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ratfam
04-16-2010, 09:26 PM
I got so much great info here that I wanted to share our thoughts on our dining experiences during our Easter week vacation. We did not go with the DDP this time but we are DVC members and did eat at several restaurants offering DVC member discounts. We came out ahead financially versus the DDP plan and enjoyed having a little more flexibility. We bring along food to do breakfasts in our unit in the morning. Our traveling group was me, DH, DD14 and DS11. Sorry, no food pics to post.

Day 1, Epcot

Lunch at Electric Umbrella I believe, one of the CS in the Innovations area. This wasn't planned, we were just having an incredibly efficient touring morning and didn't want to go way out of our way for a meal. Two turkey subs and two chicken caesar salads. It wasn't fine dining but it was perfectly fine. As a bonus, they had somewhat shaded outdoor seating and we got to watch one of the little fountain shows while we ate.

Dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. Almost cancelled due to mixed reviews here and are glad we didn't. Nice change of pace. We were lucky enough not to have the sometimes reported problems with rude servers, ours were all very friendly and helpful and quite attentive (bringing extra bread, refilling water, etc.). We shared an appetizer sampler and had chicken couscous, beef couscous, kebob and a lamb dish. All were very good. The music and belly dancer were also nice, they performed a little less than half the time we were there. 20% DVC discount was nice for us, as was the fact that we showed up 30 minutes before our ADR and were able to be seated right away. I would recommend it for a different experience, and I think that the food is not that unusual so don't be scared off.

Kids got dessert at the Norway bakery, a cheesecake and I think a mousse or pudding. Dinner had done me and DH in so we passed.

Day 2: DHS

Lunch at Starring Rolls Cafe. All I can say is "wow". After our commando touring we were hungry just before 11 and almost walked right by this little place thinking it had only pastries. So glad we stopped. DD and I had the turkey foccacia and fruit, it was great with cheese and what tasted like roasted peppers and a pesto sauce. Just great. DH had the ham foccacia and DS went off the board with a package of sushi. But the best was yet to come--DS ate a brownie thing while the other three of us split the butterfinger cupcake. Hands down the best cupcake I have ever had, as good as I have read here. I don't even like cupcakes and have been dreaming of it ever since. OOP it wasn't cheap but we all really enjoyed. The outdoor seating was shaded and we were able to hear the end of the HSM3 show while we are.

Fantasmic dinner package at Mama Melrose's. We have done this before and thought it was good to ok. This time it was great, probably our favorite meal. For their appetizer the kids planned to split the calamari for 2 but our server said they could each get their own so DH and I got to have some too. I had the salad with I think pear and blue cheese, which was really good, and DH got the tomato mozzarella salad, he really liked. Entrees were pipette pasta (one chicken, one shrimp), chicken parm and tuna with risotto. DD said the chicken parm was just ok, the others were really excellent. The only miss for me and DH was dessert, the "tiramisu" was some kind of weird melty mess, but honestly we were so full we didn't care. Kids enjoyed gelato and cheesecake. This was Easter Sunday and by the time we booked the only time available was 4pm. We weren't sure how this would work, but with the early lunch we didn't mind and were so full no one was hungry even though we didn't get to bed until 11:30pm or so. We had time to do a few things after dinner before our Fantasmic show.

Day 3: MK

Lunch at Pecos Bills, one chicken wrap (surprisingly good, like a salad in a wrap and not at all soggy) and three burgers. Fixins bar is really nice and to try to get people into the restaurants at other than peak times they were giving out 20% off coupons if you ate before 11:30 or after 2:30, which was nice. The "nobody sits until everyone has their food" was a little annoying. I didn't mind up front but we got hassled every time we left to get stuff the kids forgot, like napkins and silverware, or went to the bathroom and tried to get back to the table without food. Still, the food and location were good and we would return.

Dinner at Kona Cafe. Three of us got their three course dinner. DH and I had salads and the kids split the pot stickers, everyone enjoyed. For entress, we had two Asian noodle things (one with chicken, one with shrimp), one ribeye, and one tuna. Again, everyone enjoyed, DD liked the ribeye in particular. Desserts are really a strength here. We had two of the chocolate cakes (don't remember specifically, whatever came with the fixed price) and one cheesecake, and one Kona Kone. They were all really good. Overall, a great meal. The restaurant is a bit plain in appearance but it is nice to be in the Poly since we never stay in the MK area and convenient from MK. This was DS' request and we will definitely return.

ratfam
04-16-2010, 09:33 PM
Day 4, "Day of Rest"

Lunch at Hurricane Hannah's (Beach Club pool). We weren't going to leave the pool. I think everyone had turkey subs which came with cole slaw. They were just fine but nothing memorable. I recall the menu being a little more varied a few years ago when we visited, and it differs from what is on allears. But, no complaints.

Dinner at Raglan Road. We liked the design of this restaurant. The Irish bread and dipping sauce are great. We shared a bowl of beer-cheese soup to try it and DH had a side salad. I had the its not bleedin' chowder which was really good but a bit rich. DH had the fish and chips and wasn't impressed, given the type of restaurant we really expected it to be terrific and it was just ok. Also, while we don't typically complain about portion size, the serving seemed quite small, particularly for the price. DD had the shepard's pie, which was actually pretty large but I don't think she loved, she said it was salty, I think she thought it was ok. DS had the roasted chicken
and enjoyed. We had a 6pm dinner, trying to leave lots of time before our 9pm La Nouba, so we didn't hear much of the music (which started just after 7) but did hear a few numbers and saw one dance by the step dancer, which was nice. I would recommend coming at 7 or later. However, while it was overall an enjoyable experience, I suspect we won't be back as it didn't really knock our socks off (which I was maybe unfairly expecting given all the great reviews I have read). We did get a 10% DVC member discount, which was nice.

ratfam
04-16-2010, 10:27 PM
Day 5 Epcot
Lunch at Les Chefs de France. Wanted to give this place a try and see Remy. After reading very mixed reviews here switched from dinner to lunch for lower cost and a 20% DVC member discount. We were happy with the experience. Our server was very pleasant and the restaurant was bright and pretty. DH, DD and DS each had the prix fixe lunch, which at $20 we thought was a fabulous deal for the amount of food and different things you can try, particularly if you aren't on the DDP. They each got a bowl of soup, entree with a small side salad and a dessert. Two French onion soup, one lobster bisque, two croque monsieur sandwiches and one quiche. DS didn't love the food but DD and DH were both very happy. I ordered the chickcn crepe, which also came with a small side salad, it was really great. I had the escargot to start and we all shared, they also served some very good French bread before the meal. DD and DH had creme brulee, they were absolutely huge and we thought they were very good. DS had a chocolate cake which I thought was just ok but he loved. I didn't order a dessert, there was plenty to share. I had been told that Remy would come out at 1:40 and tried to time our reservation accordingly but actually he seemed to be circulating in a rotation pattern the entire time we were there, like at other character meals. He was absolutely adorable, a fun extra touch. I would definitely recommend lunch if you aren't on the DDP but would like to try Les Chefs de France, it was a very enjoyable way to spend part of the afternoon.

Dinner at Sunshine Seasons. After our huge French lunch we weren't in a rush for dinner, so we hit a late dinner at Sunshine Seasons. I had a grilled vegetable flat bread with I think feta cheese. It was served with a sort of cold potato salad. I really enjoyed it, it was a nice change of pace from the typical counter service fare. DH had the seared tuna salad and said the same thing. Kids ate the Chinese food and really enjoyed. From past experience I know they have good desserts here but we were holding out for ice cream at Beaches and Cream later and skipped it. Sunshine Seasons has great food, fresh and much healthier than you would expect in a theme park. My kids would have been happy to come back here another time, it just didn't work into our plans.

Day 6, AK/Epcot

Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. We tried this for the first time after reading so many good reviews. We thought this was just ok. I don't like BBQ so much but thought the rest of the family would partake. DD had the pulled pork, everyone else had (yet another) turkey sandwich. It was fine but nothing special. The lines moved pretty slowly and the hot BBQ food all looked like it had been sitting around for a while. The beans served with DD's sandwich had a skin on the top and a woman at the table next to us had ribs and they looked incredibly dry, she could barely cut them. DD liked the sandwich well enough and the turkey came with a good slaw and had a good bun. However, I wouldn't rush back here. We used to like Tusker House CS but that is now TS so we didn't really know where to go here, I guess it will be back to Pizzarafi next time, or maybe trying Yak & Yeti CS.

Dinner was back at Epcot. DD and I went to Tangierine Cafe, she had the slider combo which she really enjoyed, I had the chicken shawarma plate, ditto. We both really like it there. DH and DS went to Japan and ended up with sushi, a side salad, and some kind of beef and rice. They enjoyed. For dessert we went to the French bakery and got desserts that we ate while waiting for Illuminations. Kids had chocolate mousse which was actually really, really good. I had a Napoleon which was not bad but far from my favorite dessert of the trip. DH had a strawberry tart which was good and fresh. This was one of the advantages to not being on DDP, skipping a TS dinner in favor of eating around the world, and it was fun.

Day 7-MK

Lunch at Columbia Harbor House. Three tuna sandwiches with apples or fries and one fried shrimp plate for DS. Everyone enjoyed, and the tuna was a nice change after so many turkey sandwiches (I don't eat beef or pork so I eat a lot of turkey sandwiches) and a nice change from the typical burger offerings. Not cheap for OOP (and we were too late to use the 20% off coupon due to a late start and a long wait at the resort for the bus) but we had no complaints about the food or value. The service left a bit to be desired, we were given incorrect information about what came with the sandwiches and ordered fries that we wouldn't have otherwise. There was a lot of confusion about filling orders and ultimately we didn't get everything we had ordered and DH had to go back to the counter and they were annoyed and threw the missing apple slices at him. That didn't ruin our experience, though.

Dinner at Crystal Palace. DD's request, her favorite. Pretty consistent with prior visits. I thought the salads selection was a bit underwhelming, but the salmon, broccoli, mashed potatoes and corn spoon bread were all great. I thought the desserts were realy impressive, and I am a huge dessert fan. Kids enjoyed as well, DS liked the salmon and DD liked whatever meat they were slicing and the mac and cheese. DH isn't a big buffet guy and he thought the food was just ok and the restaurant was overpriced, but I think this will stay on our repeat list.

Day 8-DHS

We only had a few hours here before our plane but had accomplished enough that we kept our lunch reservation at 50's Prime Time Cafe. We hadn't eaten here in several trips. DS, who is a bit nervous by nature, was a bit put off by the server (made him take off his cap, etc.). We had explained ahead of time and he said he knew she was joking, but I couldn't really tell if it kept him from fully enjoying the meal. We each had milkshakes and they were all great. The peanut butter and jelly was outstanding--sounds disgusting but just like our server said it tasted like a peanut butter cup. DD loved the fried chicken, DH loved the pot roast, DS had the sandwich (yes yet another turkey sandwich in our family) and thought it was fine. I had the chicken pot pie and was disappointed, I thought it had something of a weird taste and just wasn't all that great (and who knows, maybe it was a bad mix with a milkshake). But it was an enjoyable lunch overall.



Well, that was our week (other than the several ice cream comes I neglected to mention)! Thanks for allowing me to reminisce, food is a big part of our vacations and we were not disappointed.

klinlin
04-17-2010, 06:04 AM
Thanks for the great reviews!

rhondag508
04-17-2010, 10:28 AM
Nice review...thank you for sharing!

Pooh&OurHunny
04-17-2010, 07:30 PM
Thanks for sharing your food review. I'm glad you had an enjoyable lunch at Chef de France b/c that's our favorite Epcot TS.

pennyplanner
04-17-2010, 09:11 PM
We also LOVE Sunshine Seasons, but have yet to fit it in more than once a trip!
:goodvibes

Thanks for sharing!

--pennyplanner

princessallegra
04-18-2010, 12:47 PM
Thanks for your great and detailed reviews! We LOVE the tuna sandwiches at Columbia Harbour House. I would agree that the actual service at the counter there has been spotty for us, but we love the food too much to let it bother us! SO glad you liked Les Chefs, we're trying it for lunch for the first time in June, and can't wait! We really want to meet Remy! Congrats on a great trip! :goodvibes:goodvibes

Joshua_me
04-18-2010, 07:23 PM
*Awesome* reviews ! :wizard:

Glad to read a good review about Mama Melrose's. Our last couple of meals there have been, um, 'less than enchanting' let's say...

Thanks for taking the time to post.... :goodvibes

DisneyNicole
04-18-2010, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the tip, it is very useful now.:smickey:

wilma-bride
04-19-2010, 01:49 PM
Great reviews. Glad to hear you enjoyed Kona as this is the one place I am excited to try on our next trip :)

Of those restuarants you reviewed, which did you get DVC discount at - and for what meals? The only one I knew of that offered DVC discount was Raglan Road :confused3

ratfam
04-19-2010, 06:47 PM
We received a 10% DVC member discount at Raglan Road (not sure whether this was dinner only, where we used it, or at lunch too), a 20% member discount at Chefs de France lunch (this discount was only good at lunch, not dinner from what I read) and a 20% member discount at Marrakesh. We used the Marrakesh discount at dinner, but I believe it was also good at lunch. The Marrakesh discount had been showing in Member Perks for ages and then it suddenly disappeared shortly before our trip. I called Member Services and they didn't know and assumee the restaurant was no longer giving the discount, but I called the restaurant and they said it was still valid and they gave us the discount without any question when we had dinner there. I think the discounts saved the four of us close to $60 in total, which was nice since we were paying OOP for everything, plus they were all new restaurants to us. There is a whole Member Perks listing that we got when we checked in (but again it didn't list Marrakesh).