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View Full Version : Happy Anniversary To Me...UPDATED!! JIKO!


tinacaplan
02-08-2010, 06:46 PM
[SIZE="3"][FONT="Century Gothic"][COLOR="Purple"]Hello, all! As we leave in just four (oh my god!!) days, I thought it might be a good time to sit down and begin putting together my dining reviews.

I must admit that one thing I've been looking forward to since I joined the Dis was getting to write a dining report..so, here goes...I have my chance!

Who are we, you ask? DH Mark and myself, Tina
And what are you we celebrating? Our fifth anniversary. It should also be noted that we never really took a honeymoon so in my ways this is the trip of a lifetime for us.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11309.jpg

We haven't been to Disney in so long...well, we might as well have never gone at all. I have better memories of it all than my DH, including fantastic meals at the Empress Lilly, and Chefs. I'm pretty sure my DH had mostly counter service meals when he went.

We both love food and love eating out, although with a two year old, we don't get to do it nearly as much anymore. So one of the things we're really looking forward is the dining.


Our taste: we run the gamut and have been known to enjoy fast food, as well as fine dining. Don't think much of most chain restaurants. I'm also an avid home cook and being Italian, Italian is my favorite food! We eat everything from sushi and Thai food to meat and potatoes, so you can expect a variety. Neither of us really has food that we won't eat.

Without any further ado...our list of ADR's, which has gone through numerous revisions...

ARRIVAL DAY, February 13
Dinner: 5:30, Biergarten
We should be at our resort, CSR, by noon and may decide to pick up something at the poolside bar or at Pepper Market, but we have an early ADR at Biergarten, so maybe not. I also have a feeling I'll still be feeling a little green from the flight and will want to take a nap.

After much deliberation, I decided to go with Biergarten for the entertainment value. I had a great time here as a kid, its one of the few restaraunts that offers food I actually can't get here at home, and it just seems pretty Disney to me.

Sunday, February 14, Valentine's Day :lovestruc
We have an early ADR for lunch at Tutto Italia. Don't ask me why, but the lunch menu appealed to me more than the dinner menu. Weird I know. :confused3
This promises to be the BEST V-Day of my life, ever. Can't think of anything that could top this one.
We have an ADR at Cali Grill during Wishes!!!!!!! At first, I didn't even realize it, until the CM who took my reservations pointed it out. But how cool is that?
Afterwards, we'll be hitting the MK for EMH that extend to 3 a.m. I full intend to be there ' till the end, too.

Monday, February 15
So, knowing how late we'll be up the night before, I made this an easy day. We'll sleep in and head out to our 11 a.m. ADR at Kona. Gotta at least try the Tonga Toast! And its a good way to check out the Poly, too.
We're heading to DHS for the evening. Its their night for EMHs. We have an 8 ADR at 50's Primetime Cafe. I almost don't care if its good or not, its a restaraunt I've wanted to check out since I saw something about it on t.v. years ago.

Tuesday, February 16
Another chill day. Neither my DH or I have any intention of being park commandoes; we need to do some serious relaxing, as its been a stressful couple of months up here in CT. Don't have plans until out 7:10 ADR at Flying Fish. Really looking forward to this as I've read consistently good reviews of this place everywhere; on the DIS and off it, too.

Wednesday, February 17
Hoping to make rope drop at the MK and we have an 11:30 ADR at the Plaza. The pictures and people's descriptions really made me want to try it. I'm a sucker for a good burger and ice cream.
Our evening ADR is a late one at Jiko, another place I'm really looking forward to.

Thursday, February 18
We're headed to AK during the day with an ADR at Tusker House to take advantage of preferential seating for the Nemo show.
In the evening, though, we're off to a late ADR at Citrico's.

Friday, February 19
Lunch ADR at Sci-Fi...looks like fun and if we don't like the food, hey, we'll be able to say we've done it and will know not to return!
Evening EMHs at Epcot with an ADR at Chef's. I know how split folks are about this place, but I had a truly amazing meal there when I was young and I just want to experience it again.

And that's that! Wow... I'm super excited about all the signature places we'll be dining at. I have high hopes for all of them and I'm thrilled there are places like that to dine at Disney.


Someday we'll get to V and A's..just not this time.

More to come, with pictures, when we're back...now I'm just trying to distract myself! :laughing:

Also, if anyone out there can help me and tell me how to do a table of contents...please PM me!

dizneeat
02-09-2010, 01:05 AM
Hi Tina! :wave2:

Glad you started your report! I just realized that we have very similar first days! We'll be at the Wave while you are at the Cali Grill! And at Kona an hour and a half before you will be there the following day! :thumbsup2

Hope to see you at CSR! :flower3:

disneyfav4ever
02-09-2010, 02:29 AM
Have a great trip!

aceys_h0ney
02-09-2010, 04:21 AM
Hope you have a great trip! Count me in, can't wait to read all about it!

tinacaplan
02-09-2010, 05:59 AM
Hi Tina! :wave2:

Glad you started your report! I just realized that we have very similar first days! We'll be at the Wave while you are at the Cali Grill! And at Kona an hour and a half before you will be there the following day! :thumbsup2

Hope to see you at CSR! :flower3:

:banana: Hi, Karin! Can't believe we're this close to our trip. When do you actually leave? We have a fair amount of time built into our plan to be the resort, so we should definitely see eachother. I would love to say hi to someone I've been talking to across the oceans.

Safe trip and we'll see you soon! Are you planning on going to MK after your meal at the Wave on the 14th? If so, perhaps we could say hi then! :yay:

tinacaplan
02-09-2010, 06:05 AM
Have a great trip!

Hope you have a great trip! Count me in, can't wait to read all about it!

Thanks! Can't wait to eat it all, take pictures of it, and then come home and write about it. :banana:

Linda67
02-09-2010, 07:28 AM
What a wonderful line up of ADRs
CG on Valentine's Day is going to be sooooo romantic :cloud9:
Have a lovely trip :cool1:

butiflfeet
02-09-2010, 08:52 AM
You have some great meals in your future! Have a great trip and take tons of pictures for us!

prttynpnk
02-09-2010, 08:56 AM
I like your travel style- casual plans and good eats! :)

MickeyNicki
02-09-2010, 12:19 PM
Hi Tina!

Count me in on your report! Happy Anniversary and have a wonderful time!

I loved my Tutto lunch so much, hope you enjoy it too!

dizneeat
02-09-2010, 04:17 PM
:banana: Hi, Karin! Can't believe we're this close to our trip. When do you actually leave? We have a fair amount of time built into our plan to be the resort, so we should definitely see eachother. I would love to say hi to someone I've been talking to across the oceans.

Safe trip and we'll see you soon! Are you planning on going to MK after your meal at the Wave on the 14th? If so, perhaps we could say hi then! :yay:

Hi Tina! I can't believe how fast our trip is aproaching either! :lmao: We leave on Saturday Feb 13 at 11am in the morning and have an hours flight to Frankfurt and after the stopover its another 9 and a half hours to Orlando. We arrive fairly late around 7, then have to go through immigration and pick up a rental car (which we know is no fun on President's day weekend) - I guess we will arrive at the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista, where we'll spend the first night at around 10 - 11! I just hope we get there in time to pick up some food from DTD!
We'll have breakfast at DTD the next day, then check in at the CSR.

We are definitely going to MK after our meal at the Wave! I really hope we get to meet there! Wouldn't that be fun! When is your reservation at the California Grill? We will be at the Wave at 9pm!

abbadabbadoo
02-09-2010, 04:40 PM
Hi! Hope you have a GREAT trip! We will be in the World one month after you for DD's spring break - March 13-20. We are sooo looking forward to it! Looking forward to reading your reviews! Have fun!

tinacaplan
02-09-2010, 09:13 PM
What a wonderful line up of ADRs
CG on Valentine's Day is going to be sooooo romantic :cloud9:
Have a lovely trip :cool1:

Hope so!

You have some great meals in your future! Have a great trip and take tons of pictures for us!

I like your travel style- casual plans and good eats! :)

Can't wait..almost there! Thanks for reading.

tinacaplan
02-09-2010, 09:15 PM
Hi Tina!

Count me in on your report! Happy Anniversary and have a wonderful time!

I loved my Tutto lunch so much, hope you enjoy it too!

Hi Nicky!

Hope I can live up to the pressure of knowing you'll be reading. I've read all of your reviews and I have to say that some of your opinions influenced me.

I'm sure I'll enjoy Tutto. Thanks!

tinacaplan
02-09-2010, 09:17 PM
Hi Tina! I can't believe how fast our trip is aproaching either! :lmao: We leave on Saturday Feb 13 at 11am in the morning and have an hours flight to Frankfurt and after the stopover its another 9 and a half hours to Orlando. We arrive fairly late around 7, then have to go through immigration and pick up a rental car (which we know is no fun on President's day weekend) - I guess we will arrive at the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista, where we'll spend the first night at around 10 - 11! I just hope we get there in time to pick up some food from DTD!
We'll have breakfast at DTD the next day, then check in at the CSR.

We are definitely going to MK after our meal at the Wave! I really hope we get to meet there! Wouldn't that be fun! When is your reservation at the California Grill? We will be at the Wave at 9pm!


Hi, Karin!

Almost time! Our reservation at Cali is for 7:35, its an early night for Wishes. I think it would be great to make a plan to meet at MK that evening, though. It was always a dream of mine when I was little to be places (like MK) late at night, with no one (or very few) people around, so we'll be there 'till late. :banana:

KatMark
02-09-2010, 09:19 PM
I found you. I found you! I'm so here so that I can read your dining reviews when you get back from CSR and Disney. However, relax and enjoy your anniversary. As you know, we spent our 25th anniversary at the CSR and spent a lot of time "relaxing" and we had a blast. :hug:

MickeyNicki
02-10-2010, 08:36 AM
Hi Nicky!

Hope I can live up to the pressure of knowing you'll be reading. I've read all of your reviews and I have to say that some of your opinions influenced me.

I'm sure I'll enjoy Tutto. Thanks!

No pressure, no pressure! :rotfl: I am so glad that our reviews helped you decide on meals!

janloz
02-10-2010, 09:34 AM
From another Dis person in CT, have a great trip. We will be eating at many of the same place in Sept so can't wait for your reviews.

sue and co
02-10-2010, 05:12 PM
looking forward to your trippie - there's several places listed that we haven't tried yet but hope to including biergarten so I will be very interested in your opinion and any piccies.

tinacaplan
02-21-2010, 09:18 PM
...and I can't find the cable to connect my camera to my computer! :rolleyes1 So I won't put up my whole report until that happens because I did take pictures of nearly every meal we ate. But I have LOTS to say...it was an interesting experience, to say th least.

TigerKat
02-22-2010, 10:53 AM
...and I can't find the cable to connect my camera to my computer! :rolleyes1 So I won't put up my whole report until that happens because I did take pictures of nearly every meal we ate. But I have LOTS to say...it was an interesting experience, to say th least.

Looking forward to your reviews!

tinacaplan
02-27-2010, 10:47 AM
So...camera issues have been solved! :thumbsup2

However, I did not take pictures of our first meal, which was not part of my original plan. DH was hungry when we got to the resort and our room wasn't ready, so it was off to Pepper market we went.

I'm not sure why Pepper Market gets so much flak, or why people find it confusing. :confused3 Now, I don't know why you have to pay a gratuity for someone to get you a drink, but what do I know? As far as I could tell, we were on the DxDP and were never charged the 10%.

So, we sat down and order our drinks, which we got in our refillable mugs. I expected these to be a little bigger, especially considering how far you have to walk to fill it! I could easily finish that off on the walk from El Centro to my room! :rotfl:

I got the nachos, which were OK. The portion was huge, though. The chicken on top was pretty bland and dry. The cheese on the nachos was that weird, nacho cheese sauce that I don't really like. I am used to getting real shredded cheese on nachos and it being melted under a broiler.

DH got the chicken quesadilla and that was OK, too.

We ate at Pepper Market three times and it was fine. CM's were fine, if not the friendliest we encountered on our trip overall. One cook did give me a GIANT ceasar salad and free chips, though.

We were never charged that 10% gratuity, even though we were on the DxDP, by the way.

I had churros for dessert and they were good. DH had a brownie sundae.

All in all, as I said, it was average, but portions are huge. We could have easily split a single entree, especially for lunch. This was a recurring theme on the trip.

I'm not sure the DxDP is worth it, as we ended up eating a lot more food than we would have otherwise. Eating one big meal a day is plenty for us; we would have happily shared a snack or counter service for our midday meal. I will discuss this more at the end of the report, though.

tinacaplan
02-28-2010, 11:28 AM
I wanted to start off our trip with something really fun and Disney, so I made our first night's ADR at Biergarten and it was a great choice. Unfortunately, DH and I were not that hungry as we had a late lunch at Pepper Market back at the resort, but we had a great time anyway.http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11233.jpg

Let me begin by saying that EPCOT is just as magical and beautiful as I remembered it. It was and still is my favorite park (DH's too) and I would like to build a tiny house and live under one of the monorail lines in Futureworld. :rotfl:

We got to EPCOT around 4:30 and walked over to World Showcase, where I immediately stopped and got a margarita from the outdoor stand in Mexico. It was yummy and cold; which was too bad because it was so chilly out, already. The one time in my life I might ever get to Florida in the winter and it was cold. :laughing:

We then made our way over to Germany.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11227.jpg

I was very surprised at how light the crowds seemed, as it was President's Weekend, but there was a good crowd gathered outside of the restaurant. We checked in and we were seated pretty fast. We met our dinner companions as we were coming in and they were a very nice couple escaping the crowds in their hometown of Daytona. We had a lovely time with them, which was great because the seating is family-style.

DH ordered one of the gigantic beers and I had a glass of Reisling, one of my favorite types of wine.

This is my first plate:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11240.jpg

I tried the cold salads first. The beets and the cucumbers were yummy; as was the herring salad. Plenty of creamy, cold, dill deliciousness. The herring was also yummy. Yes, I enjoy pickled herring. There might be something seriously wrong with me. :scared1:

I also tried the pretzel bread, which was great and different, and the potato soup, which was nice on such a chilly evening.

My second plate:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11241.jpg

This time I went in for the heavier items. This was first time ever having real, warm German potato salad and it was great; vinegary with plenty of bacon. The schnitzel was also delicious. The wursts and sausages were also good. The German meatloaf was weird, though. The mustards were great accompaniments.

DH ate very little, as he was busy with his beer. I should mention that neither one of us are big drinkers and he finds beer to be especially filling.

We skipped out on dessert as we were stuffed at this point, but stuck around for the entertainment.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11242.jpg

Overall, the meal was very good. We enjoyed our company, as well as the entertainment. This is one of the few places we ate at that I can say we will DEFINITELY come back to on our next trip. I know that DS (aged three) will love it as much as we did. The food tasted freshly prepared, like nothing was sitting around for too long and the variety was good. I think that most people could find something on the buffet that they like.

KatMark
02-28-2010, 11:44 AM
Great start, Tina. Mark and I LOVE Biergarten and can't wait to go back (we didn't do it on our mini-trip last year). It looks like you and DH are having a great start to the trip. :)

Pooh&OurHunny
02-28-2010, 01:54 PM
joining in. Great start and can't wait for more...popcorn::

TigerKat
02-28-2010, 06:41 PM
Great start, we haven't been to Biergarten in over 5 years, need to get back there!:thumbsup2

tinacaplan
02-28-2010, 09:04 PM
Great start, Tina. Mark and I LOVE Biergarten and can't wait to go back (we didn't do it on our mini-trip last year). It looks like you and DH are having a great start to the trip. :)

joining in. Great start and can't wait for more...popcorn::

Great start, we haven't been to Biergarten in over 5 years, need to get back there!:thumbsup2

Thanks for all the encouragement! And, Kathy, my husband is a Mark, too. :)

tinacaplan
02-28-2010, 09:34 PM
I could never say that we did not eat well on Valentine's Day this year.


We started our day with rope drop at EPCOT. Rope drop was great, with the characters and the excitement. After riding Soarin' and getting fastpasses for Test Track, DH and I made our way back to World Showcase for our lunch at Tutto Italia.

We were among the very first to walk through World Showcase that morning and it was fantastic to see everything without anyone else around. The countries are all so beautiful with so many flowers everywhere. The attention to detail is amazing.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11293.jpg


We were greeted warmly upon arrival at Tutto.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11300.jpg

The dinining room was pretty empty when we arrived, but it gradually filled up while we ate.

I started lunch off with a Bellini, one of my favorite drinks in the whole world. I love Prosecco all on its own, but throw some peach puree in there, too, and I'm in heaven. :littleangel:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11305.jpg

My DH had the fried calamari for his appetizer. It was fine, nothing to get too excited about. The coating was a little thick for me and there were only rings, no tentacles. I'm sure this makes a lot of people very happy, but being Italian and growing up in the Northeast, I have been eating calamari since...well...I could chew, basically and I really like the whole experience. I also like the fried banana peppers you often get in your fried calamari up here. But, again, it was good.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11306.jpg

I had a roasted beet and arugula salad with goat cheese and a lemon vinagarette. This was light and delicious. The beets were sweet and a great counterpoint to the spicy arugula. The dressing was tart and bright and very fresh tasting.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11304.jpg

Onto our entrees... DH had a grouper fillet on a bed of spinach with a caper lemon butter sauce. This was absolutely heavenly; light, lemon-y, and very well prepared. The fish was perfectly cooked, flaky and fresh. I wondered why I didn't order this...

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11307.jpg

Oh, yeah...I know why...because I find it nearly impossible to pass up pasta. There were several good options on the menu, but I wanted something lighter and so I went with linguine with clam sauce. The linguine was good, but why I ordered something I can make at home in about twenty minutes, I'll never know. I try to order things when I eat out that I don't make at home! Oh, well...it was still yummy.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11308.jpg

The pasta was cooked perfectly and the tomatoes were a nice addition. I just love the balance between the flavors in clam sauce; you have a garlic and then the salti-ness of the sea from the clams.

DH and I were stuffed at this point and didn't order dessert. We were quickly discovering that the DxDP is just too much food. I especially didn't want to ruin our next meal....

Overall, Tutto was one of the better dining experiences we had. The food was delicious, the service was efficient and friendly, and at one TS credit, it is a bargain. It is slightly less of a bargain if you're paying OOP, but not that much more expensive than many restaraunts near my house. We would definetely go back to Tutto, especially if we do the DP on our next trip.

Pooh&OurHunny
03-01-2010, 08:08 AM
Great update!!!popcorn::

frannn
03-01-2010, 09:40 AM
Just a quick question about lunch at Tuttto. Do you recall if there were other seafood choices, like lobster ravioli? Last year we went & I don't recall seeing anything that looked as good as that grouper...

tinacaplan
03-01-2010, 05:42 PM
Great update!!!popcorn::

Just a quick question about lunch at Tuttto. Do you recall if there were other seafood choices, like lobster ravioli? Last year we went & I don't recall seeing anything that looked as good as that grouper...

Thanks! And no..I think there might have been another fish dish on the menu, but I don't recall lobster ravioli. Only when I came home and looked around for menus for Tutto did I realize how out of date the one of All Ears is. And truly, that grouper was one of the best things we had a well week. No lie.

dizneeat
03-02-2010, 02:53 AM
Great photos of Tutto! They do have wonderful food! ;) Note, we have two visits scheduled during our next trip! :lmao:

I have to comment on the "German meatloaf", :lmao: as that is NOT meatloaf, LOL, that is what we call "Leberkaese or Fleischkaese" and it has as much to do with meatloaf as Funnel Cake with Wedding Cake! :rotfl:
We love it, but I think you need to grow up with it! Here in Austria this is one of the most sold "fast foods" you can get - a slice of that in a crusty roll is sold here very often.

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k429/tinkerbellat/Hakuna/Day%203/LEBERK1.jpg

Linda67
03-02-2010, 05:53 AM
Wonderful photos
I agree with you on the Belini :worship: Kir Royal comes a close second though :worship:

MiaBella05
03-04-2010, 11:09 AM
popcorn:: joining in popcorn::

tinacaplan
03-04-2010, 08:35 PM
Wonderful photos
I agree with you on the Belini :worship: Kir Royal comes a close second though :worship:

popcorn:: joining in popcorn::

Thanks for the support! I will get around to writing another review this weekend. Didn't realize it would so time consuming with all the picture posting and all. :laughing:

tinacaplan
03-07-2010, 11:50 AM
Great photos of Tutto! They do have wonderful food! ;) Note, we have two visits scheduled during our next trip! :lmao:

I have to comment on the "German meatloaf", :lmao: as that is NOT meatloaf, LOL, that is what we call "Leberkaese or Fleischkaese" and it has as much to do with meatloaf as Funnel Cake with Wedding Cake! :rotfl:
We love it, but I think you need to grow up with it! Here in Austria this is one of the most sold "fast foods" you can get - a slice of that in a crusty roll is sold here very often.

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k429/tinkerbellat/Hakuna/Day%203/LEBERK1.jpg

Interesting! Thanks for the picture and the info. :thumbsup2

tinacaplan
03-07-2010, 12:13 PM
To say that I was super excited for this reservation is the understatement of the year. The decade, perhaps. When I first called to make my ADR's, I didn't even realize that I was making an ADR on Valentine's Day, or that I would make the ADR during Wishes. It just happened that this was the night of evening EMHs at the Magic Kingdom, so I figure, ok, we'll have this amazing dinner and then we'll be able to run around the Magic Kingdom 'till three a.m..

The castmember taking my reservations quickly pointed out the obvious, though!

I also have to say I was super excited because it meant we got to look around the Contemporary, where I have wanted to stay since I was a little kid and I first rode the monorail through the hotel. Didn't happen this trip, but someday... And have to admit that the parts of the resort we saw did not dissapoint.

So, we checked in on the second floor and the hostess was ubelievably nice. This night was defintely our first taste of that incredible Disney magic. :wizard:

She noted our anniversary on the reservation and asked if anyone had given us out pins yet. I said no (which I was dissapointed about) and she gave them to us. The whole rest of the trip we received conratulations from all sorts of people. It was great. I felt like a celebrity!

We had a bit of a wait for our meal, which was fine. We sat down at the bar and had drinks; although I have to admit that I don't remember what I had, although my husband had a vodka tonic. :confused3

We didn't finish our drinks before our table was ready...and what a table it was...

Now, I can't believe that I didn't take a picture of it, but it was covered with the Mickey confetti and the location.... well, let's just say I cried and asked the host, "Seriously? This is really our table?"

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11325.jpg

That was our view. The picture is terrible, really. The blue glow in the middle is the castle. We were seated directly in front of one of the huge, floor to ceiling windows! :banana:

Our server was nice and very efficient. At this point, I switched to champagne and we perused our menus.

We ended up ordering a flatbread and some sushi for our first course. It just seemed like the thing to do there.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11328.jpg

Sorry there's a square missing already...I wasn't used to taking pictures of my food.

The flatbread (which isn't on the menu posted on AllEars right now) had smoked salmon, capers, creme fraiche, and some lemon on it and it was absolutely one of the most wonderful things I've ever tasted in my life. The flavors were perfectly balanced; smoky from the salmon, sour saltiness from the capers, and the creamy creme fraiche all on that cripsy crust. Delicious and I ate much more of it than I should have.

It also paired well with the sushi we order, believe it or not. We had the Malibu Roll, which was grouper, snapper, cobia, hamachi, tuna tartare, and spicy sesame sauce. And it, too, was delicious.

My husband and I completely finished both appetizers, which meant we were absolutely NOT hungry for our meals...oh well.

Sometime during the first course, Wishes started and it was magical. I cried, listening to the music and watching the fireworks, right there, at our incredible table. Thank you, Disney!

Our server did an excellent job of pacing our meal. We had a long time between our courses, which is what I want when I'm eating food like this in a restaraunt like that. I do not want to feel rushed or to go directly from one thing to the next; I like to stop and savor what I'm eating and give myself at least a little bit of breather!

Unfortunately, because we were so full, I can't say as much about our meals. They were excellent, to be sure, but when you're full... Well, it does diminish the experience. It was beginning to dawn on my husband and I that the DxDDP was just TOO MUCH FOOD. But more on that in a later post...

I had the scallops with a bacon emulsion and squash. It was delicate, the flavors were balanced, and the dish worked well.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11332.jpg

My husband had the Oak-fired Fillet Of Beef - with olive oil whipped potatoes, broccolini, and teriyaki barbecue, which he really enjoyed. The meat was tender and cooked perfectly.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11331.jpg

We absolutely had no room for dessert...but we crammed it in anyway! This was our first signature of the trip and I was dying to try some of the amazing desserts I had read about on the Dis.

I had the bananas in phyllo:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11333.jpg

My husband had the Valrohna chocolate cake with the molten center and the salted caramel ice cream:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11333.jpg

They were both exceptional and beautifully presented and unlike anything we'd had before.

The meal was excellent, without question. I have to say that the California Grill is the one restaraunt I'll be running to the next time we come, even with our son, as there were lots of kids around. I did not, however, find the place to be particularly noisy and all of the kids I saw were very well behaved and seemed pretty used to eating out.

I will be glad to come back and not be on the dining plan, though, as we would have been quite happy skipping our main courses. Not that they weren't great, mind you, but our first course just filled up so much!

We left completely satisfied and scurried off into a magical night at MK that lasted until the wee hours... Totally worth it and probably the best Valentine's Day I've ever had! :love:

dizneeat
03-07-2010, 12:23 PM
Wonderful review! :goodvibes

Tina, I am so happy you enjoyed your meal at the California Grill, even though you had to "force" yourself to eat dessert! :lmao:
It's a wonderful restaurant and we LOVE it up there too! It has become a habit for us to pay OOP for it and just share an appetizer - otherwise we can't do dessert, either!

jbeaudet721
03-07-2010, 12:26 PM
Thanks so much for this very interesting entry! Happy anniversary.

tinacaplan
03-07-2010, 02:30 PM
Wonderful review! :goodvibes

Tina, I am so happy you enjoyed your meal at the California Grill, even though you had to "force" yourself to eat dessert! :lmao:
It's a wonderful restaurant and we LOVE it up there too! It has become a habit for us to pay OOP for it and just share an appetizer - otherwise we can't do dessert, either!

Thanks so much for this very interesting entry! Happy anniversary.

Thank you! Love the feedback. It was truly a magical night; perhaps the best of the trip. :goodvibes

Linda67
03-07-2010, 02:52 PM
Just loved your review of Cali Grill and so pleased you had such a wonderful and magical evening

franandaj
03-07-2010, 04:35 PM
Joining in! Great pics and reviews. We ate at the Cali Grill on the last night of our January trip and had the molten chocolate cake, it was soooooo good!

I do have to say that you are brave souls for trying the DxDDP! We considered it back in 2008 but cancelled at the last minute. On all of our trips since then we almost always split all our meals. Most places the kitchen did it for us without a charge and we had really reasonable portions, and could sometimes have as many as five courses! The best part about that was at Cali Grill since we shared a flatbread amongst four, split the salad and the Bison, everyone got their OWN Valrhona chocolate cate! :thumbsup2

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of it!

KatMark
03-07-2010, 04:51 PM
With the exception of Hollywood Brown Derby, we've never done a signature restaurant (and Brown Derby was a huge disappointment and probably while we avoided any other signatures...that and living in Chicago and having outstanding restaurants here). But after reading your review and seeing the pics from California Grill, we may just have to break down and give a signature restaurant a try. Thanks for the review.

DisneyCrafter
03-07-2010, 07:00 PM
Wow! I'm not sure what part of your review of Cali Grill sold me more, the fantastic food or the ambiance. That's part of the reason I love Disney so much. I am definitely the type of person that enjoys the thrill and wonder that comes with the parks but then again I also love to relax over an amazing meal with my DH. Disney allows that to happen and makes it happen flawlessly (most of the time). Congratulations to you and DH, may you have many more happy and magical memories made together! :love:

tinacaplan
03-07-2010, 07:40 PM
Joining in! Great pics and reviews. We ate at the Cali Grill on the last night of our January trip and had the molten chocolate cake, it was soooooo good!

I do have to say that you are brave souls for trying the DxDDP! We considered it back in 2008 but cancelled at the last minute. On all of our trips since then we almost always split all our meals. Most places the kitchen did it for us without a charge and we had really reasonable portions, and could sometimes have as many as five courses! The best part about that was at Cali Grill since we shared a flatbread amongst four, split the salad and the Bison, everyone got their OWN Valrhona chocolate cate! :thumbsup2

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of it!

Thanks. I'm still not sure the DxDDP is worth it. It really is WAY too much food and made us eat in ways we wouldn't normally. I think one large meal with appetizer, entree, and dessert is about as much as I want to eat in any one day, so even when we just ate lunch and dinner at a signature, we still ate way more food than we would have. I would have been really happy just picking up counter service during the day and then having that experience at night. Having said that, given what our total bill was at places like the California Grill, it did pay for itself. What it didn't pay for, though, was all the extra tips and adult beverages we wouldn't have indulged in otherwise. We won't be doing it again...at least not any time soon!

With the exception of Hollywood Brown Derby, we've never done a signature restaurant (and Brown Derby was a huge disappointment and probably while we avoided any other signatures...that and living in Chicago and having outstanding restaurants here). But after reading your review and seeing the pics from California Grill, we may just have to break down and give a signature restaurant a try. Thanks for the review.

Thanks, Kat. Out of all the signatures we went to (and we went to a bunch as you'll see), California Grill was by far our favorite. And being able to watch Wishes at the same time...its the kind of experience you could only have at Disneyworld.

Wow! I'm not sure what part of your review of Cali Grill sold me more, the fantastic food or the ambiance. That's part of the reason I love Disney so much. I am definitely the type of person that enjoys the thrill and wonder that comes with the parks but then again I also love to relax over an amazing meal with my DH. Disney allows that to happen and makes it happen flawlessly (most of the time). Congratulations to you and DH, may you have many more happy and magical memories made together! :love:

Thank you so much! It really was a flawless evening.

WAHkoMom
03-14-2010, 10:40 PM
I'm enjoying your dining reviews! I'm doing the countdown for our trip in November, where my husband and I will be celebrating our anniversary at California Grill, too. We eat there every trip to Disney. The food and service are always excellent so I'm glad to here yours was,too. And I'll make sure to ask for our anniversary buttons at check-in. I've heard other posters writing about getting little treats throughout their vacations because of the buttons, and 15 years is worth a little recognition, don't you think?? :lovestruc

You're doing a good job; I'm sure it is very time-consuming, but we DISers appreciate your efforts!

tinacaplan
03-16-2010, 08:14 PM
I'm enjoying your dining reviews! I'm doing the countdown for our trip in November, where my husband and I will be celebrating our anniversary at California Grill, too. We eat there every trip to Disney. The food and service are always excellent so I'm glad to here yours was,too. And I'll make sure to ask for our anniversary buttons at check-in. I've heard other posters writing about getting little treats throughout their vacations because of the buttons, and 15 years is worth a little recognition, don't you think?? :lovestruc

You're doing a good job; I'm sure it is very time-consuming, but we DISers appreciate your efforts!

Thank you. I have a lot going on right now, most of it not so great, so I haven't had the time to write up my reviews like I thought I would.

I am sure that you and your husband will have a wonderful evening. :goodvibes

tinacaplan
04-01-2010, 09:17 PM
:confused3 It is quite possible that I will only be explaining this to myself...but here I go anyway.

For one thing, writing up these reviews takes a lot longer than I thought it would.

For another, I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately. Problems with our money-pit of a house which have led to financial problems (still don't regret the trip to disney, though!). then we had the excessive rain here in the northeast and our basement flooded, leading to yet more house problems.

But in case any of you are out there reading this, I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'll be back. Soon. Really, I will. Thanks for the your patience.

goldielocksraj
04-01-2010, 09:24 PM
:confused3 It is quite possible that I will only be explaining this to myself...but here I go anyway.

For one thing, writing up these reviews takes a lot longer than I thought it would.

For another, I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately. Problems with our money-pit of a house which have led to financial problems (still don't regret the trip to disney, though!). then we had the excessive rain here in the northeast and our basement flooded, leading to yet more house problems.

But in case any of you are out there reading this, I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'll be back. Soon. Really, I will. Thanks for the your patience.

:grouphug:

I am truly so sorry to hear about all of the stress that you've had lately :sad1:. It makes me nervous when trip/dining reports suddenly don't get updates, because I know that often means something(s) big has happened to the person! I truly don't like to see anyone suffer. I will truly be praying for you and your family.

I still loved your reports, and am looking forward to more-but only when it's convenient for you!!!! Hopefully thinking of good vacation memories will give some temporary stress relief.

And you are NEVER just talking to yourself here!!!! I lurk more than I post, but even I know that DISers stick by each other!

JasonsPrincess
04-01-2010, 09:34 PM
awwh :) so glad you had a magical valentines day. It all sounded so wonderful :):lovestruc

dizneeat
04-02-2010, 12:47 AM
:confused3 It is quite possible that I will only be explaining this to myself...but here I go anyway.

For one thing, writing up these reviews takes a lot longer than I thought it would.

For another, I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately. Problems with our money-pit of a house which have led to financial problems (still don't regret the trip to disney, though!). then we had the excessive rain here in the northeast and our basement flooded, leading to yet more house problems.

But in case any of you are out there reading this, I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'll be back. Soon. Really, I will. Thanks for the your patience.

Please be sure that we will all wait here for you patiently!

Sometimes real life just gets in the way of the DIS, and your trouble seems to be REAL real life trouble.
I hope things will clear up for you soon! :hug:

Disney71
04-02-2010, 06:38 AM
...... Problems with our money-pit of a house which have led to financial problems (still don't regret the trip to disney, though!). then we had the excessive rain here in the northeast and our basement flooded, leading to yet more house problems.....


I just found your trip report and loving it so far! So sorry to hear you had flooding.... we are in CT too, and that rain was out of control!!! :scared1:
Hope the next few sunny days help you get things dried out.

tinacaplan
04-02-2010, 10:22 AM
:goodvibes Thanks, everyone! You've added some extra special sunshine to my day!

tinacaplan
04-04-2010, 10:31 AM
California Grill's menu changes regularly and I couldn't find one that had the exact flatbread we had ordered on it, but I finally did and here it is:

Pastrami Smoked Salmon - with lemon cream cheese, poached egg vinaigrette and fingerling chips $14

I am STILL dreaming and drooling over this and wish I could figure out how to make it at home. It sounds a little odd, but the flavors melded perfectly.

KatMark
04-04-2010, 10:37 AM
:confused3 It is quite possible that I will only be explaining this to myself...but here I go anyway.

For one thing, writing up these reviews takes a lot longer than I thought it would.

For another, I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately. Problems with our money-pit of a house which have led to financial problems (still don't regret the trip to disney, though!). then we had the excessive rain here in the northeast and our basement flooded, leading to yet more house problems.

But in case any of you are out there reading this, I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'll be back. Soon. Really, I will. Thanks for the your patience.

Sweetie, we understand. Life takes priority over trip reports. I hope things turn around for you soon. We'll be waiting when you have the time to come back to your report.

tinacaplan
04-04-2010, 10:46 AM
Well...I cannot say that I wasn't warned about the overall quality of the food here. But I was so excited about this:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11405.jpg

And this...

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11406.jpg

And this...

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11411.jpg

That I couldn't resist making an ADR. And so we did...

Our waitres was efficient and friendly-enough, but she was certainly not in character. This fact was highlighted by the fact that we were seated adjacent to a large family whose server was WAY into her act. I would have enjoyed this, as it seems to be one of the restaraunts main selling points.

That and the decor because, boy, I cannot say that ANYONE should go there for the food.

For an appetizer, we shared the onion rings.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11408.jpg

They were soggy and a bit leaden; not what you want onion rings to be. However, the horseradish dipping sauce was super yummy and so I ate most of them because of the dipping sauce. My husband only ate one or two.

We got our dinners pretty quickly after that. My husband got the meatloaf:

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11413.jpg

And no...I did NOT take this picture after he had started eating. All he got was a small piece of dried out meatloaf. Did not look all that appealing, not did it taste all that good.

I ordered the fried chicken and subbed in scalloped potatoes for the mashed.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11414.jpg

I LOVE fried chicken and make it at home sometimes, even though its messy and kind of a pain. So I was really looking forward to getting fried chicken somewhere besides KFC. And then I ended up wishing this was chicken was even that good.

The potatoes were weird and scooped out of whereever they came from with an ice cream scoop. The greens were fine; nothing to get too excited about and, again, I like collard greens.

My husband and I were so deflated at this point, that we just got the check and got out of there.

This was one of the most dissapointing meals of the trip. Thank god for the dining plan and all the more expensive places we ate at, because if I had paid OOP for this meal, I would not have been a happy woman.

I would strongly encourage anyone who's thinking of eating here to just drop in, check out the decor, and get out without eating.

We will definitely not be returning, but our next trip will include our son, and without the deluxe dining plan, so it will be a very different trip anyway.

As you'll see later in this report, we had a much better meal at Sci-Fi.

dizneeat
04-04-2010, 10:56 AM
Sorry, your meal was disappointed.
I looked at that photo of the meatloaf and thought - wow that looks burned and dry before I even read your comment!
There have been so many mixed reviews about 50's and I am really happy the whole "family" thing doesn't appeal to us anyway, so no special need to go there!
Can't wait (well, I think I can, :lmao:) for your Sci-Fi review! We really like it there and have always had a lot of fun there!

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k429/tinkerbellat/Disboards/eastermickey.gif

weswife
04-04-2010, 12:30 PM
Great review!!!!!! I enjoy the pics. they always help me decide to order that or not. We are going to Sci Fi for the 1st time this trip!!!!:thumbsup2

sandym718
04-04-2010, 05:32 PM
I can't stand meatloaf, but my DH loves it. If that were served to him, he definitely wouldn't be happy!! Looks dried out and way too small of a piece. Kind of looks like they just gave him what was left at the end of a loaf? Ridiculous!!

I am NOT a fan of mashed potatoes that come out in a ball, like they used an ice cream scoop like you said. Even if they end up tasting good, that appearance turns me off to them right away!

Cookie Princess
04-04-2010, 05:42 PM
I have always gotten the meatloaf at 50's PT and it was great. Last year it was VERY dry and much smaller. I was extremely disappointed. :sad2: Your photo looks even worse than the portion I received.

tinacaplan
04-04-2010, 06:46 PM
Yes, the meatloaf was that bad and it surely did look like something someone cut off the end of the loaf and just put on a plate! :scared1:

tinacaplan
04-04-2010, 07:15 PM
This was a day I had planned as a pool day. For anyone who was aware of the weather the week we there, you will understand how humurous that statement is. Having said that, being native New Englanders, we went to the pool anyway. The jaguar slide and the hot tub at CSR are way too much fun to miss out on!

Wish I had taken notes while I was down there or when I got back right away. Oops... So, we grabbed lunch somewhere at CSR, I think. :confused3

I will say that whatever we ate at CSR was fine...nothing so great, but fine. We had some lovely drinks at Siesta's by the pool, though.

I do remember our dinner plans, however. We had an ADR at the Flying Fish. We were early and they let us right in, as we agreed to sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11436.jpg

I had thought this would be entertaining, but as it turns out...not so much. And it made for awkward conversation with my husband. Oh well.

We did receive complimentary champange and personalized menus. Nice touches on both counts.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11434.jpg

And, again, our server was fine; nothing spectacular. Not overly nice, but fine.

Before I go any further, I have to say that everything we ate at Flying Fish was wonderful. My only complaint (and no, it isn't noise,as I've read in so many other reports) was that I felt that the meal was not paced very well. Meaning, the courses came out pretty quickly and we were in and out of there in under an hour a half. That's pretty quick for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

But back to the food. For his appetizer, my husband had the crabcake.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11437.jpg

Lovely presentation and it was delicious, but nothing so spectacular that I really remember it. Good amount of lump crabmeat, though.

I had the cheese plate.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11438.jpg

It, too, was fine. I have had cheese plates at restaurants at home that were better and featured cheese that was more rare. That's OK. Everything was still yummy.

Our entrees were a bit more noteworthy, however.

I had the Signature Flying Fish Cafe Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper - Leek Fondue, veal glace, and Red Wine and Cassis Butter. The flavors all just worked and this was truly phenomenal. The thought of a veal glace with fish sounded interesting, but it was delicious; a little sweet, but not cloying and it had some real depth. The fish was cooked perfectly; flaky and certainly not overcooked. The leeks were also delicious. My mouth is watering thinking about it now, actually, and we ate there well over a month ago at this point!

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11443.jpg

My husband had Oak-grilled Maine Diver Scallops -- pumpkin, sage, mascarpone and pecorino-laced risotto di carnarolli, proscuitto di parma cracklins.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11444.jpg

This was also delicious and my husband loves scallops, so he was quite happy. I don't remember him sharing much, actually. :lmao:

Desserts were good. We had the banana napolean and the white chocolate creme bruleee.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11445.jpg

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11446.jpg

Both were very good, but by now I was getting a little tired of all the banana deserts and would have enjoyed a good old-fashioned, plain creme brulee. I don't know why restaraunts feel the need to mess around with something that is so delicious in its simplicity. Oh well.

Overall, I would say that the Flying Fish was very good.

Its a good deal if you're on the deluxe dining plan, as we were. I'm not sure its worth the thirty-six dollar entree price tags, though. This is not a place I will be saving up for on future trips, which is not to say that it wasn't good. It was. But the pacing and were we sat (which was my own fault, admittedly) added up to a less than stellar experience. I was reading a memoir recently where the author was explaining why she often preferred to eat at home; she talked about how there are many things that have to come together to make dining out truly amazing: the food (obviously), the service, the ambience, and then just some special something. Pixie dust, maybe? Now I know that I will never even try to arrange to cook while on vacation at Disney World, but our experience at Flying Fish is a great example of what happens when all of those components don't come together.

I left feeling just a wee, tiny bit dissapointed. But again, if you're on the DxDDP and like seafood, then I say, go for it and maybe all of those things will come together for you.

milmore104
04-05-2010, 08:30 AM
Just came across your reviews and loving the pics. One of our favorite places is Biergarten. It's so much fun! DH was stationed in Germany so he LOVES going back for the food and that HUGE beer. Plus I really enjoy sitting w/ another family (that is willing to talk). It's a great way to meet people.
I'm sorry to hear your meal at the 50's wasn't good. We have always had a good meal there. Nothing spectacular but always good home cooking. And the fried chicken is my favorite.

princessallegra
04-05-2010, 01:53 PM
Great reviews so far!!!! :thumbsup2

danalee
04-05-2010, 03:02 PM
just jumping in! :goodvibes

Krissalee
04-05-2010, 06:53 PM
I just caught up on all your reviews - and I love them!

We have had great meals at Flying Fish, and I think your service may have been better if you were at a table, rather than the bar. I think you get less attention from the servers when you are at the bar. This same (or similar) meal took us over 2 hours!

We have been to FF a dozen times, and always enjoyed it. The last time, I really didn't like the special I ordered. The waiter noticed, and brought me out another entree. I don't know if you get that service at the counter!

tinacaplan
04-05-2010, 07:24 PM
Just came across your reviews and loving the pics. One of our favorite places is Biergarten. It's so much fun! DH was stationed in Germany so he LOVES going back for the food and that HUGE beer. Plus I really enjoy sitting w/ another family (that is willing to talk). It's a great way to meet people.
I'm sorry to hear your meal at the 50's wasn't good. We have always had a good meal there. Nothing spectacular but always good home cooking. And the fried chicken is my favorite.

Great reviews so far!!!! :thumbsup2

just jumping in! :goodvibes

I just caught up on all your reviews - and I love them!

We have had great meals at Flying Fish, and I think your service may have been better if you were at a table, rather than the bar. I think you get less attention from the servers when you are at the bar. This same (or similar) meal took us over 2 hours!

We have been to FF a dozen times, and always enjoyed it. The last time, I really didn't like the special I ordered. The waiter noticed, and brought me out another entree. I don't know if you get that service at the counter!


Thanks for all the positive feedback!

And, yeah, I think if my dinner at Flying Fish had lasted two hours I would have felt better about it. :)

Gouden Leeuw
04-05-2010, 08:03 PM
Subbing in! Great reviews so far and looking forward to the rest!

Quick question, what was your take on CSR? Me and my DBF will be staying there in July. Hoping we made a good choice!

Cheers!

tinacaplan
04-05-2010, 08:25 PM
Subbing in! Great reviews so far and looking forward to the rest!

Quick question, what was your take on CSR? Me and my DBF will be staying there in July. Hoping we made a good choice!

Cheers!

THANKS!

We absolutely loved CSR. It felt really centrally located and it only took minutes to get to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. We ended up taking the bus through French Quarter and Riverside one afternoon and couldn't get over how long it took just to get out of the resorts! The newly refurbed rooms are beautiful; comfy beds with nice comforters. The flat panel t.v.'s also make things feel a bit more "deluxe." It is my dream to stay at the Contemporary someday, but whenever I price out my next trip I just think...oh, but I loved CSR so much, why would I even consider spending more money? Another bonus is the beautiful pool and giant hot tub. Check out Katmark's CSR thread. It contains lots of info and friendly people who can answer questions you might have and otherwise just get you excited!

Gouden Leeuw
04-06-2010, 12:10 PM
THANKS!

We absolutely loved CSR. It felt really centrally located and it only took minutes to get to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. We ended up taking the bus through French Quarter and Riverside one afternoon and couldn't get over how long it took just to get out of the resorts! The newly refurbed rooms are beautiful; comfy beds with nice comforters. The flat panel t.v.'s also make things feel a bit more "deluxe." It is my dream to stay at the Contemporary someday, but whenever I price out my next trip I just think...oh, but I loved CSR so much, why would I even consider spending more money? Another bonus is the beautiful pool and giant hot tub. Check out Katmark's CSR thread. It contains lots of info and friendly people who can answer questions you might have and otherwise just get you excited!

Thanks for the info!

Good to know about POFQ as we were down to either CSR or POFQ. I have been a bit worried about how long it will take to get around by bus.....well maybe its just that im very impatient and dont want to be waiting around to much. lol

How did you find walking around the resort? Did you have a good room location? We have heard the the rooms have been refurbished so that really appeals to us. For me its the comfy beds, for the DBF is the TV. lol guys and their TV's.

I will check out that thread, thanks for the info!

Cheers!

tinacaplan
04-06-2010, 07:27 PM
Thanks for the info!

Good to know about POFQ as we were down to either CSR or POFQ. I have been a bit worried about how long it will take to get around by bus.....well maybe its just that im very impatient and dont want to be waiting around to much. lol

How did you find walking around the resort? Did you have a good room location? We have heard the the rooms have been refurbished so that really appeals to us. For me its the comfy beds, for the DBF is the TV. lol guys and their TV's.

I will check out that thread, thanks for the info!

Cheers!

We really didn't think that the resort was too big and enjoyed walking around. We were in Casitas 4, on the lake, and thought our location was excellent, as we were close to a bus stop, El Centro and not too far from the Dig Site. I know you'll have a wonderful time.

cultureart
04-07-2010, 03:25 AM
Great picture and great review...

:goodvibes :goodvibes

tinacaplan
04-20-2010, 07:17 PM
So, I could waste more space trying to explain why this report is taking so long, but I can't even explain that one to myself! :lmao:

Before I get into my full Jiko report, I have to get a few caveats out of the way first. One, we had hit some weird, mid-trip fatigue. We were a little distracted by some bad stuff happening back home, in the "real world," and, try as we did, we just couldn't quite keep it out of our minds. I think we were also getting frustrated by the weather. Temps never got past 65 and while I hadn't been expecting it to be 80 everyday, I had been counting on at least one day in the 70's. No such luck.

So, it was with a heavy heart and tired bodies that we made our way to the Animal Kingdom. The original plan called for us to wander through AK during their evening extra magic hours before heading over to AKL and Jiko.

We got to AK a around three-ish and waited in line for what felt like an eternity to ride Expedition Everest. In hindsight, I now realize we should have headed straight for the safari and the animal things that wouldn't stay open once it got dark. :confused3 But I didn't know and hadn't planned that part of the trip...too bad.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT FOOD: After that, we did have egg rolls at the Yak and Yeti counter service. This was amazing, as we got two decent-sized, pretty tasty egg rolls for the price of ONE SNACK CREDIT! :woohoo:

Then we wandered around, feeling tired and sort of deflated for the reasons I already stated above. Then it began to get dusky and the safari things were closing and it was too cold for Kali River Rapids, so we had sort of run out of things to do.

Don't even remember if we were hungry or not, but we decided to head over to AKL and see if we could get into Jiko ahead of our 8:35 ADR.

I have to say that the AKL is absolutely stunning and that the CM's we met there were just about the nicest we encountered on the entire trip. They happily accomodated our request and we were seated not even five minutes after we had checked in.

Jiko was a meal I had really been looking forward to, but by the time my husband and I sat down that night, we had the feeling that we just wanted to get it over with.

Admittedly, not the best attitude for a meal.

For our first course, I ordered the barbecue chicken flatbread- With apple-jicama slaw, African barbecue sauce, and four cheeses. It was tasty, but the flavors didn't really stand out to me and I thought it was OK. It wasn't the earth shatterningly delicious creation I'd read about on these boards.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11474.jpg

My husband had a salad. It was fine. Don't remember it very well and the exact salad he had doesn't appear to be on the menu at All Ears anymore.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11473.jpg

I had been so excited about the filet with macaroni and cheese and red wine reduction.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11476.jpg

And I was, sadly, not impressed. The steak itself was just OK and the mac and cheese was not particularly good. It tasted pretty average and possibly like it was made with a fake cheese sauce. I love adult, full-flavored, fancy cheese macaroni and cheese and this was not it. And I didn't like it mixed with the red wine reduction. So, so disapointing.

I think my husband liked the short ribs, but didn't rave about them.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11475.jpg

And my dessert pictures are missing! :scared1:

Of course, by this time, we didn't really want desert, but because we were on the DxDDP, we got it anyway.

I had the Kenyan Coffee and Koeksisters - Kenyan coffee ice cream and spiced donuts and my husband had the Pistachio Creme Brulee - With a chocolate-layered bottom.

They were both good, possibly the best things about the meal.

Again, I will readily admit that we weren't in the best mood when we arrived. However, nothing about this meal stood out or seemed all that special to me. I would say that we should give it another try, but we won't be back and dining in a large number of signatures again any time soon!

wyonative78
04-20-2010, 08:36 PM
I totally understand about hitting some mid-trip fatigue and having it mess with your enjoyment of a meal. The same thing happened to my husband and I when we ate at Artist Point a few years ago. A combination of tiredness and, perhaps, unrealistic expectations made our meal there a total downer. We hope to try it again someday when we are in better moods!

tallen429
04-20-2010, 09:10 PM
Great photos of Tutto! They do have wonderful food! ;) Note, we have two visits scheduled during our next trip! :lmao:

I have to comment on the "German meatloaf", :lmao: as that is NOT meatloaf, LOL, that is what we call "Leberkaese or Fleischkaese" and it has as much to do with meatloaf as Funnel Cake with Wedding Cake! :rotfl:
We love it, but I think you need to grow up with it! Here in Austria this is one of the most sold "fast foods" you can get - a slice of that in a crusty roll is sold here very often.

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k429/tinkerbellat/Hakuna/Day%203/LEBERK1.jpg

OOOHH! Fleischkaese!!
oh, how I miss it! we lived in Germany for several years and came back about a year an a half ago...I truly, truly miss my FOOD! (and the coffee)

dizneeat
04-21-2010, 01:49 PM
Thanks for the Jiko review, Tina!
I am glad we are not the only ones who were hit by the trip fatigue :lmao: - and we thought it was an age thing! :rotfl: Can't be, you're FAR too young for that!!!!!

We have planned to try Jiko in September for the first time and I am reading so many mixed reviews! I wonder what it will be for us ........?
We have the same strategy as you had, hit the EEMH at AK and then Jiko. :goodvibes

tinacaplan
04-21-2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks, Karin! And no it isn't an age thing...:rotfl:

TigerKat
04-21-2010, 05:46 PM
Sorry you were disappointed in JIKO. I have to say the last time we went I got the much raved about filet with mac and cheese and wasn't impressed at all, BUT everything else we've ever gotten there has been really good, especially the short rib dish!:goodvibes

tinacaplan
04-23-2010, 01:12 PM
Sorry you were disappointed in JIKO. I have to say the last time we went I got the much raved about filet with mac and cheese and wasn't impressed at all, BUT everything else we've ever gotten there has been really good, especially the short rib dish!:goodvibes

Thanks! Like I said, it might have been our overall attitude that night. I have to admit that we found it a little overwhelming to eat like that nearly every night for a week.

And that's too bad, too, because it sounds like such a good idea! :confused3

tinacaplan
04-25-2010, 07:01 PM
I have to apologize for not writing these reviews more quickly. In fact, I really wish I had taken notes while I was there because these reviews might have been quite a bit better.

That said, our final signature experience was at Citrico's. I was not prepared for the utter beauty of the Grand Floridian. We had a great time making our way upstairs to the restaurant. I thought it was kind of funny that Victoria and Albert's is literally hidden away behind frosted glass doors! :lmao:

Citrico's is lovely, there is no question. The surroundings felt luxurios and pretty quiet, although there where some well-behaved kids having dinner at some tables.

Our service was efficient, but not note worthy in any way. Just as at Flying Fish, I felt like our dinner was paced very briskly. I don't think we were there much more than an hour, which at a restaurant with forty dollar entress, just isn't right in my opinion. This is supposed to be a "signature" dining experience, is it not? :confused3

I had been looking forward to ordering the arancini as my appetizer, which are one of my favorites. They're essentially deep fried rice balls, perhaps the menu describes them a bit better: Crispy Risotto - Italian Sausage, Quattro Formaggi, and White Truffle Aioli
http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11511.jpg

These were delicious, although hardly the greatest I'd ever had. My husband had a salad that I didn't take pictures of for some reason.

For my entree I had the Filet Sicilian - Oak-grilled Filet of Beef with sweet vidalia onions, peppadew and banana peppers, quattro formaggic crushed potatoes and veal glace de viande -- This was delicious. The meat was tender and the peppers were an excellent and interesting counter point to the buttery fillet.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11513.jpg

My husband had a scallops and shrimp appetizer that was really delicious; light and lemony with garlic and feta cheese.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11512.jpg

And for some reason, there is no record of my husband's entree. If I asked him right now, I'm sure he would say, which one was Citrico's? :rotfl:

Our desserts were delicious, but I was suffering from serious banana desert fatigue at this point, as I swear every dessert I had up to that point contained them in some form.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11515.jpg

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11516.jpg

Now I'm looking at these pictures and I'm thinking: was I really that jaded by the end of this trip? Is that what a week of deluxe dining does to a person?

:rotfl:

Overall, I thought Citrico's was pretty good, but not exceptional.

franandaj
04-25-2010, 11:32 PM
Now I'm looking at these pictures and I'm thinking: was I really that jaded by the end of this trip? Is that what a week of deluxe dining does to a person?

:rotfl:



You know I've wondered that too, one of the reasons that we cancelled the DxDDP when we ordered it several years ago, and have never ordered the DDP since. This is one of the reasons that I always plan a few nights during our trip where I cook (we stay at DVC so we have that option). I find that a night or two in where we eat my cooking and all our breakfasts and some lunches, makes me look forward more to the dining out, just like I do at home. However we get a lot more dining out at WDW than I do at home! :rotfl2:

I think eating out that many days in a row anyone would get jaded!

PaulaSB12
04-26-2010, 05:07 AM
When I went to Citrios last september I asked the waiter what dessert came with that chocolate decoration. I was told that it was sold out but they came out and said they had saved one for me.

tinacaplan
04-26-2010, 10:21 AM
When I went to Citrios last september I asked the waiter what dessert came with that chocolate decoration. I was told that it was sold out but they came out and said they had saved one for me.

The whole chocolate presentation was really cool, and delicious, too!

KatMark
04-26-2010, 10:27 AM
Oooh...your DH's appetizer -- the scallops and shrimp with garlic and feta cheese looks really yummy (I love seafood). However, we always bypass the signature restaurants at Disney for some reason.

tinacaplan
04-26-2010, 05:46 PM
Oooh...your DH's appetizer -- the scallops and shrimp with garlic and feta cheese looks really yummy (I love seafood). However, we always bypass the signature restaurants at Disney for some reason.

It was really good! :)

margareton27
04-26-2010, 06:52 PM
I understand what you mean about the DxDP. We were on the DDP a few years ago and by day 2 we started refusing dessert at our counter service meal and by the middle of the week I wasn't sure that I would ever want to eat again (and I love to eat :) )!! We were glad that we used up 2 credits for a few meals so that we could take it easy on the other days.

goldielocksraj
04-26-2010, 06:57 PM
My husband had a scallops and shrimp appetizer that was really delicious; light and lemony with garlic and feta cheese.

http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/tinacaplan/SDC11512.jpg



Yyyyuuummmmyyyy! Ooh, I think I could order two or three of those and make it my meal! :cloud9: I just ADORE shrimps and scallops, and the lemon/garlic/feta sauce just sounds heavenly with that.

Thanks again for your reviews. HOpe things are going better in "real" life. :grouphug:

tinacaplan
04-26-2010, 07:09 PM
I understand what you mean about the DxDP. We were on the DDP a few years ago and by day 2 we started refusing dessert at our counter service meal and by the middle of the week I wasn't sure that I would ever want to eat again (and I love to eat :) )!! We were glad that we used up 2 credits for a few meals so that we could take it easy on the other days.

:rotfl: Believe me, I understand....my husband I felt the same way!

Yyyyuuummmmyyyy! Ooh, I think I could order two or three of those and make it my meal! :cloud9: I just ADORE shrimps and scallops, and the lemon/garlic/feta sauce just sounds heavenly with that.

Thanks again for your reviews. HOpe things are going better in "real" life. :grouphug:

Thanks! Things are definitely looking up! :thumbsup2