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View Full Version : Lights! Camera! Appetite! 7 Days, Starring A Reviewer & A Vegetarian!


somethingblue
05-20-2010, 03:10 PM
Quiet on set!
We're rolling!

Hello, fellow Dissers, and welcome to my dining reviews from my most recent encounter at the World. We only arrived back home 3 days ago and already I want to go back! But that happens every time, doesn't it? Anyway, in order to hold on to some of that Disney magic, I will be writing these dining reviews and a trip report. Hope I'll have a lot of subscribers on board!

First I suppose you need to meet the cast in this culinary adventure.

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Well that's me (Katy) and my boyfriend Matt. This was Matt's first time to Disney World, though he'd been to Disneyland in California several times as a kid. He mostly remembered standing in lines for three hours for a three minute ride. This was my fourth trip, but my first without a parental-like figure, so that was exciting! We were celebrating our one year anniversary on this trip, as well as the fact that we survived another year of college.

I'm adventurous when it comes to food. I love seafood, especially shrimp, and usually don't eat too much red meat. I have a huge sweet tooth and love fruit. Also, carbs are my weakness. Bread is love in my book, and cookies are the best dessert. I can not stand ground meat, I don't eat hotdogs, and corn is my least favourite vegetable.

Matt, on the other hand, is even more adventurous than I am! He does have a few more restrictions, however, because he's a vegetarian. At first he cut all meat except seafood, and now he's cut that out completely too. He's dabbling in veganism, but didn't try to eat vegan this trip. It is vacation, after all. He isn't too big on mushrooms or raw onion.

In my next post I'll make a list of all the places we went so I can link to the posts I make. I hope you'll all joins us after this brief intermission!

Video: Let's All Go To The Lobby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfDXlgmKFyU)

ibcindyb
05-21-2010, 12:36 PM
Great, I'm in!

somethingblue
05-21-2010, 11:11 PM
The Food

Pop Century Food Court (2x)
Sunshine Seasons
Le Cellier
Wolfgang Puck Express
Jiko
Kona Cafe
Columbia Harbour House
Akershus
Mainstreet Bakery (3x)
Aloha Isle
Crystal Palace
Starring Rolls Cafe
Studio Catering Company
Mama Melrose

Linda67
05-22-2010, 12:47 AM
Really looking forward to your review popcorn::

somethingblue
05-22-2010, 02:45 AM
We arrived in Orlando around 8:30 PM and were pretty hungry! We dropped off our stuff and then headed to the Pop Century Food Court to look around and find something to eat. Matt was immediately impressed with the wide variety of vegetarian options available. That night they offered vegetarian lo mein, a veggie burger, and vegetarian lasagna. We made our choices and dove into our first meal in Disney World!

Everything Pop Food Court
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Matt chose the vegetarian lasagna. This was served with a side salad and a breadstick. The slab of lasagna they gave him was HUGE, even for Disney portions. We were thinking maybe this is because the vegetarian lasagna isn't a big seller. Whatever the reason, though, it was plenty of food. The lasagna itself has an array of vegetables as well as ground tofu between the pasta layers and was topped with marinara. The salad appeared to be dry but was in fact coated with a vinaigrette. Matt's only real complaint was that the lasagna had a very smooth consistency, perhaps because the vegetables had been sitting around under a heat lamp losing firmness. Still, it was flavourful, and it was certainly filling.

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For my dinner I chose the Parmesan crusted chicken served with Alfredo pasta and a bread stick. I requested the Alfredo sauce on the side because I'm very picky about things covered in sauce. This was also a generous portion, though the thickness of the chicken made it rather difficult to cut with the little plastic knife. While a few of the noodles were a little cold, the dish was generally warm and certainly didn't leave me hungry. I particularly enjoyed the bread stick provided, as it was soft and had a great flavour.

Now, for the desserts!

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Matt chose the flagship dessert of Pop Century, the tie-dye cheesecake. This is a very sweet, food colouring filled dessert with a redvelvet cake "crust". It was a creative but generic sweet.

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Since I knew I'd probably be eating a lot of unhealthy food this trip, I decided to keep it light with a fruit cup. It was a fresh mix of fruit, though nothing stood out as incredibly flavourful. Still, a light way to end a meal.

Well, there you have it, the first scene, complete! Hope you'll stick around for the next review, and please, leave me some comments.

somethingblue
06-06-2010, 03:26 PM
Hello everyone! Sorry for the very belated second installment of my Disney Dining Review...I just moved in to a new apartment! But now I'm back and ready to finish what I started. Hopefully I'll even get a few subscribers...

Anyway, on to the food! Our first park day was spent at Epcot; we got there for EMH in the morning and got a LOT done! We started our day off with a light snack credit breakfast.

Sunshine Seasons

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I started the day off with a cinnamon raisin bagel topped off with cream cheese. Sorry I had already taken a bite out of it before I remembered to snack a picture!! This was extremely filling; I only ate half the bagel before I felt full. (But then again, I'm not an early morning eater).

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Matt chose the Croissant Bread Pudding for his breakfast. This was an unexpected offering that he really enjoyed. The croissant flavour was prominent in the dish and it was full of berries. Again, this was a pretty large portion for a snack credit.

Le Cellier
We ate light that morning because we knew we had a big lunch coming up at Le Cellier! I didn't quite know what to expect out of this restaurant as it is so often over-hyped here on the Dis. We arrived a little early and were given a buzzer. We went and sat on the bridge for a while until it became far too hot to sit in the sun and instead moved to the shade. It wasn't long before we were called in, though they called me "Kathy" instead of "Katy". I've heard reviewers complain that the restaurant is too dark, but honestly I've been in far darker dining establishments. We were seated a cozy two top in the corner and ordered our drinks.

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Matt chose the Red Maple smoothie, which was a tart, refreshing blend of raspberries and Sprite. Something surprising about this drink was that the raspberry seeds weren't noticeable at all! Pretty rare for a raspberry smoothie. This was served with ice water, and I ordered an iced tea. Just a word of warning, Disney no longer carries name-brand sweeteners. I asked for Splenda and it was explained to me that while they had something exactly like Splenda, they didn't have the name brand. So keep that in mind when requesting sweetener.

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Quickly after receiving our drinks we got some of the famous Le Cellier bread! Matt was quite partial to the pretzel bread while I preferred the sourdough. There was also a rye breadstick that both of us thought was fine, but nothing special. It was nice to have something to munch on before lunch.

When it came time to decide on entrees I was a little torn. Salmon sounded appealing, but I'd heard so much about the mushroom filet...what did I choose in the end?

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That's right, I chose the filet! This was delectable, probably the best piece of meat I had the entire trip. The steak was juicy, the mushrooms were fresh, and the risotto was near perfectly cooked. While it looks a bit small on it's large plate, this was a very filling dish. I cleaned my plate, and that's a rarity for me!

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Being a vegetarian, Matt didn't have much of a choice when it came to entrees. Thankfully, the vegetarian option was so tasty this wasn't a problem at all. The Potato Gnocchi was served with pesto, eggplant, and tomatoes. There was an unexpected meaty flavour to this pasta...almost a smokiness. All of the vegetables were fresh, and while the eggplant didn't add much flavour it did contribute a nice texture to the dish. The freshly grated Parmesan cheese was also a nice touch. This portion was HUGE! Matt could only eat about half of it. They certainly make sure no vegetarian goes hungry.

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Matt chose the famous Maple Creme Brulee for his dessert. This, not surprisingly, had a very intense maple flavour. The caramelization on top of the dessert was perfect, but Matt wasn't too pleased with it being served room temperature. Cold or hot would have been better than lukewarm.

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Since my meal was so filling I knew I wanted something light for dessert. I chose something I'd never seen on any of the online menus I'd looked at; Monte Blanc Semi Freddo served with a chilled fruit soup. This was topped with meringue and was to die for! The alcohol flavour was strong but not overpowering, and the sweetness from the soup really complimented it. This light dessert was a great end to a filling meal!

So would I go back to Le Cellier? In a heart beat. But I probably wouldn't wake up at 4 AM to get dinner reservations. I was very happy with our lunch experience there.

Coming up next time, Wolfgang Puck Express!

gardengirl628
06-06-2010, 03:34 PM
Count me in!!!!!:banana:

Cat0727
06-06-2010, 03:40 PM
I'm in! Looking forward to reading the rest of your reviews!

TigerKat
06-06-2010, 07:54 PM
Signing on!

PixieDustandEeyore
06-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Great reviews so far...love the look of the semi freddo... though as a canadian I have to say its not overly canadian. Teehee I find it amusing le cellier has ALOT of italian type dishes teehee

Im about to do my first non parental disney trip with my fiance and its his first time but he also has been to Disneyland (He's from Cali) and all he remembers is lines too... did our Disney significant others grow up together:P just kidding!

Evita_W
06-07-2010, 01:36 AM
Thanks so far for your reviews!! So very helpful and I cannot wait to hear more! Thanks also for the pics...they are so much fun to drool over!!! :woohoo: I also LOVE hearing about VEGGIE options...

Keep up all the great work! *Waiting paciently for the next review...

Linda67
06-07-2010, 01:55 AM
Thanks for your reviews and pictures :thumbsup2
Love seeing the Veggie options as although I eat fish I don't eat meat
I've been in two minds about Le Cellier but DH would love the steak so I think we will try and get an ADR for our next trip
Looking forward to the next installment popcorn::

somethingblue
06-08-2010, 12:17 AM
Count me in!!!!!:banana:

I'm in! Looking forward to reading the rest of your reviews!

Signing on!

Thanks guys!! It's so encouraging to know someone's actually reading this stuff.

Great reviews so far...love the look of the semi freddo... though as a canadian I have to say its not overly canadian. Teehee I find it amusing le cellier has ALOT of italian type dishes teehee

Im about to do my first non parental disney trip with my fiance and its his first time but he also has been to Disneyland (He's from Cali) and all he remembers is lines too... did our Disney significant others grow up together:P just kidding!

Yeah, semi freddo is more Italian than anything else...but it was delicious so who am I to complain? Haha. That's so funny about your fiance!! Seems like all anyone remembers about going to Disneyland as a kid is the lines. I'm sure he'll have a blast!! I'm going to (eventually) write a trip report, hope you guys check it out. =]

Thanks so far for your reviews!! So very helpful and I cannot wait to hear more! Thanks also for the pics...they are so much fun to drool over!!! :woohoo: I also LOVE hearing about VEGGIE options...

Keep up all the great work! *Waiting paciently for the next review...

Thank you! I'm glad that I can give you guys a diverse review; I think it gets kind of boring seeing meat and potatoes over and over again. And of course, what's a review without food porn?

Thanks for your reviews and pictures :thumbsup2
Love seeing the Veggie options as although I eat fish I don't eat meat
I've been in two minds about Le Cellier but DH would love the steak so I think we will try and get an ADR for our next trip
Looking forward to the next installment popcorn::

You should totally try Le Cellier; I would highly recommend trying for lunch. We ate around 2:30 and the place wasn't too crowded or noisy. Thanks for reading!

Alright guys, sit tight because I have another review coming up!

somethingblue
06-08-2010, 12:29 AM
Wolfgang Puck Express

One of my favourite places to grab counter service in Disney World is Wolfgang Puck Express. I was a little nervous upon learning that the menu had changed since my last visit, but when I looked at the board I saw a lot of old favourites. Being a pizza lover, I got what I always get, the Four Cheese Pesto Pizza.

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Let me say, the pizzas at WPE have gotten bigger. Like, a lot bigger. The box they used to give you to accommodate an entire pizza will now hardly hold three slices. We easily could have split this as one meal credit but we weren't aware that we were getting such huge pizzas! This was delicious, but I wasn't a fan of the sundried tomatoes. I was, however, impressed with the golden crust and the freshness of the ingredients.

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Matt is a fellow pizza fiend and chose the Margherita Pizza. This was significantly saucier than most pizzas of this type we've experienced. Never the less, it was a tasty pizza with very fresh tomatoes and a delightful crust. Matt totally loved this. Both of brought home a couple of slices in a pizza box and munched on them later as a midnight snack.

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For dessert we both chose a standard sugar cookie with sprinkles. I mean really, who can resist sprinkles? These were nothing special, but we enjoyed them all the same.

Thanks again for reading. Next up is...

Jiko!!

mamaboogie
06-08-2010, 01:05 AM
I'm really enjoying your reviews!:thumbsup2

Can't wait to hear about Jiko as we are dining there in August!:)

Evita_W
06-08-2010, 02:15 AM
And of course, what's a review without food porn?

AMEN! Bring on the FOOD PORN!!! :cool1: :woohoo: popcorn:: :cheer2: :yay: :rotfl: :love:

Thanks for your wonderful reviews!! Excited to hear about JIKO...it was one of my FAVORITE places last time.. :thumbsup2

Linda67
06-09-2010, 02:32 AM
Ooh you have just bought back memories of WPE Pizza :cloud9:
I loved the four cheese and pesto :love:
Can you use the Dining Plan in here?

Cat0727
06-09-2010, 02:14 PM
Ooh you have just bought back memories of WPE Pizza :cloud9:
I loved the four cheese and pesto :love:
Can you use the Dining Plan in here?

Linda- not only can you use the Dining Plan but it counts as one counter service credit! How cool is that? :woohoo:

onelilspark
06-09-2010, 03:11 PM
Joining in!

somethingblue
06-09-2010, 03:25 PM
Joining in!

Awesome!

Linda- not only can you use the Dining Plan but it counts as one counter service credit! How cool is that? :woohoo:

Ooh you have just bought back memories of WPE Pizza :cloud9:
I loved the four cheese and pesto :love:
Can you use the Dining Plan in here?

Yup, and believe me, it's a ton of food for a counter service credit. Matt and I should have split one pizza! They also have non pizza options but...heh...I'ven ever tried them.

AMEN! Bring on the FOOD PORN!!! :cool1: :woohoo: popcorn:: :cheer2: :yay: :rotfl: :love:

Thanks for your wonderful reviews!! Excited to hear about JIKO...it was one of my FAVORITE places last time.. :thumbsup2

Thank you!! Jiko was awesome...as you're about to find out!

I'm really enjoying your reviews!:thumbsup2

Can't wait to hear about Jiko as we are dining there in August!:)

Get ready girl, because the review is on it's way! Thanks so much to all the readers, and to all my friends who are clicking over from Facebook. =] Jiko is around the corner.

somethingblue
06-09-2010, 03:57 PM
Jiko

Because we didn't do any parks on our travel days, we ended up with one sit down meal to figure out what to do with. I decided to use it toward a Signature Dining Experience at Jiko on our second night. I chose Jiko because I had read tons of positive reviews and because they had the most interesting sounding vegetarian options for Matt. I'd also never been to this hotel before so I thought it would be nice to see something new!

We arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge via a cheap cab ride. Turns out our 5:30 dinner reservation was the earliest reservation made, meaning the restaurant wasn't even open when we arrived about fifteen minutes early. They gave us a buzzer and we went to sit by the Flamingo pool outside. It wasn't long before we were called to our seats. Our hostess was adorable and talked about the Flower and Garden festival at Epcot, but our waiter wasn't nearly as talkative. He offered us some hot towels but it was very awkward...Matt took one and the guy just stood there watching him wipe his hands with it. But this didn't put a damper on the meal; we just laughed it off.

Despite being on the regular dining plan we decided to pay out of pocket for an appetizer. When I used this phrase with the waiter he said "What, are you going to pay with pennies or something? That's what it sounds like". Am I crazy? Is "out of pocket" not a common phrase? We use it all the time on the boards....anyway! We ordered the Crispy Savannah Rolls.

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These were basically egg rolls filled with corn, goat cheese, and bitter greens. A curry vinagarette was served on the side. The strongest flavours were the goat cheese and corn by far. I expected a bit more kick from these; they were certainly tasty, but mild. The little salad they're paired with was yummy too, so don't let that go to waste!

For our entrees Matt chose the vegetarian item of the moment, something called a Chakalaca, and I got the BBQ Beef Shortribs.

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This is an item I hadn't seen on any of the Jiko menus I read. When we asked the waiter what it was he was less than helpful. He described Chakalaca as a "kind of salsa" and that was about it. I'll try to do a little better than that. The "salsa" element is a mixture of edamame, tomato, and onion. this is topped with a polenta-seared coconut rice cake and fried sweet potato strings. Matt really enjoyed this dish; the liquid at the bottom of the dish created a sort of stew. The onions were, to Matt's delight, quite mild, and the edamame was well cooked. He said that the coconut rice cake resembled coconut shrimp in flavour. All in all this unexpected dish was a hit.

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I considered for a split second getting the Filet with Mac & Cheese I'd read so much about, but somehow I couldn't imagine the flavours melding very well together. Instead, I went with the BBQ Shortribs served with a potato and mushroom pave (which was basically a gratin). The meat was incredibly moist and literally fell off the bone. The BBQ sauce was sweet and delicious. Taking bites of the meat a long with the potatoes and mushrooms reminded me of pot roast. This was homey, delicious, and a very large portion. I wished I could have managed to eat the whole thing! I highly recommend it.

Of course, what's a dinner at Disney without dessert? Matt chose the Kenyan Coffee Ice Cream with Donuts while I chose the White Chocolate Lemon Mousse.

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This dessert was presented adorably with the ice cream in a demitasse cup topped with whipped cream and the donuts served on the side. The donuts were as to be expected; hot, covered in cinnamon sugar, and tasty. The ice cream tasted homemade and balanced out with the whipped cream. Matt pointed out, however, that coffee and donuts isn't really an African thing...really more Italian, don't you think?

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My dessert was far lighter faire and just what I needed after such a filling meal. This managed to be both airy and decadent at once. It was served with what tasted like a sour cream ice cream and a raspberry puree that offered a hint of cardamon flavour. The little biscuits served with the dessert were super tasty, too. All in all this was a lovely little dessert.

Jiko gets five stars in my book, despite a really awkward and SLOW server. I will be back for sure in future visits. This was the only place to offer us a "congratulations" card for our Anniversary, which the servers all signed with various messages in lots of languages. If you're on the fence about Jiko, try it. I think you're gonna love it.

Next post I'll be reviewing Kona Cafe breakfast and Columbia Harbour House. Thanks for reading, see you next post!!

KatMark
06-09-2010, 04:00 PM
Joining in, please. popcorn::

BreTyPres87
06-09-2010, 07:00 PM
What an odd server! :headache:
I was considering ordering the savana rolls on my upcoming trip but they look pretty ordinary the salad looks yummy though!

Linda67
06-10-2010, 02:48 AM
Great review of Jiko :goodvibes
Shame about the server
I have heard so many good things about Jiko I think I am going to put it on my list as it sounds like it has some really interesting veggie options
Looking forward to hearing about Kona :thumbsup2

TigerKat
06-10-2010, 06:06 PM
I am so glad you chose the short rib over the filet!!!!!!!!!:cool1::worship: My first meal there I had the short rib which was to.die.for! Last time I decided to try the much raved about filet and I was extremely disappointed. I honestly don't know what the hype is all about.:confused3

disnut1149
06-10-2010, 06:22 PM
Hi
Great reviews!! I always like to hear about the veggie options since I don't eat any meat. Thanks!!

butiflfeet
06-10-2010, 09:07 PM
I'm loving your reviews! Can't wait for more!

branv
06-10-2010, 09:42 PM
Subscribing! Great reviews! Took a glance at your food blog, very well done, and nice to have a source of SA food reviews :thumbsup2. Have you had a chance to try out the SA Earl of Sandwich locations?

somethingblue
06-11-2010, 03:19 PM
Subscribing! Great reviews! Took a glance at your food blog, very well done, and nice to have a source of SA food reviews :thumbsup2. Have you had a chance to try out the SA Earl of Sandwich locations?

Thanks! I'm going to update that with a review of Adelante in just a bit here. Yes, I have tried Earl Of Sandwich in SA! It's very yummy. A little pricey, but not too bad. I love sandwiches so I frequent this place whenever I can. A couple of vegetarian options, too. I'm excited that a California Pizza Kitchen has opened up at the Quarry, too! Can't wait to try that out.

I'm loving your reviews! Can't wait for more!

Thank you!

Hi
Great reviews!! I always like to hear about the veggie options since I don't eat any meat. Thanks!!

When I was picking places to eat I searched high and low for vegetarian reviews. There are a couple of good vegan reviews on the Dis, if you click back a couple of pages they're not hard to find. Those were helpful in picking places where Matt would have options.

I am so glad you chose the short rib over the filet!!!!!!!!!:cool1::worship: My first meal there I had the short rib which was to.die.for! Last time I decided to try the much raved about filet and I was extremely disappointed. I honestly don't know what the hype is all about.:confused3

Yeah, I love mac & cheese, but the idea of it below a juicy steak was a touch odd to me. The shortribs were sooo delicious. I would order them again in a heartbeat!

Great review of Jiko :goodvibes
Shame about the server
I have heard so many good things about Jiko I think I am going to put it on my list as it sounds like it has some really interesting veggie options
Looking forward to hearing about Kona :thumbsup2

I think you should try it! The vegetarian main course is always changing but they actually have a vegetarian menu they will give you listing appetizers, entrees, and desserts that are vegetarian. Some of the appetizers on that list weren't on the main menu.

What an odd server! :headache:
I was considering ordering the savana rolls on my upcoming trip but they look pretty ordinary the salad looks yummy though!

They are pretty ordinary, honestly. Tasty but nothing to write home about. Since that was the only OOP cost to us (and the tip, of course) it wasn't a big waste or anything, but next time I would try something different.

Joining in, please. popcorn::

Awesome! Good to have you on board.

somethingblue
06-11-2010, 03:32 PM
Kona Cafe

When I was making reservations I tried to spread out dinners, lunches, and breakfasts so we wouldn't get bored sitting down at the same time every day. The breakfast I chose was Kona Cafe; I'd eaten there last year and enjoyed it so decided to give it another go. Besides, my second choice, 1900 Park Fare, would have been our third character meal (wasn't sure how Matt would feel about those) and our second buffet, which Matt is not a fan of. So I went with Kona, and after some early morning rides at the Magic Kingdom, we headed over for our meal. To start things off we ordered the Lilikoi Juice and French Press Coffee.

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When our server (who referred to Matt as my husband when he was in the bathroom!) brought the coffee over, Matt asked if it were done brewing. The guy looked at him like he had four eyes, but Matt knows about french presses and coffee. (He's worked at Starbucks for two years, owns an espresso machine, you know the drill.) The waiter assured us it was done brewing and we poured ourselves a cup. I have to say, this was the weakest coffee I have ever tasted. I don't think it was done brewing after all. I'd wanted Matt to enjoy some nice coffee since he'd been drinking Nescafe most of the trip, but unfortunately this was even weaker than that. Oh, well.
The Lilikoi juice was tasty and, just like last time, better on ice.

For our meals we chose Tonga Toast with home fries to substitute the breakfast meats, and Macadamia Nut Pineapple Pancakes, respectively.

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Matt decided to get the Tonga Toast that I'd told him about in the past because it was described as being made with sourdough. While the dish didn't have a sourdough flavour, he wasn't disappointed. This was a huge portion and he couldn't eat the whole thing. As you all know by now, Tonga Toast is a hunk of french toast filled with banana, covered in cinnamon sugar and served with maple syrup and strawberry sauce. The latter complimented the toast quite well and gave it a more balanced taste. The homefries Matt got were tasty too and a plentiful portion.

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I requested the pineapple that covers the pancakes on the side along with butter. This was another large breakfast plate with three pancakes and three strips of bacon. I really enjoyed the pancakes, especially when I stole some of Matt's strawberry sauce to pour on top! The bacon on the other hand was super limp and had a strange smokiness about it that I didn't care for. In my experience, the only good bacon on property is from 1900 Park Fare. I should have requested home fries with mine too. Still, this was a solid breakfast. Both of us left very full and decided to go back to the room and rest for a while before once again braving the heat and crowds at Magic Kingdom.

Next up, Columbia Harbour House!

MelanieC
06-11-2010, 04:28 PM
Loving the reviews so far. I'm vegan and I love reading veggie reviews.

Cat0727
06-11-2010, 07:38 PM
Okay, Jiko looks delicious. I am definitely keeping the reservation I made for my November trip, whether we have to pay OOP or not (what was up with your server and that phrase, anyway :rolleyes: I guess he's never heard of it!)

somethingblue
06-18-2010, 04:45 PM
Columbia Harbour House

After our big breakfast at Kona Cafe we decided to go back to the resort and rest for a bit before hitting up Magic Kingdom once the sun had gone down. I'd read a lot about Columbia Harbour House here on the Dis and I knew I wanted to try it for dinner, and thankfully I already knew to sit upstairs! Matt chose the Lighthouse Sandwich and I chose Fried Shrimp. It took a few minutes to get our food, and we headed up to a little table over looking the Haunted Mansion to dig in.

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The Lighthouse Sandwich is a vegetarian offering made up of toasted wheat bread, tomato, broccoli slaw, and hummus. I was a little worried that the broccoli slaw would have a strong mayonnaise flavour, as Matt hates mayo, but thankfully it didn't. This was served with kettle cooked chips and a soda. Matt really enjoyed this sandwich; I think it's a very refreshing vegetarian dish and something pleasantly unexpected.

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I adore seafood, especially fried shrimp, so this one was a no brainer for me. This was a large portion of shrimp and fries, along with a tiny little cup of coleslaw. I gave the latter a little taste, but I'm really picky about coleslaw and it wasn't my kind of thing. The shrimp, however, was delicious, and the fries were very tasty too.

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For dessert Matt chose the standard chocolate cake and I chose the cookie from the kid's menu so I could munch on it later. Both of these desserts were typical Disney fare. Enjoyable, sweet, but nothing to write home about.

This is my new go-to spot in the Magic Kingdom; the choices are varied and original, and it's easy to find a table away from the crowds. I highly recommend it!

Next up we have the princess lunch at Akershus! A hotly debated restaurant...how will it stack up?

mamaboogie
06-18-2010, 05:13 PM
Really excited about Jiko now!:yay:

It's amazing how a server can make or break a meal - I'm glad your server didn't put you off Jiko!

Columbia Harbor House - :lovestruc we love this place!

Can wait to hear more!:surfweb:

JerseyJanice
06-18-2010, 10:59 PM
I'm enjoying both your photos and written reviews. Thanks for posting them.

You and Matt are an adorable couple too. :sunny:

princessallegra
06-19-2010, 07:56 AM
Great reviews!!! I'm just jumping on board now, and you're off to a great start!! Love your pics, and your detailed accounts of each dish. WPE looks soooo good, we have to try that next trip since we'll have some CS to spare. Also I am so jealous of your Jiko meal!! We ended up switching it (for schedule purposes) and I'm still sad about it!!! Columbia Harbour House is my FAVORITE CS restaurant in Disney!!! LOVE IT!! So glad the fried shrimp were yummy and that your DBF I mean husband :rotfl: enjoyed his Lighthouse sammy:thumbsup2

OH! I forgot about the Pop cheesecake! I know it's not the greatest culinary masterpiece, but man, I love that cheesecake! I made DH drive me over to Pop on one of our trips where we had a rental car just to get a piece!!! :laughing: Yes, I am a crazy person.

Can't wait to read more of your reviews!!!! :goodvibes:goodvibes

somethingblue
06-24-2010, 01:48 AM
Really excited about Jiko now!:yay:

It's amazing how a server can make or break a meal - I'm glad your server didn't put you off Jiko!

Columbia Harbor House - :lovestruc we love this place!

Can wait to hear more!:surfweb:

Thank you so much! You're gonna love Jiko; totally delicious, and enough options to please picky eaters.

I'm enjoying both your photos and written reviews. Thanks for posting them.

You and Matt are an adorable couple too. :sunny:

Aww, thank you so much!!

Great reviews!!! I'm just jumping on board now, and you're off to a great start!! Love your pics, and your detailed accounts of each dish. WPE looks soooo good, we have to try that next trip since we'll have some CS to spare. Also I am so jealous of your Jiko meal!! We ended up switching it (for schedule purposes) and I'm still sad about it!!! Columbia Harbour House is my FAVORITE CS restaurant in Disney!!! LOVE IT!! So glad the fried shrimp were yummy and that your DBF I mean husband :rotfl: enjoyed his Lighthouse sammy:thumbsup2

OH! I forgot about the Pop cheesecake! I know it's not the greatest culinary masterpiece, but man, I love that cheesecake! I made DH drive me over to Pop on one of our trips where we had a rental car just to get a piece!!! :laughing: Yes, I am a crazy person.

Can't wait to read more of your reviews!!!! :goodvibes:goodvibes

Find a way to fit Jiko in next time; I don't think you're regret it. I love that Jiko's vibe is less...how can I put this lightly..."uppity" than some of the other Signatures. Dimly lit, comfortable, intimate. Great for romance, I'd say. CHH is now my favourite CS in MK for sure, though I do love WPE. Delish, delish, delish!!

Husband?! Woah woah girl! Getting ahead of ourselves there. :rotfl2:

Thank you so much for reading, I need the encouragement!! And don't worry dear, I love fellow crazies, haha.

somethingblue
06-24-2010, 02:16 AM
Akershus

I was really on the fence about this meal. I had heard almost all negative things about Akershus, about how people didn't like the food, and how it was bizarre and not tasty. I decided to try it, however, because we needed another Epcot meal and I didn't want to try Chefs de France (and possibly be disappointed) for the third time, which was my original plan. So I threw the Dis to the wind! And I'm actually glad I did.

Akershus is an interesting meal in that there is a cold buffet that serves as your appetizer, and then you choose your entree. A dessert platter is served at the end. You get a nice photo package with Belle with this meal, too. It took a while for us to be served; our waitress had a huge group who were sending her all over the place with drink orders and requests. She was really sweet though, and I couldn't hold it against her. We gave our drink orders, chose our entrees, and were off to the appetizer bar. Yum!

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I chose a Coke for my drink and Matt chose a Pomegranate Lemonade. As you can see there's a fancy girly drink in this photo...and that belonged to Matt! It's the Prince Of Norway, a fruity beverage with very light Rum flavour. I stole a sip of this and it was totally delicious. Matt didn't even care that he looked like a girl. =P

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Matt's appetizer plate involved what appears to be a whole grain roll, various cheeses, and salad. As has been stated here many times before, he easily could have made a meal of just the appetizer bar. I was nervous about Akershus because their veggie dish was mushroom based, something Matt is very iffy on, but at least I knew that if he hated it he could fill up on salad and cheese.

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I was a little more adventurous in my selections; I tried pickled beets (turns out, not my thing!) and some cold salmon that was fresh, but too bland for my liking. I also grabbed a roll, some cheese, and asparagus to munch on. The goat cheese (the little brown slab under the cheese cubes) they have here is incredible. So sweet, so creamy, it melts in your mouth. I went back for more goat cheese, believe me.

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This was a mushroom stuffed pasta served with in a Parmesan cream and mushroom sauce. Unfortunately, Matt didn't like this. He just really wasn't in the mood for mushrooms, took a few bites, and declared himself done. Let me say, however, that it tasted delicious to me. Very rich and creamy and, not surprisingly, mushroomy. If you like the 'shrooms, go for it. Totally yummy...just not for someone who's not so much in to the mushrooms.

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I chose the open faced chicken sandwich on sourdough. This was topped with tomatoes, arugula, Jarlsberg cheese, and lingonberry mayonnaise. Oh yeah, and bacon. This was served with a tiny portion of German potato salad and a cup of hearty vegetable soup. All of the components of the sandwich were flavourful and delicious...except the chicken!! Seriously, everything about this sandwich was yummy but the main star. It was just too thick and not well seasoned...but I still ate it, just to experience the cheese and mayo and bacon...super yummy, regardless. The soup it was served with was very bean heavy, a little on the spicy side, and incredibly hearty. I felt like a Norwegian lumberjack or something. Potato salad is not my thing, so that was meh to me. But all in all, a good meal.

The dessert platter came shortly after finishing our meal. We weren't sure what to expect since it seems every review I'd read involved a revolving door of desserts. We were pleased with what we ended up with.

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We were served chocolate mousse, rice pudding with strawberry sauce, and a puff pastry topped with strawberries and marscapone. Our waitress explained that the rice pudding would be a treat they might have during Christmas back home. My favourite of these was the rice pudding, but Matt really enjoyed the pastry. I thought it was a bit too savory for dessert but he enjoyed the balance of flavours. The chocolate mousse was nothing to write home about; chocolately, dense, chilled. But no better than what you get anywhere in the park.

So what did we think about Akershus? It was good. Not great, not bad, but good. The appetizer bar was the highlight, and the desserts were super yummy, but unfortunately our entrees fell a bit short. I would recommend you give it a try, though. All of the ridiculously negative reviews I've read on here are, in my opinion, overwrought. Screw the critics! Give it a try. You just might be surprised.

BONUS! EPCOT TREATS!

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Matt grabbed a Plum Oolong Tea Slushie. But this wasn't a normal slushie...it was an alcohol slushie!! When he ordered it the girl behind the counter mentioned in passing that it was "very sweet" and oh my, was she right. This thing was like make-your-teeth-hurt-make-your-tongue-dry sweet. But it was also delicious!

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Since Matt got a treat I wanted one too and grabbed a Kaki Gori from Japan. I got rainbow with cherry, melon, and tangerine. While there was some confusion from the woman who tried to charge the snack to my room after I specifically asked if I could use the DDP, this was a super yummy treat. I wish there had been a little more syrup, but the flavours were more unique and strong than your typical raspa.

That's it for this installment! Next up I'll have Crystal Palace.

Linda67
06-24-2010, 07:59 AM
More great reviews :goodvibes

Thanks for taking the time to post :thumbsup2

princessallegra
06-24-2010, 09:46 AM
Husband?! Woah woah girl! Getting ahead of ourselves there. :rotfl2:


[/font]



Lol I was making a joke about the server who referred to him as your husband. I guess my jokes stink!!! :rotfl::lmao:

princessallegra
06-24-2010, 09:50 AM
Great review of Akershus! I am going to have to take my DH there at some point, because Belle is his FAVORITE! :rolleyes1 :rotfl: The food looks pretty tasty though. Sorry your entrees were not up to par. I think we may try breakfast here.

KatMark
06-24-2010, 10:00 AM
Your reviews have been great so far; I can't wait to try Kona in September.

Mona503
07-02-2010, 12:02 PM
Enjoying your food reviews. :)

acwsmom
07-02-2010, 03:04 PM
I'm joining in!! Great job on your review so far! :thumbsup2

And you've totally sold me on the Columbia Harbor House. I LOVE fried shrimp and can't wait to give that a try. Since we're trying the Counter Service dining plan on our trip in Nov., I'm looking for new CS places to try and will be sure to add this to our list! :goodvibes

kimgof
07-02-2010, 10:27 PM
Great Review! I can't wait to try Le Cellier...maybe next trip. I agree that one cannot choose a restaurant based totally on the reviews here...someone's worst retaurant is always someone else's favorite! ;)
Can't wait to read more!:thumbsup2

DsnyMama
07-03-2010, 12:15 AM
Awesome reviews so far!! Joining for more popcorn::

somethingblue
07-13-2010, 10:02 PM
Eek, where did the month go?!

I am SO, so sorry loyal dining review readers. Between work, my summer class, babysitting, and a lot of stress I have let this little guy get put on the back burner. But fear not, dear readers! I am going to finish this thing, I promise.

So get ready for a much needed update coming your way in a matter of minutes!

somethingblue
07-13-2010, 10:49 PM
Awesome reviews so far!! Joining for more popcorn::

Thank you so much!

More great reviews :goodvibes

Thanks for taking the time to post :thumbsup2

Thank you for reading! Sorry this latest update is so overdue.

Lol I was making a joke about the server who referred to him as your husband. I guess my jokes stink!!! :rotfl::lmao:

Haha, no your jokes are fine, it's my brain that's not catching on!

Great review of Akershus! I am going to have to take my DH there at some point, because Belle is his FAVORITE! :rolleyes1 :rotfl: The food looks pretty tasty though. Sorry your entrees were not up to par. I think we may try breakfast here.

Haha, I have to say, it's very hit or miss with the face characters. The Belle we had was okay but incredibly bland and had a fake smile in our pictures. But...they were free so I shouldn't complain!

Your reviews have been great so far; I can't wait to try Kona in September.

Thanks! Go for the Tonga Toast!

Enjoying your food reviews. :)

Thank you!

I'm joining in!! Great job on your review so far! :thumbsup2

And you've totally sold me on the Columbia Harbor House. I LOVE fried shrimp and can't wait to give that a try. Since we're trying the Counter Service dining plan on our trip in Nov., I'm looking for new CS places to try and will be sure to add this to our list! :goodvibes

Yes, it was delicious. I totally recommend it, especially because it's two stories. More room for people to spread out, less noise, and it's a bit hidden compared to a place like Cosmic Ray's. Nice to have interesting options, too, not just burgers and chicken strips. Also, I didn't eat there, but Lotus Blossom Cafe in China smelled and looked heavenly!

Great Review! I can't wait to try Le Cellier...maybe next trip. I agree that one cannot choose a restaurant based totally on the reviews here...someone's worst retaurant is always someone else's favorite! ;)
Can't wait to read more!:thumbsup2

Thank you!

somethingblue
07-13-2010, 11:06 PM
Our next day at Disney was spent in the Magic Kingdom with dinner at Crystal Palace! This was the only buffet meal I chose because Matt really dislikes buffets; he's grossed out by them, and I don't blame him. I'm usually not too keen on them either, but Crystal Palace is one of my favourites and this trip didn't change it's status.

Crystal Palace

This was the busiest day of our trip (a Saturday) and the longest we had to wait to check in. There was a long line of people waiting to check in that wasn't budging a bit. I finally figured out what was going on; a family at the front of the line was relentlessly trying to get into a restaurant that was clearly booked full. The CP staff finally got wise and announced they were only taking people with reservations, yadda yadda yadda, and we got checked in and waited for our table on the patio teeming with people.

At last, we got checked in! We were seated by a fabulous host who told Matt she was a vegan and then our server came to get our drink order. He insisted on having the chef come out and tell us what was vegetarian on the buffet, even though we were pretty sure we could figure it out. Still, the chef came out and pointed out obvious things with a smile. Now it was time to fill our plates!

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Matt came to the table with this plate and a look of embarrassment, saying, "DON'T JUDGE ME!". This buffet had tons of vegetarian options but he chose to eat the kids cheese pizza and the vegetable pasta primavera. Hey, it's what he was in the mood for. What do I care? This was good, but really, what can you say about cheese pizza and pasta? It was as to be expected, and it satisfied Matt's craving.

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I decided I was going to have Thanksgiving Dinner that night and got turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, a cranberry chutney, and a bit of salmon in dill sauce.

The cranberry chutney was horrible. I scraped it off my plate and didn't eat anything that had been touched by it. Awful, spicy, just not my style one bit. The salmon was okay, but nothing to write home about. Everything else? Superb. The best buffet food I've ever experienced without a doubt. Everything was hot, fresh, and flavourful. I wish I could have eaten three platefuls of my Thanksgiving dinner but alas, I simply didn't have the room. I even skipped out on dessert (shocker!) to enjoy more of these savory treats.

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Matt saved room for dessert however and chose soft serve with sprinkles (which make everything better for him) and a tiny german cake. Both of these were tasty desserts. I think the only thing Crystal Palace is lacking in is the dessert department; I wish they had a few more options instead of cookies, soft serve, and a couple of tiny cakes.

Crystal Palace is still my favourite buffet food wise. (1900 Park Fare is my favourite for characters.) I wanted to get a breakfast ressie here before the park opened but, alas, it wasn't in the cards. Even if you're not a buffet person though, give it a shot.

PS Personal vent: At the table next to us was a family who requested the Manager of Crystal Palace. When he came over they asked him to change their reservation for Le Cellier the next night to an earlier time. LE CELLIER, the hardest one credit restaurant to get into, in a completely different park than the one you're in. And you know what? The guy called their hotel's concierge and told them to show up at Le Cellier whatever time they wanted and their reservation would be good...but they would have to wait for an available table and it might take a while. This family grated on my nerves tremendously. They obviously knew nothing about the dining plan, reservations, or even how the parks worked. Isn't it weird that not everyone plans these things out?

TinkLovinMomma
07-14-2010, 07:03 AM
:wave2: Hello! Im joining in! I am loving your dining reviews! I am very much lik you as far as eating go. I never eat ground beef, limit red meat, only pork I eat is bacon, never touch veal, venison etc. Have you considered going pescitarian? I want to but DH wont allow it because I used to be a vegetarian and wound up with a severe vitamin deficiency (my own fault, I was young and stupid, but I understand his concern) Anyway great reviews I am looking forward to more!!!

disney_princess_85
07-15-2010, 03:14 AM
Hi! :wave2:

I'm still on the first page of your report but I just wanted to comment on a couple of things:

The vegetarian lasagne at Pop looks really interesting. I've not heard of tofu being used in lasagne before. I might have to give it a try. :thumbsup2

I had the same gnocchi dish at Le Cellier last year. It was great but my portion was nowhere near as big as the one Matt got! Maybe they give girls smaller portions? :rotfl: It was really filling, nonetheless. I took half of mine back to the hotel.

Off to read more now!

Cat0727
07-15-2010, 11:21 AM
Yum, Crystal Palace is my favorite buffet at WDW. Unfortunately every time I eat there I never have enough room for dessert :laughing:

somethingblue
07-22-2010, 03:03 PM
Yum, Crystal Palace is my favorite buffet at WDW. Unfortunately every time I eat there I never have enough room for dessert :laughing:

I know! You know that the savory food must be incredible when a girl with a crazy sweet tooth skips dessert.

Hi! :wave2:

I'm still on the first page of your report but I just wanted to comment on a couple of things:

The vegetarian lasagne at Pop looks really interesting. I've not heard of tofu being used in lasagne before. I might have to give it a try. :thumbsup2

I had the same gnocchi dish at Le Cellier last year. It was great but my portion was nowhere near as big as the one Matt got! Maybe they give girls smaller portions? :rotfl: It was really filling, nonetheless. I took half of mine back to the hotel.

Off to read more now!

1) The tofu used in the vegetarian lasagna is used in a ground beef sort of way. This is the reason I actually didn't care for this dish; I HATE the texture of ground beef, even if it's tofu!

2) That's ridiculous! Maybe they were feeling generous that night. Matt and I wished we had a fridge because we were kind of wasteful on this trip, but I couldn't justify spending the extra dough for one just for leftovers. =]

:wave2: Hello! Im joining in! I am loving your dining reviews! I am very much lik you as far as eating go. I never eat ground beef, limit red meat, only pork I eat is bacon, never touch veal, venison etc. Have you considered going pescitarian? I want to but DH wont allow it because I used to be a vegetarian and wound up with a severe vitamin deficiency (my own fault, I was young and stupid, but I understand his concern) Anyway great reviews I am looking forward to more!!!

Thank you so much! I have considered going pescitarian, and even vegetarian, but alas...I'm lazy! I know, how awful, but at least I'm honest. Yeah, if you don't go about it right it's easy to get a Vitamin B12 deficency. I'm sure you're smarter now! :goodvibes

Alright guys, next we have our LAST day at Disney! :sad1: Hollywood Studios reviews are up next...and I might have a little surprise for you guys too!

somethingblue
07-22-2010, 03:46 PM
Starring Rolls Cafe

We intended to get to Hollywood Studios earlier than we did, and I was not feeling too great, so Matt was the awesome boyfriend he always is and ran to get FPs for Toy Story Mania (despite never having been to this park before) while I sat down and had some breakfast. We had a couple of extra snack credits so I used those to grab something at Starring Rolls Cafe, an eatery I knew would not disappoint (thanks to the Dis!).

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This fruit tart was superb, out of this world delicious. Seriously, I wish I had one in my mouth right now. This was small, but totally satisfying. A little pastry shell with a thin chocolate covering filled with custard covered in fresh fruit. If you're in Starring Rolls, please, do yourself a favour and get this! I also got an orange juice. I have to admit, the Minute Maid brand tastes really fake compared to the juice we usually drink (simply orange), but it was still refreshing. Matt ended up having the exact same meal for breakfast that morning once he came with the fastpasses. I highly recommend it!

Studio Catering Co.

I was nervous about our lunch options at Hollywood Studios, but Studio Catering Co had some tasty sounding sandwich and salad options, and in fact more than just one vegetarian offering! Matt chose the vegetarian sandwich with fries while I got the Tuscan Deli sandwich with apple slices. For dessert we chose an individual cheesecake and a cookie.

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This is Matt's meal. According to All Ears, this is grilled Zucchini, roasted mushrooms, roasted red pepper, vine ripe tomato, watercress, provolone, smoked tomato pesto on a black olive chiabatta. You can see him about to dig in to dessert a little early in the background. This wasn't much to write home about, but it was certainly a thousand times better than anything I've eaten from ABC Commissary. Matt didn't seem too thrilled with it, but I think he was just kind of tired and needed to rest for a minute.

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This is my Tuscan Deli Sandwich with apple slices. It was turkey, ham, and cheese melted together with pesto, tomatoes, and ceasar dressing. SO. DELICIOUS. I don't know if it was just that I was starving and it hit the spot, but I loved this sandwich. Way better than anything I've had at HS before.

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Here you can see our desserts, as well as a bottle of water I got for a drink. (I think Matt got coke.) The little cheesecake thing was pretty standard, and unfortunately I left my cookie behind! Boo.

I would definitely suggest trying Studio Catering Co. for lunch next time you're in Hollywood Studios! Next up we have...my last review! Mama Melrose.

SuspenseUpstairs
07-22-2010, 04:07 PM
Great food review or something, Somethingblue. I really enjoyed the imagery.

somethingblue
08-02-2010, 03:17 PM
Mama Melrose

Well, this was our last meal in a Disney park. (We did go to Wolfgang Puck Express on departure day but I didn't take pictures; we ate the exact same thing as before.) During this meal we were debating whether or not we were brave enough to take on Tower Of Terror...and the answer was we weren't! But that didn't put a damper on our dinner.

It started off with some rolls brought to the table along with our drinks.

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The rolls were fairly typical. Just rolls and oil. I enjoyed them, of course, because I love carbs! Matt had quite a few options here for a vegetarian dish, and the waiter made it clear to us that they would even alter other dishes to make them vegetarian if we wanted, such as a vegetable pasta, or something like that. Matt was just fine with what was already on the menu. For some reason I didn't write down what Matt had, and I can't find it on any online menus, but if I remember correctly it was a goat cheese ravioli.

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Although Mama Melrose offered a couple of vegetarian pizza offerings, by this point Matt had eaten his fill of pizza! This pasta was very tasty and he thoroughly enjoyed it. This was another generous portion size as well.

For my entrée I chose the wood grilled tuna served on top of risotto with a spicy tomato topping. I requested the topping on the side, as you'll see in this photo. In the risotto there were also some vegetables, including some delicious asparagus.

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This dish was fantastic. It never ceases to amaze me how meaty tuna tastes! I really enjoyed this meal. It was salty, but not too salty, and was incredibly hearty. I would order this again in a heart beat, even though I couldn't finish the whole plate! I preferred my fish without the tomato sauce, but it wasn't as spicy as I'd feared it would be.

For dessert we both chose Mama's Tirimisu, which is in fact a gelato affegato. It's a tall mug with a shot of espresso on bottom, full of tirimisu flavoured gelato, and topped with whipped cream and a lady finger garnish.

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As you can see, the mug on the left was completely missing the shot of espresso! I had intended on pointing this out to our waiter but, alas, by the time he came around the entire thing was melted. This wasn't an issue because Matt and I were stuffed just sharing one dessert, but it was very curious that they would completely forget the espresso shot. Our waiter offered to give us another one, or take it off our tab, but we were already full and being on the dining plan, taking it off wouldn't have done anything. This dessert had a very strong rum flavour and melted incredibly fast. It was tasty, but it wasn't tirimisu. You'd think they'd put an authentic tirimisu on the menu but...maybe this version is easier.

Mama Melrose was better than I expected it to be, and I'd definitely make a reservation here again.

And that concludes my dining reviews! Thank you so much for reading; I hope you all enjoyed. Please feel free to ask me any questions, and if you're interested, I've just started a trip report that I've linked in my signature.

Thanks guys!