky wings, but I noticed that she hadn’t once been offered any skewered meat yet. (GF: “I began to wonder how many visitors to Ohana somehow ended up getting no meat at all and went away deeply unsatisfied.”) A few minutes later someone came around and gave her a piece of sausage and turkey. GF doesn’t really like sausage, but figured she might as well try it. She didn’t end up eating it, but she liked the turkey. (GF: “It was surprisingly juicy.") I finished off my entrée soon after. We remarked again about the lack of meat on skewers that was available. Someone came by a few minutes later with steak and pork. GF made sure to ask for two pieces of steak since she figured she wouldn’t get another chance to have some at this rate. (GF: “the person with the meat kind of balked at giving me TWO tiny little pieces! I think its pretty obvious that Ohana tries to save money by not offering much meat to customers and encouraging them to fill up on cheaper food.”) She liked the steak but it was somewhat charred and she doesn’t really like charred meat. The lack of meat on skewers wasn’t a problem for us since I’m a vegetarian and GF actually likes the shrimp and sticky wings better than the meat on sticks. (GF: “I think I’d love Ohana just as much if they didn’t have the meat on sticks at all!” :love: ) But I can see that for anyone who was really into the meat there would be a problem. They just didn’t come around often enough. We were 90% done with our meal before GF was even offered a piece of steak.

None of that was the server’s fault since the servers don’t do the bringing the skewers around anyway. But our server was still MIA for quite awhile leaving us with no iced tea. In that time period GF also decided that she needed to have more of the yummy potatoes. There was no one around to ask for them though. Eventually our server did reappear and we got our drink refills and more potatoes. (GF: “the server actually poked fun at me for being so excited about the potatoes. What a jerk! Especially when she wasn’t around the whole time to see if we might want anything else.”) We also noticed that our server just didn’t spend much time talking to us or asking us if things were okay. There was a table with a larger family behind us and I tried to judge whether they were getting more attention (I think they were). We also noticed that other server’s tables got hot towels in between dinner and dessert I think, but we didn’t get any—and GF could have used them after all those sticky wings. I don’t think our server brought them out to anyone. I wondered if the difference in service was a matter of us being on the DDP. I had asked about specialty drinks on the DDP in the beginning of the meal, so I knew that our server was aware that we were on it.

Once GF was finished our table was cleared and out came dessert. A different person presented the dessert to us. The bread pudding was in a large bowl with ice cream. The person set it down and said he’d be right back with the bananas foster sauce. It looked different than last time and we realized that last time it had come with the sauce already on it. GF was happy that it was unadulterated this time since the sauce is a bit too sweet for her. When the server got back we expected he would just set down the sauce, but instead he dumped about half of it onto bread pudding first. GF and I were both realized what was happening too late to say anything; fortunately she was able to eat from the side that had the least sauce on it.

Personally I dumped even more sauce on mine—as I said, I *love* sugar! The dessert was yummy. A good bread pudding, though I didn’t really taste the pineapple or coconut. Probably because I dumped so much caramel sauce on it. GF finished eating before me. At one point I had a spoonful of the bread pudding in hand on the way to my mouth when our server suddenly appeared and asked for our room key “so that we could get on our way and wouldn’t be held up.” (GF: “in other words, so she could get on her way and not be held up.”) I put my spoon down and dug out my wallet and gave her the card. We thought it was odd that she came over to ask for our card, but she did the same to the family behind us who wasn’t on the DDP and all our servers at other meals did so as well (but much more politely than she did and not when I had a spoon about to enter my mouth). Maybe Disney is encouraging the servers to ring people up during dessert in order to free up tables quicker during the busy time of free dining?

Buffet: 25.99
Buffet: 25.99
Subtotal: 51.98
Tax: 3.38
Tip: 9.36
Total: 64.72 --> 2 TS


Food: 4.5 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5.
Service: 2 out of 5.

We love it here—it’s definitely still on our “must do” list for every trip regardless of the bad service.

SandraVB79
09-07-2007, 08:09 AM
There was one interesting couple both GF and I noticed though
Call me stupid, but I can't figure out what the GF stands for in this case.


Oh wait, I just figure it out. The "both GF" doesn't belong to the "couple" but to the "and I" :)
Ugh, it's Friday, I need my weekend to begin!

DLo
09-07-2007, 06:14 PM
Love, love love, reviews with pictures. Like your rating system, too. Looking forward to the rest. How does a veg. eat at LeCellier?

smartestnumber5
09-07-2007, 09:26 PM
Call me stupid, but I can't figure out what the GF stands for in this case.


Oh wait, I just figure it out. The "both GF" doesn't belong to the "couple" but to the "and I" :)
Ugh, it's Friday, I need my weekend to begin!

:) Yep. GF = girlfriend

smartestnumber5
09-07-2007, 09:27 PM
How does a veg. eat at LeCellier?

Surprisingly well actually! I wasn't really looking forward to it because I figured "eh, it's a steakhouse" but it was actually one of the best meals of the trip.

smartestnumber5
09-07-2007, 09:43 PM
We decided to have breakfast at Main Street Bakery after hearing good things about the French toast loaf on the DIS. We arrived and GF grabbed a table while I got in line. We had stood on the bus which had hurt GF’s feet (she has plantar fasciitis—a heel spur and pain in her foot), so she got some needed rest time for her feet.

There was a bit of a line at the bakery but it moved pretty quickly. In line I’d seen smoothies on the menu and I asked if they had yogurt in them. They didn’t, but there was an attractive looking yogurt parfait so I chose that to go along with the French toast loaf. I had to wait a bit for the French toast loaf since they were out by the time I got to that part of the line. While I was waiting I was very tempted to change my order to a cinnamon roll. These were huge—the size of my head! But the French toast loaf arrived before I could ask the person I’d given my order to change it so I went with that.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1534.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1535.jpg

GF had brought a mug of coffee and I had the refillable mug with hot chocolate. We had a great breakfast. The yogurt parfait was better than I expected. This yogurt definitely had sugar added, as well as strawberries, blueberries, bananas and granola. I think I especially liked the bananas; I like how it kind of tempers the more acidic flavors of the other fruit. The French toast loaf was sort of what you’d expect from the name. It was the kind of texture and cut of a loaf of banana bread, but was the flavor of French toast. We enjoyed it and will probably get it again. (GF: “not too sweet! Just perfect.”)

French toast loaf—3.99
Yogurt parfait—3.79
Tax--.51
Total—8.29  2 S

Food: 4 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5.
Service: N/A.

THE HAT
09-08-2007, 12:50 AM
count me in....great report so far!!!

mcdee1980
09-08-2007, 02:21 AM
Keep it coming! I'm leaving on Monday! Your reviews are great! I'm not a veggie, but trying to eat healthier and your meal choices are helping a lot! Can we have a pic of you and your GF eating some of these things?

disneynut1977
09-08-2007, 02:16 PM
How does a veg. eat at LeCellier?


I second that.
I will be going there in Oct and I've been wondering what I'll have.

wdw1972
09-08-2007, 02:29 PM
Great reviews - thank you!

donaldtutter
09-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Great report so far!

amarberry
09-08-2007, 04:19 PM
Great reviews! I remember enjoying reading your last set of reviews as well. DD and I are veggie and DH is not, so we're in the same boat as you and your GF.

Ohanas is one of our favorites too. I am happy with just the salad, potatoes, and dessert. I don't care for the miso broth on the tofu dish, but like you, I really like the peanut sauce. The last time we were there, I asked for an extra bowl of the peanut sauce and dumped that on the tofu dish. I thought it was about a 1000x better than the miso. Just something to keep in mind the next time you are there....

smartestnumber5
09-08-2007, 10:23 PM
It only took us a bit over two hours to hit our heat breaking point. Even just after getting soaked on Splash Mountain it was just too hot for us, so we decided to get some lunch and go back to the hotel. We headed over to Columbia Harbor House. We’ve eaten here before and liked the vegetarian choices and enjoyed that it had some non-fried options.

This time GF decided she wanted something fried and opted for a fried fish basket. (GF: “I really should have gone for my usual tuna on wholegrain which is delicious and unique, rather than the usual generic fried fish.") I went with the lighthouse sandwich which has hummus and broccoli slaw on whole wheat and came with chips. I figured we didn’t need two desserts, especially since there were so many good snacks in MK—like a dole whip and an ice cream sandwich (which we actually never ended up getting on this trip :sad1: )! So I asked if I could have coleslaw for dessert, thinking that since coleslaw costs $.99 and chocolate cake costs $3.59, it shouldn't be a problem. However, the CM told me the only options for dessert were just chocolate cake, apple pie, yogurt, and grapes. So we asked for grapes and chocolate cake. And GF got a coke and I got an iced tea.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1539.jpg
Lighthouse Sandwich (hummus and broccoli slaw)

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1540.jpg
Grapes and Fried Fish Basket w/ Fries

We realized when we got to our table that we had not been given the chocolate cake. I figured we didn’t really need it anyway since we were planning to get a dole whip and ice cream sandwich on the way out of the park :sad: . Indeed, by the time we were done eating what we had, we didn't have much room left. GF went back up to the counter anyway and told them we didn't get the cake; she asked if we could have yogurt instead to bring back to the room and the obliged. (We never did eat it.)

Like usual the lighthouse sandwich was very good. Nice and light but not just unflavored veggies like some vegetarian dishes tend to be. GF enjoyed her fish and fries, but missed the tuna sandwich she’d had the last time. When asked how it was, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “it was a fish basket,” and that the ratio of batter to fish was a bit too high. The grapes were a nice change since we ate mostly junk food.

Fish basket—7.09
Lighthouse sandwich—6.49
Coke—2.09
Iced tea—2.09
Grapes—1.29 (estimated)
Choc cake (yog)—3.59
Tax—1.47
Total—24.11 --> 2 CS

Food: 3.75 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 3 out of 5.
Service: N/A.

We'll definitely be back here, but GF will be getting her tuna sandwich next time! :thumbsup2

smartestnumber5
09-08-2007, 10:28 PM
I second that.
I will be going there in Oct and I've been wondering what I'll have.

I should have the Le Cellier review up in the next couple days, but I don't think you will be disappointed. The dish I had (a spiced black bean cake--black beans/red onions/corn stuffed red peppers smothered in cheese with a side of lo mein with a light peanut sauce) was very good. It doesn't sound like the two things would go together, but they really did. I actually thought it was the best vegetarian dish I had at the 1 TS restaurant. Unfortunately, I think Le Cellier rotates the vegetarian options on the menu so I don't know how long this option will be sticking around.

smartestnumber5
09-08-2007, 10:41 PM
Can we have a pic of you and your GF eating some of these things?

I don't actually have many pictures of us in the restaurants--to busy taking pics of the food and then scarfing it down I guess! :)

But here's one of us a few hours after arriving at POR our first day.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1467.jpg

smartestnumber5
09-08-2007, 10:43 PM
Ohanas is one of our favorites too. I am happy with just the salad, potatoes, and dessert. I don't care for the miso broth on the tofu dish, but like you, I really like the peanut sauce. The last time we were there, I asked for an extra bowl of the peanut sauce and dumped that on the tofu dish. I thought it was about a 1000x better than the miso. Just something to keep in mind the next time you are there....

I read your comment to GF and she and I both looked at each other and said, "Why didn't we think of that?!"

I'm so doing this next time! :woohoo:

Thanks for the tip :thumbsup2

Ms. Heimlich
09-08-2007, 10:59 PM
I am enjoying your reviews.

Although I am not a vegetarian, I appreicate your views on the food choices at WDW! It really broadens my horizons for our upcoming trip.

Keep up the good work.

Ms. H

smartestnumber5
09-09-2007, 12:32 AM
We were too full after lunch at Columbia Harbor House to eat our dole whip and ice cream sandwich at MK. Instead we stopped at Pop when we got back to the hotel for a snack. I chose carrot cake again which was a big surprise to both me and GF. I had complained when she chose it the other night (I’m more of a chocolate person), but I actually really liked it because the cream cheese icing was sooo sweet. We had split it the other night, but this time I ate it solo and it was just too much. It was too sweet and that’s not something I ever say—I’m a sugar fiend. GF chose a hot fudge sundae w/ vanilla ice cream—so boring . (GF: “this from the woman who can’t just have oh say … a chocolate bar or a scoop of ice cream (god forbid)… but needs it topped with chocolate sauce, sprinkles, caramel, peanut butter sauce, butterfinger, snickers, twix, whipped cream, and manna from heaven to find it even edible”) She said it was a typical hot fudge sundae—they had the right kind of hot fudge, but tasteless whipped cream.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1551.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1552.jpg

Carrot cake—3.59
Hot fudge sundae—3.99 (estimated)
Tax--.49
Total—8.07 --> 2 S

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 3 out of 5.
Service: N/A.

riaesq
09-09-2007, 01:14 AM
Enjoying your reviews!

Just chiming in to say we ate at Ohana's for the first time a few days after you did. After all the negative reviews here I was a bit concerned- but the food turned out to be great! I was amazed at how juicy the turkey, in particular, was-- that's what I expected to be the driest (actually the sausage and pork were kinda dry but I wasn't that interested in them anyway.)

They gave me the recipe for it- it marinates for a few days, which I guess helps keep it juicy. Feel free to ask if you'd like me to post it- it's around here somewhere....

And just to fill in the tiny bit of missing info, the orange sauce was harissa- a peppery Mid-Eastern condiment; and the green was chimichurri, which is kind of like a cilantro pesto.

smartestnumber5
09-09-2007, 10:11 AM
GF and I were not all that excited to go to dinner this night. I had actually tried to switch our Boma reservation for Coral Reef a few weeks before, but there were no openings at Coral Reef for dinner. We’d gone to Boma once before together and I had gone numerous times on earlier trips with my family. I had really, really enjoyed Boma on the trips with my family, but only marginally so on the previous trip with GF. GF had not loved it either, but said it was just "okay." Given this, I'm not really sure why I made a reservation for it again :confused:.

I think the first few times I ate at Boma I hadn’t been a vegetarian for long so there were a lot of varieties of vegetarian food I had never experienced. I was also younger and hadn't had a chance to try more exotic flavors of food. With my family we also went to various meat heavy places so it was a nice treat to go somewhere picked out just for me. Going with just GF on free dining it didn’t seem like such a treat anymore--honestly I kind of felt like we should try something new rather than go with something we've already experienced and weren't wowed by.

So our expectations weren’t very high in the first place. The meal was fine—nothing bad about it, but just nothing very good or exciting either (though maybe we were just fulfilling the low expectations we had).

There were no specialty drinks allowed on the DDP (we asked about them), so we both had iced tea.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1553-1.jpg
My First Plate. Starting from the pineapple at the bottom and going right--pineapple, peanut rice, cous cous, fufu, bread, potatoes w/ afritude, falafel, carrot-raisin slaw, and some other salad I've forgotten

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1554-1.jpg
My Soup and Salad. Salad with Mango Dressing, and the three kinds of hummus with crackers on top. The brown soup is my mushroom.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1555-1.jpg
GF's First Plate--I know it's prime rib in the middle, but I'm not totally sure what anything else is. She also tried one of the soups (on the right), but I'm not sure what it was.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1556-1.jpg
GF's Dessert Plate--again, I don't know what things are.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1557-1.jpg
My Dessert Plate. Those are zebra domes, of course, at the top with coconut tiramisu above them. Continuing to the right--Bread pudding w/ rum sauce, chai rice pudding, milk tart, baklava-like nut tart, and chocolate mousse.

As for favorites on the buffet I liked the falafel (more potato like than any other falafel I’ve had), the three kinds of hummus, almost all of the desserts except the chai pudding (yes I ate the zebra domes even though I know they have gelatin in them—bad vegetarian :mad: ), potatoes w/ afritude, and mushroom soup. There was really nothing that I found really unpleasant.

GF really liked the salmon w/ coconut curry which she thought was the best thing there. (GF: "It tasted just like a Thai yellow curry.") She also liked the peanut rice, but not as much as the coconut rice they had last time. The prime rib was good of course, but she preferred it with gravy. My response to this comment was, "Do people actually put gravy on prime rib?" :confused3 It reminds me from a line from Sex and the City when Carrie is expressing horror about Samantha's latest guy who talks baby-talk in bed--"It's like putting ketchup on prime rib. Stop! You're ruining it." :lmao:

GF had numerous least favorites--she's so picky :rolleyes1! Though she liked the potato salad's taste, she was a bit deterred by it's unnatural bright yellow color. She said the fufu reminded her of baby food that had gone bad and found the watermelon rind salad “disgusting”. None of the desserts really did much for her--they were probably all too sweet, and alas her favorite (creme brulee) was absent.

Buffet—25.99
Buffet—25.99
Tax—3.38
Tip—9.96
Total—65.32 --> 2 TS credits

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5. (Very busy, hard to maneuver around tables and people to keep getting up and going to buffet. Lots of noise.)
Service: 2.5 out of 5.

This one is definitely not going to be on our usual rotation since were just not excited about it. We certainly might go back at some point in the future, but probably not anytime soon. Maybe absence will make the heart grown fonder.

Minniespal
09-09-2007, 11:23 AM
Excellent, looking forward to reading more.

budbeerlady
09-09-2007, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the veggie reviews. I am thinking of trying Ohana and it was nice to see and read about the vegetarian dish.

BabyPiglet
09-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Really nice reviews! I'm a sugar-holic too.

:goodvibes:

smartestnumber5
09-10-2007, 09:36 PM
Today was our MGM day. We’d only hit one ride (Tower of Terror) and I started getting kind of hungry. GF also decided she could use some coffee.

I decided to grab a pretzel from Anaheim Produce near ToT and we thought we’d then walk over to the Writers Stop (where they actually have non-Nescafe coffee :thumbsup2 ) and sit for awhile.

The pretzel was your average theme park pretzel. Nothing special but good enough.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1571.jpg

GF chose a double espresso at the Writers Stop. Again nothing special here, but it sure as heck was a lot better than the Nescafe crap.

Snack—Anaheim Produce (1 S)
A&R: pretzel

Pretzel: 3.29
Tax: .21
Total: 3.50 --> 1 S

Snack—Writers Stop (1 S)
R: double espresso

Dlb espresso: 3.00 (estimate)
Tax: .20
Total: 3.20 --> 1 S

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere (of the Writers Stop): 3 out of 5. A nice quiet place to sit for awhile, but very little seating and a bit cramped.
Service: N/A.

smartestnumber5
09-10-2007, 09:46 PM
During our break at the Writers Stop we discussed where to eat lunch. MGM isn’t known for wonderful counter service options, so there was nothing we were particularly excited about. We thought about the ABC Commissary but GF didn’t see anything appealing on the menu, and the vegetarian hummus and tabouli wrap wasn’t very appealing to me given I had eaten hummus twice the day before. We thought about taking the boat over to World Showcase in Epcot and eating there. But that just seemed like it would require a lot more energy than we had. So we eventually decided to just head on back to Pop and eat there.

Back at Pop I had a pizza, slushie (I like to mix frozen coke and blue raspberry together) and ice cream while GF chose the Asian chicken salad, a cupcake, and a power aid.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1572.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1573.jpg
(sorry about the bad picture--the flash is bouncing off the salad I think)

My pizza was good—you really can’t ever go wrong with pizza--and I actually was sort of craving it. GF’s Asian Chicken salad was decent—lots of chicken and lots of veggies which made her feel that it was lighter than some things she had been eating. On the downside, though, she said there was too much dressing and that it had strange noodles on it that didn’t go at all with salad.

For my dessert I chose two scoops of cookies and cream in a cone. This was yummy of course (you also can’t go wrong with ice cream), but I made the mistake of trying to eat it as we walked back to the room. It took a lot of work to keep it from melting everywhere with the 102 degree heat index which made the experience a little less enjoyable. GF took her cupcake back to the room and ate the cake part later that night; not only did she manage to get crumbs all over the floor, but she ate the cake part and tossed away the icing part. :sad2:--what a waste of perfectly good sugar. :lmao:

Pizza—5.89
Asian Chicken Salad—6.39
Ice Cream—3.09 (estimated)
Cupcake—1.89 (estimated)
Poweraid—2.5 (estimated)
Drink—2.39 (estimated)
Tax—1.33
Total—23.48 --> 2 CS

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5. (It’s always too loud and crowded in the food court at Pop.)
Service: N/A

bluedolph1n
09-11-2007, 02:11 AM
Love your reviews! :)

anabelle
09-11-2007, 12:44 PM
Enjoying the vegetarian reviews !

smartestnumber5
09-12-2007, 09:14 PM
After Boma was a bit disappointing, we tried to pump up our excitement for this dinner. On our trip last August we had a reservation for Le Cellier for our last night but we were so tired and GF's feet were hurting so badly that we cancelled it. (Stupid, stupid us :sad2: ). I was excited that GF would be getting a great meal and a fancy cut of meat—she often remarks how odd it is that as a vegetarian I’m so happy for her to have yummy/fancy meat dishes :laughing: --but I can’t say I was that excited for my own meal. It is a steakhouse, after all, so I wasn’t expecting that much. Well I was badly mistaken to not be expecting much—this was one of the best meals of our trip!

We arrived a few minutes before our reservation. I checked us in and we were told that they were running behind and that they’d have to seat others who’d been waiting awhile before us. So it sounded like we’d be having a bit of a wait and went to sit outside. Within 5 to 10 minutes, though, someone came out calling my name. I told her I thought it would take longer since we’d only been there 5 minutes and she said we were pretty lucky because, indeed, others had been waiting for quite awhile. I guess the issue must have been table size—guess it paid for us to have only two of us! :woohoo:

We were seated close to the entrance of the restaurant in an area which seemed to usually be an area where 2-person tables were lined up next to one another. We’d heard that tables could be close together here, but ours seemed a fine distance from those next to us. On our left was a family taking up about 3 of the 2-person tables pushed together and the same on the right as well. Maybe that was why we had so much room—the other tables were pushed together hence opening up some extra space.

Our server (Patrick from Ontario) came by to introduce himself and said he’d be back in a minute to take our drink orders. He asked if we were on the DDP and when we said yes he encouraged us to get specialty drinks. I chose the chocolate raspberry shake and GF went with the mango smoothie. As we looked over our menus we noticed the folks on our left seemed to be kind of unhappy—we just got an angry vibe from that table and it seemed they weren’t getting along with Patrick very well (or at least, that’s what we thought). (GF: “they did have several small, slightly bratty children … no wonder they were unhappy” )

My appetizer was a no brainer since I only had a choice of salad or the beefsteak tomato stack. I went with the more exciting of the two—the tomato stack. GF had some trouble choosing, though, so when Patrick came back she asked for his opinion. He asked what types of things she likes and suggested the Mussels for something different. My entrée choice was also a no brainer—the black bean cake—the only vegetarian entrée on the menu. GF, on the other hand, had another tough decision to make. She was pretty sure she wanted fillet mignon—but should she get the bbq maple glaze or the mushroom? She went with the mushroom and actually ended up craving bbq for the rest of the trip. (GF: “Yeah, I think I made the wrong decision there … though it was still really good.”)

Shortly after we ordered our drinks arrived and Patrick dropped off some bread (pretzel, multigrain, and sourdough). He explained them—each one represented a different area of Canada—and let us know that the “the pretzel bread is from Ontario…which is where all the very good looking men are from” :lmao: . (GF: “I actually forgot he was from Ontario and just assumed he was gay!”) GF preferred the multigrain bread, while the pretzel bread was my favorite. I can really see why DISers dream about dipping pretzel bread into the cheese soup—I can just imagine how good it would taste dipped in cheese. (Darn that cheese soup having bacon in it :mad: ).

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1591.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1592.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1593.jpg

Our appetizers arrived and we dug right in. GF had never had mussels and found them to be pleasantly chewey. Patrick had explained that they were cooked in the shell in a heavy cream sauce. As GF said, you can’tt go wrong with heavy cream. (GF: “they were also sprinkled with thick bits of bacon and simmered with tiny cubes of potato. Very good but the whole thing was very salty.”) My tomato stack was very good. GF actually kept stealing some and talked about how fresh the tomatoes tasted. (GF: “my grandpa used to grow amazing tomatoes in his garden … they were like nothing even resembling regular tomatoes from the supermarket … this was the first time I’ve ever tasted tomatoes with that same “garden” taste in a restaurant!”) Personally I would have liked more mozzarella—but then I am a cheese lover. Also all those tomatoes were a little too acidic, especially given the vinegar (I have stomach acid problems). So while I enjoyed it, I might go with a salad next time just because of the acidity issue.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1594.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1596.jpg

On to the entrees. GF ended up wishing she had tried the BBQ fillet instead of the mushroom one. She said the mushroom fillet had a similar flavor profile as the mussels (salty and oniony), so she would have liked something a little different. (GF: “and I LOVE salt … but too much is too much.”) Still, she says it was a delicious cut of beef and the risotto was very creamy. She also suspected that there was some truffle oil in the sauce and became obsessed with trying to detect hints of truffle. My entrée was great. It was two slices of red pepper stuffed with a mixture of black beans, red onions, and corn and then topped with cheese. It was accompanied by a lo mein type noodle salad with a light and yummy peanut sauce. My main thought on this dish was that this is what a vegetarian entrée ought to be like. Unlike the same old pasta with veggies that many restaurants offer as a standard vegetarian option, this dish seemed like someone had put a lot of thought into it. I mean, who would have thought of putting together black bean stuffed peppers and peanut noodle salad? :confused3 But it worked so well together! :thumbsup2 I could eat some right now! (GF: “I loved her dish, as well, which is really a complement from a raging meat eater like myself”)

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1597.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1598.jpg

As we were eating Patrick came by and asked how the entrees were. He then let me know that there were actually two different kinds of cheese on the stuffed peppers. One had pepper jack cheese and the other had some type of cheddar. GF and I preferred the cheddar, but both were very good. At this point in the dinner we noticed an apparent change in the vibe coming from the next table. Suddenly it seemed the people to our left were joking with Patrick and laughing as he brought out their desserts. One person had the chocolate mousse and after dropping it off Patrick quickly left and returned with a moose antler hat. He got the attention of the entire restaurant and then insisted that the mousse orderer stand up and learn to make a moose call. (GF: “I can’t resist commenting that the “moose call” they did sounded very very much like … hmm … how to put it? The sound that adults might make while …. um … engaging in a certain activity”) The guy seemed to happily play along as his family laughed and took pictures.

Finally even though we were quite full it was time for dessert. GF’s decision was easy this time as she is a crème brulee lover. I contemplated the chocolate mousse and the campfire smores, but ultimately went with the Chocolate Whiskey Cake. GF says of her crème brulee sampler “Uhhhh” (that’s a moan—a very good one). My cake was very good. It was less sweet than most of my dessert choices though and the chocolate and whiskey combination seemed to give the cake itself a little bit of a bitter taste. It came with a tarragon sauce, though, which when poured on the cake really did change its flavor. With the sauce it tasted much sweeter and not bitter at all. I dumped all the sauce on and gobbled it up.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1599.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1600.jpg

In general this meal was wonderful. The food was great. We enjoyed the atmosphere. And we had a great server—friendly, helpful, and talkative. We left extra tip because the service was so good.

beefsteak tomato stack: 7.99
spiced black bean cake: 15.99
chocolate on chocolate whiskey cake: 7.99
chocolate raspberry shake: 4.29
prince Edward island mussels: 9.99
mushroom filet mignon: 27.99
crème brulee sampler: 5.99
mango smoothie: 4.29
subtotal: 84.52
tax: 5.49
tip: 15.21
total: 105.23 --> 2 TS

Meal: 4.5 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5.
Service: 5 out of 5.

We'll definitely be back

BaBeeCee14
09-13-2007, 02:14 PM
Loving your reviews!! Thanks for sharing!

smartestnumber5
09-14-2007, 07:53 PM
GF was taking a bit longer getting ready this morning than I was, so I decided to go to the food court at Pop and get in line for food while GF was getting ready--the lines are always kind of long in the morning.

I decided to get a yogurt parfait and a child’s waffle platter for us to share. Children's meals seemed to be just the right size to go along with some yogurt for us since GF isn't much of a breakfast eater, and I don't need much when we're eating a lot for lunch. This way we had a cheap breakfast and saved our CS credits for lunch.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1610-1.jpg

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1611-1.jpg

The child’s platter had two Mickey waffles, applesauce, and bacon. The waffles were good. The applesauce had no sugar which made it completely inedible for me. GF actually liked it *shakes head* but didn’t eat much of it. The yogurt parfait had strawberries and granola on top. It was better than the one at POR (had sugar in it!), but not nearly as good as the one at Main Street Bakery (no blueberries or bananas)


Yogurt parfait: 3.79
Tax: .25
Total: 4.04 --> 1 S

Waffle platter: 3.59
Tax: .24
Total: 3.83 --> OOP

Food: 3.5 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5.
Service: n/a.

smartestnumber5
09-14-2007, 08:09 PM
We went to MK on Wednesday and spent some time in Tomorrowland. When it came time for lunch we debated whether to go back to Columbia Harbor House or not, but ultimately chose to try Cosmic Rays (for the first time) due to the extensive menu.

We arrived and discovered that there are three areas that offer different menus that have separate cash registers and counters—one for burgers, one for sandwiches, and one for chicken and ribs. We only had one of our room keys with us, so that meant we had to stand in line twice, and that one person had to wait for the other person to get done using the key to get in line. Luckily the lines moved very quickly.

GF noticed the chicken and rib combo meal and figured that must be a lot of food--so she decided that was the meal for her! :) I debated between the veggie burger and veggie wrap. There was a toppings bar which I thought tipped the balance in favor of the veggie burger. I usually am kind of wary about veggie burgers because I only like the kind made from soy, not the Gardenburger kind that are veggie based. I figured, though, with all the toppings I could make either kind taste yummy (it turned out to be a soy burger anyway).

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1624-1.jpg

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http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n288/smartestnumber5/HPIM1627.jpg

GF’s chicken and rib combo came with mashed potatoes and carrots and I got fries with my veggie burger. She had coke and carrot cake and I had iced tea and chocolate cake. She says the combo meal was pretty good.

My veggie burger was also mostly good. I asked for cheese on it and they gave me the cheese on the side—it seemed to be a kraft single that they put in a container. :confused3 Unfortunately it got stuck to the container and I had to kind of peel it off which was a pain--plus unmelted kraft singles are kind of gross. I assumed they would put it on the burger so it could melt. I added lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and ketchup to the burger. Not the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, but far from the worst—I was happy enough with it and got full quickly.

We were planning to have some yummy Magic Kingdom snacks--dole whip and ice cream sandwich--before we left the park, but as I was finishing the burger I could see that this plan might have to go. I started debating whether I should even open the chocolate cake container--surely the iced cream sandwich would be better than the cake, so why eat the cake if then I won't have room for the ice cream sandwich? :confused: Well that was the rational part of me talking. The other part was saying, "There's chocolate cake in front of you. EAT IT!" Guess which part won? :rolleyes1

The carrot cake was much less sweet than the one we’d had at POR and Pop, so GF was pleased. My chocolate cake was yummy too, and before I knew it I'd eaten the entire thing. So once again, we had no room in our stomachs for the snacks we so desired

Chicken and rib combo: 13.99
Veggie burger: 6.59
Chocolate Cake: 3.59
Carrot Cake: 3.59
Lg coke: 2.39
Med iced tea: 2.09
Tax: 1.93
Total: 34.17

Food: 3.5 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5. Pretty busy in there, but at least there is a good amount of indoor seating and they had many registers open so the lines moved very fast.
Service: n/a

smartestnumber5
09-15-2007, 12:11 PM
Our dinner that night was at Flying Fish. This was the dinner GF was most looking forward to—she loves her fish! Thus far we had only tried two signature restaurants at WDW—California Grill and Artist Point. California Grill is our number 1 choice hands down. Artist Point was a disappointment (though we really liked the dessert and cheese plate there), so we were hoping to find another signature restaurant that we could really enjoy.

Flying Fish didn’t disappoint (though being a seafood restaurant it was more to GF’s liking than to mine). We had a nice table by a window that had a view of the kitchen. Here are some pics of the restaurant:

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Our server was very nice and helpful, but we felt like he was going for that very aloof I’ll-pretend-I’m-not-here kind of service. I always feel weird totally ignoring a server who’s doing something at our table, so I’m not that comfortable with that type of service. But he was still very good and friendly enough.

GF had trouble deciding what to order but eventually decided on the crab cake and the potato wrapped snapper. I had about three options for an appetizer—a caprese mozzarella salad, a cheese plate, and a gorgonzola/peach/arugula salad. I was very interested in the cheese plate (I love cheese so much!), but that was also a dessert option and I knew from looking at online menus that none of the other desserts really called out to me. So it was really between the caprese and gorgonzola salad—I went with the latter on a whim (good decision :thumbsup2 ). There were actually no vegetarian entrees on the menu so I had earlier asked the server if they had one; he had said that they usually do a pesto pasta dish. So when it came time for ordering I said I’d have “whatever the vegetarian entrée you mentioned is.” He said okay and left the table. I was actually a little disappointed. I do love pesto, but pesto pasta is something you can get many places, and I’d just had some really good pesto pasta at Riverside Mill a few days before. I was hoping for something more exciting.

A few minutes later a chef came over to our table and introduced himself to me. He confirmed that I was a vegetarian. I nodded and he asked “Lacto-ovo?” and I said yes. He then said that they could either make the pesto pasta dish that the server had mentioned, or he could make “a tasting dish.” Well I wanted the tasting dish of course—something exciting! :woohoo: . He asked me if there were some things I liked more than others. My mind went blank and I looked at GF and asked, ‘Is there anything I don’t like?” She replied, “Nope—she’s easy to please—just no meat. Eggs, cheese, everything else is fine.” The chef said, “Oh eggs and cheese are okay?” :confused3 --isn’t that what lacto-ovo means? I said yes and he joked, “Okay, so just nothing with eyes” *laugh*. He said, “well we can take good care of you then” and went off after I thanked him.

Shortly after our server brought our iced teas and some bread out. The bread was multigrain sourdough I believe and it was yummy. GF is a real bread and butter lover. At casual restaurants when the butter comes in packets she always complains when they are plastic and says the foil packages have better tasting butter. :confused: She described the bread as sharp and hearty and gave the butter the :thumbsup2.

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Our appetizers arrived pretty quickly. My salad was really, really good. It was a huge serving. It could easily have been an entrée or GF and I could have shared it. It was a ton of arugula with a crispani cracker thingy on top. The cracker had a huge slap of gorgonzola cheese on top of it. As I dug in I discovered even more gorgonzola was sprinkled throughout the salad (with the cracker it was actually too much gorgonzola) along with pieces of peach and sweetened pecans. I’m not sure of the dressing, but it was something pretty light—I just know I liked it. I ate and ate and ate and eventually realized that I was already getting full so I forced myself to put down my fork and let them take away the rest of my tasty salad. :sad1:

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Wow--the gorgonzola kind of looks gross in this picture--it really looks like gross mold :scared:. It tasted much, much better than it looks (and it looked much better in the restaurant too!)


GF’s crab cake was also a good sized portion. Crab cakes are usually one of the smaller appetizers, but this crab cake (it was just one) was the size of a baseball. GF says it was a big ball of whole crab meat rolled in bread crumbs and that it was very good. Underneath it was some type of slaw which she also enjoyed.

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Out came our entrees. My tasting plate had four different items on it and was served on a really interesting plate that was a semi-transparent turquoise color and had four little divets in it. I felt kind of special having an entrée made just for me and served on this very different plate. At one point I actually noticed one of the hosts standing a few feet away from our table near the entrance to the dining room seemed to be looking at my meal. I caught his eye and eventually he came over and looking puzzled asked, “Is that food from our restaurant? I’ve never seen that before.” I explained that it was a vegetarian meal and he nodded, still looking intrigued.

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My plate included a bit of a pesto pasta, something I will call “potato lasagna”, and two vegetable dishes. The pesto pasta was okay, but somewhat boring—not as pesto heavy as I like it and mixed with some of the veggies in the other dishes (green beans and either turnips or radishes I think). The potato lasagna was the best item on the tasting plate. It was thin slices of potatoes with some type of cheese or cream based sauce between them and topped with mushrooms. GF tasted it and said she detected truffle oil in it. It was very good, but also very rich so I couldn’t eat that much of it. As for the veggies, one item was a medley of radishes/turnips (yeah, I totally don’t know the difference between them but I think it was one of them) and green beans and the other I thought was spinach with broccoli on top at first. The green beans were good, but again I did not enjoy the radishes/turnips much. I do like spinach a lot, but I suspect the greens were not actually spinach. GF suggested maybe the whole thing was broccolini (I’m not so sure what that is, but the broccoli seeming veggies were longer and more spinach like than most broccoli), but there was a clear difference between the broccoli and the greens. I’m guessing maybe what I thought was spinach was actually escarole or some more bitter kind of green? :confused3 I ate some of this, but it wasn’t really doing much for me. I realized that apparently what GF had told the chef—that I like just about anything—was not true. :laughing:

GF’s snapper was just as described—wrapped in a thin layer of potato. She says the potato itself didn’t taste that good so she peeled it off. Underneath she discovered delicious perfectly tender and juicy snapper. The whole thing was floating in a pool of rich flavorful and delicious red wine sauce. Underneath the snapper was “leek fondue”—sort of a misnomer. It was really just creamy leeks, which GF found neither good nor bad. She says she could have done without it.

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Time for dessert. I had been planning to get the cheese plate, but I already eaten A LOT of gorgonzola in my salad and then a very creamy sauce with the potatoes, plus all of the veggies had a lot of oil. So I just felt like cheese wasn’t really what I needed right then. Actually the sorbet kind of sounded good just because I thought that would be nice and light after all of that oily, rich, heavy food. But me being me, there was absolutely no way I was going to get sorbet. I’m a chocolate and cheese kind of person! So although I can enjoy a lighter fruity dessert sometimes, I just couldn’t get myself to waste a dessert credit on sorbet. And the other desserts still weren’t calling to me, so I decided to just go with the original plan and get the cheese plate. GF decided on the panna cotta. We had only just had this dessert once before at a local Italian restaurant. At that restaurant the dessert seemed to have some gelatin in it—it was kind of jiggly, but was clearly made of cream unlike jello. GF had really liked it, so she chose it again.

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My cheese plate was very good. I can’t say it was very memorable though, because by that point in the meal I’d just eaten so much and was very full. I believe the first cheese is gorgonzola, which I enjoyed even though I’d already had a ton of gorgonzola in the salad earlier. Next were two goats milk cheeses I think. The first one was fine, but the next one was too strong for me. I can’t remember the last two but I think one was a sheeps milk cheese, and I think I liked both of them.

The panna cotta at Flying Fish was actually very different from the one at the local Italian place. This one was served in a coffee mug and quivered when the server put it down. It also seemed to have real cappuccino on top of the panna cotta. As soon as she took a bite GF appeared to be in heaven. She said that it melted in her mouth and had a pure cappuccino flavor. She raved about it the whole time she was eating it. It was served with three little cake like sandwich cookies. She let me have the chocolate one and she ate the lemon and pistachio ones herself. She said they were a nice touch and fun to eat and, lucky for her, only slightly sweet. Overall, she found this to be one of the best desserts she’s ever had.

Arugula salad—10
Vegetarian entrée—20 (estimate)
Cheese plate—15
Crab Cake—14
Snapper—34.00
Panna Cotta—7
Tax—6
Tip—18
Total—124 --> 2 TS

When we got the bill I signed the receipts without looking much at them. It turned out, though, that our drinks (just two iced teas) were not listed. So I guess the server didn’t actually get the cost of the drinks included in his tip, which was too bad because he was a good server. We actually left a little extra tip just to bump the tip up to 20% (which is what we’d normally leave).

Drink—2.19
Drink—2.19
Total (including drinks and tax and tip on the drinks)—130.56


Food: 4.5 out of 5. (More like a 4 for me other than my salad.)
Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5.
Service: 4.5 out of 5.

This was a great meal. GF obviously enjoyed hers somewhat more than I did and would love to go back. I'd certainly be willing to go back, but wouldn't tell the chef I like "everything without eyes" this time!

smartestnumber5
09-17-2007, 09:54 PM
Today was a bit of a rest day—we had nothing planned for the morning and were not going to the parks. And yet, I still woke up around 8 the same as the last few days! My body/mind likes to get into patterns like that :sad2: . Since GF was still sleeping I decided to go to the food court and bring some breakfast back for us. I couldn’t decide what to get. Like usual when it comes to breakfast, I wanted something sweet and something savory. I kind of wanted chocolate chip pancakes, but I also kind of wanted eggs. Eventually I decided to get a child’s chocolate chip pancake breakfast and use one CS credit for a breakfast platter and two drinks. Perfect.

The child’s meal had two choc chip pancakes, applesauce, and bacon. The breakfast platter included scrambled eggs, a biscuit, breakfast potatoes, and bacon and sausage (I asked for all bacon). I also picked up a chocolate milk for me and power aid for GF. When I got to the check out the CM told me that the child’s meal also comes with a drink like a small juice. I said I didn’t want to bother going back to get it and he offered me a small cup for apple juice at the drink station. How could I turn it down?

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Breakfast platter—5.99
Chocolate milk—2.5 (estimate)
Poweraid—2.5 (estimate)
Tax—.70
Total—11.69 --> 1 CS


Child’s meal—3.59
DDE— -.72
Tax—.19
Total—3.06 --> OOP

smartestnumber5
09-17-2007, 10:11 PM
When GF and I had our first trip to Disney we decided to come up with surprises for one another while we were there. GF suggested we do this again this trip. I had some trouble coming up with a surprise that I thought GF would like that would fit our cost limit. GF came up with an idea though—one that involved MORE food! :) —but she actually wasn’t able to keep it to herself. A few weeks before the trip she told me what it was—having tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room :woohoo: .

We had an ADR for 2:10 pm and we arrived a bit early and explored the GF. At 2pm they opened the Garden View Tea Room and we were seated right away. We were in the corner away from most other people which was nice. We were in our usual park attire—a few steps down from what most people there were wearing—so we joked that they stuck us in the corner so we wouldn’t detract from the experience for other people. :lmao:

Tea Setting
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The menu at the tea room is set up so that you can choose either al la carte items or choose a fixed menu from about 5 different options. The fixed menus generally included tea and at least one savory course and one sweet course. Both GF and I decided to have the same thing—the Buckingham Palace—which included finger sandwiches, a scone and a raspberry tart, a choice of either strawberries and cream, a trifle, or 2 pastries, and a choice of any tea. I also suggested we get stilton cheese a la cart. As if I didn’t get enough cheese last night! I told you how much I love it! :love:

There are normally five varieties of tea sandwiches—watercress, pear and gorgonzola, egg salad, shrimp salad, and chicken salad. GF had all five, but I asked if I could have vegetarian ones to substitute for the chicken and shrimp ones. I ended up with two pear and gorgonzola and two watercress. GF and I agreed that the pear and gorgonzola was the best one—we are both big fans of the pear/gorgonzola combination and often make a pear and gorgonzola pizza—yum! GF also like the shrimp salad. Both of us thought the watercress was boring and just tasted like lettuce on bread. I thought the sandwiches were just okay, but nothing great. GF liked them a bit more and thought it was fun to try out all the varieties.

The stilton was brought out with our sandwiches. It was a HUGE amount and served with raspberries, blueberries, and walnuts. Yummm! GF said she didn’t expect stilton to go well with fruit, but it does. We definitely enjoyed this, though probably could have used more crackers—there never seem to be enough crackers with cheese plates :confused3 .

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Stilton plate with sandwiches in background

The next course was a scone and raspberry tart with Devonshire cream. We both enjoyed the scones, but have had better (actually, I think I’ve made better :snooty: ). GF thought the jam tart was to sweet, but I thought it was fine :) .

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Scone and fruit tart

For the last course we got to choose a dessert—2 pastries, strawberries and cream, or trifle. GF predictably went for the strawberries and cream and I predictably went for the pastries. Our server brought a tray of pastries over and I got to pick any two. I picked one—a chocolate mousse éclair thingy—for taste and one for appearance—a berry mousse filled swan.

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Strawberries and Cream

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Chocolate Eclair and Swan Pastry

The pastries were ok. The chocolate mousse I enjoyed—I mean, it is chocolate! But the swan really was all for look—I didn’t much like the berry mousse inside (still ate it though :laughing: ). GF enjoyed her strawberries and cream, which was a pretty generous helping.

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Tea

For our teas I had chosen the madhatter which I believe had flavors of vanilla and was supposed to be good with sweet desserts. GF chose the Cassius tea which was flavored like currants; she described it as mellow and flavorful.

After two cups each of our own teas, we decided to switch. After only a couple sips we both decided that we did NOT like the other person’s tea. I suggested we just switch our cups back and drink our own teas which is what we did.

Buckingham Palace—19.50
Buckingham Palace—19.50
Stilton—6.95
DDE—-9.19
Tax—2.39
Tip—9.19
Total—48.34 --> OOP

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5.
Service: 4 out of 5.

Overall we had a good time and it was a nice thing to experience, though we felt a little out of place. I don’t think we’d go again, or if we did probably just for the experience. And maybe we’d order al la cart and skip the sandwiches (or I would at least).

smartestnumber5
09-17-2007, 11:01 PM
For dinner that night we went to Downtown Disney and debated between Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express. We hadn’t tried WPE, so we chose that. We got in line and after a few minutes GF suggested that she get out of line and grab a table inside as there were very few inside tables and she wanted to sit in air conditioning. I said that was fine with me, but she couldn’t easily get out of the line and the table quickly got scooped up. So she just stayed in line. I ordered the spinach and mushroom pizza and GF got the BBQ Chicken Quesadilla. We both wanted crème brulee, but were told that they were out of it, so we chose brownies instead.

WPE is kind of like Panera or Noodles & Company. You order at the register and get your dessert right then and get your drink yourself at a drink station. And they give you a number to put on your table and they bring your food to your table. When our food came out they brought me the wrong pizza—one that had chicken on it. The server had a receipt with her and checked it and said the cashier must have rung it in incorrectly. She said she’d have them fix it and took it away. A few minutes later she returned and told me that the pizza I ordered is usually made with pesto sauce, but they were out of it and would have to make it with tomato sauce. I said that was fine. That was a little disappointing because it sounded like pesto would go very well with the toppings on that pizza, but whatever—I just wanted to eat something.
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GF liked her quesadilla, but felt like WPE is overrated. She said the food was good, but not good enough to justify having to deal with a noisy unpleasant environment (the outside eating area wasn’t the most pleasant) and surly employees. (We noticed that the folks working at WPE were some of the least happy seeming employees in all of WDW.) I enjoyed my pizza even without the pesto sauce and actually hurt myself by eating it all (tummy ache).

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The brownies were pretty good—very fudgy. GF actually ate a bit of hers while waiting for her quesadilla and then gave the rest to me.

Spinach and mushroom pizza—9.95
BBQ chicken quesadilla—8.95
Brownie—2.95
Brownie—2.95
Drink—1.95
Drink—1.95
Tax—1.72
Total—30.42 --> 2 CS

Food: 3.5/4 out of 5. (I think I rated it higher than GF.)
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5.
Service: n/a


After WPE we finally stopped at Goofy Candy Co to use some snack credits. Wow do I :love: it there. You can create your own cookie, pretzels, marshmallows, rice crispy treat, apple, or gingerbread cookie with as many toppings as you like. Yumm! I got three create-your-own candy items—pretzel rods, a fudge cookie, and a rice crispy treat. I had the pretzel dipped in white chocolate and topped with sprinkles, nuts, and milk chocolate. I chose a peanut butter fudge cookie (essentially a very big Oreo with peanut butter cream filling) and had it dipped in milk chocolate and topped with peanut butter cups. And finally a rice crispy treat dipped in dark chocolate, topped with sprinkles, white and milk chocolate chips, m&ms, and caramel drizzle.

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I told you I liked sugar! :goodvibes

Snack—Goofy Candy Co (3 S)
Create your own pretzel rods—3.5
Create your own fudge cookie—3.5
Create your own rice crispy—3
Tax—.6
Total—10.6 --> 3 S

All were delicious because I am a master creator of candy! :thumbsup2

dmja716
09-18-2007, 09:14 AM
Thank you!!:thumbsup2

mom2fivecs
09-18-2007, 12:01 PM
Enjoying the reviews...thanks :thumbsup2

smartestnumber5
09-19-2007, 08:57 PM
I woke up early again this morning thinking that our rest day was over, and it was back to leaving early for the parks. GF had other ideas though—she’d begun to start really feeling the heat and the walking and needed some extra rest. I ate some breakfast in the room and when GF finally got up we headed out to AK. On the way she grabbed a double espresso from Pop to wake her up while I went and sat on a bench outside.

GF’s coffee drink of choice is two shots of espresso over ice in a very big cup—then she adds some half & half or milk to it (but not nearly as much as I think one needs in a double espresso :eek: ). So the CM who got her drink for her put it in a large cup with a lid on as GF asked. For some reason, even though the bakery/coffee drink area is outside of the main food court and has its own cash register, GF was sent to the food court lines to check out. When she reached the cashier she said she wanted to use a snack credit and he said, “okay, one cappuccino” to which she replied, “actually, it’s a double espresso.” He then told her, “No, it’s a cappuccino. That cup is the cup for cappuccino.” She explained that she had asked for a larger cup, but that it was indeed espresso and took the top off to show him the lack of foam and black color. He then proceeded to tell her that he didn’t know why the CM had given her the cup she’d requested, but in the future if she wants espresso she will have to have it in the espresso cup and not the cappuccino cup because that’s how things have to be. :confused: GF explained that at the CM looked at her as if waiting for her to say, “Okay, whatever you say.” Instead, she reports that she simply stared at him with a puzzled look and said absolutely nothing and after a few seconds he ran the card and let her go on her way. :confused3


Dlb espresso—2.69
Tax—.16
Total—2.85 --> 1 S

smartestnumber5
09-19-2007, 09:43 PM
It was lunch time when we got to Animal Kingdom so food was the first thing on our minds. Tusker House was closed (or so I was assuming—I thought I might have read reviews about it from the last few weeks :confused: ) so that didn’t leave many vegetarian options for me—just the pizza at Pizzafari or the veggie burger at McDonalds. I decided to go with the former. GF wanted to try Flame Tree BBQ, so we went to pick up her food intending to bring it over to Pizzafari where I’d get mine.

As we walked up to the lines at Flame Tree BBQ things got at least 10 degrees hotter—ugh. On top of that, things also got a lot smellier. I figured it must just be the food, plus the 105 degree heat, plus the sweat and B.O. of all of the people in line being in 105 degree heat and very close to one another. GF had a different interpretation and proclaimed, “It smells like barf here. Eww—I’m not eating here :scared:.” GF can be very sensitive to smells and sounds and such, but this time I understood :laughing:.

And so we walked back toward Pizzafari where we would now both eat. I can’t say I was disappointed—I had no desire to stand in one of those long 105 degree hot lines. Pizzafari was kind of crowded too, but it was inside in the air conditioning and no smells of vomit.

We both chose pizza—cheese for me, pepperoni for GF. I got chocolate cake and GF tried the strawberry lemonade cup, and we had one iced tea and one coke.

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The pizza was pizza. It can’t really be bad, but it can’t really be that good either. We weren’t really expecting much from this meal. With Tusker House out of commission and nasty smells at Flame Tree where is a decent place to eat in AK?

GF did like her lemonade cup. It was very large and a nice cool treat. She said it was too sweet. I tasted it and all I could taste was sour. The chocolate cake was unremarkable. I really have no memory of it, but again you can’t really screw up chocolate cake.

Cheese pizza—5.59
Pepperoni pizza—5.89
Strawberry lemonade cup—2.99
Chocolate cake—3.59
Large coke—2.39
Large iced tea—2.39
Tax—1.37
Total—24.21

Food: 3 out of 5.
Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 (at least it’s in air conditioning and there are no bad smells!)

smartestnumber5
09-19-2007, 09:44 PM
FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]We arrived at Chefs right around our ADR time—8pm—and waited outside for a few minutes to be seated. We got a table that was a little cramped, but not too bad. There was enough room to move around, but we were still a little closer than we liked to the couple at the table next to us. We were so close that we couldn’t help notice some of their conversation. The man seemed to be angry and seemed to be sternly scolding the woman. She was very quiet and I didn’t hear her say much of anything. We weren’t really listening to their conversation so we didn’t know what they were talking about—we just didn’t get a good vibe from the tones of voice we heard--so that made us feel a bit uncomfortable.

At one point while their server (the same one we had) was at their table the man asked about Bistro de Paris. The server explained that it was a separate restaurant upstairs, to which the man responded, “Well what kind of place is it? Is it more expensive than here?” The server said yes. Then the man proceeded to ask how he could get reservation there. The server explained that the restaurants are separate entities and suggested he call the restaurant. Then the man asked for the phone #! GF and I just looked at each other like :confused:. We were thinking, "Dude--just walk upstairs if it's so important." How odd.

Can't say I felt all that bad for the server, though, since service here was bad. The server asked us if we were on the DDP first thing and we said yes. Then he asked to see my dining card—like he had to make sure. Weird.

At one point in the meal he referred to GF as “sir” :confused3 and was inattentive and unfriendly. Our food also came out very slowly—much more slowly than all of the tables around us, so it could not have been a kitchen issue. The slow food wasn’t horrible because it did give us a chance to see Illuminations through the window without having to concentrate on food since we’d been waiting for our entrees for quite awhile at that point. But the service seemed to get worse as things went on. By the time we got to dessert he just plopped our deserts on the table unceremoniously and walked away without saying anything. (I sort of wondered whether he realized his mistake in calling GF “sir” and felt bad and wanted to have as little contact with us as possible?)

I ordered the goat cheese salad as an appetizer. I was debating between the French onion soup, the tomato goat cheese tart, and this salad. I thought I could use some greens so I chose the salad. The salad consisted of greens, walnuts, baked goat cheese, grapes, and a light dressing. It was fine. Not nearly as good as the salad at Flying Fish, but I didn’t expect it to be. (I did realize though that the salad at Flying Fish and the one at Chefs de France were almost exactly the same price—maybe $1 less at Chefs—and yet they were of such amazingly different quality. Interesting.)

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For my entrée I had two vegetarian choices on the menu—a gruyere cheese macaroni and a vegetable lasagna. I went with the latter thinking how good gruyere cheese is. We’ve actually made a cream and gruyere cheese mac and cheese with spinach and shallots at home and it was really good. This mac and cheese was not. It just didn’t have any flavor. As soon as I tasted it I reached for the salt, and I am not a person who puts salt on things even at home, let alone at restaurants where things should already be seasoned. Luckily I had eaten a lot of salad so I didn’t need to eat much of this to fill up.

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GF chose Escargot as an appetizer and enjoyed it.

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For her entrée she went with short ribs even though she wasn’t totally sure what they were. What she got was something like pot roast but with a side of polenta instead of mashed potatoes. The polenta was completely flavorless—worse than the mac n cheese. Polenta is another thing which we have some cooking experience with and which we have made much better. GF said her short ribs were very fatty and hard to eat. The carrots were okay but softer than she likes them.

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For dessert I chose a chocolate tart. This was actually pretty good. I think it was a chocolate filled tart with coconut on top and chocolate ice cream on top of that and some fruit on the side. I did happily eat all of this. GF ordered her favorite—crème brulee—thinking that she knew that would be good (she’d had it there before). Well her crème brulee was mostly missing the brulee. At least half of the thing had no burnt sugar on top! :sad2:

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Food—2 out of 5. (Particular items bad and unflavored, but not the food in general—normally it would probably get more like a 3.)
Atmosphere—3.5 out of 5 (nice view of illuminations at least)
Service—1 out of 5.

I’m not sure if it was just that we ordered bad things, hit it on a bad night, had a bad server? We had lunch here on a previous trip and had a fine experience. The French Onion Soup was really good and the rest was satisfying if nothing special. In any case, we won’t be going back (at least not for a very long time).
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tigger536
09-20-2007, 01:22 PM
I followed the link to your TRs from the food porn thread. Great reviews! Very detailed! Too bad about Chefs, I've never eaten there but the menu looks really good.

LeCellier and Ohana are two of my favorites so I enjoyed reading about your experiences there. Your experience at Ohana seems very similar to mine. I love the food and will be going back, but the last couple of times the service has been subpar. I've had to beg for drink refills, meat on sticks, more wings (hey, sue me, I like to eat ;) ). I agree its like they don't really want you to have much of it. Oh well, when it comes to those wings, I won't be deterred! :rotfl:

Anyway, great reviews! I love your sense of humor also (too funny about the couple in line to check in at Ohanas). :lmao: People watching at WDW should be a sport. I'm gonna go check out your TR now...

IcePrincess467
09-21-2007, 09:44 AM
subbing...I want to read later (when I am not at work..lol:rotfl: )

DLo
09-21-2007, 09:56 AM
I want to go to Goofy's Candy Co. right now!!!

wdwthanksgiving
09-21-2007, 06:49 PM
is the "make your own pasta" a new station at riverside mill? we always stay at port orleans/riverside and our last visit was last november- have they changed their menu?
i'm enjoying your post - i have a glass of wine and my laptop - a perfect thing to do while dinner is cooking!
thanks :)

smartestnumber5
09-21-2007, 07:06 PM
I want to go to Goofy's Candy Co. right now!!!

Me too! :)

is the "make your own pasta" a new station at riverside mill? we always stay at port orleans/riverside and our last visit was last november- have they changed their menu?

We actually have never eaten at POR before this trip, so I'm not sure. I think they had it divided into stations--pizza & make your own pasta, carver station, sandwich station, bakery, and maybe one more I don't remember.

Illuminations_Rocks
09-22-2007, 12:01 AM
i am loving your dining report! I'm gonna have to hop over and check out your TR, too! :goodvibes

Ciciwoowoo
09-22-2007, 12:19 PM
Yummmm! :goodvibes

I am completely loving :love: your report!

MOTHERGOOSE3
09-22-2007, 01:35 PM
soooo good

Busymom85
09-22-2007, 02:57 PM
Great report and pictures!

smartestnumber5
08-06-2008, 11:09 PM
So in the grand tradition of my trip reports/dining reviews, I have left this review unfinished for almost a year! Bad, bad reviewer!


Well we have another trip to WDW on August 26th, so I figure it’s about time I finish this one.

So here we go.

Lunch at Earl of Sandwich

Since it was almost a year ago, I have almost no memory of this meal. I think we sat outside (under cover luckily, because it began storming crazily while we ate). A lot of people crowded under the cover to stay out of the downpour. We encouraged a few people who were holding young children to have a seat at our table since there were extra chairs.

As for the food, it was yummy of course. I chose the Caprese sandwich (fresh mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, basil), a cherry coke, and bread pudding. GF went with the Earl’s Club (turkey, bacon, swiss, lettuce tomato), a coke, and a brownie. And we used a snack credit to split a strawberry and banana smoothie.

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GF says she'd choose a different sandwich next time. Hers was too salty and didn't have a distinctive flavor, but was still good. My Caprese was pretty good, but I think the bread (which I really love in other contexts) doesn't go that well with this particular kind of sandwich. I think you really need more a crusty Italian type bread for a caprese sandwich.

The brownie was fine—it was a brownie. The bread pudding was very good. I would have liked it better with some sweet sauce, but even without I was pretty happy. It was very moist and heavy (kind like my family makes stuffing which GF thinks is very strange). GF would have liked it better without the raisins--she's a raisin hater. The smoothie was really yummy. I'm not sure why it's so good. We suspect there isn't any yogurt in there, and that it must be ice cream based.

Caprese—5.75
Earl’s Club—5.75
Drink—1.75
Drink—1.75
Brownie—1.95
Bread pudding—1.95

Food: 3.75 out of 5
Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5 (could use more indoor seating)

smartestnumber5
08-06-2008, 11:24 PM
California Grill is pretty much our favorite WDW restaurant. We make sure to go every trip and always have a great meal. This time was no disappointment.

We arrived about 20 minutes early for our ADR but we were taken right upstairs anyway. Once there we were given a buzzer and only waited a few minutes before it buzzed. We were seated at a four person table to the right of the elevator. It had a somewhat good view for wishes, though it 3 or 4 tables back from the window.

We decided to only use 2 TS credits (for one person) and then just share and buy a little OOP. Our server had no problem with that with that. She was very nice and helpful and friendly and even volunteered to put the cheapest things on the OOP bill.

She explained what we could get on the DDP—the cheeseplate counted as appetizer or dessert, not entrée. Also we couldn’t get Yoshi’s deluxe platter or the snake in the grass as an appetizer on the DDP. (Not sure if you can get them for entrees or not). Apparently Yoshi is the name of the sushi maker. We also asked about the “vegetarian unplugged.” She told us it was some of the vegetarian things on the menu—essentially whatever the chef feels like putting on. Sounded good to us.

We decided on the cheeseplate (all 5 of course) which we always get, one of the flatbreads (roasted chicken, red pepper, cheese, pineapple, mango ketchup ) and asked for chicken only on half of it. GF had the rainbow roll (tempura, avocado, lemon, fish, green roe on top). And we split the vegetarian unplugged. For drinks we both had iced teas. And we got banana and butterscotch buzz for dessert.

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Roasted chicken flatbread—Very spicy. The spice seemed to be both on the chicken and in the mango ketchup. GF says the kick almost made her cry—perfect balance of hot, sweet, and salty. There was less kick on my half since I had it without the chicken). I thought it was a good choice—very different and very yummy.

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Sushi—GF said it was a good, but she is never really that impressed by CG sushi for some reason. She suspects the fish isn't as good or as fresh as she's had at other places.

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Cheeseplate—
1) Coulommiers—brie (cow’s milk) like cheese w/ apple chutney
2) Saenkanter—hard butterscotch cheese w/ candied almonds
3) Clochette—soft goat cheese
4) Pecorino Sardo—(ewe milk) w/ raisins
5) Hubbardston Blue—blue goat cheese w/ pear paste

We enjoyed this as always. It's nice that the cheeses are different each time we visit so it's always a new adventure. I found 5 way to strong to eat; it was a combo of goat and blue just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like 3 much either—very goaty. 1 and 4 were good and 2 was just so interesting--amazingly it really did taste like butterscotch! GF said she thought the plate had a nice variety, but that there was no one cheese she was really excited about.

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Vegetarian unplugged—Yummy! This included the polenta (topped with mushrooms) which is usually served with the pork entree, parto of a flatbread, a mini-salad, and some vegetables. The polenta was wonderful. I think it had to be made with butter or cheese to make it taste that good. The flatbread was good. Of course we had ordered an entire flatbread, but I love them so I was happy to get to try another one. There was a nice little salad of tomatoes, greens, and onions. And then some veggies (green beans with truffle maybe) and potatoes. I liked everything and it was the perfect kind of entree for me because I love variety!

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Bananas Buzz great as usual.

We had a great view for wishes. We've been to California Grill together three times before this, and at least one of those times was at the exact time of wishes, but we'd never really gotten to see it. It was nice, but I can't say we really understood the narrative. Overall it was a great meal!


Food—5 out of 5.
Atmosphere—4.5 out of 5.
Service—4.5 out of 5.

Stefy
08-07-2008, 03:15 AM
Love all the reviews and pics, can't wait to see more :D

smartestnumber5
08-07-2008, 10:05 PM
Lunch on Sunday was apparently not very exciting, as I have no notes about it at all other than what we ate and where.

We ate at Pop and I had cheese pizza, a brownie sundae, and chocolate milk and GF had nachos supreme, a hot fudge sundae, and a poweraid.

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I'm thinking this was probably a pretty average CS meal. I don't remember anything really great about it, but I don't remember anything bad about it either.

Hmm, my notes say we had two sundaes, but the pictures show a yogurt parfait? :confused3

smartestnumber5
08-07-2008, 10:31 PM
I think by this point in the trip we started to get a little overloaded with food. (That's not good because in a few weeks we're going to be on the DXDDP--so wayyy more food than we had during this trip :faint:.) I distinctly remember sitting in the chairs in the Poly lobby after dinner for a little rest while holding my stomach, hoping it wouldn't burst!

So here goes the review:

I had the Kona salad, the pan Asian pasta, the macadamia nut tart, and a strawberry-banana smoothie. GF had the potstickers, the mahi mahi, and an orange-passion fruit smoothie, and the banana caramel crème brulee.

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We started with some bead and sweet butter (I think with it was whipped and had nuts in it). This was great--I think it was GF's favorite part of the meal.

The smoothies were a nice treat (and it was nice to have them count as drinks on the DDP) Mine was good, but nothing special. It had a few too many pieces of ice in it and could have been blended better. GF's smoothie was very tasty—kind of like a creamsicle (one of her favorite things) with a little kick.

The Kona salad was very good and a large portion. It was fresh greens, light but tasty dressing, blue cheese, red onions, toasted almonds, and apples (what about the strawberries? It was supposed to have strawberries according to the menu on all ears :confused:).

GF's potstickers were pretty good. She said they had a bit too much spice but were served with a nice cream sauce.

The pan Asian pasta was a lo mein like dish. It had better flavor than Ohana’s, but I still thought it was too many veggies—do people actually eat this many vegetables in one sitting? I would have preferred more noodles. An addition of tofu would have been nice too. So overall it was a fine dish, but nothing outstanding.

The Mahi Mahi was very good but it could have been better. GF felt like the rice was gummy and not in a good way like risotto is, but unpleasant. The fried onions were nice and crunchy and flavorable. But GF thought they were a little weird as an addition to the dish. She also felt like she didn’t know what the mac nuts were doing in the dish.

The macadamia nut tart was just my kind of dessert. So sweet and heavy. I totally hurt myself trying to eat all of it and still couldn’t finish it. I'd go back just to have it again!

GF described her crème brulee as just okay. She said it was too sweet (for some reason I can't fathom, she does not like things very sweet :eek:). She may also just have been creme brulee-ed out at this point in the trip.

So overall in terms of food nothing was really “wow." But everything was really good. Unfortunately the menu is small and doesn’t seem to change much so there isn’t much else on it which is vegetarian. But I think I would go back.

(Actually now that I'm finally posting this review and it's been a year since we were there I'd totally go back--in fact, I'm just now thinking, "hmm, why didn't we get an ADR there for our upcoming trip?")

In terms of service things were bad. Our server was really obviously trying to rush us and the people around us. She came over and introduced herself and asked what drinks we wanted. We ordered them and she quickly came back with them and asked if we knew what we wanted for appetizers. We said no. She came back within three minutes or so and asked again. At that point we only had decided on appetizers, but not on entrees. So we just ordered our appetizers. A few minutes later she brought our bread and took our entrée order but we didn't have our drinks yet. A few minutes later out came our appetizers, but still no smoothies.

We noticed that the people next to us had their appetizers for a very short time and were still actively eating them their entrees came out. I saw that and decided I’d better eat my salad faster because my entree would be out soon and the salad would be going bye-bye. And indeed, that's what happened. In fact a couple of times during the dinner I had to say I wasn’t done yet with something as the server tried to take it away. I felt like I got some indigestion from eating so quickly. We tried to take our time, but we just couldn't help feeling rushed.

Food: 3.5 of 5. (Balancing GF w/ a 3 and me with a 4.)
Atmosphere: 3 of 5. (The restaurant is small and we were seated very close to other diners.)
Service: 2 of 5.

MousekaMaddi
08-07-2008, 11:08 PM
its almost midnite here in NY and Im starving and your food porn is driving me NUTS!!! :lmao:
Great report, thanx for writing!:thumbsup2