View Full Version : Penguins... with a Chance of Meatballs: a pre-dining report - Final Update 5/12

04-29-2010, 10:38 PM
Welcome to the second annual, no... second whenever-they-happen all penguin dining review. (Not that we eat penguins... God no. That would be horrible. Just that we love penguins - not to eat - and they inspire the review and rating system...)

Our first full review - "Turfs Up: Too Much Food for Happy Feet (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=33526037)" - was also quasi-inspired by a movie (Surf's Up). As you might have guessed, this review is inspired by "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (if you haven't seen it, stop what you are doing, drive to <Insert Nearest DVD/Bluray rental facility here>, rent it, come back home, watch it, then come back to the review. Thank us later.) A great food themed movie to provide the perfect backdrop for some Disney gluttony.

But wait! This isn't Disney gluttony as we know it. No... we've made a "lifestyle change." We no longer eat those horribly fattening foods we all know and love. We started eating more natural and healthy foods in January 2010 and after just four months have lost weight, feel better, and still enjoy food just as much... we just enjoy different foods than before.

No, wait... come back! Please! We promise we'll still be eating yummy Disney food! This is still a vacation, after all. Not like we're going to eat salad at every meal. No, sir-ee, Bob. (Apologies if your name is not Bob.) There shall be steaks (oooooooh!) and desserts (aaaaaaah!) and various and sundry other gastronomical wonders, but probably no meatballs (what?!).

The forecast definitely calls for a 100% chance of awesome food:


Our Cast:


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg (Note: Artists rendering - not an actual likeness of Tazicket.)
Tazicket (DW): I am 25, love to cook, have been pretty successful in expanding our culinary horizons, and my favorite Disney character is Belle. If you joined us on our last Dining Review, you know that I am a "terraterian." If you didn't join us, you're probably wondering what that means. Well, like Dory, I believe that fish are friends - not food. (Not really - I just think they taste funny). So, unless there is some crazy development, you will not see anything that swims on my plate. Aside from that I remain the more adventurous eater of the two of us.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg (Note: this pretty much is a true likeness of Golf4food, who is, in fact, a one-legged pirate penguin... at heart... and sometimes on the weekends... but I digress...)
Golf4food (DH): I am 30, enjoy Tazicket's cooking, and only recently began truly expanding my culinary horizons. I grew up in a deep southern family household where the main food groups were pan fried and deep fried. I don't touch broccoli, cauliflower, greens, or most other stronger vegetables, but I do at least now eat some peppers and other non-potatos. My favorite food on earth is a good fried shrimp, which is, alas, not part of my new diet and is now just an occasional splurge. I am the omnivore of the family and will eat most meat or seafood items. My favorite Disney character is Wall-E. Or the reformed Beast, because he ends up with his Belle, just like me. :love:

We had season passes in the past but had to let them expire in Sept 09 because we built a new house. But now we can get them back again :banana: and this time we will also be getting a Tables in Wonderland card for the first time. Our trip in May will be at the tail end of the Flower & Garden Festival - something the photographer in me has always wanted to see and photograph. We'll be staying at our favorite mod - Port Orleans Riverside.

But where shall we be eating? That's what you really want to know, isn't it? (Admitting it is the first step.) You'll just have to stay tuned to find out!

Day 1:
Arrival Day
Dinner: Yachtsman Steakhouse

Day 2:
Breakfast: POFQ Biegnets and Such
Lunch: Le Chefs de France
Dinner: Kona Cafe

Day 3:
Breakfast: Grand Floridian Cafe
Lunch: Liberty Tree Tavern
Dinner: Contempo Cafe?

Day 4:
Breakfast: Riverside Mill
Lunch: Starring Rolls
Dinner: ESPN Club

Day 5:
Breakfast: Kona Cafe
Lunch: Earl of Sandwich

04-30-2010, 02:44 PM
Signing out. Cant wait to hear about it.

04-30-2010, 08:28 PM
In honor of our flightless, hydrophylic friends from the great white south, our rating system shall be Mickey-Hat-Wearing Penguins and Penguin-Colored Eggs instead of stars and half stars:

One "star" = http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3587/3785444367_330791abf3_o.jpg

Half "star" = http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2517/3785356766_94aa4bf8f0_o.jpg (because a penguin egg is half a penguin? It was the closest we could get - half of a penguin would be horrifying!)

Stay tuned for the reveal of our first ADR... <drumroll> (Not sure how long of a drum roll, though... we're about to watch "A Bug's Life"... so it might be a pretty long drum roll... hope the drummer is in shape...)

04-30-2010, 10:35 PM
Ok, Mr. Drummer, you can cease now.

I said stop.


Drummers... sheesh.

Let's get this thing started...


Anyhoo... our first ADR will be:

The Yachtsman Steakhouse

This trip as a whole is sort of to celebrate a big work accomplishment for Tazicket and the Yachtsman is the place she wanted to have dinner our first night to kick of the celebrating. We've not tried the Yachtsman yet, so it will be a first for us, but with all the great reviews it gets around here I'm sure we'll have a great meal.

What we are most looking forward to:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg I most looking forward to: steak. I love a really good steak and am hoping to find some here. I'm also looking forward to a nice dinner with Golf4food. :love:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg I am also most looking forward to steak, which is slightly odd, since I've never been a huge steak person. Growning up it was never a favorite and I've only recently started to warm up to it in my late 20s. I guess it is mostly that I only like a good steak and would almost rather have no steak at all if it isn't top quality.

Since we started our "lifestyle change" (again, it is not a diet) we only do red meat once per week so any good steak right now is a treat for us. Thankfully we have a Fresh Market down the street with great steaks we can fire up on our trusty Weber One-Touch Gold charcoal grill (the way God intended) so when we have decent grilling weather on a Saturday we'll do steaks.

05-01-2010, 01:07 PM
count me in...:)

we ate at the Yachtsman in Dec. The food was yummy!!! And the steaks were...well left me speechless.....and the mac in chesse was to die for(only if you like goat chesse). drooling just thinking about it.....can't wait to see where else you'll be dining...:thumbsup2

05-02-2010, 07:53 PM
Signing on!:thumbsup2

05-03-2010, 09:59 AM
half of a penguin would be horrifying!

this had me in tears with laughter, much like your last review. Can't wait for more.

05-03-2010, 01:37 PM
We don't have an ADR for breakfast on Day 2 (our first full day) but that certainly does not mean we don't have a plan (we're DISers, after all - are you insane?).

Our pre-park breakfasting will start out looking like this:


And then quickly look like this:


That's right: Biegnets from POFQ.

We'll also get some eggs or other protien to go with them, it won't be just the sugary biegnets. Biegnets are one of those vacation splurges that would not be a part of our regular diet at home. As as added bonus the POFQ foodcourt accepts the TIW discount because there is no TS restaurant at POFQ - score! :teacher:

However, it is worth noting that biegnets from POFQ cannot be eaten indoors. Why? Are they tastier in open air? No. They're tasty anywhere. We eat them outside because of...



The giant clowns that are waiting to eat you.

Tazicket does not do clowns. She prefers to run away... but tall. (bonus points if anyone gets the "but tall" reference...).

I don't run away... I'm more likely to punch a clown in the face than eat with one, though.

So so as to a) not freak out Tazicket and b) not have Golf4food be arrested for assault ("Can I at least eat my biegnets first while they're hot, officer!?") We grab our biegnets and head outside to one of the small tables in the courtyard.

It is safer for everyone that way.

Except maybe for... SQUIRREL!!!


Up next: A lunch ADR somewhere in the World...

05-03-2010, 03:14 PM
I can hardly wait for your next installment. I have read many trip reports and dining threads but this one has completely caught me and reeled me in.
We are booked for POR bounceback.

05-03-2010, 04:48 PM
Lunch: the most important meal of the middle of the day.

And for lunch on our second day we're going to brave the waters of stereotypically bad attidues and impossible to understand accents:


Wait. This is lunch. It will be daylight.

Let me turn on the lights...

Hold on...

Almost there...





(Because what thread doesn't benefit from a little dose of Wall-E? Honestly.)

We've dined once at Le Chefs de France (LECHDEFR for short. Maybe not.) but it was for dinner.

It was not magnifique. It really wasn't even mag.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg The last time we went to Les Chefs de France, we were there for dinner and were not impressed. I ordered the beef w/ potato gratin and green beans, and I didn’t care for it at all. The flavors didn’t do much for me. The onion soup I had as an appetizer was very good and the dessert (apple crepes) was also ok, but the not great entrée overshadowed everything else. This time, I’m hoping that it will be different since we will be there at lunch time instead of dinner and we’re planning on trying some new things. :)

Most looking forward to: having the onion soup again.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg I agree that dinner was not so good. Onion soup? Very good. Apple crepe? Not bad, not great. Entree? Meh. I had the beef short ribs with pasta noodles. The ribs didn't have much flavor and the pasta was uber-boring - I think they only had butter on them. Very dissappointing for French food. We've heard lunch is good, however, so we're going to give it a try.

Most looking forward to: onion soup again. Or maybe creme brulee.

Feed us a bad meal once, shame on you. Feed us a bad meal twice... well... still shame on you. But we probably won't be back for a third time.

Here's hoping there's a third time. :goodvibes

Up next: Je Ne Sais Quoi :confused3

"Je ne sais quoi? What does that mean?"

"I don't know what."

"You don't know what it means?"

"Yes, I do."

"So what does it mean?"

"I dProxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

't know what."

"But you said you knew..."




05-04-2010, 09:35 PM
When we last left our intrepid gastronomic travelers they had no idea where dinner would be. And it was true. We had been thinking CS somewhere in the WS or possibly Sunshine Seasons. We were just going to see where the Epcot winds would take us.

Then we decided that would be kind of boring.

And who reads dining reports to look at counter service food, anyway? Honestly.

So we started looking for another TS. Two weeks in advance. :eek:

Then less than two weeks in advance. In fact, we didn't make our dinner ADR for Day 2 until today after lunch... 8.5 days from check-in. :scared1:

We started off while on a walk Saturday by calling to see if - don't laugh - there were any openings for Cindy's. (Stop laughing. That's not nice.) Shockingly, there were none. (I didn't see that one coming, no sir.)

So next we expanded. Since we didn't have meatballs in the plan I checked for Tony's. Fughitaboudit.

Then we went back to Epcot and tried for San Angel Inn. Nada.

Then Le Cellier. No, eh?

Then we decided to explore resort options.

We have enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe in the past so I found an ADR for the GFC for dinner and booked it.

Then we took a walk.

And while on that walk we pulled up the ETicket app and decided that if we went to GFC that Tazicket would probably order steak. And we just had steak last night at Yachtsman (not us, right now... but future us... awesome people, by the way, future us...)

Anyway, since we didn't want steak two nights in a row, I hit the back button and hopped over to another alternative that we both found to have exciting offerings and was also a place we had never eaten dinner before.

So we changed our dinner ADR... again... but for keeps this time!

Where is it? Here's a clue:


What? That didn't help? Still too many options? That's true. There are three options there...

Ok. I'll let the cat out of the bag (no we don't keep our cats in the bag... they do climb inside the shopping bags voluntarily sometimes but we don't... nevermind...)


Aloha means hello dinner and goodbye hunger.

Our decision certainly made these guys happy:



I think they're happy anyway... Are they? Kind of hard to tell. Are they smiling or scowling?

They're in Disney World. All. The. Time. How could they not be smiling? (Maybe they have to eat at DHS. Bazinga!)

Ok, so on with the show and our comments on dinner at Kona:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg I really enjoy Kona for breakfast. I like the atmosphere inside the restaurant and Poly in general. I wanted to try it for dinner since the first time we went for breakfast, so now is my chance.

Most looking forward to: the Kilauea Torte (chocolate lava cake is good in any language)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg I also really enjoy the ambiance of Kona and the Poly. Who doesn't enjoy the relaxing sounds of the waterfall and Polynesian music? Crazy people, that's who.

Most looking forward to: Pomegranate BBQ Pork Chop. It just sounds awesome.

Having dinner at Kona gives us a triple dose of awesome for the night, however: not only do we get to eat at Kona, but in order to get there we get to take the Tronorail from Epcot :banana:, and then...

Watch Wishes from the Poly beach after dinner.


Then it is back to the Tronorail for some Epcot EMH fun (we are very much pro EMH - AM and PM).

Somewhere during the afternoon I'm 99.9% certain that there will also be a slice of Black Forest Cake from Sommerfest in my future. But we'll cover all the snacks in the actual report. :thumbsup2

So there you have it. Day two is in the books. Back to Port Orleans Riverside to rest our weary little heads so we can be well rested for...

Day 3: Coming soon to a browser near you.


05-05-2010, 04:39 PM
I could almost smell what's coming!!!:banana: Please bring them on....

05-05-2010, 07:35 PM
No better way to start a day at the Magic Kingdom than with a hearty breakfast.

But that breakfast doesn't have to be in the Magic Kingdom. In fact, we find we have two favorites that lie outside the main gate of the MK and both are well worth an ADR (or two or three or...)

We couldn't resist booking a breakfast at both of them on this trip. :)

But what are they? We can only share one of them right now, but you'll find out the other in a few days. Don't panic. :) (I'm sure you can narrow it down anyway.)

So to kick off our full day of MK awesomeness (9am to ??? - Wishes at 10 pm, Spectro at 11 pm...) we enjoy a totally awesome meal here:



The Grand Floridian Cafe

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg I'm very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, excited to be going back and having the Maple Vanilla French Toast again. It was my most favoritest French toast ever. :yay:

Most looking forward to: Duh.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg Last time we were at the GFC for breakfast I got eggs Benedict. They were very good. But I had a bite of Tazicket's Maple Vanilla French Toast. Then I was sad. Not because my breakfast was not good - it was! - but because the french toast was sooooo awesome. Tazicket would not share. :sad2: ("You should have thought about that before you ordered eggs benedict!" says Tazicket.)

Most looking forward to: the same thing as Tazicket

And this post would not be complete without a giant close-up of the star:


The GFC also brews coffee, so no Nescrape here, which is also a plus. :thumbsup2

Up next: Lunch in the Magic Kingdom, where everything tastes like freedom... or pennies, but mostly freedom. (More bonus points if you get that reference.)


05-06-2010, 09:06 PM
Day three will be spent in the Magic Kingdom.

Lunch on day three will be at our favorite MK lunch spot (for TS anyway):


Lunch with George. (You know... if you wind up in his room...)

Liberty Tree Tavern

While we aren't as big on Liberty Tree for dinner (family style), we love the lunch offerings (menu choices, variety, etc.) and always love the setting - lots of rich wood and old style paintings and wall decorations. As a history buff I feel right at home.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg LTT is my favorite place to eat in the MK for lunch so I am looking forward to going back. I really enjoy the atmosphere and the food. And the mugs are pretty cool, too. :)

Most looking forward to: it was the strawberry shortcake - one of my favorite desserts ever on WDW property - but I haven't seen it on any menus online lately, so I'm not sure if it will be there next week or not.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg Ditto.

Most looking forward to: triple chocolate brownie for dessert - one of my most favoritest desserts on WDW property ever. :thumbsup2


So yeah... LTT is one place where our new diet will be mostly out the window when it comes to dessert. ;)


05-07-2010, 10:38 PM
Dinner on day three is one of the few meals for which we do not have an ADR.

We'll be in the MK, so we'll want something either in the MK or near the MK at an MK resort. (I should say MK more. MK, MK, MK, MK, MK,...)

Until our lifestyle change this would be a no brainer: Columbia Harbour House

Tazicket loves the Lighthouse Sandwich with the humus and whatnot and I love the fried fish and now shrimp. However, we have given up fried foods so I don't want to go to CHH this go around. A little fried every now and again can be ok, but since we're already pushing past the boundaries of our diet as is, I figure it is safer to err on the side of caution on the fried arena.

So instead we're going to branch out and possibly try something new.

As of yet we have never eaten in Cosmic Rays or the Contempo Cafe in the CR.

Cosmic Rays has the advantage of being in the MK and thus more convenient, decent variety, etc. Downside is the multiple lines and nothing we're really dying to eat.

The Contempo Cafe is farther away, but a short visit to the CR is always nice and plus they have black forest cupcakes, which I am definitely dying to try. And Tazicket is dying to try the touch screen ordering system because she loves to push buttons. (She also likes to touch fake food - especially fake desserts - so if there is a place with fake food she can touch... bonus points.)

Decisions, decisions, decisions... :idea:

Any other ideas or comments, y'all? :confused3

05-08-2010, 10:06 AM
Hellooo there!! Your PTR is very entertaining and interesting! Can't wait to read more, and then to read about your trip! It's so close! :goodvibes:goodvibes

05-08-2010, 10:11 PM
Day four is the day we will spend in DHS - Tazicket's second favorite park (behind the MK, of course. My second favorite is Ecpot.)

As we have no great love for any food involving DHS, we're going to do breakfast elsewhere.

In the name of simplicity we'll probably just get up and walk to the POR food court - the Riverside Mill.

But it is a beautiful walk, a lovely food court area, and sometimes the sunrise can be spectacular, as it was at our last stay at POR one morning in December 2008.

Some POR Riverside Mill area and sunrise shots to whet your appetites (and ours!):






We'll probably do some eggs, maybe a meat, and possibly some fruit or a fruit smoothie (as long as there are no additives or extra sugar thrown in).

And then it is off to DHS for some action, some movies, some shows, and later - much later - some Fantasmic. :thumbsup2

But we'll have to eat again before that, I'm sure... ;)

Next up: lunch, in the worst park for food in the World


05-10-2010, 10:15 PM
While we enjoyed a meal at Sci-Fi last trip to DHS, it smelled kind of funny and wasn't something we need to do again any time soon, especially since burgers, fries, onion rings, and milk shakes aren't exactly high on the list of good things to eat...

So we're back to the age old problem at DHS - not much good to eat.

The one place we do feel mostly safe eating for lunch is:

Starring Rolls Cafe

The sandwiches are pretty yummy and are probably about the healthiest sandwich available in DHS - even if they do have a lot more than a single serving size of meat on them... :)



On the plus side... there are cupcakes and such. :thumbsup2

05-10-2010, 10:23 PM
We usually finish seeing everything we want to see at DHS by early-to-mid afternoon and find that a good time for a break. Since there are two Fantasmic showings this night we'll come back for round two and the 10:30 Fantasmic.

This also provides a great opportunity to not eat at DHS. ;)

We debated and thought and consulted with the Oracle at Delphi in an effort to find somewhere near DHS but not in DHS that we might enjoy. We've done Beaches & Cream, we're already eating at the Yachtsman this trip, and we're not enthralled by the menu or reviews for Kouzzina.

I am, however, a red-blooded American male who has spent many an hour entertained by that great invention of modern man - Sportscenter - and it is only right that I should make at least one pilgrimage to an ESPN Club, lest my man card be revoked. I don't know what excuse Tazicket has. She is mostly hoping she does not get ignored thoughout dinner. ;)

Alas, tis not football season so there probably won't be much of anything good on any of the bazillion TVs, but that should also make it less crowded, so we've got that going for us, which is nice...

Maybe some golf highlights... that would be good...

Oh, yeah, and the sandwiches sound good, too. :rolleyes:


05-11-2010, 09:52 AM
WOW terrific pics of POR!!!! It's gorgeous!! We stayed at POFQ back in May '06 and were not too impressed. I like the theme over at POR much better. Good choice with the ESPN Club! It's fun :) We've been to the Times Square one a few times but never in WDW. Great plans so far!

05-11-2010, 10:20 PM
All good things must come to an end. :sad1:

At least the beginning of the end of our trip can end with a good thing. :goodvibes

So to start off our last day we wanted a good breakfast, and for us that means one of two places. We've already been to the other on this trip, which leaves...

Kona Cafe

Besides the Grand Floridian Cafe we haven't found any place we love more for a nice early TS breakfast than Kona Cafe. The colors, the music, the atmosphere, the food... the coffee... real, honest by God coffee...




http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpgI'm really, really, really looking forward to the coffee. The wonderful press pot coffee. I can't think of a better place to be on our last day for breakfast at Disney World.

Most looking forward to: Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee... I'm super picky about my coffee, so any place in WDW that I can get good coffee is exciting.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg Last time we had an early breakfast at Kona there were maybe only a half-dozen other tables for our entire meal and only one table kind of close to us. It was so relaxing with the Hawaiian music playing, the waterfall from the lobby, the relaxing colors, and yummy food and coffee. If you could bottle that up and sell it you'd be rich (oh wait, Disney already sort of does and is... never mind).

Most looking forward to: Coffee and French toast (not Tonga toast, which is NOT French toast...)

So a leisurely breakfast will be followed by a resort launch boat trip to the MK to hit all of our favorite rides once and then we must depart. Back to work on Tuesday and a 2.5 hour car ride back home before that... but you can't make a drive like that on an empty stomach! No, you must first have one last meal in the World, and that will be at...


05-12-2010, 10:45 PM
Alas, we must return to work on Tuesday. And so we cannot spend all day in the World Monday and must depart after lunch.

But first we'll fill our stomachs with the yummy awesomeness that is - one of our favorite places and alas one that we have not gotten to enjoy since 2008...

Earl of Sandwich

We luvs us some Earl of Sandwich. Mmmm, mmmm, good. Wish we had one in our hometown - or had those flying cars or jetpacks we were promised would be here by now so we could hop down quickly to grab one from DTD.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/3873213908_0ee290e0ed_o.jpg I looooooove Earl of Sandwich. It is hands down my favorite CS place on all of Disney property.

Most looking forward to: Original 1762 and a bowl of delicious tomato soup.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/3862372998_da523d4a8f_o.jpg Any sandwich that combines turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese is a winner in my book. Thanksgiving on a sandwich never tasted so good.

Most looking forward to: The All-American


So we'll enjoy a yummy lunch, check for last minute souveniers at the World of Disney store, and then head home... :sad2:

At least we get to make ADRs for our Nov/Dec trip on June 1st! :banana:

Thanks for tagging along for our PDR. We'll be back hopefully next week to start on the actual DR with lots of tasty looking photos.


05-13-2010, 11:24 AM
Ive loved reading your reasoning behind where you chose. My fiance got diagnosed with Diabetes a couple days ago and he is doing a major eating healthy rehaul of his diet. I already did a rehaul on mine in September 2009 and have lost 90 lbs since that rehaul of my diet!

Was wondering if you guys have tried Picnic in the Park before as it seems pretty healthy options wise :) Disney will be interesting this trip I only do 300 calories per meal and he has to do low carbs and low sugar. We may be doomed teehee , but I love a challenge!

05-13-2010, 07:37 PM
In! I lurked on your last report (DxDP), which sounds a bit creepy. But I won't lurk in the next one - I'm all in, comments included.

05-14-2010, 10:10 PM
Enjoyed your pre-dining report and can't wait for the real thing! but I must say, what I MOST enjoyed was....

Your early morning pictures of Riverside! :love:

Just seeing them takes me there... to peaceful early morning strolls around the resort.

Thanks! and have an enjoyable trip!

05-24-2010, 01:55 PM
Took a shortcut to here from your dining report, and I'm glad I did. Love the POR pics! You are a very entertaining writer. Heading on back to your report and can't wait to read more!:thumbsup2