View Full Version : Free Dining Trip, 8-9/2009

04-17-2010, 03:55 PM
Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I’m home, but since I believe we’re getting close to a Free Dining offer, I thought my reviews might be relevant now.

We did the Free Dining package for 9 nights at Pop Century. On the trip were myself, my husband, my younger brother (we’re all in our 40’s) and my son, who turned 13 a few weeks before the trip. We left Newark on Continental on Saturday, 8/29 and stayed until Monday, 9/7.

The TS restaurants that we ate at were:

Les Chefs de France Dinner
1900 Park Fare Dinner
Raglan Road Dinner
Cape May Café Dinner
Ohana’s Dinner
Crystal Palace Lunch
Chef Mickey’s Dinner
Coral Reef Dinner
San Angel Inn Dinner
Mama Melrose Dinner Fantasmic Package

We enjoyed CS meals at these places:

Everything Pop (Multiple Meals)
Tangeriene Café
Cosmic Ray’s
Pizza Planet
Sunshine Seasons (The Land) Food Court
Studio Catering Company

We also had many snacks and adult beverages:

Petals Pool Bar
The Outer Rim Lounge
Norway Bakery
Kaki Gori’s
The Tune-In Lounge
Various ABs (adult beverages) in the World Showcase

O.K., so without further adieu, away we go. :)

04-17-2010, 04:01 PM
It sounds like you ate at some great places. Can't wait to read about it! :goodvibes

04-17-2010, 04:13 PM
We arrived in Orlando around 12:30 in the afternoon. I was hoping we could eat a decent breakfast in Newark so that we wouldn't be starving when we arrived at the World, but we were all too excited to eat that morning before we left.

After getting our room, we split two bacon double cheeseburger meals at Everything Pop, then headed over to the World Showcase. DH and I toasted our arrival in the World with a frozen drink each from France. I got the Grey Goose lemonade, and DH got the Grand Marnier. Love these drinks! So nice to sip when it's hot out. :sunny:

Bro got a combo chicken and lamb swarma platter. He put tastes of everything on a separate plate for us to taste. It was all delicious. A lot better than the ubiquitous double bacon cheeseburger! I really liked the flavorful chicken.

DH got a "glass" of sangria here in the Tangierine Cafe that was very weird. It was served in a tiny plastic cup that we joked looked like a mouthwash cup. It didn't have any ice or fruit. Hubby went back to the counter and asked for a cup of ice, which they gave him, so he could pour his wine over it. He got stressed out because he was afraid everywhere else would serve sangria like that. He stressed for nothing; no where else he ordered it served it that way.

We sampled various drinks and snacks that afternoon. I tried the famous Rosa Regale in Italy, and I'm sorry to say I didn't love it. I was expecting a more berry-ish flavor. It tasted too much like wine for me. (Yes, I know it IS wine. ;) ) We had frozen margaritas from the Mexican stand. I stuck with lime while DH got the Fiesta multi-flavor version. We also had Beck's beer in Germany.

Bro and my son got kaki-gori's in Japan, rainbow flavor, and I got a couple of school breads from Norway that I asked them to package so I could bring them back to the room for breakfast the next morning. I am happy to report that we loved both these snacks. :) The school bread did live up to it's hype (even though the Rosa Regale did not). I liked the yeasty, bready texture and how it wasn't too sweet.

04-17-2010, 04:41 PM
I chose this restaurant based on the appeal of the menu and Remy being there. We got a 5:00 ADR so we'd get to see that wonderful French rodent.

We had a little time to spend after arriving in France for our ADR, so we watched the movie. A bunch of very handsome Frenchmen were ushers out front. Darn, they were easy on the eyes! I've been reading for years about the handsome guys over in Italy, but let me tell you ladies--those young Frenchmen are mighty nice to look at too. :)

Our waiter at Chefs was another of these very handsome and charming young Frenchmen. His name was Sebastian, and he was an utter delight. He was easily nicest server on this trip, and one of the best we've ever encountered at WDW. Seriously. He is the only one whose name I can remember, but I admit that had a lot to do with how good-looking he was. Oui, oui!

We were seated in a side room that overlooked a fountain outside. It was windows all around and very pleasant, but the air-conditioning in that room could have been crisper. I noticed when using the restroom that the main dining room was much cooler.

I ordered the chef's cocktail and DH got an imported French beer, Kronenberg. The cocktail was a currant liquor with sparkling wine. It was good, but not "crisp" enough for as hot as I was feeling so I got a beer on the second round.

I didn't think my son would eat that much with the excitement of traveling and all, so I ordered him a French onion soup that we told Sebastian we would pay OOP for. I chose the French menu and got the same soup with short ribs for my dinner. DH picked the filet mignon dish and Bro chose a dish that had mixed seafood and black pearl rice.

Much to my embarassment, DS's appetite was big for this meal and he gobbled down a lot of the nice bread we were served. I got a bite of it and I would say it was a sourdough. Neither he nor I were crazy about the soup. It wasn't terrible by any stretch, but nowhere as good as the one our local pub serves. It didn't have enough cheese and the broth was kind of bland.

My short rib dish was excellent. The meat was well-marinated and its rich flavor contrasted nicely with the mild-flavored noodle dish that accompanied it. The noodles had the look and texture of being freshly made. DH enjoyed his filet very much. The meat was tender, tasty and a good sized portion, and the potato dish that came with it was really delicious. It consisted of sliced potatoes layered with cheese. DH and I shared our entrees with DS, who loved everything, but raved the most on my ribs.

Bro said his seafood was excellent, that it tasted very fresh and sweet. He said that the pearl rice that came with it had an interesting texture.

When we first sat down, we asked Sebastian about Remy. He feigned horror at the suggestion that a rat would be in his restaurant. Later, when Remy first appeared in the main room, he took my son over to where he could watch Remy without disturbing the diners in that room. When Remy got to our table, both my brother and my son recorded his performance. He was very cute and a wonderful touch, especially for children.

For dessert, I selected the creme brulee, DH took the profiteroles and Bro picked a chocolate mousse cake with fresh berries. All three desserts were to-die-for! DS declared my creme brulee "amazing."

The bill for our drinks and DS's soup came to around $75. DH was like, "hey, I thought the food was free!" ;)

04-17-2010, 05:10 PM
I'm sorry to report that this was the worst buffet meal we have ever had at Disney World. :(

We checked in when we arrived and were given a beeper. Bro and DS plopped themselves into a chair in the lobby. I wanted to look around the Basin store, so DH came with me. The pretty birdcage elevator was out of service, so we took the stairs. In general, there seemed to be a lot of construction going at the Grand Floridian.

We no sooner got inside the bath shop when our beeper went off so back down the stairs we went to find Bro and DS. They completely disappeared which annoyed the heck out of my husband. They showed up in a few minutes later so we turned in the beeper then and were directed to wait in a line outside the 1900 Park Fare dining room.

They wanted us to pose for a photo in front of some lame-looking wallpaper and we refused. We never buy those over-priced pre-meal photos, so we never take them. It's never been a problem elsewhere, but I think it sent the GF CMs into a tizzy. They were tsk-tsk'ing all over the place when the hostess led us into the dining room. I spotted a rickety looking table next to the servers' kitchen door and thought to myself, "I hope that's not where she's going to seat us." So of course, you know we walked right up to it.

I remarked that it looked small, and the hostess's reply completely stunned me. In a very loud and rude voice, she answered that ALL their tables were small and if we didn't like it, we could leave!

In all our trips to WDW, we have never had a CM speak to us like that. I was in shock! Trust me on this--I'm a tough Jersey girl. I don't put up with much nonsense, but I was so surprised, we just sat down. And it was a horrid table. It jiggled like crazy, and we had to watch that we didn't run into a server anytime we got up or down for the buffet.

The food itself wasn't good. The Asian selections were outright horrible. The carved meats were roast beef and pork loin. The pork loin was dried out, and the carver cut the roast beef into a hunk. I don't know what cut of beef it was, but it shouldn't have been sliced into a slab.

Worse, the "knives" at the table were too dull to cut anything, least of all something the texture of shoe leather. These "cutting" implements were completely lacking any serration.

The characters were Cinderella and her prince plus her stepmother and stepsisters. They were trying to do a good job of entertaining, but I suspect everyone in the room was as unhappy with the food as we were, and people just didn't interact with them in a way that would bring out their humor. At one point, though, someone in the other room dropped a plate and one of the stepsisters yelled out, "Cinderella! Clean it up!" I thought that was pretty funny.

I did like a few things. Butter for bread was served to your table. It was a slab of sweet butter topped with a sprinkling of Kosher salt. When you used your paddle (as you couldn't possibly call those things "knives"), it mixed the salt into the butter to flavor it, but kept the texture of the salt crystals. I liked that and thought it was a nice touch.

They do have strawberry soup, which is awesome, and the desserts weren't bad. DS really liked the Edy's Grand ice cream machine, and I was cuckoo over a little chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a tiny chocolate cigar.

DH and I each ordered a bloody Mary with dinner. He went to order a second one and I stopped him because I was so annoyed about the rude hostess and lousy table, I didn't want to spend much there. It took forever and a day to settle the bill, so we weren't able to get back to the MK in time for Wishes. A CM in the lobby pointed us toward the beach and said we'd have a good view from there, but there was an island and a lot of trees in the way.

We ate breakfast here in 2008 and loved it, so I'd go back for that, but never again for dinner. Someone needs to tell the hostesses there it's rude to scream at customers.

04-17-2010, 05:14 PM
Les Chefs de France is our favorite place to eat at Epcot. :woohoo: We usually go for lunch and I ALWAYS get the French Onion Soup and the Mac and Cheese. They are both outstanding and have always been loaded with cheese. In December, they had a 3-course meal for $20, so I split mine with my niece and my sister split hers with the other niece. We decided to sacrifice quantity for quality (and calories). The cheese is very rich and we all love it, but do feel the need to watch the calories.

Did you get to see Remy while you were there? He is so cute.


04-17-2010, 07:01 PM
We changed up our schedule the third day into the trip and needed a neutral spot for an ADR, and so selected Raglan Road. I had eaten there in 8/08 with my son, nephew, BFF and her son. It was a great meal and I was very impressed with the restaurant then.

This time, not so much. I noticed the menu posted near the podium where we waited to be seated while Bro parked. I couldn't find the "Serious Sirloin" dish my BFF and DS ordered the year before and loved. It was a dish I knew the cavemen I married would love, and it was one reason I picked RR.

They put us at a large table toward the center of the room. I hate eating in the middle of a room, but I didn't seen any table I liked better. DH and Bro wanted to stay there because we were next to what was obviously a dancing table plus Bro liked how big it was. We were squeezed in tight at 1900 PF the night before.

I examined the menu, hoping my eyes had played a trick on me out at the menu, but alas! No Serious Sirloin. :( I encouraged DH to order the "It's Not Bleeding Chowder" dish because it's what I got and loved the previous year. Bro picked out the "Ribs to the Power of 2" and DS asked for a child's cheeseburger, saying he wasn't hungry.

I stupidly selected "Kevin's Heavenly Ham." See, I'm not crazy for ham, but the menu description threw me. It stated that the meat was a loin of bacon, for whatever silly reason, I was thinking it would be like roast pork. The menu also said that it would be served with apple-potato pancakes and topped with braised cabbage.

What would you expect if you ordered this dish? Would you not think you were going to get, say, potato pancakes on your plate? And a spoonful of cabbage on your meat? Well, you would be wrong! What I got was a plate full of potatoes that resembled Ore-Ida potatoes O'Brien with an apple flavor, alongside a few slices of smoked pink ham, and a single leaf of cabbage lightly steamed, so that it was still large and crunchy.

DH's chowder was chock full of salmon hunks, instead of the lump crab meat I got the previous year. It wasn't terrible, just nowhere near as sumptuous.

DS didn't touch his cheeseburger. I looked good; I wished our dog, Max, were back at our room because I would have wrapped it for him in a true doggie bag. Bro complained that his ribs were fatty and gristly.

I was disappointed that they didn't have the Irish Cream brulee pie on this year's dessert menu, so I picked the Ger's Bread Pudding instead. DH picked a chocolate one, Dunbrody's Kiss or something? Bro chose a weird sounding one with lots of berries and a meringue base.

I guess the chocolate dessert was really good because I didn't get a bite. DH and DS devoured that. Note that DS had an appetite then, but not for the cheeseburger. Bro ate a good portion of his, but said it tasted like a Weight Watchers recipe. My bread pudding was fantastic though! The butterscotch sauce that came with it was out of this world!

We couldn't complain about the entertainment as it was very good. While we were eating, a duet played guitar, fiddle and percussion in one corner. When they took one break, a young lady climbed onto the deeply-scratched table next to ours and did some step dancing. She was pretty cool.

I noticed that we were never served bread. The year before, we got rock hard muffin-like things with a plate of oil. Hated them actually, but this year, we didn't even get those.

Overall, we disliked our entrees, loved one dessert and enjoyed some decent entertainment. I wish the steak was still on the menu. Hubby and Bro would have loved that.

04-18-2010, 01:25 AM
It's ridiculous that the hostess at 1900 was so rude! I've worked in food service my whole life, hosting included and so I see both sides of it-- We're taking a party to a table for a reason... To get them out of the waiting area, but there's no need to be so nasty! I'd have been mad too.

04-18-2010, 09:27 AM
Dinner at the Beach Club did not disappoint. I love just visiting that beautiful resort too. It's one Disney deluxe I aspire to stay at one of these days.

This buffet has four sides with each side containing a certain type of food--the seafood side featured steamed clams and mussels, the American side had ribs and roast beef, soup and salads with peel and eat shrimp, and a dessert side. One section of the American side featured foods for young kids, like chicken nuggets and mini hot dogs.

DS didn't bother with that stuff. He went hog-wild over the mussels with tomato butter. He is such a skinny kid we love it when his appetite is good. He and I both sampled the tomato bisque soup, which was outstanding. Actually, it was the best soup we had this trip. Soups on the whole were disappointing this trip, especially compared to the excellent ones we had during both our 2008 trips.

I also tried a bit of the New England clam chowder because it's always so good here. It was awesome again this visit, and I wished I could bring a container of it back to the room to snack on later. They also took on Red Lobster by serving cheddar biscuits. Yum!

I was crazy over the baked salmon teriyaki, which was the fish du jour. Delicious! I've been stung by nasty salmon so many times over the years, I never order it anymore. That's one big advantage of eating at a buffet--if you don't like something you chose, you don't have to eat it.

There is a dish here called a "citrus salad" that must be a fixture, since I know I had in 2/08. It has endive and radicchio dressed in a citrus vinaigrette and topped with almonds. It's so good and refreshing.

The dessert side of the buffet had apple crisp and bread pudding, cookies and brownies. Away from the whole buffet, near the entrance of the restaurant is a window that contains miniature dessert cups--tiny fruit tarts, key lime pies, Oreo bon-bons and cheesecakes. I love those little desserts. They were the best thing at 1900 Park Fare too.

This meal was definitely back on track for good Disney dining. Our waiter was a charming young man who brought us refills on our drinks whenever he saw them getting low. We walked around the grounds a bit after dinner to move our digestion, then went back to Pop. It was an amazing thing this trip how cool the air got after the rain. It happened the night before when we went to Raglan Road too. Following a downpour, it got almost chilly out. Hard to believe we were in Florida in September.

dancin Disney style
04-18-2010, 10:05 AM
I'm loving this review. We were there the exact same dates as you and I notice in your tag you have a dog named Max....we do too. :rotfl2:

04-18-2010, 10:45 AM
It sounds like you ate at some great places. Can't wait to read about it! :goodvibes

Thank you. I am enjoying writing it as I'm reliving the trip as I do.

Les Chefs de France is our favorite place to eat at Epcot. :woohoo: We usually go for lunch and I ALWAYS get the French Onion Soup and the Mac and Cheese. They are both outstanding and have always been loaded with cheese. In December, they had a 3-course meal for $20, so I split mine with my niece and my sister split hers with the other niece. We decided to sacrifice quantity for quality (and calories). The cheese is very rich and we all love it, but do feel the need to watch the calories.

Did you get to see Remy while you were there? He is so cute.


After I saw your post, I edited my post to include Remy. He was adorable! I think I read he is still there? We would love to see him again! The people who are coming on this year's trip would adore him.

I've made ADRs for the upcoming trip, and Chefs made the cut. We are on the same flights this trips, scheduled to land in Orlando mid-day. We enjoyed our first day in '09 so much, we've made the same plan for '10. That is, we're going to the World Showcase for the afternoon and evening with dinner at Chefs de France.

This time, we'll have three kids along so I want to sign them up for Kim Possible on the way in. It'll give them something to do while my BFF and I go shopping. Our husbands will sit on benches and hopefully catch some entertainment. The guys loved the Mo'Rockin belly dancer last year. :)

It's ridiculous that the hostess at 1900 was so rude! I've worked in food service my whole life, hosting included and so I see both sides of it-- We're taking a party to a table for a reason... To get them out of the waiting area, but there's no need to be so nasty! I'd have been mad too.

Yeah, I was mad then, but we kind of laugh about it now. It was almost surreal in how loud and nasty she was. I don't know if she hates Free Dining or was bent out of shape over our refusing to take the photo. Whatever, it was shocking because we almost always have very positive interactions with CMs.

I'm loving this review. We were there the exact same dates as you and I notice in your tag you have a dog named Max....we do too. :rotfl2:

Max used to be my avatar. He's a big, black lab mix and a very messy animal to own. Still, when we walked by the kennels in Epcot last year and saw people walking their dogs, we really missed him. He's my "baby doggie." ;)

04-18-2010, 11:07 AM
When I made ADRs last year, I had no problem getting mostly everything I wanted, except I could only find late times--like 9:00ish--for Ohana. Not ideal, but what can you do? Ohana is one Disney restaurant that has been consistently excellent for us. We have been there every trip and loved it every time.

When we arrived, Wishes was going off. The lights in the restaurant were lowered and the soundtrack for Wishes played over the PA system. The restaurant really cleared out after the fireworks, not that I can blame anyone for staying to enjoy them. We got a nice big table, which pleased Bro, and a waitress with a great Southern accent.

I love the bread here. It's so unique and delicious. The butter is scrumptious too. :love: The salad is outstanding with its honey-lime dressing; even my son gobbles down a big plate full of it. Next come the wings and potstickers. The wings are always great, but I did prefer the steamed dim sum that came in teriyaki sauce they used to serve. The fried ones they have now are kind of dry.

We got a full round of each of the meats, along with a bowl of noodles and vegetables. The veggies are mainly broccoli and snow peas. They use a lot of garlic on them, and I love them! DS likes the noodles a lot, but I think they're too bland. The guys adored the meat from the skewers. The steak, pork and turkey were all great, but the shrimp skewer they brought out at first was pretty burned. Bro pointed it out politely to our server, and a few minutes later, he brought back a perfectly cooked skewer that he divided among the four of us. We really like the dipping sauces for the grilled items too.

DH got a Lapu-Lapu pineapple drink, and I got something that came with a multi-colored glow cube. The bread pudding dessert here is fantastic. :cloud9: I love it, and I don't usually like bread pudding. The contrasts in this dessert are what make it special--the cold ice cream against the warm pudding and sauce, the rich custard flavor of the pudding next to the slight tang of the bananas, the creaminess next to the richness of the sauce. It's a food for the gods!

04-18-2010, 12:51 PM
We had eaten lunch here in 1999 and dinner in 2000. We absolutely loved it then as my son was quite little and he was crazy about the Pooh characters. They are so cuddly. :cloud9: We tried to eat there again on later trips, but it never worked out. Finally made it back this trip.

The woman at the check-in podium outside couldn't read our name somehow on her screen. Each of us spotted it and pointed it out to her, but she couldn't comprehend our name for some reason. I wrote my name and the ADR number on a slip of paper and handed to her, but she couldn't match it up with the name on her screen, even with my son standing there, pointing to it. We have a very common name too.

We waited for our table for a few minutes on the porch, where DS and Bro took some awesome photographs of the castle. It was a gorgeous day! Sun shining, not too not, we had really fabulous weather this trip.

I had forgotten how beautiful this place is. It's so bright and airy. I even love how the restrooms are decorated. We were seated at a table that was alongside the same part of the porch where we were outside, so we had a breathtaking view of the castle while we ate.

Bro and I each ordered unsweetened iced tea, and our nice waiter brought us a plate of lemon slices for them. He was a great server; I'm sorry that I don't recall his name. He kept our glasses full, took away empty plates quickly, and made sure each of the characters stopped by our table.

The food was very good. There was a big variety of salads that included a bunch of cold cuts. Flank steak was on the carving board, and it was awesome. Easily the best beef dish we had at a buffet this trip. It was served with a reduced veal stock as a gravy. Yum! The only downside of the meal--except for the ADR checker who couldn't read the screen--was the rude girl carving the steak. She started a new piece of meat and tried to give me the ends. I hate sliced steak ends; I give them to my dog at home. When I told her I didn't care for the ends, she made a face at me. :rolleyes:

The desserts were stellar here. They had lemon and chocolate walnut squares. :love: I have a great photo of my son and Eeyore from this meal as the screensaver on my cell. The restaurant and characters here are very photogenic IMO. We have some great shots from earlier trips.

The meal was absolutely delightful and also our least expensive TS this trip. No alcohol served plus all food and beverages included means all you pay is a tip at the end of the meal.

04-18-2010, 01:25 PM
After our great lunch at Crystal Palace, we enjoyed the MK. Our ADR for CM was at 6:30. Around 4:30, it looked like a bad storm was getting close. DH was wanting an AB, so I suggested we take the monorail over to the Contemporary and have cocktail at the Outer Rim Lounge.

DS spotted the "three legged goat" in the mural that we heard about on the DVC TV ad in our room. We gave him money for the arcade and he took off for a while. I ordered a blackberry mojito that was delightful, although not as delicious as the mango mint mojito I fell in love with at the Petals Bar in Pop.

Bro stayed for a Bud Lite with Lime, then he joined DS at the arcade. We moved over to the bar, where we met their funny and entertaining bartender. The cocktail waitress there was super too. I switched to Blue Moon ale and went next door around 6:15 to check in for ADR. The beeper would work in the lounge so I took it back and called DS on his cell. He and Bro met us there with a bunch of junky prizes they won in the arcade.

We skipped the photo opportunity and they were fine with that, unlike the soreheads over at 1900 Park. Chef M's is always fun. The food at our dinner in 8/08 was very good, but kind of so-so in 2/08 and so-so tonight. Nothing was bad; we just didn't care for the selections as much as the ones we got the previous August. I would have liked it more if they had prime rib and a soup variety I liked. Tonight they served regular roast beef that was blah tasting and tough. The soup was minestrone--not a favorite by a long shot. In 8/08, they served smoked tomato bisque that was to-die-for. In 2/08, it was a potato leek and ham that equally awesome. The parmesan mashed potatoes are still very good. I don't know if they're worth the price of admission, but they're a favorite of mine and DS.

They've cut back on the dessert selections here over the years, but DS still loves the ice cream bar with its many toppings. He fills a dish with candy. :laughing:

04-18-2010, 02:22 PM
We had a bad accident after we got back from the MK the night before. DS shot a snake-in-a-can thing he won at the Contemporary arcade at DH, and it hit him smack in the right eye. DH's eye was a mess! Bro and I wanted to take him to the ER. DS was heart broken over the incident; he loves his daddy dearly and felt so bad about injuring him. We stayed at the resort for the day so that DH could stay out of the sun, which hurt his wounded eye.

That evening, we had an ADR for the Coral Reef, so late in the afternoon, we went to Epcot which had PM EMH that night. We went straight to the restaurant and checked in. I'd never been in there before; it's a beautiful place and I'd love to have the same ceiling light fixtures in my basement. They're made of colorful glass and look like squid or octopus. Really neat.

After waiting for 10 or so minutes, we were led first to a horrible table just inside the door. It was a small, wobbly looking table (shades of 1900 PF) and Bro complained immediately. They were very nice about finding us another table down one level closer to the aquarium glass.

Our waiter had a blah personality. We were kind of blah ourselves over DH's eye accident. Normally, I'm fine with not having a personable waiter. I'm happy when they just take my order, bring me the right stuff and charge me correctly, but tonight, it would have been helpful to have a chatty one.

All three of the guys ordered the steak dish. I don't know why my husband even bothered to look at menus this trip; he ordered steak each and every time. I chose the fish du jour, which was grouper over a scallop and mushroom risotto. The guys liked their steaks; my dish was O.K. The grouper itself didn't have much flavor.

For dessert, I got the Bailey's and Jack Daniels mousse, Bro and DH both ordered the chocolate wave and DS picked the butterscotch creme brulee. All three desserts were absolutely delicious, I could have licked the plates.

Everywhere we went this trip, the waitstaff brought us any and every soft drink we ordered without a charge. When we placed the dessert orders, each of us, including DS, ordered a coffee. The waiter charged us for two coffees I guess because Bro had an iced tea and DS had a Coke during dinner.

Between his drippy personality and hitting us with the price of two Nescafes, this waiter did not get the best tip we gave this trip.

04-18-2010, 03:08 PM
I scheduled this day loosely and that was a good thing since we still had a lot left to do in Epcot. I called Disney Dining from the room that morning and asked where we could get an early dinner ADR. We were given choices between Tutto, Rose & Crown, Teppanyaki and San Angel.

I was the only one in our group who wanted Tutto. Living in Bergen County, New Jersey, almost every non-Asian restaurant serve Italian, and it's usually excellent, so DH and DS refused to pick Tutto. No one was interested in Rose & Crown. Bro and DS liked Teppanyaki, but I didn't want that because the desserts sound horrible there. I have always wanted to eat at San Angel because of the atmosphere. DH agreed with me that it looked nice, so it's where we picked.

We were seated nearly immediately when we arrived. I used the restroom where I thought the decor was darling with its spigot sinks. Our very nice and smiley waitress brought chips and salsa. DH ordered sangria after grilling her about its authenticity. He was worried about getting it in a small, warm, plastic mouthwash cup. :laughing: I got a Dos Equiis and Bro went crazy and tried a margarita. DS said he was hungry, so I left him order a full meal even though it would leave short one credit for Mama Melrose the next night.

For once, I chose the steak dish, a filet mignon. Both Bro and DH picked the same dish--gee, what a surprise! NOT! DS wanted the shrimp dish, which was crispy shrimp over a potato relish. We didn't know what to expect with potato relish, but actually, DS's dish was absolutely outstanding. The potatoes were similar to the hash browns NJ diners serve with breakfast. The coating on the shrimp was delicious. I can't begin to guess what was in it, but it was really tasty.

For dessert, DH and DS both ordered the ice cream with fresh caramel sauce, Bro picked the bread pudding and I got a white chocolate mousse served in a fried tortilla shell. Everyone liked their choices, but my mousse dessert was the stand-out. It came topped with fresh berries. The mousse itself tasted like a bite of heaven. Just delicious. :)

The waitress here was lovely, we enjoyed the atmosphere and our food was quite good. I've seen this place knocked here often, but we found it very enjoyable.

04-18-2010, 06:57 PM
Bro left us the night before, so it was just DH, DS and myself at this meal. Our ADR time was early, but we waited quite a while for our table. We sat down at a counter near the entrance that had a drink menu on it. We actually tried to order drinks. LOL! It was just a place to rest.

We met a nice family from Philadelphia who had beer cups with them, and they told us they bought them in Pizza Planet, so DH went over there and got us each a beer. DS was complaining that he didn't feel well. I didn't know if it was too much sun and/or excitement, not enough sleep or what.

DH had to remind them that we were waiting and we seated soon after then. DS laid down on the banquette that was on one side of our table. He said he wasn't hungry, so we figured we'd order him a kid's meal and we'd use the two remaining TS credits on our meals.

We split the fried calamari for two. DH is crazy for calamari. :) He chose the seafood fra diavolo dish, which was a shock because I thought he'd want the steak. So I decided to get the steak dish. It was a sirloin with gorgonzola butter, which appealed to me as I love blue cheese, with a polenta cake--I love polenta, and asparagus, one of my favorite veggies. We ordered a pitcher of sangria, which thrilled DH. He loves sangria. We ordered the pasta from the children's menu for DS, who was dozing on the banquette.

All of our food was quite good. The calamari had good flavor. The calamari meat itself was sliced very thinly. The fried peppers and onions that garnished it were tasty. I thought the sauce on DH's dish was a bit too thick for a fra diavolo which should be more brothy. I liked my entree. It was sensibly portioned--not huge, but enough--although I could eaten more than two spears of asparagus.

DS didn't touch his pasta and didn't want any dessert. He could have gotten fruit or a sundae. DH chose the tiramisu, and I got the honey hazelnut cheesecake. That cheesecake was awesome! Really, really delicious with fabulous textures. DH liked his tiramisu and I took a taste. It was decent, but not outstanding like the cheesecake.

They give you a "golden ticket" to show the people at the special Fantasmic Package entrance. We liked that set-up; it was a hike after they checked our golden ticket, but it felt cool to have our own "secret" entrance instead of being herded in with the masses.

04-20-2010, 07:24 PM
We ate numerous meals and snacks at Everything Pop. We enjoyed most of what we got there. :)

We all like Tie-Dyed Cheesecake. :hippie: Obviously, the colors and theme are fun. It's a tasty cheesecake too. It has a red velvet cake base with a medium-bodied cheesecake filling. We loved the parmesan-crusted chicken. Don't know how they did it, but every piece we got was juicy inside and crunchy outside. We had it several times in its various forms--with pasta or salad, with or without sauce. Everyone loves the breadsticks; they're a good substantial snack. The vegetable calzone is really more of a spinach calzone, but it is very good and I like the balsamic vinaigrette dressing they serve on the side salad.

The ice cream shop is fabulous! The sundae is huge! It's three scoops of whatever flavors you want and any toppings you want. If you order it as a dessert, plan on sharing it with someone in your family, and tell them to get one of the nice cookies or brownies to save for later. Also, you can order it with your meal when you're paying for it and they'll stamp your receipt so you can go back and get it fresh anytime within 90 minutes.

The vanilla milkshake I ordered would have been great if the guy at the counter didn't insist on putting sprinkles in it "for color." They made me gag when I was sipping down the shake. :crazy2:

The bacon is not good at all. It's limp and cut so thin, it's nearly transparent. They must use a razor on it.

The Sunshine Seasons food court in the Land pavilion at Epcot serves great food. We got a pork chop, a ginger beef, a sweet-and-sour chicken, and a deli sandwich for our lunch there. Everybody loved their food and that it was so nicely air-conditioned. Desserts were unreal. We got a butterfinger cheesecake, a giant cookie, a strawberry shortcake and a creme brulee. Again, all really good. I'll tell you--next time I'm at the World and not on the dining plan, this will be one of the first places we go. What a value for what you pay. We grabbed a Fastpass early on for Soarin', then went back an hour ahead of our time and had lunch, then got on Soarin'.

Cosmic Ray's was wonderful as usual. Everyone orders the chicken and rib combo. It's a lot of food, but always so good.

The turkey sandwich I got at the Studio Catering Company was barely edible. It was burnt, and the turkey was slimey. I did like the marble cheesecake for dessert. We ate at Pizza Planet the other day we were at the Studios and I liked it better. The pizza was Disney pizza, but it wasn't a bad one. I liked the Mickey Head Rice Krispie treat dessert there a lot too.

04-20-2010, 08:03 PM
Thanks for all the reviews. I can't wait for our bounceback trip this September.:)