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View Full Version : Never Eat More than You Can Lift, Miss Piggy's Jan 2010 edition!


catne
02-05-2010, 08:38 PM
MAYA GRILL REVIEW DONE - PAGE 3, POST 33-35

Well, have to mention that I haven’t been on the boards much since my September Free Dining report. We returned to Florida in late October to shop for condos, and we put in an offer:banana:. Then came the usual hubbub with the holidays, with a real estate closing in early December…busy, busy, busy so just been popping in on here every now & then. Our condo is in the Tampa area, near the beach, and our eventual plan is to become true snowbirds. But that’s a few years off, so for now it will be shorter vacations (Though I did get to spend all of January in Florida this year, yippee! I was setting up the condo for the first two weeks, then DH joined me for the rest of the month.) We missed Mickey in October, but we were too busy looking at properties, so in January we decided that we had to go to WDW for an overnight trip…we just couldn’t be in the “neighborhood” again and not visit Mickey.

Now last year, on a 2 night stay at the Contemporary in January, we had the DxDP, and we swore we’d “nevah” do the deluxe plan again - just way too much food. But after looking over the restaurants we still wanted to do on our Disney list, and then reviewing menus & prices…well we added the DxDP to our room package. So, to paraphrase another celeb, as Britney would say: “Oops, we did it again.”

We left Tampa around 9 a.m., and were checking into the Beach Club shortly after 11 a.m. That was really fun - arriving at WDW and not being exhausted from a long trip. We’re loving this condo location!

Anyway, the plan was 2 days/1 night at the Beach Club (love the major discounts they offer during off-seasons…we‘d never have considered a Beach Club Villa, but our deal was 45% off on the studio, so we took it. Great hotel, loved it.) We had park hoppers for 2 days (which we promptly upgraded to annual passes, cuz, to misquote Ahnold…”we‘ll be back.” YAY!) We planned Epcot rides all afternoon Tuesday, then meeting friends for drinks in Mexico followed by dinner at Tutto Italia. Wednesday morning we'd be doing favorites at DHS, with an early lunch at Sci Fi. We’d spend the afternoon at Magic Kingdom, then head to the Maya Grill at Coronado Springs for dinner before driving back to Tampa condo. We got the refillable mugs with the DxDP - wish they’d change them - we now have 6 of the same pattern. Boring! But we figured we’d get coffee in our mugs Wednesday morning at the Beach Club Marketplaces, and use 2 of our snack credits for breakfast pastries - we did not want a big breakfast that day since we had an 11:15 lunch scheduled.

So, here’s what I’ll review:

Sunshine Seasons, The Land/Epcot, for Tuesday lunch DONE Post 3, page 1 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=35318250#post35318250)
Le Cava del Tequila, Mexico/Epcot for Tuesday afternoon drinks DONE Post 13, page 1 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=35327680&posted=1#post35327680)
Tutto Italia, Italy/Epcot for Tuesday evening dinner DONE Post 20, page 2 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2390589&page=2)
Boulangerie Patisserie, France/Epcot for Wednesday breakfast DONE Post 25, page 2 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2390589&page=2)
Sci Fi Dine-in Theater, DHS for Wednesday lunch DONE Post 28, page 2 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=35379400#post35379400)
Maya Grill, Coronado Springs Resort for Wednesday evening dinner, DONE Post 33-35 , page 3 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2390589&page=3)
Main Street Bakery, Magic Kingdom for Thursday breakfast

kxs401
02-05-2010, 08:41 PM
Yay, I can't wait to read!

catne
02-05-2010, 08:44 PM
Tuesday lunch

Checking in at Beach Club, we picked up our “magic cards” and headed for Epcot. In an effort to avoid massive over-eating (and save plenty of room for dinner, lol) we decided to start out sensibly and split a favorite meal at Sunshine Seasons. We were on the Deluxe plan, so we had had 3 meal credits available, but we planned three table service restaurants. So we were going to use Disney Visa rewards dollars for this meal.

Being a Tuesday in the last week of January, Sunshine Seasons was not all that crowded. They were busy, since it was prime lunch time, but only a couple of people in line at each counter, and tables were available with very little hunting. We headed to the Asian station, and chose sweet & sour chicken, veggies and rice ($9.99):
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan26SunshineSeasonssweetsour.jpg
It looks like mostly rice in this pictures, but that’s deceiving…by the time we mixed it all up, this was a very substantial meal for the two of us to split. We also split a regular fountain coke ($2.39) , and bought a small bottled water ($1.25) for our park-hike. And for dessert, this beauty ($3.99):
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan26SunshineSeasonsstrawberr.jpg

This is by far the best strawberry shortcake dessert we’ve had anywhere. It’s stacked sky-high and full of fruit. Love it! Total cash cost, including tax, at Sunshine Season was $18.69. This was a great way to enjoy a decent lunch … we both were full, without feeling stuffed to the gills. This will be the way to go in the future for us, I think…splitting most meals instead of throwing out so much food we can’t possibly finish. The food was good, service was good & everything was clean. I’d give Sunshine Seasons a 9...the only thing I mark them down on is the noise level in that building…even when it’s not full, it’s a major echo chamber.

dizneeat
02-06-2010, 02:03 AM
Oh, I am so in here!

That Strawberry Cake - heaven on earth! :cloud9: Yum, so good! Can I have one now please? :goodvibes

MickeyNicki
02-06-2010, 07:16 AM
Oh, I am so in here!

That Strawberry Cake - heaven on earth! :cloud9: Yum, so good! Can I have one now please? :goodvibes

Ditto what Karin said!

Symans3honeybees
02-06-2010, 08:19 AM
I have read all your TR's. Love them all and this one is no exception!!:banana:

tinkerbell48
02-06-2010, 09:08 AM
I'm in:cool1: More!

catne
02-06-2010, 02:44 PM
Oh, I am so in here!

That Strawberry Cake - heaven on earth! :cloud9: Yum, so good! Can I have one now please? :goodvibes

Oh yeah, if you're a strawberry shortcake fan, that is the BEST! Last time we had it, we had kind of a smaller piece, so I was afraid they'd downsized the servings...but I guess it must have just been a quality-control issue before, because this time looked like all the slices were uniformly generous:love:

Ditto what Karin said! Hello, Nicki...did you have a winter dining review I missed?

I have read all your TR's. Love them all and this one is no exception!!:banana:
Thanks...even though that was a short WDW visit, doing the review is getting me through yet another snowstorm here in Nebraska (we are so staying in Florida Jan-Mar next year...or at least I am. DH can come back if he needs to:rotfl:)

I'm in:cool1: More!

It's coming...

disneyfav4ever
02-06-2010, 03:14 PM
Reading along! I've been looking for reviews of the Maya Grill, so it'll be interesting to read what you think about that.

catne
02-06-2010, 03:45 PM
Reading along! I've been looking for reviews of the Maya Grill, so it'll be interesting to read what you think about that.

coming soon...but I can tell you the quick version is, we loved it:thumbsup2.

weswife
02-06-2010, 03:50 PM
Hi, great review so far!!!

Yummy, strawberry shortcake!!!!! I will try that for sure!:thumbsup2

disneyfav4ever
02-06-2010, 04:11 PM
coming soon...but I can tell you the quick version is, we loved it:thumbsup2.Glad to hear that!

catne
02-06-2010, 04:35 PM
No pictures :eek: for Tuesday night, so sorry. We were meeting friends we had not seen in many, many years, so I wasn’t going to interrupt the flow by stopping to take pictures throughout.

We met our friends at Le Cava del Tequila in the Mexico pavillion . What an awesome little bar, tucked away to the side of the marketplace in Mexico. So quiet! Seems like a lot of bars we've been in at Disney are too closely attached to restaurants...and full of families with kids :scared1: Don’t get me wrong…I fully understand the urge to have an adult beverage while waiting for a table at Disney, especially if it's a long wait. But from an adult, non-parental point of view, I really wish there was a no-kids-in-bars rule at Disney. I know, I know, "Disney is all about kids"...but... in the bars? I feel I could make a pretty good argument that bars, even at Disney, are not meant to be all about kids, doncha think? C’mon, it’s not like Cindy & her Prince will be waltzing into the bar for character happy hour.pirate:

Le Cava was a totally refreshing place for a party of 4 adults...very quiet; small, cozy & relaxing. Maybe we were just lucky that day, but it sure was nice to be able to carry on adult conversations at normal speaking voice levels and not have to filter out cutesyness and/or tantrums from the next table.:rolleyes1 (OK, before anyone gets horribly upset with me, or wants to lecture me with "you don't understand -you're not a parent, blah blah blah": I'm a mom of 4 grown kids, age 21-31. And took them all to Disney more than once as well as other vacations. And I owned and ran a licensed home child care/preschool for 20 years... so I know kids/parenting, and I love kids. LOVE KIDS! Just think it's good to have adult places to go sometimes. Especially since I've paid my parenting "dues":thumbsup2)

Alright, I'm done with the soapbox, back to Le Cava. The drinks are pricey, of course (but typical Disney alcohol prices - margaritas were $9.25.) There were a lot of great looking tequila choices on the menu there, including some very interesting tequila flights. But none of us were feeling adventurous enough to do tequila shots. So we all went for margaritas: our friends chose frozen lime margaritas, DH had frozen strawberry and I had pineapple margarita on the rocks. Good-sized servings (10-12 oz. I'd guess) We all thought the Le Cava margaritas were far better than those travesties offered at the outside stand (and Le Cava's definitely have real booze in them - something I not so sure about with the outside drinks.) They did have a food menu in there, but we didn't look at it since we were going elsewhere for dinner. We'd give the place a 10, good drinks, great ambiance, wonderful respite - we would return for sure.

airhead
02-06-2010, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the review! We will DEFINITELY be trying this bar out in July!

catne
02-06-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the review! We will DEFINITELY be trying this bar out in July!

it'd be outstanding place to cool off in July...you know how "dark" it is in the Mexico pavillion. Le Cava is like evening, after the sun goes down...:thumbsup2

disneyfav4ever
02-06-2010, 06:38 PM
I agree with you about kids in bars. Especially kids sitting at bars. I see why they'd be hanging out in the open lounges like Tambu, since it's really that whole lobby area, but they have no reason to wander into say Mizner's, which is very adult, or like you said, the tequila bar. It's just not really the right atmosphere for kids.

catne
02-06-2010, 06:54 PM
I agree with you about kids in bars. Especially kids sitting at bars. I see why they'd be hanging out in the open lounges like Tambu, since it's really that whole lobby area, but they have no reason to wander into say Mizner's, which is very adult, or like you said, the tequila bar. It's just not really the right atmosphere for kids.

glad to know I'm not the only one...but we might both end up in the stocks at the Magic Kingdom for our anti-kids-at-Disney-bars stance:dance3:

handinpocket
02-06-2010, 07:17 PM
There were plenty of kids in the tequila bar when we were there.:confused3

catne
02-06-2010, 07:44 PM
There were plenty of kids in the tequila bar when we were there.:confused3

well, dang! Guess we were just lucky, then. Can't imagine that tiny place with a bunch of kids in there...

catne
02-07-2010, 02:27 PM
Sorry, no photos again...have to substitute with the silly little smilies:scared1: (Sorry again. I promise, after Tuesday night, I had my camera out again:woohoo:) So, on with the review:

After finishing our excellent margaritas, we did a leisurely stroll over to Tutto Italia for a 6:45 reservation. We were seated almost immediately - the place was not half-full. We informed our waitress that we needed two checks because DH & I were on the deluxe dining plan, and our friends would pay cash. For drinks, DH ordered a Moretti beer ($5.50). <insert photo, oh darn, sub silly smilie> :drinking1 What can I say, it was a beer. He's had Moretti before - at Mama Melrose's - so he liked it of course. I ordered the espresso martini ($12) --WAHOO, this was one fine martini! :banana: If you like coffee, and you like booze, you will lurve this martini. Our friends ordered ice tea since they had to drive home to Ocala later that evening, and also work the next day, poor things.

(BTW, since this is so obviously a teaching moment :rolleyes1 ...did you all realize that "Wahoo" is not just an exclamation, it's also a small town in Nebraska...about 50 miles away from me? End of geography lesson :dance3:)

DH & I were on the deluxe dining plan so were entitled to two appetizers. Since we figured the whole table would share, we chose one app, and had our friends choose the other. Our waitress did not bat an eye at that order, and brought 4 small plates when the apps were delivered. We ordered the calamari ($14), and the bufala mozarella/tomato ($15). The calamari was lightly breaded and served with a marinara dipping sauce which was quite spicy hot (well, OK, it was only "hot" for wimp-mouth me…DH & friends thought it was actually just nicely flavored, go figure.) We enjoyed Tutto's version of calamari, but DH & I decided we actually prefer the version at Mama Melrose, which has different breading & also has peppers & onions. The mozarella/tomato stack was very tasty…the mozarella slices were warm (just shy of gooey) and the light dressing on the tomato gave it just the right amount of delicate flavor without overwhelming the taste of fresh tomato. We also were served with bread & dipping oil, as well as the small dish of marinated olives, peppers & mushrooms…all very tasty.

For entrees, our lady friend ordered the “Casareci - cavatelli pasta, sweet sausage ragu, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano $25.” She liked this dish, but it was really just fancy curled pasta with a sausage sauce. I ordered the “Cannelloni al Forno - baked with spinach, ricotta, bechamel and parmesan cheese $25.” This dish looked for all the world like a slab of thin lasagna - a one-layer lasagna. But my, oh, my was it ever rich. And DELICIOUS. The spinach flavor was very subtle…the cheeses really provided the main taste…but those three cheeses blended wonderfully in this dish.:worship: I would definitely recommend the Cannelloni al Fornoto to any Italian-cheese lovers out there.

DH and friend both ordered an item I don’t see on any of the on-line menus: lobster ravioli. This dish arrived looking for all the world just like a bowl-full of the frozen ravioli you can buy, with a dab of sauce on top (as it turned out, more sauce was under the raviolis) but it really was a very plain looking bowl of pasta. Plain enough that you'd give it a WTH?, considering the fancy menu description & hefty price. Happily, looks were deceiving. The filling was very rich: full of cheese and flaky, buttery tasting lobster. They both finished every bit, and all but licked the bowls.:thumbsup2

DH & I had dessert coming with the deluxe dining plan…and there was no way we’d have room to each finish a full dessert. Our friends were debating whether or not to get dessert & reaching the same conclusion as us - there’ no way either wanted a full dessert . So I suggested DH & I split one of the desserts, and our friends choose one to split. After much discussion, our waitress showed up to ask for our dessert order and I gave the two choices. Now people seem to post all the time that you can’t share dining plan meals with non-dining plan guests, but we sure did not see that. I really think the intent is that you can’t buy a full meal for someone else, but if the other people are buying separate meals, they don’t care if you share the extras. Our waitress had no issues with that whatsoever--the two desserts were delivered with 4 spoons, so there was no doubt they expected that we would be sharing the desserts. DH & I ordered the “Gianduja - Chocolate Torta - chocolate and hazelnut torte with whipped cream and raspberry sauce $11.00”….outstanding dessert…definitely one of my favorite-ever chocolate desserts at Disney. Our friends ordered a cheesecake dessert…sorry, I’m not sure if the one on the Tutto menu matches the description of the cheesecake listed on the on-line menu. On the receipt, it’s listed as “torta ricotta” for $11.00. Whatever it was, it looked like cheesecake, and they enjoyed it. Both desserts were very pretty to look at -- Disney restaurants surely have the art of the elegant food presentation mastered.

All in all, we enjoyed Tutto…and splitting the 2 apps and 2 desserts among 4 people is definitely a great way to enjoy the deluxe dining. We ended the meal full, but not stuffed...we actually felt we could rise from the table unaided without need of forklifts or any machinery equipped with winches:lmao:. Seriously, split 4 ways, those apps & dessert were just pleasant little extras to the meal. The meal seemed a lot more enjoyable that way - usually I'm torn between over-eating to the point of discomfort, or walking away from half-finished plates while guiltily dodging the specter of Sister Mary Finish-that-food-there's-starving-children-somewhere. Sharing provided the perfect balance - we finished the food without feeling like total gluttons.

We thought the service at Tutto was excellent. I have seen references that people often are rushed through meals here. Luckily, that was not our experience at all. We were in there for just over 1.5 hours, and never felt we were being rushed. Maybe because the place was half-empty when we arrived, and almost totally empty by the time we left? Anyway, our waitress was attentive without hovering, and our food was delivered & dishes cleared at reasonable intervals. We all enjoyed our food very much. But I’m just not quite sure it was worth the cash cost…this is a very pricey place. The food is very good, a step up from say, Olive Garden, but the prices are a lot of steps up from Olive Garden (like a flight of stairs, lol.)

However, at those prices, Tutto is a seriously good deal if you’re craving Italian food and you’re using the deluxe Disney Dining Plan. I did the math, :teacher:, and the total we paid for the Deluxe Dining plan was $144...which amount gave us credits to cover 3 meals, 2 snacks & a refillable mug for each of us…Tutto alone added up to $115 (excluding alcohol & tip.) So basically, with the cost of our meal at Tutto & the cost of our 2 refillable mugs, we’d actually spent the full value of what we paid for the one night on the DxDP…and we still had credits for 2 snacks & 2 more meals each. Score!

Based on service & food being excellent, I could almost give Tutto a 10...but I’m going to pull it back to a 9, because I do think the place is overpriced for pasta dishes, even for Disney:goodvibes

MickeyNicki
02-08-2010, 11:31 AM
We finally tried a real margarita in Nov (yes we did a sorta winter trip report, Nov 09 anniversary celebration!) and it was excellent, 100% better than the frozen nightmare that they sell outside.

I am so glad you guys enjoyed Tutto...it is excellent but the next time you go (when is that by the way?) try to get to Il Mulino...OMG it is insane!

butiflfeet
02-08-2010, 03:00 PM
I love Tutto Italia! I'm so hungry right now I shouldn't even be looking at dining reviews. Now I'm re-thinking what I had planned for dinner and craving Italian!

catne
02-08-2010, 03:21 PM
We finally tried a real margarita in Nov (yes we did a sorta winter trip report, Nov 09 anniversary celebration!) and it was excellent, 100% better than the frozen nightmare that they sell outside.

I am so glad you guys enjoyed Tutto...it is excellent but the next time you go (when is that by the way?) try to get to Il Mulino...OMG it is insane!


We're hoping to be back in Florida in May - but I wish it was now! Sick of looking at the frozen white stuff here (much prefer white beaches!!!)

Il Mulino is at the Swan, right? Would have to convince DH that we can eat outside of WDW;)

catne
02-08-2010, 03:24 PM
I love Tutto Italia! I'm so hungry right now I shouldn't even be looking at dining reviews. Now I'm re-thinking what I had planned for dinner and craving Italian!

:laughing:don't I know it...I'm looking at the pictures I'm uploading for the next section of reviews, and boy do they start the cravings. Hard to stick to my diet with all this Disney food porn around here.:rolleyes1

catne
02-08-2010, 04:10 PM
After dinner Tuesday night, it was nearly time for Illuminations and getting a little chilly, so we decided to look for warm drinks to enjoy while watching the fireworks. We were close to France, so headed for Boulangerie Patisserie. In all our trips to Epcot, we have never actually made it inside the pastry shop (the line has always been way too long, coming out the door & down the steps. This time the line was all inside, so we joined it.)

We had planned on hoofing it over to the Boardwalk Bakery for breakfast the next day, but while waiting in line for hot drinks we were staring at those loverly pastry displays in those bakery cases for a long, long time. Got stuck behind a lady who had no concept whatsoever how to use the Disney dining plan...and the French/English communications wasn't going all that well with the CM at the register. Basically, the poor woman was trying to buy 3 pastries and 3 drinks with three snack credits...apparently she thought drinks came with snacks just like drinks come with the meals.:confused3

So we had plenty of time to peruse the bakery cases while the manager headed over to sort the mess out at the check-out. One thing led to another, of course, and we both decided we’d just get our breakfast pastries from Boulangerie (actually, DH spotted apple turnovers in the case, and it was all over. He truly believes breakfast in heaven will be apple turnovers every day. With apple pie for dessert. And beer as the beverage at all meals, of course.) Here’s the Boulangerie Patisserie apple turnover, as the French do it, a very pretty little self-contained pastry:
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27appleturnoverfromBoulang.jpg
DH enjoyed this, but it was not nearly as large as his fave from the Main Street Bakery. This was a heavier kind of pastry, too, which he doesn’t like as much…and there was a lot less apple filling involved. But, it was apple, so he liked it. Just not nearly as much as the version from Main Street Bakery…give it a 7 or so.

I decided to try something completely different. I remembered reading a review that mentioned an odd looking almond pastry at Boulangerie…so seeing almonds sprinkled on top, I went for the pithivier:
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27Pithivierview2-1.jpg
And was glad I did -- this is a wonderful item - almondtastic! It’s a combination kind of like flaky pastry on the outside edges, with a sort of a rich-cakey-cream-bread center, and a very strong almond flavor throughout. It’s also quite large. Being an almond fanatic, I really enjoyed this. Previously, I thought the sweet almond pretzels from Kringla/Norway were the be-all/end-all in outstanding almond pastries at Epcot. No more - Boulangerie's pithivier is my new favorite. Would give it a 10 for sure. Cost for the two pastries was around $6.5 (sorry, somehow didn’t keep the actual receipt on this one.) But we used two snack credits from our Deluxe Dining.

janloz
02-10-2010, 10:00 AM
Great reviews. We love Tutto as well and will be trying dinner instead of lunch for our trip in Sept.

catne
02-10-2010, 01:08 PM
Great reviews. We love Tutto as well and will be trying dinner instead of lunch for our trip in Sept.

Well, thanks! Our you going for free dining?

Looks like you're a POP Century fan (guessing from the link to POP fridge deal.) We're staying there again in May for one night on a quick trip - love the giant icons there, too fun (and they really date me, too, since I recognize every single one - and not necessarily from my childhood.:laughing:)

catne
02-10-2010, 02:41 PM
Lunch at Sci Fi

We arrived at DHS about 5 minutes after it opened and proceeded to have a fabulous time doing a few of our favorites. Maniacs for Toy Story Mania, of course!!! - so we got fast passes and then also did stand-by - which said 30 minutes at 9:15, but was actually 20 minutes. Then we walked on Great Movie Ride - waited no more than 1 minute in the screening room - never got on that quickly before! After that, it was over to Muppets 3D (had to see Miss Piggy, our inspiration for Disney dining), after which it was time to use our TSM fast passes. Love, love, love that ride/game.

On to the food: we had an early lunch reservation (11:15) at Sci-Fi, and we were in the first groups seated after we checked in. They were taking walk-ups, as well as letting a couple of groups with later reservations check in for earlier seatings. Even though the place was virtually empty - like 5 cars total were in use, apparently they like to fill each car before starting on another, so we were seated as “hitchhikers” in the back seat of a two-bench car…joked that the young couple in the front seat were going to feel like their parents were in the back seat for their drive-in date. DH & both enjoyed the film clips, including this gem with Walt Disney & a silly looking robot, which I suspect we saw long ago as kids watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights...Walt used to introduce the show, often with some sort of character like that robot.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27SciFimoviewithWaltDisney.jpg

…and we got a kick out of the corny concession ads - dancing hotdogs & such (we’re old enough to remember actually watching those ads at the real drive-in, back in the day. Think we might have seen some of those movies on late-night re-runs when we were teens, too. :) ) I wondered before we went in if there’d be a problem with taking photos in there, but everyone was snapping pictures, and the flashes really didn’t detract from the “movie.“ When our waitress saw my camera, she immediately volunteered to take our photo:
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27hitchhikersatSciFiDine-i.jpg

We were offered their famous milkshakes, but we’ve made that mistake before -- getting way too full on milkshakes before we even started in on the food. So we ordered the cherry-cokes instead ($3.19.) These were delicious (so much better than the pre-mixed version in a can!) Our glasses were not allowed to get any more than ½ empty before our waitress showed up with a refill. For my app, I ordered the “Spinach and Artichoke Dip - A blend of Monterey Jack, swiss, and asiago with spinach, artichokes, and corn tortilla chips $7.99” This was delicious - the dip was warm and gooey…actually almost like a thick cream cheese soup...scrumptious way to start a meal on a cool, breezy day. The tortilla chips are out of a bag, but they were fresh & crisp, and perfect for the dip. (Note-the Allears menu lists this item as “for two” - I don‘t recall if the actual Sci-Fi menu listed it that way. But when we ordered on the deluxe dining plan, I asked for this appetizer first, and then the waitress immediately turned to DH and asked him what he wanted for his app, so she didn't seem to think it was supposed to be "for 2"...although it was certainly large enough for at least two people, if not more.)

DH chose the famous Sci Fi onion rings ($6.99), which came with ranch dressing for dipping. These beauties well deserve their excellent rep…these were among the best we’ve had. The rings are at the top of this picture, nachos & dip at the bottom:
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27SciFiDine-inAppetizers.jpg


For entrees, keeping in mind the many reviews I’ve read that stress sticking with the sandwiches at Sci-Fi, DH chose “The Reuben - Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing on marble rye bread, served with a pickle spear and a choice of cucumber-melon salad or french fries $11.99” He chose the French fries.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/Jan27SciFiReubenSandwichFries.jpg

As you can see, it’s a huge Reuben -- has to be at least ½ lb. of corned beef on this sandwich. DH really enjoyed this sandwich.

I chose the “Angus Chuck Burger - Flame-broiled beef patty topped with cheddar or swiss cheese, sauteed onions, mushrooms and crispy bacon. Served with a choice of cucumber-melon salad or french fries $12.99” I also chose fries, even the sound of “cucumber melon salad” just did not appeal, at all (cukes & melon -- Sorry, but that's just a burp-fest waiting to happen, lol.) My burger was delicious: loaded with toppings & very juicy beef. Our plan here was that we were going to cut our sandwiches in ½ and trade, so we’d each get to sample both sandwiches.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/Jan27SciFiBurgerwitheverythingan-1.jpg

Hah! I was so full from the apps, that by the time I ate half my burger & a few fries, all I had room for was one small bites of the Reuben. The fries were fresh & tasty - we both agreed they reminded us of fries from our childhood (I.e., hot/greasy/salty…undoubtedly bad for us, but delicious.)

Neither of us finished our entrees, ‘cuz dessert was coming! DH chose the hot fudge sundae ($6.99), which he managed to finish most of. He offered me a bite, but I declined -- saving room for desserts I can’t get at home, ya know.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/Jan27SciFiHotFudgeSundae.jpg

With that goal, I chose the “Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake - Warm chocolate cake with a creamy peanut butter center served a la mode $7.99”
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27SciFiChocolatePeanutButt.jpg

Oh my…this was scrumptious. The cake is sort of crunchy on the outside - almost like a crust - but the inside is soft cake & the very center is filled with a molten-style peanut butter filling. The scoop of ice cream on top immediately starts melting on the warm cake, so the whole thing quickly turns into a mushy - but delicious - mess.

All in all, as usual, the deluxe plan is WAY too much food. Seriously, we could have used one credit & split the entire meal, especially with it being deluxe so we got the app with the meal…we would both have easily had enough food sharing one app, one entrée & one dessert. Next time we do the deluxe and we‘re stretching one night‘s credits over two park day, that‘s exactly what we’re going to do - we’ll split lunches on both days.

We liked everything we ordered, there was just too much of it. And while we enjoyed the experience (having gone to many drive-in movies in our day) I have to say it is too dark in there (you really cannot see the food like it looks in these pictures: the flash “illuminated“ the plates for the pics, but we couldn‘t actually see the food that well while we were eating. For instance, I had no idea that the tortilla chips with the spinach dip were tri-color until I uploaded the pictures later that night…while eating at Sci Fi, it was too dark to see that detail!) Also, though people were chatting at the car-tables, the movie clips are fairly loud, and sitting side-by-side is not really as conducive to conversation. My other problem was the size of the tables...I understand the limitations of "car tables" but these are seriously too narrow...the plates barely fit. The picture above with DH's Reuben gives you a good view of the size - as you can see, his dip cup is at the top of the plate -that was actually at the top edge of the table, and his plate is a little over the bottom edge - so that table is just a couple of inches wider than the plate itself. His coke is completely off to the side, because there was nowhere near the top of his plate to fit a drink. These tables are just too shallow for comfortable eating. The drive-in experience was certainly nostalgic, but it did remind me why we quit going to drive-ins long ago, lol. Drive-ins are fun, but cars are not really made for eating in, and Disney has masterfully recreated that inconvenience!

Total cost with tax (before tip) was $65.31. Definitely a pricey lunch (especially for sandwiches! Even without the apps & dessert, just burgers/fries/cokes would have run over $17 each, plus tip.) However, with the Deluxe Dining plan, we were now into the “Bonus round” so didn‘t mind using the meal credit here. Service was excellent, and the food was good…but we’d only give Sci-Fi a solid 7. The food was actually more like a 9, but Sci-Fi is just too dark, and the tables too cramped to totally enjoy it. And really, the prices are high for what you‘re getting. I'd say this is a place to try at least once, especially with kids. If you're on the dining plan, it's a good use of a meal credit. For cash, we probably would not return for a meal...better burgers can be had in more comfortable seating arrangements.

wdwfanatic316
02-10-2010, 05:07 PM
Love the reviews so far! :thumbsup2 You two are so cute!

catne
02-10-2010, 10:12 PM
Love the reviews so far! :thumbsup2 You two are so cute!


aw, garsh, thanks!

Hey, I see you're going to Beach Club Villas...that's where we stayed (in a studio). Loved the place, and the convenient walk to Epcot was fantastic. We were at the Beach Club for a Cape May meal about 1.5 years ago and thought the place looked run down/somewhat shabby...looked much better this time. And love the service there...CMs all seemed to really like their jobs.

Linda67
02-11-2010, 03:09 AM
Wonderful reviews, thanks for sharing
The photo of you both in the car at Si-Fi is lovely :thumbsup2

catne
02-11-2010, 09:06 AM
Wonderful reviews, thanks for sharing
The photo of you both in the car at Si-Fi is lovely :thumbsup2

thanks...I usually hate pics of myself, but this one seems better than most. Guess it was Disney magic at work, lol.

catne
02-16-2010, 01:59 PM
Wonderful Wednesday Winds down…evening, the Maya Grill at Coronado Springs


Drinks, Breads & Dipping Oil

After our Sci-Fi-riffic lunch, we left DHS, and went over to hit our favorites at the Magic Kingdom. MK was busy in Fantasyland & Toontown - waits at the ever-popular Peter Pan were at 60 minutes, for example, so we just did Philharmagic & IASW (yeah, I’m one of the wackos that actually like Small World J). The we headed for other parts of the park, and found few crowds. Splash was down for a refurb (covered with a tarp - not that anyone would have wanted to ride it when it was just 55F!) and BTMRR was also closed that day. But everywhere else was incredibly small crowds & short lines (or total walk-ons.) We were in line only 5 minutes before loading on the Jungle Cruise at 1:30 in the afternoon. Even the newly re-furbed Space Mountain was at 10 minutes stand-by around 3:00 p.m. (Disappointed with the SM refurb…smoother, but still too jerky for us.) The make-your-preschooler-happy rides all had substantial lines, but the “big” kid rides were virtually empty, so worked out great for us.

Knowing we’d have a big lunch around 11 at the Studios, I had booked us at 6:15 at the Maya Grill/Coronado Springs, so after a stop at Main Street Bakery, we said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom around 5:30 or so and headed out. We’d never been to Coronado Springs, so this was a chance to see both another resort and try a new-to-us restaurant. After parking, we wandered just a little bit (including popping into the Pepper Market to see what that was all about…it was not busy at all --maybe 10 people total in there. And contrary to a lot of reports I’ve seen that the staff at Pepper Market totally ignores people in there - that they are rude & indifferent. Well, while we were in there, all of the help really, really seemed interested in us, and they all acted like they very much wanted us to order (we told several of them we actually had reservations at the Maya Grill and they laughingly told us if we didn’t like that menu to be sure and come back to the Market, they‘d fix us up right.) It definitely smelled good in there, and looked clean. DH was impressed and said we should come back & try that some time.

We wandered on back to the Maya Grill…and must say, wow, what a beautiful setting! Actually, the whole resort is very beautiful but that main building with the lobby & restaurants is outstanding. Love the Disney attention to detail on resort theming. First impression of the Maya Grill, is warm & cozy…followed immediately with “this is awesome.”. The “Mayan Temple” in the center is really impressive, the lighting is pretty - including the well-done fake torches, lol…all in all we felt there was a very relaxing ambiance to the place (probably helped by the fact there were no sceaming babies there while we ate.) A strolling guitarist playing mellow Latin music added to the “grown-up” feel of the Maya Grill. The place was about 90% empty…I think there may have been two other tables eating while we were there. And it’s a shame, too, because it’s a wonderful place.

Our waitress brought us the basket of breads & the dipping oil to start us off. The dipping oil seemed very standard to us -- like what you’d get in an Italian restaurant, actually - basic olive oil with a little cilantro in it & a sprinkle of something else - garlic, maybe. Good, but not particularly Mexican/southwestern. However, the breads were where the difference showed up - the biscuit/roll looking type of bread was the consistency of Italian bread, but had flecks of pepper, and a touch of corn-bread flavor…the taste was subtle. The large flat bread was interesting - almost tasted like a graham cracker, but made without sugar. Didn’t really work well with dipping oil--it would have been good with a salsa or a dip like hummus, maybe. It was very “solid” surface cracker, though, so the dipping oil just dripped right off it without actually soaking in. We left most of the breads anyway because we were getting appetizers with the deluxe dining.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27MayaGrillBreadanddipping.jpg

Since we were driving back to Tampa that night, we decided to skip the alcohol, so for drinks, I ordered a diet coke, and DH wanted coffee. This is what his coffee looked like:
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/dunedinfloridasunsetsjan24251201010.jpg
Now I don’t know how they got it to look like that -- it was not cappuccino or anything elaborate like that - he ordered regular coffee with cream. Doesn’t it look just like some fancy-schmancy specialty coffee - with maybe a squirt of chocolate or something? But it tasted like really good regular coffee, with cream…it was good.

catne
02-16-2010, 02:15 PM
Mark’s appetizer was “seafood skillet: gulf shrimp, baby clams and mussels in a zesty tomato & garlic sauce, $13.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/Jan27MayaGrillseafoodskilletappetis.jpg
DH could hardly wait for me to take a picture. He loved this - plenty of seafood and a definite bite to the sauce (too spicy for me, though.) It came with a slice of garlic bread - at the top of the plate - which was also sprinkled with some sort of green stuff on top...sorry, have no idea what that stuff was :)

I chose the “stuffed Portobello mushroom topped with chicken breast, monterrey jack cheese and spicy passion fruit dip, $10.”
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27MayaGrillappetisergrille.jpg
This was out-of-this world good…and easily could have been an entrée (that was at least ½ a large chicken breast on top…and the mushroom itself was about the size of a Disney burger.) Was very glad we’d only sampled a bite of the breads, because these appetizers were a lot of food.

catne
02-16-2010, 02:38 PM
Entrees & Dessert

Since we’d been in the Tampa area for several weeks, we’d enjoyed a lot of wonderful fresh fish at the great restaurants there, so now we felt like it was time for some beef. We both ordered the “traditional ribeye steak, served with parmesan potato and ratatouille vegetables, $29.” These steaks were seasoned with a slightly salty/slightly peppery rub, with just a hint of “hot“ in that sauce - which is good, ‘cuz I don‘t do "hot" very well. The steaks were grilled perfectly rare as ordered - we both totally snarfed down these lovely hunks of cow (while we thoroughly enjoyed being far away from Nebraska in January, we were desperately missing the moo-meat by the end of January:lmao:) The potato is barely visible in this picture (mostly under the steak - don‘t know why they always bury the potato at Disney, but seems like all the restaurants do that? And this one was not only buried, but had a bit of shrubbery planted in it.) Anyway, it was ½ a baked potato topped with broiled parmesan cheese. The potato was tasty, but we each only had a bite of it (just too much food, at this point!) I did not try the ratatouille at all - I wanted room for dessert, so skipped my veggies entirely (sorry, Mom.) DH tried just a bite, said it tasted like chunky tomato soup with peppers…not worth wasting his appetite on.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27MayaGrillRibEyewithparme.jpg

For dessert, I chose the dark chocolate fudge with raspberry sauce, topped with small scoop of coconut ice cream. The fudge was the creamiest I have ever had, almost like an extremely thick, substantial mousse, and it was chock-full of raisins and nuts. I don’t ordinarily like raisins, but the fudge was so rich, it totally covered the taste of the raisins. The raspberry sauce was mostly chocolatey flavored (which is fine by me, not that big a fan of fruit sauce on my chocolate anyway.) Loved this dessert…if you’re a serious dark chocolate fan, this would be the choice for you. The ice cream was yummy, but very small: like no more than a melon-ball scoop - you can see the size of it since it's sitting next to a berry. It was a good-sized blackberry, sure, but it wasn't like ginormous or anything. It really is just a dab of ice cream there. To be honest, though, that fudgey concoction was so rich there’s no way I could finish this dessert - if they‘d given me more ice cream, I wouldn‘t have been able to eat it. The triangle thingy on top is like a wedge of baked pie crust - tasteless. More of decor for the dessert, I guess. I left it.
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27MayaGrillDessertchocolat.jpg

DH chose the spicy churros served with a scoop of ice cream and a carmelized banana edged with dark chocolate. The churros were sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar. You can see his scoop of ice cream is much bigger - a normal-sized large scoop of ice cream, floating in sort of a vanilla/caramel sauce with a few slices of fresh banana. Now about that carmelized banana…we’ve had the crème brulee at Kona Café with the carmelized banana…don’t know what they do differently because Kona’a version the banana is super-sweet tasting - like eating a banana candy bar. At the Maya Grill, the carmelized banana tasted more like a dried banana…like the banana chips you get in a dried fruit mix - somewhat sweet, but you’d never mistake it for candy, KWIM? Funny thing was, I thought Maya’s was bland/blah ‘cuz I really like the Kona Café version. However, DH does not have that much of a sweet tooth, so he thought the Maya Grill’s carmelized banana was delicious. He also enjoyed the ice cream, though there was nothing fancy about it - just a tasty vanilla, probably Edy‘s. The churros (those little cookie-looking things at the bottom of the ice cream) were just a bit too sugary for him (but of course, I liked them:rotfl:)
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/caleibman/DiningJan27MayaGrilldessertchurrosw.jpg

We really, really enjoyed this restaurant - would classify it among the “hidden gems“ at WDW. Based on the quiet night we were there, this place would make an excellent date-night for an adults-only meal…very few tables in use, and only one of them had a child. Course it may be busier, with families, during the summer & holidays weeks. The décor is so warm & inviting, and the strolling guitarist is wonderful. Service was perfect, and the food was excellent: we would give this place a 10. Didn’t keep the receipt with all the numbers, but as nearly as I can reconstruct, the total bill (without tip) was in the neighborhood of $104. But of course, we spent 2 deluxe dining meal credits. We paid the tip with Disney Rewards dollars and hit the road to go back to our Tampa condo.

Linda67
02-16-2010, 03:09 PM
Wow, great review.
I hadn't really considered the Maya Grill before but I would now !!

catne
02-16-2010, 03:37 PM
Wow, great review.
I hadn't really considered the Maya Grill before but I would now !!

Thanks...we really enjoyed it. Looking at those pictures as I posted it is making me HUNGRY! And it's almost time to find something to cook for supper, here..But of course I don't have any big juicy steaks to grill:(

Maya Grill is one of the places that's always intrigued me...we looked into staying at Coronado Springs a few trips ago, and the restaurants were one of the things that held appeal for us. Never have stayed there yet. We do like having a car with us, becuase it does make it so much easier to try out these restaurants tucked away at resorts. We only have a few of the non-signature places left to try, and they're all at non-park-connected resorts.

I suppose sooner or later we will get around to trying more signature restaurants:rolleyes1

sandym718
02-16-2010, 03:38 PM
Same here, never even thought about Maya Grill, but now adding it to the list of possibilities!! Doesn't hurt that Rib-eye is DH's favorite cut!

catne
02-16-2010, 04:03 PM
Same here, never even thought about Maya Grill, but now adding it to the list of possibilities!! Doesn't hurt that Rib-eye is DH's favorite cut!

My DH's fave too -- but actually, we both LOVE ribeye steaks, and the Maya Grill's were melt-in-your-mouth tender.

disneyfav4ever
02-16-2010, 04:31 PM
Glad to hear a good review of Maya Grill since I'm probably going to eat there later this year.

KatiJ
02-17-2010, 11:24 AM
Great reviews! I hadn't thought of Maya Grill because we don't hear about it much, but since we are staying at CSR it is nice to know it is a good option.

wilma-bride
02-17-2010, 02:33 PM
Great reviews :thumbsup2 I was very excited to read the side review of Beach Club Villas too since we are planning to stay there next October.