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View Full Version : The Return of Violet and Chernabog: Now with Bonus Sprogs! 7/14: 'Ohana Breakfast


TillyMarigold
05-23-2010, 05:48 PM
So, those of you who were here for my last dining review know that I found out after our September '09 trip was booked that I'd be back in Orlando for a conference in May 2010, and of course how could I possibly be so close to Disney World and not stop in and say "Hi"?

However, what I didn't mention over there is that when I mentioned this trip to DBFF, she said "You know, we've been thinking the kids are at a good age for their first trip to Disney..." Unfortunately, however, DBFF already had a no-kids trip planned with her DH earlier in the spring, and he couldn't get more time off work (DBFF is a student and was between semesters).

So in the end, it was decided that DBFF and her boys would join us for 5 days. We would be there from Friday May 14 through Saturday May 22, and DBFF and family would be there starting Tuesday, May 18.

So without further ado, the full cast of characters for this adventure:

Me: Violet, 31, originally from New Jersey, former Epcot attractions CM, now a professional language geek, married for almost 6 years to ...

Chernabog: DH, also 31, originally from Scotland, computer/classroom technology technician.

... and together, we live with our two cats, one dog, no kids, in the Land of Enchantment. Our favorite things about Disney and the world in general are noticing the small things, watching street performers, and going out to eat (so you're probably not surprised that we're on the dining plan). Oh, and we're total geeks. And nerds. Both. And we have a weird sense of humor. You have been warned.

Joining us this year are:

Belle: 30, my best friend since approximately forever, biochemist currently studying for a Ph.D. in pharmacology. It may or may not become relevant that Belle is very, very short. Also, she is very into literature (hence the name) and speaks four languages. Also, she is allergic to tree nuts.
Woody: Belle's DS7½. Wants to be a cricket player when he grows up. The real reason the trip was booked was that back when Belle and I were still discussing it, she left an email from me open on the computer and he read it and thought this was just the most awesome thing he'd ever heard. I find it hilarious that he did so, and mildly shocking that he can read. Not only that, but I asked them all to make lists of their "must-dos" and he wrote his in outline form, with Roman numerals and everything. My favorite was: "Hollywood Studios - I. Lights Motors Action Stunt Show - A. Because I am a boy - B. And I like to see things explode."
Mickey: Belle's DS4. Obsessed with trains and cats. He only managed to get as far as "Disneyland!" in his list-making, although we did ride every remotely train-like thing with him (except Big Thunder).
Beast: 35, Belle's DH, will not be joining us on this trip but may make appearances by telephone and text message.

This trip also represented my first-ever foray into Special Diets. Belle is allergic to tree nuts (not anaphylactic, though, thank God) and I also put in a request for no pork for religious reasons, although she's not strict about that. So I had sent that information to Special Diets for the TS meals they would be joining us for.

Reservations required some serious tweaking with the addition of Belle + kidlets (who were on a budget, so would be eating mostly QS), so we tweaked and messed and fussed and cajoled and finally came up with the following (asterisks denote alcohol is included in the review):

Friday 5/14:
Sunshine Seasons (Dinner) (Chernabog) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36751936#post36751936) (page 1, post 3)
Banana Cabana* (S) (V & C) and Old Port Royale cookies (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36751936#post36751936) (page 1, post 4)

Saturday 5/15:
Wolfgang Puck Express (L) (C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36763240) (page 1, post 7)
Banana Cabana* (S) (C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36763240) (page 1, post 7)
Pecos Bill's (D) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36776142) (page 1, post 8)
Aloha Isle (S) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36776142) (page 1, post 8)

Sunday 5/16:
Wolfgang Puck Express (B) (C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36798074) (page 1, post 10)
Boardwalk Bakery (S) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36800077) (page 1, post 12)
Tangierine Café (L) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36807744) (page 1, post 13)
The Joy of Tea (China) (S) (C) (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=36821800) (page 1, post 14)
Flying Fish* (D) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36851483) (page 2, post 20)

Monday 5/17:
The Mara (B) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36853851) (page 2, post 23)
Kusafiri Bakery (S) (C) (page 2, post 26)
Royal Anandapur Tea Company (S) (V) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36858063) (page 2, post 26)
Restaurant Marrakesh (D) (V & C--Chernabog's request) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36899428) (page 2, post 28)
La Cava del Tequila* (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37019856) (page 2, post 30)

Tuesday 5/18:
Boma (B) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37021233) (page 3, post 33)
Glazed almonds, bottle of Coke, churro & pretzel (S) (V & C) (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=37124550) (page 3, post 40)
Aloha Isle (S) (W & M) (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=37255454) (page 3, post 42)
The Mara (D) (V & C) (page 3, post 43)
Intermission Food Court (B, W & M) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37355821) (page 3, post 43)

Wednesday 5/19:
'Ohana (B) (all 5 of us) (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37386046#post37386046) (page 3, post 44)
Pizzafari (L) (all 5)
Strawberry bars (V, W, & M)
Boma (D) (V & C)
Rainforest Café (D) (B, W & M)
Victoria Falls* (S) (V & C)

Thursday 5/20:
The Mara (B) (V & C)
Intermission Food Court (B) (B, W & M)
Studios Catering Company (L) (all 5)
Frozen Lemonade (V & W)
The Joy of Tea (China)* (C)
The Mara (D) (V & C)
Intermission Food Court (D) (B, W & M)

Friday 5/21:
Grand Floridian Café (B) (Violet's request)
El Pirata y el Perico (L) (V, B, W, & M)
The Lunching Pad (S) (V & W)
Jiko* (D) (V, C & B)
Simba's Cubhouse (D) (W & M)

Saturday 5/22:
The Mara (B) (V & C)
Sanaa (L) (V & C)

cherjp
05-24-2010, 08:14 AM
:surfweb:ready and waiting.......popcorn::

TillyMarigold
05-24-2010, 02:54 PM
We're going to try something new for this report: any meals that I was not present for will be reported in the colors/fonts of those who were: Chernabog and Belle. Their comments on meals we ate together will also be reported in those colors/fonts. So anyway, we arrived in Orlando on Friday at about 6:15. Chernabog took Magical Express to Caribbean Beach, and I picked up the rental car and drove straight to my conference with a colleague from out here who'd ended up on the same flight.

Chernabog decided to go over to Epcot, which was having evenings EMHs that night, and see if he could get on Mission: Space on standby. However, he was very hungry when he got there, and decided to go to Sunshine Seasons for dinner first. He got there and ordered the same Seared Tuna Salad that I'd had back in September, but he reported that it was not very good. There were only two small pieces of tuna on it, and one piece was so stringy that it was basically inedible. For dessert he had the chocolate cake, which was the same chocolate cake that you get everywhere and was good, as usual. I would guess he also had a Coke.

He thinks taking pictures of your food is silly, so he didn't take any, but here's my dinner from last year:


http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_1374.jpg

TillyMarigold
05-24-2010, 03:19 PM
Okay, so I don't actually know with any real authority that the pool bar at Caribbean Beach is called Banana Cabana. I can't remember its having a name at all when I was there, and I can't find the name on the WDW site, the Wikipedia page, or AllEars' menu list. However, the AllEars and WDWInfo info pages on CBR itself call it Banana Cabana, so I'm going with it.

Chernabog was really tired after a long day of traveling, apparently, so after dinner he just went back to CBR without doing anything. He and I debated going to a park but decided to walk around the resort first. We passed through the food court at Old Port Royale, stopped in the gift shop to buy a snack, postcards, and a hat for him, and got stuck there forever while the person in front of him (at the only register that was open) registered her displeasure at being asked to actually pay for items she'd charged to the room during her vacation. By then it was about 9:45 so we just wandered around past the pool and stopped at Banana Cabana for a drink.

I was determined to have something fruity and silly, so I ordered a Pina Colava. I don't have any pictures myself, but here's (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=22944560&postcount=9) a good pic from the Poly FAQ thread of a Pina Colava someone got at the pool bar there, except I don't think mine had a cherry (it did have the pineapple slice though). A Pina Colava is basically a piña colada with raspberry puree swirled into it, and it was lovely. Not too sweet, and the alcohol taste was noticeable, which I prefer in my alcoholic beverages.

Chernabog had a Yuengling, which he used to drink all the time when we lived on the East Coast, but which isn't available here. They poured it into a plastic cup for him. We walked around the resort and back to our room.

EDIT: Oops, I forgot the cookies! One of the things Chernabog bought at the gift shop was a box of cookies. I forget what the name was (something like Vanilla and Chocolate Character Cookies?). They were by Minnie's Bake Shop and they were in a cardboard box about the size of an animal cracker box. They were sort of like animal crackers, regular (vanilla) and chocolate, in the shapes of the big 5 Disney characters. I thought they were kind of dry and nothing special, but he really liked them a lot and finished them off.

Linda67
05-24-2010, 03:38 PM
Love your reviews so far
Looking forward to more :-)

TillyMarigold
05-25-2010, 02:46 PM
:surfweb:ready and waiting.......popcorn::

Love your reviews so far
Looking forward to more :-)

Thanks! I don't think this review will be as exciting as the last one ... we were so often starving that we didn't take photos, and being with the kids and therefore needing to eat at a regular schedule rather than at weird times means we sometimes barely noticed what we were eating at all. In fact, I don't actually know what Belle and the kids ate when they weren't with us, for the most part.

TillyMarigold
05-25-2010, 03:14 PM
Chernabog went on this vacation with all sorts of plans with what he'd do with his free time while I was at the conference (ride ToT and Mission:Space, go to a water park, take the rental car out to the Kennedy Space Center) and in the end what he did was ... pretty much nothing. I've already told you that he went to Epcot with plans to ride M:S and ended up not doing so.

On Saturday, I woke him up to drive me to the conference so he could stop at the grocery store, and after that he went back to sleep. He finally made it out of the hotel room at about noon and discovered there were no vegetarian options for lunch whatsoever at Old Port Royale (despite the fact we'd noticed a yummy-looking black bean burger on their dinner menu the night before). So he did the only sensible thing: hopped a bus to Downtown Disney for lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express.

He'd been really hoping to have the roast beef pocket sandwich I'd had last year, but when he got there, he found the menu totally transformed, far more than you'd think by looking at AllEars or WDW Info.

On the plus side, he says there was a sign on the wall under the menu claiming that WPE now uses all organic and local meats. Which, if it's true, is awesome. (It's not that I don't trust him, but clearly he was very tired so he might not have been paying very close attention.)

He ordered the turkey club, of which I can find no description, and pronounced it absolutely wonderful and raved to me about it and suggested that we go back again so I can have it. To which I pointed out that I actually really hate turkey, even if it is organic and locally raised. (But he just loves it.)

Rather than doing anything exciting with the afternoon, he went back to CBR and hung out by the pool reading and writing postcards. He ordered a Mango Something (WDW Info says Mango Margarita, but I don't think that was it) from Banana Cabana but he says it was very disappointing and he wished he'd ordered a Pina Colava instead. When I heard this, I suggested we go back later and order the Poolside Lemonade. Unfortunately, I can't recall what the Poolside Lemonade actually was (and there's no description on the menu ... I think it included raspberry rum and sweet and sour mix), only that I had seriously debated between that and the Pina Colava the night before. And we never actually went back for it (but we did have something better that night!).

He also used his first snack credit of the first part of the trip on a large, cold bottle of water. He's not a big snacker.

See, I told you. Not very good reviews from this trip. Sorry.

BTW I haven't been telling you what I was eating because I didn't think it would be that interesting what the Rosen Centre Hotel (which is across from the Orlando Convention Center and much, much more expensive than CBR) serves its conventioneers, but let me tell you that on Saturday, we had croissants and fruit (including starfruit!) for breakfast, fruit and cookies for morning snack, pasta with pesto for lunch, and chips and salsa for an afternoon snack. You might notice a significant lack of two food groups there--which will shortly become relevant.

TillyMarigold
05-26-2010, 04:24 PM
Having given an awesome presentation at my conference, if I do say so myself, I was in the mood to celebrate, so I went back to the hotel and picked up Chernabog and I headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We actually had quite an adventure getting there, because we just missed a MK bus, so we figured we'd hop on the Epcot bus that was right behind it and then just take the monorail; then we saw a second MK bus pull in behind a few stops later, so we got off and onto the MK bus; but then (1) we got stuck in Trinidad North behind a bus that broke down blocking the path and also (2) we hadn't realized that the buses run different routes. The Epcot and Studios buses, at least while we were there, started at Jamaica and went clockwise ending with Trinidad South before leaving. However, the MK bus started at Martinique and went clockwise ending at Barbados before leaving. So we ended up doing more than a full loop because we'd originally gotten on at Aruba. (Don't ask.)

This explains why, when we finally reached the MK after an hour and 20 minutes, we were absolutely starving ... and the carbs-and-fruit-only day I'd been having up to that point explains why my body was screaming "I NEED PROTEIN FROM THE NEAREST SOURCE RIGHT THIS SECOND RAWR!!" So when we stumbled upon Pecos Bill's, I had all the best intentions of ordering a veggie burger, but my body was like "Are you kidding? I NEED PROTEIN!!" So I sighed and gave in to an actual cheeseburger. Chernabog, who as far as I can tell has completely given up on pescatarianism when not at home, ordered the Angus burger.

I went to the bathroom and then went and found a table. Chernabog for some unknown reason came through without having stopped at the toppings bar and insisted he was too hungry to go back (then again, the Angus burger does already come with bacon, onion straws, and barbecue sauce), but I had been in complete awe of the toppings bar so I did go and load up my burger with tomatoes, grilled onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. And for the zillionth time when eating at Disney, I bemoaned the lack of brown mustard and reminded myself that the stuff that looks like green chile (standard burger topping here in NM) is actually pickle relish (which I hate).

I had asked Chernabog for a Coke, and he'd ordered one regular and one large Cokes, but somehow the smaller one came out as diet, so I drank that one. Of course the meal came with fries, and man do I love Disney fries. OK, so I love nearly all fries, but Disney's are not too thick, not too thin, with the skins on, cooked just enough to not be limp but not so much they get hard ... perfect.

I wasn't in the mood for dessert, so I'd told Chernabog to just use 1 QS credit for himself, pay for my meal OOP, and save the last credit for his breakfast the next day. He got the carrot cake, of which he is capable of eating nearly infinite amounts. Overall, I think Disney's QS food is at least a notch above fast food, and this meal was no exception. BTW, I have no idea what Chernabog thought of his burger, but it had bacon and barbecue sauce, so I assume he loved it.

After riding some of our favorites (Haunted Mansion and Pirates) and catching the end of SpectroMagic, we headed for the exit. As we passed by Aloha Isle, Chernabog stopped as if transfixed and insisted we must stop. As we stood in line, I told him I was going to have a cup of just Dole Whip, no vanilla, no float. He told me he wanted the Citrus Swirl and I warned him it wouldn't be as amazing as the pineapple Dole Whip. He insisted he didn't care.

My Dole Whip came out first and was, as you all know, the usual creamy pineapple-y goodness. I let Chernabog taste it and he said "I expected it to taste fake and chemical-y, but this really tastes like pineapple!" ... And then he got his. He immediately took a bite and said "This, on the other hand, does taste fake and chemical-y." As we navigated our way down Main Street (via the Emporium; Wishes was about to start), we were trying to eat our ice cream fairly quickly because it was melting (it was unseasonably hot for May last week, just my luck). As we had almost reached the front of the park, he finished his Citrus Swirl and I decided I'd had enough Dole Whip and didn't want any more. I offered him the last few spoonfuls because the Citrus Swirl had been so disappointing. And then he reported that "Actually, once I stopped expecting it to taste just like an orange the way yours tastes like pineapple, and accepted it for what it is, it was pretty good."

butiflfeet
05-27-2010, 12:54 PM
I love your reviews! Can't wait for more!

TillyMarigold
05-28-2010, 01:20 PM
Sunday was the last day of my conference and the day to switch to AKL for our actual vacation, so we packed up almost everything the night before and loaded it all in the rental car at 7:30 so I could take the car to the conference and then meet Chernabog later at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to check in.

I had expected Chernabog to go back to sleep, but since I had everything in my car except his toothbrush, he decided not to, and instead hopped a bus to DTD. At 8:44 he tweeted "Judging by the fact that I'm the only one on the bus, I'm the only person who knows that Wolfgang Puck Express is the best breakfast on property."

Chernabog ordered the breakfast pizza (with eggs, cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and ranch dressing) that I had the previous year. I know he had coffee and I assume he had either a bottle of OJ or a bottle of water. He reported that he actually liked the pizza even better this year than when I'd had it, because there was much less ranch on it than there had been so it was no longer overwhelming but instead just a nice accent.

I was surprised because I'd barely been able to taste it the previous year, but that's what he said, so I'm reporting it. Like I said, he hates taking pictures, so here's mine from last year (see? hardly any ranch dressing on it at all):

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_0903.jpg

cherjp
05-28-2010, 03:03 PM
that pizza looks yummy !!!

TillyMarigold
05-28-2010, 04:15 PM
I bet y'all were getting tired of Chernabog's grudging reviews, weren't you? Well, fear not, because at 11:30 that morning, my conference ended early and I was able to head over, check us in at AKL (Chernabog met me there), then we took the rental car and dropped it off at the Dolphin about 1:30. Walking from the Dolphin to Epcot (it was the last day of the Flower & Garden Festival and we didn't want to miss it), we stopped by the Boardwalk Bakery.

I'd been by it many times but never been inside. I was surprised at how tiny it was! A family of 5 came in as we were leaving, and it was a good thing we were on our way out, because 7 people could not have fit inside it.

The mozzarella tomato focaccia looked so good that I almost decided to get my whole lunch then and there. However, having failed in my attempt to eat at Tangierine Cafe on the last trip, I was determined that we would do so this time. So we decided to just get one pastry to split between us, using our last snack from CBR. Everything looked so good that I let Chernabog choose. He surprised me by choosing the eclair--he's not usually into chocolate.

I let him have it first--it was too messy to try to share while walking. While we walked, he told me that when he was a kid in Scotland, his parents used to bring home "eclairs" from the local bakery, but the owner apparently had never actually had an eclair, because what they were, were regular white bread rolls split open down the center with whipped cream in them. So he was very shocked the first time he had an actual eclair.

Anyway, this eclair was not like that. The pastry was light and flaky and not too sweet, and the cream inside was fluffier than custard but more custard-y than whipped cream. The chocolate was, well, is chocolate ever a bad thing? I practically had to grab it from Chernabog before he devoured the whole thing.

Walking, eating an eclair, and taking pictures at the same time is beyond my capabilities, I'm afraid. I promise pictures in the next post!

TillyMarigold
05-29-2010, 01:07 PM
It was a good thing we'd decided to share a pastry, because of course Morocco is really close to the International Gateway so we had lunch there maybe only half an hour after we had the eclair. We just wandered through France taking pictures of the topiaries, then boom! Morocco.

Chernabog immediately decided on the falafel wrap, which came with couscous and lentil salad. I don't love couscous, so I was torn between the vegetarian platter (which has couscous, but a greater selection of non-couscous things) and the sliders (which came with tabouleh, green salad, lentil salad, and hummus, but no couscous). I know Tangierine Cafe (and Marrakesh) has a reputation for not being willing to substitute things, so my plan was to ask whether it would be possible to get the sliders with falafel on all 3 instead of 1 falafel, 1 chicken, and 1 lamb; and if I couldn't, get the veg platter.

So we went inside to order, and it was immediately clear that Tangierine Cafe was having some issues. Namely, that the people making the food were a little slow (probably because they were new) and everyone who'd ordered was waiting to get their food. I've never understood the prejudice against sending most of your party to sit down--there's not space at most QS places for everyone in a party to wait for the food. Anyway we crammed ourselves in at the cash register and I asked, "Can I get the sliders meal, except with only falafel?" and the very nice cashier told me I could, so I ordered that and lemonade. Chernabog ordered the falafel wrap and a Coke. She told us they would give us baklava for dessert and I forked over my KTTW card.

Now, however, we had a problem: there were only about 3 parties in front of us waiting for food, but they all had at least 4 people in them. There was literally no possible way for the people standing behind us in line to get to the cash registers because the queue to get your food has a railing that everyone crams behind. I immediately saw that the only way for the women behind us to order would be for me to go find a table and get out of the line. So I did. (By the way, in Disney parlance, a "line" is made up of people, and a "queue" is the physical things that keeps people in line. Which is why I said the people behind us were in line, whereas the people in front of us were in the queue, i.e. standing between the counter and the wrought-iron railing designed to keep them in line. When British guests used to ask me "How long is the queue right now?" my first instinct was always to answer the way I'd answer a fellow CM: "We were just able to pack up the extension and now we're only using the ramp.")

View from our table (I snagged one outside but with an umbrella):
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3736_3737_3738_CORRECTED.jpg

Anyway, while I'm being pedantic, the reason the restaurant is called Tangierine Cafe (not Tangerine Cafe) is that it's named for the city of Tangier. Not the citrus fruit. (I know my DH never remembers the unusual names of things unless he knows why they're called that. We had a dog-obedience-class instructor named Toi, pronounced "twah," and he could never remember her name until one day he said "Why on Earth does she go by Twah?" and I said "Well, I assume her real name is Antoinette" and then he never forgot it again. So if it helps, it's Tangierine with an I, after the city of Tangier.)

Now that I've killed about as much time as it took Chernabog to get the food, I'll tell you about it.

First of all, this is our platter:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3741.jpg

You might notice that there was a little mix-up with my order. Somehow "only falafel" became "on the falafel slider, don't put anything else" and Chernabog hadn't been able to get the person making them to understand that I wanted three identical sliders, all with falafel. Oh, well, it was made now; it wasn't going to do the chicken and lamb any good if I returned it and it got thrown away, was it?

Chernabog's falafel wrap was very good except he proclaimed the falafel a bit on the dry side, but the lettuce, tomato, and tahini were wonderful so that made up for it. He loved the couscous but pronounced the lentil salad gross.

I started with my chicken shawarma slider (the one in the middle) and wow, it was good--moist and juicy and perfectly spiced, and the tahini was a great compliment to it. I have to say that shawarma meat used to be one of my favorite things. I alternated between eating it and eating the lentil salad, which I really liked a lot. The lentils were perfectly cooked, not al dente but also not at all mushy. By the way, the pitas were wonderful, fresh and fluffy.

I had wondered what one would do with a pile of hummus without anything to dip in it, but the falafel slider (which I ate next) gave me the answer: since there was nothing else on it, and it was very dry, I put the hummus on it. The hummus was good--the falafel, not so much. Very dry, as Chernabog said.

After the falafel slider, I munched on the other salads. The lettuce/tomato/pickled onion was good (I think it was supposed to go in the sliders though), but the tabouleh was absolutely divine. I don't know if I'd ever had tabouleh before that really was mostly parsley--American versions seem to focus more on the tomato, making it almost like pico de gallo. But this was mostly marinated curly parsley and it was wonderful. Actually I saved some of it to eat after the lamb shawarma pita, in case that wasn't as good.

The lamb shawarma pita was actually really good, but not quite as moist as the chicken or as heavily spiced, I guess because lamb itself has a strong flavor? It was good, though. The only meh thing on the plate was the falafel balls themselves, although the tabouleh was the standout.

Chernabog finished his wrap and couscous, leaving the lentil salad, and moved on to the baklava. I reached over and took a forkful of the lentil salad, and guess what? His was pretty gross. It was mushy and kind of warm and had too much of the marinade. I think he must have gotten the very last of an old batch and I got the first serving out of a new batch.

As far is Chernabog is concerned, all baklava is wonderful. However, I didn't think this was very good. The phyllo had been worked too much and was starting to get tough. I couldn't get through it with a fork and hard to pick it up and bite it. The flavors of the filling were excellent, though.

Overall, Tangierine Cafe is an experience I don't know if I'd repeat--I might, but I might not. The meat was good, but I only got that by accident. The falafel was pretty bad, as was the baklava, and clearly the lentil salad is variable. Apparently the couscous was good, but I don't like couscous. And tabouleh and hummus are not a meal by themselves (also, the Internet tells me that tabouleh is not actually Moroccan!). I guess I'd say my overall impression is of a place that could have really excellent food at times, but can't be counted on to have it all the time. So I'd have to really want Moroccan food to risk it.

TillyMarigold
05-30-2010, 11:50 PM
So, as we wandered around World Showcase, and until this day, I had been thinking "Okay, so it's more crowded than it was in September, but at least it's cooler." Uh-uh. Starting Sunday, each day was the hottest day of the year so far!

So, as we reached China, Chernabog decided he'd like a bao bing slush (OOP, not a DDP option) from the Joy of Tea kiosk in the China pavilion. He ordered the mango green tea bao bing, and it was seriously awesome. You could taste both the green tea and the mango separately, neither overpowering the other, and the texture was really good--there was never a point where you had sucked out all the flavor and had just ice left, if you know what I mean (isn't that annoying?)

Unfortunately, I'm not actually a huge fan of mango. So I had a few sips and agreed it was awesome, but wished I'd gotten for myself the other option, the strawberry oolong bao bing. Actually I'd considered the alcoholic plum wine green tea bao bing, but it was too hot for alcohol. (Someday I'll go in, like, December, when it's not 95 degrees and 95% humidity, and I'll drink all the alcohol I want.)

And then, it started getting hot. So I started stealing more and more of the slush and wishing I had one. But there didn't seem to be any non-alcoholic slushes available anywhere else.

I didn't get a picture of the slush, but here's the awesome dragon topiary in China from the end of the Flower & Garden Festival:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Epcot/IMG_3795.jpg

Symans3honeybees
05-31-2010, 03:19 PM
Great review and your pictures are awesome!!!

TillyMarigold
05-31-2010, 08:46 PM
Great review and your pictures are awesome!!!
Thanks. I was experimenting with my camera and high-speed, no-flash pictures this trip, so not all of them are very good. My Jiko pictures are terrible. :(

Symans3honeybees
06-01-2010, 09:34 AM
Thanks. I was experimenting with my camera and high-speed, no-flash pictures this trip, so not all of them are very good. My Jiko pictures are terrible. :(

You're too modest. The pictures are all crisp and vivid (except the pizza one:rolleyes1)

TillyMarigold
06-01-2010, 10:36 AM
Well, the pizza one is from last year because Chernabog was the only one at WPE this year and he thinks taking pictures is dumb. We haven't seen most of my pictures from this year yet.

Flying Fish coming up ...

Gouden Leeuw
06-01-2010, 01:53 PM
Great review so far!

TillyMarigold
06-02-2010, 11:56 AM
Sorry for not getting this up yesterday when I promised—my sister's getting married next week and my plans for her bachelorette party fell through and I had to spend yesterday re-doing them.

By the way, apologies in advance if I get the name of the restaurant wrong at some point in this review. One of the most popular eateries here in Albuquerque is a local counter-service chain (I'd say it's similar to Wolfgang Puck Express, but 'Burqueans would not appreciate that comparison! and truth be told, it's better) called Flying Star Café. (http://www.flyingstarcafe.com/)

I'd known we'd probably get a late lunch on Sunday (my conference had been supposed to end at noon, then check in at AKL, then return the rental car) so I'd booked us an 8:35 dinner reservation at Flying Fish (the entire reason we'd gotten the dining plan for the first stay was actually for this reservation, and yes, it did end up being quite cost-effective).

I should probably mention here that it was so hot at Epcot that we'd ended up going back to AKL and hanging out for awhile before heading to dinner. Not the world's best use of time, but the room was lovely and hanging out was fun. So we ended up taking the bus to the Studios and then walking over to Flying Fish. We stopped briefly to watch a sword swallower and a bit longer to watch a guy balancing spinning plates on his head. When we tried to check in at the outside podium, we saw that the CMs had tablet computer things that they were trying to use to check things in, but they told us that actually they didn't work that well (I think they were new) and we'd need to check in inside.

It was weird because we checked in immediately after three other groups, and they were all seated immediately, while we had to hang out awhile. I think we ended up being seated right on time at 8:35.

I took a picture of the awesome tile in the waiting area:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3840.jpg

And of the restaurant itself:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3842.jpg

We were eventually seated about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the restaurant. It was very funny because our table was one that had a bench seat on one side, and the table had been pulled so close to the end of the bench that you couldn't get in that way! I had to crawl around the other end of the table to get to my seat. Chernabog and I ended up shoving the (quite heavy) tables down.

I forget our waitress's name, but I remember she was very nice, extremely good, and had pigtails. And she was much too old to wear pigtails ... maybe 40-ish. But she was seriously incredible.

The bread was sourdough, just a few fairly small thin slices. It was good, but not as stunning as the sourdough we'd had last year at Narcoosee's (I love sourdough).

All the appetizers looked amazing, but I still had Boardwalk Bakery's mozzarella tomato panini in my head, so the only thing that I could think of was the "Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala, “Ugli Ripe” Beefsteak and Tiny Florida Grape Tomatoes, Balsamic Glaze, Exotic Peppercorns, Petite Basil, and Sicilian Olio Verde" even though I am a serious seafood fanatic and this was a seafood restaurant. Chernabog went along with it, though, and we ordered it to share. We also ordered a glass each of the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc.

They brought out the appetizer plated separately for each of us! That really surprised me, I'd never seen them do that before, and we'd shared appetizers at other places, even other signature places.

It looked so good that I started eating before I remembered to take a picture, so I'd already eaten 1 slice of tomato and 1 of mozzarella when this was taken:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3852.jpg

It was a good size for a shared appetizer--I think if I'd tried to eat it by myself, I wouldn't have had room for dessert, which might be what Disney is going for, since appetizers are OOP.

Anyway, entrées.

Chernabog ordered this:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3854.jpg

It's clearly scallops, but I wish I'd thought to take a photo of the dinner menu (I did take one of the dessert menu), because I'm hazy on the details. Flying Fish's menu, unfortunately, changes quite often ... I'm a big fan of "decide on the spot what you want to eat rather than getting attached to the current menu," but here it kind of bit me in the butt.

Anyway, both the WDW site and AllEars list the scallops as coming with "Butternut Squash, Sage, Mascarpone and Pecorino-laced Risotto di Carnarolli, Proscuitto di Parma Cracklins'," but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. WDWInfo lists "Served with Artichoke, Opal Basil and Mascarpone-laced Risotto di Carnarolli, Clamshell Mushroom, Crispy Capers, Artichokes and Pancetta" which at least would explain the green-ness, but I'm not sure that was it, either. Anyway it was perfectly-grilled scallops over fantabulous risotto (he thinks it might have been pea risotto, and it was topped with microgreens) and some sort of smoked pork product (he thinks it was prosciutto, but I wouldn't take his word for it). He loved it and only gave me half of one scallop.

So, remember that part about biting me in the butt? My favorite food in the world is seared ahi tuna, and against my best advice to myself, I was loving the sound of the "Smokey Citrus and Fragrant Pepper-spiced Yellowfin Tuna - Saffron Potatoes, Piquillo Peppers, Roasted Fennel, Tiny Tomatoes, Chorizo and Saffron-Vegetable Nage" listed on both AllEars and the WDW site.

The fact that they didn't have it was actually not the problem. The problem is that what they did have was "Citrus-Pepper-Crusted Tuna 'a la Niçoise' with String Beans, Baby Red Potatoes, Olives, Tiny Tomatoes, and Vegetable Nage." (Or something like that.) And the problem with that is that, although I know what a Niçoise salad is and eat them frequently, I really wasn't in the mood for those heavier flavors that night. But, since I was thinking of the other dish, I assumed that "Citrus-Pepper-Crusted" meant some sort of Caribbean flavors like the other dish had, like orange and piquillo peppers, which is one of my favorite flavor combinations. So I went with the tuna.

Unfortunately ...
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3853.jpg

As you can see, the crust was actually lemon (I think) and black pepper, which is entirely different from actual peppers, and tasted nothing like what I was expecting. (Also, I don't know what "nage" usually means, but this was a very thin sort of vegetable soup that everything was sitting in.)

So, there you have it. It's beautiful, it was fantastically well-prepared from all the best ingredients (I asked to have the olives left off), perfectly cooked, beautifully arranged ... and on that night, I just did not enjoy it. Maybe some other night I'd have been in the mood for it--probably I would have; like I said, I like Niçoise salads once in a while. But it was much heavier and earthier than I was in the mood for. And I felt really guilty about that, because it was really, truly an excellent dish. But I didn't enjoy it. :(

Then we got to dessert. And again, almost every single thing that had been on the menu before we left, had been changed--mostly to reflect changes in what fruit was available. Problem is, what had been on the menu before were mostly strawberry things (which I love) and now peaches (which I like, but don't love) were in season. So once again I was forced to think outside the box.

I already said my dinner had been too heavy for what I was in the mood for, so I didn't want to continue that by having the flourless chocolate cake or the cheesecake. Clearly I was in an odd mood, because I ended up ordering this:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3857.jpg
Our Signature Flying Fish Caramelized Banana Napoleon: Phyllo, Banana Mousse, Crème Caramel, Exotic Fruit Coulis, and Bitter Chocolate.

I should explain here that I was never a huge banana fan growing up; but Chernabog has a serious banana phobia, so we hardly ever have them around the house because he can't stand the smell. So since I rarely eat bananas, I appreciate them much more as an adult. I promised to keep my dessert far away from him ... honestly, I was glad not to have to share it!

The phyllo dough was sort of crispy rather than flaky, which was nice because it needed to balance out the dense richness of the fillings. The banana mousse was the top filling, I think it was mixed with mascarpone cheese. Then below that were caramelized and cinnamon-ed bananas, then the bottom filling was the creme caramel. The exotic fruit turned out to be starfruit (I think; I've only had it once or twice, but at breakfast at the conference was one of those times). Overall it was a very rich dessert, but not overly sweet--the mousse was sweet and so were the bananas, but the phyllo, creme caramel, starfruit and chocolate were not (the starfruit and chocolate cut through the richer parts nicely, too). I absolutely loved it.

Chernabog is a big peach fan, so he ordered the "Trio Celebration of Sweet Florida Peaches: White Chocolate and White Peach Crème Brulée, Schnapps- and Cardamom-Scented Torta with Ginger-Laced Peach Compote, and Peach-Almond Cobbler with Almond Gelato."
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3858.jpg
Okay, so first of all, the crème brulée was so good that he called the waitress over to tell her that it was the best crème brulée he'd ever eaten in his life (and Chernabog has something of a crème brulée obsession). I had a taste and it was incredibly good, and that's saying something since I can take or leave both peaches and white chocolate. The torta was similarly pronounced the best cake thing he'd ever had in his life. The cobbler was the worst thing on the plate, but he would like to make it clear that if he'd had it on its own without the other two, he would have been very happy with it. Actually, he was very happy with it; but the other two were amazing and the cobbler was "just a good cobbler."

OK, so I have to share this, because it was hilarious. Our waitress and another waiter had been standing over at a computer screen off in a corner by the kitchen talking. I finished my glass of whatever I was drinking (I think just water) and set it on the table ... and the waitress immediately picked up a pitcher and walked over to the table and said "Since I was just walking by, can I refill your drink?" :lmao: I mean, we were the only ones left in her section (it was almost 10:00), she was not in any way, shape, or form "just walking by." I appreciated the refill and the attentiveness, but I thought it was funny that she tried to make it seem like she wasn't really paying attention to us.

Another weird thing: the hosts/hostesses open doors for you! I went to the bathroom, which is in the confectionery, and the hostess stopped what she was doing to open the door to the confectionery for me! (Chernabog said she did the same thing for him when he went.) And then when we left, she sprinted around the table to get the door open for us.

As we were leaving, we asked the waitress to take a picture of us:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3860.jpg

Next time I will remember than when wearing a dress of that style, I should not lean forward towards Chernabog so that the dress billows out as someone takes my picture, because doing so makes me look pregnant. (I'm not.)

Symans3honeybees
06-02-2010, 01:12 PM
You guys look great!! I had my eyes on your "crocs" most of the time. I've been wanting to get a pair just like yours. Was it comfy?

TillyMarigold
06-02-2010, 01:21 PM
You guys look great!! I had my eyes on your "crocs" most of the time. I've been wanting to get a pair just like yours. Was it comfy?
Thanks!

I ended up wearing them more than anything else--I would wear something else to start the day (sneakers or Keens) and then when my feet got tired/hot, switch to the Crocs (they're very light to carry around). They're not the most supportive shoes I own, but they're not bad either--I have pretty bad plantar fasciitis and my feet were fine on this trip. They're also very cushiony and have the nubs on the insole that sort of massage your feet. The only issue was that every time Chernabog was behind me in line, he would step on them. Also, Crocs get slippery when wet.

The only thing I did was get a tube of Blister Blocker (made by Band-Aid and found in the Band-Aid aisle) and apply it at the top of my arch where the last strap wraps under every several hours to prevent rubbing. I keep it in my "blister kit" with moleskin, band-aids, hand sanitizer, and a safety pin.

Between the conference and the parks, I took 6 pairs of shoes on this trip! :scared1: High-heeled loafers for the conference, dress sandals for the dinner-dance the first night of the conference, sneakers (Skechers Shape-Ups), Keens, FitFlops, and Crocs.

TillyMarigold
06-02-2010, 02:45 PM
Monday morning we slept in and then took our first foray to The Mara at about 9 am. Call me a grump, but I hate the rotating screens that most of the food courts have--you can never read the whole menu before it changes, and having two different formats (list and pictures) with different things on them is confusing.

So we ordered the first thing that caught our eye--breakfast croissants--and I decided not to think about the fact that they prep them by having a tray of croissants stuffed with bacon ready and then add the eggs to that (so they took the bacon off a croissant to make my sandwich). I was fascinated by the chiller cabinet that had all sorts of options for veggies, fruit, and drinks; but in the end, I just went with boring and safe and grabbed orange juice and of course had coffee.

Frankly I don't think eggs on croissants is a good idea in general ... I always feel like croissants are too insubstantial and flaky to support eggs. These were good, fresh croissants, but that meant they were very flaky and soft and buttery. The sandwich would have been better on a bagel or English muffin or even a regular biscuit. The eggs were also nice and fresh, they'd just been brought over to the prep station while we were standing in line.

The restaurant as a whole was pretty cool with its jungle theme, plus it had a TV playing classic Mickey cartoons (actually they were doing Chip 'n' Dale while we ate breakfast) so that was a nice bonus. Everything was very clean and the cashier and dining room CMs were extremely friendly, much more than at the POFQ food court last year (did I mention I really disliked the POFQ food court?)

In short, the food was just fine but nothing I'm dying to have again, but we were optimistic enough to get 4 more meals from the Mara over the course of our stay.

gilsan
06-02-2010, 03:06 PM
Okay, so first of all, the crème brulée was so good that he called the waitress over to tell her that it was the best crème brulée he'd ever eaten in his life (and Chernabog has something of a crème brulée obsession). I had a taste and it was incredibly good, and that's saying something since I can take or leave both peaches and white chocolate. The torta was similarly pronounced the best cake thing he'd ever had in his life. The cobbler was the worst thing on the plate, but he would like to make it clear that if he'd had it on its own without the other two, he would have been very happy with it. Actually, he was very happy with it; but the other two were amazing and the cobbler was "just a good cobbler."


DH had this when we ate a FF and also thought the creme brulee was excelent

Symans3honeybees
06-02-2010, 03:23 PM
I have just ordered a pair of your crocs online. Woohoo!!

TillyMarigold
06-02-2010, 08:33 PM
Animal Kingdom is our favorite park, so of course we decided to spend our first full vacation day there.

What's important to understand about me and vacations is this: in real life, I am completely, 100%, ultra Type A. I am that way until the minute I get to Disney World. Once I get to Disney World I prefer to have no plans, no itineraries, I do not do rope drop and I do not use touring plans. So this actually fits in very nicely with the sort of laid-back experience that makes the Animal Kingdom fun.

All in all, after eating at the Mara and going back to our rooms to shower, we didn't get to the Animal Kingdom until about noon (we had terrible bus luck with every bus up until we Belle and the kids arrived, and then again once they left ... crazy huh?), and since we had a 6:00 ADR at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot, we decided not to eat lunch at all, but instead just snack throughout the day.

Now, I told Chernabog I wasn't really in the mood for a snack yet, but he decided he needed one of the new elephant cupcakes (http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/05/a-little-vacation-indulgence/) at Kusafiri Bakery. Actually he debated between the elephant one and the zebra one, and I told him that I didn't really want a cupcake but if I were going to have some of his, I personally thought the elephant one sounded better.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_3911.jpg

So, the elephant cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with a gooey chocolate center, with white icing and the same sort of caramel and coconut as you find on schoolbread (so, sort of a take on German chocolate cake), with a white chocolate elephant lollipop stuck in it. The cupcake was about the same size as a standard cupcake, not the huge ones like you get in other places.

Chernabog says:
It's a two-person dessert. I think it's far too sweet and rich for one person to eat. Well, I can easily imagine a five-year-old devouring the whole thing ... and then complaining of a stomachache the rest of the day. Also, the chocolate [elephant] seemed sort of waxy. I mean, it was pretty decent chocolate, but the cupcake itself was so good and so moist and with the stuff in the middle, and the frosting was so good and the coconut was so fresh, that the elephant suffered by comparison.

Since I don't like white chocolate, I can't comment on the quality of the elephant, except to say that I think of white chocolate as being a little waxy in general. But I did eat about a third of his cupcake--I had only been going to have a taste, you know, for scientific purposes ;) but in fact it was everything he said it was and more. Seriously, this was an absolutely incredible cupcake. (And I don't know about where you are, but around here cupcakes are the hot new thing that everyone has at parties and things, so I've eaten my share of interesting cupcakes.

Awhile later, we finished with Africa and after stopping at Flights of Wonder, I spotted the Royal Anandapur Tea Company kiosk and remembered my wish for a slush the day before, so I stopped and bought a large frozen chai.

The chai was pretty good ... some people like their chai sweeter and milder than others, and I am not really one of those people--I prefer it heavily spiced and lightly sweetened. The frozen chai was the other way around and I know some people love it that way, but it's not my favorite. But as something cold to drink on a hot day, it was pretty good. Better than the frozen raspberry lemonade slush I'd resisted the day before (I've been tempted by them before, and it's always a mistake, they never live up to the hype).

I have to say that the paper straws at AK and AKL never bothered me before; but that's probably because I always drank my drink so fast that they didn't have time to dissolve. For better or for worse, however, I had a more leisurely time drinking the chai because it was frozen, so my straw did turn to mush. I vowed to get an extra straw the next time I ordered a frozen drink at AK.

We hung out in Asia at the gibbons--all 5 of them were out: mother holding the new baby, father, and the two daughters, one of whom is a juvenile and the other a very young adult (they were both juveniles when we met their keeper on the Wild by Design tour last year). They were all swinging around and grooming each other, and there was a keeper there talking to people. So we stayed there awhile.

We decided to move on, and Chernabog decided he wanted some glazed nuts. Fortunately there was a glazed-nuts cart right there, selling both almonds and pecans (he wanted the latter. However, the line had all of a sudden gotten incredibly long (like 20 people) so we decided to come back later.

While we were on Maharajah Jungle Trek, I tried to convince Chernabog that our next snack should actually be a jalapeño cream cheese pretzel instead of the pecans, because the glazed nut carts are everywhere (although apparently he'd never noticed them before) but you can only get the jalapeño pretzels at AK. However, when we finished with Maharajah, it started to pour, so we decided against eating right then and eventually started making our way to Epcot for our Marrakesh reservation without getting any more snacks.

Leota
06-04-2010, 10:09 PM
So far, so good! :thumbsup2 I loved your last review, esp. since I also avoid CAFO meat. DH, however, will eat whatever, whenever. In Vegas, I did break down & eat a burger because DH was really craving BLT Burger one night. This coming trip to WDW will be my first since commiting to no CAFO. I am planning to be a bit flexible for the F&W Fest events & booths, so it was good for me to see you were flexible when need be as well. I won't beat myself up as hard when I fudge...

I'm really looking forward to following along as you finish your review. Thanks for taking the time to do them.

TillyMarigold
06-06-2010, 10:55 AM
Warning: the first of the bad, high-speed, flash-less pictures are coming up. Someday I hope to know how to use my camera properly.

We ate at Restaurant Marrakesh entirely at Chernabog's request. You see, I hate, hate, hate couscous. :confused3 I can't help it, I want to like it, but I just can't stand it. I had agreed to go to Marrakesh only on the condition that the menu had to have at least one dish that was not served with couscous. Fortunately, I saw that there was a seafood feast that looked pretty good, so I agreed.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. As I had mentioned earlier, Chernabog and I had terrible transportation luck up until Belle and the kids arrived. Our trip from AK to Epcot was no exception, and we ended up not getting to Epcot until about 5:45 for our 6:00 reservation, then our tickets wouldn't work at the entrance* and then we lost each other and ... Anyway, so we reached Marrakesh at about 6:05.

I was still sort of dreading this reservation, because Marrakesh has a really bad reputation. We were seated right away, but it took our server awhile to appear, which didn't make me feel better ... and of course the seafood sampler was off the menu! (All the samplers were, only 1 feast was left of the "special" meals.)

Anyway so I had plenty of time to look around, and wow, this restaurant is beautiful!
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4016copy.jpg

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4019copy.jpg

Chernabog and I were sort of starving by then since we'd never gotten either the glazed pecans or the jalapeño pretzel at AK, so all I can tell you about the bread is that I have a vague memory that it was pretty good.

We both ordered the Moroccan Mint Tea.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4021copy.jpg

I was very happy it was iced, but not very happy that the mint was spearmint, not peppermint. I once dated a guy who chewed spearmint gum obsessively, and I've never been able to stand the flavor since. (By the way, despite all evidence to the contrary, I really am not a picky eater. I swear!)

While we waited for our orders to be taken, we watched the belly dancer. She was excellent! Very talented, very happy-looking, very friendly. She danced for a while, then invited all the nearby kids to come up and showed them how to dance too.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4006copy.jpg

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4008copy.jpg

The musicians were also very good and I apologize for the atrocious quality of this picture:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4018copy.jpg

Chernabog said "to heck with it" (notice a theme here?) and ordered a new dish on the menu, Couscous M'Rouzia Fassi (Braised beef served with caramelized onions, raisins, honey, almonds and eggs):
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4023copy.jpg

He absolutely loved this. He said the beef was perfectly cooked and the flavor profile was unlike anything he could have gotten anywhere else. (Yes, I'm quoting.)

Given a choice between salmon with mushrooms or white fish with olives, I went with the latter, even though the last time I ordered a "tagine" (which I know is the name of the cooking dish) the food was served on a base of couscous that had been used to fill empty space in the tagine. And just to be clear, the only food on the planet that I absolutely despise and refuse to allow anywhere near me ... is olives.

(BTW, since I'll talk about it again later in the trip, this is a tagine, a clay dish that you put the food in and then bake the whole thing in an oven ... usually)

http://jaksview3.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/chicken-tagine-41.jpg

So I crossed my fingers and ordered the Mogador Fish Tagine (Marinated fish with olives, lemon confit, potatoes, green peppers and chermula sauce):

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4022copy.jpg

I'm sorry the picture is so bad. This was ... absolutely incredible! :lovestruc Seriously, it was wonderful. The fish was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the little hint of lemon was a nice accent. Chermoula sauce is a lemon-and-hot-pepper sauce, which I didn't know, so it was just a bit spicy. The baby red potatoes were whole and were perfectly roasted. The green peppers were actually large chunks of some sort of chile pepper, thoroughly roasted, smoky and just a bit spicy. As you can see, there were big wedges of roasted tomatoes. There were only 3 little black olives that I easily ignored, and the sauce didn't taste like them at all. And no couscous!

Or in short, this entrée was amazing. It completely turned my evening around. Also, it turned out to be pretty much what I'd been expecting (and craving) with my fish the night before.

Given Chernabog's baklava addiction, I had been expecting him to go for the baklava sampler, but he surprised me by ordering the "Bastilla: crispy leaves of pastry topped with vanilla cream and sprinkled with toasted almonds." I don't know what I was expecting (maybe something like my banana dessert from the night before), but it wasn't this:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4024copy.jpg

But he LOVED it. The only problem was that even with the "Bastilla for one," there was way too much for him. He wished there'd been comparably less pastry compared to the amount of cream.

I ordered the "Marrakesh Delight: fresh fruit salad topped with mint ice cream, toasted almonds and orange blossom water."

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4025copy.jpg

Okay, so this was really good. All the fruit was fresh and there was a huge variety of it, although unfortunately it wasn't very well-distributed so you can't see all of it. Besides the cantaloupe and honeydew and grapes and blueberries you can see, I believe there were also apples, strawberries, and I think maybe mandarin slices, but don't quote me on that one. I'm not normally a fan of melon, but there wasn't that much melon in it, and I ate all of it. Topping the fruit with the orange blossom water and almonds was genius, and who would have thought that slivered almonds and mint would be such an interesting combination? It had a piece of the same crispy pastry as on Chernabog's dessert, and it was nice, although I don't think I could have eaten more than I'd gotten.

There was only one problem, and that was the ice cream. Now, when I saw "mint ice cream," I assumed it was some sort of Moroccan-style thing they were calling ice cream for simplicity. Or at the very least, that it would be some sort of mint gelato or something like Breyer's mint ice cream, which if you haven't had it, is like eating the inside of a York Peppermint Patty. (Or Haagen-Dasz Five, which is similar.) You know, something that really tasted like mint.

But no, this was your cheap, run of the mill, not very minty, artificially colored mint ice cream. It was okay, but the mint flavor wasn't strong enough to balance the fruit flavors the way it was meant to. And it had chocolate crunches in it! I'm pretty sure it was Edy's mint chocolate cookie crunch. Which is fine as a snack, I mean there's nothing wrong with it per se, but it didn't work in this dessert.

Getting the check was a little slow, but not too bad.

Or in short, I went in expecting to tolerate Marrakesh for Chernabog's sake, but it turned out to be a great meal. Fun and a great atmosphere, nice entertainment, extremely good food. Service was a tad slow at times, but certainly not what I'd call bad, just not completely up to Disney standards. The server brought us what we wanted with no major delays (just a couple minor ones) and was pleasant enough to us.

*We had this happen several times and were worried about the dreaded demagnetization of our Annual Passes. However, a CM finally explained to us that if the blue light flashes for your fingerprint, the ticket itself is fine; if it can't be read, then it won't ask for a fingerprint. What's more likely to go wrong is that the turnstile actually has to contact a computer server that stores the data about the fingerprint, and that connection can be flaky. So if the turnstile asks for your fingerprint, but then does not let you through, it's probably because the connection with the server had a momentary glitch. It is definitely not a problem with your ticket.

Leota
06-06-2010, 05:53 PM
That fish dish sounds really amazing. I haven't eaten at Marrakesh is many years. I'd go for that fish in a heartbeat tho. I wonder if DH would give up one of our ressies to try Marrakesh? Last time I went, it was just my son & I. DH has never been.

TillyMarigold
06-15-2010, 09:14 PM
Sorry, folks. The day after my last review, I left for my sister's wedding, and didn't get to update while I was back East. Anyway she's been successfully married, so here I am.

I had made a fairly early dinner reservation on purpose so we'd have time to go to La Cava del Tequila. Now, fair warning here: among other things, my degrees are in Spanish language and linguistics and Spanish translation, and I've worked off and on as a Spanish translator, professor, and language consultant for the last ten years, so if you don't want the language lecture, you'd best skip the next paragraph.

There are frequent references to "The Ditch" or "The Cave" to refer to La Cava around here. The first comes from using bad online translators (online translations are always bad, except Google's, which is highly variable), which will say la cava means 'he/she digs it.' The latter comes from the fairly obvious assumption that cava = 'cave.' However, both of these are wrong (ditch is cuneta or acequia; cave is cueva). However, la cava is actually the Mexican word for a climate-controlled area for storing alcohol--what we call a 'cellar' in English. So La Cava del Tequila = The Tequila Cellar. (Also, in the wine shop in France, when you enter the room where the actual wine is, the archway says "La Cave à Vins," which of course means The Wine Cellar.) /language geek

Ahem. Anyway. Besides all that, I also live in New Mexico and work primarily with Mexicans, so let's just say that I have high standards for both tequila and margaritas, and I know that both salted rims and frozen margaritas are done to hide inferior tequila, and that silver and gold tequilas should only ever be served in mixed drinks, while reposado and añejo tequilas are sipped straight. I don't know what I'll do without good on-the-rocks margaritas once I leave here, but that's not the point--the point is that you couldn't pay me to drink a margarita from the stand outside. But I had high hopes for La Cava.

We walked in and it was absolutely adorable, just like being in a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. The tables were packed close together and there were murals on the walls. The menu looked awesome and I could have looked at it all night, except for the part where I wanted some food and drink!

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4033.jpg

Like I said, we're pretty familiar with the types of tequila, but Chernabog rarely drinks it straight. So he very confidently ordered the Traditional Tequila Flight (1800 Reservado Silver, Herradura Reposado, El Mayor Añejo) and then had no idea what to do when he got this:

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4034.jpg

He had to call the waiter over to explain what to do, which is to take some salt (in the little dish), shoot the silver tequila, bite the lime, and shoot the tomato juice (okay, so we're probably the only people on earth who didn't know that--in his defense, he didn't go to college in the US ... I have no such excuse, I'm just lame). Obviously the other two are meant to be sipped.

I just asked him whether he had any opinions to offer and he said "If you don't know what you're talking about, don't order with a sense of resoluteness." Pressed further, he says he really liked it and it was quiet so he thinks that your experience will really depend on the clientele that's there at the time. He added that if we'd been there at the same time as the large drunk group that was leaving as we got there, we probably would not have enjoyed it so much, and it probably attracts drunken students. But he thought the server was very knowledgable, the mural was gorgeous, and the guacamole was awesome. You will just have to accept that he had no actual comment on the tequila.

Being married to a Scotsman, I've come to appreciate good Scotch (Scottish Scotch! not the American kind) if it's nice and flavorful, so he offered me some of the añejo to sip. I liked it, but it probably won't become my drink of choice.

Anyway, so I really had wanted to get something to nibble on, but because we'd had a big dinner, I didn't want anything big. So I ordered the guacamole. It was, as Chernabog said, awesome. I'm about 99% sure that it had been made right when we ordered it. It had giant chunks of avocado in it and was a bit spicy. My only complaint was that I wished there were more chips--it was good Chernabog was still full of couscous and didn't eat many.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4032.jpg

I debated fairly seriously between all the incredible margaritas being sold. I didn't want anything too similar to the guac (like avocado) but I didn't want anything that would clash either (like peach). I wanted something that would complement it. Finally I settled on the prickly pear margarita.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4031.jpg

Unfortunately it's not listed on the online menu I found, but it had silver tequila, Triple Sec, and prickly pear pulp (with a salt rim, boo ... completely unnecessary). It was very good and strong enough without the alcohol being completely overwhelming.

However, it should probably be mentioned here that living at high altitude, which we do, increases your alcohol tolerance. So possibly other people would find it too strong. I can only comment on the taste.

Anyway, two thumbs way up and we would definitely go back, but beware that since it's quite small, if there are loud drunk people there, it could be unpleasant.

The only negative is that to get to the bathrooms, you have to leave La Cava, cross the shopping area, go into San Ángel Inn, around the corner and down the stairs.

catne
06-15-2010, 09:48 PM
loving your reviews (and your language lectures, lol.:thumbsup2) We tried La Cava last September and enjoyed the margaritas. When it's not packed with people it's quite nice in there.

TillyMarigold
06-15-2010, 10:21 PM
loving your reviews (and your language lectures, lol.:thumbsup2) We tried La Cava last September and enjoyed the margaritas. When it's not packed with people it's quite nice in there.
Aw, thanks! I absolutely love your reviews, so it means a lot.

TillyMarigold
06-15-2010, 10:53 PM
Okay, so when the AP pin code came out in January, we had a big debate: AKL which was totally within our budget, or Beach Club, which was just a tiny bit outside it. In the end, two things swayed us towards AKL: the possibilities of bad bus service at Beach Club and the fact that it's close to my two least favorite parks ... and the culinary possibilities. Both Jiko and Sanaa are in my top five restaurants at WDW, and Boma isn't far off that list.

So all in all, it may have been a bit shocking that our first TS meal at AKL was nearly two full days after checking in--Tuesday morning breakfast at Boma.

As usual (I guess because there's only 2 of us), we got a window table. I weirded out the server by taking photos of the restaurant (why is that weird?):

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4037-1.jpg

What can you say? I love Boma--it's interesting.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4038-1.jpg

What you have above is: goat cheese and chive potatoes; Boma's awesome cinnamon roll; grapes; grilled tomato; chakalaka (tomato and onion curry); potatoes that had some fancy name. All of it was very good ... except the grapes, which were not all the way ripe and were sort of gross. Which makes me sad, because usually I think Disney's fruit is outstanding. (Or else, living in the middle of the desert, I have low standards for fruit ... in which case the grapes must have been really gross.)

Oh, and I ordered OJ instead of Boma's special juice.

Chernabog's plate was almost the same as mine:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4039-1.jpg
except that he also got himself some quinoa with raisins and cinnamon. He also got the Boma juice, and he discovered the proper way to eat chakalaka: mixed with pap.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4040-1.jpg

There hadn't been any French toast out when I first went up, so I grabbed some. Boma's French toast is made with raisin brioche, so it is super rich. One piece was plenty! I also got a bit more of the goat cheese and chive eggs since the ones I'd gotten the first time were the last of the pan and were a bit runny, and some strawberries (they're the same grapes, I had set them on my napkin and then put them back on the plate). Chernabog had been contemplating a waffle, but when he saw the French toast, he got some of that instead. We agreed it was fantastic.

The strawberries were even sadder than the grapes, I'm afraid, and I guiltily left them on my plate. Not a good day for fruit in Disney.

Boma once again rocked my world by giving us coffee to go. And once again, I had a perfectly lovely time there and Chernabog pined for more authentic, exotic dishes. I pointed out to him that the usual African breakfast in 2010 is probably a slice of toast and tea or coffee.

SnwflkCts
06-16-2010, 07:33 PM
Wow! I am just loving your reviews.

Now WHO could get weirded out by your taking pictures of the restaurants :rolleyes1 ... after all the DISSERs that SURELY must be taking alot of them! (HA HA - me included!) But you know I never saw anyone but ME taking them while at WDW! :confused:

Anyway ... just wanted to say how much fun your comments and reviews are. :thumbsup2

Can you tell me where Royal Anandapur Tea Company is exactly? I swear I looked for it in Feb based on people's recommendations and I couldn't find it! I must just be blind. Any hints. I spend most of my life in AK WALKING from EE towards the Safari so if you can suggest what SIDE to look towards as I make that trek -- maybe next time I will find it!

Linda67
06-17-2010, 04:21 AM
Great reviews :thumbsup2

I would love to try breakfast at Boma, we have had dinner there and loved it

I am certainly going to visit La Cava on my next trip :thumbsup2

TillyMarigold
06-17-2010, 10:15 AM
Can you tell me where Royal Anandapur Tea Company is exactly? I swear I looked for it in Feb based on people's recommendations and I couldn't find it! I must just be blind. Any hints. I spend most of my life in AK WALKING from EE towards the Safari so if you can suggest what SIDE to look towards as I make that trek -- maybe next time I will find it!
It's on the water side, across from the Yak & Yeti QS place, I believe it's next to a DVC kiosk. There's sort of a planter thing in front of it, so you can't see it so well if you're right in front of it, you can see it better from the side.

tink,too
06-17-2010, 10:41 AM
Loving your reviews and photos. :thumbsup2 I am very fussy, but despite that, I like reading about all the more fancy and elaborate meals at WDW.

BTW, I must say that I am a Scot, but I detest Scotch Whisky. DH will have one only occasionally. It's not that he doesn't drink alcohol, but Scotch is not his favourite. ;) Also, our local bakery does know how to make a proper eclair with choux pastry, but we can also buy the buns (which are often coated in sugar also) filled with cream.

cbg1027
06-21-2010, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the La Cava review. I enjoyed the language lecture as well since I am a French major. ;) I know you feel - some of the names of things in the France pavilion annoy me.

Ooooh prickly pear...I hope they have that one next time I go, it sounds good. That guac was fantastic! I thought it seemed really freshly made as well.

I loved the Boma review. I haven't been there for breakfast yet but just made my ADR for a December trip and now you have me even more excited about it!

TillyMarigold
06-24-2010, 10:49 AM
Loving your reviews and photos. :thumbsup2 I am very fussy, but despite that, I like reading about all the more fancy and elaborate meals at WDW.

BTW, I must say that I am a Scot, but I detest Scotch Whisky. DH will have one only occasionally. It's not that he doesn't drink alcohol, but Scotch is not his favourite. ;) Also, our local bakery does know how to make a proper eclair with choux pastry, but we can also buy the buns (which are often coated in sugar also) filled with cream.

I don't know where you are ... he grew up in Dundee in the '80s, so I can believe they didn't know how to make real éclairs. They just called the buns éclairs. Dundee is not exactly the culinary capital of Europe.

Thanks for the La Cava review. I enjoyed the language lecture as well since I am a French major. ;) I know you feel - some of the names of things in the France pavilion annoy me.

Fortunately my French isn't good enough to be annoyed. ;) La Cava del Tequila is a perfectly fine name for a tequila bar ... I blame bad online translators for the people who call it "the ditch."

By the way, el cava is the Spanish version of champagne (true champagne only comes from Champagne, France, of course).

TillyMarigold
06-24-2010, 11:11 AM
Sorry for the delay, folks. I was away at my sister's wedding for a week, and then I've been working on a new project: a food blog! I'm trying this summer to eat only foods without any ingredients I can't pronounce. You can check it out here, if you want: http://summerofeatingreal.wordpress.com/


This is going to be a disappointing review much like the disappointing snacks we had. Because we'd had such a big breakfast at Boma and we were meeting Belle and the kids at 5 pm, we once again decided to just nibble through the day and then eat dinner with them (which was even more disappointing, but we'll get to that later).

First up, we hung out in Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain. This was my first time to ever ride it so I wanted to mention it. I have to say ... I enjoyed it, but my first words to Chernabog afterwards were "I waited twenty-two years to ride that?!" Anyway so I'm telling you this so that I can explain how we did the MK counter-clockwise.

Our first snack was about noonish on the way from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland; we spotted a cart with nuts by the teacups and Chernabog was all "A-ha! You shall not deny me again!" Unfortunately, they only had almonds and not pecans. But those of you who have eaten the cinnamon-glazed almonds know that they are seriously addictive ... they were always my go-to snack when I was a CM, well those and the pineapple spears from Aloha Isle. We munched those across Fantasyland and were sorry when they were gone, except that of course I'd have had to keep eating them if they hadn't been, so it's probably just as well.

Next, it was lunchtime and we weren't very hungry but we wanted some caffeine, so we got bottled Cokes at the fruit stand in Liberty Square. They were Cokes, enough said, I think. We then worked our way through Frontierland, made a left turn into Adventureland and did that, made our way over to Big Thunder (which, weirdly, had no line), then went to the churro/pretzel cart in Frontierland at about 3:30, where we ordered one of each (a churro for Chernabog and a pretzel for me). By the way, the line was insanely long. It was manned by one clearly new CP CM and he had to ring up an order, step aside and serve, go back and ring up the next one, etc. And while I was 4th in line (Chernabog had run to get FastPasses from somewhere*), it still took about 20 minutes to get my food! :scared1:

This is where things started to come undone. Both the pretzel and churro were overcooked and also had been sitting too long, so they were hard, dry, weirdly chewy, and mostly flavorless. Fortunately, at least, they had brown mustard to put on the pretzels. Unfortunately, I managed to get some on my khakis. We sat by the riverboat and watched the water, which was nice—this was the day it started to get really hot.

On the way out of the park to meet Belle, I used a powdered drink mix in the water I filled from the water fountain, and managed to get some of the powder on my hands ... which I later got water on, and not realizing that I had the powder on my hands, I proceeded to wipe my wet hands on my khakis also and get giant pink stains across my thighs, and no chance to go back to the hotel to change. Oh well.

*Since we had APs, I was able to pay with my KTTW card while Chernabog took my AP to get FastPasses. I have to say, if I ever go again without an AP, I will definitely get my tickets separated so we can continue to do the some-get-food, some-get-FPs thing.

tink,too
06-24-2010, 07:52 PM
I don't know where you are ... he grew up in Dundee in the '80s, so I can believe they didn't know how to make real éclairs. They just called the buns éclairs. Dundee is not exactly the culinary capital of Europe.


Ah, Dundee - the city of roundabouts! :rotfl2: It's a place I only ever drive through to get to Glasgow airport and is famous for its pies. ;)

We're in Aberdeenshire in a fishing town about 30 miles north of Aberdeen.

TillyMarigold
07-04-2010, 10:12 PM
So, Belle and the kids having arrived, we headed over to the MK for Woody's first-ever roller coaster ride, arriving about 7:00 on a night the park was open until 9:00. Chernabog and I had gotten 4 FastPasses earlier, so Chernabog took Woody on the ride first [we never did child swap with Mickey--he objected emphatically to the idea of being left alone with me or Chernabog without either Belle or Woody being there] and while we waited, Belle and I decided we didn't actually mind not riding. After a quick stop to press a penny for Woody's collection, we headed to Pecos Bill's.

It was closed.

We headed to Columbia Harbour House. It was closed.

We headed to Pinocchio's. It was open, but when we got all the way down to the cash registers, they were shut down for the night.

So, now you know--despite the fact that the Times Guide claims all the restaurants are open until 9:00 when the park closes, they actually close at 8:00. :scared1:

It was decided we would each go back to our own resorts and eat at the food courts, which of course are open until 11:00. On the way out, Belle bought Mickey and Woody a vanilla Dole Whip to tide them over until dinner. (They're used to eating dinner at about 8:00.)

TillyMarigold
07-12-2010, 02:49 PM
So, having failed to find dinner, we scooted our way out of the park, admitting defeat and planning to eat dinner at our respective food courts.

Chernabog and I headed to The Mara, where dinner was being cooked to order only. We were told that the only vegetarian things on their menu were the cheese or vegetable flatbreads, or the falafel wrap. I ordered the vegetable flatbread (the menu said it had olives, but I figured I could just eat around them) and Chernabog ordered the wrap with couscous. Frankly, I had expected more out of The Mara.

Unfortunately, when I saw "Vegetable Flatbread with Olives" I assumed that there would be other vegetables on the flatbread in addition to the olives. But no. (Well, there were caramelized onions, but that's all.)

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4322.jpg

I suppose if you like olives, this would have been fantastic. It was all perfectly cooked, hot and fresh, and the cheese (it was either feta or goat cheese) and onions worked together perfectly. However, I spent a large amount of time picking olives off and it still tasted a bit like them. Blech. Plus without the olives, it wasn't actually very much food (remember, we hadn't had a meal since breakfast and no food at all since a pretzel and churro at 4:00, 6 hours earlier). I ate half of it and gave the rest to Chernabog--who, even though he hates olives as much as I do (they're both of our least favorite food), said he liked the flatbread with the olives (as I was unable to pick all the olives off my half, I can tell you definitively that I did not like it with the olives).

Chernabog ordered the falafel wrap with couscous, and pronounced it the best falafel he'd ever had (and the man eats a lot of falafel). he valiantly gave me about a third of the wrap and I had to agree: the best falafel I've ever had, either. Much better than Tangierine Café's (this is getting ahead of myself, but The Mara's was slightly better than Boma's, possibly because The Mara's had been made fresh only minutes before, or possibly because The Mara's were larger so there was proportionally less crispy outside--I like my falafel with the inside very soft). It also had crispy fresh lettuce and fresh tomatoes, and the pita was warm and very soft.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4323.jpg

He ate all the couscous (of which there was a ton--you can see it behind the wrap) and pronounced it exceptionally good couscous as well, but I went up and ordered myself a side of fries because I was still hungry.

I got a fountain drink, Chernabog got a bottle of peach-mango Fuze, and we got zebra domes and cheesecake to share:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4321.jpg

The cheesecake was really good--you can see it was a slice cut from an actual cheesecake, not one of the prepackaged ones.

It was at this meal that Chernabog's zebra domes addiction began. Now, I'd heard a lot about them, and I was expecting to like them, and I did. But man, Chernabog just loved them. He ate three, I ate one (the picture was taken after we'd each had one), and then he pouted when I told him I wanted to save the last one for another day.

I have heard nothing from Belle on what she or the kids ate at the Intermission Food Court. I can tell you that every night she bought a small carton of milk and warmed it in her electric kettle that she brought with her, and she had tea before bed and the kids had warm milk. I can also tell you that she thought the food at the food court was fine and no one had any complaints about it. But I don't know what she and the kids actually ate there for any of their meals, although I have a vague memory that she mentioned eating a salad with chicken on it one night.

TillyMarigold
07-14-2010, 02:43 PM
I'm not really a planner for my park days, in case anyone hadn't figured that out yet ;) but with Belle and the kids only there for 3½ days, we did do some serious planning. Wednesday was our Animal Kingdom day, and I had really wanted to take the kids to Tusker House for breakfast (Mickey Mouse is both of their favorite character--the boys take after their Auntie Violet in that :wizard:). Tusker House wasn't available, but 'Ohana was, and I figured that would give Mickey a chance to ride the monorail, since trains are his most favorite thing ever. While Chernabog and I waited for Belle, Woody, and Mickey to arrive, I couldn't resist buying the boys small gifts at the BouTiki--a book for Woody's penny collection and a tiny toy monorail for Mickey. (Also, for the Wonder Dog, I bought a bandana that proclaimed "My Humans Went to Disney World and All I Got Was This Lousy Bandana.") We checked in right when Belle and the kids got there (at 9:05 for a 9:15 reservation) and were seated about 10 minutes later, having declined to have our photo taken with tiki masks.

We were given a table with a bench against the wall on one side, a column at one end, and chairs along the other side. Chernabog and I took the chairs and Belle and Woody took the bench seat, with Mickey between them. The waitress explained that the characters will take that as a sign not to approach the kids, so if the kids wanted to see them, they'd have to come out when the characters approached. We assured her that's why we'd done it ... Woody was a tiny bit unsure, but Mickey was definitely anti-fur-character.

The first thing that happened when we were seated was we ordered drinks--juice for all of us, coffee for me and Chernabog, and hot tea for Belle. The tea came in a little caddy with several types of teabag to choose from, a pot of hot water, several things to sweeten it with, and a little pitched of milk. She was very impressed. :cutie:

The second thing was that the chef (a young woman with long blonde hair whose name for some reason I think was Jennifer) came out and asked about Belle's allergies. I had listed on the reservation that she is allergic to tree nuts and none of the three of them eat pork. She explained that the waffle batter (and I think also the biscuits) are made in a bakery where other things containing nuts are also made, and the pastries are stored in an area where things containing nuts are also stored, but there were no nuts in any of the things on the menu. Since Belle's allergy is fairly mild and she had her drugs with her, she decided that would all be okay. We also ordered the skillet without any bacon or sausage ... Belle actually wouldn't have minded, but since I wasn't going to eat any anyway, I figured the simplest thing would be not to tempt the boys with it (because they're used to turkey bacon and so forth).

The first thing that was brought out was a tray of grapes, pineapple, and assorted melon.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4324.jpg

As you can see, one of the boys loves grapes and the other loves watermelon, because they started eating before I could get a picture. (I forget which was which.) The fruit was all really good and we were starting to get excited.

Next came the skillet: scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and biscuits. Shortly after, we got a tray of pastries. Woody, Mickey, and I didn't have any, but Belle and Chernabog said they were delicious.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4330.jpg

Mickey waffles were also brought around. I'd actually never had one (I know! sacrilege! I'm not really a waffle person, though) but they were really, really good waffles. The eggs were also very good and so were the biscuits, but the standout was the potatoes. They were so good. We all ate tons of them.

The first character to come around, unfortunately, was Stitch. I say "unfortunately," because, well ...

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4327.jpg

Notice something missing?
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4329.jpg

Yeah. Mickey was afraid of Stitch. We'd known he would be, but he (and Woody) both really, really wanted to meet Mickey Mouse (lest you think I had arranged to torment my honorary nephew for my own enjoyment). It's just a shame that we were at such a place in the rotation as to meet Stitch first. Woody, however, was up to the challenge and got everyone's autograph.

Lilo was next, and Mickey was still unconvinced:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4328.jpg

By the way, Belle's pictures of the character interactions are much better ... sort of. Her memory card in her camera was old, so a lot of the pictures came out with parts of other pictures overlaid on them. But she had everyone looking at the camera, and everything.

Just before Mickey Mouse reached our table, the parade started. Woody and Mickey declined to participate, but enjoyed watching it. When the character rotation resumed, Mickey Mouse came straight to our table, and this time, Mickey was ready:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4332.jpg

Sorry for the weird angle--clearly they only had eyes for Belle.

Pluto was last, but we don't seem to have any pictures of that meeting. After that we all headed down to the buses to the Animal Kingdom. I took a picture of Belle, Woody, and Mickey in front of the waterfall.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/IMG_4333.jpg


Edit: Here are a couple pictures Belle took of me and Chernabog with Mickey Mouse and Pluto:
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/ohana.jpg

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/violet_chernabog/Food/pluto.jpg

Dani&TJsMom
07-18-2010, 09:40 PM
Just found your reviews and really enjoyed reading them. Restaurant Marrakesh sounds good. I was thinking of switching from Akerhus to there. I have ressies at Ohana for breakfast on our AK day too. I was wondering how long it took you to get from the Poly to Ak and how did you use Disney transportation? Thanks!

TillyMarigold
07-19-2010, 06:01 PM
Just found your reviews and really enjoyed reading them. Restaurant Marrakesh sounds good. I was thinking of switching from Akerhus to there. I have ressies at Ohana for breakfast on our AK day too. I was wondering how long it took you to get from the Poly to Ak and how did you use Disney transportation? Thanks!
Honestly I'd rather eat at Akershus than Marrakesh (we had dinner at Akershus on the last trip) but as we all know by now, I don't like couscous. :rotfl: My DH would probably go for Marrakesh over Akershus though. We liked both.

Honestly I have no idea how long the trip from the Poly to AK took. We did take Disney buses. That picture in the Polynesian lobby was taken sometime between 10:15-10:30 and I'm sure we were at the Animal Kingdom by 11 but it was probably sooner--I think we had a short wait but nothing outrageous, and I know we didn't stop anywhere else on the way. I can tell you that the bus from the MK to the AKL takes 20-22 minutes so the time from the Polynesian to the AK is probably about the same.

Dani&TJsMom
07-19-2010, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the info!:flower3:

TillyMarigold
07-20-2010, 10:47 AM
I asked DH and he says he would also choose Akershus over Marrakesh assuming they have the same sorts of menus they did when we were there, but if the Akershus menu has become even more Americanized than it was, then he'd go for Marrakesh. One of the things we like at WDW is the chance to eat at the sorts of restaurants we don't have here, and we can get American food anywhere.